Hike Along The Coast and Breathe The Sea Air!
Nestled on a hill on the verge of a tropical forest, Amapondo is only two minutes walk from the best beach in town.
Nestled on a hill on the verge of a tropical forest, Amapondo is only two minutes’ walk from the best beach in town. Amapondo is Ama-Zing! A place where the ancestors are worshipped and traditions are kept. One of the most unique places you will ever visit. A photographers paradise with beautiful views and landscapes. This is your ultimate get away with hiking trails, boat rides, or just relaxing on the beach.
This depends on the adventure you choose.
All are welcome.
Contact us to inquire about any special offers.
Come as you are, comfortable and free.
All bookings to be made in advance.
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Bulolo Waterfall Trail:
Join us for an adventure hike through dense a jungle path to Bulolo Waterfall. This circular route takes about 3 hours there and back. One of our most popular activities, the hike to Bulolo is totally awesome. In parts, it can be a bit challenging, and its definitely for the more adventurous.
We hope you don’t chicken out of the 11m jump into the deep pool below the Waterfall.
On the way back, if everyone still has energy, our tour guide can extend the hike onwards to Silaka Nature Reserve, along a beautiful winding coastline path to a magical beach.
Finish the day off back at Amapondo with a cold refreshing beer and some yummy food at our Pondolicious Restaurant.
Port St Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail:
The popular Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail takes you through stunning scenery, rolling hills, rural landscapes, pristine beaches, and unspoiled nature.
Hikers sleep in hikers’ huts and traditional village accommodation and are treated to local Xhosa meals. These community folk are extremely hospitable, will invite you into their homes, and love to share their stories.
Don’t worry about food or sleeping bags – everything is provided for!
Undeniably, this is South Africa at its most beautiful.
Port St Johns to Coffee Bay Taxi Tour:
Join us for an unforgettable one-day taxi tour from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay overland in our 4×4. The taxi ride up to Mthatha and then down to Coffee Bay can be a real drag, and you miss out on the best bits. That’s why we offer an amazing off-the-beaten-track adventure trip that gets you out into the vast untouched wilderness of the Wild Coast.
The trip price starts from only R350 pp. This is for a minimum of 6 passengers, and if there are less of you, the price goes up a bit. There are optional extras along the way such as a visit to Sangoma Village, a delicious traditional Xhosa lunch, and a Kayaking Trip in Mgazana – the largest Mangrove in the southern hemisphere.
We can also arrange overnight packages along the way.
The Blowhole and the Gap;
Hike up into the cultural village of Mthumbane along a stunning coastal path that will seriously blow your mind.
At the top, the views are screensaver perfect, and if you’re lucky, you might even see a whale or a pod of dolphins.
From here, hike down to the Gap, climb down some rocks using a rope, then down an impressively long ladder, and into ‘The Gap’. Traverse this impressive coastal peninsula, and shimmy up another ladder onto a great viewpoint. From here you can see the Blowhole, where powerful waves crash against the rocks, their pressure forcing a jet of water high into the sky.
If you’re lucky, you might encounter the legendary Ben Decker, a famous writer, poet, and friendly hermit who lives in a cave not far from here.
Silaka Nature Reserve:
Join us for an adventure hike along narrow coastal paths to Silaka Nature Reserve. Silaka boasts a diversity of indigenous fauna and flora. Hike through the dense wild coastline, spot the vervet monkeys in the trees, laugh at the awkward hornbills flying clumsily, and marvel at the impressive Fish Eagles hunting high in the sky.
After about an hour you will arrive at Silaka’s very own private beach. Leap into the water at Bird Rock, and if you’re lucky, your guide might show you how to catch crayfish (similar to lobsters) in the deep rock pools.
This coastal hike takes about 3 – 4 hours there and back. Why not finish off the day with an ice-cold beer and some yummy food at our Pondolicious Restaurant.
Port St Johns Tour:
Our most popular tour departs in the morning and drives you to all the coolest spots in town. For the adventurous, start the tour getting traditionally painted with healing mud at the sacred Isinuka Sulphur Springs. After a short hike up a massive rock, you’ll find healing water and a bubbling pool with pink water. Yes, Pink!
From there we drive to the Port St Johns museum for a taste of culture and history.
Then we take a short hike to the famous lighthouse perched on the rocks at the river mouth.
From here we head to The Waterfront Restaurant, known for making the best pizzas in Port St Johns. If you don’t like pizza, they also do excellent seafood. (And don’t worry, your food is included in the tour price.)
