5 Wonderful reasons to visit the Wild Coast
Untamed, unspoilt and unbelievably beautiful ─ these are only a few words to describe the endless splendour of South Africa’s Wild Coast! This remote coastline stretches from East London all the way to the southern border of KwaZulu-Natal. The scenery is breathtaking and filled with steep, green hills, deserted beaches with unruly waves and windswept cliffs. Cattle roam many Wild Coast beaches and there are loads of hidden adventures that await around every bend. Here are our top five reasons to explore the wonderful Wild Coast!
1. Pristine beaches
The beaches of the Wild Coast offer something quite different to some of the more frequented beaches in South Africa with its unique enchantment and many uncovered secrets. We’ve picked five beaches you should definitely include in a visit to the Wild Coast:
Morgan’s Bay Beach
This mile-long beach lies between the famous Morgan’s Bay cliffs and is bordered by the Cape Morgan Nature Reserve. It’s ideal for a family outing, swimming in the lagoon, sun-bathing and gazing at passing ships on the horizon.
The lovely Cintsa Beach is still quite unspoilt and not too busy. It stretches for about 15 kilometers and is ideal for long walks, fun-filled days with the kids, and whale and dolphin watching. You will often see surfers in the wild waves as well.
This beach is ideal if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday away from the crowds. The warm Indian Ocean is perfect for swimming and canoeing, or if you need a break, simply lie on your beach towel and soak up the African sun!
Coffee Bay Beach
The splendid Coffee Bay Beach is one of the more renowned Wild Coast beaches and is set against the backdrop of black-faced cliffs, white sand and magical mountains. If you love horse-riding, surfing, swimming or just lazing around on the beach, Coffee Bay Beach will be simply irresistible!
Port St Johns’ First Beach
This beach is characterised by cliff faces, grassy mountains and unspoilt beauty. It’s a hotspot for surfers, backpackers, fishermen and families, and promises heaps of fun in the sun!
2. Awesome adventurous activities
When it comes to adventure, the Wild Coast has everything you can imagine! That’s why we narrowed it down for you and picked three types of activities to help you plan your next trip into the wild:
From lazy strolls to multi-day backpacking trails ─ this wild coastline has it all!
One of the most famous attractions on the Wild Coast is Hole in the Wall, which you can hike to! Start at the charming Coffee Bay and follow the coastline past Baby Hole and the Hlungwane Waterfall all the way to the natural world wonder, Hole in the Wall, where you can cool off in the lovely lagoon and take a few memorable snapshots.
The Strandloper Trail is a bit more advanced and a great challenge for hikers. It stretches about 60 kilometers and takes four days to complete. It starts at Kei Mouth and goes through Morgan’s Bay, Haga-Haga and the Jikeleza Route, before ending at Gonubie. Remember to pack enough water and book an overnight stay for afterwards!
This 250 kilometer stretch of untamed coastline is a haven for all things aquatic! Popular surfing beaches include Mdumbi Bay, Hole in the Wall and Coffee Bay. Fishing is also high on the list and includes boat angling and fly-fishing. As a result, a seafood feast is a must ─ from crayfish to mussels and oysters. At Port St Johns you can learn to wakeboard or take a canoe adventure on the Ntafufu River, exploring the silent but beautiful mangrove swamps along the way!
Big 5 safari’s
If you want to go even wilder, spend some time in a game reserve filled with hiking trails, fishing spots and the Big Five ─ yes, they’re not just in the northern parts of South Africa! Here are a few lovely lodges and game reserves where you can spend a few days exploring and hopefully see a few of our country’s most incredible animals:
3. A world-renowned heritage site
On top of all the adventure and beauty the Wild Coast has to offer, it also has a rich cultural history, especially amongst the Xhosa population who calls these parts home. It’s also the birthplace and burial site of the late Nelson Mandela who grew up in Qunu. To give something back to the nation, Madiba, along with the Minister of Arts and Culture and traditional leaders, opened the Nelson Mandela Museum at Mvezo, Qunu and The Bhunga Building in Mthatha, on February 11, 2000.
Today this museum acts as a tribute to Madiba’s lifelong commitment to peace in South Africa and is one of the most visited and significant heritage institutions in our country. The Qunu site includes a rock on which Madiba played as a child, called Sliding Rock.
4. Spectacular sunsets
The sun may set in the west, but we’ll have you know the East Coast is just as picturesque! When the sun sets over the Indian Ocean, the sky catches fire and the clouds and ocean are painted shades of yellow, orange, pink, blue and purple. These colours are all mixed together creating a breathtakingly beautiful canvas of nature ─ Wild Coast sunsets are indeed spectacular!
5. Heavenly honeymoon destinations
The Wild Coast is one of the most romantic spots in South Africa due to its secluded nature and idyllic beauty. It’s the perfect place for newlyweds, especially if you and your beloved are keen explorers or looking for a honeymoon destination far from the meddling crowds!
One of these heavenly honeymoon spots is Ocean View Hotel in Coffee Bay. This hotel is on the beach in a magnificent little bay between great towering cliffs and the sparkling Indian Ocean. Come wake up to the sound of breaking waves and chirping birds every morning while you laze around. Long romantic strolls on the beach and absolute bliss await in this little piece of heaven!
Check out these honeymoon stays as well:
So, if you’re wild at heart, the ultimate adventurer or simply looking for a holiday destination away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, head to the Wild Coast ─ you’ve got a licence to go wild!
Feature image: The Wild Coast Tented Lodge (TravelGround)