The Tales and Treasures of Morgans Bay

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

For those who love laid back seaside holidays, where the road trip provides for much of the entertainment, it is a one hour drive along tar road from East London. And there is much beauty to behold along this stretch of unspoilt coastal area there is much to see along this stretch of unspoilt coastal area toward the Transkei villages of Port St Johns, Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall.

Untamed nature reserves feature magnificent cliffs and krantzes, waterfalls, shipwrecks, lighthouses and a uniquely vegetated coastline that makes for the perfect summer picnic on the famous tree lined beach. Another way of reaching Morgans Bay is via the Kei River Mouth where passengers and vehicles have been crossing the river by pont. As the southern most entry point to the Transkei, the pont is a fifteen year old institution by a local businessman, that has provided locals with both a form of transport and livelihood, who otherwise would have to make the 154km round trip from Butterworth.

Upon reaching this quaint village conveniently located just fifteen minutes away from the Kei River Mouth, visitors will find the pristine lagoon that has been frequented by local fisherman, as well as other famous visitors over time. Perhaps the most memorable of all visits was that of Huberta the Hippo, who made a historic appearance while swimming in the Kei River when she trekked 1 600 km southward from Zululand, via Durban to the Eastern Cape during a three year period from 1928. Huberta is best remembered for her wonderlust resulting in an unannounced appearance at the Durban Country Club, causing much consternation among partygoers on April Fools Day. Being a member of a protected species, Huberta was honoured by the National Provincial Council who declared her as ‘Royal Game’, and today rests proudly at the Amathole Museum in King William's Town.

For those opting to invest in property here, be it for the purposes of coastal holidays or a simple, laid back lifestyle, this Great Kei Municipality village offers a variety of entertainment facilities including a country club. Outdoor choices vary from birding, canoeing, dolphin and whale watching, to golfing, surfing, hiking, horse riding and shell collecting.

Property prices for houses currently on the market at Morgans Bay range from R1 to R2.7- million depending on size, views and beach access, with vacant plots from R380 000 and R400 000, and a 203ha farm with four erfs and separate titles deeds listed for R19 000 000. Average freehold property prices of R870 000 in Morgans Bay are lower than its wealthier neighbours at Kwelega and Haga Haga where average free hold prices exceed R1 million, and R930 000 and R890 000 at Cintza and Kei Mouth respectively.

For this curious to see this quaint village, locals say look out for potholes and come prepared with full tank levels due to possible scarcity of fuel in the area. Visitors to Morgans Bay can also share in the enjoyment of regular festivities such as the farmers and craft markets, the Bomvu Cultural Music Festival, and the Wild Coast Jikeleza Festival.

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