Wild Coast Adventure Walk
Wild Coast Adventure Walk is a tour for adventure lovers who enjoy hiking combined with a variety of activities. The Wild Coast of South Africa is one of the country’s most remote and beautiful coastlines. It is a prime hiking area with dramatic landscapes, unspoilt beaches, high dunes, wave-lashed rocks, shipwrecks, rolling hills with colourful Xhosa villages and meandering rivers.
Type Guided walk and luggage transport Location Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa Group size Small groups maximum 8 Duration 9 nights / 7 days walking Grading Moderate Day Stages Average 15 km Distance 105 km Terrain Beach, coastal and nature reserve trails Accommodation Small hotels, lodges and camps Meals Included Cost Available on request Dates Whole year. Best time May- Sep
The Wild Coast Adventure Walk will appeal to adventure seekers who appreciate an unspoilt natural environment and enjoy beaches, bush and sunshine. It offers hiking combined with swimming, surfing, horse riding, exploring rocky coves, shipwrecks and nature reserves. Your luggage will be transported so you can enjoy the adventure with your qualified guide and back-up crew
Scenery The scenery is spectacular. Empty white-sand beaches are separated by steep green hills, dramatic cliffs and rocky headlands while little villages – clusters of circular mud huts – dot the hillsides. Unique flora and fauna and sunrises and sunsets of breathtaking beauty. Activities A variety of activities to compliment the hiking program : Beaches are pristine and offer secluded and quiet spots to visit and enjoy. The beaches are safe and swimming-friendly. Other activities you can enjoy include horse riding, mountain biking, birding, fishing, whale and dolphin-watching, drum making and playing lessons, snorkelling, surfing, scenic drives for sundowners. The more adventurous can ride the dunes on boards. Various shipwrecks can be visited and explored. Xhosa village experience The music collection is superb and aims to introduce guests to new and old pan-African sounds as well as eclectic chillout vibes. Girls can head off with the village women for face painting, brick-making, maize stamping, traditional food preparation, beer brewing and firewood collecting. Local fishermen will show you how to catch fish with throw nets, catch crayfish and octopus by hand and to make your own fishing rod from wood and wire. There are a lot of wise old Xhosa people in the village who have seen it all and have amazing stories to tell. Sardine run Every year, between May and July, many millions of sardines travel north from the cold southern oceans of South Africa as they make their way up along the coastlines of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in what is commonly known as the annual Sardine Run. The sardines come close enough to be seen from shore or even washed up on the beach. It occurs nowhere else on earth and can be witnessed from the beaches of the Wild Coast. Nature reserves The Dwesa and Cwebe Nature Reserves, separated by the Mbashe River, are situated in the central Wild Coast. They are bordered on the one side by the Indian Ocean and on the other by rugged grasslands of the former Transkei. Both reserves are primarily covered by lowland forest but also support grasslands and acacia scrub. There are a total of 290 bird species recorded in the reserves. Dwesa also contains a number of introduced game species, including red hartebeest, blesbok and blue wildebeest. Crocodiles have been re-introduced to the rivers and buffalo, eland and warthog once again roam the grassland and forest fringes. Enjoy the natural forest and unique fauna and flora in this protected area. Spanning a unique blend of coastal forest, winding rivers, open grassland and a diverse coastline. Culture and history The Wild Coast (formerly Transkei) is an area of historical and cultural significance. It is the traditional home of Xhosa-speaking people and was an independent homeland until 1994. It is a very distinct part of South Africa, full of tradition and local colour. Nelson Mandela is its most famous son.
The walks are slow, spending time to enyoy the beaches and a variety of activities. You can stop to take a closer look at the unspoilt coast, forest and rivers and to enjoy what is of interest to you or your group. The walk is conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable guide because certain sections of the trails are not marked. The guide will assist you with timing of walks to coincide with the tides and will show you the best place to cross. The guide will also point out the marine- and wildlife, birds and ecology of the area. The walk starts at Coffee Bay in, what was formerly known as, the Transkei. The trail extends southwards along the Wild Coast to Kei Mouth, north of East London.Days 1 & 2: East London to Coffee Bay (Drive – 288 km- 4 hours)On arrival in East London you will be transferred to Coffee Bay where you will spend 2 nights discovering Mbumbi beach and the “Hole-in-the-wall”. Enjoy walks on the beach, making and playing drums, fishing, snorkelling, diving, surfing and horse riding. You may also have an opportunity to explore the river mouth and for birding and dolphin- and whale watching. You will stay at White Clay Resort Camping site, nestled between rocky cliffs with a panoramic view of the private bay.Day 3: Mpame (Walking distance about 12 km)You will be heading south crossing the Mpako and Lubanzi and Mncwasa Rivers. Nestled in the foothills of what was formally known as the Transkei Wild Coast, lies Mpame. Here you will stay at Bull’s Inn Fishing Lodge, well known for its fishing. Mpame Beach directly in front of the Lodge is a perfect opportunity for swimming, surfing and snorkeling. The neighbouring indigenous forest presents a paradise for birdwatchers. The homely coastal lodge is an ideal setting for your evening meal.Day 4: Bulungula/Xora (Walking distance about 10 km)Today you will continue south along the coast exploring shipwrecks and enjoying the marine life. You will stay at Bulungula Lodge. It is an eco-friendly destination with a remote and