About the Eastern Cape
No it’s not the Seychelles.Deserted beach areas like this except for the local village cows and the occasional village folks are common as you walk the Wild Coast.
The Wild Coast is the name of the coastline of the Eastern Cape that runs from above Port St Johns down to East London.
This is the area that Nelson Mandela,and Steve Biko came from.We will pass by Quno where Madiba lived,and if we have time,a visit to the free/no charge Nelson Mandela Museum is well worth it
This area is rich in culture and tradition,has beautiful scenery ie rolling hills with villages,stretches of white sanded beaches,and the warmer water’s of the Indian ocean.
About the Wild Coast Hike
While this walk is for the adventurous it’s comparatively easy ie no carrying of backpacks as the luggage will be shuttled,the walk itself is up and down rolling hills with long stretches of flat deserted beaches,we stop swim,eat,at will.
No major huge hills with massive elevation gain,its all down at sea level.
On this section,we will have 1 river crossing by hole in the wall,a ferry crossing at another place,a smaller crossing right by the 3rd nights lodging which we can wade across,and depending on the seasonality,maybe some shallower ones to get across.
Those who are scared of the water,do not worry.Myself or the guide will help you across.I have a life jacket however these are not big bodies of water.
All our lodging will be backpackers immersed into the village area,with the exception of Coffee Bay where some hotels are available.
The backpackers are clean,quaint some bigger,some smaller,with our last night in a place where I take groups for village/cultural immersion experiences.We will stay here for 2N.
Example of part of the trail,the grass is soft underfoot,the sheep landscape”the area.
This is a 5N trip,it can be shortened depending on how much time people have,or it could be extended.
Its fully guided.If you are single,or a couple,the guide will walk with you all the way.
If the group is 3 to 5 people or more and I am walking,we will have the guide for part of the time and I will lead for the other portions.
There is very little employment infrastructure in this part of South Africa so having the guides from the villages with us allows for sustainable tourism at its highest allowing for tourism monies to flow into this area.
You make a difference in that local community members benefit from your participation in these walks in the form of guides,lodging reservations,security,cooks,cleaners,ferry crossing, etc
We will reach our lodging on each day for enough of the afternoon to be free to explore the village,hang by the beach,visit the shebeen,maybe do some horse riding etc.
This trip has 2 Nights at the end. It can also be created with 2 Nights at the beginning to help get into the local rural rhythm or walk for 2 days then stop for 2 Nights and walk for 1 more.
So for purposes of this walk,getting to Mdumbi will take some time,meaning a early am flight from Cape Town,a long transfer of about 4 to 5 hours or so depending on traffic,heading deeper into the rural village areas,which is a easy introduction to adjust to the area.
If participants fly into Mthatha airport,then its only about 2.5 hrs to get to C Bay.
Lodging at Mdumbi
Stay in Mdumbi for the night.The local beach has been voted the number one beach in South Africa.
Lodging is located on the point,with the Mdumbi river in the foreground that is not part of this walk,and the pristine Mdumbi beach.
About 4 hours of walking down to Coffee Bay,1 river crossing by ferry,a few hills and a walk through to the sleepy Coffee Bay.
Backpacker’s and some moderate hotels for lodging.
Some caves and cliff jumping option as well.
Roughly a 14 km’s,about 5 to 6 miles, about 5 hours of walking…..1 river crossing..if we hit the crossing at low tide,its ankle deep walk across,if at full tide,waist or a bit deeper.
As you can see in the image above,generally we walk across by Hole in the wall.Wrapping our day packs ups in garbage bags or the like, anything waterproof,we cross.
The walk can be ankle or chest deep depending on the tides.Again for those who are concerned,myself or the guide will cross with you,I carry a life jacket,and or even a lightweight lilo can be used. Smaller kids walk across the crossing on the sand bars.
The hole in the wall river crossing,we will walk the trail according to the tide charts.The grassy hills after the crossing and the coastline.
Part of the trail
We will have a guide this day.Trail is flat in some area,about 3 or 4 hills, and some beach areas.
We will pass the well known hole in the wall where we cross the river,and walk down the coast to a smaller village immersed backpackers that has a awesome beach…Wild Lubanzi…Spend 1 Night here
Beach at Lubanzi with the rolling hills in the background.
One of the tents sleeps 2
Walk to Bulungula …I will lead this section.About the same distance.
Lots of flat beach this day with less hills.Last beach with our lodging in the background,at the end of the beach.
Right at our destination,we wade across the lagoon inlet. The Pink bungalows are part of the lodging options, blue building is the eating area,and the buildings in the background are part of the village.
Lodging at Bulungula..they all face the ocean.
Day 5 Free day to immerse yourself into well what ever you want to…take quite time on the beach, horse riding,canoe paddle up the nearby river,village tour..the village has a pre school that can be visited.
Early out as its a long way back to the N2,drive back down to East London to fly out.Those who want to can fly from Mthatha.