If your idea of a hiking holiday is as much about the chilled wine, a comfy bed and a seafood dinner, then the Lower Wild Coast Hotel-Hopping trail should be right up your alley.
The "hotel-hopping" trail extends southwards from the Qora River (Kob Inn) in the north, down to the small town of Cintsa in the south. The full trail is 6 days in duration, but can be shortened to as many days as your leave and budget allow.
The first 3 days of the trail lies to the north of the Kei River in what was formerly known as the Transkei, while the last section extends along the Eastern Cape's Jikeleza Coastal route, north of East London.Trail Details
The hotel-hopping trail is what we would classify as a luxury slackpacking trail. This hike can be walked by anyone who is reasonably fit and enjoys rambling, as there are no serious terrain challenges.
Accommodation is in the characterful old world hotels with 3-course dinners (often fresh line fish and seafood if you time it right), a cooked breakfast to start your day, and a packed lunch to munch-on out on the trail. Porters can be arranged north of the Kei to take your backpack from hotel to hotel, whilst vehicle luggage transfers are possible south of Morgans Bay. You can therefore hike burden-free, though you need pack little more than your clothes and trail shoes on this luxury hiking trail.
The hiking distances between the hotels, allow ample time to soak in the atmosphere, take a swim and a leisurely lunch along way - arriving at the next hotel by mid-afternoon. Hikers have the option of flying into / out of East London, or driving their car to the start / finish of the trail – and we'll arrange a shuttle to the other end.
HIKE - AT A GLANCE
|Trip Duration|| Standard Package: 5 Nights / 4 Hiking Days
This is an easily customised trail to the no days you have available.
|Daily Distances||D1: Kob Inn – Mazeppa 6km D2: Mazeppa - Wavecrest 21km
D3: Wavecrest - Seagulls 13km D4: Seagulls - M.Bay 14km
D5: M.Bay - HagaHaga 14km D6: HagaHaga - Cintsa 16km
|Physical Fitness||Grade 1 – the easy trail gradient and long beach sections make this a good trail for people of moderate fitness who enjoy rambling. It is our easiest Wild Coast Hike offering.|
|Technicality||Grade 1 – some small boulder hopping on rocky beach sections but NO major scrambling or sheer sections.|
|Trail Terrain||Coastal Trail - gently undulating hills, long stretches of pristine beaches, secluded bays, rich fertile estuaries and jutting headlands.|
|Accommodation||Old world characterful Transkei Hotels: 3-4 course dinners, full cooked breakfasts and packed lunches all provided.|
|Logistic Support||This is a luxury slackpacking trail. Fully catered with hotel accommodation and end-point transfer/shuttle included.
Luggage support can be offered but is an optional extra:
North of the Kei - Porters can be arranged & cost R120/porter/per day
South of Morgan Bay - Vehicle luggage transfers can be organised & cost R450/per transfer (shared amongst the group)
Guides - included up to Wavecrest/ Seagulls, thereafter optional extra but a detailed map & trail markings are provided.
|Tour Highlights||Crowned cranes & excellent birdlife at the stunning Nxaxo lagoon, Wavecrest (also the most southern stand of Mangroves), the rusting hulk of the Jacaranda Shipwreck, Doleritic cliffs & headlands around Morgan Bay, searching for ming porcelain sherds around Black Rock, cowries and other shell finds near Haga Haga, pristine estuaries, high dunes and golden miles of beach on the final day from Haga Haga – Cintsa, beers on the deck at Wavecrest, renowned cuisine & massage opportunity at Morgan Bay hotel.|
|Other Activities||Trevor's Cultural trail (available from Seagulls or Trennerys), canoeing, horse riding (on prior request), rock & surf fishing, birding, ocean swimming. Inwenkwezi Game Reserve experience can be offered at the end of the hike.|
|Fauna & Flora||Expansive grasslands, mangal estuaries, indigenous forest patches and forested ravines, endemic flora species.|
|Climate||Mild sub-tropical climate with small seasonal temperature variation. Summer months (Nov - Feb), avg max daily temperatures of around 27-29 degrees C, whilst winter months (June - Aug) avg 21 degrees C. Night temps seldom drops below 10 degree C in winter and average around 15 degrees C in summer. The Wild Coast is a relatively high rainfall area (approx 1000mm annually) with most rain received from summer thunderstorms (avg of 150mm/month in Nov - Feb), whilst the driest months, June-Aug produce an average of 40mm/month.|
|Seasonality & Best Time Year||Due to its temperate climate, the Wild Coast is good for hiking all year round. Whilst summer days can be quite sweaty, a refreshing swim in the ocean enroute becomes all the more inviting. Summer rainfall is usually in the form of quick thundershowers which pass quickly. Summer is also best for birdlife.
The mild weather, sunny days & low probability of rain during winter also make this an excellent time (& a welcome retreat from the biting cold of an interior winter). Spring & Autumn months generally combine the best of all conditions.
Availability: Is generally not a problem OUTSIDE of the popular school/public holidays, when the hotels are fully booked. If you are a family group or teachers – we will try our best to accommodate you during school holidays but Dec & April school holidays are particularly busy.
|Group Size||Minimum 2 persons - no maximum, although groups of 14 persons for a single transfer vehicle|
|Price / PP||A custom quote will be given based on your itinerary and no of days but an indicative price on our 5 Night/ 4 Hike Day Luxury Package is as follows:
6 persons or more: R 4,800 - R5,400 pp/sharing
* Depending on accom choice
Groups of 5 persons or less: Enquire for a customised quote
Fly-in (East London): longest shuttle from airport included but group will need to pay for the 2nd shorter shuttle