ROAD TRIPPING: 48 HOURS ON THE WILD COAST

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Sunday, 7th October 2018

The Wild Coast is arguably one of the Eastern Cape’s most rural, untouched destinations. Some might even call it a secret. And when you stumble upon a deserted beach with nothing but the infamous sunbathing Nguni cows in sight you understand why a Wild Coast getaway deserves top priority on your travel wish list.

According to some the Wild Coast starts just after East London and goes up to Port Edward while others see the stretch between the Great Kei and Mtamvuna River as the real deal.  But, we’re not here to pull out maps and get geographical, so let’s just say that the Wild Coast starts when that feeling of familiarity begins to disappear.

Here are some suggestions of what you can get up to between Chintsa and Coffee Bay, and, when you’re done be sure to come back for seconds, explore further north and visit even more off-the-beaten-track places like Huleleka Nature Reserve, Mkambahti and Mbotyi.

Get in the water at Chintsa Beach

If a beach is described as one of South Africa’s best beaches, then you had better put some time aside for a bit of salt water fun. With 18 kilometers of unspoiled beach, beautiful rock pools, the Chintsa lagoon, and good waves, there’s enough to keep you busy and let your inner beach bum free.  At Chintsa, you can learn how to surf (multi-day surf camps are available), dust off your old boogie board, do stand-up paddle boarding, kite surfing, go for a beach stroll or opt for a horse ride with Newhampshire Rehabilitation Horse Farm.

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Go for Tea in the Trees

Cake, coffee, live music and a monthly market, what more could you want on a Sunday morning while travelling along the Wild Coast?

Cool off with a locally brewed craft beer

Emerald Vale Brewery is a family business specialising in ales and speciality beers; here you can have an authentic farm experience with a tour that will take you behind the scenes of the microbrewery and taste four different ales. There is also a restaurant on-site - keep on an eye on their events page for exciting celebrations and performances.

Explore the beauty of Haga Haga on foot

Did you know that the hamlet of Haga Haga is a conservancy because of rare indigenous species like the Cape clawless otter and the blue duiker? What better way to explore a conservancy than on foot? Keep an eye out for whales (September to November) on the Whale Point Walk, with its excellent elevated views. The Krantz Garden Walk will take you to a flower-covered-hillside (depending on the time of the year), while the Otter Creek Trail will take you inland through indigenous forest ending at Ninky Noo’s Pub.

Sundowners at Morgan Bay’s Cliffs

Pack a snack basket and head for a sundowner at the impressive Morgan Bay’s Cliffs – where slabs of dolerite drop down 50m into the surf. It is a view best enjoyed with friends or loved ones.

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Search for treasures at Double Mouth

Just behind Morgan Bay’s cliffs, a road makes its way down to the camp site at Double Mouth Nature Reserve where treasures await at Bead Beach (Treasure Beach); in the 16th century a Portuguese ship ran aground and to this day – if you are lucky and have a fine eye to toothcomb the area – you can still find Carnelian Beads, Money Cowries and shards of broken Ming Porcelain.

Va-va vroom at the Morganville Farm Private Motorcycle Museum

As you enter Morgan Bay a Convair 880 may catch your eye, but as one can expect from the name of the museum, there’s more than just the passenger jet that transported the likes of Barbara Streisand, John Denver and the Rolling Stones around the world. This private collection of Billy Nel houses over 650 motorcycles, double-decker buses, ox-wagons and train coaches, to name a few.

Go 4x4ing without a 4x4

There are four interesting trails to be discovered if you visit the Trennerys Hotel and you can explore traditional local culture, spectacular forests and a waterfall on foot and or by boat. One trail - done in a 4x4 (where you are the passenger) – will transport you to see the last remains of a San Midden: a Khoisan Midden at Halls Point, where 4000 years of Khoisan history is exposed.

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Get Coffee in Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay got its name after a ship lost its cargo of coffee beans off the coast; the beans were washed up onto the beaches and even though coffee doesn’t grow on the trees of Coffee Bay, the name stuck. Luckily there are a few restaurants in this small village, and there’s more than just coffee on the menus of White Clay Resort, the Village Café and Friends Café.

Quench your thirst for adventure

Hike to Mapuzi Caves and face your fears as you peek over jagged cliffs that meet the ocean and its wild waves below (and if you are brave enough take the 14m plunge), learn how to surf or go abseiling down a 45m cliff drop into the ocean.

Don’t leave without visiting Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall is almost a rite of passage for Wild Coast travellers; whether it is your first time or you fourth time, the geological phenomenon of a natural arch is always worth a visit. It can either be viewed from a cliff on the top, you can walk down and view this archway straight-on. Why not join in on a hiking trail to the Hole in the Wall, from your guesthouse in Coffee Bay.

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Want to explore more of the Wild Coast of South Africa? Find out more: www.wildcoastholidays.co.za

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