The Wild Coast

This shipwreck-strewn coastline rivals any in the country in terms of beauty and wilderness, stretching over 350km from just east of East London to Port Edward. Often referred to as the ‘Transkei’ (the name of the apartheid-era homeland that once covered most of this area), the Wild Coast region also stretches inland, covering pastoral landscapes where clusters of rondavels (round huts with a conical roofs) scatter the rolling hills covered in short grass.

The local Xhosa people have a reputation for friendliness, and you might be invited inside a home. In this land of far-flung river estuaries and backpackers resembling Xhosa settlements, numerous outdoor activities and cultural tours are on offer. In June and July, the Wild Coast is prime territory for the natural phenomenon known as the 'sardine run', an absolute highlight on the marine calendar which attracts divers and snorkellers from all over the world.