Between the Mtamvuna River in the north and the Great Kei River in the south lies a rugged coastline of craggy cliffs, wild untouched beaches, secluded bays and green rolling hills. This is the Wild Coast. It is the gem of the Eastern Cape, and one of the few places that has been almost untouched by man.
|The Wild Coast remains nearly unspoilt by civilisation
Up until recently, getting to the Wild Coast was no easy task. A lack of adequate infrastructure made getting there a problem that was not worth the effort. As a result, the only inhabitants for a long time were native people that lived with the land and disturbed it as little as possible. Even now that it has become easier to reach, the Wild Coast still maintains its untouched pristine quality.
The Wild Coast boasts a number of game reserves and national parks to protect the diverse animal and plant life of the area. The Huleka, Dwesa, Cwebe, Silaka and Luchaba reserves are spread throughout the region. Some are forest reserves filled with ancient trees and shy animals hiding in the eaves of the giants. Others are rocky shores, sandy beaches and lagoons where dolphins can play and whales can mate in peace. Most, however, are a combination, creating diverse habitats for the abundant wildlife that call this area home.
Visitors to the reserves can enjoy marked walking trails, guided safaris, horseback rides through the wilderness and many other activities. Rest camps and lodges offer a variety of accommodation from the simple to luxurious.
One of the natural wonders of the Wild Coast is the Hole in the Wall in Coffee Bay. A detached cliff face has a massive opening carved in its centre by the relentless movement of the waves over millennia. The Xhosa called it ‘izi Khaleni’ or the ‘place of thunder’. On stormy days, the sound of the waves crashing against the wall creates a thunderous roar that can be heard for miles around.
The Wild Coast is not just home to a variety of animals and plants, but is also the birthplace of Nobel laureate, Nelson Mandela. No visit to the area would be complete without a visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Umtata. The museum details the life of Nelson Mandela from his early childhood, his education and his eventual rise to become the first democratically elected leader of South Africa.
The Wild Coast is an area rich in history and natural beauty. No visit to the Eastern Cape could be complete without seeing the natural splendours of this unspoiled area.
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