Back2back Tours, Trails and Adventures
Back2Back provides Tours, Trails and Adventures along the Wild Coast of South Africa.
We offer a wide range of activities from adventure, leisure, cultural and corporate including;
· Wild Coast Hikes/Trails
· Canoe Trips
· Cultural Village Tours/Ceremonies
· Airstrip Sundowners
· PSJ in a Day
· Waterfall Bluff/Cathedral Rock Tour
· The Waterfalls Tour
· Hikers Transfers
· Airport/City Transfers
We will tailor a package to suit your individual or groups needs and assist with any information you may need in preparation of your holiday on the Wild Coast.
Hike it or Bike it
The Wild Coast is one of the most naturally beautiful places in South Africa and to hike along this untouched coastline is a truly great experience.
Many Mountain Bikers are also realising they can also utilise these facilities and services to “take a ride on the wild side”
We provide 2 routes which are either north or south of Port St Johns where both these hikes will start and end, transfers from Mthatha, East London and Durban are also available.
These two hikes can be shortened or lengthened and can range from being unsupported to fully supported to suit your specific needs and agenda
The hikes are:
1. The Pondolander – North of PSJ, starting at Msikaba (southern boundary of Mkambati Nature Reserve) travelling south to end at PSJ.
2. The Thembulander – South of PSJ, starting in Port St Johns and travelling south to Coffee Bay.
Depart PSJ, and in just under a 2 hour drive, arrive at Msikaba, a beautiful river mouth which forms the southern boundary of the Mkambati Nature Reserve, which is home to the Mkambati Palm, a miniature coconut palm which originated from another continent, drifting via ocean currents to finally get washed into this estuary where it adapted and grew along its banks. It’s a good idea to arrive early enough to explore the river, home to a colony of Cape Vultures
Other places inside the Reserve include a shipwreck from the 70`s, the Mkambati River that cascades into an impressive waterfall into the sea. Further back in the forest is another spectacular waterfall called Strandloper Falls that derives its name from a cave on the edge of a deep pool at the base of the falls.
Overnight at a tented camp in Msikaba or a local homestead in Ndengane village
Departing Msikaba the trail takes you past the home of the last wife of the Great Rotso, a most famous traditional healer, who was a very powerful figure in his time, and who became very wealthy though his position. She still keeps the home as if he was still alive, and recounts many stories about his legacy.
Further along is the famous shipwreck, The Grosvenor, also a lovely swimming spot.
The trail continues past little bays and grasslands arriving at Luphatana.
This is where some of the biggest waves on the Wild Coast can be seen as they crash against ledges and dramatically spray 30m into the air.
Luphatana is a beautiful little bay that is lovely to bathe in after a great day’s hike and also where we will overnight in a tented camp.
This section of the trail can also be done on horseback, and passes 2 of the most prominent icons on the Wild Coast. Waterfall Bluff is a truly spectacular waterfall that falls directly into the sea, and Cathedral Rock which is a freestanding sandstone pyramid rising out the sea are magnificent and separated by a swim at the Black Mamba Pools. From there we pass Mfihlelo, another swimming spot, and the Egosa Fault Line, which dramatically alters the geography and landscape as you cross.
The trail then passes through the Ntshubane Forest, which is the most expansive indigenous forest on the Wild Coast.
Following a brief stop at Sikatcha Falls, the day ends in Mbotyi.
Here you can overnight at Mbotyi River Lodge or the Campsite, which also has chalets.
Also can be done on horseback, depart Mbotyi and pass through mielie fields and homesteads in remote villages reaching the Mzimpunzi stream.
Here the trail crosses the beach before heading slightly inland up a prominent ridge from where it is possible to look back at Waterfall Bluff and stunning vista’s in all directions.
From here the route descends down a steep hill to a series of small bays and deserted beaches. The last section ascends over headlands skirted with pristine indigenous forest before descending again to sea level to cross small streams and ascend before we approach the Manteku River along a steep ridge offering excellent views of the estuary and forest.
Overnight at the mouth of the estuary in a tented camp.
Leaving Manteku we ascend over headlands with magnificent views of the Indian Ocean often sighting whales, before descending into forests and crossing small streams coming to a place called Black Sands Beach where you can bathe before going up through some forest finally descending steeply to the beach and along to the Ntafufu Estuary. The estuary is beautiful and boasts both the black and white mangroves growing along its banks.
Crossing the Ntufufu river can be easy at low tide buton high tides you will need the ferry operated by locals.
Once across you arrive at Luphoko, which is a tented camp and your last overnight before arriving back in Port St Johns
The trail continues up and over a prominent headland called “the dome” before descending to the beach at “Poenskop” where you will find a large cave, apparently where a large cache of arms and ammunition were hidden in the apartheid era! From here we cross the beach to the very well known “Poenskop” a prominent headland named after a fish that is caught there. Hiking over the headland we experience breathtaking views of Port St Johns with The Lighthouse on the Point and the Umzimvubu River Mouth before we descend 300m to Long Beach, a 2km stretch of beach passing Agate Terrace
and ending at the river mouth where we meet the ferry to cross into the town. From here you will be transported to The Wildcoaster Lodge on 2nd Beach where you can relax on the veranda overlooking the beach, The Gap and can even see the blowhole spraying at high tide.
Port St Johns to Mngazana (approx. 15kms )
Depart from Port St Johns through Silaka Nature Reserve, where you view plenty of Vervet Monkeys, Zebras and Wildebeest. Continue through the forest and past Sugarloaf Rock. From there you head to the popular Umngazi (River bungalows) There you could have a quick drink and refill water before heading across the beach to Mngazana Mangroves. That will be your first night, the hiker’s huts have beds, a long drop and fresh water, the Conservation officers who are appointed to look after the huts will provide you with most things, hot water, pots etc. There are also small spaza shops where you will find light snacks and basic food Bread, crisps, soup, rice, veg etc. Here you are also able to sleep in the Village Based Accommodation (VBA), in actual fact you can use the VBA all the way at an additional R60-R80, and this includes dinner and breakfast. Some of these VBA are slightly off the route, your guide will advise you which huts are in the worst condition and you can choose the nights which you would like to use the VBA. I recommend Hluleka (day 3) as one of the nights to spend at the VBA.
Umngazana to Mpande
The hike for each day is reasonably short and if fairly fit you should not need more than four hours to complete each day. The second day is quite a steep one mostly walking forests. There is a Backpacker called the Kraal at the second day hut, they charge approx R160 per person and have a full bar and excellent meals (optional).
Mpande to Hluleka
The hike to Hluleka Nature Reserve, where you will spend the night, is very scenic. Very remote and Natural. Your guide, being very experienced will point out indigenous fauna and flora and give you a lot of insight to the villages that you pass
Hluleka to Ncgibe
Easy and not as hilly. Predominantly beach hikes, passing Preslies Bay and Lwandile both renowned for their shells. You will be crossing a few major rivers where you will use a ferry, this will cost a maximum of R5 per river so lots of change is recommended.
Ncgibe to Coffee Bay
The last day you will pass through forest a little further from the coast, returning to cross the Umdumbi River and beach, passing Whale Rock, and crossing the great Umtata Mouth. On arrival in Coffee Bay you can choose from a couple of Back Packers, staying at Hole in the Wall, 8km from Coffee bay, is also an option.