Legend has it that Coffee Bay got its name when a ship wrecked off the coast of this Eastern Cape town. Sailors tried to salvage the goods on board, but they couldn’t save everything, including a load of coffee beans. Over time, these beans drifted to shore where they planted themselves in the ground and grew into coffee trees. These coffee trees don’t exist anymore, but the name persists for this popular gem on the sea.
Coffee Bay is in the Eastern Cape Province on the Wild Coast, about halfway between Durban to the northeast and East London to the southwest. There are several transportation options if you don’t have your own car. From the nearest major town of Mthatha (formerly Umtata), there are the Baz Bus shuttles, minibuses, taxis, and sometimes you can arrange for your hostel to pick you up for a fee. As you drive into the Coffee Bay area, there are endless signs for guest houses, backpackers’ hostels, and campsites. Even though there are many options, it’s always a good idea to book in advance during the busy season around the holidays, from around November to February. During the off-season, though, you can get away with just showing up without a reservation.
The hostels in Coffee Bay offer a very relaxed vibe; most provide good food and a fireside ambiance. Many of them offer cheap group excursions or help you organize something on your own. Get a surf lesson or simply rent a board, hike through the luscious green hills, sit on the cliffs while watching the waves roll in, or spot dolphins and whales from the shore. The most popular day trip from Coffee Bay is to the Hole in the Wall, a three-hour hike of stunning sea views and waterfalls ending at a huge rock wall with a cave tunneling through it. You might also find a lodge or backpacker’s hostel near Hole in the Wall if you’d rather stay there. In the other direction, you can venture into bat caves near a great cliff-jumping spot. If you want to experience more of the Xhosa culture up close, your hostel can even help you arrange an overnight stay with a local family in the village.
Hi, I'm Julie Sushii,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Coffee Bay hostels. Welcome.