The wildness of the Coast of the Eastern Cape, with its deep Gorges and impenetrable Forests, mangrove Swamps and the primitive force of freak waves that have caused many a shipwreck along this region of the Coast! Port St Johns was developed, in 1878.
Port St Johns also offers a unique blend of cultural richness. The Xhosa culture, both traditional and modern, is always apparent. You will see a sangoma (traditional healer) strolling along in all his finery, hear the thumping sound of kwaito music from a furniture store, and dodge the ever-present voracious mini-bus taxis. This vibrant noise and colour is contrasted with some crumbling reminders of a colonial History. In the streets you will hear Xhosa, Afrikaans and English as well as foreign languages from the steady stream of tourists seeking the unusual. There is some debate over the origin of the Town’s name. Some attribute it to the Portuguese wreckage of the Sao Joao said to have run aground near the mouth of the Umzimvubu River in 1552 but it was then discovered that he settled further North up the Coast near Port Edward. Others say that you can see the profile of John the Baptist, carved in Cliffs close to the River.
The River Mouth was known for a while as Rosebud Bay and the Estuary was a convenient venue for trading and smuggling until the British annexed the Area. There are a number of ways to arrive in Port St Johns. The 133 bends in the road from Lusikisiki is a popular choice. However, walking from Port Edward along the beach, hills and cliffs is definitely the best way. It’s quite easy actually – all you do is go down to the beach at the Wildcoast Casino and keep walking. It’s a natural extension of the KZN South Coast. Walking gives one a unique perspective! The setting of Port St Johns is possibly the most dramatic in the country and the drive from Umtata to Port St Johns is one of the best journeys on the Wild Coast! The Umzimvubu River cuts a huge gorge right to the sea where it then squeezes between the river’s edge and the red stone cliffs of the gorge. Twin mountains, the Thesiger and Sullivan, lie on either side of the River Mouth like bastions and are regarded as the 'gates of Port St Johns'. 
29° 30' 36", 31° 37' 58.8"


Further Reading