Destination Activities,  DESTINATIONS,  Eastern Cape,  Eastern Cape Small Towns,  The Wild Coast

Morgan Bay: Discover the Best Things to do

Morgan Bay is a small coastal town situated about an hours drive from the city of East London, nestled between Kei Mouth to the North and Haga Haga in the South. Lying on the gorgeous Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, it’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a seaside holiday. This blog is your guide to all that Morgan Bay has to offer โ€“ from its iconic cliffs perfect for a romantic evening or sundowner, to sun-soaked beaches, a family-friendly lagoon, world-class rock climbing and abseiling, and uncrowded hiking trails.

Explore the Morgan Bay Cliffs

Morgan Bay Cliffs

Carved by centuries of relentless waves crashing against the rock face, they are a truly spectacular sight and also an iconic symbol of Morgan Bay. Stretching all the way from Morgan Bay to Double Mouth Nature Reserve, these dramatic cliffs offer a range of experiences, from sunset watching and photography to hiking and thrilling abseiling adventures, making them a really special destination that is worth exploring.

READ MORE >>> Your Go-To Guide for activities at the Morgan Bay Cliffs

Enjoy leisurely days at the Morgan Bay Beach and Lagoon

The Morgan Bay beach

Morgan Bay Beach is 1.6-kilometer stretch of sandy goodness that is perfect for a carefree and fun day by the ocean. You can swim, take a leisurely walk, or hunt for shells in the sand. If you’re feeling adventurous, try sandboarding on the nearby dunes. And for those who love surfing, the section in front of the Mitford Hotel is a great place to catch good waves.

The Morgan Bay lagoon

The Lagoon is a great place for families and lovely beach days. With shallow waters, it’s safe for kids to play, too. You can also rent canoes or inflatable kayaks (SUPs) from the Morgan Bay Hotel if you’re looking for something active. While it might get busier during the holidays in December and January, it’s generally a quiet place to enjoy Morgan Bay’s beauty throughout the year.

Look out for dolphins and whales

Dophins at Morgan Bay Cliffs
Image courtesy of Werner Strauss

At Morgan Bay, dolphins and whales are regular visitors, often spotted playing near the main beach road, especially in front of the Mitford and Morgan Bay Hotel. For an even better view, head to the Morgan Bay Cliffs. From there, you can enjoy a high vantage point and a wide ocean view, making it an awesome spot to look out for these animals!

Enjoy great views and food at the Deck Restaurant and Bar

The Deck Restaurant and Bar in Morgan Bay

Located directly on the beach, the Deck Restaurant and Bar has unparalleled oceanfront views. Their spacious open deck is just the spot to soak it all in. And when you add a fantastic menu to the mix, you’ve got a real winner!

Eat and shop at the Yellowwood forest market

Yellowwood Forest Market is a relaxed spot nestled under the cool shade of overhanging trees, making it an ideal place to grab local goodies and enjoy tasty treats. Craft Markets happen on the first Saturday of every month and more often during holidays, especially during the festive season when bigger markets are held. Yellowwood also holds a smaller Forest Fare every Saturday morning. You can find freshly baked bread, vegetables, preserves, pasta, smoked meats, homemade treats, and quality second-hand books there. The family-friendly vibe, pretty forest settings and live music add a nice vibe to your visit.

There’s also a lovely little trail starting at the giant Yellowwood tree at the far end of the Campsite. The 700m walk through the forest takes you past a cute fairy grotto to a huge ‘wishing fig tree’. Sit inside the trunk and make a wish before following the path back past the swamp to where you started. The trail is safe and ideal for anyone, especially families with young children.

Besides these above-mentioned spots in Morgan Bay, there are plenty of other exciting activities to enjoy. You can go horseback riding, try abseiling, do some fishing, or take a tour of the townships, and more. And if that’s not enough, nearby areas have hidden gems waiting for you to explore, promising even more adventures.

Morgan Bay Nearby attractions

Double Mouth Nature Reserve

ust a quick 10-15 minute drive south from Morgan Bay’s center lies Double Mouth Nature Reserve, a peaceful spot with amazing coastal views. “Double Mouth” gets its name from two rivers meeting to form a beautiful estuary winding through rocky cliffs before flowing into the ocean. This untouched retreat offers stunning sea views and breathtaking sunrises. You’ll find plenty to do here, from watching whales and dolphins to hiking, mountain biking, and enjoying water activities like swimming, diving, and fishing. And if you want to stay longer, you can camp out too!

Bead / Treasure Beach

Bead Beach, Double Mouth Nature Reserve

Just a short 20-minute walk from the Double Mouth Campsite, you’ll find the spot where a Portuguese ship, Santo Espiritu, wrecked in the 17th century. Even now, people stumble upon bits and pieces from this shipwreck that happened back in 1608. While strolling along Bead Beach, keep an eye out on the sand and pebblesโ€”you might discover ‘money cowries’ (shells that were once used as money), carnelian beads (centuries-old red beads from India), and fragments of Chinese blue and white porcelain.

Please remember: Watch the tides closely, as they greatly affect access to Bead Beach. At low tide, the water barely reaches your ankles, but it rises quickly. We crossed just an hour after low tide, and the water was already up to our knees! For a safe trip, always consult a tide timetable and organize your trip accordingly.

Kei Mouth

Kei Mouth Beach

Kei Mouth, a 20-minute drive from Morgan Bay, is another delightful sleepy seaside village with its own unique charm. Compared to Morgan Bay, Kei Mouth is a little quieter and even more laid-back. The nearby Kei River provides opportunities for boating and birdwatching. And if you’re eager to explore the untamed beauty of the Wild Coast, there’s a pontoon that runs daily. The pontoon is a vital transportation link connecting the Kei Mouth area to the eastern side of the Kei River.

READ MORE >>> Kei Mouth: Discover the best things to do

Looking for more?

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