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HOTEL-HOPPING TRAIL, SOUTHERN WILD COAST

Luxury Slackpacking Trail on the Lower Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

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-Hopping trail should be right up your alley.

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 can be shortened to as many days as your leave and budget allow.

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.

Trail Details

The hotel-hopping trail is what we would classify as a luxury slackpacking trail. This hike can be walked by anyone who is reasonably fit and enjoys rambling, as there are no serious terrain challenges.

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 Morgans Bay. You can therefore hike burden-free, though you need pack little more than your clothes and trail shoes on this luxury hiking trail.

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 into / 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. enquire with Active Escapes



HIKE - AT A GLANCE


Trip Duration Standard Packages: 3,4 & 5 Nights
This is an easily customised trail to the no days you have available.
Daily Distances D1: Kob Inn – Mazeppa  6km        D2: Mazeppa - Wavecrest  19km     
D3: Wavecrest - Trennerys 13km     D4: Trennerys - M.Bay  14km
D5: M.Bay - Haga Haga  14km        D6: Haga Haga - Cintsa 16km  
Trail Grading  
Physical Fitness Grade 1 the easy trail gradient and long beach sections make this a good trail for people of moderate fitness who enjoy rambling. It is our easiest Wild Coast Hike offering.
Technicality Grade 1 some small boulder hopping on rocky beach sections but NO major scrambling or sheer sections.
Trail Terrain Coastal Trail - gently undulating hills, long stretches of pristine beaches, secluded bays, rich fertile estuaries and jutting headlands.
Accommodation Old world characterful Transkei Hotels: 3-4 course dinners, full cooked breakfasts and packed lunches all provided.
Logistic Support This is a luxury slackpacking trail. Fully catered with hotel accommodation and end-point transfer/shuttle included.

Luggage support can be offered but is an optional extra:
North of the Kei - Porters can be arranged & cost aroound R150/porter/per day
South of Morgan Bay - Vehicle luggage transfers can be organised & cost around R600/per transfer (shared amongst the group)

Guides - included on every hike day except section Kei - Morgan Bay
Tour Highlights Crowned cranes & excellent birdlife at the stunning Nxaxo lagoon, Wavecrest (also the most southern stand of Mangroves), the rusting hulk of the Jacaranda Shipwreck, Doleritic cliffs & headlands around Morgan Bay, searching for ming porcelain sherds around Black Rock, cowries and other shell finds near Haga Haga, pristine estuaries, high dunes and golden miles of beach on the final day from Haga Haga Cintsa, beers on the deck at Wavecrest, renowned cuisine & massage opportunity at Morgan Bay hotel.
Other Activities Trevor's Cultural trail (available from Seagulls or Trennerys), canoeing, horse riding (on prior request), rock & surf fishing, birding, ocean swimming. Inwenkwezi Game Reserve experience can be offered at the end of the hike.
Fauna & Flora Expansive grasslands, mangal estuaries, indigenous forest patches and forested ravines, endemic flora species.
Climate Mild sub-tropical climate with small seasonal temperature variation. Summer months (Nov - Feb), avg max daily temperatures of around 27-29 degrees C, whilst winter months (June - Aug) avg 21 degrees C. Night temps seldom drops below 10 degree C in winter and average around 15 degrees C in summer. The Wild Coast is a relatively high rainfall area (approx 1000mm annually) with most rain received from summer thunderstorms (avg of 150mm/month in Nov - Feb), whilst the driest months, June-Aug produce an average of 40mm/month.
Seasonality & Best Time Year Due to its temperate climate, the Wild Coast is good for hiking all year round. Whilst summer days can be quite sweaty, a refreshing swim in the ocean enroute becomes all the more inviting. Summer rainfall is usually in the form of quick thundershowers which pass quickly. Summer is also best for birdlife.

The mild weather, sunny days & low probability of rain during winter also make this an excellent time (& a welcome retreat from the biting cold of an interior winter). Spring & Autumn months generally combine the best of all conditions.

Availability: Is generally not a problem OUTSIDE of the popular school/public holidays, when the hotels are fully booked. If you are a family group or teachers we will try our best to accommodate you during school holidays but Dec & April school holidays are particularly busy.
Group Size Minimum 2 persons - no maximum, although groups of 14 persons for a single transfer vehicle
Price / PP A custom quote will be given based on your itinerary and no of days but an indicative price on our 5 Night/ 4 Hike Day Luxury Package is as follows:

6 persons or more: from R 6,200 pp/sharing
Groups of 5 persons or less: Enquire for a customised quote
Price Includes
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation / 4 days hiking
  • Local guide on all hike days except Kei-Morgan Bay
  • All meals: 5 dinners, 5 breakfasts & 4 trail lunches
  • Shuttle to/from East London airport or from end point to start point for self-drives.
  • Vehicle luggage transfers south of Kei.
Excluded:
  • Personal beverages (soft & alcoholic)
  • Porter Service
   
hikers on the fully-supported Pondo-Hopper trail,northern Wild Coast

If you've done the lower Wild Coast hotel-hopping, why not try the Pondo-Hopper trail - a 3 & 5 day fully supported and catered trail on the northern Wild Coast.

Read More »

Employing a porter to carry your backpack provides a local income earning opportunity - so dont feel bad!

hikers enjoy the sunset from their bungalows at Wavecrest hotel
The Jacaranda shipwreck which lies high and dry near the Kobanqaba river, is an iconic wild coast sight not to be missed.