The Wild Coast is a delightful land of contrasts, with a diversity of plants and animals unequaled anywhere.
This breathtakingly beautiful stretch of country offers small beaches fringed by coastal rivers and crystal clear lagoons, towering cliffs from whose heights waterfalls plunge into the ocean below, rolling hills, dense indigenous forests, and deep gorges in the depths of which one glimpses secret streams, and where one can sometimes hear the cough of a hunting leopard.
The Wild Coast consists of more than coastal geographical features, there is another boundary that defines this remarkable area, and that's the Agulhas Current. Flowing southwards, this vast volume of water follows the continental shelf at the speed at which a person walks. On calm days this is a well-defined mirror of indigo blue, acting as an offshore boundary to the coastal waters.
The waters inshore of this current are where one of Africa's largest yet least known migrations occurs. Each year, at the start of the winter gales, huge schools of sardines head northwards up the coast. They in turn are accompanied by huge schools of game fish and sharks feeding on them from below, and thousands of dolphins feeding on them in the upper levels. Soaring over them, in a wheeling mass are gannets and other sea birds in their thousands
The Wild Coast is home to the Xhosa and Pondo peoples, who for centuries have inhabited the rolling green hills of the coastal terrace that rises from the shoreline. The earliest records of their presence are the reports of shipwrecked mariners.
Many of the shipwrecked survivors spent years living among these tribes, learning their language and gaining understanding of their customs. They reported that travelers were well looked after, as (unlike the Dutch and English) the Xhosa never dealt in slaves. They reported that travelers moved about freely, without fear -
This warm hospitality still exists today in the remoter areas of the region, where any person observing the dictates of good manners will be met with a warm welcome.
"I really wanted to thank you for all your patience and help over the last few months. Outspan will always have a special place in the hearts of everybody who lived and worked there during this project and you and your staff were very much a part of the process. We are all missing PSJ terribly, so don’t be surprised if you see some city-weary film crew limping back to the Pondo in the near future. Ceridwen from one step beyond"
"You are a lovely part of the unforgettable memories I have of Port St Johns and I hope to see you in the future. I promise to drop by and say hello one day :) We only planned to stay one night and it ended up being four. It really has to be the most beautiful and untouched area on the wild coast. Engulfed by nature, city life is but a distant reality there and it is places like this that make our country so special. I have fallen in love with the Transkei... Kate Higgs from White Light Production"
"I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Reddie family, the Moodley family and the Govender family to thank you and your staff for a most enjoyable stay at your establishment. Your assistant Jackie did a sterling job with the room arrangements and we would also like to acknowledge Constance, your Housemaid, for their efficiency in making sure our rooms were clean and comfortable.We will most definitely visit again and will promote Outspan Inn wherever we can. Runga Moodley MAN - Pinetown"
"Outspan Inn is a delightful and comfortable place to stay and we will have no hesitation recommending it to our readers. Special thanks to Chrissle for all the wonderful food. The Restaurant, will come highly recommended. The Port St Johns feature has been scheduled for the April issue and should go ahead as planned. Kind Regards Cathy and Lanz and Robin Daly - Getaway Magazine"
"Wayne Herbert here ...don't know if you remember us from Texas... We were out your way last August. Well, maybe the photos will jog your memory. I finally have gotten around to getting all my trip photos organized and I have sent you the pictures we took. It was one of the most enjoyable segments of our vacation and we hope one day to return. In the meanwhile we both hope that life finds you healthy and prosperous and enjoying yourself in Port St Johns. Wayne and Calista - Texas"
"Hi to all down there, we would just like to again say thanks for all the assistance and hospitality given to us during our shoot down in Port St Johns. The shoot went very well and a great time was had by all as you well know. Till next time.... Thanks and regards Karin - Black Coffee Productions"
"Just a short letter to thank you all for a most enjoyable stay in Port St Johns during our diving survey in June. You really went out of your way to accommodate us, especially with provision of a store room and washing facilities for the boat which was most appreciated. Best wishes Bruce Mann and the ORI Team - South African Association for Marine Biological Research"
"This office would like to convey our sincere appreciation for the service that was rendered by your Guest House during our members stay. Due to unforeseen circumstances our members were left stranded in Port St Johns and without your assistance they would have been left without accommodation, your hospitality went beyond our expectations. Yours sincerely Captain E. Loxton - Provincial Air wing Commander South African Police Service"
"I hope all is well. Thank you for accommodating our big crew last year and for your good company whilst we were in Port St Johns. It was great that after a lot of hard work and many frustrations we finally hit the jackpot and got some pretty good footage on the last shoot - Didier certainly got some amazing shots in the last week he was with you. Regards Hugh Pearson - BBC UK"