The Combo Trail
To feel more relaxed, focused and rejuvenated
Location: Wild Coast, Eastern Cape
Duration: 5 Nights, 6 Days
Guided: partially ( 2 days guides 2 days unguided)
Combine the best of both trails with this popular combination guided hike over 5 nights / 6 days. It offers diverse scenery and avoids the more strenuous sections – perfect for those wanting an easier trail.
Max Capacity: 18
Minimum Capacity: 2
Start point- Wavecrest
End point- Crawfords
Day 1 – 0km
Day 2 – 14km
Day 3 – 12km
Day 4 – 14km
Day 5 – 16km
Accommodation is provided nightly in one of the famous old coastal resorts, known for unique settings and warm hospitality.
Night 1 – Wavecrest Hotel
Night 2 – Trennery’s Hotel or Seagulls Hotel
Night 3 – Morgan Bay Hotel or Mitford Hotel
Night 4 – Haga Haga Hotel
Night 5 – Crawfords Beach Lodge
About the Wild Coast Combo
Sleep in hotels, this hiking trail covers 58 km of the southern region of the Wild Coast of Southern Africa. The terrain is moderate and magnificent in its isolation and natural splendour. Accommodation is provided nightly in one of the famous old coastal resorts, known for unique settings and warm hospitality. Guides from local Xhosa communities accompany hikers every day, sharing their local knowledge, customs and culture with you
Arrive East London Airport and transfer to Wavecrest Resort. Travel time from airport to Wavecrest is 2.5 hours and includes 36km of gravel road. Check in and have an afternoon of leisure or activity (depending on time of arrival). When you look at the number of activities available below, you will probably want to arrive in East London as early as possible to get out to the coast.
The hotel is situated on a river estuary with miles of views, down a 7km beach or up the Nxaxo river with it’s Mangrove swamps. Bird life around the hotel and in the indigenous forest is of the best along the coast
Depart Wavecrest for a 14km hike to Trennery’s Hotel and the Qholora area. The 1st 5km takes hikers over a set of hills and dune forest with sweeping views of the coastline, this is to avoid a rocky section along the coast. The latter is also a very nice challenge if you are agile and fit. After crossing the Kobonqaba River by canoe the hikers walk a further 3km to the wreck of the Jacaranda where lunch is enjoyed. The last 6 km to Trennery’s is along the beach and hikers normally arrive mid to late afternoon for check in and overnight.
Trennery’s is one of the oldest resorts with rondavels and small cottages dotted around the large garden as rooms. They are all en suite and very comfortable, a steady process of rebuilding each unit is constantly progressing.
The hotel buildings are surrounded by very tropical dune forest, thus making it an ideal spot for windy days also ensuring an abundance of birds. Sitting on the patio, one has to duck from time to time as the birds fly around as if they own the terrain. There is a view of the sea from some rooms and the patio but one sees the blue sea and not the breakers crashing on the beach.
Depart Trennery’s for a 12 km hike to Morgan Bay. The walk on this day does allow one activity such as Trevor’s Trail to be done in the morning before departing for Morgan Bay. The first 6km is walked along the beach to the Great Kei River where hikers catch the ferry across the river. This is one of only two working pontoons in South Africa. Once across the river enjoy your packed lunch on the banks of the Kei River. Your new guide (on three days you have two sets of guides and porters) then set out along the beach before entering a forest, up to a lighthouse and back down onto the beach for the last 2km to Morgan Bay Hotel and check in. Morgan Bay is lovely, with fabulous cuisine and warm hospitality, we are now outside the former Transkei therefore, not so remote. Morgan Bay is actually a small seaside village with approximately 100 houses, 85% only used as beach houses. The rooms at the hotel are well appointed and the service very good. The beach at Morgan Bay is very safe and provides wonderful swimming. There are many places to explore, much to do. The hotel has been owned and managed by the Warren Smith family for close to 60 years.
Depart Morgan Bay for a 12.5km hike to Haga Haga.The 1st 5km is walked along towering granite cliffs where some of the most fantastic views up and down the coast are enjoyed. After crossing the Quko River, hikers set out along a long beach for the final 8km to Haga Haga enjoying lunch along the way. On a section of this beach we often find pieces of ming pottery and carnelian beads from ancient ship wrecks. Check in at Haga Haga Hotel for the evening. The hotel is situated almost on the rocks. The rooms are all sea-facing and the pub deck is a great place to sit and enjoy the sea. Haga Haga is also a small beach village. Probably because it is surrounded by farms and private land, there are not so many opportunities for additional activities other than beach, walks and ball games. It has very nice swimming beaches.
Depart for a 16.5 km walk to Chintsa East. This is a wonderful day’s walking. After leaving Haga there are some rocky sections to a small beach called Pullen’s Bay, thereafter one walks for some 6 km along a wavecut platform with wonderful gullies. You reach the beach again at Cape Henderson from here stroll along an endless beach passing 3 river estuaries. These are usually closed lagoons in the dry months. Trail maps will indicate places where it is not safe to swim and your guide will advise you as well. Your destination on this day is Crawfords Cabins. This is a private resort in amongst the dune forest looking out at the lovely Chintsa East Beach. Your hosts, Ian and Lynne Crawford manage to do everything just right, and effortlessly. Enjoy your stay..
Wild Coast Combo
Your Hiking Trail Includes
The hotels all offer a set menu with 4 or 5 courses.
Lunch packs for hiking days are quite simple and sandwiches, fruit, sweets and perhaps a piece of chicken or cheese.
Accommodation and all meals. From lunch on day one to breakfast on day six.
A guide accompanies the hikers each day.
Porters are used on the first 2 days of hiking, this is to provide much needed employment to the very poor communities along the coast.
After Morgan Bay, a motorized transfer is provided as we are now on mostly owned farms and nature conservation land.
Transfer from East London to Wavecrest and from Chintsa to East London
If your clients have time available, turn this into a holiday trail by spending more than one night at some or all of the hotels. Many hikers have expressed their regret at not spending more time on this magnificent coast, enabling them to partake in more of the activities on offer at each resort