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The Wild Coast

by Peter Baxter |

In the modern world, ‘wild’ as far as nature is concerned is a relative concept. It is enough, perhaps, that an area of natural beauty is not utterly trampled by urban development, or destroyed by irresponsible land use, for it to deserve the term ‘wild’. Certainly this is the case in the developing world, and most particularly along the earth’s tropical coastlines. The Wild Coast of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, although hardly wild, is by comparison to the KZN (Kwa-Zulu Natal) South Coast in a different world altogether. It is a gorgeous natural environment, comprising the signature open grasslands and hill country of the south coast, with deep cut ravines peppered with groves of aloe, and deep tidal estuaries cloaked on either bank with rich and unsullied riparian forest. There is no sign anywhere of mock Tuscan gated developments, of strip malls or the blanket sugar estates so ubiquitous throughout the region. It is moreover an environment fiercely protected by both a large cohort of outside environmentalists and significant numbers of local community members. The latter, almost uniquely, have successfully resisted the temptation to climb into bed with property developers and sell the long term integrity of their landscape for short term profit.

The Environmental Frontline

Currently, however, the issue is less property development and more highway construction and strip mining. The controversy in the first instances involves the extension of the ubiquitous toll road system, that is the pride of the South African transport infrastructure, through the Transkei, and secondly whether to grant Australian mining conglomerate, Minerals Commodities Limited, and Local Black Economic Empowerment group Xolobeni Empowerment Company, license to dune mine substantial base metal reserves along the coast. While the intricacies of this contest are beyond the scope of this narrative, they do broadly pit local concerns against central and international financial interests. At the core is the question of land ownership, which, in the case of the wild coast, is land owned by the state and held in trust for the people.

Wild Coast Cottage For Sale in the Cwebe Reserve at Ntlonyana: Site No 4

Wild Coast Property For Sale
Site No 4: Ntlonyana in the Cwebe Nature Reserve
Enjoy an unobstructed view of the Ocean that's a stone’s throw away.
Watch the passing whales and dolphins from the Lapa.
Situated in a game reserve on a marine reserve the site is like no other.
Exclusive: Only 2 sites at this location have been sold in the last 25 years!
OVERVIEW: This 5 bedroomed ( 2 en suite plus 3rd bathroom) cottage boasts 5 double beds, 4 singles and sleeper couches. Suitable for getaways for an extended family and friends.  Positioned at the entrance to a bay it ranks as one of the best Wild Coast sites; better security within a reserve, unique leasehold ownership, new tar road limits extent of dirt road access etc.. Accessible to LSA fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. The well planned hot and cold running water management system, installed gas appliances, generator driven electrical lighting and plug distribution points ensure home comforts that are uncommon to the wild coast.
ACCOMMODATION: Large Dining Room & Servery, Long Sea Facing Family Sun Room, Kitchen ( with hot & cold running water) & Pantry, Thatched View Deck/Lapa, Large Timber Deck, Large Grassed Deck, Under Cover Braai/Dining Area Seats 10+ 3 Bedrooms Overlooking The Sea (2 En Suite, Shower, Basin & Toilet), 1 Interior Bedroom plus Separate Thatched “Wendy House,’ Separate Bathroom (Bath/Shower Basin & Toilet), Staff Quarters plus Garage/Storeroom.
FACILITIES & FINISHES: Electric lights and plug points throughout, Water-borne sewerage (2 x Septic Tanks), 9 x Rainwater Tanks (39,000 Lt with a multi pump water mgt system), 3 Gas Fridges + 1 Gas Freezer,  1 Large Cold Saver Electric Freezer & Microwave,  Crockery, Cutlery, Glassware, Kitchenware, Cooking & Other Utensils, Large Upright Safe plus 4 x Personal Safes, Fishing Rod Safe & Fishing Kit, Fully furnished including soft furnishings Bedding, Bed Linen, Towels, Dining Linen etc Umbrellas, Board Games, Trampoline, Beach Toys etc Xmas Decorations & Tree Tons of Bric-a-Brac, Hardware, Power Tools, Lawn Mower, Generator etc
ASKING PRICE : Pricing is available upon application. CONTACT No: 011 4650988 e-Mail:
The cottage is available for viewing by arrangement. Suitable for a large extended family to set up a sharing agreement.



