Nestled in the heart of the Transkei, on the banks of the Mthatha River in the Eastern Cape, Mthatha (previously Umtata) is known for being the former capital of the Transkei. With the N2 passing directly through the city centre, it is also quite a busy administrative centre.
As Nelson Mandela was born in a small nearby town, Mthatha has been dubbed ‘Madiba country’ and is home to the Nelson Mandela Museum. Housed in the old parliament, the museum provides a fascinating historical insight into this great man’s life. It also forms the heart of the Nelson Mandela Route, which was established to provide structure to the area for people who want to learn about his history. Visitors can explore the Madiba Trail or follow the Mthatha River as it ﬂows towards the Indian Ocean, which lines the Eastern Cape’s exquisite beaches, including the iconic Hole in the Wall.
The beautiful Transkei Wild Coast offers unique marine eco experiences such as bottlenose dolphins surﬁng in the waves, and the excitement of the annual sardine run and humpback whale migration in June, which can be seen from coastal towns like Port St Johns.
The coastal region is loved for being home to some incredible nature reserves, pristine estuaries and many popular family seaside resorts, guesthouses and holiday cottages. Mthatha is a gateway to some of South Africa’s most breath-taking beauty and, with direct flights from Johannesburg, the Wild Coast is closer than ever.
For your return journey fly back to Johannesburg and travel beyond with Airlink to other key leisure and business destinations.
WHERE TO STAY
Mthatha is a laidback Transkei town that is a good base for a beach and bush holiday. It is near to Coffee Bay and 'Hole in the Wall' on the Indian Ocean coast, several nature reserves, and is a gateway to the greater Wild Coast region.
WHAT TO DO IN MTHATHA
Hole in the Wall
Hole in the Wall, located in the Eastern Cape’s Coffee Bay, is a remarkable natural arch that was formed by crashing waves. Holding an great deal of history and meaning in the Xhosa culture, any visitor would be delighted by the experience.
Hluleka Nature Reserve
A location for the hikers and outdoorspeople, Hluluka Nature Reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. The reserve will allow you to experience the nature that will create memories to last a lifetime.
Wild Coast Travel Diary - A Journey into the Wild Coast of South Africa
Explore the magnificent Transkei region on the Wild Coast of South Africa.