Travel to the Eastern Cape with Zola Nombona and Athi Petela to discover the unique beauty that’s yours to explore.

The Insider SA joined award-winning actress Zola Nombona and longtime friend and filmmaker Athi Petela on an adventure through the Eastern Cape. A province rich with culture and astoundingly diverse, where visitors can experience ancient forests, gaping valleys, craggy sea cliffs and lush coastline stretching from the Tsitsikamma section of Garden Route National Park to the subtropical Wild Coast. Best believe it was a jam packed adventure!

Zola’s family roots lie in the Eastern Cape, making it the perfect place to explore with her friend and business partner, Athi. 

The day kicked off in Storms River with a personal welcome from Lee-Marque Jansen, Tsitsikamma Tourism’s Chairperson, who then quickly equipped the ladies with Segways. The 2-wheeled, self-balancing transformers proved an incredibly fun way to venture around and visit the village and forest trails.  

No outing is ever complete without any fuel, so the pair stopped off for a pitstop at Marilyn’s 60’s Diner and enjoyed delicious milkshakes while going down memory lane.

We next visited Tsitsikamma’s Big Tree, an eight hundred-year-old Yellowwood that stands guard over the canopy in the heart of the forest. At 36+ metres tall and a trunk circumference of 9 metres – this is a giant among giants. 

Leaving the forest, we headed out to Bloukrans River Bridge which is 200 meters above the water. It’s here that Zola and Athi ticked bungeeing from the world’s highest bridge off their bucket list. 

The star earlier shared that her mission in life was not to let fear ever cripple her, and she certainly didn’t let it get the better of her here. 

“It took a lot for me to just let go, but I did it. I’m so happy,” shares Zola Nombona.

Having faced their fears, we go on a kayaking adventure through the deep pools and caves of Tsitsikamma National Park with the team at Untouched Adventures. With only the sounds of nature surrounding them, the ladies escaped into the majestic serenity of this natural treasure of the Eastern Cape.

“The Eastern Cape is beautiful. I don’t think we’ve ever experienced it like we have on this trip. The scenery is amazing, there is a lot to do in the Eastern Cape, and I love being able to experience so much more of it,” shares Athi.

From the river, we took to the skies and met up with Gerrit van Zyl, the owner of SkyDive Jeffreys Bay, who has more than 2000 jumps to his name. Ready to face their next challenge, two highly qualified instructors took the ladies up to 10 000 feet for their tandem skydive. 

The last activity on the list had us experiencing the most incredible views of Jeffreys Bay coastline… and the ladies, the most invigorating adrenaline while free-falling safely back to the ground. 

“What an experience. I can definitely do this 10 more times. It was B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T,” exclaims Zola. 

Make sure to plan your next adventure to this incredible part of our country because the Eastern Cape is a province filled with world class experiences, unrivaled beauty and unforgettable memories.