The Eastern Cape Border Area is one of the most beautiful and interesting regions in South Africa. Rolling hills and lush grasslands are punctuated by deep gorges with sporadic forests, while the rugged coastline boasts some of the world's most striking beaches. It is the ideal destination for sports enthusiasts, nature lovers, and history fans. Start your dream holiday with a look at our Border accommodation.
Situated in the eastern region of the Eastern Province, from East London and Queenstown towards the KwaZulu-Natal border, the Border Area encompasses what was previously the Transkei. Now most famous as the home of former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, the Border region was not always a place of peace. Its parameters are defined by a century of “border warsâ€ (1779 - 1878) that occurred between the Boers and Xhosa. Both cultures valued cattle as their source of wealth and competed for grazing grounds. As a result, the Boers built a series of forts to contain the Xhosa tribes to the east of the Fish River. Evidence of the violent history is strewn throughout the region. Old forts and buildings mark the battle sites, while the original houses demonstrate how small windows and thick walls were used as protection against attacks.
The Xhosa weren’t the first inhabitants of the region. The San thrived there long before and their rock art is evident all around. Some of the most exceptional sites are near Barkley East in the mountainous north-eastern area. Visitors interested in local culture can enjoy a tour to the townships to experience the spirit of “ubuntuâ€.
To this day, people in the former Transkei region are dependent on cattle, maize, and sorghum-farming. An olive nursery has recently been developed to create a centre of olive production in the province. With the commercial benefits of eco-tourism on the rise, domestic stock farming is slowly giving way to game farming on large scale. Many of the malaria free game reserves boast not only the Big 5, but the Big 7, including the Southern Right Whale and Great White Shark in the warm Indian Ocean.
The rugged and unspoilt Wild Coast between East London and KwaZulu-Natal enjoys the longest hours of sunshine and the warm sea is enticing for surfers, kite boarders, fishermen, boaters, and other water sport enthusiasts. With rocky stretches and protected bays, the sub-tropical coastline is a place of spectacular scenery, but also a graveyard for many vessels. Fishing is a popular activity and visitors can enjoy recreational fishing for line fish. Squid is the basis of the province’s fishing industry, so be sure to pop into some of the seafood restaurants for some of the country’s most deliciously fresh calamari.
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