I’m heading to Coffee Bay on Sunday, one of my favourite places. I’ll be staying at my old haunt, The Coffee Shack and learning about their community projects at Sustainable Coffee Bay, which I will be writing about soon!
For now, here’s a guest post by Chuma Xundu – an Eastern Cape local, now Jozi girl – who will be a regular contributor to the blog. Chuma and I have a lot in common, we are both in love with Mzansi and passionate about socio-economic issues. Welcome Chuma!
Take me to the Transkei
by guest contributor – Chuma Xundu
With just less than six weeks until spring (yes, I’ve been counting), I can’t wait to start planning for my long awaited summer holidays. I’m tired of chasing the sun’s heat, piling on layers of clothing and cooking soup. These cold Joburg days make me crave sun, sea and the ocean breeze. How I long for a holiday like I had in the Transkei last summer!
Coming from this beautiful and often neglected part of the country, I have always holidayed in other parts of the country. I’ll admit to ignorance, because after my last trip I learnt to appreciate the beauty that is the Transkei. After months of hard work, heading down to the coast can be cathartic. So last December, my boyfriend and I journeyed on a road trip to the Wild Coast.
The Wild Coast stretches from East London to Port Edward with the border at Mtavuna River. This is area of my birth where sweet waters run through to the coast and are surrounded by remote rural life – it’s as far away from city life than you can image. The tranquil Transkei beaches are untainted, ideal for a peaceful, laid-back time-out, away from craziness of the city.
It’s not only the beaches that make this part of our country beautiful and unique, but the warm-hearted people and the rich and grounded cultural heritage of the Xhosa clans that they so willingly share. The area is home to the Bomvana clan, meaning ‘Red clan’.
On our first day, we were greeted with kindness and welcomed in our rondavel at the Coffee Shack, a backpacker’s hostel right at Coffee bay’s shores. The Coffee Shack was buzzing with a mixed bag of international tourists, and we all jammed to the beat of the drums echoing from Jah Drums, a reggae bar across the road. One thing about the bay, you go there to have nothing but fun, let your guard down and enjoy every moment. Forget about the perfectly paved streets, mod-cons and the bright lights of your city. This is another paradise.
There’s a lot to keep you busy in these parts – horse-riding, hiking and cultural experiences. We were up bright and early the next morning for a walk on the quiet beach, before we took a short drive to Hole in the Wall, around 8km’s from Coffee Bay. We were treated to breathtaking views of vast lands and beautiful hills skirting the Indian Ocean. Cattle and livestock abound – we often had to stop and wait for them to cross the road. It all made for a great scenery, perfect for photo shoots, making you forget about the road that can be a rough drive at times.
As you approach Hole in the wall, a village appears on the hills, with panoramic views of the Hole in the Wall and the Mpako River feeding into the ocean. We met a lot of locals who were well in business selling fresh seafood. We bought a bag full of fresh mussels for R40. The braaied mussels were divine – they are still the best mussels I’ve ever had!
On our final night on the bay, we decided to join the masses who were camping at the neighbouring Bomvu Backpackers, attending the annual New Year’s party. The atmosphere was electric, with bass drums, trance music and dj’s on the decks, it was one crazy party. The countdown was magical with all sorts of entertainment and fireworks.
Summer days are the best days! If you’re like me and enjoy long days loafing on lagoons, the Wild Coast is a perfect holiday destination that will not leave you all broke at the end. The Eastern Cape being my place of birth; I felt like a tourist in what has always been my backyard. There are no words enough to capture those amazing moment. I definitely need another piece of this cake.
Meet Chuma Xundu
Chuma means means ‘blossom’ in isiXhosa. My roots run deep in the rural town of Ngcobo, in the Eastern Cape. I’m a village girl on a journey of discovery. A social business enthusiast and community builder at heart, I’m passionate about socio-economic development and an avid traveler.
My love for travel began when I was a child growing up in rural Transkei. My dad always turned these long drives into interesting and fun road trips. I was intrigued by how as people we can live contrasting lives and the exposure to different cultures and places.
Soon after I graduated from the university, I started dabbling in business and community development, treasure-hunting creatives and building sustainable businesses. It was through these and other travel experiences that I began my journey to discover the true beauty of Mzansi, I was hooked! Come explore and share South Africa with me!