A five day, 89 kilometre guided hike (Elevation gain/loss: 1789m / -1778m) from Port Edward to Mbotyi. This is an unforgettable experience!
You will stay in huts in villages along the way. The huts are those of widows and the money generated helps them earn an income. Supper, breakfast and a basic lunch pack for each day’s hike is provided. Bathing is in warm water in a washing basin every night. A shuttle (hired taxi) brings you back from Mbotyi to Port Edward.
Day 1 – 27 kilometres (Elevation gain/loss: 595m / -511m) This hiking trail starts at the Wild Coast Sun just past Port Edward in the Eastern Cape Province and heads towards the golf course and then crosses the Mzamba river on a 153m suspension bridge. From here you walk towards the coastline and cross over the Mpahlane river at the beach. The first of many river crossings during the next 5 days.
Shoes off and you set out for 11km’s of hiking on the beach, crossing the Mnyameni river along the way. It’s a lot more difficult than expected when hiking 11km’s on sea sand. Next you trek through the amazing red desert, which is the smallest desert in the world, for 4km’s and then back towards the beach crossing at the Sikhombe river and a short 2.5km walk up to Mtentu village where you stay on the first night.
Day 2 – 20 kilometres (Elevation gain/loss: 290m / -274m) You leave Mtentu village around 8am and after a short walk down to the beach, cross the Mtentu river by paddle boat. The next 14km’s are in the Mkhambathi nature reserve where you can explore the Weolmi shipwreck and view Mkhambathi and Strandloper falls. Next is GweGwe beach for lunch followed by a paddle across the Msikaba river and a short uphill walk to Ndengane village for the evening.
Day 3 – 11 kilometres (Elevation gain/loss: 141m / -160m) An easy hiking day which starts with a walk down to Kilroe beach and some easy river crossings. You can view the Mbaxeni pools and falls and after a short swim you hike to the Grosvenor Shipwreck site (sank in 1782). The sardine run is visible from here at the right time of the year, a never-ending silver line chased by birds, whales and over 100 dolphins, and can be a truly amazing experience.
You have lunch at the beautiful Lambasi bay followed by a few relaxing hours on the beach. Later in the afternoon you hike up to Rhole village for the night.
Day 4 – 22 kilometres (Elevation gain/loss: 667m / -524m) The most scenic of all the days walking along the cliffs looking down to the huge ocean waves crashing into the rocks. From the village you take a short hike down and cross the Mkweni river (no paddle boat so it is a swim across with your backpack) and you get to Luphatana beach. Huge waves hit the ledge and explod high up into the sky, a remarkable sight.
Next you hike to Waterfall Bluff (one of only 19 waterfalls in the world that falls directly into the sea) and then onto Mamba pools for lunch and some cliff diving for those brave enough. A short distance further was Cathedral rock and Secret falls, a view that will stay in in your memories forever. Then its just a short walk up to Cutwini village.
Day 5 – 9 kilometres (Elevation gain/loss: 96m / -309m) You hike down a steep hill to Shelly beach and on to Mbotyi to meet your taxi to Magwa Falls which is the second highest in South Africa at 144 metres and higher than Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
The falls are in the middle of the 1800-hectare Magwa tea plantations, the biggest remaining tea plantation in South Africa. After viewing the falls, your taxi drives you about 150km to our vehicles parked at the Wild Coast Sun.
You are guided by a local who grew up in the area and they are brilliant. They know the route better than anyone and have knowledge of the shipwrecks and history of the area.