Port St. Johns
The Umzimvubu River creates a huge gorge right to the sea where it then squeezes between the river’s edge and the red stone cliffs of the gorge. The Twin Mountains, the Thesiger and Sullivan, lie on either side of the river mouth and are regarded as the gates of Port St Johns.
Known as the Gem of the Wild Coast - Port St Johns also offers a unique blend of cultural richness. The Xhosa culture, both traditional and modern, is always apparent.
The wildness of the coast with its deep
gorges and impenetrable forests, mangrove swamps and the primitive force of
freak waves that caused many a shipwreck along this region of the coast, have not quite managed the attempt to tame them by colonial order, since Port St Johns inception in 1878.
The town name of Port St John’s has no set history, some attribute it to the Portuguese wreckage of the Sao Joao said to have run aground near the mouth of the Umzimvubu River in 1552 however it was then discovered to have settled further north up the coast near Port Edward. Others attribute the name to the fact that you can see the profile of John the Baptist carved in cliffs close to the river.
The river mouth was first known as Rosebud Bay and the estuary was a convenient venue for trading and smuggling until the British took over the area.