I’m convinced that there isn’t another area in South Africa, as rural, unspoilt and as simply beautiful as the Wild Coast. We canoed, relaxed on empty beaches and trailed along the coastal hills. Here are a few of our favourite things to do in the Wild Coast region …
Do the Coastal Walk in Coffee Bay
On a rainy day, we joined this day tour offered by Coffee Shack Backpackers. With plastic rain ponchos and hiking boots we strolled up green hills and back down into valleys of huts, grazing cows and patches of farmland.
Even in the downpour, the views of the villages, raging seas and tranquil river mouths delighted us as we looked down. Lazarus told us about Xhosa traditions of this people who call Coffee Bay home and pointing out villages where his friends and family lived. Even if you don’t do a guided tour, take a walk through the hills and find a peace beyond any city’s borders.
Go horse-riding in Chintsa
One glorious afternoon we went horse riding in Cintsa with Penny and Georgie Dickerson and their horses. They’ve worked in the community for years rehabilitating horses, teaching locals how to care for their horses and doing trails. The trail took us down the hill onto the beach of soft, white sand. We galloped beside the ocean, took the horses into the river and continued back through the bush again. Beginners and experienced riders can join this exquisite trail.
Canoeing in the Xhora River
I’ve kayaked down a few rivers before, but nothing came close enough to the Xhora River. We joined Lindile from Bulungula Backpackers on a trip down the river. With a symphony of clouds erupting across the blue sky we paddled past goats on rocky cliffs, cows chewing grass and birds nesting along the banks. The only people we encountered were young boys fishing for their supper. It was the perfect amount of physical activity mixed with breathtaking scenes passing us by. (We blogged about it here).
With warm water and beautiful beaches, the Wild Coast is a great place to surf. Because we do share the ocean with sharks, you need to proceed with caution when taking a board out. Go out in groups as there are seldom (if ever) lifeguards at these deserted beaches. Chat to locals who know the coastline, each beach has its own invisible rocks, reef and strong currents which you should be aware of before you jump in.
Coffee Shack offers great surfing lessons in the bay and once you’ve got your safety elements waxed, you can rent boards and wetsuits from them.
Stay at Bulungula
This is not a place anyone should miss when venturing up the Wild Coast. It’s a place you can happily do nothing where the river meets the sea. There is hardly any signal and if you choose to float down the river, lie on the grass in the sun or play with the children from the village, so be it. They have many activities available (run by the community) such as visiting the village, learning about the incredible community projects or eating pancakes on the beach as the sun rises. (We blogged about it here).