White Clay to Mdumbi

If you want to understand South Africa, you need to visit the rural Eastern Cape. And yes: there really are cattle on the beaches! Our 2018 Wild Coast adventure was my first visit to this part of the Eastern Cape. Our base camp was White Clay. White Clay offers a range of accommodation options as well as a restaurant, bar and a shop selling a few basics.

White Clay is within a short drive of Coffee Bay as well as Hole-in-the-Wall.

We hiked North from White Clay to Mdumbi Backpackers. Hiking on the Wild Coast is a fairly simple matter of following the foot- and cattle paths along the shoreline. From time to time you may have to hike slightly inland to circumnavigate impassable sections of the shoreline, but you are never far from the sea.

Much of the way is on soft green grass and you don’t need boots at all — in fact, you could quite easily walk barefoot for much of the day. Water is an issue as I would not recommend drinking from any of the rivers as there are human settlements upstream. I would not be comfortable drinking unboiled water from the communal drinking taps either. Whilst there are homesteads dotted all around on the hills there are only one or two villages as such and we only passed the one small general dealer where I couldn’t resist buying a cold Coca Cola!

We crossed the Umtata River via the Umtata River Mouth Ferry.

Our overnight-stop and turnaround point was the dreamy Mdumbi Backpackers.

We took a steep detour down to the Mapuzi Caves on our return trip.


Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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