Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Mdumbi --By Charlotte, a visiting backpacker

Mdumbi: the Transkei's lesser known sister and one which shouldn't be missed. Perched on the edge of a beautiful rugged coastline, there are many things to do at this eco-friendly backpackers, which is owned by 50% of the local community.  


A home from home hostel with friendly staff, it was easy to settle in with mounds of free popcorn and a film when it begun to pour down with rain. There is more to Mdumbi than meets the eye with a local pre-school on site and its own vegetable garden (watered by recycled shower water). Chickens, rabbits and horses all live together in this place... it even has solar powered showers!

One of their lovely guides Lusanda gave us a cultural tour of the nearby village of Tshani. We learnt more about xhosa tradition and I dressed up as a married woman - we even did a bit of weaving! To top it off we visited the local shebeen for some ciders, followed by some tasty pancakes at the Ziyaduma restaurant, overlooking the Mdumbi river.

                        Ziyaduma Restaurant 

The afternoon brought a walk which helped us to forge a spanking new forest walk with signs made by the cheery Naomi. The trail includes a great view of the coast which is a hotspot for seeing whales and dolphin if you're that way inclined! Our day ended with a delicious seafood braai around a roaring fire, with freshly grilled crayfish and homemade xhosa bread... you cannot go wrong with this gem. 

If you're after some more Mdumbi fun, there are plenty of local-led activities from deep sea fishing to surfing, all of which are run by the community and are cheap as chips.

Get off the beaten track and do something a bit different with this fair trade accredited hostel. You won't know until you try!

By Charlotte, a visiting backpacker

                                           Fairtrade,Mdumbi backpackers, Wildcoast backpackers  

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hiking Trails at Mdumbi

We are incredibly lucky at Mdumbi to have such varied and stunning nature at our fingertips. Just outside of the backpackers is an incredible forest. This forest has many little paths running through it, but most of them are overgrown and lead to nowhere. A few of us decided to establish a clear trail so guests and community members can enjoy our local hikes. We scoped out the best path and then set to work clearing the trail. We made sure to protect our local species, but the non-endemic Lantana and Inkberry we saw along the way met the bush knife.
start of the trail at the point

The hike starts from the front gate of the backpackers and takes you to the point look out, an incredible view and a popular spot with the dolphins (on a clear day you can see all the way to Port St. John’s) From there, walk down the hill to Whale rock-- keep an eye out for those great mammals! Follow the grassy track past Bird Rock, admiring the palm forest as you go. From there, the path takes you into the forest where you can see milkwood groves and a Yellowwood forest. Head up the hill and you will come out behind the backpackers on the soccer field. Please help us to maintain our trail by visiting us and taking a hike! Hope to see you soon, The Mdumbi Crew

In the Yellowwood Forest
A very beautiful flowers growing in the sand...does anybody have any idea what the name of this flower is? 

Clearing nettles

Eco and Lindy in the Milkwood Grove

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Mdumbi from the Sky

When one of the guests came to Mdumbi Backpackers in a helicopter, a few of the Mdumbi crew were lucky enough to get a ride. Here are some aerial pics of Mdumbi from the sky. Thanks for the ride Dean!
The Mdumbi Crew

Our beautiful piece of coastline

Tony, before take off

The after school enrichment program takes a break to welcome the helicopter.
Mdumbi Backpackers

Beach and Mdumbi River
Mamas gathering water from the water project (one of TransCape’s first projects— still running successfully almost a decade later J)