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28 Apr

See the Cape Vulture Colony at Msikaba, 2 of the 7 waterfalls in the world that fall directly into the sea, Waves crashing against the rocks and the Cathedral Peak Rock standing out from the sea.

The untamed Transkei is located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and lies just outside of East London. It is an almost forgotten part of the country that seems to function at its own pace and without modern day influences. Many tourists and locals visit the Transkei as it provides a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the country.
One of the sites on the way to the start is the Cape Vulture Colony just above Msikaba. Despite the extent of subsistence farmland in Africa, little is known about endangered species that persist within them. The Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres) is regionally endangered in southern Africa and at least 20% of the population breeds in the subsistence farmland area previously known as the Transkei in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa
Pondo Drifter Trail Run is a 4 day/3 nights fully catered event in the Northern Transkei from Msikaba towards Port St Johns where you will run 72km over 4 days in an unspoiled area of the Eastern Cape.

Info and Cost

The Transkei Pondo Drifter 4 day Trail Run – South

This event run from Mskaba south to Port St Johns. The Pondo Drifter Trail Run will take you on an exploration of the Wild Coast in Transkei, South Africa. See the Cape Vulture Colony at Msikaba, 2 of the 7 waterfalls in the world that fall directly into the sea, Waves crashing against the rocks and the Cathedral Peak Rock standing out from the sea. Experience the birth place of Nelson Mandela, run (or walk fast) on cattle tracks above the cliffs with dramatic rocks and caves below and experience the culture of the Xhosa when walking through the friendly villages along the way. This is an experience not to be missed.

Date: 29 APRIL TO 3 MAY 2021:

Venue: Natafufu Tented Chalet, Mbotyi River lodge, Lamabazi Lodge, Pondoland, Transkei
Event Format: Solo or Pairs

Entry Fees:

Sharing Option: R9900 per person sharing tent on deck with own en suite bathroom

Single option: Own luxury tents on deck: R11900, we are limited with only 10 tents and therefore the single option are more expensive.

If you do not have a friend to share already, please choose single option, you can always get a friend later, but if you choose single and do not have a friend sharing by the time of the event we will have to charge you the extra R2000 unfortunately. We are not responsible for finding you a person to share with.

Day 1:  10km, Mskaba to Lambazi lodge
Day 2:  25km, Drifters Lodge to Mbotyi Lodge
Day 3:  18 km Mbotyi to Ntafufu Tented Chalet
Day 4: 14km Manteku to Port St Johns

Same cancellation rules apply as stated below.

Included in the entry fee:

– Seeing 2 of the 7 waterfalls in the world that fall directly into the sea
– Seeing Cathedral rock and many other amazing sights
– 4 days of unforgettable trail running along the wild coast
– Running on cliff paths and secluded beaches
– Local guides that will run or walk various speeds to accompany you and show you the best route options
– Safe parking at Port St Johns
– Transport from Port St Johns to the start
– Sightseeing of the awesome Cape Vulture colony (more than 100 birds) on the way to Msikaba
– Accommodation for 3 nights in either a lodge or tents on deck with en suite bathroom
– 3 meals per day
– Transport of your gear to finishing venue each day
– Sundowner snacks each day
– Medical and emergency services on standby
– Generosity and great atmosphere

Getting to Port St Johns, Transkei, Eastern Cape
Massage at Mbotyi
Any extras

Registration and late entries:
Pre-entries close until 20 entries, or 10 tents on deck have been reached, no late entries will be allowed. Registration will be 28 April at Spotted Grunter. No private cars allowed at Msikaba, you must leave your car at Spotted Grunter, just outside Port St Johns.

Highlights of the trip:

See the deepest Estuary in South Africa, Msikaba
See 2 of the 7 waterfalls in the world that fall directly into the sea.
See the spectacular Cathedral Rock on route.
Experience the birth place of Nelson Mandela, walk on cattle tracks above the cliffs
Experience the culture of the Xhosa when walking through the friendly villages along the way.
Vulture colonies of more than 100 Cape white back vultures,
Secluded Beaches with cattle
Seas that crash against the cliffs
Friendly people
This is an experience not to be missed….

