The best way to travel between Johannesburg and the Wild Coast is by plane and car. Depending on where in the Wild Coast region you are traveling to, you can fly to either Mthatha or Durban. Both flights take one hour. After arriving at the airport, travelers can self-drive or use a private transfer. Because of the bad road conditions, private transfers are recommended.
Those who choose to self-drive or use a private transfer the whole way can expect between seven to 11 hours in the car without stops depending on where in the Wild Coast you are going. The trip to Port Edward, in KwaZulu-Natal, is seven hours while the drive to Mazeppa Bay, in the Eastern Cape, is 11 hours. A recommended place to visit along the way is the Midlands Meander in KwaZulu-Natal.
This diverse 21-day itinerary combines many of South Africa’s top destinations including Cape Town, the Garden Route, the Wild Coast, and more.
By Plane and Car
Duration: 3-4 hours
The best way to get to the Wild Coast from Johannesburg is by plane. You can fly directly to either Mthatha or Durban depending on which is closest to your accommodation. Both flights take one hour.
A flight to Mthatha is most convenient for travelers visiting parts of the Wild Coast that are situated in the Eastern Cape while Durban is the closest airport to the region of the Wild Coast in KwaZulu-Natal. After arriving at the airport, you can opt to either use a private transfer or rent a car. The Wild Coast region can be prone to bad roads with holes in them, making a private transfer ideal. Your driving time also depends on where in the region you are traveling to.
Port St John and Hole in the Wall are two hours away from Mthatha Airport while Mazeppa Bay is a three-hour drive. Port Edward is a two-hour drive from Durban.
After arriving, you can explore hiking trails on foot. Those visiting locations further away can either self-drive or use a private transfer.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 7-11 hours
Travelers going to Port Edward can expect a seven and a half-hour drive from Johannesburg without stops. Most of the drive is along the N3 highway until you reach Durban where you will turn onto the N2 highway for the rest of the way. Those who are self-driving need to keep cash or a credit card available for pay tolls. A good place to stop for lunch or to explore is the Midlands Meander. This area boasts an array of good restaurants as well as places to visit like the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and Howick Falls.
Those traveling further along the coast to places like Coffee Bay or Hole in the Wall can expect a longer drive—at least 11 hours without stops—and it is recommended to break the trip up over two days. You will drive along the N1 highway until Winberg. For the rest of the route, you will drive along the R709, R26, N6, R58, R56, R61, and N2 to Mthatha. Travelers visiting Hole in the Wall and Coffee Bay will drive along Main Street from Mthatha to your destinations. Those driving to Mazeppa Bay will start on the same route but continue along the N6 highway until Queenstown and drive along the R61 and N2 for the rest of the way.
Recommended overnight stops for this route are Winburg or Aliwal North. Alternatively, travelers can drive through KwaZulu-Natal, which takes an hour longer and spend the night in the Midlands Meander.