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Eastern Cape Coastal Safari

South Africa - Trip code MSA Multi-Activity
Days 10
Deposit From £136
Price from £1355
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Explore the Eastern Cape on this active adventure to South Africa. Watch huge herds of elephant marching between waterholes and look for the rest of the Big Five in Addo Elephant Park. Discover waterfalls, huge indigenous forest and various peaks of the Amathole Mountain Range whilst walking on ancient trails around Hogsback. Paddle up the Kariega River in a kayak and spend a morning mountain-biking in a valley and walk in the largest dune field in the southern hemisphere.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 9

      Lunch: 4

      Dinner: 3

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader

      Local Guide(s)

      Safari Guide(s)

    • Transport


    • i


      4 nights comfortable cabins

      2 nights comfortable hotel

      1 nights comfortable lodge

      2 nights comfortable tented camp

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Full on

    • i

      Group Size:

      10 - 16


    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Join trip Port Elizabeth, on Safari in Addo Elephant Park

    The trip starts today in Port Elizabeth, we will meet our Explore leader and fellow group members at the airport and then drive for an hour to reach Addo Elephant Park. Originally created to protect a single herd of endangered elephant, Addo is now one of the largest nature reserves in Southern Africa and the only one that claims to have the Big Seven! Along with the park's population of lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo; the Sundays river area, which is found within Addo's boundary has great white shark and southern right whale to complete its complement of the Big Seven. After checking into our forest cabin we will head out on safari in a converted minibus, which has modified windows to ensure good visibility for game viewing.


    Grade: Comfortable Cabins

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Lunch

    Day 2 - Day of Game Drives in Addo Elephant Park

    We are up early this morning to get out on safari whilst it is still cool and the animals are at their most active before the heat of the day sets in. We will be in open sided safari jeeps for the full day with a ranger from the park. Addo has a varied landscape featuring forested woodland and large open spaces of grassland; the forest areas are visually attractive but the grassland ensures great wildlife viewing. We will hope to see lion lounging in the open spaces and there is a good chance of seeing herds of elephant marching between waterholes, led by their matriarch. For animal lovers looking to spot the more unusual beasts, Addo has the largest population of flightless dung beetle in the world and rarer antelope such as eland and kudu. We will stay just outside of the park this evening in a small lodge.


    Grade: Comfortable Lodge

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 3 - Head to the Amathole Mountain Range and take the Bluff Walk

    After breakfast we drive northeast and make our way into the Amathole Mountain Range, as the road starts to climb we are surrounded by huge ancient forests and several peaks and escarpments loom in the distance. Our destination is Hogsback, a small town popular with artists, walkers, nature lovers and those wanting to escape South Africa's busy cities. The town has a feel of a quaint English village and we will spend two days here. We will check in and there is some free time to buy some lunch in one of the many cafes in town before taking a guided walk. We start off with the Bluff Walk, an easy walk through a large grass field which offers incredible views over the verdant Tyume Valley in the distance; whilst we walk we are constantly shadowed by the 'three hogs', part of the Amathole range and the reason for the name of the town. This walk will take us around 45 minutes as is on flat ground. After the Bluff Walk we will take the Military Path, a short walk into the indigenous forest that was used by British soldiers in colonial times. This walk should only take 40 - 50 minutes but does contain some inclines and uneven/ rocky paths. We will then return to our lodge and there will be some free time to either take a self-guided walking trail or to explore the local labyrinth, which is a nearly a mile long and intricately designed.


    Grade: Comfortable Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 4 - Walk through forests to the Madonna and Child Falls

    This morning we plan to stretch our legs with a walk through beautiful forests to several waterfalls. The Madonna and Child Falls is reached via a moderately steep downhill walk, via the Big Tree (an 800-year old Yellow wood). The route takes you through the indigenous Tyumie Forest and includes the Swallow Tail Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. With a little bit of imagination, an outcrop of rock on the face of the falls helps to form the shape of the "Mother and Child" - hence the name of the falls.

    The walk will take approximate 4 hours and we will take plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings as we go. There are various walks around the area and it is not unknown for trails to be closed at short notice by the Forestry Department. If this happens we will take an alternative walk.

    The afternoon is left free for you to relax in the small, quaint town or there is the chance to follow some shorter walking routes. This evening there will be the option to visit the Edge Mountain Retreat, with your leader, where we can walk 1.4km of enchanting paths around the Labrynth on the Edge. One of the largest labrynths in the world, its sits perched on the edge above the valley below and is a wonderful spot to enjoy a sundowner whilst watching an epic sunset.


    Grade: Comfortable Hotel

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 5 - Drive to Kenton-on-Sea and take a Walking Tour around Ekuphumleni

    After a leisurely start we leave the mountains behind and make our way to Kenton-on-Sea, a small town on the Indian Ocean sitting on a strip of land between two rivers - Bushmans and the Kariega. We will check in to our hotel before meeting a local guide from the Ekuphumleni Township who will take us on a walking tour of his area. Ekuphumleni is a district of Kenton-on-Sea which has suffered from immense poverty and the residents have not had the same opportunities as other people in the Kenton area; however there are now some local entrepreneurs who are championing their township. Our guide will walk us around the area, we will meet local people, step inside a shebeen - local pub and meet a Songoma - a traditional witch doctor. This tour is all about empowering local people and understanding more about how many South Africans are living their lives today.

