Mdumbi Backpackers

Set on rolling green hills above the beautiful and pristine Mdumbi Beach (which is one of the best surf spots along the Wild Coast, and indeed, the coast of South Africa), Mdumbi Backpackers is a laid back, rustic and relaxing getaway for all travelers and eco-friendly tourists. Contact:

Mdumbi Backpackers is well integrated with their community, and most of the activities - such as kayaking around the islands on the beautiful Mdumbi Lagoon, horse

  • riding and hiking trail guides, fishing, etc. - are directly run by the local villagers. 
  • Surfing: The Mdumbi point offers - five star, classic point break surf - rated 1 of the best in SA. At its best, when the banks are on - expect a wave running for almost one kilometer.
  • There are other breaks in the area, with a sense for adventure, go explore & tell no-one! Snorkeling and Fishing: Beautiful rock pools and reefs stretch out for kilometers North and South of the beach and offer amazing snorkeling and spear fishing opportunities. Then there's also Mdumbi River, and its rock mussels, lagoon islands and mangroves. Hiking: Set in breathtaking Wild Coast scenery - The hiking potential is endless.

Activities on offer: - river canoeing - paddle skiing - windsurfing - kite surfing - paragliding - snorkeling - surfing - horse riding - cave, waterfall and Hole in the Wall hikes - cultural visits - village tours Support Eco-Tourism and stay at the "African Pot" village-based accommodation. 100% community owned and run - while Mdumbi Backpackers promote them and assists with reservations and general logistics.

Mdumbi Backpackers also runs a well equipped community resource center and a gorgeous pre-school on their premises for the village children. If you would like to assist with these initiatives (donate books, toys, time or money) please contact them at, for attention Johan.

Over and above all that, Mdumbi Backpackers founders also started the Transcape NPO (Non-Profit Organization) in 2002, which assists with AIDS awareness and treatment clinics, ABET education, and much more. For further info please go to:

Accommodation Mdumbi offers simple & spacious accommodation - set in traditional style Xhosa huts.

  • Level lawn Camping sites
  • Well equipped communal kitchen for your self catering needs
  • Hot water showers, flushing toilets & the warm Indian Ocean
  • Chill out hall & restaurant - otherwise known as the "Mdumbi Cafe" See for current rates

Pls NB! Mdumbi backpackers does not have a liquor licence and do NOT sell alcohol - instead - they promote cultural exchange: a 2min walk, just up the road to the local 'shebeen'.

In addition to the above: 'The African Pot' is a pleasant self catering guest house which sleeps 10. 'The African Pot' is located in the heart of the village, nearby & above Mdumbi, and is 'community owned/Mdumbi managed'. 'Out of season' rates do apply - pls enquire before hand.

NB. Mdumbi does not accept credit cards - cash or internet transfers preferred. THX! PS. 'out of season' - Pls ask about special rates for group bookings etc Pick up from Coffee Bay: R50 - per trip.

Bulungula Lodge (paradise on the beach)

in a village, on the beach

Situated on one of the world's most beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the heart of a traditional Xhosa village, the eco-friendly Bulungula Lodge has been described as "spectacular" by the Lonely Planet and "one of the World's ultimate ethical travel experiences" by The Rough Guide. This Fair-trade lodge is co-owned by the local traditional community and loads of cool activities run daily.

Our beautiful Nqileni village

Spend the night in one of the ten traditional thatch huts (doubles, triples and dorms) or in a safari tent (with beds, bedding and electric light) with beautiful views. There is a affordable restaurant with three delicious meals per day and a help-yourself bar. The entire lodge runs on solar power and makes use of a range of innovative, sustainable technologies which protect our environment.

Our friendly local community and shareholders


Activities running daily include: * horse-riding: 2 hour horse rides through the village and along the beach * canoeing: up the beautiful Xhora river * Woman Power: spend a day with the local women learning how to harvest and cook local food, make mud bricks, balance water on your head and just having fun. * Herbalist Forest Tour: wander through the ancient forest with the traditional herbalist and learn about weird and wonderful remedies. * Massage * Village Tour: a walking social history tour of our friendly community. * Fishing: learn how to fish in the sea with a local fisherman. All the above tours are owned and run by members of our local community - so all your money goes where it is most needed. We hope to see you here in paradise.

To make a booking: * Call +27 47 577 8900 (047 577 8900 for South Africans) * or call +27 83 391 5525 (083 391 5525 for South Africans) * Email: * Visit our website:

canoeing the Bulungula river

wild Lubanzi Backpackers

  • Posted on: 25 November 2013
  • By: Lubanzi


Tel: +27 (0)78 530 8997 or +27 (0)71 485 6449
Facebook: Wild Lubanzi - Backpackers and Trail Lodge

Enjoy delicious home cooked meals, freshly baked bread, vegetables and fruits straight out of the local gardens. Learn about alternative energy and a different way of life, off the grid, self-sustainable, close to the heartbeat of this beautiful planet.

