Port St Johns is a small coastal town in South Africa known as the Jewel of the Wild Coast, offering true warmth and hospitality. The Wild Coast is a 250 kilometer stretch of coast, gaining its name by its inaccessibility and reputation for ship-crushing waves. Today the Wild Coast still remains relatively untouched, offering rich rustic experiences and adventures. The Wild Coast is the coastal area of the easterly Transkei region of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It perches alongside the massive Umzimvubu River which has carved its way through the ancient rocks leaving two 300 metre ramparts towering on either side. Port St Johns also offers a unique blend of cultural richness. The Xhosa culture, both traditional and modern, is always apparent. You can see a sangoma (traditional healer) strolling along in all his finery, hear the thumping sound of modern kwaito music from a furniture store, and dodge the ever-present mini-bus taxies. This vibrant noise and colour is contrasted with some crumbling reminders of a colonial history. In the streets you will hear Xhosa, Afrikaans and English as well as foreign languages from the steady stream of tourists seeking the unusual. Dense bush encroaches into the town at any opportunity and a short walk will take you into silent forests. The sea is always close, crashing onto the rocky shores which guard the secluded beaches. Bask on the unspoiled beaches or take part in one of the many eco-friendly adventure trails on offer. Port St Johns offers comfortable and authentic South African accommodation and some unique activities. Poenskop Beach to the north of Port St Johns is one of the most isolated. A few huts will be passed en route, but there is nothing except Africa out here. Fishing out of the rocks on the south side of the river produces good catches of Garrick and Kob in season. Eagles nest is the cliff that overlooks the town. A brisk walk will take you to its summit in about an hour. The Cape Herms Lighthouse is the property of Spoornet, and celebrated its 100th birthday in 2005. Silaka Game Reserve is about 6 km out of town where you can take a walk or game drive for beautiful game viewing and bird watching. First Beach is the fishing beach just at the river mouth. It has big rocks where people can climb on top when they are fishing. It is where the lighthouse is located. Dolphin and whales can be seen all year round, but are best seen during the months of June and July during the annual sardine run. Dolphins can be spotted all year round. Often playing in the surf at Second Beach. Porpoise and Bottle Nose dolphin are a common sight. Rare sightings of the more uncommon species such as Heavy side dolphin and Risso's dolphin happen out at sea, during the Sardine Run. Umngazi River Valley - The common belief is that Umngazi (Mngazi) means "Blood" but linguists believe that it refers to thorn trees in the valley, "Umga". This river also opens to the sea through a wide lagoon. It is popular with fisherman and water sports enthusiasts, and also superb for bird watching.
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Check out our list of 9 things to do and see in and around Port St Johns
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