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
Tel: 033 2344367
Cell: 084 2407277
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.
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
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.
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.