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Luxury Slackpacking Trail on the Lower Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

If your idea of a hiking holiday is as much about the chilled wine, a comfy bed and a seafood dinner, then the Lower Wild Coast Hotel-Hopping trail should be right up your alley.

The "hotel-hopping" trail extends southwards from the Qora River (Kob Inn) in the north, down to the small town of Cintsa in the south. The full trail is 6 days in duration, but can be shortened to as many days as your leave and budget allow.

The first 3 days of the trail lies to the north of the Kei River in what was formerly known as the Transkei, while the last section extends along the Eastern Cape's Jikeleza Coastal route, north of East London.

Trail Details

This hike can be walked by anyone who is reasonably fit and enjoys rambling, as there are no serious terrain challenges.

Accommodation is in the characterful old world hotels with 3-course dinners (often fresh line fish and seafood if you time it right), a cooked breakfast to start your day, and a packed lunch to munch-on out on the trail. Porters can be arranged north of the Kei to take your backpack from hotel to hotel, whilst vehicle luggage transfers are possible south of Morgans Bay. You can therefore hike burden-free, though you need pack little more than your clothes and trail shoes on this slackpacker.

The hiking distances between the hotels, allow ample time to soak in the atmosphere, take a swim and a leisurely lunch along way - arriving at the next hotel by mid-afternoon. Hikers have the option of flying into / out of East London, or driving their car to the start / finish of the trail ? and we'll arrange a shuttle to the other end. enquire with Active Escapes


Trip Duration

Standard Packages: 5 Nights / 4 Hiking Days
3 Nights/ 2 Hike Days

This is an easily customised trail to the no days you have available.

Daily Distances D1: Kob Inn ? Mazeppa  6km        D2: Mazeppa - Wavecrest  21km     
D3: Wavecrest - Seagulls 13km     D4: Seagulls - M.Bay  14km
D5: M.Bay - HagaHaga  14km        D6: HagaHaga - Cintsa 16km  
Trail Grading  
Physical Fitness Grade 1 ? the easy trail gradient and long beach sections make this a good trail for people of moderate fitness who enjoy rambling. It is our easiest Wild Coast Hike offering.
Technicality Grade 1 ? some small boulder hopping on rocky beach sections but NO major scrambling or sheer sections.
Trail Terrain Coastal Trail - gently undulating hills, long stretches of pristine beaches, secluded bays, rich fertile estuaries and jutting headlands.
Accommodation Old world characterful Transkei Hotels: 3-4 course dinners, full cooked breakfasts and packed lunches all provided.
Logistic Support This is a luxury slackpacking trail. Fully catered with hotel accommodation and end-point transfer/shuttle included.

Luggage support by vehicle is included south of the Kei River.
North of the Kei - Porters can be arranged & cost around R200/porter/per day

Guides - included on all hike days except section Kei-Morgan Bay
Tour Highlights Crowned cranes & excellent birdlife at the stunning Nxaxo lagoon, Wavecrest (also the most southern stand of Mangroves), Doleritic cliffs & headlands around Morgan Bay, searching for ming porcelain shards around Black Rock, cowries and other shell finds near Haga Haga, pristine estuaries, high dunes and golden miles of beach on the final day from Haga Haga ? Cintsa, beers on the deck at Wavecrest, renowned cuisine & massage opportunity at Morgan Bay.
Other Activities Trevor's Cultural trail (available from Seagulls or Trennerys), canoeing, horse riding (on prior request), rock & surf fishing, birding, ocean swimming. Inwenkwezi Game Reserve experience can be offered at the end of the hike.
Fauna & Flora Expansive grasslands, mangal estuaries, indigenous forest patches and forested ravines, endemic flora species.
Climate Mild sub-tropical climate with small seasonal temperature variation. Summer months (Nov - Feb), avg max daily temperatures of around 27-29 degrees C, whilst winter months (June - Aug) avg 21 degrees C. Night temps seldom drops below 10 degree C in winter and average around 15 degrees C in summer. The Wild Coast is a relatively high rainfall area (approx 1000mm annually) with most rain received from summer thunderstorms (avg of 150mm/month in Nov - Feb), whilst the driest months, June-Aug produce an average of 40mm/month.
Seasonality & Best Time Year Due to its temperate climate, the Wild Coast is good for hiking all year round. Whilst summer days can be quite sweaty, a refreshing swim in the ocean enroute becomes all the more inviting. Summer rainfall is usually in the form of quick thundershowers which pass quickly. Summer is also best for birdlife.

The mild weather, sunny days & low probability of rain during winter also make this an excellent time (& a welcome retreat from the biting cold of an interior winter). Spring & Autumn months generally combine the best of all conditions.

Availability: Is generally not a problem OUTSIDE of the popular school/public holidays, when the hotels are fully booked. If you are a family group or teachers ? we will try our best to accommodate you during school holidays but Dec & April school holidays are particularly busy.
Group Size Minimum 2 persons - no maximum, although groups of 12 persons for a single transfer vehicle
Price / PP A custom quote will be given based on your itinerary and no of days but an indicative price on our 5 Night/ 4 Hike Day Meander or Sunshine Package is as follows:

6-8 persons:R 7,800 pp/sharing
Price Includes
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation / 4 days hiking
  • Local guide
  • All meals: 5 dinners, 5 breakfasts & 4 trail lunches
  • Private shuttle / transfers
  • Self-drive: leave vehicles at end-point and be shuttled to start of hike or vice-versa
    Fly-in (East London): shuttles to & from airport included
  • Luggage transfers incl south of the Kei
  • Personal beverages (soft & alcoholic)
  • Porters - required north of the Kei (must be prebooked)
  • Optional Extra Activities
hikers on the fully-supported Pondo-Hopper trail,northern Wild Coast

If you've done the lower Wild Coast hotel-hopping, why not try the Pondo-Hopper trail - a 3 & 5 day fully supported and catered trail on the northern Wild Coast.

Read More »

Employing a porter to carry your backpack provides a local income earning opportunity - so dont feel bad!

hikers enjoy the sunset from their bungalows at Wavecrest hotel
The Jacaranda shipwreck which lies high and dry near the Kobanqaba river, is an iconic wild coast sight not to be missed.