Nqileni is home to a vibrant rural community where times have sometimes been tough; migrant labour has taken its toll on family structure and health service & education have been difficult to access. But in spite of these challenges, the typical scene at sunset is children singing beautiful harmonies as they walk up the hills together on their way home, Mama’s laughing together as they collect water from nearby springs while men and boys effortlessly herd their cattle home to their kraals. The Xhosa traditions are strongly adhered to and are respected by Traditionalists and the Religious alike.
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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.
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)