About Hole In The Wall

The Hole in the Wall at Coffee Bay is a unique structure with a huge detached cliff that has a giant opening carved through its centre by the waves. The local Xhosa call this place "izi Khaleni", which means "place of thunder".

Did you know? A hike that starts at the beautiful Coffee Bay beach and meanders along the coastline, passing Baby Hole and the Hlungwane Watefall. Your destination – Hole in The Wall – is a natural rock feature formed after millions of years of pounding sea. The lagoon here is lovely to swim in.

The Wild Coast of South Africa, home to well-known spots like Coffee Bay and Mazeppa Bay, is all about natural drama. Jade-green grass ices the hills and mountains, and black rocky cliffs plummet into the wild blue waters below. One of the most iconic of the natural wonders of the Wild Coast is Hole in the Wall in Coffee Bay. Living up to its name, this is a massive hole carved by the waves in a free-standing mountain (or island) in the water.

The mountain is impressive in stature, standing proud like a sentry at the shores of the Eastern Cape. The waves crash around it and burst through the hole; creating a stunning display of the power and magnitude of the ocean.

In front of the Hole in the Wall, there is a long shallow area that is teeming with life. This is ideal for families with little ones that enjoy splashing about in the warm waters of the east coast of South Africa. It is also popular for snorkellers because, just centimetres from the surface of the water, loads of marine species can be enjoyed.

The hills all around the Hole in the Wall are fantastic to climb and explore (often accompanied by one or two of the local beach dogs that are usually tame and playful, eager to welcome tourists to their home). There is also a grassy area where families can picnic, play, or simply relax as they enjoy the pure prettiness around them.

This area is abundant in bird life, and keen birders should keep an eye out for some exciting species. These include the green-backed camaroptera, amethyst sunbird, yellow-fronted canary, dark-backed forest weaver, three-banded plover, African green pigeon, black-collared barbet, and the great double-collared sunbird. Of course, it’s also a fantastic fishing spot.

Hole in the Wall is only accessible by a 4x4 vehicle. It is about 7.5 hours from Durban and 4.5 hours from East London.

The Legend of Hole in The Wall

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 flipperlike 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.

Need to Know

WhereHole in the wall, Coffee Bay, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Coffee Bay Accommodation, Eastern Cape


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