Overview-Wild Coast Walk

Wild Coast Walk is for those wishing to experience the Wild Coast on foot but wants to spend each evening in the best hotels or lodges along the route, selected for quality and convenience. The Wild Coast of South Africa is one of the country’s most remote and beautiful coastlines. It is a prime hiking area with dramatic landscapes, unspoilt beaches, high dunes, wave-lashed rocks, shipwrecks, rolling hills and meandering rivers. 

TypeGuided hike, with porter service
LocationWild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Group size2 – 18 persons
Duration5 nights / 6 days
Day StagesBetween 6 km and 22 km
Distance54 km
TerrainBeach and coastal trails
AccommodationHotels and lodges
MealsBreakfast, packed lunches and dinners
CostR10 840 per person sharing for 4 persons plus porter charge
DatesBest time March-June & Sep-Nov. Not available 15 Dec-15 Jan and certain holiday periods.


Trip details

The Wild Coast Walk is in an unspoilt natural environment- magnificent coastal setting, beaches, bush and sunshine. Enjoy whale and dolphin watching, birding, swimming, canoeing, fishing and excellent accommodation. Guides and porters from local Xhosa communities accompany hikers.



The area is a nature lover’s paradise, with access so limited that the only way to see some parts of the coastline is to hike. The scenery is spectacular. Empty white-sand beaches are separated by steep green hills, dramatic cliffs and rocky headlands. Sunrises and sunsets of breathtaking beauty. Experience peaceful tranquillity that is unsurpassed. Not only is the scenery unbelievably beautiful but this remote area of the country remains relatively untouched by the trappings of civilisation


A variety of activities compliment the hiking program : Pristine beaches offer secluded and quiet spots for swimming or to visit and enjoy. You will also have opportunities for birding, fishing, canoeing, whale and dolphin-watching and to explore shipwrecks and some traditional Xhosa villages along the way. In addition the lodges/hotels offer some free activities.


The suspension bridge linking Mazeppa Bay mainland to an island. It is a favourite fishing spot. The Jacaranda shipwreck near Trenney’s Hotel The boat pont river crossing at Kei mouth.

Sardine run

Every year, between May and July, many millions of sardines travel north from the cold southern oceans of South Africa as they make their way up along the coastlines of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in what is commonly known as the annual Sardine Run. The sardines come close enough to be seen from shore or even washed up on the beach. It occurs nowhere else on earth and can be witnessed from the beaches of the Wild Coast.


Spend every night in the comfort of coastal resorts, known for unique settings and warm hospitality.

Culture and history

The Wild Coast (formerly Transkei) is an area of historical and cultural significance. It is the traditional home of Xhosa-speaking people and was an independent homeland until 1994. It is a very distinct part of South Africa, full of tradition and local colour. Nelson Mandela is its most famous son. Guides and porters from local Xhosa communities accompany hikers every day, sharing their local knowledge, customs and culture with you.



The standard Wild Coast Walk package is 5 nights but it is flexible. It can be extended to 8 nights or additional time can be spent at each or any resort thus turning it into a real holiday. 

5 nights standard option

The walks are slow, spending time to enjoy the beaches and to take a closer look at the unspoilt coast and rivers. You can stop and enjoy what is of interest to you or your group. A community guide will assist you with timing of walks to coincide with the tides and show you the best place to cross. The guide will also point out the marine- and wildlife, birds and ecology of the area. The walk starts north of the Kei River at Kob Inn. You will spend the first 4 days in, what was formerly known as, the Transkei. After crossing the Kei river the trail ends at Morgan Bay

Day 1: East London to Kob Inn (Drive 215 km- 4 hrs)
Transfer by road to Kob Inn. Lunch will be arranged on arrival. Afternoon at leisure, evening drinks and snacks before enjoying a delicious dinner.
Optional Extra:
Canoe quietly on the river taking in the prolific bird life.
 Day 2: Mazeppa Bay (6 km)
Today hikers can take their time swimming and sunbathing en route, or lunch can be enjoyed at Kob Inn. Arrive Mazeppa Bay Hotel in the afternoon. Relax in this beautiful tropical setting and enjoy any number of the interesting sights. Visit the island attached to the mainland via a suspension bridge, or enjoy a beautiful forest walk.
 Day 3: Wavecrest Hotel (22 km)
After an early breakfast depart for Wavecrest. This day takes you along grassy banks adjacent to the coastline with many natural springs and long sandy beaches fringed with palms and many indigenous trees. Although the route is long, the terrain is flat.
Optional Extra: 
Enjoy a booze cruise up the Nxaxo River. Bird lovers might consider paddling up the river in one of the many canoes to view the wonderful bird life for which Wavecrest is renowned. Unwind at the Wavecrest spa.
 Day 4: Trennery’s Hotel (14 km)
Today’s hike entails a river crossing via a canoe. Around lunchtime you should reach the wreck of the Jacaranda. This is a good spot for a picnic lunch and bathing. At the Qolora River you arrive at Trennery’s Hotel where you overnight. Spend the evening relaxing – exploring the area and enjoy a mouth-watering dinner.
 Day 5: Morgan Bay Hotel (12 km)
After an early breakfast a visit to the scenic gates on the Qolora River can be included (there is an extra charge for this trail) Thereafter depart for Kei Mouth, a 6 km stretch along the beach will bring you to the Kei River. This used to be the border between the Transkei and South Africa. The river crossing is made on the pontoon, which is one of the last remaining working pontoons in the country. The Trail then takes you around the village of Kei Mouth to Morgan Bay. 
Arrive at Morgan Bay late afternoon and after a relaxing shower enjoy a superb dinner. The pub is always an interesting place to visit with locals telling new and old stories.
 Day 6: Day of departure  

After a late breakfast hikers will be collected from the Morgan Bay Hotel and transferred back to East London. If you would like to spend the morning on the beach, and only be collected later, it can be arranged.

