Information on Eastern Cape Provincial Reserves in no particular order.
Rich in biodiversity. Dwesa Nature Reserve is the ideal destination for the person who wants to spend a holiday in nature away from the madding crowds. Spanning a unique blend of coastal forest, winding rivers, open grassland and a diverse coastline, Dwesa Nature Reserve offers visitors a range of trails through lush forests and magnificent ocean views in this 3500ha reserve. Situated in the central Wild Coast, Dwesa Nature Reserve is separated by the Mbashe River and bordered by the Indian Ocean on one side, and rugged grasslands of the former Transkei on the other. This is a paradise for avid bird-watchers with 290 species recorded, including the Narina Togon and Mangrove Kingfisher.
Activities: Bird Viewing, Self Game Drive, Fishing, Walking Trails and Picnics
Wildlife: Aardwolf and African Wild Cat
Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
A distinct ecological community. For the more adventurous, Baviaanskloof offers a unique wilderness experience with various nature based activities, which include mountain hiking, rock and mountain climbing, camping, bird watching and scenic drives and a memorable travelling experience through stunningly beautiful landscapes. The area encompasses the World Heritage Site of Baviaanskloof and the Karoo towns of Steytlerville, Willowmore, Rietbron, and Groot Rivier and is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Known for small stock farming and for the richness of its endemic plant species, its interesting cultural heritage and its abundance of bird and animal life, the Baviaans area holds ample opportunity for outdoor recreation for both the adventurous and the less adventurous tourist. While the areas’ natural splendour attracts nature lovers from around the globe, this is not all it has to offer as artists and entrepreneurs flourish under the Karoo sun and create points of interest well-worth the journey off the beaten track.
Activities: Game Viewing, Mountain Biking, Mountain Hiking, 4X4 Trails, Bird Viewing and Scenic Drives
Wildlife: Cape Buffalo, Bush pig, Bushbuck and Cape Leopard
Silaka Nature Reserve 7 km’s south of Port St Johns. The beautiful coastal reserve of Silaka lies in a forested valley close to Port St Johns, the jewel of the Wild Coast. Silaka Nature Reserve covers a total of 400ha, featuring grassland and magnificent indigenous coastal forests along a dramatic piece of coastline. The primary focus of Silaka Nature Reserve is to conserve the biodiversity of a near pristine example of the Eastern Cape Forest. Bird watchers will enjoy sightings of the Knysna Turaco, Cinnamon Dove, Half-Collared Kingfisher and Grey Cuckooshrike, while water enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the area’s marine life in the tidal rock pools and estuaries.
Activities: Swimming, Fishing (permit required), Hiking, Bird watching and Self-drive wildlife watching (4×4 access only)
Wildlife: Blue Duiker, Samango monkeys, Bottle-nose dolphins, Whales, and White-breasted cormorant
This is the Wild Coast at its most spectacular. Situated on the coast of north-Eastern Pondoland, the Mkhambathi Nature Reserve offers visitors 7 720ha of open grasslands, dotted with indigenous forest patches and swamp forests flanked by magnificent forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu rivers. Visitors have a range of activities to choose from in this wilderness area, including self-guided game drives, visits to spectacular waterfalls and finding marine life in the crystal clear rock pools. Birding enthusiasts will find plenty to keep a look out for especially around the water sources of the Mkhambathi Nature Reserve.
Activities: Picnics, Bird-watching, Swimming, Walking Trails, Self-guided game viewing, Fishing(permit required and at designated areas only) and Dolphin and whale watching
Wildlife: Chacma baboon, Black-backed Jackal, Bushbuck, Eland, Cape Vultures, Southern Rhebuck and Common Duiker
Huleka’s self-catering, stylish chalets, situated above the lush indigenous forest with panoramic views from the decks, are only minutes away from a secluded cove and an unspoiled stretch of sandy beach. Combining lush indigenous forests, a beautiful rocky coastline, unspoilt beaches and rolling grasslands, the Hluleka Nature Reserve lies along the ancient Wild Coast within the district of Ngqeleni. Comprising magnificent coastal forest reserves – Congwane Mtombo and Ndabeni Hluleka – as well as the old Strachan Grant Farm, Hluleka Nature Reserve covers an area of 772ha and includes the coastal area. Hluleka’s rich biodiversity offers visitors a chance to view indigenous animal species such as the blue duiker, elusive eland, zebra and a range of birdlife.
Activities: Swimming, Bird Watching, Hiking, Dolphin and Whale watching and Fishing outside the reserve (permits required)
Wildlife: Blue Duiker, Burchell’s Zebra, Vervet Monkey, Rock Dassie, Bushbuck, Bottlenose Dolphin and Whale
Great Fish River
A wonderful wildlife experience. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve has large and spacious accommodation well placed to explore and experience the reserve. The 45 000ha Great Fish Reserve provides visitors with panoramic views over diverse habitats of succulent bushveld and scenic river courses, supporting an abundance of wildlife. The Great Fish Nature Reserve is a clustered conservation area comprised of the Andries Vosloo Kudu Reserve, Double Drift Kudu Reserve and Double Drift Nature Reserve – linked by a circular route and divided by the Great Fish River. An abundance of big game provides visitors with excellent game viewing opportunities. This wilderness area in the historic frontier country once formed the boundary between Settler and Xhosa territories, evident through the forts, barracks, signalling towers and graves scattered in the area.
Activities: Game Viewing, Bird Viewing, Game Drives, Educational Tours, Picnics, Rock Art, Walking Trails and Conferencing
Wildlife: Bushbuck, Black-backed Jackal, Burchell’s Zebra, Cape Buffalo, Chacma Baboon, Duiker, Dassie and Springbok
Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency
17-25 Oxford Street,
East London CBD,
Eastern Cape Province