The Eastern Cape (Xhosa: iMpuma-Koloni, Afrikaans: Oos-Kaap) is one of the provinces of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho, but its two largest cities are East London and Port Elizabeth.
The second largest province in the country (at 168,966 km2) after Northern Cape, it was formed in 1994 out of the Xhosa homelands or bantustans of Transkei and Ciskei, together with the eastern portion of the Cape Province. The central and eastern part of the province is the traditional home of the indigenous Xhosa people. In 1820 this area began to be settled by Europeans who originally came from England and some from Scotland and Ireland.
- Area: 168,966 km2
- Population Est: 6,676,590
- Density: 39/km2
- Xhosa (78,8%)
- Afrikaans (10.6%)
- English (5.6%)
- Sotho (2.5%)
- Capital: Bhisho
Climate is highly varied. The west is dry with sparse rain during winter or summer, with frosty winters and hot summers. The area Tsitsikamma to Makhanda receives more precipitation, which is also relatively evenly distributed and temperatures are mild. Further east, rainfall becomes more plentiful and humidity increases, becoming more subtropical along the coast with summer rainfall. The interior can become very cold in winter, with heavy snowfalls occasionally occurring in the mountainous regions between Molteno and Rhodes.
- Port Elizabeth: Jan Max: 25 °C, Min: 18 °C; Jul Max: 20 °C, Min: 9 °C
- Molteno & Barkly East: Jan Max 28 °C, Min 11 °C; Jul Max: 14 °C, Min: -7 °C