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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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By unknown | Mar 31, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The Easter weekend is upon us and the Wild Coast is one of the most exciting places to visit during this time.

The Easter weekend is upon us and the Wild Coast is one of the most exciting places to visit during this time.

Situated in the Eastern Cape, the Wild Coast is a rare stretch of sparsely developed coastline held in trust for the use of the people.

It is something of a departure from the travel norm in South Africa. This becomes most evident when the region is approached from KwaZulu-Natal, at which point the landscape changes abruptly from the highly developed suburban aspects of KZN to a much more traditional, African style social backdrop that seems to belong in a different part of Africa altogether.

Traditional African life

It is surprising to many visitors the degree to which traditional life is alive and well in South Africa. Since the established touring routes of the country tend to focus on the richly-textured areas of white domination, they tend also to gloss over, and at times ignore completely, the rural identity of a significant portion of the country.

On the Wild Coast, and within the hill country of the Transkei interior, almost no accommodation is made for modernity.

The area is a jewel of southern African coastal ecology, softly overlain by the simple accoutrements of African village life, and fiercely protected by all its inhabitants.

Two hundred kilometres of undeveloped, unspoilt beaches and estuaries are there to be discovered, with a handful of tour operators to help, and a comprehensive selection of accommodation options to make your trip comfortable.


The region is, of course, under constant threat from the same over development suffered by the KZN South Coast. It is such a beautiful area, and so completely untouched by capitalists and property developers, that it does, and always has represented a terrible temptation for many in positions of wealth and power. The battle to keep the Wild Coast wild, therefore, is ongoing.

What to do

Activities on the coast range from hiking a variety of routes, with the possibility, if well guided, to hike the entire length of Wild Coast. Several village-based tour operations host such activities, and estuary kayaking, nature walks, horse riding and fishing. There are also many village tours and cultural exchanges which allow you to meet and interact with local people. The local coastal ecology is largely intact, allowing for excellent bird watching and nature trails, particularly in the estuaries, rivers and riparian forests.


The Wild Coast shares its climatic characteristics with the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. There are perhaps some accommodations made to the proximity of the temperate regions, but the area is part of the summer rainfall region and generally enjoys warm to humid, sub-tropical conditions.


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