The Wild Coast is a stunning section of Eastern Cape coastline stretching from East London in the south to the border of KwaZulu-Natal in the north. The 68km coastline is the home of the Xhosa people and incorporates 10 estuaries, 14 sandy beaches, natural heritage sites, craggy cliffs, waterfalls, and rolling hills, providing spectacular scenery and a breath of fresh air for city slickers.
The Wild Coast is an unspoiled wilderness and one of the most beautiful places on earth. The coastline is fantastic for exploring on foot or even by horseback. Spending a few days discovering the deserted beaches, scenic hiking trails, abandoned shipwrecks, and snorkelling in the warm Indian Ocean can bring a sense of peace like no other holiday could provide.
Apart from a few isolated rondavels, the Wild Coast is an almost uninhabited coastline. Visit the small tourist towns of Cintsa, Port St Johns, Coffee Bay, Kei Mouth, Morgan Bay, and Haga Haga. There is plenty of accommodation available to suit all needs and budgets.
The Wild Coast is the cultural heartland of the Xhosa people. It is the birthplace of former South African presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, and offers plenty of cultural attractions to whet your appetite. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu; a museum offering a look into the life of Nelson Mandela with guided tours and a heritage trail tracing his footsteps. Crafters are usually found along the main beachfronts and offer fantastic souvenirs like traditional necklaces, grass mats, bangles, and baskets.
The Wild Coast is the ultimate beach getaway with a mild subtropical climate and plenty of sunny days. The average daily temperature varies from 17 – 28?C in January and 9 – 21?C in July. Small sandy bays and long stretches of unspoiled beaches are found near the mouths of large rivers like the Kei, Mthatha, Mbashe, and Mzimvuba. Swim, sun bathe, and picnic on beaches that you have almost completely to yourselves. Deep sea, rock, surf, fly, and spear fishing can be enjoyed with licenses acquired from any local post office.
The Wild Coast is abundant in pristine natural beauty with much of the coastline made up of thick indigenous forest. Several forest species have been discovered in places like Umtamvuna and Mkambati that were previously unknown to science. Around 900 forests and grassland species from the Wild Coast have been identified as having commercial, traditional, or homeopathic value. These forests are brimming with cycads, yellowwood trees, birds, and wildlife. Twitchers can look forward to spotting around 320 species of birds.
There are several rivers that journey towards the ocean along the Wild Coast. In the southern region, the rivers usually form floodplains, while in the north they turn into waterfalls as they flow dramatically over the clifftops into the ocean. Magwa Waterfall and Mateku Falls are two such waterfalls not to be missed. Nature lovers will also enjoy exploring Hluleka Nature Reserve, Silaka Nature Reserve, Dwesa and Cwebe Nature Reserves, and Luchaba Nature Reserve.
The Hole in the Wall is a famous natural landmark in Coffee Bay. This detached cliff has a giant opening in its centre that has been carved out by the waves through the years. Other activities include game watching, boating, surfing, canoeing, helicopter trips, dolphin and whale watching, golfing, and 4x4 trails.
Explore almost unchartered territory on your holiday along the Wild Coast.