Wild Coast: A complete guide to Port St Johns

2016-10-15 18:30 - Ra-ees Moerat
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Cape Town - Untouched beaches, a dominant river that satisfies an array of desires, mountains, exotic birds, good food and comfortable shelter… welcome to Port St Johns!

The town of Port St Johns is located in a dramatic space of South Africa, on the Wild Coast, with a powerful river that passes through red stone cliffs into the ocean. The famed twin mountains, Thesiger and Sullivan is positioned on either sides of the river mouth, serving as the gate to Port St Johns, like an entrance to a vintage castle.   

The town offers a unique mixture of cultural practices, especially the Xhosa culture, where both traditional and modern, is confidently visible. 

You might just see a sangoma wandering in his well-identified gear, hear bass sounds of kwaito music from a spaza shop or even dodge voracious mini-bus taxies. All these elements contribute to the town being such a magnificent and decidedly different choice for holidaying...

For the contemporary traveller, here is your guide to getting by in Port St. Johns: 

ALSO SEE: Sunshine Coast: A complete guide to Port Alfred


Outspan Inn

Located in the pleasantly rustic Port St Johns, on the graceful Wild Coast… enjoy the offerings of the great Umzimvubu River since the accommodation facility is located right at the mouth of the river. 

What’s more is that First Beach is just a short walk away… convinced that this is a prime spot yet? Well, the accommodation settlement is located in the central region of Port St Johns, which means that you’ll have access to scenic walks, restaurants, banks and shops. Click here for specific room details.

Umzimvubu Retreat

Umzimvubu Retreat Guest is ideally located on the beautiful sand dunes overlooking the Uzimvubu River and Indian Ocean. Like The Outspan Inn, it located within walking distance from the town centre. 

Because the guesthouse is a family-run business, the atmosphere is very homely too… so homely that they offer personalised services, such as organising tours, fishing trips, bird watching and even trips to places of interest in and around Port St Johns. Click here for detailed accommodation specifications. 

A photo posted by Lwazi Xinwa (@lwazix) on

Port St Johns River Lodge

The vicinity where these accommodation facilities have been located is said to be peaceful and tranquil. It is located in an untouched, natural environment, with stylishly decorated en-suite hotel rooms and comfortably furnished chalets.

This accommodation option assures guests of comfort, in a relaxed and peaceful environment. Click here for more information.

A photo posted by junaid shaikh (@junzshaikh) on

ALSO SEE: PE like a local: How to have the best time in the Friendly City

Places to eat

Steve's Pub and Restaurant 

Here you’re most probably have best fillet steaks you’ve ever eaten that’s been cooked to perfection. The atmosphere and ambiance is very homely with a wood fireplace being the cherry on the top!

One thing is for sure, the public absolutely love the dishes served and they boast about the excellent services received at this prominent foodie venue in Port St. Johns. Click here for restaurant details. 

The Wood ‘n Spoon Restaurant is located on lagoon shore of Second Beach, with a magnificent view of the Ocean of Port St. Johns, Transkei. 

Here you can enjoy mouth-watering, fresh seafood, self-made burgers, delicious pizza and flame-grilled steaks! Click here for additional information.

The Fish Eagle Restaurant

Boasting a stunning view of the Umzimvubu River, The Fish Eagle Restaurant is rumoured to serving the best pizza in Port St Johns. It is one of those restaurants that just leave guests wanting to return.

The menu includes chicken, chips, buffalo wings and ribs… amongst others! Now, click here for more details on this restaurant.

Things to do

Bird Watching at Umzimvubu Retreat

Are you into bird watching? Well, over 40 species of birds have been identified in the Umzimvubu Retreat alone… that also includes the oh-so-rare Cape Parrot! 

Venture into the forests off-site, the bass dam for water birds specifically and do try some Fish Eagle spotting.

A photo posted by Rory (@mr_grrrtz) on

Cape Hermes Lighthouse

Fancy a lighthouse experience? The lighthouse is located just past the entrance to Mzimvubu River, First Beach on the right side, on a bright green patch of grass, enclosed by cute wooden fencing.  

From the lighthouse, you can view landscapes of mountain ranges, a never ending ocean and a river mouth diverting canals into the ocean. A lighthouse experience in a small dorpie is indeed, a 'must do', because these situations of lighthouses and small towns going together are quite rare!

Fishing in Port S. Johns

No! You don't go to Port St Johns and not fish! Fishing on the Wild Coast is a staple activity that every Wild Coast explorer should do.

Let's say you chose the Mzimvubu River as your fishing destination... well, you could not have made a better choice because, garrick fish is very popular from October towards the end of the year. Make sure you've packed in your fishing gear and equipment... you don't want the other guys to out-shine you.

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