Wild Coast Adventure Tour V4 2022 – Pondoland
(6th to 15th May, 2022)

6th to 15th May, 2022

After our hugely successful Nov 2021 tour, we have been hard at work adding a few major refinements to the tour, by shortening driving distances and creating more leisure time at the fabulous lodges we will be visiting. Sign up for 8 thrilling days & 9 nights, discovering the very best this breath-taking, remote region has to offer in the safety of a group!

Join us on this guided, self-drive adventure, driving to beautifully wild places few people have been before, in the camaraderie and safety of like-minded explorers, under the expert guidance of Trygve Roberts.

  • You do not need to be experienced at off-road driving to do this tour. We will show you how.
  • We can only take 4×4 vehicles with low range and adequate ground clearance on this tour.
  • Maximum 11 vehicles. Please note we cannot accept vehicles with low profile tyres as the roads can be very rough and stony in places.

We charge per vehicle only, and not per passenger so our tours are ideal for couples, families & friends.

This new tour will start in Matatiele and end in Coffee Bay, exploring the vast, rugged beauty of the untouched, pristine Wild Coast which is still as magnificent as it was 150 years ago.

More info below.

Alternative tour option: Instead of this tour, you can also book the Wild Coast V5 2022 Mbashe tour, that will start in Coffee Bay and end in Morgan Bay (16th to 25th May, 2022). Or book both back-to-back tours.

Fully Booked

SKU: MPSA-WILDC2022v4 Category: Tags: , , ,

Description

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). Optional drive to the Msikaba Gorge.
  • Tuesday 10th May –  Rest day at Mbotyi River Lodge.
  • Wednesday 11th May –Mbotyi to Port St Johns. We will visit Fraser Falls, Angel Falls, Magwa Falls, Magwa Tea Plantation, Port St Johns, the WW2 airstrip on top of Mount Thesiger, overnight at Cremorne Resort.
  • Thursday 12th May – Excursion to The Gap, Execution Rock, and the Mlengana Pass. Afternoon at leisure and overnight at Cremorne Resort. This is a big day full of amazing sights and lots of technical driving.
  • Friday 13th May – Drive to Coffee Bay via Mpande, Mthonga, Mnenu, Mdumbi and Mthatha River Passes. Overnight at Ocean View Hotel.
  • Saturday 14th May – Tour of Hole in the Wall, Mapuzi, Whale Hill, lunch at White Clay Restaurant. 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 19 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.

Mariazell Mission Station near Lesotho - Mountain Passes South Africa (Wild Coast Tour)

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.

Mzintlava Pass - Eastern Cape - Mountain Passes South Africa (Wild Coast Tour)
Portrait photo credit: Getty Images

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. We will also be offering a drive to the Msikaba Gorge for those that are unable to do the walk.

Magwa Falls - Eastern Cape - Wild Coast Tour - Mountain Passes South Africa

Day 4 (Tue 10th May):

This is your rest day to recover from the rigours of the hike.

Day 5 (Wednesday 11th 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.

Magwa Tea Plantation and Gates of St Johns - Mountain Passes South Africa - Wild Coast Tour
Photo credits: (L) DispatchLIVE | (R) Amapondo Backpackers

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 Cremorne Estate which is also right on the river in a perfect setting.

Day 6 (Thursday 12th 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 Cremorne Resort to overnight. This is an easy day, allowing some spare leisure time in the afternoon. We have created an alternative return route through the mountains and the Majolo Tea Estates, which we will utilize if the weather is suitable.

Execution Rock - Mlengana Pass - Mountain Passes South Africa - Wild Coast Tour
Photo credits: (L) Tracks 4 Africa (C) Andrew Harvard

Day 7 (Friday 13th May):

We say farewell to Cremorne  as 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 nights 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 8 (Saturday 14th 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 epitomizes the essence of the Wild Coast, where the service is slow but the food is fabulous. Overnight at the Ocean View Hotel where we will enjoy our final night Chappies Awards and dinner (always lots of fun)

Coffee Bay | Hole in the Wall | Mountain Passes South Africa | Wild Coast Tour
Photo credits: (L) PhotoDestination | (R) Kurt Böhi on Flickr

Day 9 (Sun 15th May):

Depart after breakfast 

  • 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 19 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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Cancellation Policy

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: info@mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za

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