5 Awesome Wild Coast Backpackers

Travel to this remote part of South Africa and you will immediately know why people rave about this destination. The Transkei is one of the only remaining areas in South Africa where you can still get a real African experience: chiefs are the authority, livestock the currency and deep-routed myths the philosophy of the amaXhosa who populate the mudbrick houses that scatter the rolling hills.

A backpackers paradise thanks to the laid-back lifestyle, peacefulness and spectacularly beautiful landscapes. Plus, the backpackers accommodation in these parts have also just gotten things right. If you've been stuck on which ones to choose, here are a couple of my favourites...

1 .Bulungulu Lodge – Bulungulu River mouth, Coffee Bay

Situated on one of the world's most beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the heart of a traditional Xhosa village, the eco-friendly Bulungula Lodge has been described as "spectacular" by the Lonely Planet and "one of the World's ultimate ethical travel experiences" by The Rough Guide.

This Fair-trade lodge is co-owned by the local traditional community and loads of cool activities run daily.

To make a booking:

Call: +27 47 577 8900 (047 577 8900 for South Africans)

or call +27 83 391 5525 (083 391 5525 for South Africans)

Email: paradise@bulungula.com

Visit their website: www.bulungula.com

2. The Coffee Shack – Coffee Bay

Perfectly located on the beach in Coffee Bay. Here you can explore, discover and enjoy a unique taste of rural Africa. Coffee Shack is a backpackers’ tropical paradise, located on the beach at the Bomvu River mouth on the Wild Coast of South Africa, where you will experience a way of life far removed from Western Culture.

Coffee Shack is famous for cheap surf lessons and fun activities, amazing scenery, hiking, a great value bar, and food.

To make a booking:

Call: +27 (0) 47 575 2048

Email: happydays@coffeeshack.co.za

Visit their website: www.coffeeshack.co.za

3. Mdumbi Backpackers – Mdumbi

Mdumbi Backpackers is arguably one of my favourites, with panoramic Wild Coast views nestled in the heart of the Transkei and infused with the culture of the amaXhosa. They are an award-winning backpackers that promotes community involvement and sustainable eco-tourism.

Whether you are feeling like a lazy day on the beach, a cultural walk through the village, a paddle up our river or a hike, they've got all of your bases covered.

To make a booking:

Call: +27 (0) 83 461 1834

Email: mdumbi@mdumbi.co.za

Visit their website: www.mdumbi.co.za

4. Amapondo Backpackers – Port St Johns

Nestled on a hill on the verge of a tropical forest, Amapondo is only two minutes walk from the best beach in town. A good place to base yourself to explore the surrounding nature, Amapondo is also a jubilant space, sometimes hosting live bands and top DJs, it’s a place that has it all.

To make a booking:

Call: +27 (0)83 315 3103

Email: info@amapondo.co.za

Visit their website: www.amapondo.co.za

5. Wild Lubanzi - Lubanzi

Wild Lubanzi is nestled on one of the hills overlooking the beach, providing you with stunning sunrise views. It is surrounded by local village huts, people, livestock, laughter and the lovely hum of Xhosa village life.

Kick off your shoes, let your spirit soar. Free yourself, open up, be at one, breathe. Lubanzi is as "away from everything" as you can possibly be.

To make a booking:

Call: +27 78 530 8997

Email: wild @ lubanzi.co.za

Visit their website: www.wildlubanzi.co.za

All images shot by: www.grantpayne.com