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3 Day Northern Pondoland Hike: Casino - Mtentu - Return

This is a great option for persons short on time, who want hike the Wild Coast, but within easy accessibility of Durban (just 1.5hrs drive). The hike starts from the Wild Coast Casino – with a transfer back to the casino at the end.

The hike to Mtentu is 2 days - overnighting at a village homestay the first night, and then hiking through to Mtentu Lodge for another 2 nights. The hike goes through the ‘Pondoland Centre of Endemism’ (a specialist plant guide can be organised for botanical enthusiasts), with the Mzamba fossils and the red dunes being other natural highlights. These dunes, and the Xolobeni community in which you overnight, are at the heart of the proposed mining battle.

The village homestay is basic but provides an excellent cultural experience. Mtentu Lodge provides tented accommodation (East African style tents), and all bedding and meals are provided on the trail. On your free exploration day, you can hike into neighbouring Mkambathi  Reserve where you can go swimming up to waterfalls and see roaming game.  You can also take a canoe up the beautiful Mtentu estuary, do the epic Swallow Falls kloofing hike, or just enjoy this stunning private beach.

On departure day – we will provide you with a 4x4 transfer back to the Wild Coast Casino where your vehicle has been left.

enquire with Active Escapes


Trip Duration 3 Night Trail - with option for 2 nights only
Daily Distances Day 1: 14km    Day 2: 12-14km    Day 3: 10-12km - optional
Trail Grading  
Physical Fitness Grade 2-3 – porters can be arranged on prior request
Technicality Grade 2– no technical sections. May be some river crossings
Trail Terrain Coastal Trail – traversing grassland, sandy beaches and friendly Pondo villages.
Accommodation 1 Night in Village Homestay (traditional rondavel, mattress on floor with bedding & bucket bath)

2 Nights – Mtentu River Lodge (East African style tented camp)
Logistic Support

Fully Catered trail from dinner on arrival night to lunch on departure day. Need to supply own lunch for arrival hike day

Guides & Porters:
Hike Day 1 &2- guided by a qualified local guide.
Day 3 is a self-guided exploration day, but can arrange for a guide (extra) if desired.
* Porters can be arranged on prior request.

Tour Highlights Mzamba fossils, the red desert, amaXhosa hospitality, Mtentu Estuary, waterfalls & game viewing in Mkambati Nature Reserve
Other Activities Canoeing on Mtentu Estuary, birding, ocean swimming & snorkelling opportunities.
Fauna & Flora The Pondoland Centre of Endemism is one of the most important centres of plant diversity and endemism in Africa with over 2 253 recorded flora species, 196 of which are endemic to the region.
Climate Mild sub-tropical climate with small seasonal temperature variation. Summer months (Nov - Feb), avg max daily temperatures of around 27-29 degrees celsius whilst winter months (June - Aug) avg 21 deg C. Night temps seldom drops below 10 deg C in winter and average around 15 deg C in summer. Most rain is 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, Pondoland is good for hiking all year round. Whilst summer days can be quite sweaty, a refreshing swim in the ocean or river 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 and low probability of rain during winter also make this an excellent time (and a welcome retreat from the biting cold of an interior winter). Spring and Autumn months generally combine the best of all conditions.

Availability:This trail is easiest to organise outside of the peak school holiday periods.
Group Size Minimum 2 persons - maximum 12 persons per guide/transfer.

Price / PP
Price dependent on group size, but indicative costing:

2 personsR4200/pp
4-5 Persons - R3200/pp
Price Includes
  • 3 Nights Accommodation (1 night at a village homestay & 2 nights Mtentu Lodge)
  • All Meals from dinner on 1st night to lunch on departure day
  • 2 Days Guided Hiking
  • 4x4 Return Transfer from Mtentu - back to WC Casino
EXTRA's: Mtentu chalets are 4-sleeper chalets & are costed on a sharing basis. If you wish to have EXCLUSIVITY of the chalet, you need to pay a R300/pp exclusivity supplement, based on 2 persons only.

hikers admiring the view from the top of one of the many sugar-loafed hills on the hike between Coffee Bay and Hole in the wall

If you've done Pondoland why not consider the Coffee Bay to Bulungula hike which takes you past the iconic Hole in the Wall and ends at a Fair Trade Community Lodge.

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mtentu river lodge boardwalk
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