Whether you’re looking for an adventurous holiday or just a peaceful break from everyday life, Mbotyi River Lodge can do both. In the Eastern Cape on the Wild Coast, the lodge is 26 km from Lusikisiki, on the Mbotyi river mouth. Snuggled between the undulating hills of Pondoland, surrounded by flourishing indigenous forestry, this picturesque valley is the ideal location for anyone looking to experience South Africa’s true beauty.
This popular family resort, in the midst of Pondoland, is renowned for its friendly Pondo people, whose intriguing culture has captured the hearts of many and ensures their return time and time again. Be sure to experience the true culture of the Pondo people and take a walk in the village with a local guide. If you’re feeling adventurous visit a sangoma or have a drink at a shebeen …
Mbotyi has many rivers and an extensive lagoon estuary, both of which are home to an abundance of birdlife, ranging from fish eagles to king fishers to pelicans and many more. Pack a picnic basket and take a morning stroll and you’re sure to catch a glimpse of these wonderful birds as they fish for their morning meal. Mbotyi also offers butterfly tours in March and April, where a guide will take you to a special spot to witness the spectacular sight of meandering butterflies in their hundreds.
For all the water lovers, Mbotyi is a great place to take a relaxing paddle across the serene lagoon. Both canoes and paddles are available for hire at the resort and make for a fun filled day or night adventure. You might even be lucky enough to see the curious sight of the Nguni cattle as they take their bath in the lagoon, so be sure to bring your camera.
Mbotyi has a large number of majestic waterfalls along the coastline, some falling as deep as 100km. You can either hike or take an open Land Rover drive to the site of many spectacular waterfalls. Of particular interest is the well-known Waterfall Bluff which plummets straight down into the Indian Ocean. One can swim beneath the waterfalls or bathe in a forest rock pool. However, for an invigorating swim in the sea, it does not get better that the warm Indian Ocean, just a short walk away. For the less adventurous there is a dazzling pool area perfect for cooling down on those hot summer days in the lodge grounds.
Fisherman, bring those rods. Mbotyi is also an ideal fishing spot. The estuary is a great breeding place for a wide number of fish species. Whether casting off the rocky shoreline or into the open estuary, you will not be disappointed. Around June and July, the phenomenon of the yearly sardine run commences attracting sharks, dolphins and whales. Even divers from all around the world come to visit so they can partake in this remarkable underwater experience. Mbotyi has a wide range of advantageous viewing points, perfect to capture this unique event.
There are many hiking trails into the indigenous forest or along the wild coast shoreline. Certain hiking trails take you through the Pondo village where you can meet the local people and enjoy their traditional culture. Mbotyi has something for the experienced, as well as, the inexperienced hiker, varying from a leisurely walk to a more daunting 28 km hike. On top of that, you can also climb down into the gorge to stand under a 110 metre waterfall and swim in the sparkling pool, while listening to the roaring crash of water around you.
Mbotyi can also be experienced on horseback or on a mountain bike. You can either bring your own bike or hire one from the lodge. Whether you want a more challenging ride or an enjoyable meander, the terrain offers you both. There are light trails for beginners as well as the more challenging routes through the forest for the more experienced riders.
Mbotyi is also close to the exceptional Magwa Tea Plantation. This is one of the world’s biggest plantations and is well worth a visit. Trips to the factory can be arranged from the lodge where you are shown how the tea is made and packaged, as well as being given the chance to buy some Magwa Tea. The old-fashioned, yet still working equipment is a sight to behold, as is the beautiful green tea bushes surrounded by giant Eucalyptus trees.
Contact Details for Mbotyi River Lodge:
Telephone: +27 (0)82 674-1064
Satellite: +27 (0)39 253-7200