Compulsory Equipment (for your own safety):
As a precaution, we would like you to carry the following compulsory equipment with you during the race. It is for your own personal safety. Please adhere to the following:

  • Cell phone
  • zip lock bag to keep phone dry
  • Space blanket
  • Backpack
  • Long Thermal base layer (pants and top)
  • Whistle
  • Hat
  • Emergency food
  • Headlamp
  • Water bottles
  • Sunscreen (factor 50)
  • Outer shell jacket (waterproof)
  • First aid kit

Please ensure that you have the compulsory equipment with you at all times during the race as conditions change quickly up in the mountains.

For all information contact Sonja : sonja@trisport.co.za


Pondo Drifter Entries for 2021 open on 1st September 2021

Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be made due to Covid 19. If we have to cancel/postpone the event due to any unforeseen circumstances including Covid 19 we will transfer your entry fees to the new date



Athletes cancelling may transfer their entry to another person, but that person will have to accept that changes to sizes etc. of clothing in the goody bag may not be able to be made if they are not available – when goody bags are applicable.
20% of Entry fee will be charged for any transfers for admin costs.
Entries may unfortunately not be transferred.


This is a medium technical race. The route will not be marked. You can choose your own route, just keep the sea on your left shoulder. We employ guides to run with the different groups, depending on the speed of each group to show you the best route options. The route is mostly on cattle tracks. There is enough water on the route, but we will have a waterpoint on route each day.

Day 1 : 9km
Msikaba to Drifters Lodge

Day 2: 25km
Leg 1 Drifters Lodge to Lupithana: 9km

Leg 2 Lupithana to Mbotyi:16km

Day 3: 18km
Leg 1: Mbotyi to Manteku: 9km

Day 3:
Leg 2: Manteku to Ntafufu: 9km

Full Route


Accommodation is included in your rate at Mbotyi Lodge and in Lambazi lodge and 1 x Adventure tented chalets which are on poles with bedding, towels, shower and toilet, sleeps 2 people, 2 single beds. If you want to stay single, a supplement of R2000 will apply unfortunately. You are responsible for your own sharing friend.

Mbotyi River lodge

Lambazi Lodge


Bedding inside the en-suite Tented Chalets



Thursday, 28 April:

7pm: Meet at the bar at Spotted Grunter, with welcoming drink and to get to know the group

Friday: 29 April 

8 am: Registration and Pick up at Spotted Grunter, Port St Johns, leave your car here
On the way: Watching the amazing Cape Vulture Colony of more than 100 birds looking down into the valley. Breathtaking views of the Msikaba Gorge can be seen when walking through the grassland above the river, close to Msikaba.
11am: Start at Msikaba
1pm: Lunch at Lambazi Lodge
6pm: Dinner at Lambazi Lodge

Saturday: 30 April

7am: Breakfast
8 am: Run from Drifters Lodge to Mbotyi (25km) Running along the cliff coastline. Through the hidden private white sandy beaches. Come and find adventure around every corner and see amazing sights on this South African coastline. Experience the Thunder Cliffs and Top hat at Lupitana. See the 2 of 7 breathtaking waterfalls that fall directly into the ocean. See the Cathedral Rock and run on cattle tracks on top of the cliffs with the sea far below you. Cross various small streams and pass beautiful big swimming pools where you can cool off.
2 pm onwards: Light lunch at Mbotyi
6pm: Dinner

Sunday: 1 May 18km

8 am: Breakfast
9 am: Run from Mbotyi to Ntafufu
1pm: Light lunch at Manteku  and paddle up the river, swim in the river or sea or just enjoy the view
6pm: Dinner

Monday: 2 May 14km

7 am: Breakfast
8 am: Run from Manteku to Port St Johns (14km) The magnificent coastline continues as you follow the cattle trails over the rolling grasslands and cliffs. Enjoy the last magnificent day of the Pondo Drifter
2pm: Light lunch
6pm: Dinner at Spotted Grunter

Tuesday 3 May: 
7:00 Breakfast and Good Byes

PLEASE NOTE:  It is dangerous driving after dark in Transkei due to no fences and animals walking around in the road. Please do not try and drive back after 3pm. It take about 5 hours back to East London and 6 hours back to Durban


Follow the race on Social Media:


April 28, 2022
May 3, 2022
Event Category:


Drifter Adventure Camps
Pondoland, Transkei



Contact Info


Phone:    +27 (0) 82 579 7595
Email:     sonja@trisport.co.za
Postal Address:
Po Box 1232
Greatbrak River

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