Coffee Bay to Bulungula Backpacking Trail

For backpackers using the Baz bus, or hikers keen on a landmark trail that can be packed into a long-weekend, this is the trail for you. Starting at Coffee Bay - or Mdumbi for a longer hike option – the trail allows walkers to pack in some of the most scenic and iconic Wild Coast 'scapes' on a tight schedule and budget.

This is a fully guided trail, overnighting in funky backpackers with hearty meals included. We will also arrange for the bulk of your luggage to be safely transferred to the hike finish, so you get to hike with just your daypack.... as all you really need is a change of clothes, a sarong and your toothbrush!

So come get your ‘insta' moment at the fabled Hole-in-the-Wall and end your experience at the fair trade eco-lodge, Bulungula – voted one of the world's Top 25 Ultimate Ethical Travel Experiences by Rough Guide.

  • Trip Duration2 Hike Days/ 3 - 4 NightsCan be extended to 3 Hike Days
  • Daily DistancesDay 1: 16km Day 2: 13kmExtended trail: 11km
  • Trail Grading3.5 / 5 - Fitness. The section between Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall has some of the steepest hills on the Wild Coast. However, you need only hike with a small backpack.3 / 5 for Technicality. Exposed paths on Day 1, but no dangerous sections
  • Trail TerrainCoastal Trail – on one of SA's most dramatic and beautiful coastlines. Sandy and rocky beaches, lagoons, jutting cliffs, rock formations in the sea, mangrove swamps, rock pools and interesting intertidal life, good birdlife and fishing.
  • AccommodationBackpackersCommunity-Owned Fair Trade Eco-Lodge
  • Logistic SupportFully guided and catered hiking trail with transfers included to/from Mtata.Main luggage transfer to end-point
  • Group SizeFrom 2 persons – max 14 pax/per guide.
  • Pricing4 Night/ 2 Hike Day trail based on 6-9 pax: R3700/pp
At a Glance

This is the perfect Wild Coast trail for backpackers using the Baz bus, or hikers keen on a landmark trail that can be packed into a long-weekend 3-4 Nights / 2 Hike days.

Starting at Coffee Bay, or Mdumbi for a longer hike option, the trail allows walkers to pack in some of the most scenic and iconic Wild Coast 'scapes' on a tight schedule and budget.

It is a fully guided trail, overnighting in funky backpackers with tasty, hearty meals all included. We can also arrange for the bulk of your luggage to be safely transferred to the hike finish, so you get to hike with just a small backpack.

On this trail, you will pass the iconic Hole in the Wall , where the roar of ocean through this hollowed cliff gives rise to its Xhosa name 'esiKhaleni' - place of sound. You will end the hike at Bulungula – a 100% community owned backpacker lodge and voted one of the world's Top 25 Ultimate Ethical Travel Experiences by Rough Guide.

  1. Day 1Arrival Day

    Public Transport Options -

    14h30 - Baz Bus drops off at Mtata & we’ll arrange a shuttle down to Coffee Bay (1- 1.5hr transfer time)

    Self-drive

    OR self-drive to Mtata – leaving vehicle in secure premises. Transfer down to Coffee Bay (approx 1.5hr).

    Overnight: Coffee Bay Backpacker (Dinner)

  2. Day 2Hike Day 1: Hike from Coffee Bay – Lubanzi (16km/6-7hrs walk)

    Todays hike is up and down and hugs the cliff-line with absolutely breathtaking views. Baby hole, black rock and probably the most well-known feature on the entire Wild Coast, Hole-in-the-Wall, stand in wait. Tonights accommodation is either in a local backpacker or nearby homestay.

    Overnight: Lubanzi Backpacker/Homestay (Breakfast & packed lunch from C’Bay. Dinner at Lubanzi)

  3. Day 3Hike Day 2: Hike from Lubanzi – Bulungula Lodge (12km/4hrs walk).

    Todays hike takes you around Mbolompo point, past Mncwasa mouth and on to the picturesque Mpame bay. Up and over a headland and then a long beach awaits for the final stretch in to Bulungula lodge.

    Overnight: Bulungula Eco-lodge (Breakfast & packed lunch from Lubanzi. Dinner at Bulungula)

  4. Day 4Free Day at Bulungula or Depart

    Backpacker Shuttle Runs 4 days/week - Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sun leaves 9.30 - gets to Mtata 1pm, airport 1.30pm.

    Or enjoy a free day at Bulungula – beach time, pancakes at a local restaurant or visiting one of the many Bulungula Incubator Projects.

    Overnight: Bulungula Eco-lodge (Breakfast &dinner at Bulungula)

  5. Day 5Departure Day - back in Mtata around midday

    Backpacker Shuttle Runs 4 days/week - Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sun leaves 9.30 - gets to Mtata 1pm, airport 1.30pm.

Beaches and Bays

Up and over grassy headlands and to the next secluded bay.

Friendly Backpackers – usually have some double rooms otherwise small dorms for your group to share.

Community homestay - bedding and meals provided.

Private Double - Backpacker RoomWe try to book double or twin rooms, otherwise small private dorms for groups
Colourful Community-based Eco-lodgeA true community owned and operated backpackers
  1. Is it possible to organise vehicle luggage transfers on this hike?

    It is not very feasible. It is much better to organise porters on this hike. Budget around R300/porter/per day. However, with the backpacker shuttles between both Coffee Bay and Bulungula, it is possible to send your main travel bag (your extra gear you do not need to be hiking with) to your end-point, at your own risk.

  2. What type of footwear is appropriate?

    Because the terrain can be steep and get slippery / muddy, some groups have said that a sturdier hiking boot with ankle support comes highly recommended. I personally still prefer a hiking type shoe or trail sneaker, with a solid sole and grip.

  3. What is the best time of year for this trail?

    The Wild Coast has a very temperate climate so can be hiked all year round, but from about March through to November tend to be better months i.t.o less rainfall. Winter months offer a wonderful and stable climate for hiking and the annual sardine run brings with it game fish, schools of dolphins and pelagic birds.

  4. Is it possible to self-cater?

    It is. The backpackers are well equipped for self-catering. The homestays, however, prefer to give meals as they do not provide facilities for self-catering.

At a Glance

Group SizePrice (PP) 
2 Person
R3700/pp
3-5 Persons
R3400/pp
6-10 Persons
R3200/pp
11 or more
R3100/pp
Whats included in this tour
  • 3 Nights Accom (sharing basis): Coffee Bay Backpacker, Lubanz Backpacker/VBA, Bulungula Lodge
  • All meals: from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure: 3 dinners, 3 breakfast, 2 packed lunches
  • Backpacker Shuttles: from/ back to Mtata
  • Hiking Guide - for 2 Days up to Bulungula
  • AE Customisation & Booking Service