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 environmental Management Plan

This document is published for comment, and the comments period closes by the end of business on Friday 8 August 2014.

Download here:

  • Wild Coast Environmental Management Plan
  • Wild Coast Environmental Management Plan - Annexure 1 - MAPS

  • 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.

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    Mtakatyi River Cottage

    Mtakatyi River Cottage:

    Set on a serene hillside overlooking the pristine Mtakatyi River, with panoramic ocean, river and forest views, Mtakatyi River Cottage provides comfortable and affordable Wild Coast holiday accommodation for families and fishermen. (Read more...)



    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


    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. 


    Freedom O' Clock - Mdumbi River Mouth - Mngcibe

    Closest accommodation to river and beach. 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!

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    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

    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 -

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    Trennerys Hotel

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    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.

    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.

    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

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    The Ama-Xhosa of the Transkei

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


    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

    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)