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The Pondo Trail 2023 – Wild Coast, South Africa
You will see while we help you to understand; you will listen while we help you to hear; you will touch while we help you to feel.
Anyone can hike the Transkei Coast – What defines us is the Wild Child Experience. From the magnificent 311km Wild Coast, we have carefully and purposefully chosen our Pondo Trail® as the canvas upon which we create a series of unique experiences and memorable moments.
It’s a privilege to highlight aspects of the vibrant Mpondo culture and history and enthral you with many wonderful tales of adventure, shipwrecks and survival and how they have shaped this coastline. The unique microclimate presents countless opportunities to observe and appreciate the many endemic plants, animals and birds that occur in this area. The Wild Coast moves at its own pace and on our trails we take the time to appreciate her mystical charms and natural wonders.
It is a guided trail to ensure safety, but also to ensure that you experience all that each day has to offer.
The Pondo Trail® is not a hike; it’s a journey, an experience, an adventure.
This unique coastline is too fragile to sustain high density tourism. Therefore, we have created an exclusive, high-end product with a low environmental impact. The 4-night trip is fully supported and catered, allowing you to ‘travel light’ and embrace their surroundings. Behind the scenes, our ground crew will transport your luggage to each overnight stop and to make sure the Champagne is chilled and the fire is dancing upon your arrival.
You can hike the Transkei, or, you can experience it the Wild Child Way.
Our adventure begins at the Mtentu River with a safety briefing and gear check before a short swim across the river to enter the Mkambathi Nature Reserve. The day then offers incredible diversity in a mostly forgotten wilderness; grass plains with a large range of antelope, a picnic lunch beneath a crystal-clear waterfall finishing with sundowners overlooking the Msikaba estuary. Overnight at Msikaba Pondo Camp. Distance 15km.
An early wakeup will coax you out of bed for a sunrise paddle up the Msikaba estuary for coffee and rusks before returning for breakfast at camp. The trail continues South from Msikaba to Luphatana past the site of the famous Grosvenor shipwreck, conveniently situated besides a protected beach, perfect for a lunchbreak and siesta. Champagne Mile and the famous Wild Coast salt-water-shower marks the end of the day’s walk and bring us to the Luphatana Pondo Camp where we will rest our heads for the night. Distance 18km.
This day is a mighty one! Filled with majestic landmarks and breath-taking viewpoints, Waterfall Bluff, Bessie’s Cave and Cathedral Rock are only a few of the highlights that can be looked forward to. The day offers numerous opportunities to harvest seafood along the way that will add flavour to our lunch-time braai at our secret pool. Overnight at either Mbotyi River Lodge or a private beach cottage. Distance – 17km.
As in every good story, we save the best for last. The short stretch from Mbotyi to Manteku is the epitome of this beautiful coastline; five secluded, beautiful, pristine, Milkwood framed beaches that have no road access but that are linked by secret cattle paths only. A cheeky last climb presents the perfect viewpoint over a fairy-tale finish line; Manteku’s private beach and estuary. Spend the afternoon paddling and fishing in the Manteku estuary before a celebratory seafood feast having successfully conquered the mighty Pondo Trail. Overnight at Manteku Pondo Camp. Distance 10km
Enjoy breakfast at leisure and return home sporting the glorious “Pondo Glow”
Cost for 2023:
R11 500pp for SA residents
R16 000pp for non-residents