The Eastern Cape Midlands Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions about tourism in our region, this is for you. We want to ensure you have a fantastic time touring our beautiful region, so have put together some helpful information to help you on your way.

What You Need to Know

Can I use my credit card?
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted throughout the country. American Express and Diners are less widely accepted, however more acceptable in the main city centres. Please check in advance with any safari lodges you may be visiting.

Are there ATMs?
You will find ATMs even in really small towns—but not tiny villages like Coffee Bay. Some of the smaller businesses do not accept credit cards, so it would be wise to keep some cash with you.

Is there Malaria in the area?
No, we’re happy to say that the O.R. Tambo District is Malaria-free.

What’s the weather like?
Rainfall along the Wild Coast is high; approximately 1000mm falls here annually, predominantly in Spring and Autumn. Temperatures in Summer (January) average about 28 degrees C (High) and 17 Degrees (Low), and in Winter (June) about 20 degrees C (High) and 8 Degrees (Low).

What are the driving conditions like?
The N2 and R61 highway go through the Wild Coast and are currently upgraded, but driving is still an experience, as cows and goats routinely cross the roads. If possible, avoid driving at night, especially off the main routes, as both potholes and livestock can leap out of the dark unexpectedly.

Do I require a fishing permit?
Recreational and shore based line fishing is regulated by "bag limits" which prevent people from catching too many fish. All recreational fishers are required to get recreational fishing permits. You can get these permits from Post Offices countrywide. Permits are valid for a year, except for permits for species that can only be caught during season (these expire at the end of the season). You should always carry your permit and your identity document with you when you are fishing.

Can I travel by bus?
Public transport to the Wild Coast is sparse but the some of the main bus companies stop in Mthatha and Port St Johns. Alternatively the Baz Bus runs along the Wild Coast on it's way from Port Elizabeth to Durban making it one of the best options in this part of the country. The Baz Bus services Buccaneers Backpackers at its door before heading to Mthatha for its links via a separate shuttle to Coffee Bay and Bulungula. From this point the bus heads to the South Coast, so anyone needing to go to Port St Johns needs to arrange for a shuttle to pick them up at Mthatha.

What are the rules when travelling by off-road 4x4?
You will need a permit to travel to cottages that are not on proclaimed or designated roads. (E.g. the road to the Jacaranda.) If you do not have a permit for these routes you may be charged by the Green Scorpions and given a spot fine of R2500.

Explore the O.R. Tambo District

Attraction Highlights

Silaka Nature Reserve
This 400ha reserve lies in the forested valley between Second Beach and Sugarloaf Rock just south of Port St Johns.
Mlengana Mountain
Some legends have it that this mountain was used as a place of execution.
Hluleka Nature Reserve
Some 772ha in extent, it is on the coast midway between Coffee Bay and Port St Johns, some 90km from Mthatha.
Tsitsa Falls
The jewel in the crown of Mhlontlo and one of the biggest and most impressive waterfalls in South Africa.
Wildcoast Travel Brochure