Port St Johns along the Wild Coast is untamed territory at its best. Entangled forests and deep gorges meet mangrove swamps and the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean. Sandwiched between the Mount Thesiger and Mount Sullivan, Port St Johns is popular amongst nature lovers and backpackers for its endless hiking trails, Xhosa culture, and dramatic scenery.
Known as the gates to Port St Johns, Mount Thesiger (342m) and Mount Sullivan (304m) make a striking welcome for visitors along this desolate stretch of Eastern Cape coastline. Port St Johns is accessible by a good tar road and offers great weather all year round.
Port St Johns has 3 beautiful beaches that provide scenery for every mood. First Beach is best for fishing at the river mouth with large rocks and a lighthouse. Second Beach is a fantastic swimming beach with lifeguards on duty in season. Poenskop is an isolated beach great for garrick and kob fishing from the rocks on the south side of the river.
Port St Johns is a mix of traditional and modern. The Xhosa culture is still strongly evident and you may even pass a scantily clad sangoma (traditional healer) on the street. Visit Isinuka mud caves and sulphur pools, a traditional healing site of the Pondo people. Smother yourself in the strongly smelling mud, dry off in the sun, and rinse off in the sulphur pools. A final splash in the river will complete your healing.
Port St Johns is a nature lover’s dream. Silaka Nature Reserve is a coastal reserve nestled in a valley between Second Beach and Sugarloaf Rock. The moist habitat sustains a wide variety of bird life such as the Knysna loerie, rare Cape parrot, grey cuckooshrike, and cinnamon dove. The forest is also home to blue duiker, zebra, and bushbuck, and leads to a rocky shoreline and beach at the mouth of the Gxwaleni River. The reserve is the starting point of the 5-day Transkei Hiking Trail.
Port St Johns is a hiker’s paradise with untamed forests, challenging trails, and over 250 species of birds. Climb the Bird’s Nest Hike or watch the sunset from the top of Mount Thesiger, which offers a 360˚ view of Mount Sullivan and beyond.
The Gap and Blowhole is a fantastic spot for viewing marine life. Climb down the ladder and through the gap to find the blowhole situated at the edge of the ocean on a flat Black Rock. The water that erupts out of the hole can be incredibly powerful.
Attractions include the Military Base of the former Transkei Military, Wild Coast Museum, the Port St Johns Golf Club, and the Cape Hermes and M’bashe Lighthouses. Other activities include canoeing, horse riding, golfing, fishing, quad biking, and dolphin and whale spotting.
Discover the beautiful piece of unchartered territory that is Port St Johns.