Click for full screen view


By ANDREW STONE and BONGANI FUZILE on March 22, 2014 (Daily Dispatch)

HIGHLY lucrative but illegal sand mining, on what was arguably one of the country’s most pristine coastlines, is behind the construction of government schools, RDP houses and private homes in the Eastern Cape.

A two-month long investigation has revealed local communities, building supply stores, local businessmen and even construction companies are involved in illegal sand mining operations along the Wild Coast.Click for full screen view

Kamnandi Cottages - Hole in the Wall

Kamnandi Cottages are situated on the south corner of Kelly Beach, with wonderful views and a private and secure garden. There are 2 units available.

8 sleeper family Cottage:
3 bedrooms (2 with 'split' double beds, and 1 with 2 double-bunks)
2 toilets (bathroom = toilet and shower)
Open plan kitchen / dining area / lounge
Television (bring your own decoder and cables), braai facilities / all linen except towels.
RATE: R1200 / R1500 (in season) per night *

The Rondavel / Bungalow:
(Ideal for 2 couples, or small family)
1 ensuite bedroom with split double-bed with shower / bath / toilet
1 outdoor bungalow (2 single beds, plus 2 window alcove beds) with ensuite shower / toilet
Kitchen, Dining area and open plan lounge
RATE: R900 / R1200 (in season) per night *

* Plus R100 per day for the domestic help.

Contact Jeff for booking enquiries:Tel: 074-1015170 / 

Ferry Point Resort - Port St Johns

Ferry Point - Port St Johns

from R90
Tel:  047-5641296/61  Cell:  083 9736545
Self-catering, Caravan Park & Camping Sites from R90

Ferry Point Cottages has the BEST LOCATION in Port St Johns. It overlooks the great Umzimvubu River Mouth and the Ocean. We offer comfortable Self-Catering cottages and Camping in tranquil settings with the best views in town.

The cottages can accommodate between three to eight guests per unit. The units offer comfortable beds and are serviced daily. Guests need to bring their own towels. The kitchens are equipped with all the necessary cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils and appliances. Each unit also has a private braai area and parking bay. There are no TVs. The Campsites are for tents only with ablution facilities and power points. 

Guests can relax and enjoy a drink in the rustic bar, enjoy a game of pool or catch the latest game on the SuperSport channel. We provide night guards for our guests' peace of mind.

Apart from a great variety of fishing and relaxing on the beaches, Port St Johns is prime hiking country. It offers forests and trails with more than 250 species of birds. Guests can enjoy various other activities in the area such as Quad-bike hire, River barge Cruise, golfing and dolphin and whale watching.

Rates:  R260pppn, R150 (kids under 12yrs) Toddlers stay free.

Balancing diverse needs in developing Wild Coast

By OWETHU PANTSHWA on November 14, 2013 in Metro, Opinion (Daily Dispatch)

HOW does one address the coastal development and how, in particular, does one transform the Wild Coast into a strategic economic centre, not only for the province but for the country?

These are among the issues that will come under the spotlight at the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s Wild Coast Development Programme sessions in East London today and tomorrow.

Unlocking development of the Wild Coast could be a critical step in redressing the historic frontiers of underdevelopment based on segregation and colonialisation that have characterised this area for centuries.

There is generally massive interest in mixed use and tourism development, both from a political point of view and for the sake of the development of rural communities. But coastal development is very slow. In reality there are no developments that can bring about economic change and sustainable employment of these very deprived communities.

Wild Coast in the next episode of The Ultimate Braai Master 2 ...

In the next episode of The Ultimate Braai Master 2, which airs on Wednesday, 6 November at 20:30 on SABC3, the teams head up the Wild Coast as the game introduces survival dynamics. 

Teams swing into beach mode and become modern day foragers, as they have to live and cook off the coast for two days. After a long and tedious day trying to forage and fish for food in these wild waters, teams are challenged to make the perfect campsite meal for themselves and the Judges.

Three teams end up as the bottom feeders and have to battle it out in an elimination, where they’re required to cook an 80s themed seafood buffet for 100 guests. It’s a huge volume of food to prepare in only three hours, and one team’s Braai dreams go up in smoke as they are sent home.

This episode of The Ultimate Braai Master 2 airs on Wednesday, 6 November at 20:30 on SABC3.

Freedom O' Clock - Mdumbi River Mouth - Mngcibe




Situated near the mouth of the insanely beautiful mdumbi river in a remote and primitive region of the wild coast we offer holiday and backpacking accommodation.

