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Day One of the hike - passing The Gap at Second Beach, Port St Johns

The Wild Coast Hike - Port St Johns to Coffee Bay - A Day-By-Day Storyboard

Day 1: Port St Johns to Madakeni > Day 2: Madakeni to Tsweleni > Day 3: Tsweleni to Hluleka > Day 4: Hluleka to Tshani > Day 5: Tshani to Coffee Bay

Day 1: Port St Johns to Madakeni

The hike departs from Second Beach in Port St Johns and heads towards Sugarloaf Rock. The trail then veers slightly inland towards Sicambeni. You stop for lunch at the Mngazi River Mouth, where Nelson Mandela spent a night during his honeymoon. After lunch, the trail closely follows the coast. After stopping at a beach for a refreshing swim, you reach the Mngazana River in the mid-afternoon. This estuary contains the second-largest Mangrove swamp in Southern Africa. Here a community-owned canoeing project helps you to explore the estuary and lush mangroves, while contributing to alleviating the poverty found in this beautiful but isolated area.

If you like fishing, you can hire a local gilly to show you the best spots and help you bait up, or you can go off on your owm. After dinner, you can visit the Y-Not Phuza Tavern to drink Transkei Dumpies (which are 750ml quarts!) and chat with locals about the history and customs of the Xhosa people. Accommodation is village-based in traditional rondavels.

Passing The Gap at Second Beach, Port St Johns A hiker making her own walking stick The info board near the start of the hiking trail
Tourists approaching a Xhosa village Panoramic view of the Wild Coast Having a refreshing drink at Umngazi River Bungalows
Ferry across the Umngazi River On the beach, the Wild Coast The hike takes you along endless, secluded beaches
Hikers meeting the Pondo People An amusing sign at a local tavern in a Pondo village Hiking stats for the first day's hike along the Wild Coast
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Recommended

If you're looking for Backpackers South Africa, get to Bumpkins in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. They have 5 hiking trails marked out on the Inhlosane Mountain and offer a wide range of other activities and tours, including the Mandela Capture Site museum & sculpture, the Midlands Meander arts & crafts route, Karkloof Canopy Tours (a zip-line adventure through indigenous forest and much more.
With exclusive bankside access to the deepest point on the Mzimvubu, Purple Indigo is another self-catering establishment offering Port St Johns accommodation for anglers, and is situated at The Gates, 5km from the town centre.