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 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 our way back after the run 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 6 day hike is a fully catered slack packing hike in the Northern Transkei from Port St Johns to Mskaba where you will hike 72km over 6 days in an unspoiled area, Pondoland, in the Transkei, Eastern Cape.
Info and Cost
Pondo Drifter 6 day Hike is a 6 day 5 nights fully catered slack packing hike in the Northern Transkei from Port St Johns north towards Mskaba.
The hike start from Port St Johns and we hike north to Mskaba where you will stay 3 nights in en-suite Tents on deck, 1 night at Mbotyi River Lodge and the last night at the Lambazi Lodge. The last day will only be 9km and it will be the easiest of all the days. All accommodation are en-suite.
The Pondo Drifter hike will take you on an exploration of the Wild Coast in Transkei, South Africa. You will 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, the Cathedral Rock standing out from the sea and shipwrecks at Grosnevor. Experience the birth place of Nelson Mandela, hiking on cattle tracks above the cliffs with dramatic rocks and caves below and experience the culture of the friendly Pondo people when walking through the friendly villages along the way. This is an experience not to be missed.
Date: 21 to 26 April 2021
Venue: Drifters Adventure Tented Camps, Mbotyi River Lodge, Lambazi Lodge, Pondoland, Transkei
Accommodation option: Single or Sharing
Sharing Option: R9900 per person sharing, all accommodation are en suite bathroom,
Single room and Single Tented chalets: R14 900,
We are limited with only 11 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 R5000 unfortunately. Sorry, we cannot look for a friend for you to share. It is your responsibility.
Extra night BB before and after at Cremorne Estate in Port St Johns: Between R300 and R1400 pp depending on what you choose, various options available from camping to luxury rooms. Book when you enter via our entry form option.
Payment Plan available: Pay 50% when entering online and the other 50% before 01 MARCH 2021. No refund of the deposit will be done.
Same cancellation rules apply as stated below.
Pondo Drifter, included in the entry fee:
5 nights accommodation
All Meals from Lunch on the 21 April to Breakfast on the 26th April
Transport back from Msikaba to Cremorne Estate
Transport of gear
Accommodation and meals at Cremorne Estate. Because we start at Cremorne Estate at 8 am on the 21 April with a briefing, we advise you to please book the night before, the 20th April, as well as the night after we finish the 26th April at Cremorne on www.cremorne.co.za
Day 1: 17km from Cremorne to Ntafufu Tented camp
Day 2: 10km Ntafufu to Manteku Tented Camp
Day 3: 10km from Manteku Tented camp to Mbotyi River Lodge
Day 4: 17km from Mbotyi to Lupithana Tented camp
Day 5: 10km Lupithana Tented camp to Lambazi Lodge
Day 6: 9km from Lambazi Lodge to Msikaba Tented camp
Registration and late entries:
Pre-entries close 1 March or until 20 entries are reached, no late entries will be allowed.
You will leave your car at Cremorne Estate, just outside Port St Johns. We advise people to stay at Cremorne Estate the night before we leave on the hike. Please do not drive at night in Transkei, it is incredibly dangerous with the cattle and dogs on the road. Please book Cremorne as soon as possible. No vehicles or guests will be allowed on route unless you drive it yourself and are not running
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
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
- Long Thermal base layer (pants and top)
- Emergency food
- 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
No refunds will be made if we have to cancel due to COVID 19. We will transfer your entry fees paid to the next year if we are not allow to continue with the event due to unforeseen circumstances including Covid 19.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE COVER ANY INJURIES, ILLNESS OR CANCELLATIONS FOR ANY REASONS SUCH AS AN PANDEMIC, TERRORISM, FORCE MAJEUR.
Hikers 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.
Contact Sonja to finalise this: email@example.com
The route will not be marked. Just keep the sea on your right shoulder. We will have guides hiking with you to show you the best routes. The route is mostly on cattle tracks. There is enough water on the route.
Day 1:17km Cremorne to Ntafufu
Day 2: 10km Ntafufu to Manteku
Day 3: 10km Manteku to Mbotyi river lodge
Day 4: 17 km Mobotyi to Lupithana
Day 5: 10 km Lupithana to Drifters lodge
Day 6: 10km Drifters lodge to Msikaba
Accommodation is included in your rate at
Mbotyi River Lodge,
Lambazi lodge and
3 x Drifter’s Adventure tented chalets which are on poles with 2 beds and a shower and toilet, sleeps 2 people, 2 single beds
If you want to stay single, a supplement of R4000 will apply.
Accommodation before and after the event we suggest Cremorne Estate, where you will be starting and finish
7pm: Meet at Cremorne bar for a welcome drink and to meet the rest of the group, meals and accommodation at Cremorne for your own expense
8am: Start with Breakfast and a Briefing at Cremorne, Port St Johns, leave your car here
9:00 Hike to Ntafufu Tented Adventure Camp – 17 km
1pm Lunch at Ntafufu
6pm: Dinner and Ntafufu
9:00 Hike to Manteku Tented Adventure Camp – 17 km
1pm Lunch at Manteku
6pm: Dinner and Manteku
8am: Day 2, hike from Manteku to Mbotyi River lodge- 10 km hiking 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.
1pm: Lunch at Mbotyi
6pm: Dinner at Mbotyi River Lodge
8am: Day 3, hike from Mbotyi to Lupithana Tented Camp- 16 km
Lunch on arrival
See the 2 of 7 breath taking waterfalls that fall directly into the ocean. See the Cathedral Rock and walk 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.
Experience the Thunder Cliffs and Top hat at Lupitana
6pm: Dinner at Lupithana
Hike from Lupithana to Lambazi Lodge
Easy walk with few streams to cross, over some sandy beaches and walking on cattle tracks. Lot of time to swim in the sea or streams
Lunch on arrival
Hike from Lambazi Lodge to Mskaba, 9 km
11:00, Taxis will take us back to Cremorne Estate where you have left your car and we say goodbyes or stay another night with us at Cremorne Estate
12 pm: Watch the Cape Vulture colony
2 pm: Arrive back at Cremorne Estate
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 from Cremorne Estate after 3pm. It take about 5 hours back to East London and 6 hours back to Durban