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Port St Johns

© Jennifer Stern© Jennifer SternThis town at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast has seen many changes. It lost a lot of its lustre during the apartheid days when it was part of the nominally independent Bantustan of the Transkei and the hordes of affluent holidaymakers, who had previously flocked there, went elsewhere. But, slowly, the area is regaining its reputation as a premier beach holiday spot. At present, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Comfortable resorts contrast with the bustling, busy African town which gives a good insight into the way real people live in this part of the world. It is a very popular destination for backpackers who flock there for the great beaches, the guided hikes and the interesting cultural experiences on offer. And there's great fishing.

Port St Johns is about 100km from Mthata (Umtata) on a reasonable tarred road. The nearest airport is at Mthata, with flights only to and from Johannesburg. Port St Johns is about 350km from East London and about 600km from Port Elizabeth.

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