South Africa’s Wild Coast

South Africa’s coastline is almost 3,000 km long, offering a wonderful variety of experiences. In this series, SA Blog dips a toe in the country’s major destination coasts.

The Wild Coast

  • Where: The magnificent, unspoilt stretch of Indian Ocean coastline between the Kei and Ngwavuna River mouths, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.
  • Attractions: Port St. Johns, a major surfing center in SA; miles of deserted beaches; “Africa”, Xhosa-style.
  • How to get there… By car: From Cape Town, take the N2 east, traversing the Western Cape’s stunning Garden Route, stopping over one night in Knysna, and one night in the Nelson Mandela Metropole (NMMM – a.k.a. Port Elizabeth) or Grahamstown. Follow the N2 past East London, where it turns inland to Umtata. At Umtata, turn into the R61 for Port St. Johns. From Durban, take the N2 south to Port Shepstone, continue south on the R102 to Port Edward, turn inland on the R61, which loops back around to the coast at Port St. Johns.

    By Baz Bus: *Best Option* Just hop on! Takes you straight to Port St. Johns, with shuttles on the way to other Wild Coast stops – Coffee Bay and Mpande. See Baz Bus route map | Book Baz Bus ticket

    By bus: Take take a Translux or Intercape bus to East London (south Wild Coast) or Umtata (north Wild Coast), and then drive.




    By plane: Fly to East London Airport orUmtata Airport, then drive.

    If you’re wild’n’crazy (& with at least one travelling companion): A. Get a map of SA’s entire southern coast, up to Port St. Johns. B. Proceed to the Cape Town minibus taxi terminus, on the roof of the central train station. C. Ask random people about long-distance taxis to Port Elizabeth. D. Having found one, buckle down for a long ride. E. Go to PE. F. At the PE taxi rank, enquire about taxis to East London. G. Go to East London. H. At the EL taxi rank, consult your map. Find the coastal village that looks most interesting to you, and enquire. I. Catch the taxi, and you’re off into the Wild Coast!

  • Highlight: The fun you can have in the marine wilderness: surfing, horse-riding and camping on the beach, sea kayaking, kloofing, jumping off high rocks into river mouths, shipwreck sightseeing and so on!
  • Caution: The Wild Coast is a poor region, and crime in the area is on the increase. Lock doors, use car guards, travel in a group, etc.
  • See also: South Africa’s Sunshine Coast
  • More information:


    Eastern Cape Tourism

    Wavescape Surfing

    More Wild Coast Photographs