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Strandloper Hiking Trail, Wild Coast, Transkei, Eastern Cape.
Strandlopers were hunter-gatherers who harvested mussels and other shellfish along this coast thousands of years ago. Capture what it must have been like then. Hike what is arguably the most beautiful coast in the world.
o Day One: Kei Mouth Section. 8.75-km trail starts at the Strandloper Ecotourism Centre at Cape Morgan, which is between Morgans Bay and Kei Mouth. Highlights include walks in coastal forests, a visit to the Kei Mouth Shell Museum, panoramic views from the platform on Signal Hill, the Ferry, a walk down Lover’s Lane, sandy beaches and rock ledges. Overnight at The Pumphouse, a unique facility with its own (hiker style) swimming pool.
o Day Two: Kei Mouth to Double Mouth. Walking towards Morgans Bay, the 7-km trail continues over fairly rough grass, boulders and sandy beaches. The awesome Morgans Bay Cliff rises out of the sea to a height of 57m. While the day’s walk is short, the crossing over the headland is challenging and there are opportunities to fish, collect shells and to wander and wonder. Overnight in Xhosa huts in Double Mouth Reserve.
o Day Three: Double Mouth to Cape Henderson. Round the headland from the Quko Estuary, the 14.5-km trail continues to Treasure or Bead Beach. After passing Black Rock and a beautiful shell beach, pass the village of Haga Haga, Pullen’s Bay and a long stretch of rocky beach. Delicious pub lunches are available en-route and shops allow one to stock up on supplies. Overnight at the hut at Cape Henderson. In a nature reserve –no fires allowed.
o Day Four: Cape Henderson to Beacon Valley. 13.5-km. Kilometres of beach backed by sand dunes. Walk past four estuaries that may not be open to the sea. There are Strandloper middens (heaps of shells and other debris) in the high dunes. Other highlights include bird watching sites, fishing spots and swimming beaches. Overnight in settler’s cottages at Beacon Valley.
o Day Five: Beacon Valley to Gonubie. 14.5-km. The walk is along rocky coastline with narrow inter-tidal beaches. The hamlets of Glen Muir, Queensbury Bay and Glen Eden are tucked away en-route to Glengariff. This area offers safe bathing and wonderful surfing. After passing the Bulura River, a grass track leads to a sandy beach at the mouth of the Kwelera River. The village of Sunrise-on-Sea is approached by way of a boulder beach and, after a bumpy shuffle with Gonubie in sight, a last swim across the river mouth gets you home.
Please bear the following in mind:
o Each section of the trail has been designed to reveal special aspects of the coastline
o Groups of up to 12 can be accommodated
o Trained guides are available
o A comprehensive brochure is available
o The trail caters for young and old, nature lovers, fishermen, backpackers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
o Hikers are requested to keep their permits with them at all times
o No historical or archaeological treasures may be destroyed or removed.
o Be prepared to ford rivers.
Travel north on the N6 from East London, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N6. Turn east onto the R349 at Mooiplaas and travel to Kei Mouth. BDStrandloper
Contct: The Reservations Manager
Box 86 Kei Mouth 5260
+27 (43) 841 1046 telephone and fax
+27 (83) 285 4773 cell
4490/4%Last update: 2014-02-15 20:05
Author: Alan McIver
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