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HOLE IN THE WALL

 

Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall are two of the most popular destinations on the Wild Coast. Besides being places of spectacular natural beauty and offering many different types of outdoor activities, they are popular because Coffee Bay is one of the few Wild Coast destinations to which the road is tarred all the way. Also, it is only 59km from Mthatha. Hole in the Wall is just a short eight kilometre trip on a gravel road, south of Coffee Bay. Coffee Bay got its name from a cargo ship that is said to have run aground in the 1800s and spilt some of its cargo of coffee beans on the shore. One cannot visit Coffee Bay without seeing the remarkable Hole in the Wall.
Literally it consists of a hole in a large free- standing cliff protruding from the sea about 100m off the coastline at the mouth of the Mpako River. It is one of the most impressive landmarks of the entire South African coastline. The hole in the cliff – a natural archway – was created over millions of years by the buffeting waves, and the push and pull of the Mpako River which eroded away the softer rocks underneath a dolerite ledge. The same process separated the cliff from the mainland. The local Bomvana people named the formation EsiKhaleni, or the Place of the Sound, because of the noise of the waves thundering through the archway.
Visitors to this awe-inspiring stretch of the Wild Coast can take their pick from a variety of guided tours that cater for all tastes. Take a hike from Coffee Bay to Hole in the Wall, passing Baby Hole and Hlungwane Waterfall. Visit the Mapuzi Cliffs and caves near Coffee Bay: you will meander along ancient goat paths to where the cliffs meet the ocean and you can explore caves and cave pools. Thrill-seekers can enjoy adrenaline-pumping cliff jumps, while those less adventurous can simply collect pretty shells. Youngsters will enjoy abseiling down a 45-metre cliff that virtually drops into the ocean alongside Baby Hole and the Hlungwane Waterfall. Alternatively, try a cliff jump into the Baby Hole.
Another exciting option is the memorable “Easy” Falls adventure hike. Named by someone with a good sense of irony, this is really for the brave and fit. This waterfall is hidden in the hills an hour’s drive north of Coffee Bay. After walking for two and a half hours through the hills and valleys you swim up a river and do some rock climbing to finally reach the falls. Local folklore has it that the falls lure children to them and swallow them up.
To wind down, take a scenic paddle through secluded mangrove swamps on the Mthatha River.
There is a combination of backpacker, hotel and self-catering accommodation establishments in Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall. These areas attract many national and international backpackers. Coffee Bay is one of the stop-offs on the popular Wild Coast hike, which sees many tourists trekking down the coast year-round. Some hike organisers even offer sherpas who carry your backpack for you.
The backpacker spots offer surfing lessons for visitors at reasonable rates and Coffee Bay conditions are known for being excellent for beginners.
You can even take drumming lessons in Coffee Bay and make your own Djembe drum or buy one from a small factory which makes hand-makes them there. There are also tours to rural villages, where you can see how the locals live.
Among other activities to enjoy are snorkeling and fishing. You can hire a “gillie” to find bait and take you to the best angling spots.
Some of the accommodation establishments offer conferencing facilities: what a pristine environment for a conference. Delegates are sure to feel refreshed and inspired!
Long Beach at Mthatha River Mouth, a short distance north of Coffee Bay, has been voted the best beach in South Africa by Get- away Magazine.
One of the quirkiest sights in the Transkei is seeing cows on the beach. They like to stand, lie, doze and chew the cud on the beach, which makes for fun photo opportunities. Some say the sand and salt water is good for their hooves

 

Luchaba Nature Reserve and Mthatha Dam

If all you want it tranquility and quiet, Mthatha Dam Conference Centre is where you want to be. A number of occasions can be held here, team building exercises to conferences et cetera
On the perimeter of Mthatha lies the 460 hectare Luchaba Nature Reserve, adjacent to the Mthatha Dam. The entrance is on Nelson Mandela Drive.
Here you will find a variety of wildlife including blesbok, black and blue wildebeest, the Burchell’s zebra, fallow deer and red hartebeest, among other antelope. The wetlands and grasslands are also home to a number of bird species including the rare Stanley’s bustard.
You can do a circular drive or walk or cycle in the reserve. There is a pretty rock garden in the middle, where you can enjoy a picnic. Luchaba is managed together with the
Nduli Nature Reserve that lies next to the N2 highway, at the southern entrance to Mthatha.
Luchaba is a haven of peace and tranquillity, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet it is conveniently close to the city, so well worth a visit. Savour the quiet and the unspoilt landscape consisting of dolerite dykes, rocky outcrops, shale and sandstone. Only eight kilometers from town is the playground of the Mthatha Dam. This makes for a relaxing Sunday visit. You can take your boat – there is a launching area and enjoy fishing, skiing or rowing on the dam. Carp, eel and bass can be caught at the dam.
Near the launch area, there are braai spots, with tables and benches.
Mthatha Dam also supplies the town’s water.

