Hiking, Hikes

Drifters

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DRIFTERS WILD COAST LODGE

Situated in the protected Lambazi Bay (Port Grosvenor) on the remote and spectacular Wild Coast, this Lodge offers the ultimate in remote beach getaways.

Built within a Drifters concession that stretches from Port St Johns in the south to Mkambati Nature Reserve in the north, an untouched and 

very dramatic stretch of coastline, this Drifters Lodge offers the outdoor enthusiast / family a unique world of exploring opportunities.The surrounding area offers unbeatable hiking, mountain biking, 

canoeing, surfing, angling, village visits and much more. The sandstone shelves of Lupatana and the unique Waterfall Bluff and Cathedral Rock are within walking distance.

The Lodge itself is comprised of traditional rondawels accommodating a maximum of 24 guests in twin bedded en-suite rooms. A large thatch boma covering a kitchen, lounge and dining area leads onto a viewingdeck overlooking the pristine beach. The entire Lodge is hidden in a grove of indigenous coastal Milkwood trees which offer protection from the wind and sun. facilities are rustic but comfortable and encourage a relaxed beach holiday.

We look forward to ensuring that your stay on the Wild Coast is most relaxing.

Lambazi Bay – Port Grosvenor – Northern Wild Coast

Tel: 012 001 1073
Reservations: 011 888 1160
E-mail: drifters@drifters.co.za
GPS: S31°22'35.41"E29°54'14.94"

umThombe Kei River Lodge

umThombe Kei River Lodge is situated on a 160ha private nature reserve along the banks of the Great Kei River. Accommodation is offered in rustic thatched chalets, each with magnificent views of the river. The chalets are fully self-catering and sleep four to six people (camping is also available).

The pulse of the River is felt in everything here: whether you are gliding along in our kayaks, hiking to hidden pools, fishing for the legendary cob, or simply watching sunset turn the cliffs to gold as the crowned cranes fly home to roost.

Please note: The lodge is situated on a remote private nature reserve. Road access can sometimes be difficult, especially after rain, and is recommended for 4x4 vehicles only.

Equiries: wc@umthombekei.co.za
www.umthombekei.co.za
Telephone: 082 570 6000
Cell: 083 255 9693
Fax: 086 608 2570
Postal Address: PO Box 67
Kei Mouth
5260
Physical Address: Dunneden Nature Reserve
Kei Mouth
Eastern Cape

Port St Johns to Coffee Bay Backpacker Hike


The 60km stretch of Wild Coast from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay is well suited to the more budget-conscious traveller looking for an authentic Wild Coast Experience. On this 5 day hiking trail you can chose between friendly village-based homestays, chilled-out backpackers, or a combination of both.

You'll pass some impressive natural phenomenans, along the undulating terrain through which this hike traverses.

From the fascinating Table Mountain sandstone cliffs of Port St Johns; to the arched bays of Mpande and Mdumbi (voted one of SA's top three beaches and surfing hotspot); the impressive dolerite intrusion at Brazen Head and the fabled landmark, Hole in the Wall, where the roar of ocean through this hollowed cliff, has earnt the Xhosa name “esiKhaleni”( place of sound).

From the lush coastal forests of Silaka to the peppered hills of Hluleka, the PSJ to Coffee Bay walking trail navigates rocky seashores, mangrove-clad estuaries, across sandy bay and through evergreen forests.

Our Standard 5 Day PSJ - Coffee Bay Hike Itinerary is:

Day 1 : Arrive in PSJ (86km from Mtata).
Overnight: at a friendly Backpacker, B&B or Lodge

Day 2: Hike 3rd Beach PSJ– Mngazana Estuary. 5hrs walk. Overnight: Village-based homestay with dinner, bed & breakfast included OR Private Holiday Cottage (self-catered)

Day 3:Hike Mngazana - Mpande. 4hrs walk.
Overnight: Backpacker or Private Holiday Cottage (avail & no's dependent)

Day 4: Hike Mpande - Hluleka. 6hrs walk.
Overnight: Hluleka Nature Reserve (self-catered) or village-based homestay (DBB)

Day 5: Hike Hlukela - Mdumbi. 6hrs walk.
Overnight: Mdumbi Backpackers or Village Homestay (DBB)

Day 6: Hike Mdumbi-Coffee Bay. 4hrs walk.
Overnight: Treat yourself to a stay in the Ocean View hotel or drum the night away at Bomvu or Coffee Shack backpackers.

