While the best way to get between Cape Town and the Wild Coast is by plane and car—the travel time will vary depending on the region of the coast you’re visiting and which airport you are going to. Travelers can fly to Mthatha, Durban or East London. You can then use a private transfer or rent a car for the rest of the route.
Traveling by car the entire way is also ideal for travelers with more time on their hands. Those who choose to drive can explore the famous Garden Route along the way including the numerous passes and beach towns. The journey takes between 14 hours and 17 hours without stops. Although, it is worth breaking the journey up over two or more days.
This 16-day self-driving itinerary includes Cape Town, the Garden Route, Wild Coast, and more.
By Plane and Car
Duration: 4-7 hours
The quickest way to get between Cape Town and the Wild Coast is by plane and car. Depending on where in the region you are staying: you can fly to Mthatha, East London or Durban.
A flight to Mthatha is best for those visiting some of the Eastern Cape regions of the Wild Coast—including Coffee Bay and Port St John—which are a two-hour drive from the airport. Since there are no direct flights between Mthatha and Cape Town, travelers will need to take a connecting flight via Johannesburg. This takes around four hours. Because of this, those going further into the Eastern Cape province, such as Mazeppa Bay, may choose to fly to take a one-hour flight to East London instead. The drive from the airport to Mazeppa Bay is three hours. Travelers visiting the KwaZulu-Natal region of the Wild Coast, such as Port Edward, can take a two-hour flight to Durban and travel two hours by car for the rest of the journey.
After arriving at the airport, you can opt to either use a private transfer or rent a car. A private transfer is recommended due to the bad roads in the Wild Coast region. After arriving, you can explore hiking trails by foot or travel by car to destinations further away.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 2 days
The journey between Cape Town varies between 14 hours (to Mazeppa Bay) and 17 hours (to Port Edward) without stops. Because of the long travel time, it’s a good idea to break the journey over two days.
Those driving to Mazeppa Bay can travel the whole way on the N2 which includes the scenic Garden Route. Travelers visiting Coffee Bay or Hole in the Wall can also drive through the Garden Route on the N2. Just before Mthatha, you will turn onto the R63 for the rest of the way. Recommended places to overnight include Knysna, Jeffreys Bay, and Cape St Francis. If you are traveling to Port Edward in KwaZulu-Natal, the quickest route is along the N1, R61, N9, R56, N2, and R391. Graaff-Reinet or Nieu-Bethesda are great overnight stops. Travelers can also drive along the Garden Route for this route but it will add an extra two hours to the journey.