Where to Stay - South Africa

Wild Coast Travel Guide (Eastern Cape)

Wild Coast

Wild Coast Attractions

Originally known as the Transkei homeland, the Wild Coast remains one of the most unspoilt areas of South Africa.  From Port Edward to East London, you will find deserted stretches of coastline, open spaces and pristine forest areas providing an opportunity for the adventure traveler to discover a variety of leisure options guaranteed to make holiday memories. The coastline here is popular with surfers, hikers, nature lovers, and great for cycling. The Wild Coast is home to the Xhosa people and you should take time to learn about their rich cultural heritage.

Visitors can buy examples of their beadwork, traditional pottery and basketry from roadside vendors and at some of the trading posts.

If fishing is your thing, then you will be in angling heaven. Winter and spring bring game fish but there is good fishing all year round. More than 800 species of fish have been identified in these waters. Deep-sea charters are available, as well as rock, surf, fly and spear fishing. Fishing licenses are required and can be obtained from your local post office.

If you enjoy hiking, then the Wild Coast is really something special. Put your backpack on and experience the beauty of the coast. The Strandloper is a conventional hiking trail along the Cape Wild Coast. Amadiba Trails operates in the north from Port Edward and is a horse/hiking trail. If bird watching is your thing, then grab your binoculars and enjoy the huge variety of birds – some 300 species currently listed.

There are numerous 4x4 Routes and a variety of operators offer exciting trails on the Wild Coast. We recommend you explore these trails with a recognised guide as there are no maps available and much harm is done to private property and the environment. Be aware also, that no driving on beaches is allowed.

Just outside Mthatha, you can visit Qunu, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela and also discover more about the amazing life of the man who lead South Africa into democracy at the Mthatha Nelson Mandela Museum. In 2008 Prince Harry and Prince William rode through parts of this area on motorbikes as part of their 1,000 mile charity ride across South Africa.

Gonubie Beach provides some of the best beaches along the Wild Coast along with some super accommodation. The quaint seaside village provides lovely scenic walks, countryside and is a great base from which to explore the East Coast area including historic towns such as Cathcart, Stutterheim and King William’s Town. Compared to some areas of South Africa accommodation is cheap but you will need to plan ahead as some areas are quite remote.

At the southern gateway to the Wild Coast lies Cintsa (Chintsa) which is made up of two lovely villages, Cintsa East and Cintsa West, situated amongst lush hills that fall down to a lagoon and a wonderfully deserted beach. This coastal town, which is part of the Jikeleza Route is very popular with  locals who come here to spend their Christmas holidays but is actually lovely and quiet during the rest of the year.

Take a stroll along the beach at Trennery's and you will probably come across one of the many shipwrecks that have prompted this area to be known as the Wild Coast. At Kobb Inn it is possible to hire a motorised boat or a canoe and make your way up the river for 4km.  

For the adrenalin seekers check out the Ama Zing Zing Zipline at Areena Resort. This is the only zipline along the East Coast and they provide a 2 hour fun packed adventure. Booking in advance is essential and there is a minimum group size of 6. They also offer archery, a scenic paddle down the Kwelera River and game viewing on quad bikes. Contact Tel: +27 (0)43 734 3055

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