(Words & images by Caitlin Annette first published on Travelwrite.co.za)
Caitlin Annette tells you everything you need to know about this gorgeous Eastern Cape town and points you to a website for even more info
Off the beaten track in a remote rural community, Coffee Bay on the rugged Wild Coast between Port St. Johns and East London offers some awe-inspiring attractions.
A great beachcomber town, Coffee Bay is full of rustic lodges, bars, sandy beaches and unforgettable hikes. A tarred road from the N2 has given it an access point lacking in the majority of other rural Eastern Cape towns and has allowed a steady stream of tourism over the years.
The Wild Coast is so named after the large number of ships wrecked on its shores
When you stand on the coast overlooking kilometres of unspoilt beaches, the distant cliffs plunge straight down into crystal clear waters, as if the continent ends at the shoreline. In a way it does. The continental shelf can be found a mere three kilometres from the shore, unlike the usual 30km or more, which allows for great shore angling.
Cob upwards of eight kilograms as well as steenbras and salmon are regularly fished from spots around Coffee Bay such as Kelly’s and Frank’s Rock’s where bronze bream, galjoen and zebra can all be caught. Sugarloaf point is amazing for gully fish at low tide and Du Toit’s point near Bomvu river is dangerous but very lucrative with massive cob, garrick, shad and kingfish.
March is the start of crayfish season when this succulent delicacy can be caught or bought from locals at low prices. Deep-sea fishing is a short trip from the shore.
Hikers will never run out of walks or waterfalls here and surfers will find a paradise on Coffee Bay beach, considered one of the best surf spots in which to learn, with more up and down the coast. Breezy Point, The Haven, Mpame and Sharpleys reef are but a few of the famous surf spots found near quiet Coffee Bay.
There is a popular surf school here and it’s also a great area to go horseriding, cliff jumping, abseiling or snorkelling. There is so much to see and do in Coffee Bay, many travellers have never left.
The town’s information site was created by an American tourist who fell in love with the people, the area, and its beauty.
Accommodation options in Coffee Bay range from three- and four-star hotels like Ocean View or Hole in the Wall, to backpackers, campsites and rural home stays.
Helping the people of Coffee Bay
The town is part of the Tshezi Xhosa community from the once independent ‘homeland’, the Transkei, and the people here still struggle with a lack of development, basic service delivery, few schools and little education, all of which perpetuate a cycle of poverty.
Tourism benefits the locals by bringing money into the area and the Coffee Bay website is a portal for travellers to find all the information they need to enhance their stay here and connect them with the locals by showing them how appreciated their business is and showcasing the work being done by charities and NGOs throughout the area. The understanding between these two groups is key to the successful continuation of tourism in the Transkei.
Click on www.coffeebay.co.za to find easily-discernible and relevant information on this unique town, where residents are worlds away from the travellers that flood its shores.