    We'll then make our way to Woodlands, our home for the next three nights. This unusual accommodation is a small, family run property with a huge welcome set high up on the banks of the Bushman's River. Our cabins are scattered along the pathways within large gardens, with hammock 'chill-out' zones, The Goat Shed Bistro, an English style pub and indigenous flora making it a great spot for bird spotting. It's a real escape from reality and somewhere you can enjoy feeling part of the family, including their resident cats and dogs!


    Grade: Comfortable Cabins

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 6 - Kayak Trip up the Kariega River, Bush Walk and Game Cruise looking for Wildlife

    We leave our hotel this morning and walk for 6km to the mouth of the Kariega, the terrain is mostly flat but we will take a gentle pace around the town and expect the walk to take around two hours. When we reach the Kariega we will start our kayaking trip up river. There will be two people per kayak and we will paddle upstream for approximately two hours, at first we are surrounded by farmland but that quickly changes as the river meanders through green forested hills. It is unlikely we will see much game from the kayaks but we will certainly see a vast array of birds including African fish eagle and the vivid sunbird. Our destination is a bush camp on the banks of the river, where we'll enjoy lunch. Here we'll enjoy a short walk in the bush around a private game reserve. Walking in the bush is one of the best ways to start to understand the local environment, hearing the sounds of birds and smelling the different plants as we slowly and quietly keep a look out for giraffe, wildebeest, springbok and impala. After this we'll return to our kayaks and paddle our way back to the river mouth, where we'll be transferred back to Woodlands in time for a hearty dinner.


    Grade: Comfortable Cabins

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast and Lunch

    Day 7 - Mountain Bike Ride along Bushmans River Valley and Walk on the Dune Field

    After a good breakfast at the Bush camp, we drive back to Kenton-on-Sea and leave for a 2 to 3 hour Mountain Bike ride. This is through the Bushmans River Valley and onto farm roads with off road tracks through the indigenous veld. This is not a technical ride and the only requirement is the ability to ride a bike, previous mountain biking experience is not necessary. The trip starts with a 5km downhill section and then on to 1km of gravel track before 10km of flat road along the Bushman River. The end of the ride is back up the river valley with a 5km uphill section. For those not fancying the incline it is possible to trailer your bikes with the support vehicle and hitch a ride back to the hotel.

    We have a picnic lunch today and then drive out to the Woody Cape Reserve for a walk on the Alexandria Dune Fields. This area is the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere and we will take a 7km walk known as the Dassie Day trail. This walk will take us from coastal paths with spectacular views over Bird Island in the Indian Ocean to a huge indigenous forest found within Addo Elephant Park. It should take around 3 hours as we set a slow pace and have some inclines due to the sand dunes found here. After the walk we return to Woodlands and there will be a braai this evening at the hotel, which will be at your own expense.


    Grade: Comfortable Cabins

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 8 - Drive to Amakala Game Reserve; Afternoon Game Drive

    Late this morning, after breakfast, we'll depart for Amakala Game Reserve, home to the Big Five and our final stop on this Eastern Cape adventure. On route we'll break up the journey with a stop at Oakly Farm Stall, a traditional style padstal, known for great coffee and pies.

    On arrival we'll check in to our accommodation. Inside the game reserve we'll be staying in a small family run camp, where the tents are fixed into the hillside offering views across the floodplains below. Each tent has a private terrace where you can enjoy the sounds of the surrounding wilderness and maybe even glimpse the game in the plains below. Free time in between game drives can be enjoyed by the pool or with a coffee on the communal deck which offers fantastic views.

    Later this afternoon, we'll get aboard the open sided game vehicles and head out into the reserve in search of the Big Five.


    Grade: Comfortable Tented Camp

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

    Day 9 - Big Five Safari in Amakhala Game Reserve and Conservation Talk at a Rhino Foundation

    After breakfast today we will explore Amakhala Game Reserve again during our second game drive. The Amakhala Reserve is a huge conservation programme which was once a network of various farms that have now been returned to their natural bushveld and the area has been repopulated with wildlife indigenous to the region. Home to the Big Five, there are over 60 mammal species within the reserve, including elephant, lion, cheetah.

    After lunch at the camp, we will have a conservation talk with the specialists at the Chipembere Rhino Foundation, an organisation that has been fighting rhino poaching in the area as well as working on numerous conservation projects within the reserve. We will learn about the work they are doing on the ground and hear some inspiring stories about saving magnificent species. Later this afternoon, we'll return to our open sided vehicles for our last two hour game drive before returning to the camp and enjoying a drink around the fire under a starlit sky.