The Beautiful Mdumbi River

Your surroundings offer you accommodation situated in a rural and remote area…..faaaar away from the maddening crowds.

Surfing, fishing, river trips, boat hire, canoeing, hiking and biking, snorkeling, bird watching, and horse rides are just to mention a few activities to busy your day.... Or just relax!


The views and access to the beach and river makes this an ideal laid back place to visit and is ideal for the nature lover and outdoor enthusiast who don’t mind roughing it a bit.

  • Safe river for swimming and you can walk across on low tide
  • River estuaries
  • Rare mangrove swamps
  • Safe, secluded, beautiful beaches
  • Prolific bird life teeming waters with ±800 species of fish
  • Surf,rock and river fishing. Deep sea trips can be arranged
  • Consistent surf
  • River and tidal beach swimming areas on low tide (ideal for the young children)


Our accommodation offers commanding views of the ocean, river, rolling green hills and tshani point with its perfect right hander and beach breaks!

We can accommodate up to 14 guests indoors and 12 guests (3 sites) camping at one time.  We offer a self catering or catered for options.


Accommodation is basic, rustic, clean and comfortable and we offer a catered or self-catered option. 

Accommodation offers:
• 2 x family rooms (sleeps 4). Each room contains a double bed and double bunk / 2 single beds.
• 1 x double room / family room (sleeps 2). Room contains a double bed.
• 1 x family rondavel (sleeps 4 - extra beds can be arranged). Contains a double bed and 2 single beds.
• Separate self catering communal kitchen / dining makes for social evenings and is equipped with a fridge/freezer, additional freezer, gas stove, the usual kitchen goodies, dining table and seating for 10-12 people.

We offer camping in a very rural setting (fenced within the property). We like to call it "freestyle camping" and it is not your average "aventura" setup. You will need a 4x4 or a good bakkie should you want your vehicle parked at your tent. Your vehicle can securely be left at the main house if need.  

We offer 2 camping areas :
• Next to main house and close to ablution. No access for vehicle, but you can park your vehicle right next to the fence. Water tank close by.
• Off-road camping in the bottom of the garden – you will need a 4x4 to access this area.

Ablutions are communal with “rocket showers” (paraffin hot water geysers) and flush toilets.

Cultural Dancing, horse rides, a traditional evening spent with a local Xhosa household (includes traditional meal), a river or beach side braai or picnic,  or a peaceful canoe trip up the river can all be arranged.

Contact us for an unbelievable Wildcoast experience! |
Lu : 082 795 3944 | Otto: 071 383 2300

Paddling for Smiles - Hole in the Wall

Richard Kohler at Hole in the Wall: Thursday, 17 January 2012.

For some cool footage of the other side of "The Hole", check

On 15th October 2012 Richard set off from the SA-Namibia border on his second attempt at an epic surf ski adventure to paddle the whole 2600-kilometre South African coastline, ending at the Mozambique border.

The adventure is raising money for the Miles for Smiles foundation.

Check for updates and donor information. Click on "LIVE surfski tracking" to follow Richard:

  • Username: sbd.voyager
  • Password: 1234
  • Ocean View Hotel

    Under the expert care of the new owner/management team of Ian and Lynn Crawford (of Crawford's Beach Lodge fame), Ocean View now has more to offer than ever before!

    Ocean View Hotel -
    P.O. Box 566 Umtata 5099

  • • Tel: +27 (0) 47 575-2005/6
  • • Fax: +27 (0) 47 575-2083
  • • E-mail:
  • Website:

  • Trennerys Hotel


    to the scenic splendour of the rugged Wild Coast that makes Trennerys Hotel the perfect destination for the wild at heart – a place that abounds with the peace and tranquillity of paradise… Situated at Qolora Mouth, just a short drive north of East London, the hotel still maintains its old-world charm and its unique, South African hospitality.

    Set in idyllic Transkei surroundings, views from the hotel range from the stunning Wild Coast beaches to the green and lush, tropical vegetation. Close to the beach and with plenty to do – from hiking and cycling, to fishing and canoeing – Trennerys Hotel is everybody’s first-choice, affordable family getaway.

  • Email:
  • Tel: 047 498 0004
  • Cell: 082 908 3134
  • Fax: 047 498 0011
  • Hole in the Wall Horse Project

    Marlene runs a Free weekly clinic, every Tuesday, for all the local horses in Hole in the Wall. She currently has 248 patients.

