• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Friday, 8 November 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Coastal Hike in Coffee Bay

Send to Kindle

With the wind at full force and the rain relentless, the roads that lead to the start of the Hole in the Wall hiking trail in Coffee Bay were in too poor condition for the Coffee Shack tour vehicles to navigate. Slightly dejected at not getting the opportunity to see one of Coffee Bay’s famed marvels, but still very keen, we headed out wrapped thick in layers with local guide and barman, Lazarus, to the Umtata river mouth which is just north of Coffee Bay.

 

Coastal Hike to Coffee Bay

 

The plan was to do the Coastal Hike which runs from the river mouth back to the hostel, which usually takes around two hours. With our wits about us our group of five left the vehicle and Lazarus, armed appropriately with gum boots and an umbrella, led us to a breath taking site which overlooks the Umtata river mouth. After a few interesting tales about the history of the area we set off to tackle the day – but not before a few local goats interrupted us and led Lazarus onto another interesting story explaining the value of goats and how they are used in certain traditions – but then we were off.

 

Coastal Hike to Coffee Bay

 

Soon after we started we passed through a village and the rain, although unpleasant for us, was extremely welcome and the locals, unseen yet evidenced through smoke, were huddled around the fires in their round, mud-brick and thatch-roofed homes celebrating as the area had recently been in the grips of a severe drought causing the, usually emerald hills, to bear the golden markings of a rainless season.

We made our way back to the coastline and walked along cliff edges, which looked as though they had been carved into the hills by knife. The cliff faces were sheer and captivating and more than once I felt a gentle tug at my backpack warning me not to go lean any further over. The miserable conditions were made light by the exceptional views, Lazarus’ infectious laughs and the many calves and piglets we saw along the way.

 

Coastal Hike to Coffee Bay

 

Goats, cows and pigs, by the way, are common place here and unlike in the cities, where they seem out of place, they have the run of the land and enjoy roaming and grazing on the highest hills and steepest cliffs. The Wild Coast is both lost in time and sheltered from the chaos of the maddening world; it is stunning.

The hills seemed to carry on forever, we rose and fell with the lay of the land and cut through the rivers until home came into view. Coffee Bay, from any angle is marvellous and coupled with the thought of hot showers and cappuccinos less than 15minutes away we finished strong.

 

Coastal Hike to Coffee Bay

 

Enquire at Coffee Shack if you’d like to do the Coastal Hike in Coffee Bay. They have many others on offer too.

Contact Details:
Telephone: +27 (0)47 575-2048
Opening hours: By arrangement.

Coffee Bay Links:

Thank you to Around About Cars for getting us there on our South African road trip.

Photographs by and © Vaughan McShane

 

Coastal Hike to Coffee Bay

 

Vaughan McShane

About 

Vaughan McShane travels the world with his wife teaching English, surfing where he finds waves and capturing it all on his GoPro camera. Together they seek new terrain to explore, adventure in unlikely places and delicious cappuccinos. Follow their wanderings on The Travel Manuel and follow Vaughan's adventures on Twitter @VaughanMac.

You are reading Popular Hiking Trails and Walks in South Africa Series Read more from this series of articles.