The full “hotel-hopping” trail extends southwards from Kob Inn in the north to the small town
of Cintsa in the south. The first 3-4 days of the trail lies to the north of the Kei River in what
was formerly known as the Transkei (the Meander trail), while the last section mostly
extends along the eastern Cape holiday coast north of East London (the Sunshine trail).
The hike takes in some of the most unspoiled and picturesque sections of our coastline and can
be walked by anyone who is reasonably fit and enjoys rambling, as there are no serious
challenges other than the odd river which must be waded. When river levels are up after
heavy rains, a ferry will be arranged. The Kei river marks the border between the Transkei
and the Eastern Cape and you will cross this broad river by means of one of the last operating
pontoons in the country. The standard 5 night / 4 days hiking “hotel-hopping” trail package is described here. However, please let us know your time and/or budgetary constraints in order that may develop an itinerary to suit your needs
Maximum Number of Hikers:
Group sizes of 6-12 hikers are preferred as this is the number of seats in the bus.
Duration & Distances:
The full trail is 83 km long. The trail is not marked in the Transkei section and a guide is required for first-time hikers. It is important that you time your day’s walk to coincide with the tides so that you walk on the hard sand with a receding tide and reach the river mouths at low tide to make the crossing easier. Your guide will assist you with this and show you the best place to cross
Leg 1: Kob Inn to Mazeppa Bay: 6 km – the shortest stretch with easy walking under huge sand dunes to Mazeppa Point.
Leg 2: Mazeppa Bay to Cebe: 13km – an easy and empty stretch along sandy beaches with some inland paths and small grass-covered bluffs.
Leg 3: Cebe to Wavecrest: 8km – The main route takes you around Bowkers Bay and Sandy Point for a long beach walk in. If staying the night at Serendipity Cottage in Cebe you can elect to do a forest walk along the Nxaxo river with an exit shortly before Wavecrest hotel (need a specialist guide for this option)
Leg 4: Wavecrest to Seagulls/Trennerys: 13km – follow jeep paths above a rocky coast, Jakaranda shipwreck and a river crossing of the Kobonqaba river (canoe ferry organized if the river is up).
Leg 5: Trennerys to Morgan Bay: 14 km – walk to Kei River mouth and follow estuary upriver to the pont. A walk through Kei Mouth village and then to Morgan Bay lighthouse through a small stretch of coastal forest
Leg 6: Morgan Bay to Haga Haga: 14 km – spectacular cliffs and Shelley beaches mark this section of the coast. One river crossing (normally wadeable) at Double Mouth.
Leg 7: Haga Haga to Cintsa: 16 km – a rocky wave-cut platform and a long beach passing several picturesque lagoons.
Customizing your Hike
A number of options exist to include other adventure activities such as canoeing, river cruises and visits to nature reserves etc. This allows you to spend more time at the locations you pass through – enjoying nature and local activities along the way. Depending on your abilities as hikers you can also shorten or extend your days walks or perhaps use a rest day at one or more of the hotels.
Slackpacking Hike Packages in 2015
We have introduced a number of different hike options to enjoy the wide variety of scenery and hiking attractions of this stunning coastline and to cater for people who may not have time to do the full walk between Kob Inn and Cintsa
? Meander Transkei Package
Takes in the best of the Transkei with easy walking along wide sandy beaches running south of Kob Inn and completing at Morgan Bay or Haga Haga after 4 days of hiking. Itinerary designed around your choice of hotels and hiking legs (12 to 21 km per day). Dinner, bed, and breakfast with packed lunches at hotels, guide service all the way and shuttle service for either self-drive groups or those flying into East London. Bags taken between hotels by porters at own cost.
? Sunshine Standard Package
Extends over 4 hiking days between Wavecrest hotel in the north to Crawfords Beach Lodge at Cintsa in the south. We choose the hotels or B&B’s depending on the availability and size of the group. Guide service every day if requested, otherwise follow Strandloper Trail markings. Includes pack lunches, luggage transfers between hotels (no porters) from Morgan Bay south and shuttle transfer(s) either back to start hotel or East London airport if flying in.
? Minibreak Package
This is aimed at busy people looking for a long weekend break with a scenic 2-day hike and 3 nights of hotel pampering on the Sunshine Coast. Fly into East London on a Thursday and be back home on Sunday with all arrangements taken care of eg airport shuttles, full guide service, luggage transfers and packed lunches for your daily hikes of 14-16 km per day between Morgan Bay and Cintsa.
? Adventure Package
Combines hotel stays along the Sunshine Coast (from Trennerys southwards) with nature-based activities to introduce you to the history, culture, and wildlife of the Eastern Cape. Options include a 3 hour Xhosa history tour at Trennery’s, a sundowner boat trip up the Kei river, a night at a bush camp at Inkwenkwezi game reserve and/or a canoe paddle up the Kwelera river to Areena Resort. Same hotel services and conditions as offered in the Sunshine package.
BOOKINGS AND 2015 RATES
Please ask for our 2015 Rates Sheet with prices for the above packages. Prices listed are for groups of 6 to 12 persons hiking out of season (excludes Easter and Christmas school holiday period). Smaller or larger groups the rates will be quoted for on request. Children under 12 years may qualify for a small discount (depending on hotel). Rates are per person sharing and a single supplement may be levied if rooms are at a premium.
Hikers may start on any day of the week but for fly-in, groups suggest check flight schedules with airlines serving East London and preferably starting on a Thursday for the Mini Break fly-in package. Please arrange for flights to arrive before 12 noon for groups doing the full or Meander package as it is still a 2-3 hour drive to the northern hotels. Guests usually make up their own groups but for small groups, it may be possible to combine two groups hiking the same route on the same start date if requested.
In all cases, a full itinerary and quote will be given for your approval. Once this has been accepted a non-refundable deposit of R1000 per person will be required to secure reservations made, with the balance being payable shortly before you leave (at least 2 weeks beforehand to give time to post vouchers and maps etc).