The Wild Coast gets it reputation from the numerous ships and lives that have been claimed along the dangerous coastline. Dangerous as it may be, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Thanks to the lack of always-on cellphone reception and connectivity, the Wild Coast remains a ‘secret’ location – relatively isolated from hashtags and social media hype.
Because of the lack of connectivity, this under-the-radar paradise has a charm equal to that of a subtropical island. The locals here are friendly, self-sufficient and ever-eager to open their homes to strangers. The scenery is out of this world and the cost of your trip is dirt cheap compared to other similar experience.
The best way to experience this hidden paradise is on foot, so get going with one of these wildest, wild coast hikes:
Port St Johns to Coffee Bay
What: Hike along the pristine stretch of coastline while staying with the locals in their traditional Xhosa huts. The scenery is spectacular; empty white-sand beaches are separated by steep green hills (which you will hike). The dramatic cliffs and rocky headlands are speckled with clusters of circular mud huts on the hillsides. It is in these locals' huts where you will spend your Wild Coast nights.
Where: From Port St Johns to Coffee Bay
How long: 5 Days, 4 Nights
Contact: Highly-acclaimed guide, Jimmy Selani on 082 507 2256
What: Learn about the Wild Coast’s maritime heritage by navigating the Shipwreck Route along the shoreline. Named after the isiXhosa expression 'to go around', the Wild Coast Jikeleza Route is East London's premier touristic route and is now the official start of South Africa's Wild Coast.
The route can be driven on by car, too, along the Schafli road, but the hike along the beach is the best way to do it.
Where: From Gonubie, East London to Chefane
How long: 2 Days, 1 Night
Contact: Email: email@example.com
Greenfire Wild Coast Adventure
What: The Greenfire package allows you to either walk or cycle the best of this remote section of the Wild Coast in relative comfort. The route offers the most spectacular trail and scenery in the country for hikers and bikers. Mountain bikers need to bring their own bikes.
Where: Round trip from Mbotyi River Lodge
How long: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Contact: 011 888 1160
What: This unguided hike is one of the most-loved, well-known ones on the Wild Coast. The trail is about 57km in total and is clearly marked with little painted white on green boot prints. The hike creates the opportunity for nature-lovers to fish and swim on the most pristine Wild Coast beaches and sleep in cozy chalets and huts on the ocean’s edge.
Where: From Kei Mouth to Gonubie
How long: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Contact: 043 841 1046
For fearless hikers only --
Full Wild Coast Hiking Trail
What: Experience the dramatic coastline, with its sandy and rocky beaches, coves, lagoons, cliffs, rock formations in the sea, mangrove swamps and birdlife by hiking more than 280km!
This 25-day hike is open-ended, which means you can do it on your own pace. The trail is divided into five 3-6 day sections.
There are huts with water, bunks and mattresses, tables and benches and fireplaces along the way, able to accommodate up to 12 people.
NOTE: You need a permit for this hike (which you should carry with you at all times during the hike). Permits are required from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Nature Conservation Section, PO Box X5002, Umtata 5100.
Where: From the Umtamvuna River in Port Edward to Qolora Mouth, north of the Great Kei River
How long: 25 Days (or more, or less)
Contact: Contact the Department of Agriculture and Forestry for the permit and more info.
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