Eastern Cape Beaches & Towns

All the Best Destinations: From East London to the Wild Coast

Stretching from the Wild Coast in the north to East London in the south is one of Africa's most beautiful coastlines. It's a coast of long beaches and wildly spectacular scenery.

We've written about some of the beaches, coastlines and towns we love in the southern part of the Eastern Cape; you'll find that in our surf and safari guide. We wrote about the Storm River area too. Now, it is to a wilder part of the region we head...

East London

The Windmill in East LondonThe Windmill in East London

Gateway to the northern Wild Coast region, East London also has the nearest airport should you wish to fly into the area.

Driving from Cape Town to Durban or the other way? Then you will pass through the city and that is all that most people do ... pass through.

Don't do that.

Rather spend a few days here - the city is a fascinating and rather strange mix of cultures. Read why it is so weird and why it is worth stopping off.

Morgans Bay & Kei River Mouth

It is near the Kei River mouth that you will find two of the Eastern Cape's and indeed South Africa's loveliest beaches.  One is a huge expanse of pristine sands, sub-tropical forest and rolling waves while the other is a tiny treasure of a beach with ceramics from Ming vases scattered about. Don't miss out on a piece of paradise... and a piece of Ming vase too - our guide has the details.

Chintsa

Chintsa BeachChintsa Beach

Complete peace and quiet tucked away in lush vegetation with a beach of overwhelming beauty lapped by an ocean of crystal clear water. Does this sound like something you'd enjoy? Then let's head off to Chintsa - you will never want to leave!

Coffee Bay

Coffee BayHole in the Wall, Coffee Bay

Once upon a time a ship carrying coffee beans was wrecked here. In the warm sub-tropical climate the beans germinated and thrived. So was born the name Coffee Bay. Today Coffee Bay is located in one of the poorest and least developed parts of South Africa.

Should you bother to visit?

Well, it is beautiful, but consider these pros and cons before deciding:

Reasons TO Visit Coffee Bay

  • Gorgeous scenery, ocean cliffs, green hills dotted with the thatched huts of the local Xhosa people.
  • There's an incredible place to stay called the Coffee Shack. Not so much an accommodation option but more like a life-changing experience.
  • Good surfing.
  • Friendly people.
  • Chance to understand Xhosa culture.
  • The most authentically African stretch of coast in South Africa.

Reasons NOT to Visit Coffee Bay

  • Terrible road to get there.
  • Goats and cows in the road make it a dangerous drive.
  • Safety concerns - this is my biggest worry and while there is mostly only petty crime the drive here is along dangerous roads and there have been a few serious incidents of crime. 
  • The green rolling hills of grasslands are pretty until you realise that once there was forest here: overgrazing has ruined that.

Map of the Wild Coast & East London

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