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Secret beach guide: Hidden gems in the Eastern Cape

Tsitsikamma national park Garden Route, Indian ocean landscape, near Plettenberg bay, South Africa, Eastern Cape. Photo via Adobe Stock

The Eastern Cape is a province known for its rich natural beauty. If you’re in town and seeking seclusion at some off-the-beaten-track beaches, then this guide is for you.

These are our top picks for spots along the shoreline that will have you feeling as though you have found yourself in a deserted land, with nothing but the sound of waves crashing gently onto the sandy shore which separates you from the lush greenery just off the coast.

Woody Cape Beach

Woody Cape is operated by SANParks and forms part of the high acclaimed Addo Elephant National Park. You’ll find yourself at the mercy of the tides, watching as dunes drop into the Indian Ocean.

Here, visitors can walk the Alexandria Hiking Trail, which spans across 36km. This hike is walked over a couple of days, and the first day covers about 10km along the beach.

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This was a beautiful day ! #beach #sun ☀️

A post shared by Josh Stephen Vosloo (@joshvosloo) on Sep 26, 2016 at 1:46am PDT

Riet River mouth

Just outside of the sleepy seaside town of Port Alfred is the Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve. It is situated along the road towards East London.

Visitors to the park can opt to be transported to through the reserve and dropped off at the beach, with a radio to signal when they’re ready to head back to the lodge. This stretch of coastline is almost 8km in total, and is a public area, so it can also be self-accessed. 

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One beautiful summer afternoon at Riet River Mouth #aerial #phantom #dji #summer #dronestagram

A post shared by Jaco van Rensburg (@railtimephoto) on Nov 28, 2016 at 10:27pm PST

Chintsa East

Chintsa East is a village outside of East London. It is here where you will find a stretch of beach that is over 20km long, and one that holds it pristine well.

Visitors here can enjoy the beach on foot, or the more adventurous ones can experience it by horseback. This beach is positioned next to dense dunes and forests which are teeming with wildlife. 

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The BEAUTY of the Eastern Cape South Africa. No place like home. @pranalodge #beach #bluesky #pranalodge #chintsaeast #southafrica #easterncape

A post shared by ?????? (@all.things.nikki) on Apr 10, 2019 at 6:52am PDT

Morgan Bay

Morgan Bay is said to be a beach – a seafront- of grandeur. One part is flat lying, while the other has cliffs and smashing waves. Expect to see fisherman here, and make it your mission to arrive in the early morning, just as they do.

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Lovely ride along the beach and cliff tops to Yellowood forest another great lunch stop. I’m riding Troy today Silver is having a day off

A post shared by Jane Bowen (@jane_bowen35) on Dec 2, 2019 at 7:21am PST

Qhorha Mouth

There is a ferry that transports people across the Qhorha River to a beach. This shoreline stretches more than 20km and is frequented more by animals than it is by humans.

Each year, there is the Wild Coast Wildrun, which sees participants make their away across the entire length of the beach. There are many private spots to be found at this beach, with dolphins to be seen in the waves. 

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One of my favourite moments from my #wildcoast #fatbike adventure with @detourtrails earlier this year: ferrying the bikes across the Nxaxo River at dawn. It's an amazing trip and one I'd recommend to anyone who can take a little arse burn. Story out in @getawaymagazine next month. #nofilter

A post shared by Chris Davies (@chrisdaviez) on Nov 22, 2016 at 10:39pm PST

Noetzie Beach

Strictly speaking, this one is in the Western Province, though it may be on your route to the Eastern Cape as it sits just outside of the Eastern Cape province. Head to Knysna to this remote cove while on the Garden Route.

Lap in the waters of this pristine beach which remains unspoilt to this day. The ocean joins a dark lagoon and is surrounded by indigenous flora and fauna. A couple of classically designed beach houses are dotted along the shoreline, making this beach feel like from an old world.

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#summer #traveltheworld

A post shared by Jakes (@jakes80) on Dec 7, 2019 at 10:03am PST

With long stretches of untouched shoreline, the Eastern Cape is the perfect place to find a secluded spot in the sand. This makes the province unique in its offering, with an abundance of raw nature to be surrounded by and enjoyed. Which beach is calling your name?

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