Wild Coast Hike from Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay

The 5 day Culture Wild Coast Hike in Transkei was a truly wonderful experience!

The photo’s are in slide format so may take a bit longer to download. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Enjoy!

The drive to Port St. Johns was long from Cape Town, but we split it into 2 days both ways and stopped as often as we could.

One the 2nd day of our journey we decided to drive to Coffee Bay to see The Hole in the Wall. It was a bit of extra driving but we got to see some of the small Transkei villages along the way.

Due to our little excursion we got to Port St. Johns a little bit later than planned which is not really a good idea while they are busy with the roadworks. Anyway… we arrived safely at the Amapondo Backpackers to meet the rest of our group. (I love the energy and cleanliness of the backpackers and happy to recommend it if travelling in a large group and you don’t mind sharing with others)

We were all up early to pack and re-pack our backpacks to try and make them as light as possible but somehow that just doesn’t seem possible for me, even though we did not have to carry our breakfast and dinner. LOL

Ready and on our way…

Before we go any further I better give you a little info about The Wild Coast Hike: “The Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail goes through some of the most beautiful hiking landscape in South Africa. The trail hugs a stretch of coastline along the former Transkei homeland, and is unspoilt and barely touched by development. You will walk along rolling grassy hills dotted with colourful huts, idyllic beaches, estuaries flanked by thick coastal forest and cliffs with stunning sea views. Hikers sleep in hikers’ huts and village accommodation. You will also learn a little bit of Xhosa Language and experience the Xhosa food. If you’re hiking at the right time of the year, you will most likely see dolphins and whales. The duration of the hiking trail is five days with four overnight stops.”

Day 1: Port St Johns to Madakeni – There are many “rolling hills”, forests, grassy landscapes and a fair amount of walking on the beach, but the view are stunning!

… after only a short hike you go up the highest “hill” of the entire hike. A bit of a shock to the system but so worth it.


Along the way we stopped for a drink at a resort before crossing the river on a ferry then waling along the beach with strong winds blowing, then up along a beautiful grassy path, back onto the beach for another river crossing with a small motor boat and after a short walk we reached our accommodation for the night…

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Before we did the last stretch of our hike to the village we stopped at the local “Spaza” for supplies. Most of us settled for a juice as we had everything else.

The overnight accommodation is provided in Xhosa huts in the villages. You stay with the community in a separate hut with a shower and toilet. These homes provide basic service standards and traditional hospitality. The food is cooked by your hostess, Xhosa style. Chicken, rice, vegetables.

One day was as much fun as the next with different adventures and fun. We had lots of laughter along the way. I will add text to some of the pictures. Enjoy the next few days… 

Day 2: Madakeni to Tsweleni  – Today was a short day so we got to spend quite a bit of time at the village.

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Day 3: Tsweleni to Hluleka  – Today we climbed over fences, swam through rivers, laughed a lot at our guide who was not much more relaxed with our group. After a lazy lunch break we were saved walking the last few km by a game ranger who offered us a lift to our accommodation. To me this was the best overnight stop with the friendliest lady who was happy to help out with our requests.

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Day 4: Hluleka to Tshani Village  – Day 4 was quite a long day with many “rolling hills”. It rained hard during the evening so the path was very slippery and at times a bit slow but after the river crossing it went faster.

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Day 5: Tshani Village to Coffee Bay – Our last day… We were so lucky with the weather. It always rained at night or late afternoon when we were already at our hut.

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All in all… I would say it was a GREAT EXPERIENCE with a WONDERFUL GROUP and thanks to “WILD TOUR”, well organized!

For those who are interested in the daily gradients we walked. You should be hiking fit as there are many rolling hills and it’s just nicer to not have aching muscles all the time, but you don’t need to be super fit. 🙂  


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