The Wild Coast stretches from East London in the south to the border of KwaZulu-Natal in the north. Popular tourist towns and villages along the Wild Coast include Port St Johns, Coffee Bay, Hole in the Wall, Qolora, Kei Mouth, Morgan Bay and Haga Haga
Many rivers empty into the sea along the Wild Coast. In the southern-most parts of the region, where the hills are lower, the rivers tend to be mature and are characterized by wide floodplains. But in the rugged north, where young rivers find their path to the sea blocked by massive cliffs, many, like Waterfall Bluff, leap over the rocky crags into the surf below.
Small sandy bays and long stretches of open beaches are often found near the mouths of large rivers, such as the Kei, Mthatha, Mbashe and Mzimvuba. There are also many smaller rivers which, owing to their protected sources in the coastal forests, have much less siltation than the larger rivers, which drain vast tracts of land where poor farming practices are in place. Estuaries, bays and headlands are plentiful, whilst rocky shores predominate, be they smooth wave-cut platforms with jagged and un-even surfaces or precipitous cliffs that plunge into the sea.
About half the coastline comprises indigenous forest and many forest species that were previously unknown to science have been discovered in places such as Umtamvuna and Mkambati. About 900 forest and grassland species from the Wild Coast region have been identified as having commercial, traditional or homeopathic value.
The scenic beauty of the Wild Coast, coupled with its rich cultural heritage, make the region ideal for the development of a strong tourism industry. In fact, tourism has been identified as one of the cornerstones of the proposed Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative. But, the virtual collapse of local administrations and environmental threats are some of the major issues that will have to be tackled by this initiative. The challenge will be to bring about much needed investment and development that will benefit local communities and the region as a whole, without compromising the rich natural resource base.
The average daily temperatures along the coast vary from 17°C to 28°C in January and 9°C to 21°C in July.