Coffee Bay and the Hole in the Wall are virtually synonymous - mention the one and you picture the other - and one cannot describe the full extent of the beauty of this area of the Wild Coast without including the incredible natural phenomenon.
The hole is quite literally a geographical marvel. It is an offshore stack of rock through which the elements have eroded a hole. The hole is directly in the path of the Mpako River and it is this, rather than wind or the surf, that has eroded the hole. However, Xhosa mythology tells a far more romantic tale of the sea people, semi deities who look like humans but have supple wrists and ankles and flipper like hands and feet. A beautiful girl living on the Wild Coast, in a village near a lagoon, cut off from the sea by a mighty cliff, was seen by one of the sea people who became overwhelmed by her beauty and tried to woo her. To cut a long story short: in dealing with the wrath of her father, the sea people enlisted the help of a huge fish who battered its way headfirst through the wall of rock. Through this hole spilled the sea people who swept the young Xhosa maiden away.
The village of Coffee Bay, just 8 km down the road from the Hole, is real beachcomber country with rustic lodges and bars, gorgeous swimming beaches, excellent fishing and breathtaking hikes. Coffee Bay is the only coastal resort, other than Port St Johns, to sport a tarred road to its door from the N2. The surrounding countryside is rugged with high cliffs and peppered with distinctive round, thatched, traditional huts made largely from car tyres and coloured bottles.
Coffee Bay was named after a ship that lost its cargo of coffee beans in a wreck off the Wild Coast and the beans were supposedly washed up on the beach to germinate there. These trees, if there were any to start with, are no longer visible but the name stuck. Not only is the kilometer-long beach safe for swimming, but the area off the bay’s southern point offers one of the few consistent surfing waves on the Wild Coast. This beach also has some of the rarest cowries washed up by the current.
Nearby activities include the Hluleka Nature Reserve, between Coffee Bay and Port St Johns, spearfishing, horse riding and golf.