Let yourself be carried away by the sound of the waves, blink into a marvelous sunrise from your bed, and watch the dolphins catch the perfect Lubanzi wave while sipping coffee on the deck.

Enquire at Wild Lubanzi Backpackers

Wild Coast Horseback Adventures WILD COAST HORSEBACK ADVENTURES Eat, sleep and breath horses for a week or two or a month or two. Join us on Sunray Farm, experience life riding and caring for top class trail and safari horses. We are South Africa's leading working riding holiday program. WILD COAST HORSE TRAILS Escape with us on horseback and discover the Wild Coast. The ultimate beach riding holiday, internationally recognized as the most glorious horseback beach riding holiday in the world! 1 night 2 days riding to extended multi day trails, gallop endless beaches, explore rolling country side and discover the essence of rural Africa.

Sugarloaf Backpackers

Your perfect destination in the African Nation Coffee Bay - Wild Coast - South Africa
  • Cell: (+27) 79 183 5274
  • Tel: (+27) 47 575 2175
  • Fax: (+27) 86 607
  • Web: (Lat:-31.9842 Lon: 29.1487) Picture waking up to a red sunrise, beside the Nenga river mouth on Coffee Bay main beach, watching surfers tearing the right hand point break to pieces. "Welcome to paradise" A friendly, clean and newly renovated establishment combined with the incredible Transkei Coast makes Sugarloaf the perfect travel destination. Experience the wild amazing beaches, people, local tourist sites and communities. Let the mouth-watering aroma of Zuzo’s freshly baked sugar-loaf bread and ground coffee lure you back to Sugarloaf. Relax and enjoy your days on the beaches, around a fire pit sharing stories, quenching your thirst in the Tokoloshe bar and lazing in the comfortable lounges and luscious gardens, while our popular ladies in the kitchen prepare your scrumptious traditional breakfast and dinners - both of which are included in your bed price. Surfing, swimming, diving, fishing, hiking and drumming are regular activities at Sugarloaf, so join the fun and beat to the rhythm of the Wild Coast in ultimate relaxation. View of Coffee Bay main beach
  • Bulungula

    At the Bulungula river mouth your will find the isolated and stunningly beautiful Nqileni village, home to the award-winning Bulungula Lodge and the pioneering rural development NGO, the Bulungula Incubator.

    the Bulungula river mouth

    See for more information on Bulungula Lodge.

    See for more information on the Bulungula Incubator.


    Buccaneers Lodge & Backpackers

    Buccaneers, along with the rest of the Wild Coast backpackers, make for what must be the best backpacking experience in SA.

    We cater for all kinds of travellers of all shapes and sizes from those on a budget to those looking for a little luxury. Find out more about our accommodation, adventure activities and facilities on our website (address below).

  • Phone: +27 (0)43 734 3012 | Fax: +27 (0)43 734 3749
  • Website:

    “Most travellers will have undoubtedly heard of Buccaneers long before they make it to Cintsa. Many consider it the best backpackers in South Africa” LONELY PLANET

  • Backpacking on the Wild Coast

    • Posted on: 8 April 2007
    • By: JB

    Wild Coast afterparty a cool, laid-back affair

    The termite, the donkey and the rainbow: happy backpacker Leon Marais spills the beans.

    South Africa is a backpacker's delight. Thousands of foreign travellers are aware of this, yet many South Africans remain oblivious to this organised and well-run component of our tourism industry.

    As a backpacking destination South Africa has a lot going for it: it's different and diverse, organised, safe (when organised) and, while not as cheap as other destinations such as Thailand, still affordable to young travellers.

    The most popular route begins with some time in and around Cape Town, followed by time getting acquainted with wine and scenery around Stellenbosch and a hop-on, hop-off meander along the Garden Route towards Port Elizabeth.

    At this point most backpackers and self-drive travellers usually opt for a flight to Mpumalanga or Durban or head back towards Cape Town. In planning their routes this way, they miss out on the jewel of our coast - the Transkei.

    It seems to be a black hole on the traveller's map. Yet to explore the Transkei coast is to step back in time, to the era before Holiday Inns, beach condos, guest-houses galore and estate developments.

    The Transkei is distinctly rural, charming in its simplicity and laid-back in tempo. The day's rhythms come and go at Mother Nature's pace. Lives revolve around livestock and tides, growth seasons, rites of passage and ancestral spirits.

    In much the same frame of mind are the backpackers. Two things that perhaps define these travellers are the lack of formal travel plans and an interest in gaining a deeper understanding of, and insight into, the local people and culture - and for this the Transkei is perfect.

    The Transkei, or Wild Coast as it is also known, lies between the Great Kei River in the south and Mtamvuna River in the north, with most of the backpacker accommodation to be found in the southern section as far up as Port St Johns.

