The Cacadu District is a popular, malaria free, wildlife destination in South Africa. This district is found on the western side of the Eastern Cape province. The word “Cacadu” comes from a Xhosa name reflecting this mountainous area.

This district enjoys a rich diversity of natural habitats and wildlife. It is home to a number of popular game reserves and national parks where the famous “Big 5” can be seen.

The Big 5 were coined by early European hunters as the five most dangerous animals to hunt in African. They include the lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and leopard. Now these animals are shot by digital cameras, and the trophies are admired on computer desktops back at the office.

Going on safari is a unique experience and it is difficult to describe the feeling of seeing large wild animals – up close in their natural surroundings. A rhino’s shoulder height is the height of an average adult human and when a rhino stands nearby the safari vehicle, its size is truly impressive. You can understand why this is one of the Big 5.

Many travellers driving from Durban stop in the Cacadu District on their way to Cape Town. There are many different types of accommodation facilities found in this area, and you will easily find one to suite your needs and budget. Some of the popular tourism routes in this district include the Baviaans Route, Langkloof Fruit Route and the Tsitsikamma Adventure Route. The tourist routes are well mapped and sign-posted and information offices can be found in most of the bigger towns. Bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation is quite popular on these routes.

The Cacadu District has a rich cultural and agricultural heritage and an challenging history. It is also known as the Eastern Cape frontier region due to the many battles fought here between the European settlers and the Xhosa tribes; and then later between the English and Boers, during the Anglo Boer War. For those interested in history, one can visit the many battle sites and also visit a number of museums. Grahams Town is the cultural hub of the Cacadu district and visitors come annually to the Grahams Town Art Festival.

The main population group in the Cacadu area speak Xhosa, with English and Afrikaans widely spoken and understood.

Cacadu has a good road infrastructure and there is an airport and harbour at Port Elizabeth.

Copyright © 2008 Mark Thomas