Wild Coast Activities

The Wild Coast is full of exciting things to do. Please click on one of the categories below to read more.

Birding

Birding on the Wild Coast

The Wild Coast is renowned more for its rugged natural beauty than it's birds, which may be more easily seen elsewhere in South Africa. Despite this and the inaccessibility of the area, the experience of birding in stunning surroundings makes a trip well worthwhile. A number of birding areas are dotted down the coast, most of which share a similar avifauna, and a minimum of two days at a selected site is recommended to justify the effort of getting there. Bird habitats on the Wild Coast range from dams, marshes, rivers, estuaries and coastline to coastal bush and forest. Dwesa & Cwebe Nature Reserves have many great forest species and there is a Vulture hide and colony at Mkambati Nature Reserve.

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Canoeing & Boating

Canoeing & Boating on the Wild Coast

The Wild Coast, with its many lagoons, rivers and estuaries is ideal for boating and canoeing / kayak enthusiasts. Most of the smaller rivers are closed to the sea during the winter and their placid waters can be navigated for only 1 or 2 kilometres upstream. Larger rivers however, like the Kei, Mbhashe, Mthatha and Umzimvubu stretch much further inland and are rarely closed, if ever, to the sea. There are several ski-boat launch sites along the coast and there are guided canoe trails on the Umngazana and Xhora estuaries.

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Dolphin & Whale Watching

Dolphin & Whale Watching on the Wild Coast

The Whales most frequently spotted on the Wild Coast are the Humpback and Southern Right Whale. Observers will be treated to spectacular displays as both species leap almost clear of the water. The Southern Rights also perform "tail slapping" on the water surface and remain inverted from time to time, with only their tails protruding above the surface.

Common and Bottlenosed Dolphins are common along the coast and can occasionally form schools of up to 5000 members during the Sardine Run. They are most often seen surfing and performing acrobatic manoeuvres in the waves.

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Fishing

Fishing on the Wild Coast

The Wild Coast has long been a favourite with anglers and there are few places along the coast that don't have a few fishermen's cottages scattered about. In the days before quotas, catch-and-release and subsistence fishing, it was not uncommon to catch up to 40 fish in one day. Things have changed however, and there are not as many fish around as their were in the past, but the Wild Coast still offers excellent angling opportunities both in the estuaries and along the coast. There are many great fishing spots, but facilities are often limited at the more remote locations, where access is via rough roads and 4x4 tracks.

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Game Viewing

Game Viewing on the Wild Coast

There are many coastal nature reserves, run by Eastern Cape Parks, that dot the Wild Coast. Whilst all contain small game in their forests, such as Bushbuck, Duiker and Monkeys, it is only the larger reserves, like Dwesa, that contain larger species like Zebra, Buffalo, Eland, Rhino and Warthog. The 3900ha Dwesa Nature Reserve comprises coastal forest, open grassland, winding rivers and a diverse coastline. On the northern banks of the Mbashe River is Dwesa's sister reserve, the 2200ha Cwebe conservation area. The Hluleka and Mkambati Nature Reserves take their names from the rivers on which they are situated, and are both part of popular Wild Coast hiking trails. Private Game Reserves include Endalweni and Inkwenkwezi.

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Golf Courses

Golf Courses on the Wild Coast

There are precious few Golf Courses along the Wild Coast, due to it's undeveloped state. Only the larger towns, like Port St Johns and Kei Mouth have Golf Courses. The Kei Mouth Golf Club maintains a membership of 500 managed by a strong and skilled committee. The course in Kei Mouth is positioned alongside the Cape Morgan Nature Reserve and consists of a 9 hole Links Course with separate Tee-boxes making it a comfortable 18 hole round of golf. The course is always immaculately maintained and ready for competitions. The Club House houses showers, Squash Courts, Bar and Kitchen facilities. All Holes have magnificent sea views.

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Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails on the Wild Coast

There are several magnificent hiking trails along the Wild Coast, including the Hole in the Wall Hiking Trail, the Port St Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail and the Strandloper Trail. Whilst these trails are all superb in their own right, the serious hiker might be tempted into stringing them together and doing them all in one.

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Horse Riding

Horse Riding on the Wild Coast

The Wild Coast offers trail riding through awesome horse riding country, long golden sand beaches on a pristine coastline, hidden valley trails, rocky and sandy isolated bays. Stunning ocean views on the horizon; rolling hills and indigenous forests, under your horse's feet; miles of beach sand. Hours of cross-country riding will take you through Xhosa rural villages, river valleys, and past waterfalls; see nature, birds, game animals, dolphins and whales in the wild.

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Mountain Bike Routes, Races & Trails

Mountain Bike Trails on the Wild Coast

The Wild Coast is ideal territory for Mountain Bikers. There are long sandy beaches, challenging single tracks and gravel roads in abundance. There are several marked routes and trails, but with so much wide open space, it's best just to explore and enjoy the scenery. Mountain Bike Routes on the Wild Coast include The Mazeppa Bay MTB Route, the Cwebe Nature Reserve Mountain Bike Trail, the Mkhambati MTB Route and several challenging routes around Mbotyi. There is also the annual 4-day Imana Wild Ride Mountain Bike Race.

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Shell Collecting

The Wild Coast is famous for its shell-strewn beaches. The coastline comprises rocky outcrops, sandy beaches, sheltered bays, rock pools and exposed beaches worked over by strong wave action. These varied habitats are fed by the warm Agulhas current, creating ideal conditions for a varied shell population, with a large majority of South Africa's 5000+ shell species being found here.

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Surfing

Surfing on the Wild Coast

The Wild Coast is popular with surfers for its excellent waves and uncrowded lineups. A word of warning though; the area has a justifiable reputation for being sharky and there have been numerous fatalities at the excellent point breaks in the area. Many of the great breaks are several hours drive on very bad dirt roads, from the nearest emergency care. Notable spots include Shark Point, Rame Head, Lwandile, Mdumbi, Breezy Point / Ntlonyana, Yellowsands and Queensberry Bay.

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