    She offers basic treatments such as dipping, deworming, treatment of wounds, and replacement of old and harmful tack, such as bridles and saddles, with donated equipment.

    Due to the urgent need of some professional Veterinary care in this area, Marlene is going to shave her waist length hair in an attempt to raise R50 000 for the cause.

    She will shave her hair off at a public event in East London on 1 September 2012.

    Please support her and spread the word, as funds are desperately needed to keep this project running.

    Regular photos and updates are uploaded on the Facebook group "Hole in the Wall Horse Project".

    Please support this worthwhile cause.

    Email Marlene Els at, or phone 078-2507980.

    Xolobeni mining update

    Latest news:

    On Wednesday, 2012-08-08 the Amadiba Crisis Committee filed an Objection against the prospecting right application made by Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources SA:

    The objection was filed jointly by the ACC and Sun International, which operates the Wild Coast Sun resort adjacent to the proposed mining area.

    * TEM is ineligible for a new grant of prospecting rights because their application is redundant: they have already prospected the site, and are therefore merely attempting to hoard the rights. This transparent ploy creates more uncertainty and directly impedes development of the tourism potential in and through the area;

    * Prospecting and mining activities cannot take place in the Xolobeni region at all because it is within an already designated Marine Protected Area (MPA). The tiny Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE), where the mining is proposed, is the second most florastically abundant region in Southern Africa, and one of only 26 such species rich places on earth;

    * Mining the area will lead to unacceptable environmental and social harm. The objection clearly states the inevitable outcome of the limited short-term capital gain operations versus the long-term (infinite) sustainability of eco-tourism: Mining will irreversibly degrade the ecology, sense of place, and appeal of the area.

    * The community will be displaced. The unacceptable outcomes of strip-mining include, inter-alia:

    1. Forced eviction from their ancestral lands:
    2. Loss of access to farmland for both crops and livestock, leading to subsequent loss of income, means of subsistence, and way of life;
    3. Decreased viability of subsistence agriculture and fishing due to dust fallout;
    4. Risk to irrigation from declining ground water sources;
    5. Relocation/destruction of ancestral graves;
    6. Destruction of culturally important archaeological sites;
    7. Loss of current tourism and potential eco-tourism opportunities in the area, as Kwanyana camp, which is pivotal for accessing trails, will not be able to be used by tourists for lifetime of the mine; and
    8. Irreversible damage to residents' sense of place, which is closely associated with unspoiled character and traditional use of the land.

    9. Basically, irreversible degradation to the environment for a short term gain of $6 billion.

    Please sign our petition at for the Wild Coast to be declared a "no-go" area for mining once and for all.

    Bulungula Homestay/Village Based Accomodation

    Nqileni is home to a vibrant rural community where times have sometimes been tough; migrant labour has taken its toll on family structure and health service & education have been difficult to access. But in spite of these challenges, the typical scene at sunset is children singing beautiful harmonies as they walk up the hills together on their way home, Mama’s laughing together as they collect water from nearby springs while men and boys effortlessly herd their cattle home to their kraals. The Xhosa traditions are strongly adhered to and are respected by Traditionalists and the Religious alike.

    Email Reservations to:

    You can get more information on . For information about the Bulungula Incubator, log on to


    Wild Coast Fund Raising CalendarWild Coast Fund Raising Calendar

    Click here to order!


    Mining of the Wild Coast dunes

    The 'Greenfields' section of the N2 Toll road through Pondoland

    Funds raised by your purchase of this calendar go to support residents of Pondoland's Wild Coast, in their ongoing battle to protect and conserve their living landscapes and prevent the shredding of their social fabric by the two massive development schemes.

    They need support to gain access to information and effective legal representation in their planned court challenge, over government`s failure to engage them in open and transparent decision making about the N2 Wild Coast `Troll` Road, and the award of mining rights for the Xolobeni mineral sands. The `developments` will benefit cash-rich outsiders and be paid for by cash-poor rural residents and the natural environment.

    This is more than just a calendar.
    It is a collaborative work of art that magnifies the spectacular natural beauty of the place and amplifies the heartfelt convictions of the people on how development decisions ought to be made in a democratic society.

    Calendar Details
    . A3 wall calendar with wiro binding
    . Beautiful photographs taken by world renowned environmental photographer, Cheryl Alexander

    Page a month with challenging quotes from traditional leaders, elected local political representatives and youth activists.

    The Ama-Xhosa of the Transkei

    This is a must-have book for your coffee table...

