Africa trips

Cape Town to Transkei Dec 07 Jan 08 - A Stam

Overlanding Trips

Coffee Bay offers a range of accommodation from camping to comfortable hotels, but we opted for the best view and pitched camp in the garden of Coffee Shack Backpackers. The Coffee Shack has changed steadily over the past 5 years, but has lost none of it’s charm and appeal. If anything, the facilities are cleaner, the showers hotter and the staff friendlier than ever. Meals from their tiny kitchen remain superbly delicious and the best value-for-money anywhere in the E Cape.

Well fed, we spent Christmas day exploring some of the dirt roads around Coffee Bay and made an obligatory stop at Hole-in-the-Wall. This geological wonder is well worth a visit at low tide which allows one to cross the river mouth and venture up into the hole. Although somewhat precarious, this is also possible in the rain!


Stage 3 – Coffee Bay to Mkhambathi/Luphatana via Mpande and Port St Johns
With no signs of the weather improving we opted to head off to Mpande, some 40km before Port St John’s (PSJ) off the R61. The rainy weather and 20km dirt track into Mpande prompted me to lock hubs and engage 4H, a truly momentous occasion on our otherwise tame trip thus far. A few bumps, puddles and kidney-belt jokes later we arrived at Mpande beach feeling very satisfied at our superior choice of vehicle in such tough conditions. And we were able to park comfortably once the driver of the rental VW Chico found his keys to move his car!

Mpande is an unspoilt gem. The combination of the beach, scenery, hiking and horse riding make it easy to forget the relative close proximity of ‘civilisation’ in Port St Johns. After 3 nights camping at ‘The Kraal’ (an eco-friendly place, totally self sufficient and off the power/water grid) we headed for Mkhambathi Nature Reserve via a fuel and lunch stop in PSJ.

Mpande Beach and The Kraal

At least you can fit more in a Hilux

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