Port St Johns - South Africa

Known as the Jewel of the Wild Coast, Port St Johns is a small coastal town south of Durban in the "Transkei, the easterly region of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The Wild Coast is a stretch of 156 mile (250 km) coast running from Kei Mouth to Port Edward, which gained its name by its inaccessibility and reputation for ship-crushing waves. The town sits next to a massive river called the Umzimvubu which has carved its way through the ancient rocks leaving two towering 1000ft ramparts on either side. Port St. Johns is an African village but also a Mekka for hippies and a popular holiday destination. Embedded in subtropical rainforests a short walk will take you into silent forests and the sea is always close, crashing onto the rocky shores which guard the secluded beaches. Port St. Johns has three beaches. The Second Beach, 3 miles (5 km) east of the village centre, is the prettiest, surrounded by evergreen rainforest and wild banana trees. The Pondo king Faku, represented by his son Ndamase, settled here in 1845. In the year 1878, the area became part of the Cape Colony, on request of the Pondo king. Two British officers, Thesiger and Sullivan, travelled to Port St Johns in the same year and set up the Union Jack. They gave the two impressive mountains on each side of the river their names. Port St. Johns stayed a white enclave, until it became part of the Transkei in 1976, to make Paramount Chief Matanzima agree to the homeland policies of the Apartheid regime.