The Wild Coast Bike Trail

Posted on 12 January 2016
Departure date: Apr-Sep 2017 Number of nights: 6 Package price: R14 000

Mountain Bike the Wild Coast

Experience the exhilaration of racing the tide on the pristine Wild Coast on this incredible 7-day mountain bike trail. The emphasis of this trip is on much more than pure riding. Adventurers will go away with lasting impressions of amazing scenery, magnificent beaches and insight into the culture of the hospitable people who live here. This ride is for regular mountain bikers, who have a small degree of off road experience, and reasonably fit non-riders. 

Cost of  The Wild Coast Mountain Bike Package

  • R14 000 per person sharing (Apr-Sep 2017)

Package dates

  • 22-28 May 2017
  • 21-27 June 2017
  • 6-12 July 2017
  • 18-24 August 2017

Package includes

  • Return airport-hotel transfers ex East London Airport
  • 6 nights of accommodation
  • 5 days of riding
  • Access to trails
  • Support crew of guides, hostess, driver and vehicle
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Basic trail snacks and drinks

Package excludes

  • Bike hire and maintenance (if required)
  • Personal beverages at lodges
  • Compulsory emergency evacuation insurance
  • Any meals from restaurants & while traveling
  • Expenses of a personal nature

The Wild Coast Amble Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival and transfer to Morgan Bay
The ride officially begins at Morgan Bay where the riders will be given a thorough briefing of what to expect on the ride and all procedures to be followed. After assembling, checking and adjusting the bikes, it’s off for sun downers on Keightley’s Kranz followed by the customary braai at the Mitford Lodge.

Includes: Dinner

Day 2 – Morgan Bay to Wavecrest
Get your first taste of beach, rock and trail riding past Cape Morgan Lighthouse into coastal forest and then through the sleepy village of Kei Mouth and on to the Great Kei River itself. After crossing the river by pont, it’s up Sunrise Surprise hill and then a dash down back to the beach. For the next few hours you will pick your way along short beaches and over rocky outcrops to Qolora and on to the wreck of the Jacaranda. This is a good place for a quick rest and to hear about the Jacaranda’s misfortune. It’s then onto a sandy trail above the beach and down to the Kobonqaba River for the first of many interesting river crossings. After wading/swimming the river, you will follow the trail across the beach and inland over a long grassy hill to our overnight stop is Wavecrest Hotel. Boat up the Nxusi and Nxaxo Rivers into the most southerly mangrove swamps in SA for some excellent birding. The not so energetic will spend the afternoon on the beach or relaxing at the hotel with a book or gin and tonic in hand while savouring the view.

Stats: 23 km, Ride time 3-4 hrs, Total time 5 hrs
Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3. Wavecrest to Qora Mouth (Kob Inn)
As it’s chilly early in the morning, it’s prudent to use the hotel water craft to cross to the river onto the sandy beach. After a long beach ride, there’s a little respite and then back onto the beach past Bowker’s Bay and Cebe Cottages. The trail leaves the beach here and runs on the grassland above the coast to Cebe Nature Reserve heading back onto the beach for a short while around Stony Point and on to Mazeppa Bay. The trail leads through Mazeppa and climbs high above the ocean for spectacular views of Mazeppa Point (Clan Lindsay Rock), magnificent sand dunes and points northwards towards Qora Mouth. As with a lot of the trips along the Wild Coast, sea and beach conditions dictate where best to ride, we usually opt for the shorter recreational route following the coast past the big sand dunes and Salt Rock to the ferry crossing at Qora Mouth and on to finish at Kob Inn.

Stats: 25 km, Ride time 3-4 hrs, Total time 6 hrs
Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4. Qora Mouth to Cwebe (The Haven)
This is the BIG DAY!  Leaving Kob Inn, the trail is largely on double track and cattle tracks in the grasslands above the coast as it runs to the Jujura River. After the crossing, the trail heads inland before going back to the beach and to the Shixini River, past the remnants of the wreck of the Frontier and alternating on and off the beach to Beecham Wood and the Nqabara River. Once across the river it’s a short beach section before it’s back onto cattle tracks through the Dwesa Reserve gate, to the foot of an imposing climb affectionately known as Mother 1! After walking up this mother,  follow a very sketchy trail into Rhino Valley and on to Mendu beach. As the rhino were culled a few years ago, you may question whether there is really a trail here or not! At the end of Mendu beach, the trail crosses a sandy spur and continues on the last long beach leading to the Mbashe River which is always crossed by canoe as we have seen huge Zambezi sharks here! From the river, it’s a short ride to The Haven Hotel, our destination for this long hard day.

Stats: 42 km, Ride time 6 hrs, Total time 8 hrs
Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5. Cwebe to Mpame (Bull’s Inn)
There are a few route options through the Cwebe Forests (one of the last pristine coastal forests left in SA) and on towards Ntlonyana to re-join the coast for a long beach run to a rocky outcrop, called The Wall. After climbing the rock wall and regrouping it’s back to following the beaches or using an alternate track on the grasslands if the beaches are too soft all the way to Xora River. After the Xora, it’s beach riding past Bulungula village to the end of the beach and imposing cliffs. To avoid these, the trail heads up along cattle and goat tracks inland over two large hills (Mothers 2 &3), through a number of rural settlements and the Kuamanzimnyama indigenous forest before eventually reaching a district road which leads down to Mpame and Bull’s Inn.

Stats: 32 km, Ride time 5-6 hrs, Total time 7-8 hrs
Includes: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6. Mpame to Hole-in-the-Wall
After a morning wake-up for the legs in the form of a little stinger of a hill to get out of Mpame Bay, the trail heads back to the beach, across the Mncwasa River to Mbolompo Point. Here, the trail heads inland and down an exciting descent past Lubanzi. It’s then up again on a rough, but ride- able track onto to a ridge running parallel to the sea, but there are still a few more exciting descents and brutal hills (which should be called Mother 5, 6 & 7!). Eventually the trail contours high above the cliffs as it makes its way to Hole in the Wall. There is an exciting descent from the contour path to the river crossing right at the hole (definite picture stop!) where we’ll regroup for a celebratory drink, lunch and a swim. This is effectively the end of the Wild Coast Amble as the crew load the bikes onto the support vehicles for a short drive to White Clay where everyone can chill and celebrate the adventure.

Stats: 21 km, Ride time 3 1⁄2-4 hrs, Total time 6 hrs
Includes: Breakfast and lunch

Day 7. Transfer to East London Airport
After a leisurely breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to the Wild Coast and head for East London, the nearest city with a major airport. The transfer is a relatively long 4-5 hours or so giving an opportunity to see a little of inland Transkei, the home of the amaXhosa.

Includes: Breakfast

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