South Africa is blessed with some of the most beautiful coastal trails that traverse across forests and mountains and along splendid beaches.
Beaches, green hills and an abundance of folk traditions proves that there is more to the Wild Coast than meets the eye.
From East London to Port Edward, the trail hugs a stretch of coastline along the former Transkei homeland, and is unspoiled and barely touched by development.
The Wild Coast offers you a true, all-round African experience. This is where you will meet some of the most authentic South Africans - nature-loving, friendly and accommodating.
It also offers rocky cliffs, dirt paths, shipwrecks, a geological phenomenon or two, hiking trails, sunbathing Nguni cows, incredible landscapes and villages dotting the route with green-blue huts, pigs, goats and chickens.
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Check out the Hole in The Wall in Coffee Bay
The best way to go about exploring a new place is by doing it freely; with the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and the smell of fresh sea air in your nose.
A hike to the Hole in the Wall is a must for travellers - approximately 9 kilometres along the coastline of the Indian Ocean. Spot the traditional Xhosa rondavels, swim in the ocean, watch the cows stroll along the beach and enjoy a sunset picnic on the sand.
SEE: Backpacking the Wild Coast: Coffee Bay's twist on a pub hop
Take it easy in Morgan Bay
Guest can go and explore the village life and submerge yourself in the traditional food, lifestyle and culture. For the ladies, you can join the local women for a day of face painting, brick–making and trying your hand at the traditional cuisine. For the guys, you can learn how to fish with the locals. Throw out your nets and then make your own fishing rod.
SEE: Pondo Paradise: Explore the rugged coastlines of the Wild Coast
Forest trails, bird-watching and pristine beach fun at Dwesa
Surf and Turf Horse Riding safari is the perfect combination of beach and bush, while riding through nature with a beautiful four-legged guide host.
Suitable for all riders, you will explore a game reserve with a real difference; surrounded by giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and antelope all on horseback. This is a 7-night, 8-day trail that will allow you to explore every aspect of the rugged coast.
This beautiful equine experience will leave you wondering if you would want to explore this area in any other way.
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Get away from the crowds at Hluleka
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Check out indigenous forest, shipwrecks and a waterfall at Mkhambathi
SEE: Find your adventure along the Wild Coast
Fishing in Port St Johns and the surrounds
Port St John's and the Umzimvubu river mouth is known as 'the centre' of the fishing paradise that is the Wild Coast. Boats can navigate 7 kilometres inland on the river. Lighthouse Rocks is another go-to spot and Poenskop, north of Port St John's is certainly worthy of a visit.
Deep-sea and freshwater fishing are popular pastimes in this coastal town where game fish are caught in abundance and grunter, dhad, skipjack and kingfish fills the Umzimvubu river mouth. The annual sardine run that takes place along SA's south and east coast in June and July is also an attraction for fishing fanatics.
Avid fishermen may launch their boats in the estuary, but aspiring fishermen can embark with one of the many fishing charters.
SEE: Wild Coast: A complete guide to Port St Johns
Get out and get canoeing
Between Port St Johns and Port Edward you will find the Mtentu river and estuary - a hot spot for canoeing the Wild Coast. Spot the beautiful Leopard Falls and marvel over an immaculate gorge where locals believe a spirit reigns.
Alternatively, the Umngazana River hosts one of the largest red mangroves where you will be amazed by the array of bird life it boasts. With untouched beaches, a turtle-filled estuary and the Mkhambathi game reserve not too far away there is more on offer should your arms tire of paddling.
Visitors can enjoy exploring the beach on horseback, fishing in one of the many great spots, hiking up one of the many picturesque trails or just take a breather in a natural spring pool. It's all possible so enjoy.
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