The wild Coast comprises a section of the Coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which stretches from East London in the South to the border with Kwazulu-Natal in the North. It’s the Native land of some of South Africa’s indigenous communities.
The wild coast is home to some of South Africa’s most remote and pristine stretches of shoreline, gorgeously accompanied by some of the most stunning coastal sceneries on the planet. It’s a land of precipitous hills on which rests clusters of traditional huts for the local populace. The Wild Coast is an unblemished wonderland of windswept cliffs, deserted white sandy beaches, lush forest, relentless untamed waves and numerous shipwrecks. It’s a land that displays unmatched loyalty to the authority of silence and indescribable tranquility.
Numerous rivers empty their content into the sea along the Wild Coast. Small sandy bays and long stretches of beaches often prevail in proximity to large rivers such as the Kei, Mthatha, Mbashe and Mzimvuba. Estuaries, bays and headlands are very much evident, while rocky shores predominate.
About half of the entire coastline comprises indigenous forest, marked by the presence of numerous species previously undiscovered by science. About 900 forest and grassland species from the Wild Coast region have been identified as having commercial, traditional or homeopathic value. The average daily temperatures along the coast vary from between 17°C to 28°C in January to 9°C to 21°C in July. The scenic beauty of the Wild Coast, coupled with its rich cultural heritage, renders the region ideal for the development of a strong tourism industry.
The Wild Coast Jikeleza Route near East London is host to the 100 km² Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve.
While the Wild Coast cannot claim to replicate the established glamour of some of South Africa’s popular beach destinations, it is the unparalleled destination of someone seeking genuine escapism from the authoritative pulse of mundane distractions. Each year, hikers, surfers, eco-explorers, cyclist and swimmers are attracted to the Wild Coast’s dramatic unspoiled coastal treasures. The charm of the Wild Coast has also appealed to some famous individuals. This was the case in 2008, when the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry and Prince William explored stretches of the Wild Coast on motorcycles, as part of a 1000-mile charity trek across South Africa. Bungalows, backpackers, beach lodges and modest hotels comprise the majority of accommodation in the Wild Coast's populated areas. Examples of interesting regions along the West are the following:
East London region
Just north of East London, Kei Mouth, Morgan Bay, and Haga Haga are popular and rewarding destinations on the Wild Coast.
Located 45 km from East London, Cintsa or Chintsa is a small seaside paradise, beautifully set against a tranquil lagoon. Cintsa is encircled by forested dunes and privileged with many unspoiled beaches.
Located in the heart of the Wild Coast, Coffee Bay is regarded as one of South Africa's most stunning beach destinations. The undulating hills interspersed with traditional Xhosa huts, provide a calm contrast to the striking cliffs and battering waves of Coffee Bay.
Port St Johns
One of the Wild Coast's most popular seaside destinations, Port St Johns, is set against the mouth of the Umzimvubu River and encircled by sub-tropical rainforest and cliff faces.