Day 7 :After a hearty breakfast & walk up sugar-loaf hill, a shuttle will pick you up to return you to back to PSJ where your vehicles await. Bon Voyage

For more information about this hike, contact:

Sarah Drew (Active Escapes)

  • Tel: 084 2407277 or 033 2344367
  • Email: sarah@active-escapes.co.za
  • Website: www.active-escapes.co.za

  • Pondo-Explore Hike

    Venture where only a fortunate few have passed. The northern Pondoland section of the Wild Coast, stretching from Mtamvuna river in the north (Port Edward) to the mighty Umzimvubu in the south (Port St John's), is undoubtedly the least accessible, dramatically rugged and breathtakingly pristine section of the Wild Coast.

    Passing through traditional xhosa villages, rolling green hills, rocky headlands and sandy bays. Pass amazing waterfalls, freestanding rock stacks and pristine estuaries on your journey. The skeletal remains of numerous shipwrecks along the shore bear testimony to this high-energy coastline, whilst schools of dolphin and whales are a familiar sight.

    Details of Pondo-Explore Hike:

    Day 1: Drive to Port St Johns. Leave vehicles there in safe parking and get transferred to Msikaba at 2pm.

    Afternoon Activity: Take the canoes up the Msikaba Estuary, visit the Cape Griffon Vulture colony or visit the waterfalls in Mkambathi Nature Reserve
    Overnight: Msikaba Camp (s/cat)

    Day 2: Hike Msikaba – Luphuthana. 16km.
    Overnight: Lupatana Camp (s/cat)

    Day 3: Hike Luphuthana – Mbotyi. 14km.
    Overnight: Thatched rondavels at Mboyti Community Camp Site or upgrade to the Mbotyi River Lodge for an additional

    Day 4: Hike Mbotyi – Manteku. 10km.
    From Mbotyi south, the gradient of terrain increases – hence the shorter daily distances. Overnight: Manteku Camp

    Day 5: Hike Manteku – Ntafufu. 9km.
    Overnight: Ntafufu Camp

    Day 6: Hike Ntatfufu – PSJ. 11.5km.
    Tour ends in the afternoon in Port St Johns – collect vehicles.

    Accommodation in PSJ can be organised at the beginning &/or end of this hike.

    All camps comprise 12 x twin bedded safari tents (under thatched bomas, nestled amongst milkwoods to keep cool) – each tent has its own ensuite toilet & hot water shower.

    There is a central dining/ kitchen boma with all cooking & cutlery facilities provided - including a small fridge for perishable food items. Or, if your group is large enough – you can chose the fully catered hike option.

    For more information, about this hike, please
    CLICK HERE:

    or Contact:

    Sarah Drew
    Tel: 033 2344367
    Cell: 084 2407277
    Email: sarah@active-escapes.co.za

    Cathedral Rock in the background, Pondo-Explore Hike

    Wild Coast Hiking (Guided hikes from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay)

    The Best way to experience the beauty of the Wild Coast is to take the 5 day hiking trail run by Jimmy and Mbuyi. Please visit their site for more information, rates and details  at www.wildcoasthikes.com.

    The Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail goes through some of the most beautiful hiking landscape in South Africa. The trail hugs a stretch of coastline along the former Transkei homeland, and is unspoilt and barely touched by development. You will walk along rolling grassy hills dotted with colourful huts, idyllic beaches, estuaries flanked by thick coastal forest and cliffs with stunning sea views. Hikers sleep in hikers’ huts and village accommodation. You will also learn a little bit of Xhosa Language and experience the Xhosa food. If you’re hiking at the right time of the year, you will most likely see dolphins and whales.

    The duration of the hiking trail is five days with four overnight stops.

    Your guides are Dreadlock Jimmy Selani, and Mbuyi Mangala:

     

    Check their site for some reviews on the hike. www.wildcoasthikes.com

    Red Dunes of Xolobeni - the curse of the black dirt

    Simon Max Bannister has compiled a brilliant photo essay of his hike around Mzamba and Xolobeni.

    Do yourself a favor and follow this link: simontothemax.blogspot.com and see for yourself the unspoilt beauty of the threatened area.

    Better yet, contact Benny Mbotho on 079-1985 975 / or through Sonya on 074-336 7862 - for a guided day-trip, or longer hike.

    Also do check the rest of Simon's Blog which features some of his fascinating "recycled" artwork.

