Head for Hole in the Wall
Hole In The Wall is a massive rock structure off the coast of the Transkei in the Eastern Cape, which has a spectacular tunnel though the base of it. The locals call the area “izi Khaleni” which is isiXhosa for “place of thunder,” in reference to the sound the waves make as they crash through the hole.
For an authentic, rural African experience, I must recommend the six-kilometre hike from Coffee Bay to Hole In The Wall, which passes through several villages and snakes along cliffs that provide spectacular views across the Indian Ocean. If you visit in June, you can witness the phenomenal sardine run, which begins in the waters of the Wild Coast.
On this walk, you will likely see dolphins showing off their skills in their surf and will be amused by the carefree attitude of native livestock such as Nguni cows, goats and miniature pigs, all of which nonchalantly roam the beaches and grassy hills at their own pace.
If you are without a watch, don’t bother asking any of the locals for the time, they most likely don’t even know what day of the week it is, such is the nature of the region, removed from urban formalities.
Accommodation options in the area include backpacker establishments with camping options, chalets, as well as the Hole In The Wall Hotel and Coffee Bay Hotel. Should you wish to visit during the December holidays, you will need to book well in advance.
Please drive carefully, as that the tar road between Umtata and Coffee Bay is fraught with potholes. The saying goes that if you see ears sticking out, it is more likely to be a donkey than a rabbit.