Exploring the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape: A Road Trip Itinerary

The Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is a stunning and largely unspoiled region, offering visitors a chance to explore its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage. Embarking on a Wild Coast road trip is the perfect way to experience this unique destination. In this guide, we will provide a day-by-day itinerary and recommendations for accommodation, ensuring a memorable adventure along the Eastern Cape’s wild coast.


Day 1: Start in East London

Begin your journey in East London, where you can find an affordable car rental and start exploring the magical Wild Coast. Make sure to plan your route and pack all necessary items for a successful road trip.

East London to Chintsa (about 40 km)

Drive to the charming coastal village of Chintsa, known for its beautiful beaches and lush surroundings. Spend the day relaxing on the beach, surfing, or hiking in the nearby Chintsa East Nature Reserve.

Recommended Accommodation: Buccaneers Lodge & Backpackers, Crawfords Beach Lodge

Day 2: Continue to Mdumbi (about 270 km)

Drive along the coast to Mdumbi, a remote and idyllic destination offering a true taste of the Wild Coast’s natural beauty. Enjoy a range of activities such as fishing, kayaking, or exploring the nearby Mdumbi River.

Recommended Accommodation: Mdumbi Backpackers, Swell Eco Lodge

Day 3: Dwesa Nature Reserve (about 130 km)

Depart from Mdumbi and head to Dwesa Nature Reserve, a haven of biodiversity and conservation efforts. Discover the reserve’s attractions, including the Dwesa-Cwebe Marine Protected Area, and engage in activities such as hiking and bird watching.

Recommended Accommodation: Haven Hotel, Nqabara Eco River Lodge

Day 4: Waterfall Bluff and Magwa Falls (about 170 km)

Journey to Waterfall Bluff, where the Mkozi River cascades into the Indian Ocean, and then continue to Magwa Falls, a majestic 144-metre high waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation.

Recommended Accommodation: Magwa Falls Lodge, Luputhana Wilderness Camp

[ALT:  View of Waterfall Bluff]

Day 5: Hole-in-the-Wall and Coffee Bay (about 59 km)

Explore the iconic Hole-in-the-Wall, a geological wonder steeped in Xhosa mythology, and then relax in the laid-back village of Coffee Bay. Spend time surfing, strolling along the beach, or venturing into the nearby Mapuzi Caves.

Recommended Accommodation: Ocean View Hotel, Coffee Shack Backpackers

[ALT: People walking on the beach at Hole-in-the-wall, in the Eastern Cape]

Day 6: Port St. Johns and Silaka Nature Reserve (about 105 km)

Drive to Port St. Johns, nestled between the Umzimvubu River and the Indian Ocean, and visit the nearby Silaka Nature Reserve for bird watching, snorkelling, and hiking along the Mpande Beach Trail.

Recommended Accommodation: Cremorne Estate, Amapondo Backpackers

Day 7: Return to East London (about 350 km)

Conclude your Wild Coast road trip by returning to East London, reminiscing about the unforgettable adventure, and planning your next Eastern Cape wild coast exploration.

This road trip itinerary offers a comprehensive guide to the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, providing valuable information on must-see destinations, activities, and accommodation options. Remember to practise responsible tourism, support local businesses, and share your experiences with fellow travellers. Embark on this unforgettable adventure and create lasting memories along South Africa’s mesmerising Wild Coast.

Explore the Eastern Cape and surrounds by renting a car in the Eastern Cape. SANI Car Rental is a South African homegrown car rental company. Vehicles available to rent include compact cars, economy cars, premium cars, people carriers, and SUVs. SANI Car Rental has customers all over South Africa, including at all the major airports, both domestic and international. 

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