Hotel-Hopping Wild Coast

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-Hopper is your trail.

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 we offer 3 main trails which cover this stretch - two 5 night/ 4 day hikes (the Meander & Sunshine Trail) and a shorter 3 night/ 2 hike day Minibreak trail which runs from Morgan Bay to Chintsa. Our trails can be adapted as much as your leave and budget allows.

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.

  • Trip Duration5 Nights / 4 Hike Days or 3 Nights/ 2 Hike DaysEasily customised with rest days or extensions
  • Daily DistancesDay 1: 6km Day 2: 18/21km Day 3: 13 / 16km Day 4: 14kmDay 5: 14km Day 6: 16km
  • Trail Grading2 / 5 - Fitness. The easy trail gradient and long beach sections make this a good trail for people of moderate fitness or older/younger hikers.1 / 5 - Technicality. Some small boulder hopping on rocky beach sections but no scrambling or sheer sections.
  • Trail TerrainCoastal Trail – mostly flattish terrain with some small hills, long stretches of pristine beaches, secluded bays, and beautiful estuaries
  • AccommodationOld world characterful Transkei Hotels3-4 course dinners, full cooked breakfasts and packed lunches provided
  • Logistic SupportFully catered with hotel accommodationShuttle to the hike start or to/from EL airportLuggage support by vehicle included south of the Kei River. Porters arranged north of the Kei.Guide - included on all hike days
  • Group SizeFrom 2 persons. No maximum, but 12 persons / per transfer vehicle.
  • PricingOn a group of 6 persons: from R8000/pp for a 5 night/4 day hike
At a Glance

This hike is more accessible to younger and older hikers as the terrain flattens out (fewer hills) with paths running close to the beach, or along wide flat beaches.

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 Morgan’s Bay. You can therefore hike burden-free, though you need pack little more than your clothes and trail shoes on this slackpacker.

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 in / 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.

  1. Day 1 - Meander TrailArrival Day: Self-drive to Morgan Bay or Fly to EL – transfer to Kob Inn or Mazeppa

    Self-drive to Morgan Bay & get private transfer through to Kob Inn OR transfer from East London airport (approx. 3hrs).

    Overnight: Kob Inn/ Mazeppa hotel (Dinner)

  2. Day 2Hike Day 1: Hike to Mazeppa (5km) / or to Cebe Guesthouse (19km from Kob Inn)

    Enjoy the morning on the beach at Kob Inn, have lunch and then take an afternoon stroll to Mazeppa.

    OR do a longer first day - hiking through to Cebe Guesthouse (19km from Kob Inn, 14.5km from Mazeppa)

    Today’s route is perhaps the ‘wildest’ - offering a mix of sandy beaches flanked by rippled dunes one side and flat-shelved wave-cut rocks on the other; and grassy banks that pass natural springs and indigenous forests alive with birds and insects.

    After crossing the Ngqwara River its a combination of beach, flat rocky shelves and grassy tracks before reaching the beautiful Cebe River Mouth. Flanked on both sides with thick indigenous forest, this river mouth is a truly a wild and special spot.

    Overnight: Mazeppa hotel / Cebe Guesthouse (Breakfast, packed lunch & Dinner)

  3. Day 3Hike Day 2: Hike to Wavecrest (20km from Mazeppa, 7km from Cebe)

    The hike from Cebe to Wavecrest is almost all along the beach, passing the beautiful Bowkers Bay and around Sandy's point.

    Behind the dunes lies some very interesting artefacts - likely meteoritic in origin.

    Arriving at Wavecrest by midday or early afternoon, allows one to explore this beautiful estuary. Canoes are available from the hotel or - tide-permitting - enjoy a boozy sunset cruise up the estuary.

    Overnight: Wavecrest Hotel (Breakfast, packed lunch & dinner)

  4. Day 4Hike Day 3: Hike Wavecrest to Seagulls / Trennerys (13.5km)

    From Wavecrest to the Kobonqaba River, you will pass through a lovely section of indigenous forest.

