Getting Oriented

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Getting Oriented

The Eastern Cape is a big space with many tiny gems. The towns, and even the cities, of the province are relatively small, often quaint, and the distances between them are fairly large. Since the only airports are in Port Elizabeth, East London, and Mthatha (previously Umtata), the best way to experience the region is on a driving tour, leaving yourself plenty of time to explore (but be prepared for some poorly maintained roads traveling east of Grahamstown on the N2 and in some regions of the Transkei).

Frontier Country. Formerly known as Settler Country, the area stretches from the outskirts of Port Elizabeth to Port Alfred in the east, Grahamstown in the northeast, and the Zuurberg Mountains in the north. The area also encompasses Addo Elephant National Park and the game reserves at Shamwari and Kwandwe, as well as Grahamstown itself.

Wild Coast. Lovely, long beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, with only a few cows and a small herder to break the isolation. Strictly speaking, the Wild Coast originally stretched from the Kei River mouth to Port Edward (which were the borders of the then nominally independent Transkei), but today it has spread almost to the outskirts of East London.

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