    There are three transport options. The Baz Bus - a hop-on, hop-off shuttle service - plies the entire coast from Cape Town to northern KwaZulu Natal, and services all the backpackers' lodges along the Wild Coast.

    While it does not deviate from the N2, most of the lodges have a shuttle service (sometimes free of charge, sometimes not) running from the Baz Bus stops to the respective lodges - all in all a perfect (but not cheap) transport option for those without wheels.

    Self-drive is the ideal way to go if possible, but bear in mind that the roads in the area were not designed for your low-slung sports car. While a four-wheel drive is not necessary, something with a bit of clearance such as a Toyota Conquest will suffice.

    Using local transport is also an option. Local taxi services run from the N2 down to all villages along the coast. It must be said that these are used entirely at your own risk.

    Many such taxis are unroadworthy at best and, with other decrepit vehicles on the roads and people and livestock wandering freely, accidents are a distinct possibility.

    Entering the Transkei on your way up the coast, Coffee Bay is definitely worth a visit. It is a relatively well-developed hamlet along this rugged coast, close to the famous Hole in the Wall rock formation.

    It has two legendary backpackers' lodges right next to each other and right on the beach - Bomvu Paradise and ... wait for it ... The Coffee Shack.

    Both have dorms, double rooms and camping amenities, lively bars and loads of laid-back hippy atmosphere. Well-worn path lead all along the cliffs and hills that rise up from the ocean, providing exciting walking opportunities to rusted wrecks, waterfalls and ever more beaches.

    If you get lost and stumble into the back end of a cluster of aquamarine- coloured huts, just shout out the Xhosa greeting "Molo!" (the household dogs will announce your presence) and shrug your shoulders as if to say: "Where to now?"

    Hordes of Xhosa children may follow you around, all dying for a chance to exhibit their photographic poses (in exchange for sweets, of course). Not to be missed is the nightly party that revolves around the bar. For the less sociable, Bomvu Paradise seems the quieter venue and if you want some action you can just stroll across to the Coffee Shack.

    Moving up the coast, the next port of call was The Kraal, an aptly named backpackers' lodge situated at Mpande (which doesn't even appear on your road atlas). The Kraal is different, even as far as backpackers go. Quaint dorm huts and camping facilities are available.

    Electricity is but a long-lost dream at The Kraal. For a shower, you fill up a bucket with water heated on the fire. Cooking is done on gas and candles and lamps provide lighting - but they do have cold beer.

    There is a lovely ambience in the main building after dark. Curious horses take turns to stick their heads into the light through the two-piece doors and travellers gather to swap stories and information, drink quarts of beer and perhaps indulge in a seafood pizza from an authentic Italian pizza oven.

    The aspect to the Wild Coast that appeals the most to me is really evident here - animals. While you won't find much in the way of wild beasts (apart from those in the sea), domesticated animals are everywhere and are an integral part of local life. You can easily round up the Transkei's "Big Five" - donkey, pig, dog, feral cat and fowl. There are also goats, geese and horses.

    At The Kraal they walk among the tents and in the quiet of early morning you may just wake to a white horse's head looking down on you or a chicken scratching around your tent.

    Early-birds will take advantage of the fact that the sea cliff is only about 100m away, and there watch the sun rise over the sea before heading back to the warmth of a sleeping bag.

    Donkeys and goats graze on short grasses growing on the most impossible slopes, where one wrong foot could lead to a 150-metre plummet on to rocks.

    Late one afternoon, the cloud suddenly broke to allow fantastic sunlight to shine down on The Kraal and surrounding vista. Silhouetted against the sky was a single donkey, grazing right on the edge of the sea cliff.

    A full rainbow magically appeared over the ocean as thousands of winged termites suddenly emerged from their nests in the ground and took flight, most heading for Madagascar. It was an enchanting moment.

    The local school is a dream realised through The Kraal, and guide development is also taking place. If you want to go on a walk, apply for a guide. It won't cost you much (R20-R30) and will help contribute to the local upliftment vision.

    You can also visit a local sangoma - a thrilling nocturnal experience that may even have those normally reluctant to step out showing off their traditional dancing skills (or lack thereof).

    Before you become eternally stuck at The Kraal you may want to head on to Port St Johns, a rustic little town with no fewer than four lodges.

    If the Wild Coast is special, it is also threatened. There has long been talk of major roads and mining operations. While social development is one thing, the strength of the area as a tourist destination lies in its undeveloped nature.

    The last thing we need is another Natal South Coast or Knysna-type development. It is up to people with passion to fight for preservation.

    Uncontrolled and inappropriate development is irreversible. Perhaps it is wise to get there before it changes. Pick up a copy of the backpackers' bible, Coast to Coast, pack a tent, a sleeping bag, a didgeridoo and head for the Transkei. It's way cool, man.

    This article originally appeared in the Star newspaper on July 23, 2005.