3 day tour – Msikaba base or Mtentu base
Pondoland Tours is over 100km of pristine unspoiled coastline situated along the East Coast of South Africa, stretching from Mtamvuna in the North extending southwards along a rugged sandstone coastline past Port St. Johns to the Mthatha river. Pondoland Tours is made up of a paradise of beaches, grasslands, game and cattle trails, forests, waterfalls, gorges and is filled with spectacular surroundings.
Where : Pondoland on the Wild Coast
Trail Length : +-120km, 3 days
Starting Point : Wild Coast Sun
Terrain : Beach sand, river crossings, grasslands, and varied paths and single tracks
Msikaba base: +-50kms from start, luxury tented camp with boma and solar lighting
Mtentu base: +-35kms from start, thatched log cabins, no electricity – bring your torch!
Facilities: Hot showers and warm beds, kitchen, braai area and panoramic views.
Best time: All year round
Points of interest: Mkambati nature reserve, Mkhambati falls, “Olympic” pool, “Super Bowl”, Waterfall Bluff, Mtentu estuary and the “Red Desert”
Cost: R4000.00 includes everything from start to finish except supplements of a personal nature & alcoholic drinks. Transfers from Durban and back are also included.
A short 2.5 hour drive from Durban takes you to the start of a 3 day adventure filled mountain biking trail expedition. Travel from Durban to the start and back again can be arranged.
Day 1… we depart from the Wild Coast Sun leaving behind civilisation and entering the unspoiled land of the Pondo, reaching the Mzamba river, either by way of ferry or wading. Once across, there are two options, the beach, which is tide and weather dependant and involves forging the Mnyameni river and a 20km beach ride to Sikhombe. From Sikhombe the trail leaves the beach and gradually ascends over the ridge to Mtentu, the other option is to go inland looping around the Mnyameni gorge and stopping off at an awe inspiring waterfall for a bite to eat and cooling off under the fresh waterfall. A short climb up a rough dirt road takes us to a long adrenalin pumping descent down to Mtentu.
After a lunch stop the trail crosses the Mtentu estuary into the Mkhambati nature reserve which was originally a leper colony and hospital and is now 17 140 hectares of one of mother natures most amazing treasures. After covering approximately 5km of game trails, we reach Mkhambati falls, one of the only three waterfalls in Southern Africa that falls directly into the sea. After short pit stop and quick swim to freshen up and revitalise the senses we carry on along the coast, riding more game paths passing Gwe-Gwe bay and the “Olympic” pool at sensation rocks. The trail meanders on and off the beach to the final destination at Msikaba, where a luxury tented bush camp becomes the base and home for the duration of the adventure. Our back up crew will be there waiting for your arrival with ice cold beers and refreshments, enough to cheer any weary rider before putting on a sumptuous bush dinner.
Day 2… is met with a hearty breakfast and a leisurely start (this isn’t a stage race after all). Departing around 9am we head south on the trail to Waterfall Bluff, the main attraction of the day. A short but sharp climb on the road and then onto a well defined cattle trail that runs along flat grasslands just above the rugged coastline of rocks and passes Lambasi Bay, the sight of the famous Grosvenor wreck, where there have been numerous attempts to salvage the lost treasure and the more recent wreck of the BBC China that struck the rocks not far from the site of the Grosvenor. Leaving the wrecks behind we carry on down the coast to the small enclave of Luphuthana, which is the gateway to Waterfall Bluff. Shortly after reaching Luphuthana we leave our trusty steeds and head on foot along the base of the rugged cliffs on our way to the spectacular Waterfall Bluff. Clambering up to have one of the biggest open air showers and natural jacuzzis, here fresh water falls directly into the ocean. We retrace our footsteps back to Luphutana, where our support crew will meet us for a light lunch before riding the trail back to base camp at Msikaba.
Day 3… is a gentle amble back towards the starting point at the Wild Coast Sun, en-route we traverse the Mkhambati Nature reserve again, giving us the opportunity to view game such as Wildebeest, Eland, and Zebra to name a few. We cross the Mtentu estuary and ride inland, making our way around the Mnyameni gorge and heading back towards the coast to Mzamba where one is treated to a spectacular view of the famous “Red Desert” of Pondoland at Xolobeni, which is rich in titanium. Finally we cross the Mzamba river and head back up the hill to the Wild Coast Sun, once again our support crew awaits you with welcome refreshments.