This Lesser-Known Remote Destination In South Africa Is A Picturesque Jackpot For Hikers

South Africa is covered in hiking trails. Some of the most popular include the Western Cape's Garden Route, KwaZulu Natal's Midlands Meander, and Mpumalanga's Panorama Route. These paths are well-groomed and easy to access by large, nearby airports. However, some of the best hiking trails the country offers lie along its more remote, rugged regions. If you're a backpacker seeking secluded, breathtaking adventures, take a trip to Coffee Bay. Hikers will love this stunning destination. There, it will feel like you've hit the jackpot.

Located in the province of Eastern Cape, Coffee Bay sits between the northern Mtamvuna River and the southern Great Kei River. The coastal stretch between these two rivers is referred to as South Africa's "Wild Coast," named for its limited commercial development. The region's pristine, untouched sand, lush rolling hills, and dramatic cliffs make it a dream come true for any nature lover. Plan a trip to hike this trail and take in South Africa's beautiful scenery.

Hike the trail to Hole in the Wall

Of all the trails in the area, Hole in the Wall is by far the most famous. This trek is defined by its end destination, the Hole in the Wall. This large, natural rock archway jeers out into the Indian Ocean at the foot of the Mpako River as waves lap through its gaping opening. A glimpse of this magnificent formation is what attracts hikers from around the world.

The site was originally named "izi Khaleni" by the Xhosa people, meaning "the place of thunder." Once you hear powerful ocean waves slapping against the shale and sandstone structure, you'll understand why this is the case.  

Starting your journey in Coffee Bay, you'll walk about 5.2 miles before reaching the endpoint of the Hole in the Wall trail. This moderately difficult trail usually takes hikers about 5.5 hours to complete. Along your hike, don't be surprised if you run into cows, sheep, donkeys, and goats roaming the hills alongside you.

More hiking trails near Coffee Bay

If you are staying in Coffee Bay, hiking to the Hole in the Wall is a must. But, if have time for more than one big hike during your visit, we recommend you look into the many worthwhile trails surrounding Coffee Bay. If you're looking for a seriously awe-inspiring adventure, take a hiking trip to the Mapuzi Cliffs and Caves. Located in the nearby town of KuJonga, this intermediate-level hike is a 3.8-mile loop. Once you arrive at the hike's endpoint, you'll find one of the coolest caves in the world and a naturally formed hot bath to soak in. It's also popular for devils to leap from the location's cliffs into the water below.

Additionally, we recommend you check out the Coffee Bay Lookout Trail. This popular hiking path traverses through 6.2 miles of the area's gorgeous, unspoiled terrain. Be prepared for a three-hour hike and a moderately challenging adventure.