Port St Johns to Coffee Bay » Mngcibe

Freedom O Clock Backpackers Retreat

Experience Rural
Living At Its Best

We will help you experience the WILD COAST life in its true sense. From exploring the beautiful Mdumbi river to eating authentic seafood delicacies, you are sure to go home with memories and wonderful moments.

This small, family-run gem of a holiday spot lies on the northern side of the Mdumbi River mouth and is located in the rural Pondo village of Mngcibe, Eastern Cape, Wild Coast.

Freedom O Clock is owned and managed by Otto, Lu and little (not so little anymore)  Coral-Bella, who all have a great love for nature and the ocean. “We love hanging out with guests, sharing info on the area, enjoying a cold one on the deck while watching astonishing sunsets and sharing stories about the days adventure around the fire.”

Wake up to mind-blowing views of the ocean, beach, rare mangroves and forest-lined Mdumbi River! 

The incredible views and access to the beach and river in this un-spoilt rural area makes this an ideal laid back place to visit for families, friends, couples and all nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Freedom O Clock can sleep 17 people indoors and also offer camping space.

Discovering the safe, secluded, pristine beaches, river estuaries, rare white mangrove swamps and other Wild Coast treasures make the 2 hour trip from the main road well worth it.  Coffee Bay is just 45 minutes drive away and there is a very scenic 3 hour hike between Coffee Bay and Mdumbi.

Need to know more?  We recommend you check out FOC NEED TO KNOW  to ensure that you know all there is to know before underatking one of the best holidays EVA!


Horizontal Tabs Group

Pet Friendly - by arrangement, Secure parking, WiFi
17 Adults & children accommodated
2 total bathrooms / toilets
Things To Do: 
Bird watching, Canoeing, Cultural excursion, Fishing, Hiking, Horse riding, Nature walks, Surfing, Swimming
Baby sitter, Daily domestic service, Laundry, Shuttle
Useful Info
Good to Know: 

What You Must Know Before Visiting Us.

Freedom O Clock strives for a Zero Waste Journey. There is no municipal infrastructure in the area and no municipal dumps in our nearby towns (believe it or not). Therefore, we request our guests to seriously consider the use of "convenience packaging" and non-reusable / refundable bottles.



  • As our name implies, Freedom O Clock Backpackers is a RETREAT away from the everyday mundane norm.  It is a place where you can escape the rat race and do just about as you want and when you want.  It is a place where foreigners can experience true Amapondo culture and its a place where South African’s say : “It feels like we’re in a different country”.  Be prepared for lots of fun in the sun, love and laughs, learning about the area, and sharing sundowners on the deck with new friends.
  • Freedom O Clock is accessible by 2 wheel drive vehicle, although a high clearance vehicle is recommended.  We advise that you arrive during daylight hours. Keep an eye out for pedestrians and animals ie cows, horses, goats etc on the roads.  The last hour of your journey will be traveled on a gravel road. Conditions of roads change frequently, especially after heavy rains.  The last 200m to our driveway is an off-road track and gets a bit muddy when it rains, but help is always near by.  You can find us on Google Maps or follow the detailed directions or ask for them to be emailed or Whatsapp’d to you. GPS and Google maps take you to the opposite side of the river (Tshani Point) which is a 45 minute detour.  Let us know if you will be travelling along the coastal dirt road from Port St Johns as we have a map that we can send you.
  • Please note that you might be offered various products such as crayfish, oysters, bead-works, shells, woven grass mats and even cannabis or magic mushrooms for sale.  Don’t take offence and don’t judge as this might be the only means of income for a particular household.
  • We rely on rainwater only.  Please make sure to use water sparingly.
  • The kitchen is communal with plenty of fridge and freezer space and basic kitchen equipment.
  • The kitchen is fully serviced, so no need to do dishes while on holiday.  We only ask that everyone respects the communal spaces and and keep it tidy.  
  • The ablutions with flush toilets and hot water shower is communal and serviced.
  • Be sure to bring along  your favourite treats, drinks, smokes, etc… Spaza shops stock the very basics, but you can definitely get by with what’s available.  Local beers ie Black Label, Milk Stout, Hansa, Redds Cider & Savanah are available locally.
  • No crayfish out of season (1 November – 1 March)
  • Do not throw sweets out your car window or just dish them out on the side of the road to the children shouting for sweets.  It encourages the kids to beg and you can have my word that there is no shortage of sugary and unhealthy “treats” available in the villages, plus there are no dentists in the rural areas.
  • Please try and limit your refuse and use of non-refundable bottles.
  • We suggest you bring along your own firewood / charcoal, as wood sold locally are mostly indigenous trees from the forest.
  • Recycling is one of our main concerns.  Please note that should your child use disposable diapers you are requested to bring along your own diaper bags and to take them with you to dispose in a municipal area.  Diapers are not bio-degradable and do not burn.
  • We have 3 very friendly dogs, then there’s the neighbours dog and the neighbours neighbours dogs…. they all pop in from time to to time to say hello.  If you have dogs, please make sure they are kept under control.  You will be held responsible and liable should your dog hunt / kill livestock.
  • If you would like to assist the community in some way, you can bring along old clothes, toys, soccer balls, dog food, fishing gear and tools or anything else you might think the local residents could benefit from…. even fancy sweet wrappers are used in the decoration of their woven grass mats.
  • To experience the true beauty of Mdumbi we advise at least a 2 night stay, unless you are already in the area, or your next destination is close by. We are situated off the beaten track (that’s the beauty of it) with about a 2 hour drive off the main national road.
  • For those who have not yet traveled to the Wild Coast, it should be pointed out that you will be traveling in an under-developed region.  The variety and quality of goods and services you may be accustomed to are not always readily available.  We are set in a remote and primitive region, where even the provision of fresh water can not be taken for granted.
  • If you prefer luxury to comfortable living then the Freedom O Clock vibe might not be for you.
  • Booking is recommended, or call ahead to check availability.
  • We are a responsible 420Friendly establishment as of 18 September 2018 with the South African Constitutional Court ruling that cannabis can be consumed in a private space.  420 Friendly in its weakest sense means tolerance and acceptance of those who do like to partake in the cannabis plant. Sort of like “I don’t, thanks, but I don’t mind if you do.”   Remember, many tourists are from countries where the use of cannabis is legal and they are allowed to use it either for recreational use of medicinal.
  • Please note that cannabis IS NOT SOLD at Freedom O Clock and that the selling and buying of cannabis is still illegal in South Africa.  We have a BYOC policy. 

PLEASE MAKE SURE to share the above information with the rest of your family, friends or group.

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