This improved tour will start in Matatiele and end in Chintsa, exploring the vast, rugged beauty of the untouched, pristine Wild Coast which is still as magnificent as it was 150 years ago.
We will be spending 2 nights at half of the overnight stops, allowing for a leisurely pace, with opt-out options for the ladies at some of the venues – like spa treatments, or just a deliciously lazy day on the beach.
You pay per vehicle, and not per person – so this tour is ideal for families, a group of friends and couples.
- Distance: 1200 km.
- Drivers’ Briefing, VHF Radio Fitment & Welcoming Party: 18h00 on Wednesday, 10th November, 2021 at Matatiele.
- Start: Matatiele – 09h00: Thursday 11th November, 2021
- Closing Function & Prize-giving at Chintsa: 18h00 20th November, 2021
- End of Tour/Departure: 09h00 – 21st November, 2021
All vehicles will be supplied with FM marine-quality two-way radios so we can all communicate. (This is included in the tour price.)
The routes we have chosen are generally not difficult, but if there is rainy weather, we will have mud to contend with – hence the 4×4 requirement. (Please note that no pets are allowed.)
More info below.
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Here are just some of the places we will be visiting
Day 1: Explore the Mountain Lake Nature Reserve and Mariazell Mission near Matatiele with local expert Philip Rawlins showing the way.
Day 2: We head south over the Nungi and Colona Nek passes via Tabankulu to drive the majestic Mzintlava Pass – 38 km of staggering variety with over 300 bends corners and curves. We then drive through Lusikisiki and descend the Mbotyi Pass (very steep) to arrive at our home for the next two nights – Mbotyi River Lodge – a thatched paradise right on the beach.
Day 3: We take a 2 hour 4×4 route northwards to Luphathana, where we take a 8 km walk accompanied by an experienced local guide to see Waterfall Bluff which plunges directly into the ocean, as well as the showstopper – Cathedral Rock. For the unfit, there are numerous other activities at the lodge keep you happy including a pool, the lagoon, the beach, walks, birding and fishing. We will take the less fit for a 4×4 drive north east of Luphathana to the wreck of the Grosvenor.
Day 4: The day of Waterfalls. We start with a visit to Fraser Falls, then higher up along the same river, we take in the enchanting Angel Falls but we leave the best for last – the Magwa Falls, which will truly take your breath away. Getting to Magwa Falls takes us down beautiful roads lined by huge trees and hundreds of acres of tea plantations. We then head south on the new tarred R61 via 3 back to back passes including the Umzimvubu River Pass, where we arrive at the Gates of St. John and take the steep road up to the old airport on top of the mountain at Mount Thesiger and the Eagles Nest view point. Informal dragracing and some fun will be had along the airstrip. We then descend via some very steep and twisty roads to our overnight stop at The Mngazi River Bungalows which is also right on the beach in perfect setting. Here you can sim in the ocean, the lagoon or the pool.
Day 5: Our route follows a jigsaw puzzle of gravel roads with a lunch stop at Mpande beach, to arrive in Coffee Bay, where we will spend two days at the Ocean View Hotel – situated right on the beach with a lovely pool to relax at. Along this coastal stretch you will experience some very basic roads and scenery that will leave you feeling elated.
Day 6: We explore Coffee Bay, Baby Hole in the Wall, Hole in the Wall (the big one) with an expert local guide to show us all the secret spots as well as unpack Xhosa customs, folklore and myths. We return to Coffee Bay via the White Clay Pub for a fabulous lunch in the best beach restaurant which epitomises the essence of the Wild Coast.
Day 7: We head south west along countless scenic roads, shipwrecks, deserted beaches, waterfalls and tribal villages and some exciting passes to arrive at The Haven Hotel and the Cwebe Nature Reserve.
Day 8: An interesting route southwards along the coast via the Fyfe King Bridge over the Mbashe River, followed by a steep traverse of the Shixini River Gorge to arrive at beautiful Kob Inn, where the dolphins surf the waves right in front of your room.
Day 9: Another day of stunning views and Wild Coast magic as we head to Willowvale and Idutywa, to drive the new Nelson Mandela Bridge over the Mbashe River. Our route then descends over the wall of the Mbashe River Dam and up to the vulture viewing site at Collywobbles. For many this is the absolute highlight of the tour as there in excess of 100 breeding pairs to watch. We return to the coast via Cats Pass to the Wavecrest Hotel near the Kobonqaba River mouth and a visit to the shipwreck of the Jacaranda (1971)
Day 10: Our final day routes along a number of gravel roads where we will drive the Kobonqaba Pass with its very high, unguarded single lane bridge, on past the bustling village of Centane, and before long its tar all the way to Kei Mouth where we cross the river by pont in groups of two vehicles at a time and stop at the Bush Pig pub for a refreshing drink, before driving onwards to Chintsa, where our final night is spent at the magnificent Crawford’s Beach Cottages, where their Saturday night seafood extravaganza will satisfy even the hungriest person.
Day 11: Farewells after breakfast and a safe drive home.
Accommodation & other costs
Accommodation, meals and ancillary costs are extra, which we will invoice out to you separately.
• Work on R1100 per person, per day for accommodation, breakfast & dinner
• Pack your own ‘padkos’ for lunches, which we enjoy at whatever scenic spot takes our fancy along the route.
• Other costs include permit tariffs to enter some of the nature reserves, and the cost of crossing the pont at Kei Mouth, bar bills, tips for external guides, safe parking, etc. but these will not be of any significance.
Price: R14,500 per vehicle. (Price includes expert guiding, VHF radio hire, a detailed waterproof Slingsby Map, Route notes, folders, stationery, name tags, use of recovery gear, compressors and first aid)
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1. If you find a replacement to take your place – 100% refund.
2. If we find a replacement to take your place – 80% refund.
3. If you cancel your booking more than 2 months before the tour – 70% refund or 100% credit.
4. If you cancel your booking less than 60 days before the tour – No refund, but we will give you a credit for a future tour equal to 50%.
5. We pay all the accommodation and meals upfront long before the tour starts. We will negotiate on your behalf with the hotel, guest lodge or B&B for a refund. In general terms most of them are willing to give a substantial or full refund. Whatever refund we can get will be refunded to you in full.
6. The accommodation/meals invoice is sent out about many weeks ahead of the tour. If you cancel your booking, you are still liable for the accommodation, even if you have not paid the invoice yet.
7. In the event that a tour is postponed and you cannot attend on the revised dates, you will receive a 100% credit
Please get in touch with us directly with any questions you may have by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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