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An update from Evaneos
Coffee Bay

Coffee Bay (South Africa)

Practical information about Coffee Bay

  • Encounters with locals
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Water Sports
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
2 hrs. by car from Mthatha
When to go
Avoid the cold months of June-August
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Coffee Bay

Fred Jasseny Travel writer
11 travel articles

Coffee Bay is a small surfing village surrounded by lush vegetation.

My suggestion:
Bring provisions to make a picnic with you when you come to Coffee Bay. There is very little opportunity to buy local things but there are countless places where you can settle down and enjoy the breath-taking view.

All the surfers that I came across from the Cape Peninsular to KwaZulu-Natal told me about Coffee Bay with fire in their eyes. It's as if this tiny village, lost in the untamed wilderness, had bewitched them. Indeed, Coffee Bay is an oasis of calm, a great place to live and do sport.

It's not only one of the best surfing spots on the Wild Coast, but also a great place for meeting people. There are some traditional Zulu huts there, surrounded by high cliffs. It's very nice to stroll around the rocks, and it's not dangerous compared to the outskirts of the South African coast's large towns. I spent only two days in Coffee Bay, but I could have easily extended my stay by a couple of days, providing that I was in good enough shape to surf.

Don't think that you'll find coffee plantations in Coffee Bay. Legend has it that a ship lost its cargo of coffee beans off the coast. Carried by the currents, the beans washed up on the beach and sprouted there. Since then, there has been no sign of any trees, but this story gave this little village its name!

Coffee Bay
Camille Griffoulieres Travel writer
116 travel articles

It is a village located on the Wild Coast in the heart of Xhosa country, at the mouth of a river where impressive cliffs make a sheer drop to the sea, going up the coast after East London , near the big city of the region, Mthatha.

My suggestion:
If you do not have a vehicle, plan to have your hotel or youth hostel transfer you from Mthatha, as public transport is dicy and the city is quite big.

You never know at what time you will arrive in Coffee Bay as there are always traffic jams and ongoing roadworks at Mthatha and then once the obstacle has been overcome, the road is long and winding to descend all the way to the coast. Allow a good two hours drive. Still, it is worth the detour: the small village hidden in the luxuriant jungle bordering a beautiful beach at the mouth of a river is really paradisiacal. I found the natural site incredible, magnificent and very wild, with miles of deserted beach as far as the eye can see.

The must-do is to go hiking to " Hole in the Wall ". I quite enjoyed discovering the Xhosa way of life, still tribal in the villages, it is easy to chat with them, especially the small fish, seafood and lobster sellers who stroll about on the beach, as well as the local guides. The atmosphere in the youth hostels is somewhat hippy, we attended some good traditional percussion concerts and jams, the evening are very merry! 

Coffee Bay beach