Beach time on the Wild Coast
The Wild Coast is a popular destination for our guests in our equipped Jimny 4×4 rentals. Here’s what we love about it and where we recommend you stay.
When you think about travelling to South Africa, the first thing that generally comes to mind is wildlife! With 19 National Parks and a host of private game reserves it is understandable to see South Africa as a prime wildlife destination with large expenses of natural wildernesses. But what of the beaches? As its name suggests, South Africa is set on the southern point of the African Continent which means it has over 2,700 Km’s of beautiful coastline waiting to be explored.
The big question is which beach destination do you pick? To be honest, with so many spectacular beach locations to choose from, it really depends where in the country you are heading. On that note, if you are plotting a route to connect the Western Cape (Cape Town & the Garden Route) with the wildlife destinations in the northeast of the country (KwaZulu-Natal’s Elephant Coast and the Kruger National Park), then there is an area collectively known as the Wild Coast which is an absolute must.
The Wild Coast is as its name suggests, one of South Africa’s last true wild coastal paradises. With a relatively poor road network, access is not easy which is one of the reasons why the region has remained underdeveloped. It is home to a large number of rural communities which gives the coastal region an authentic African feel – making it completely unique to any other coastal destination off the African continent. There is something very unique about sharing an empty beach with the resident cattle as appose to thousands of other tourists.
If you are travelling from the Western Cape, the Wild Coast officially starts at Morgan’s Bay, a quaint coastal village northeast of East London in the Eastern Cape and ends just south of Port Edward in KwaZulu-Natal. Between the two towns, you will find a host of fascinating far-out locations including Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay, and Umngazi. Each of these offers a beach experience to remember in a truly rural setting you are bound to fall in love with.
Road Access – consider a 4×4 rental
It is important to note that due to the nature of the region, the road access to the Wild Coast can be challenging. Fear not though, our Suzuki Jimny 4×4 rentals are perfectly suited to these road conditions. Access is mostly via the N2 Freeway which runs through the Wild Coast from top to bottom. The road, however, is not on the coast which means you need to use the secondary rural roads to access to remote coastal locations which are where the Jimny stands out as the perfect vehicle rental with its high ground clearance and compact size.
Find out more about our equipped Suzuki Jimny rentals and why they ideally suited to the Wild Coast.
Things to do on the Wild Coast
So the Wild Coast is a beautiful place to visit, but what can you do there? Below are just a few quick highlights to wet your appetite:
- Most importantly, chill on the beach: With so much coastline and so little people, taking the time to just chill out on the beach and soak up the sun is on top of the list. Pack your frisbee, favourite beach ball set and go have some fun on the beach.
- Hiking, Cliff Jumping, Abseiling – for the true adventure: There are a host of incredible hiking trails like the coastal hike to hole in the wall from Coffee Bay or the many trails in Auckland Nature Reserve and near Umngazi. For the more adventurous, check out the and cliff jumping with Hogsback adventures further inland.
- Surfing & Fishing: If you an avid surfer or keen fisherman you probably need no introduction to the best surfing and fishing spots along the wild coast of which there are many. If you keen to try your hand at surfing the guys at Coffee Shack will gladly offer you a lesson or two.
- Whale Watching: If you are travelling between June and November you can watch from the high vantage points as the southern right whales make their way up the coast to calve. Dolphin viewing is also exceptional throughout the year.
- Indulge in the Culture: With so many villages dotted along the coast, the opportunities to engage and indulge in local community culture is endless. Wherever you choose to stay, a local village walk can be arranged and in some instances the chance to enjoy a drink at a local shebeen.
Where to stay
The Wild Coast spans almost 250Km which means there are ample places to stay. We recommend you take your time driving through the Wild Coast and stay in a few different locations along the way. We recommend a minimum 4 nights in at least two different locations. Owing to the remoteness of the region, the Wild Coast is renowned for its unique Backpackers so there is plenty to choose from. If you looking to spoil yourself with something a little more luxurious there are a few options for you. Below are some of our favourite Wild Coast hangouts.
They are an award-winning backpackers that promotes community involvement and sustainable tourism. They are located just north of Coffee Bay with a variety of accommodation options from bungalows to campsites. They also have cool safari tents if you do not feel like pitching our tents included in your vehicle rental. We love their approach to budget travel and offer a host of activities which won’t break the bank.
Set in Coffee Bay with easy access to the beach, the Coffee Shack Backpackers is know for its incredible vibe, friendly staff and comfy accommodation. Like Mdumbi, they also offer a variety of accommodation options from bungalows to campsites. There is a bar and restaurant on the property as well as a host of activities to keep you busy.
Hotels & Guest Houses
Located near Kai Mouth but still off the beaten track, Trennery’s Hotel and Camping is an excellent option. A little more upmarket than the regular backpackers, the hotel has a variety of accommodation options and we really like their camping options of you looking to save on the budget.
If you are looking to spoil yourself for a few nights on the Wild Coast then look no further than Umngazi River Bungalows. Set in a remote location on the river and opposite a virtually private beach, Umngazi is your perfect beach escape. You will need to add a little to your budget but you will love the fully catered accommodation with three beautiful meals per day plus tea time snacks throughout.
While these are just some of our recommendations, there are a host of great places to stay along the Wild Coast. If you looking for more please get in touch with us and we will gladly help out with your travel plans.
If you enjoy the beach and are looking for an authentic Africa beach experience, the Wild Coast will most definitely tick all the boxes for you.
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ABOUT TREAD LITE 4×4 HIRE
We offer affordable, fun and adventurous 4×4 hire and self drive vacations to South Africa using our fully equipped and highly capable Suzuki Jimny’s. Everything you need for your self drive adventure and nothing you don’t.
All our Jimny’s are equipped with the essential’s for a comfortable self drive or camping vacation. We believe in minimalistic travel so we’ve left the bells and whistles behind.
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