The name Gonubie is derived from Qunube, the Xhosa word for a type of local berry. Only eight kilometres from East London on the N2, the R102 turn-off leads to this beautiful little beach town on the Gonubie River estuary - a wonderful seaside holiday spot that hints at the beckoning gems of the Wild Coast.
Gonubie is serene and relaxing, with mild weather, expanses of sand, lots of sun, and waves that are popular with surfers. Gonubie Beach enjoyed Blue Flag status in 2009-2010, and although some of the features that won it acclaim are currently a bit run down, the beach is still lovely.
The lagoon and tidal pool are tranquil and safe swimming areas for children, with the shells and rock pools along the coast absorbing young and old for hours, especially at low tide.
The Gonubie Nature Reserve is rewarding for birders, and ocean-loving adventurers will enjoy the beautiful setting for sail-boarding and fishing from a ski boat or from the shore.
With charming coffee shops and eateries along the beachfront, great B&Bs and guesthouses, convenient shops and an annual festival, Gonubie, although seldom overrun with people, is fun in season. Out of season, its peaceful beauty lingers on, offering tranquillity, relaxation, and golden sunsets.
Look out for
The Gonubie Nature Reserve encompasses an eight-hectare wetland area with about 130 bird species, including many water birds. Black Rock, near the Reserve, is a popular surfing spot.
The 3 424-hectare East London Coast Nature Reserve conserves half of the coastline between the Great Kei River in the north-east and the Tylomnqa River in the south-west. It includes 10 coastal reserves including, Chintsa West, Kwelera, Nahoon, Kidd's Beach and Chalumna, as well as the Umtiza and Fort Pato Forests along the northern banks of the Buffalo River.
The Strandloper Hiking Trail from the Kei River Mouth to Gonubie covers about 60 kilometres of gorgeous beaches, rivers, cliffs and coastal forests.
Luxury bush accommodation is available within 30 kilometres of Gonubie at the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve.
The Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village 30 kilometres from East London hosts guests in a traditional Xhosa village, sharing with them Xhosa customs, dance, music, food and drink.