This new Wild Coast V4 Tour (Pondoland) tour will start in Matatiele and end in Coffee Bay.
We will be spending 2 to 3 nights at most 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 relaxing lazy day on the beach.
- Friday 6th May – Meet & Greet in Matatiele – overnight at Resthaven Guest House
- Saturday 7th May – Matatiele – Visit Mountain Lake and the Mariazell Mission Overnight at Resthaven.
- Sunday 8th May – Matatiele to Mbotyi. Overnight at the Mbotyi River Lodge.
- Monday 9th May – Mbotyi to Luphathana – Walk to the stunning Waterfall Bluff and Cathedral Rock. Overnight at Mbotyi River Lodge. For the not so fit, there are several other activities available at the lodge. Fishing, walking, swimming (beach, lagoon or pool)
- Tuesday 10th May – Mbotyi to Port St Johns. We will visit Fraser Falls, Angel Falls, Magwa Falls, Magwa Tea Plantation, Port St Johns, Silaka Nature Reserve, the WW2 airstrip on top of Mount Thesiger, Overnight at Mngazi River Bungalows.
- Wednesday 11th May – Excursion to The Gap, Execution Rock, and the Mlengana Pass. Afternoon at leisure and overnight at Mngazi River Bungalows.
- Thursday 12th May – Drive to Coffee Bay via Mpande, Mthonga, Mnenu, Mdumbi and Mthatha River Passes. This is a big day full of amazing sights and lots of technical driving. Overnight Ocean View Hotel in Coffee Bay.
- Friday 13th May – Tour of Hole in the Wall, Mapuzi, Whale Hill, lunch at White Clay Restaurant. Overnight at Ocean View Hotel.
- Saturday 14th May – Kayaking on the Mthatha River or a Grade 3 4×4 drive through a local forest. Final night Chappies Awards. Overnight at Ocean View Hotel.
- Sunday 15th May: Depart for home after breakfast
- If you want to remain on the tour to continue on the V5 Mbashe section making it a back to back journey of 17 days, please book separately for that tour. You will qualify for R1000 rebate on the total package, which we will credit on your accommodation invoice.
You pay per vehicle, and not per person – so this tour is ideal for families, a group of friends and couples.
- Distance: 850 km.
- Drivers’ Briefing, VHF Radio Fitment & Welcoming Party: 18h00 on Friday, 6th May, 2022 at Matatiele.
- Start: Matatiele – 09h00: Saturday 7th May, 2022
- Closing Function & Prize-giving at Coffee Bay: 18h00 14th May, 2022
- End of Tour/Departure: 09h00 – Sunday 15th May, 2022
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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Meet & Greet (Friday 6th May):
Registration, VHF radio fitment, tyre deflation, driver’s briefing, happy hour, dinner. Overnight at Resthaven Guest House.
Day 1 (Sat 7th May):
Explore the Mountain Lake Nature Reserve (have a swim in a natural lake 2000m ASL) and Mariazell Mission near Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve (with its 150 year old Austrian clock, stained glass windows, hydroelectric plant, blacksmith’s shop and time for some introspection at the Cross on the Hill) with local expert Philip Rawlins showing the way. Birding is very good along the approach roads as most of the area consists of wetlands.
Day 2 (Sun 8th May):
We head south over the Nungi and Colona Nek passes (crossing the Umzimvubu River for the first time), via Tabankulu to drive the majestic Mzintlava Pass – 38 km of staggering variety with over 300 bends corners and curves. Here you will begin to understand the Xhosa people and experience their friendliness. 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 (Mon 9th May):
We take a 2 hour 4×4 route northwards to Luphathana, where we leave our vehicles and take a 14 km walk (there and back) accompanied by an experienced local guide to see Waterfall Bluff which plunges directly into the ocean, as well as the showstopper – Cathedral Rock, a massive stack that rises dramatically out of the ocean. For the unfit, there are numerous other activities at the lodge to keep you happy including a pool, the lagoon, the beach, walks, birding, canoeing and fishing.
Day 4 (Tue 10th May):
The day of the 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 drive through the village of Port St Johns to the Silaka Nature Reserve for a picnic lunch right next to a lagoon and the beach.
We then take the steep road up to the old airport on top of the mountain at Mount Thesiger and the Eagles Nest view point. Informal drag racing and some fun will be held along the airstrip (Not to be taken seriously). 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 a perfect setting. Here you can swim in the ocean, the lagoon or the pool.
Day 5 (Wed 11th May):
We take a drive to The Gap to see one of the iconic landmarks of Port St Johns. From there we head to the Mlengana Pass (inland) on the newly completed R61 and the Tutor Ndamase Pass to see the famous Execution Rock and return to Mngazi River Bungalows to overnight. This is an easy day, allowing some spare leisure time in the afternoon.
Day 6 (Thu 12th May):
Our route follows a jigsaw puzzle of gravel roads with a lunch stop at a secret spot. This is a fabulous day of technical driving, majestic views, local Xhosa culture and the crossing of two rivers where there are no bridges, to eventually arrive in Coffee Bay, where we will spend two days at the Ocean View Hotel – situated right on the beach with a lovely pool and a picture perfect golden beach to relax at. Along this coastal stretch you will experience some very basic roads and scenery that will leave you feeling elated.
Day 7 (Fri 13th May):
We explore Mapuzi, Coffee Bay, Hole in the Wall 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, where the service is slow but the food is fabulous. Overnight at the Ocean View Hotel.
Day 8 (Sat 14th May):
Kayaking on the Mthatha River. A great experience using stable craft and an easy adventure, but one you will never forget. Our local guide for both days is Mzo. For those who would prefer a 4×4 drive, we will offer a challenging Grade 3 drive through a nearby forest. Final night awards at the Ocean View Hotel.
Depart after breakfast on Sunday 15th May.
- If you want to remain on the tour to continue on the Wild Coast V5 Mbashe section making it a back to back journey of 17 days, please book separately for that tour. You will qualify for R1000 rebate on the total package, which we will credit on your accommodation invoice.
Accommodation & other costs
Accommodation, meals and ancillary costs are extra, which we will invoice out to you separately.
• Work on R1350 per person per day sharing, for bed, breakfast & dinner. We take care of all the bookings and planning and we keep you updated regularly via email and Whats App as the tour date approaches.
• Pack your own ‘padkos’ for lunches, which we enjoy at whatever scenic spot takes our fancy along the route.
• Other costs for own account include lunch at White Clay on Day 7, the kayak river excursion, bar bills, and gratuities at your discretion. MPSA pays the external guides daily wage, parking/security fees, as well as entry costs into nature reserves.
Price: R14,750 per vehicle. (Price includes expert guiding, VHF radio hire, a detailed waterproof Slingsby Map, Route notes, folders, stationery, name tags, pack lists, guidance, 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 – 100% credit.
4. If you cancel your booking less than 60 days before the tour – 80% credit for a future tour.
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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