Port Alfred & Kenton-on-Sea
These two beach holiday towns are popular with locals during the summer season and an easy drive on the R72 from either Port Elizabeth or Grahamstown. They offer a host of outdoor activities, including golf, horseback-riding, and water sports, but the main attraction for visitors is the game reserves and resorts in the area. Kariega Private Game Reserve has four lodges close to Kenton-on-Sea; prices suit both those seeking luxury and budget-beating families. An affordable wilderness experience can also be found at Sibuya Game Reserve (tel. 046/648-1040; www.sibuya.co.za; R4,990 double all-inclusive), a reserve that is home to the full Big 5 -- lions were released in mid-2009 -- and is accessible only by river (the trip takes about 30 min; expect to see a host of birds, and possibly dolphins or turtles at the river mouth). There are two luxurious, eco-friendly tented camps in the riverine forest; River Camp is smaller and welcomes children. Day visits are also possible; these 6-hour excursions include a river cruise, a 3-hour game drive, and a three-course lunch, and cost R695 per adult and R345 for children 6 to 12.
The Largest Pineapple in the World -- One of the tallest buildings in tiny frontier town Bathurst (15km/9 1/4 miles from Port Alfred) is a 17m (55 ft) fiberglass pineapple. The ground floor of The Big Pineapple (tel. 046/625-0515; daily from 9am) sells pineapple souvenirs, jams, and chutneys; the first floor boasts an educational exhibit about the fruit; and on the top floor is a video all about the industry. The observation deck, with sweeping views across the farmlands to the sea, makes it all worthwhile.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.