After lunch, its onwards into the cultural village of Mthumbane. If the schools are open we’ll take you to the pre-school, where you’re likely to bump into volunteers from Amapondo teaching the children.
From here we visit The Blowhole, which involves a short hike, and for the brave a climb using a rope, then down an impressively long ladder, and into ‘The Gap’. Traverse this impressive coastal peninsula, and shimmy up another ladder onto a great viewpoint. From here you can see the Blowhole, where powerful waves crash against the rocks, their pressure forcing a jet of water high into the sky. Did we mention, the views from up here are screensaver perfect, and if you’re lucky, you might even see a whale or a pod of dolphins.
Magwa Falls Day Tour:
Join us for an adventure 4×4 tour to Magwa Waterfall, South Africa’s second highest waterfall, which is even higher than Victoria Falls! This full-day trip is one of our best tours.
Close to Mbotyi, we meander through Magwa Tea Estate, which is the largest tea-plantation in Africa. Expect to be blown away by Magwa as we edge close its spectacular cliffs and peep over the top. A short hike will take us to the other side of the gorge for some breathtaking views of the Waterfall.
We drive on a bit and check out Frasier and Angel Waterfalls, which are also stunning, and then on to the cultural village of Mbotyi.
Lunch is included in this tour, and depending on what time we leave Amapondo, we will have lunch either at a local fisherman’s homestead, or we will cook a traditional braai on the edge of one of the Waterfalls.
Don’t forget to bring something to swim in cos we may just get to plunge into the Waterfall rock-pools.
This trip is also offered as an overnight experience with horse riding trips to Waterfall Bluff and Cathedral Rock.
We love heading up the old Airstrip for a cold beer and marvel at the magnificence of the sun setting on an African horizon. Perched on the very edge of a 342m high cliff, beer just tastes better! The sunsets from here are magical, and we sometimes take a bunch of Jembe Drums up with us to beat African rhythms into the night.
Don’t forget a warm jacket – even in the summer, it can get chilly up here.
The cliffs up here are famous for being the place where Blood Diamond, the blockbuster film with Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed.
Second Beach Rd, Port Saint Johns, Port St Johns, South Africa
Amapondo Backpackers is easy to get to by bus. Take one of the buses listed below to Mthatha (Umtata) Shell Ultra Petrol Station and from there, we’re happy to organise a shuttle service to pick you up. Please note that we support local business enterprises by making use of taxis (mini-buses) to shuttle guests to Amapondo. Our reliable driver charges R100 per person. This may take a little longer, but can be a fun cultural experience. Alternatively you may consider a private vehicle, which costs R600 and can accommodate four guests (R150 each).
We also offer a 4×4 Adventure Trip from PSJ to Coffee Bay (or back again) that takes you off-the-beaten-track into the heart of the Wild Coast. This is an exciting alternative to travelling the coast line. Tailor-made overnight packages are also available. Check out the link under our Adventure drop-down menu on our website for more info.
Port St. Johns is situated between East London (3, 5 hours) and Durban (4 hours).
Directions from East London:
Take the N2 north to Mthatha, a distance of approximately 220km. Follow the route markers to the R61 to Libode and Port St Johns through Mthatha. (in the city centre there’s a right turn that is often missed). Drive along the R61 for 93km with the road leading directly into Port St Johns.
Directions from Durban:
Take the N2 south. Continue right through to Port Edward to join up with the R61. Follow this road to Bizana, then Flagstaff, then Lusikisiki. After about 40km, at the end of the road, and after crossing a bridge over the mighty Umzimvubu River, turn left and drive the final 5km into Port St Johns town. Mthatha. Follow the route markers to the R61 to Libode and Port St Johns through Mthatha. Drive along the R61 for 93km with the road leading directly into Port St Johns.
Directions after entering Port St Johns town:
Follow the road around the one-way system passing the tourist office on your right. At the first junction, turn left and drive over a small bridge, then two speed humps. Turn right at the first tar road. (There are numerous signs here including one for Amapondo.) Follow this road up and over a hill for 4km towards Second Beach. Drive slowly in case our donkey is taking a stroll to the beach. Amapondo is well sign posted and is on the right up a fairly steep gravel drive way.
The GPS coordinates for Amapondo Backpackers are:
Latitude : -31.6462177 | Longitude : 29.5327017
You can fly to Mthatha from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg with South African Airways and from there on carry on with either a taxi or a shuttle to Port St. Johns.
S 31° 38' 27.374" E 29° 31' 47.71"