Why miss one of South Africa’s best vacation destinations and epic adventures? The Pondoland explorer is a 3 night adventure taking backpackers through one of the most unexplored and inaccessible parts of South Africa. Experience untouched virgin beaches, isolated and uncorrupted local communities, jump off crystal clear waterfalls, paddle amongst turtles, travel in local mini-buses, eat in local villages, ride traditional pondo ponies and all while having a well-trained guide to add to your experience.
Day 1: South Coast to Mtentu - Local taxi, beach hike and/or horse ride
• Meet at your backpackers in the surf paradise of the Natal South Coast. Here your guide will get you ready for your adventure ahead.
• Your guide will show you how to catch a local mini-bus and demonstrate how real locals travel, as you make your way over the border and into Pondoland (The Wild Coast).
• From here, the guides will take the group on a 14km hike along the beach past The Mzamba Fossil Beds and through isolated rural Pondo communities. The group will reach Nyameni River around lunch time where they will have lunch and a swim in the beautiful pools around the river. After lunch, guests who are horse riding will be met by their horse guide. From here, guests will ride the rest of the way to the lodge along beautiful deserted beaches. Guests who are not riding will continue the hike for the rest of the way.
• On arrival at Mtentu, guests will be met by friendly local staff who will show them to their cabins and give them a tour of Mtentu community eco-lodge. A hearty dinner and drinks will relax everyone and ease them into the Pondoland mood.
Day 2: Swallowtail Falls canoe trip at Mtentu
• After a good hearty breakfast, guests will get ready for their trip up to Swallow Tail Falls.
• Canoe up the magnificent Mtentu Estuary, spotting turtles, kingfish, baboons, fish eagles and vultures.
• Paddle underneath Leopard's Falls and gaze at the 2nd waterfall spectacularly falling into nowhere, and experience the spiritual magic of centre rock and its surroundings.
• Begin the epic trip hiking up in forest-enclosed crystal clear tributary, climbing up rocks, swimming through pools and making your way up the side of small waterfalls.
• Experience and feel mother nature’s beauty all around you and let Swallowtail Falls show you why it is our best kept secret. Enjoy lunch at the base of the incredible waterfall.
• On the paddle back to the lodge, take a leap off the 13 meter high Fools Point into the estuary below.
• Once back at the lodge, grab a cold drink and relax around the fire and get ready for a mouth-watering dinner.
Day 3: Mtentu to Msikaba hike and paradise pools experience
• After another great breakfast at Mtentu, guests will get ready for their hike to Msikaba.
• Cross the Mtenturiver and head into the wild Mkambati Game Reserve. Here you can spot huge Eland, hartebeest, baboons, zebra and much more.
• Along the way, explore the tropical paradise of Mosquito Beach and the shipwreck of the We Ol Mi 303.
• At the Mkambati Falls, guests can spend their time relaxing in a natural hot tub, marvelling at one of the few waterfalls to fall directly into the sea or look for turtles in the bay. Just behind this is Strandlooper Falls where guests can swim through a stream past a baboon cave into a spectacular pool with a waterfall tumbling into it and surrounded by a stunning eden. Lunch is prepared for guests by the guide and is enjoyed from the baboon cave looking over the Strandlooper Falls.
• Guests will arrive at Msikaba Village in the late afternoon. Here you will get to experience life in a traditional village. You will stay in a homestead with a friendly and hospitable family to look after you. Traditional food will be served and guests will get to experience local cuisine.
Day 4: Msikaba to Port St Johns
• Guests will have an early traditional breakfast.
• The guide will accompany you onto a local mini-bus taxi which will take you into the town of Lusikisiki. From here the guests and guide will transfer onto a mini-bus going to Port St Johns.
• On arrival at Port St Johns, guests can be transported to Amapondo Backpackers or Jungle Monkey if they choose.