    £1 (GBP) from the sale of each book will be donated to Sustaining the Wild Coast (, a registered NPO responsible for halting the mining at Xolobeni, and currently waging a protracted legal battle, alongside the Pondoland residents, to stop the N2 troll road.

    Click on the pic to order your copy: click on the pic or here: title=

    The Ama-Xhosa of the Transkei - by Deryck Lang. Edited by Dianne Lang

    Gqira: Priest-divinerGqira: Priest-divinerA photo journal depicting and explaining the customs of the amaXhosa, the largest tribe in South Africa.

    Deryck spent his life among the amaXhosa in the Transkei, and was a respected member and Elder of the amaTshezi; the foremost clan of the Bomvana tribe. The photographs he took are a testament of his enduring love of the people, and their deep respect for him. Deryck "Mdesaleni" Lang: 1934 - 2009Deryck "Mdesaleni" Lang: 1934 - 2009

    Few, if any, outsiders have been as privileged to photograph tribal customs and ceremonies, to share in their fortunes and their sorrows; and to live amongst them their entire life. Deryck captured an intimate glimpse into what could sadly be the end of a cultural era.

    Deryck was a true African in the deepest sense of the word, a man who epitomised the meaning of "Ubuntu" and "Umntu Ngumntu Ngabantu".

    Lala Ngoxolo Mdesaleni

    To Baz Bus or Not To Baz Bus

    With thanks to Claudia Wu for this insightful article outlining the pleasures and pitfalls of traveling the magic bus. Read more of her great travel tips and stories: Where Wu At
    11 AUG 2011

    For those planning on traveling around South Africa, there is a very convenient backpacker-geared transportation service called Baz Bus. Basically, they provide transportation between backpackers/hostels in major destinations with door-to-door service. They also sell a type of ticket which allows you to hop on/hop off wherever you want for a fixed price. Personally, I decided not to go with Baz Bus because I wanted to get a local feel of South Africa by traveling as locals do. However, I would say 90% of the people I met used Baz Bus to get around. Here are some pros and cons that I found with Baz Bus (having to take it occasionally out of necessity):


  • 1. This is the most convenient way to travel around South Africa and allows you to spend more time enjoying your vacation instead of planning your transportation.
  • 2. Great for meeting new people. The majority of backpackers use Baz Bus so you’ll meet fellow backpackers and get great tips on what to do, see, eat, stay.
  • 3. Some of the drivers act as a tour guide, pointing out sites along the way and providing tons of information about South Africa.
  • 4. Safe, reliable and comfortable travel. The minibuses they use are very new and easy to fall asleep in.


  • 1. More expensive than coach buses or other minibuses (I found on average it was double the price for Baz Bus).
  • 2. Takes some of the fun out of traveling for me which is independently finding/planning transportation from point A to B.
  • 3. Less flexible since Baz Bus has only 1 bus per day going in each direction. Coach buses usually had 2-3 options per day so you can depart and arrive at a time that suits your schedule.
  • 4. You might miss out on meeting and seeing how local people live since you’re interacting mainly with backpackers from foreign countries. There’s a backpacker bubble and you may end up traveling with the same people for your entire trip. Most of the people I met who took Baz Bus ran into people they met previously on the Baz Bus later on in their trip either on another Baz Bus trip or at the hostel.

    My advice is to try a bit of both and see what suits your style of traveling. Either way, you’ll get to experience South Africa and all that it has to offer!

    Baz Bus website:

  • 50% OFF Hluleka Nature Reserve for October & November

    50% OFF all bookings for Hluleka Nature Reserve for the months of October and November 2011 and February and March 2012.

    (Also at Great Fish Nature Reserve)

    Reservations: 043-701 9600

    Tourism MonthTourism Month

    Wild Coast toll road decision is shameful July 29 2011 at 11:29am

    Wild Coast toll road decision is shameful

    SILLY, silly me. All these years I have laboured under the illusion that the prime duty of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs and its minister was to protect our water resources and be the steward of our environment.

    That is the role that was played in the past when the ministries were separate, by ministers like Kader Asmal and Valli Moosa.

    But now it increasingly seems as though the ministry, under Edna Molewa, has abdicated its stewardship role, and has again become a Cinderella ministry that bows to pressure from big business, industry and more “senior” government ministries.

    How else to explain two recent decisions which are totally inimical to the future of our wild areas and of our environment?

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