Should groups wish to continue the trail it can be extended to 6, 7 or even an eight-night trail. This hike is flexible, and you can spend additional time at each or any resort thus turning it into a real holiday and allowing you to enjoy the facilities on offer. A quote will be issued for this, on request.

Standard package
kob inn view
Kob Inn Hotel
mazeppa bay island view
Mazeppa Bay Hotel
trek strandloperwavecrest hotel view
Wavecrest Hotel
trennerys bar
Trennery’s Hotel
morgan bay hotel
Morgan Bay Hotel
Other accommodation

When extending the standard package, or for booking an alternative 5 night program, the following accommodation may be included, together with all, or some, of the standard hotels above. 

Haga Haga Hotel
Crawfords Cottages
Areena Resort e1557996874784
Areena Riverside Resort
Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve e1557997001826
Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve


R 12 790 per person for 2 persons  and R10 840 per person for 4 persons, sharing, excluding porter service R1 020 pp. Reduced rates determined by the number of persons, for groups up to 18, available on request. The trail can be booked 15 Jan- 15 Dec, except during school holidays- March/Apr, Dec/Jan and Easter weekend.
20% deposit in order to secure the booking and the balance 6 weeks before the start of the walk.
5 nights’ accommodation (Kob Inn, Mazeppa, Wavecrest, Trennery’s, Morgan Bay)
Transfer from East London to Kob Inn on day one
Transfer from Morgan Bay to East London on day six
All meals from lunch on day one to breakfast on day six
Daily local guide from Kob Inn to Morgan Bay
Bed levies and 15% VAT
Not included
Items not mentioned above, eg :
Flights or transport to and from East London
Porter service to carry 12 kg backpack from one lodge to the next.  The porter fees of R1 020 pp to be paid in cash to different porters. (You have the option to carry your own backpack)
Snacks and drinks
Ferry fees (currently R10 per person per ferry, which includes the fee for the porter)
Travel Insurance.
Porter service

The porter service provided by local community members is optional. Should you decide to use it your backpack must have shoulder and waist straps and not exceed 12kg. Seven different porters will be employed and R120/R150 per porter will be payable in cash- total amount R1 020 per person. Please ensure that you have the necessary cash amounts available.

Other rates

Rates for the following alternative options of the Wild Coast Walk available on request:

  • To extend the standard 5 nights to 6, 7 or 8 nights (96-100 km)
  • To spend more time at some of the hotels included in the standard 5 night program
The Wild Coast Walk can be done by anyone who is reasonably fit and enjoys rambling. There are no serious challenges other than the river crossings. When river levels are high after heavy rains, a ferry will be arranged. Overall rating: “Easy”. You do not need to be ultra-fit but if you choose to do the walks you should be able to walk between 10 and 20 km per day. The route takes you along the coast and on paths.
See Walking grades for more details about “Easy” rating.
When to do the Wild Coast Walk

Bookings can be made throughout the year between 15 Jan and 15 Dec but not during school holidays March/Apr, Dec/Jan and Easter weekend. The best time is from March to June and from September to November. The weather on the Wild Coast is very variable but during winter it is usually better from a rain perspective but cold fronts are possible. Be prepared for hot as well as cool and wet conditions throughout the year.


The area has a comparatively high average rainfall, with the coastal and mountain regions receiving over 1 000 mm per annum. Snow is not uncommon at high altitudes in winter, but the remainder of the country is temperate with high sub-tropical temperatures along the coast in summer. The summer rainy seasons are sub tropically warm and pleasant, while the winters are mild and fine (and pleasant). High temperatures in January (mid summer) reach about 28 degrees C, and in June (winter) about 21 degrees, with lows of 17 and 9 degrees respectively.

Getting there

Getting to East London

For international visitors:
Fly to East London Airport.
By car:
Route from Johannesburg: 970 km with N1 and N6 via Bloemfontein
Route from Cape Town: 1 050 km via the N2 along the coast
Route from Durban: 660 km with N2
What to take on the Wild Coast Walk

Comfortable, well ventilated clothes as well as a thick windbreaker/jacket, raincoat, swimming costume, comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals. For your daily needs, you are advised to have a day-bag, a plastic bag to waterproof your day-pack as well as ziploc bags for wet weather and river crossings as protection for electronic equipment, sun-hat, sunglasses, sun block, a water bottle/camelback, personal first-aid kit, camera, batteries, binoculars, torch and headlamp, and mosquito repellent.


Please note that a porter will carry the luggage and that it is not transferred by vehicle. Luggage will therefore have to be in a backpack and a weight restriction of 12kg applies. Backpacks must have shoulder and waist straps. Ensure that you have the correct change for porter fees. Refer to “Rates”


We recommend that you arrange appropriate holiday insurance giving you cover against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.

Availability and booking

To reserve a date, forward: Availability request

To book- Go to How to book,

or email: info@trailsandtravel.co.za

Tel.: +27 (0) 21 852 5937, Fax.: +27 (0) 86 618 3448



Pictures can be viewed in Wild Coast Gallery


mazeppa bay bridge
Mazeppa Bay bridge
kei mouth ferry
Kei Mouth ferry
jacaranda shipwreck
Jacaranda shipwreck
sardine run
Sardine run


For details, go to Reviews

Area information

Wild Coast Walk is a high quality guided walking holiday in an unspoilt natural environment. For more information about the area, go to Read more

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