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The Eastern Coast has become an iconic location due to its Wild Coast, distinguishable by the rugged cliffs, rough seas and dense green bush. Added to this is the varying habitats that dominate the landscape the more inland you go. There is the dry Great Karoo, Mountainous Southern Drakensberg, fertile lands perfect for apple harvests around Langkloof, and the lush forests and mangroves of the Wild Coast. 

Port Elizabeth which is the largest city and an import harbour for the whole of the country lies in the Algoa Bay. Other towns of significance within the province are Bisho, which is the Provincial Capital City, Port St John's which is the largest town on the Wild Coast and then City of Saints which is known for having more than 40 churches.

The Eastern Cape is where South Africa's motor industry has developed and this is a major contributor to the countries economy as it largely relies on manufacturing. Within the provinces borders, there are two harbours, four airports and fantastic rail and road infrastructure which all contribute to the continued growth of the region. The Eastern Cape receives summer rainfall and has a moderate climate which becomes more subtropical to the North-West of the province. 

​The Eastern Cape is South Africa's second largest province with a total land area of 168 966 square kilometres.

The province is made up of a variation of vegetation and floral habitats. Along the coastal region, the northern tropical forests meet the southern temperate woods, which has created various species unique to the area. Ancient forests can be seen around Keiskammahoek and Port St John's, dune forests near Alexandria and mangroves stretching along the Wild Coast. Additionally, large expanses of thick indigenous forests can be found in the Tsitsikamma National Park. When moving inland, open grasslands are found in the east and savannah bushveld in the west. The most northerly region of the Eastern Cape is dominated by The Succulent Karoo habitat which stretches into Namibia.  

general information


  • ​Provincial Capital City: Bisho

  • Languages: 78.8% isiXhosa, 10.6% Afrikaans, 5.6% English

  • Population: 6 562 053 (2011) 

  • Share of total SA population: 12.7%

  • Area: 168 966 square kilometres

  • Share of total SA area: 13.9%

Eastern cape