One of the designated “Homelands” during apartheid, the Transkei is an area of wild and rocky coastline south of Durban with warm waters, white sand beaches and sub-tropical vegetation.
The so-called ‘Wild Coast’ of the Transkei is notoriously dangerous for ships but wonderful for surfers! Around 40,000ha of indigenous forest still exists in the area, and although many of the animal species that once roamed have now disappeared, the birdlife is still varied and plentiful.
The town of Umtata is the main settlement in the area and was founded in 1871. The birthplace of Nelson Mandela, the village of Mvezo, is just a few kilometres from Umtata.
One of the most beautiful small towns in the Transkei is Port St. Johns, named after a ship which foundered on the shores many years ago. This small, relaxed town is dominated by dramatic cliffs towering above perfect beaches and is a wonderful place to spend a few days just enjoying the scenery. The nearby Silaka Nature Reserve is home to clawless otter and many species of bird and butterfly.