Wild West Coas of South Africa

Wild West Coast of South Africa


Visiting South Africa is an amazing trip. There are so many wonderful places to go, each with its own unique personality and identity.  One of the most unexplored and wildest places to see is called the Wild Coast, as it certainly lives up to its name. South of Durban, between the cities of Port Edward and East London, lays a rugged coastline protected by rolling hills. Tiny towns and villages are dotted along the ocean shores, bays and coves that give you a forgotten feeling of an afternoon spent in a hammock.

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Wide rivers careen through the land of the Xhosa people, carving their winding paths until they open their mouths into the India Ocean at the end of their journey. There are only a few roads that get you into the area, so you must know where you are going before you get started. Here is a glance at a few stops that are definitely worth seeing.

Port St. Johns is considered to be absolutely lovely by visitors and certainly by its residents. As with the other notable towns along the Wild Coast, St. Johns sits at the joining of a river and the ocean. The Umzimvubu River was one a commerce generating river, as its size allowed for deeper entry into the region. Port St. Johns sprang up as the town the facilitated the import and export of gods through the river. It has transformed itself into a culturally authentic town, offering a glimpse at the life and art of the Xhosa people, and is blessed by natural landscapes that leaves you breathless.

Wild West Coas of South Africa

Coffee Bay lies in the middle of the Wild Coast. It received its name after a ship carrying coffee ran ashore, spilling its bean onto the beach. Even though none of the coffee plants capitalized on the fortunate incident, the name has been firmly rooted ever since. There are a few places to stay at Coffee Bay, each with wonderful views of the cliffs and ocean.  The beach is unique, as it is also the entrance of a meandering local river. When the tide is low, the beach is larger and the river is held captive. When the tide comes up it invites the river to flow freely into the warm Indian Ocean waters. Hiking and exploring are great ideas when staying at Coffee Bay. There are numerous trails that will take you inland, past the round Xhosa village houses, and many more that will have you hanging off the side of a cliff overlooking the water below. One of the favorite attractions is the ‘hole in the wall’. It is a large piece of land that was left to stand at the opening of another nearby river. As the river cut its way to the ocean, the land mass was carved out, leaving a gaping hole directly in the center of it. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can catch a crazy surfer trying to ride one of the treacherous waves cause by the flowing river current pushing through the hole against the incoming tide.

Kei Mouth is the southern most attraction along this winding Wild Coast. The term mouth refers to the opening of the Kei River as it flows into the ocean. Life is very relaxed here, as it is in the entire of the Wild Coast. Days can be spent relaxing on any number of its beautiful beaches, mountain biking, playing golf and many more sun-filled experiences.

If you plan to visit the Wild Coast, allow for at least week. It is easy to get lost in the many outrageously beautiful parts of South Africa, but the Wild Coast is an unspoiled wilderness that is worth a languid visit.

Date posted: 7th February, 2013

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