Discover the beach, lagoon and nature trails at this delightful seaside village located on the shores of the Gonubie River and the Indian Ocean.
Gonubie is a welcoming coastal community in the Eastern Cape region. Relax in this peaceful setting as you explore the village’s charming beach and riverfront. Play golf, spot varied wildlife and walk along accessible trails. Gonubie marks the western tip of the Wild Coast Jikeleza Route, a region of sun-drenched coastal communities, pristine beaches and rugged countryside.
At the confluence of ocean and river, the dune-backed Gonubie Beach is the village’s centerpiece attraction, offering a safe environment for swimming. Admire superb views while strolling along the Gonubie Boardwalk. Look for crabs and shells in the Gonubie Lagoon tidal pool. Watch dolphins frolicking in the waves. Humpback and southern right whales pass by from June to November.
Go to the Gonubie Mouth Bird Sanctuary to see the Eastern Cape’s diverse plants and animals. It shelters 160 species of birds. Spot African stonechats, black-headed orioles, water thick-knees and various kingfishers and weavers. Play a round of nine holes at Gonubie Golf Club.
Retrace the footsteps of the indigenous Khoikhoi people on the Strandloper Trail. This 5-day hike travels north from the village to Cape Morgan and passes coastal forests, craggy cliffs and wild beaches. Stay overnight at primitive huts and get refreshments along the way at pubs.
Another interesting walk is the 7.5-mile (12-kilometer) Sunrise-on-Sea to Kwelera River Mouth Trail. Find forest-covered sand dunes, rocky beaches and antelopes such as blue duikers and bushbucks. At the trail’s northern end is Kwelera National Botanical Garden, with birds, butterflies and landscaped gardens.
Take a daytrip to nearby East London, the only river port city in South Africa. Have family-friendly fun at Orient Beach, surf at Eastern Beach and try sandboarding at Bonza Bay. Enjoy cultural experiences at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery, Calgary Transport Museum and East London Museum.
Reach Gonubie by flying to East London Airport and then renting a car. Use the village as a gateway to Eastern Cape game parks, including the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve.