Also known as Koffiebaai in Afrikaans (one of the eleven languages of South Africa), Coffee Bay is incredibly beautiful and full of surprises. Like the mules and the cattle that we saw on the beach!
I was told there is a bit of a story behind the name, and that it’s not just a matter of drinking great coffee in this little hidden gem. A ship with coffee beans got into trouble which resulted in the coffee beans washing to the shore and a few years later the landscape was redecorated with coffee trees!
A mere 15.4 km from Coffee Bay, in early August 1991, the luxury Oceanos ship picked up an unfortunate leak in the engine room’s sea chest and was left adrift about 5 km (3.1 miles) offshore. All 571 passengers and crew survived the ordeal and today the only reminder is the wreck that lies at a depth of between 92 m (302 ft) and 97 m (318 ft). The most famous part of the narrative is that the captain allegedly abandoned the ship leaving passengers and crew to fend for themselves. However, despite being found guilty of negligence in handling the disaster, he was never incarcerated. He got command of a ferry for the rest of his career with Epirotiki, that is until his retirement.
The nearest city is Pietermaritzburg 288 km (179 miles) from Coffee Bay. Durban is 296 km (184 miles) further, and Port Elizabeth is 398 km (247 miles) away.
Umtata is 55 km (34 miles) away. East London is 163 km (101 miles) away, thus a great idea for a day trip.
You can fly to Umtata (UTT) and hire a car. There are a few reputable taxi services, but it's safer to have your own transport. Taxi drivers are known to disregard road safety.
If you love nature, you’ll get to enjoy great surfing at the main Coffee Bay beach and chilling out on the kilometer-long beach.
Do the famous Hole in the Wall 2.4-km loop hiking trail. The walk will take you around 35 minutes and is considered moderately challenging.
Or go on a day trip to Bats Cave near Quigney,on the Mpuzi Cliff and Caves.
Kayaking enthusiasts must go to Mthatha Mouth and Mdumbi.
Popular fishing spots are Mapuzi and Mthatha Mouth.
“Get up close to the local culture and stunning landscape of South Africa and explore by foot. Trek the Wild Coast five-day hike from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, including Lubanzi and Bulungula. Dip your feet in the sea at Silaka Nature Reserve, cross the Sinangwana river, and spot zebras, wildebeest, and vervet monkeys. Experience the hospitality of local homesteads in rural villages among rolling hills and rainforests.”
If you opt to drive to Hole in the Wall, it’s best done with a 4×4 because the road is bumpy. It can be a bit of a risk doing it without a 4×4. Once you’re in the area you can’t miss the signposts. It’s quite easy to follow.
Alternatively, if you decide to do the hike, it’s a good investment to accept one of the local guides because they know exactly where to walk and you get to experience a bit more of the culture at the time. They usually have amazing stories to tell! Like the story of the coffee beans that I shared earlier on.
Seafood, seafood, and yes seafood! But if you don’t do seafood, there is something for everyone. Check out the top restaurants in Coffee Bay.
Whether it’s a beach house, a hotel, a self-catering unit in Eagles Nest, or a BNB, there is a place for you and your furry children.
I find that when you have more than one pet it can be quite expensive during the peak holiday season for all of us to enjoy a well-deserved break from the usual routine. So, I usually opt for the weeks just before or after peak season. The weather is still great, and the big bonus is that there are fewer tourists. The latter is a double bonus because we have one very “talkative” furry child when it comes to socializing with strangers!
The top five popular accommodation according to Hotellook is only a few options among many others. Check out the selection of more than twenty hotels and places to stay in and around Coffee Bay.