stunning setting, part-owned by the local community who will offer an unforgettable Xhosa village experience. You will have an opportunitity to meet the local people and learn more of their culture and traditions Safari tents which are on wooden platforms in the forest (most have sea views) and have a double bed or 2 single beds with bedding and an electric light. You can watch the dolphins from your bed!Day 5: Dwesa Nature Reserve and Cwebe Nature Reserve ( Walking distance about 12 km)You will enter the reserve exploring the unique fauna and flora in this protected area. Spanning a unique blend of coastal forest, winding rivers, open grassland and a diverse coastline, Dwesa Nature Reserve (3900 ha) is the bigger of the two reserves and offers several trails through lush forests and magnificent ocean views. This is a paradise for bird-watchers. At least a hundred species to be found on a given visit, including the Narina Togon and Mangrove Kingfisher. You will stay in a chalet at The Haven Lodge in the Cwebe Nature Reserve.Day 6: Nqabara ( Walking distance 16-18 km )Today you will continue along the coast crossing some rivers on the way to Nqabara Eco River Lodge. It is a community owned facility, on a beautiful promontory overlooking the confluence of the Nqabara and Nqabarana Rivers. The river edges offer a variety of bird-life as well as several mammal species. Take a canoe and enjoy the river, totally at peace but for the sound of a fish eagle or loerie. You will stay in a cottage.Day 7: Kob Inn ( Walking distance about 20 km )You continue along the coastline in the footsteps of the ancient coastal inhabitants (“Strandlopers”). Overnight at Kob Inn Beach Resort with a secluded swimming beach and pictureque lagoon and horse riding options along the beach. The lodge offers spacious rooms.Day 8: Wavecrest Hotel ( Walking distance about 20 km )Head closer to the border of the former Transkei to Wavecrest Hotel. It is situated on a pristine, mangrove-lined estuary, surrounded by magnificent dune forests and endless beaches. The hotel has a very relaxed atmosphere and a beautiful setting. It allows energetic guests to enjoy exciting activities, while those wishing to relax can put their feet up, while enjoying spectacular views. Wavecrest’s beaches are pristine and offer secluded and quiet spots to visit and enjoy. The more adventurous can ride the dunes on boards. Wavecrest is also home to various shipwrecks that can be visited and explored. Optional afternoon boat cruise.Day 9: Kei Mouth ( Walking distance about 12.5 km )Today you will cross the Kei River on the “Pont”, one of South Africa’s two remaining car-transporting pontoon river ferry services, an unforgettable experience You will camp at the Kei Mouth Caravan park which is centrally located in the village and is close to shops, the crafts market and with beach access.Day 10: Depart – Drive 90 km (1-2 hours)
This is the end of your adventure and you will be transferred to East London.
You will be accommodated in a private lodges and camps:
Rates & Tour info
RatesAvailable on requestRates depend on availability of lodges and campsites at time of booking.
IncludedTransfers from East London to start of trail and back to East London9 nights accommodation in lodges or campsFull BoardTransfer of luggage from one lodge to the next Safari vehicleQualified guideEmergency support
Not includedItems not mentioned above, eg :Flights or transport to and from East LondonSnacks and alcoholic drinksTravel Insurance
GradingOverall rating: “Moderate”. You do not need to be ultra-fit but if you choose to do the walks you should be able to walk between 10 and 20 km per day. A back-up vehicle is available. The route takes you along the coast and on paths, tracks.See Walking grades for more details about “Moderate” rating.
When to do the Wild Coast Adventure Walk
Bookings can be made throughout the year. The best time is from May to September which also falls over the sardine run. The weather on the Wild Coast is very variable but during winter it is usually better from a rain perspective but cold fronts are possible. Be prepared for hot as well as cool and wet conditions throughout the year.
The area has a comparatively high average rainfall, with the coastal and mountain regions receiving over 1000mm per annum. Snow is not uncommon at high altitudes in winter, but the remainder of the country is temperate with high sub-tropical temperatures along the coast in summer. The summer rainy seasons are sub tropically warm and pleasant, while the winters are mild and fine (and pleasant). High temperatures in January (mid summer) reach about 28 degrees C, and in June (winter) about 21 degrees, with lows of 17 and 9 degrees respectively.
Getting to East LondonFor international visitors:Fly to East London Airport.By car:Route from Johannesburg: 970 km with N1 and N6 via BloemfonteinRoute from Cape Town: 1050 km via the N2 along the coastRoute from Durban: 660 km with N2
What to take
Comfortable, well ventilated clothes as well as a thick windbreaker/jacket, raincoat, swimming costume, comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals. For your daily needs, you are advised to have a day-bag, a plastic bag to waterproof your day-pack as well as ziploc bags for wet weather and river crossings as protection for electronic equipment, sun-hat, sunglasses, sun block, a water bottle/camelback, personal first-aid kit, camera, batteries, binoculars, torch and headlamp, and mosquito repellent.
We recommend that you arrange appropriate holiday insurance giving you cover against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.
Availability and booking
To reserve a date, forward: Availability request
To book- Go to How to book, or
Tel.: +27 (0) 21 852 5937, Fax.: +27 (0) 86 618 3448
Pictures can be viewed in Wild Coast Gallery
For details, go to Reviews
More about the area
Wild Coast Adventure Walk is a multi-activity adventure for those who love hiking and exploring the beaches and flora and fauna of an unspoilt coastal area. For more information about the area, go to Read more
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