    Mzamba, Xolobeni, Port Edward and the South Coast

    Xolobeni, Mzamba, and finally Port Edward, mark the Northenmost boundary of the Transkei Wild Coast, and fall into the famous Pondoland Center of Endemism.

    New tourism ventures will be springing up in this area that is being threatened with strip mining for titanium.

    For up to date information on the mining saga: www.wildcoast.com/xolobeni

    If you want to explore the threatened area from Mzamba to Xolobeni, passing the Cretaceous Deposits and Petrified Forest at Mzamba River, Benny the Tour Guide can be contacted on 079-1985 975 / or through Sonya on 074-336 7862 - for a guided day-trip.

    We will be adding further links as they become available.

    In the meantime, if you're coming to the Wild Coast and you're looking for a detour along the way, or perhaps you've visited us and are on your way North towards Durban and Mocambique; here is a helpful link to some tourism destinations on the KZN South Coast: www.gosouthcoast.co.za

    Hiking the Wild Coast

    Really experience it:

    Hike along the pristine stretch of coastline from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, and stay along the way in traditional Xhosa huts.

    Contact: Jimmy Selani, the Tour Guide from Mtumbane (PSJ) on 082 507 2256 (+27 international dialing code), or check their website for more info: www.wildcoasthikes.com.

    Jimmy was voted South African Tourism's 'Best Emerging Guide of the Year 2004'. Charismatic and fluent in English, he's a fount of information on the area and its people - the perfect chaperone.

    UPDATE: There is now an official website: www.wildcoasthikes.com

    A walk on the wild side
    By Fiona McIntosh (http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/article.php?page_id=2031)

    Trekking between local settlements along the wave-bashed Wild Coast, Fiona McIntosh finds deserted beaches, shipwrecks and a very warm welcome.

    Anyone for a beer?" inquired Jimmy, holding up a plastic carton. Even in the dim light of the mud hut the milky brew looked vile.

    Pure Pondo Adventures

    Step into the magic world of rural Africa and experience the traditions of the amaMpondo people in the sub-tropical hills of the Transkei. Witness African shamanism as it is still lived today. Trance-dance into the night to the beat of Ancestral drums.

    NtombemhlopeNtombemhlope

    Contact Chris:
    chris@purepondo.co.za
    072-302-9489
    +27-72-302-9489
    www.purepondo.co.za

    Map of the Wild Coast

    MAPS FOR AFRIKA have detailed and accurate maps covering all the major scenic routes in South Africa available for online order at www.themaps.co.za .

    Wild Coast Map: The fully detailed, GPS-compatible, waterproof map of the entire Wild Coast, from which this inset is taken, is widely available from bookshops and sports stores in most major centers, and Wild Coast Holiday Association resorts. The retail price is around R85 (R115 for waterproof version) and can be purchased on-line at www.themaps.co.za.

    "Your Wild Coast map - it's magnificent" -Don Pinnock, Editor, GETAWAY Magazine.

    "Truly an excellent map..." -Jeff Pieres, Historian.

    "A MUST-HAVE for travellers in the area" -Janna Cooper, Strandloper Ecotourism Board.

    Retail and trade enquiries for the Eastern Cape and KZN: phone Gavin Stewart at 083 708 2719... or email morstew@iafrica.com (Click here or directly on the map to see a sample of the fully detailed map.)

    Contact:

    Wild Coast Walk

    Bookings for the "hotel-hopping" Wild Coast Walk between Kob Inn (north) and Cintsa (south) can be made through SA Adventure Trails. Phone Paul Colvin on 082-3234022 or email info@trails.co.za

    The 5 day 4 night trail covers 60km+ of pristine coastline : wide, shell-filled beaches, rocky headlands, coastal forest, estuaries and river mouths. Walk between 15-20 km per day with a guide while your luggage is transferred round to the next hotel in the chain. Stay overnight in comfortable hotel rooms with good food and company and leave next day after a hearty breakfast. After your last night stay you will be picked up and taken back to your start point where your cars will have been safely parked or driven round to East London airport to catch your return flight.

    Optional side activities include canoeing on the Kei River, horse riding on the beach or spending your last night at a bush camp in a private game reserve.

    Hiking Trails

    Bookings for the 5-6 day hiking trail between Port St Johns and Coffee Bay, and Kei Mouth to Coffee Bay should be made through DEAT:

    Tel: 047-5311191

    Hiking

    Hiking info:

    "Slack-packing"

    Wild Coast Meander (http://www.wildcoastholidays.co.za)

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