Pondoland Paradise: Find shipwrecks and tea plantations on a great African coastline

2019-02-26 16:30 - In Partnership with Bhejane 4x4 Adventures
Post a comment 0


  • Where: Lusikisiki, Mbotyi River, Grosvenor, Coffee Bay, Umthatha
  • What: 4-night / 5-day adventure (beach lodge and hotel accommodation)
  • Cost: About R9 028  per person sharing (children under 10 is 50% of the full price) 
  • When: 8 -12 May 2019 / 13 - 17 May 2019
  • Contact: Tel/Fax: 044 535 9033 or bookings@bhejane.com  

The Adventure

When the great African coastline was formed one part of it was left rugged, wild and untamed. This section of our coastline is home to the Mpondo people who lived in Pondoland along with one of the great tribes of Africa, the Xhosa people.

For 300 years, the Xhosa have been the custodians of this gem in our country, living in their little beehive huts that dot this green, pastoral landscape. The area is still very rural, traditional, with a very basic road network. It is on these roads, and many kilometres of legal jeep tracks that we will explore the rugged coastline, shipwrecks, pristine estuaries and crystal waterfalls.

The whole area lends itself to safe walking, mountain biking and wonderful fishing, so bring the toys along as there is time during the tour for these environmentally friendly and fun activities.

The area is also well known for it for its coastal hotels and lodges.  Many of these have been owned by the same families for generations.  We will stay at two of these wonderful establishments on our adventure.  Mbotyi River Lodge and the Ocean View Hotel.

READ: Wild Coast: A guided trip into SA's last unspoilt wonderland 

wild coast

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman, Traveller24)

The Team

Your tour leader is an experienced nature conservationist and adventure guide. He will be in radio contact with you at all times and impart a wealth of biological, cultural, historic and four-wheel drive knowledge.

This is not a very “technical” 4x4 trip, but should you experience any difficulty, the Bhejane crew do have the “know how” and recovery equipment to assist with off-road problems.

You will at all times be safe.  The crew will spare no effort to make you comfortable, and, most importantly, see that you have a good time.

The Itinerary

Day 1:

We meet in outskirts of the town of Lusikisiki (an hour’s drive from Port St Johns or Kokstad) early afternoon and then proceed to our first lodge on the Mbotyi River where we will spend the next two nights.

Mbotyi River Lodge is a nature lover’s paradise and the perfect place for relaxing away from the everyday stresses of life.  The Lodge is situated alongside the lagoon overlooking a beautiful beach and indigenous forests teeming with birdlife and many waterfalls with breath-taking views.

The Lodge has an extensive range of facilities which include a swimming pool, mountain bikes, canoes and a multitude of sunny decks for relaxing.  The rooms are air-conditioned and offer tea & coffee making facilities as well as a fridge for additional convenience.

Day 2:

After early morning coffee and rusks, there will be a little free time to walk along the beach or go for a paddle on the magnificent Mbotyi Estuary. We all have a big breakfast and get our vehicles ready for the day’s outing.

Our day trip, with a picnic lunch en route, will take us to a Cape Vulture colony (the rarest vultures in Africa) of over 170 birds nesting on cliffs of a magnificent gorge. We will then head on to the meandering jeep tracks that will take us along the coastline. We will only be using existing legal tracks and never drive along the beach.

We will visit the wreck site of the Grosvenor and get some insight into the unbelievable treasure hunting tactics that people have attempted over the years to get to her alleged secret treasure. En route, there will be ample time to enjoy the nearby beaches or to cool off under a waterfall.

We return to the lodge in the late afternoon in time for a beach sundowner before dinner and bed.

wild coast

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman, Traveller24)

Day 3:

We pack up after breakfast and, our route for the day which leads to our next hotel, will take us through the local tea plantations and past some awe-inspiring waterfalls. We will also visit a World War II airstrip and bunker complex used by airmen to bomb German U-boats off the coast.

Our Hotel for the next two nights is the Ocean View Hotel in Coffee Bay right on the beach.

Accommodation at Ocean View is characterised by light airy rooms overlooking spectacular beaches and sea views.  All the rooms are comfortably furnished and have en-suite bathrooms.  The Hotel offers a laundry service, bar facilities, a wellness centre with massage facilities and wonderful friendly staff who are available to accommodate whatever you need.

After check-in, there is time for a late afternoon beach walk, or a cast or two.

coffee bay hole in the wall

(Photo: Bhejane 4x4 Adventures)

Day 4:

After a hearty breakfast, once again pack the vehicles for a day trip that takes us to one of the unspoilt estuaries in the area and a visit to the famous and awe-inspiring Hole-in-the-Wall rock.

Day 5:

Sadly, after breakfast, we say our goodbyes and you have an hour-long drive to reach the N2 just west of Umthatha.

wild coast

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman, Traveller24)

Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices hereYou can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe hereOr download the News24 App hereto receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.