WILD COAST, EASTERN CAPE
Hiking, Biking & Nature Holidays on the Wild Side
In the Eastern Cape of South Africa lies a stretch of land with a fascinating history. Known to many as the Wild Coast, the Transkei is its historical name and it is often referred to colloquially as 'the Kei. With its magnificent hills, indigenous forest, waterfalls, gorges and crashing surf; the Wild Coast is an absolute dream for walkers, fishermen and mountain bikers.
A former Bantustan in the Apartheid days, the Wild Coast has remained largely untouched as infrastructural improvements were obviously denied to this part of the country. From the Umtamvuma River in the north to Kei River in the south, the Wild Coast is famed for its never-ending green hills that roll into steep-sided ravines, pristine estuaries and golden miles of sandy beach.
Traditional amaXhosa lifestyles are still the norm; with colourful huts decorating the hillsides as Nguni cows graze their way down to the beaches where they tend to enjoy a quiet afternoon of wave gazing and contented mooing. A prized photograph for any visitor to the Transkei is that of a herd of Nguni chilling on the sand.
Although the dirt roads can be bumpy, the whole of the Transkei is completely accessible and is very tourist friendly with a major part of the area's income derived from tourism enterprises. Depending on whether you're a rough-and-tough kind of holiday maker verses someone who likes a hotel scenario, Active Escapes offers accommodation options to suit all taste's and budgets.
While fishing and surfing are popular Wild Coast activities, it is the miles of hard-pack beaches, jeep tracks, curvaceous hills and dirt roads that make this area a Mecca for mountain bikers and hikers. Passing aloes and sisal as you rise and fall with the terrain, dolphins, whales and sea birds are sure to keep you company along the way. Spending time on the Wild Coast is really about relaxing into its own special pace, a pace at which hidden secrets reveal themselves, from massive caves and dramatic waterfalls to feasts on local oysters and crays.