Hole in the Wall, Eastern Cape

Bucket List On-a-budget Thrill in the Eastern Cape

The Hole in the Wall is a unique structure with a huge detached cliff that has a giant opening carved through its centre by the waves.

Location: Situated eight kilometres from the small town of Coffee Bay, on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, Hole in the Wall is a natural site as impressive as its big cousin Table Mountain.

Geology: The cliffs of Hole in the Wall consist of dark-blue shales, mudstones and sandstones dating back 260 million years. These rocks were subsequently intruded by a dolerite sheet, and the ‘hole’ was created over millions of years by the buffeting waves, which eroded away the softer rocks underneath the dolerite to form an arch. The same process also eventually separated the cliff from the mainland.

A unique structure with a huge detached cliff that has a giant opening carved through its centre by the waves

Nature: Between July and December every year, the Eastern Cape coastline is frequented by southern right and humpback whales. These animals glide past the shore, breaching and frolicking in the water. If you prefer terrestrial beasts though, check out the beautiful Nguni cows that frequent the beaches in this area.

Don't Miss... Hole in the Wall is both an adventurous and cultural experience. You can enjoy the surrounds with hikes and biking trails through the hills, surf lessons off the coast, canoe trips down the Mthatha River to see mangrove forests, and then visit the local villages and communities, where you will be welcomed with open arms.

From 50 Must-see Geological Sites by Gavin Whitfield (Struik Nature) R300 from leading bookstores and online at www.randomstruik.co.za/geology.