    After the Kobonqaba River crossing, the trail is easy going. Look out for the last remains of the Jacaranda Shipwreck – a Greek Freighter that was wrecked in 1971 on a voyage from East London to Durban.

    After crossing the Qolora river it is about another 800m along the beach to Seagulls hotel, or Trennerys, located on the estuary.

    Overnight: Seagulls / Trennerys Hotel (Breakfast, packed lunch & dinner)

  5. Day 5Hike Day 4: Hike Trennerys - Morgan Bay (14km)

    The mighty Kei River will be crossed by motorised pont.

    After passing through the small village of Kei Mouth, you will head in the direction of the lighthouse and then back down to the rocky coast.

    The beach marks the final stretch through to Morgan Bay.

    Overnight: Mitford Hotel or upgrade to Morgan bay hotel avail permitting (Breakfast, packed lunch & Dinner)

  6. Day 6Departure Day

    Breakfast incl. Leave in own vehicles left in Morgan Bay or transfer provided back to EL airport.

Nxaxo River Cruise - Wavecrest

Tide-permitting, a sunset cruise us the Nxaxo estuary, offers the perfect tonic to the end of a good days hike.

Old world characterful Transkei Hotels (ranging from 3-4 Star): 3-4 course dinners, full cooked breakfasts and packed lunches all provided.

Double, Twin and family room options are available. Single supplement will apply if you specifically request your own room.

Our hiking groups are given the nicest rooms availabilty permitting, but there are upgrade options available at some of the hotels - on request.

Crawford Cabins, CintsaFinal night of the Sunshine Hotel-Hopping trail
  1. Can we get vehicle luggage transfers the whole way?

    From Kob Inn to Morgan Bay we strongly encourage employing porters for the local income earning opportunity it provides. From Morgan Bay to Cintsa, vehicle luggage transfers are included in your tour price. Porters need to be pre-arranged with us but they get paid directly.

  2. What type of footwear is appropriate?

    A hiking type shoe or trail running sneaker is perfect for this trail.

  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 more stable months with less rainfall. If possible, it is best to try avoid the busy school holiday periods. Peak period rates will apply during Dec/ Jan holidays. Winter months offer a wonderful and stable climate for hiking and the annual sardine run brings with it game fish, schools of dolphin, and pelagic birds - a great time to hike along this coastline.

  4. How do the group transfers work?

    We include and cost for a group transfer/shuttle from either the end point of the hike to the start (usually done at the beginning so you hike back to your vehicle) OR return airport transfers (to/from East London airport). Groups need to co-ordinate their flight arrival times. On larger groups, it is possible to do multiple transfers but you will pay for the additional transfers as required. It is also possible to collect some of the group from the airport and the rest from the hike end-point, but additional 'detour' charges will apply.

Meander Trail (5 Nights/ 4 Hike Days)

Group SizePrice (PP) 
4-5 Persons
R8200/pp
6 - 8 Persons
R7800/pp

Minibreak: Morgan Bay - Cinsta (3 nights/ 2 hike days)

Group SizePrice (PP) 
4-5 Persons
R5400/pp
6 - 8 Persons
R5100/pp
Whats included in this tour
  • 5 Night Meander Trail:
  • 5 Nights Accommodation: Wavecrest, Trennerys, Mitford Lodge, Haga Haga & Crawfords
  • All meals: from dinner on arrival night to breakfast on departure day (5 Breakfasts, 4 Packed Lunches and 5 Dinners).
  • Hiking Guide on every hike day
  • Private Transfer - collect from Crawfords – transfer to Wavecrest (for self-drives) OR return airport transfers if flying into/out of East London
  • Vehicle Luggage transfers incl on last 2 hike days: Morgan Bay to Haga & Haga to Crawfords
Whats not included in this tour
  • Porters are employed on the first 2 hikes day. We must pre-book the porters, but porters are paid directly – budget  R200 - R250/porter/per day
  • If you are a large group, a vehicle luggage transfer from Trennerys - Morgan Bay - R1100/transfer.
  • Change to Morgan Bay hotel (avail dependent) – budget extra R250/pp