Lower Wild Coast Mountain Bike Adventure
Taking place on the Lower Wild Coast, this unique mountain biking destination was placed on the map by the famous Imana Wild Ride. Our tour follows more or less the same route as the Wild Ride but takes things at a more relaxed tempo. The full tour begins in Morgan Bay and follows the rugged coastline north, to finish in Coffee Bay (4 Ride Days) or through to Umngazi / Port St. Johns (6 Ride Days).
Groups can overnight in the friendly Wild Coast hotels along the way, or chose a mix of accommodation - from nature reserves, hotels, vibey eco-lodges and private cottages – offering a kaleidoscope of wild coast flavours along the way.
The more laid-back pace of our Wild Coast Adventure tour offers plenty of time for swims, chats to the locals and photos along the way, so is aimed at social groups with a good level of mountain biking fitness and adventurous spirits, looking for a cycle tour on the wilder side.
- Trip Duration5 Nights / 4 Ride Days: Morgan Bay – Coffee Bay6 -7 Nights / 5 - 6 Ride Days: Morgan Bay – Umngazi / PSJ
- Daily DistancesDay 1: Morgan Bay – Mazeppa 47kmDay 2: Mazeppa -Haven 45kmDay 3: Haven – Coffee Bay 48kmDay 4: Coffee Bay - Mpande 44km Day 5: Mpande – Umngazi 21km or PSJ 32km
- Trail Grading4 / 5 - Fitness. Persons with a good level of strength, fitness and an adventurous mindset enjoy this tour most. Endurance counts far more than speed on this type of tour, where a fair amount of time can be spent portaging and getting on and off your bike. Riding on the Wild Coast is about time in (and out of) the saddle.3/ 5 - Technicality. Some technical skills are useful to be able to stay on your bike through soft sand and rutted paths. However, pushing and portaging sections is always an option and in many instances, a necessity.
- Trail TerrainCoastal Mountain Bike trail: if timed well with tides, up to 50% beach riding, otherwise primarily cattle and fishermen paths, 4x4 tracks and small sections of district road.There are some steep, rocky or soft sand sections on which you will have to push or portage your bike, as well as river crossings to keep things interesting.
- AccommodationTranskei Hotels & Private CottagesBudget alternatives: Nature Reserves & Backpacker alternatives on some nights depending on route/days
- Logistic SupportOpt A: Fully Supported & Guided Mountain Bike Tour: 2 x Guides, all meals & daily back-up vehicle and luggage transfers.Opt B: vehicle supported tour but self-guided.
- Group SizePreferred min 6 persons - max 10 for a single transfer vehicleUp to 16 persons with two transfers.
- PricingCustom Quote required, but guideline for 5 Ride Day/ 5 Night trip, based on 8 Persons:Opt A – Choice Hotels, Guided & Vehicle Supported: R14 000/ppOpt B – Self-guided but vehicle supported: R11 200/pp
It is 139km of riding through to Coffee Bay and close on 200km to Umngazi from our starting point in Morgan Bay. The standard tour will cover the full distance over 5 days of riding with the first or final day of the Imana Wild Ride, being split over two days.
The average daily ride distance is around 45km/day. For less fit groups we can also do the full route over 6 ride days - overnighting at both Wavecrest and Mpande enroute.
A 'rest day' can be included at any of the overnight places enroute, which allows one to make this as much a holiday as a journey.
- Day 1Arrival Day: Transfer through to Morgan Bay
Self-drive to Umngazi River Bungalows – leave vehicles there & get transfer through to Morgan Bay OR get pick-up from EL airport
Overnight: Morgan Bay / Mitford hotel
- Day 2Ride Day 1: Morgan Bay to Wavecrest (29km / 382m ascent)
Overnight: Wavecrest hotel
- Day 3Ride Day 2: Cycle to Mazeppa/Kob Inn (21/ 26km / 223m ascent)
Overnight: Kob Inn or Mazeppa
- Day 4Ride Day 3: Cycle Kob Inn/ Mazeppa – Haven Hotel (35km / 290m ascent)
Overnight: Haven Hotel
- Day 5Ride Day 4: Cycle Haven to Coffee Bay (52km / 1100m ascent)
Overnight: Ocean View Hotel / or Coffee Bay Backpackers
- Day 6Ride Day 5: Cycle Coffee Bay to Umngazi (63km / 1300m ascent)
Overnight: Umngazi River Bungalows (avail permitting)
- Day 7Departure Day
Leave in own vehicles from Umngazi OR transfer back to East London or Morgan Bay.
Transkei Hotels - 3 star family-friendly hotels
Private Cottages for larger groups
Nature Reserves if prepared to self-cater
Backpacker alternatives in some places
- Is it possible to self-guide but have vehicle back-up support?
Yes we offer this – see Option B. We can provide daily route guidelines and a gps route, though the best route is always determined by the tide and weather conditions on the day. Our support vehicle can really only carry luggage from lodge to lodge, so out on the trail you are on your own – but that is the true spirit of this adventure .
- How good a mountain-biker do you need to be, to do this tour?
Wild Coast riding is much more about endurance than it is about speed and skills. Skills help of course, to stay on your bike longer as you navigate the fisherman paths or negotiate some soft sand, but overall – it’s about time in the saddle, and a good amount of ‘vasbyt’ when the going gets tough. A 40km day on the Wild Coast is a full day on the trail so you’ll be grateful for the shorter / half-days…for this is a journey not a race.
- Can we hire bikes?
Afraid not. The sand and salt also takes its toll on your steed, so if you have the luxury of a ‘B’ bike…but still in good working order, bring the ‘B’ bike. You will need to bring your bike-specific spares and if going without a guide, have at least someone in your group who has some idea about running trail repairs.
- It is possible to make this trip shorter?
Yes, by stopping at Coffee Bay. But, given the planning and effort involved in a Wild Coast MTB Adventure, you wouldn’t want to make it any shorter than four days.
Opt A - 6N Guided & Fully Supported
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Opt B - 6N Self-Guided but Vehicle Supported
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- 6 Nights Accom (sharing basis): Morgan Bay or Mitford Hotel, Wavecrest hotel, Kob Inn or Mazeppa Hotel, Haven Hotel, Ocean View Hotel - Coffee Bay, Umngazi Bungalows (costed on garden units) - availability permitting
- All meals: from dinner on arrival night to breakfast on final day.
- 1 (up to 9 persons) / 2 (9-12 persons) Quantum vehicles (with trailer) to collect group from East London Airport – transfer to Morgan Bay
- 1 - 2 Quantum vehicle (with trailer) to collect group from Umngazi & transfer either to Durban (King Shaka) or East London airport
- Back-up Support Vehicle - with Driver to transfer luggage from hotel to hotel each day & will be able to assist in case of serious emergency (4x4 acces roads permitting)
- * OPT A - Private Cycle Guide for all ride days
- Personal Insurance / Emergency Evacuation
- Flights or self-driving to East London
- Nature Reserve & Ferry Crossings - need to be paid direct (no more than R200/pp)