Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Eastern Cape Wild Coast

The Place

The Wild Coast is a section of the coast of the Eastern Cape, a province of South Africa. The region stretches for distance of 350km from East London in the south to the border of KwaZulu-Natal in the north. It is the traditional home of the Xhosa people, and the birthplace of many prominent South Africans, including Nelson Mandela.

Many rivers empty into the sea along the Wild Coast. In the southern-most parts of the region, where the hills are lower, the rivers tend to be mature and are characterized by wide floodplains. In the rugged north, where young rivers find their path to the sea blocked by massive cliffs, many, like Waterfall Bluff, leap over the rocky crags into the surf below.

As its name suggests, the Wild Coast is a place of untamed wilderness. The weather is almost always mild and there are few days when the sun doesn’t shine. Forested areas include prehistoric cycads, sneezewood and yellowwood trees, and the river valleys are thick with vegetation.

In June and July, the Wild Coast is the location for the annual migration known as the 'sardine run', a highlight on the marine calendar which attracts divers and snorkellers from all over the world. Ancient forests filled with cycads and yellowwood trees abound with bird and animal life. Bird watchers can go in search of the approximately 320 bird species that make this area their home.
The Wild Coast is also known for its shipwrecks, a legacy of its wild and tempestuous nature.

Wild Coast Trails

The Wild Coast has been described as a hiker's paradise, offering incredible views of a dramatic coastline, rolling grass filled hills, sheltered bays, wild beaches and forested river valleys. The hills are dotted with traditional Xhosa homesteads as far as the eye can see so there is always a path to follow along the coastline. Otherwise in many places you can stretch your legs along the wide empty beaches. Most rivers are easily fordable at low tide but at some of the wider rivers a local ferry plies his trade and will row you accross for a small fee.

Wild Coast Walks offer the opportunity to explore this pristine landscape and has tailored a selection of trails to suit all types of hikers. The more rugged north with its rocky cliffs and deep river valleys will attract the more adventurous traveller who are prepared to carry their own bags and stay in backpackers and community homestays. The flatter terrain and sandy beaches of the south will appeal to the those wanting a more gentle hiking experience and comfortable overnight accommodation. The chain of hotels running south from Qora Mouth are also more easily accessed for those flying into East London and requiring shuttles.

The "hotel-hopping" trail extends southwards from Kob Inn in the north to the small town of Chintsa in the south. The first 3-4 days of the trail lies to the north of the Kei River in what was formerly known as the Transkei, while the last section extends along the Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast north of East London.

The hike takes in some of the most unspoilt and picturesque sections of our coastline and can be walked by anyone who is reasonably fit and enjoys rambling, as there are no serious challenges other than the odd river which must be waded. When river levels are up after heavy rains, a ferry will be arranged. The Kei river marks the border between the Transkei and the eastern Cape and you will cross this broad river by means of one of the last operating pontoons in the country.

Wild Coast Walks

We Offer:

Hotel & Lodge Reservation
Bag Transfers between Hotels
Personalized Itineraries
Daily Guiding
Shuttle Transfers
Local Excursions

Stepping Stones

Places to Stay along the trail ...from north to south

Coffee Bay
Wild Coast Walks
Ocean View
Ocean View is situated in traditional African homestead scenery in a small bay between great towering cliffs and coastal forest. Days walk from the iconic Hole in Wall.
Qora Mouth
Wild Coast Walks
Kob Inn
Kob Beach Resort is a family resort offering a perfect mix of Wild Coast hospitality, relaxation and homely cuisine. The setting is right on the sea front with a secluded swimming beach and pictureque lagoon.

Mazeppa Bay
Mazeppa Bay hotel is nestled amongst palms and tropical plants above a broad beach with its own island accessed by a suspension bridge.
Nxaxo Mouth
Wild Coast Walks
Wavecrest
Wavecrest hotel is situated on a pristine, mangrove-lined estuary, surrounded by magnificent dune forests and endless beaches.
Qolora Mouth
Wild Coast Walks
Trennerys
Trennerys hotel borders a riverine forest and maintains an Old World Charm.
Xhosa cultural tours and walks commence from Trennerys with Trevor's Trails

Seagulls
Seagulls hotel is situated right on the beach with rock and surf fishing. Vibey bar and friendly hosts give Seagulls its own unique character.
Morgan Bay
Wild Coast Walks
Morgan Bay Hotel
Morgan bay hotel has a deserved reputation for excellent cuisine and warm hospitality. New renovations include health spa and beauty parlor.

Mitford
Mitford hotel is situated at the end of a mile long beach below the famous Morgan bay cliffs.
The hotel restaurant is known for good food and service.
Haga Haga
Wild Coast Walks
Haga Haga
Haga Haga hotel is located in a quiet historic village with white walled period cottages and offers hotel and cabana rooms right on the beach. Explore rocky beaches or whale watch from the headlands of Cape Henderson Reserve
Chintsa
Wild Coast Walks
Crawfords
Crawfords Beach Lodge is a four star resort with stylish thatched cabanas and luxury rooms blending into coastal bush.
Long sandy beach fronting the resort ends at a quiet lagoon below village of Chintsa.
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