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THE WILD COAST

The Wild Coast, situated in the far corner of South Africa's Eastern Province, is an undiscovered jewel where natural beauty and cultural heritage come together for a unique travel experience. This part of South Africa is also referred to as frontier country on account of the many wars fought by Europeans against the proud amaXhosa that inhabit the region. Historically the amaXhosa were cattle herders and subsistence farmers. Indeed little has changed along the wild coast as mud-hut homesteads and Nguni cattle still dot the rolling green hillsides between the mighty Drakensberg Mountains and the warm Indian Ocean. In recent times the region in and around the Wild Coast has produced a handful of great South African leaders like Oliver Tambo, the current president Thabo Mbeki and South Africa's greatest hero, Nelson Mandela.

Previously known during the apartheid times as the Transkei, the name has been replaced by the more descriptive "Wild Coast", a testament to the many ships wrecked off it's treacherous shore. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the early Portuguese explorers lost dozens of ships on the rocky cliffs of the Wild Coast as they sailed the strong trade winds back from the east. The survivors, often without any hope of ever making it back home, were assimilated into the Xhosa tribes leaving behind legendary tales and myths among that people that still linger today in the story-lines of the elderly. One such wreck, the St. Jao (or St. John), a Portuguese galleon laden with jewels and gold, was wrecked in the area. The main wreck was never found and the handful of survivors trekked 2000kms north enduring much hardship until they reached the small Portuguese outpost somewhere in present-day Mozambique where the last stragglers were picked up and sent home. The wreck however has since given its name to the small town of Port St Johns at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River.

Map of Wild Coast






21-29 Jun 2017
29 Jun-07 Jul 2017
07-15 Jul 2017

 

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