    Grade: Comfortable Tented Camp

    Single room available

    Swimming pool available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    Day 10 - Trip Ends in Port Elizabeth

    Our trip ends after breakfast this morning when we'll all leave together for Port Elizabeth. To allow some flexibility with departure flights, there will be two drop-off times at the airport; 11am and 1.30pm. For those on an earlier flight you will be dropped off at the airport for check-in at 11am and for those with a late afternoon flight there will be a chance to catch a few last sunrays and have lunch in Port Elizabeth before ending at the airport at 1.30pm.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    South Africa


    Mild throughout the year and can thus be visited year round. The Western Cape has a Mediterranean-type climate, with warm, dry summers and cold winters with rainfall. Summer runs from November to March, with temperatures averaging 22oC to 34oC. The months of April and October are generally warm and sunny. Winter is also a good time to visit as towns and sites are not so crowded and the countryside is more verdant, but it can be cold. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable.

    Time difference to GMT



    3 Pin Round




    Afrikaans, English

    Budgeting and packing


    Clothing should generally be lightweight for the day. Also take some fleeces, long trousers, a waterproof and windproof jacket. Take a swimming costume and towel.


    Walking boots, trainers or sandals for relaxing/travelling in.



    Luggage: On tour

    Take a tough soft bag or holdall (or rucksack with detachable frame) suitable to be carried by 4WD vehicle. Total allowance: 44lb/ 20kg maximum (due to weight restrictions on our vehicle). Also take a daypack for items needed during any activities and game drives (20-30 litre).


    Take a torch, sunhatunscreen and insect repellent. Mosquito nets are not required as the accommodation provides screening where necessary.
    While tap water in South Africa's urban area is drinkable, some people may take a few days to acclimatise and thus may experience traveller's tummy. Therefore we recommend for you to travel with a reusable filtered water bottle such as the ones featured at Water-to-Go:


    Explore leader
    Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
    Local crew
    Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your leader may organise a group's tips kitty for included activities and meals and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

    Accordingly, you should allow £25.00 per person for group tipping.

    South Africa

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

    Lunch price
    Dinner price
    Beer price
    Water price
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Take your money in a combination of cash and an ATM card. Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at the airport.
    Where To Exchange
    Most towns or cities, your tour leader will advise you. If your trip is wildlife based and visits rural regions we strongly recommend to exchange money at the airport upon arrival for your trip.
    ATM Availability
    Cash can be drawn on debit cards from ATM's in most South African towns.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    In large shops and restaurants.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information


    Accommodation notes

    During this trip we will stay in a variety of accommodation including safari lodges, cabins, homesteads and simple cottages. Accommodation is often small, family run and may feature shared bathroom facilities. More than just B&Bs; individually styled and tastefully furnished and often lovely gardens and a pool. The properties we use give a real taste of traditional South African hospitality and we love supporting these small local businesses.

    South Africa

    Food and drink

    Dietary requirements: Most restaurants and hotels in South Africa do not have a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian choices. There is usually a choice of salads and one main vegetarian and/or vegan main dish on the menus, but choice will be limited especially in more remote locations. If you have specific dietary requirements we do recommend for you to bring some food with you.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Travelling with Minors via South Africa (including transits)
    Regulations affecting all children aged under 18 years that are travelling to, from or via South Africa are in place. The law states that parents and/or guardians are requested by the airline and/or South Africa immigration officers to provide additional documentation for each child they are travelling with. Please refer to the South African House website and your airline for full requirements.

    South Africa: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, US and Canadian citizens. New Zealand passport holders do require a visa, please consult your local consulate for full information. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

    All visitors should ensure their passport is machine readable, has a minimum of 6 months validity from your arrival date into the country and has two blank pages when entering and leaving South Africa. The South African Immigration officials will not allow child/ infant pages to be used for this purpose and visitors without the stipulated blank pages will be denied entry.

    All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

    The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Ability to swim

    An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

    South Africa


    Please note that you will be required to supply a yellow fever certificate that has been issued at least 10 days prior to arrival in South Africa if you have travelled from or via a country where yellow fever is endemic. We recommend protection against hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, polio and diphtheria. According to various travel health sources, the Western Cape is not regarded as a malaria risk area. If you are travelling to other areas in South Africa please check with your doctor about malaria requirements. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Extend your trip
    Why not extend your holiday with an extension to the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Click here for details. 

    Why book this trip

    This trip features the natural highlights of the lesser-visited Eastern Cape area and offers plenty of opportunity for activity and wildlife spotting.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Thu 7 Nov 2019 - Sat 16 Nov 2019 Guaranteed departure
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    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both. The exception to this rule are customers who are booked on a trip where the joining and/or ending point is the airport or station. In this particular case there will be a specific time provided for when the trip starts and ends. On these particular trips, only one arrival and departure transfer will generally be provided for the whole group. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Port Elizabeth Airport
    Time and place
    13:30 at Port Elizabeth airport arrivals hall
    Ending Point
    Port Elizabeth Airport
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.

    Add a flight

    We offer a wide range of flexible flight options including convenient regional airports. Book flights with us and your trip will be ATOL protected for your peace of mind. 

    ATOL logoATOL Protection
    A flight inclusive package will be financially protected under ATOL 2595 held by Explore Worldwide Limited.



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