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TThe Wild Coast in South Africa stretches along the Eastern Cape Province's northern coastline, through the former Transkei region.
As its name suggests this strip of coastline, which reaches from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south, is an untamed wilderness.
It offers incredible views of the dramatic coastline, jagged cliffs, sheltered bays, wild beaches and rolling hills and valleys. This is a hikers' paradise and can also be enjoyed on horseback.
It is renowned for being one of the most beautiful places on the planet and is the heartland of the Xhosa people.
Ancient forests filled with cycads and yellowwood trees abound with bird and animal life. Bird watchers can go in search of the approximately 320 species that make this area their home, while anglers can catch the big one whilst deep sea, rock, surf, fly and spear fishing. Fishing licenses must be acquired from any local post office.
Due to its incredible natural beauty the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast is ideal for hiking, but a multitude of 4x4 trails allow for those who prefer travelling by car.
Due to their delicate ecosystems beaches are off limits for drivers.
The Wild Coast is also known for its shipwrecks, a legacy of its wild and tempestuous nature. The region can also be explored by helicopter or canoe or take a boat rise to view the whales or watch the dolphins in the surf.
Water activities like snorkelling and diving give a spectacular experience of the world beneath the waves while spotting lost treasure and other relics from shipwrecks.
Travel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency
Tel: +27 (0)43 492 0881
How to get here
The N2 highway is the 'backbone road' of the Wild Coast.
Best time to visit
The Wild Coast's ecology is best appreciated in summer, from November to the end of January, while hiking is excellent in autumn, from May to June. Cooler weather in winter makes for a more comfortable stay.
Things to do
The Wild Coast Sun and Casino, when you crave entertainment
Horse-riding trips on the beach are available daily and hikers can find their way along a series of routes. Mountain bike tours and adventures, as well as backpacking and guided hiking tours are on offer. You can also take in the Nelson Mandela museum at his birthplace, Qunu.
What to pack
Sturdy hiking boots, sunscreen, hats, swimming gear, insect repellent and warm clothes as the weather can change rapidly. Remember to always have your fishing permit on you, which can be purchased at any post office.
Where to stay
There are plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including authentic home stay options inviting visitors to participate in traditional Xhosa village culture.
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