New coastal route launched in South Africa's Eastern Cape
South Africa overland trips could soon incorporate a recently launched coastal route in the country's Eastern Cape province.
The new coastal route has been developed by Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) and covers 500 miles of coastline spanning the length of the province.
It will give visitors the opportunity to see some of the diverse sites, rich biodiversity and contrasting scenery that the Eastern Cape is famous for - including primeval coastal forest, white sandy beaches, diverse wildlife, ancient rock art and the culture of the local Xhosa people.
The route will connect a number of the region's better-known attractions, such as the Mkhambati Nature Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park and the province's beaches and surfing spots.
But according to ECPTA, it will also incorporate a number of largely undiscovered areas of natural beauty and 'off the beaten track' destinations.
These include the immense sand dunes at the 6,500-year-old Coastal Dune Field, the Amathole Mountains and the coastal town of Port St John, known as the Jewel of the Wild Coast.
The main coastal route is divided into eight regional routes, which include: Baviaans, Tsitsikamma Adventure, Kouga, Frontier Country, Sunshine Coast, Amathole Mountain Escape, the Wild Coast and Greater Addo.
Those interested in the region's history and culture can view ancient man-made fish traps at Cape St Frances, visit the historic city of Grahamstown which boasts more than 70 heritage sites and experience the Xhosa cultural hub of the province in the Wild Coast.
For adrenaline junkies, the route includes the thrill-seekers' paradise of Tsitsikamma, where visitors can participate in the highest bungee jump in the world, take a treetop canopy tour or go black water tubing.
There are also six blue flag beaches along the coastal route including the world-renowned kite-surfing spot at Cannon Rocks and surfers' favourite Jeffrey’s Bay, reportedly home of the best right-hand wave in the world.