Surf with dolphins, dive off cliffs, and dance the night away in Coffee Bay

Surf with dolphins, dive off cliffs, and dance the night away in Coffee Bay

Surf with dolphins, dive off cliffs, and dance the night away in Coffee Bay

coffee bay
Beautiful News

Coffee Bay isn’t named for its abundance of caffeinated drinks. Nestled in the coastal cliffs of the Eastern Cape, it’s actually rooted in the tale of a shipwreck. Legend has it that a vessel bearing coffee beans as its cargo ran afoul of the treacherous shoreline and sank, leaving the seeds behind to grow on the beach. The plants didn’t last long, but the name has certainly stuck to this welcoming and laidback community. 


From Mthatha, the nearest town, travel 95 kilometres along winding roads to Coffee Bay. Stay in rustic accommodation beside the ocean, with plenty of options available such as the Coffee Shack Backpackers & Surf School or Swell Eco Lodge.


Local Xhosa culture thrives along this isolated stretch of coastline, where you can respectfully observe traditional celebrations and activities. Move along to the djembe drummers who play to their own beat. 

Unspoilt natural wonders are the jewel of Coffee Bay. Marvel at the Hole in the Wall, a landmark of the region. It’s named for a gap at the centre of a massive rock formation, bored out of over centuries by the waves. In isiXhosa, this feature is known as ‘izi Khaleni’, meaning ‘place of thunder’. Can you hear the crashing booms? Keep your eyes peeled too, as pods of whales and dolphins frolic in the breakers. 


The warm waters of the Indian Ocean call out to surfers, with prime swells occurring throughout the year. If surfing’s not your thing, follow the thrill of adventure along meandering paths to the Mapuzi Cliffs, and dive off into the river below from a height of 14 metres.

When darkness falls, the dance floor calls. Shimmy the night away with locals at Sugarloaf Restaurant and Bar or the aptly named Friends Cafe, capping off a beautiful day in the sun with festivities you won’t easily forget. 

But be aware – when you visit Coffee Bay, its tantalising atmosphere may enchant you to stay even longer than bargained for.

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