Eastern Cape DestinationsMaitlands, Port Elizabeth
A mere 30 kilometres from Port Elizabeth transports you into a very different world. The Maitlands River mouth makes for a peaceful and slow existence with very little to remind one that man has stamped his footprint on almost every other part of the South African coast. Maitlands, the area, is given over largely to private farms, which might explain the virtually untouched Maitlands beach, at the foot of the famous Maitland dune ‘mountain’ - also close to Van Stadens River mouth in the vicinity of the longest concrete arch bridge in southern Africa.
Maitlands sand dunes mean sand boarding is an absolute must, and if that doesn’t get the adrenaline pumping, then hang gliding from the dunes certainly will. And beautiful rock formations make fishing something of a religious experience on Maitlands beach. Such incredible unspoilt beauty is further enhanced by classic surf spots and good swimming opportunities, pedal-boating and walking along the beach. But despite this, it is never crowded and the natural beauty very seldom disturbed.
The Maitland Mines Nature Reserve adds a further element of nature with superb hiking trails through 127 hectares of indigenous coastal forest and bush that includes yellowwood, milkwood and boer bean trees. All three trails begin along the old wagon road to the abandoned lead mine just outside the reserve and vary from a 3 kilometre to a 9 kilometre hike.