BULUNGULA, THE WILD COAST
Tucked far away from any main roads, cities and bustle, Bulungula backpackers lodge is well off any beaten track. A place where the river meets the unspoilt ocean, where young boys fish for their supper and cows graze on every hill. Where piglets, goats and cows have the right of way and where Xhosa families live off the land taking only what they need and no more. A rural land where living is still simple and you have the chance to switch off and slow down.
CHINTSA AND COFFEE BAY, THE WILD COAST
They are 5/6 hours apart from each other but both fall along the Wild Coast. If you are coming from Durban, Coffee Bay is first up. After driving for nine hours, my boyfriend and I arrived at Coffee Shack tucked right beside a hill in a rocky bay. By night we enjoyed drum beats; fireside and pool tournaments with fellow backpackers. By day we surfed in the relatively warm water, napped on a hill overlooking the ocean and had to cross a river to get to our hut amongst the cows and aloes.
I didn’t have much expectation for this region, but arriving at Amphitheatre Backpacking Lodge as the last rays of sun illuminated golden fields and storm clouds in the distance, I was completely flabbergasted. The boisterous mooing of cows as they were herded, the big acacia tree found beyond the yellow grass and the Amphitheatre mountain range in the distance left me feeling like I was in the middle of blissful nowhere.
On route between Gansbaai and Stanford, there couldn’t be a greater treasure hidden within this private nature reserve. With villas nestled amongst milkwood forests and overlooking vast expanses of fragrant fynbos. From our bed, we could see the perfect swell meeting the land in Walker Bay. We went horse riding through the fynbos, strolling through the ancient caves just off the beach and enjoyed breakfast on the warm patio beside King Proteas and fireside dinners in the evening.
We were able to enjoy two days of the Karoo passing us by whilst travelling on the world’s most luxurious train- the Rovos Rail. Meaning ‘semi-desert’ it is the most beautifully barren region in South Africa. Dorps (towns) like Matjiesfontein and Kimberly hold some of the greatest secrets and treasures of our country’s past. Sheep, windmills and lonely homesteads decorate the bare landscape occasionally. And when the sun descends over the farmlands, it’s red and golden rays leave only the silhouettes of trees, cattle and children behind.