Kei Mouth is a small coastal town situated about an hours drive from the city of East London, lying between Qolora to the North and Morgan Bay to the South. However, don’t let its small size fool you. The destination offers a relaxed and off-the-beaten track experience for travelers with plenty of things to see and do. Kei Mouth is also the southern entry point to the Transkei Wild Coast, a rugged and relatively undeveloped stretch of coastline renowned for its stunning natural beauty, pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, lush green hills, and remote, unspoiled landscapes.
- Enjoy walks and lazy beach days at the Kei Mouth Beach
- Get great views of Kei Mouth from the Cross Viewing Deck
- Pledge your love at the Lovers Lane Locks
- Take a ride on the Kei Mouth Pont (Ferry)
- Participate in the Kei Mouth Park Run
- Wander the Town
- Have a braai under the stars
- Discover more things to do in Kei Mouth
Enjoy walks and lazy beach days at the Kei Mouth Beach
There are several small sandy beaches along Kei Mouth’s coastline, but the best beach for swimming is at the mouth of the Cwili River. The beach spans approximately 300 meters and provides a great setting, whether you prefer strolling along the shore or basking in the sun. Kei Mouth is also famous for the frequent sight of cattle strolling along the beach, adding an enjoyable and unique element in the region.
Where to find Main Beach: You can access the beach off main street, near the Kei Mouth Bowls Club.
Get great views of Kei Mouth from the Cross Viewing Deck
The Cross on the Dune is another great attraction, with a lovely short 10 minute stroll up a forested pathway to a viewing deck. From this vantage point, you can enjoy wonderful views of Kei Mouth and the expansive ocean below.
Where to find the Cross: The starting point is on the main road, just before the slip road to the Bush Pig Events Bar. As you walk or drive along the main road, look out for the ‘Bush Pig’ sign. Next to that you will see a smaller sign that says ‘Path to the Cross’.
Pledge your love at the Lovers Lane Locks
Lovers Lane provides a dedicated place to attach your love locks. Love locks are a tradition where couples attach padlocks with their names or initials to a fence, gate, bridge or public fixture to symbolize their eternal love for each other. When you visit, remember to take a lock to pledge your love!
Where to find Lovers Lane: You can’t miss the sign for lovers lane along the main road of Kei Mouth near Neptunes Cove.
Tip: If you walk a little further past the locks, you will find a lovely long stretch of beach.
Take a ride on the Kei Mouth Pont (Ferry)
The pont is only one of three remaining car-transporting pontoon river ferry services in South Africa. The pont is a crucial lifeline for the communities living in difficult to reach destinations further North of Kei Mouth. It is also a gateway to popular hotels in the region such as Seagulls and Trennerys. Even more so, the pont provides easy access to the Transkei, a stretch of coastline between the Great Kei River and the Umtamvuna River. What would usually be a 154km round trip via Butterworth to reach destinations North of Kei Mouth is now just a few hundred metres to the other side with the pont.
The Kei Mouth Pont Operating Times
There is usually only one pont in operation seven days a week, 365 days a year, although during busy periods there are three ponts that service the crossing. The pont is in operation from 07:00 – 18:00 in summer (1 October – 31 March) and until 17:30 in winter (1 April – 30 September). Each pont can carry two vehicles at a time, often with passengers and even livestock on board! (Yes, sometimes you’ll find the pont filled with cattle, which can be quite amusing when you drive your car onto the ramp!).
Tip: Don’t rely completely on the pont for access to the Northern area. Either unexpected events or adverse weather conditions can sometimes make the pont unavailable for a day, or sometimes even a few days. So, stay informed about the ponts operating hours by checking the Kei Mouth Facebook Page.
Where to find the Pont: Follow the sign along Kei Mouths main road that points to the pont. Thereafter, it is about a 3 minute drive down a gravel to reach the pont.
Participate in the Kei Mouth Park Run
A parkrun is a free, community event where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate across a distance of 5kms. Every weekend, around 200 parkrun events take place across the country, and Kei Mouth is one of these destinations! The Kei Mouth parkrun starts at 8:00 every Saturday at the Country Club. Visit their course page for more details!
Wander the Town
Kei Mouth is a small town that you can easily explore on foot in a day. It’s a beautiful area with just a few cafes and shops along the main road. The gravel roads lead to a stunning coastline that seems to go on forever.
Have a braai under the stars
Due to limited development, Kei Mouth offers an incredible night sky. The stars visible on a clear night are breathtaking, making it the perfect place to enjoy a barbecue (braai) while stargazing in the evening.
Discover more things to do in Kei Mouth
Great Kei Adventures
Fish Eagle Cruise on the Great Kei River
The Fish Eagle river cruise takes you on a journey up the Great Kei River. Picnic baskets and braai facilities are allowed on board, making it a fun filled couple of hours on the river. Click here to go directly to their website for more information.
Kei Mouth Beginners Horse Ride
The Kei Mouth horse ride adventure takes you down the edge of the golf course at the Kei Mouth Country Club, heading towards the sea. The trail then follows through indigenous bush and sand dune forests. The beach section meanders along the great Kei River Mouth before looping back to the horse yard. Click here to go directly to their website for more information.
Wild Coast Fishing Charters
Siya MTB Trails
Siya’s mountain biking trails offers guided tours for mountain bikers and trails across the region. Some of the trails also include traditional Xhosa village experiences. Visit Siya’s facebook page for more information.
Elunxwemeni Township Tours
The Elunxwemeni Township Tours take you on a journey to a Shebeen (local tavern), traditional beer tastings, Xhosa food and music, plus a customizable walking tour. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
Many annual mountain bike and run/walk events start and end in Kei Mouth. These include:
- HagMorKei, run/walk and MTB race
- Kwelera2Kei MTB
- Great Kei Trek, MTB
- Imana Wild Ride, MTB
- Wildcoast Wildrun, a three day ‘trail run’
- Kei 2 Crawfords
The Strandloper Trail
Kei Mouth is the start of the popular four day Strandloper Trail, literally meaning ‘beach walker, which covers 60km in 4 days. The trail begins in the Cape Morgan Nature Reserve and passes through Morgan Bay, Haga-Haga and the Jikeleza Route villages before finishing at Gonubie.
Kei Mouth is indeed a hidden treasure in the Eastern Cape that boasts a range of charming attractions, showcasing its unique character. It may be small in size, but offers a delightful and off-the-beaten-track experience for travelers.