Mabheleni Dam

 

This popular fly fishing destination is beautifully situated, nestled among the Langeni and Mhlahlane forest ranges. Don’t forget your fishing permit!
Take the R61 to Queenstown and you will see the turn-off to the dam, which is 42km from Mthatha. The immensely popular Transkei Trout Open, run by the Transkei Piscatorial Society for the past 30 years, takes place at the dam every October.
A farm close by is responsible for stocking the Mabheleni and for the Trout Open, fish are marked and released into the water for competitors to catch.
A visit to the dam makes for a wonderful day trip from Mthatha. There are guards at the entrance. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy this pristine spot, where the water is crystal clear. No open fires are allowed, but you can braai in a designated area.
More fish to catch! Besides the Transkei Piscatorial Society, which is the fly fishing club, there are two light tackle boat clubs, a rock and surf angling club and two ski-boat clubs in Mthatha. They regularly organise outings, so contact them and plan your fishing trip before you arrive!
Two notable competitions on the calendar are the Kob Classic in May and the Grunter Classic held annually in August. See contact details for all the fishing clubs further down.

honour. You will find it a once-in-a-lifetime experience! of the exhibitions are interactive, audiovisual presentations that engage and captivate visitors so that they leave enriched and invigorated. Also, the museum houses the precious gifts given to Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela during his presidential term. Mr Mandela has insisted that the Museum should not be a tribute dedicated to him only, but serve to uplift and develop the local community. Experience the Madiba Magic. The charisma and depth of character of this great man will come alive to you when you visit the museum in his honour. You will find it a once-in-a-lifetime experience! The Museum was opened officially on 11 February 2000, at a function to coincide with the 10th anniversary Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. It was opened in three sites: Mvezo, The Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu and the historic Bhunga Building in Mthatha, although the Mvezo museum is now run independently of the others. Both the Qunu and Bhunga Building museum sites are conveniently located on the N2 national road.
The museum is not a static display, but a living, vibrant tribute to the much-loved Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. It celebrates his life and victorious campaigning for equal rights in South Africa through a combination of exhibitions, publications, collections and educational and cultural programmes. Many
The various museum tours are customised to suit visitors’ interests and their time. You can choose from a half-day through to a three- day tour and even go on hikes, organised by the museum. The tours take you to Qunu, Mvezo, places of importance to Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s family and places of historical interest in the area including the University of Fort Hare. One of the hikes even includes a coastal walk from Coffee Bay to Hole in the Wall.
In Qunu, visitors can see the remains of the young Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s primary school where he started Grade One and at which the teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name, ‘Nelson’ on his first day of school.
The museum in Qunu has exhibitions on the life and work of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. It has upmarket backpacker-style accommodation and executive rooms. It also has world-class conference facilities.

Nelson Mandela Museum


Experience the Madiba Magic! The charisma and depth of character of this great man will come alive to you when you visit the museum in his honour. You will find it a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
The Museum was opened officially on 11 February 2000, at a function to coincide with the 10th anniversary Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. It was opened in three sites: Mvezo, The Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu and the historic Bhunga Building in Mthatha, although the Mvezo museum is now run independently of the others. Both the Qunu and Bhunga Building museum sites are conveniently located on the N2 national road.
The museum is not a static display, but a living, vibrant tribute to the much-loved Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. It celebrates his life and victorious campaigning for equal rights in South Africa through a combination of exhibitions, publications, collections and educational and cultural programmes. Many of the exhibitions are interactive, audiovisual presentations that engage and captivate visitors so that they leave enriched and invigorated. Also, the museum houses the precious gifts given to Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela during his presidential term. Mr Mandela has insisted that the Museum should not be a tribute dedicated to him only, but serve to uplift and develop the local community.
The various museum tours are customised to suit visitors’ interests and their time. You can choose from a half-day through to a three- day tour and even go on hikes, organised by the museum. The tours take you to Qunu, Mvezo, places of importance to Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s family and places of historical interest in the area including the University of Fort Hare. One of the hikes even includes a coastal walk from Coffee Bay to Hole in the Wall.
In Qunu, visitors can see the remains of the young Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s primary school where he started Grade One and at which the teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the name, ‘Nelson’ on his first day of school.
The museum in Qunu has exhibitions on the life and work of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. It has upmarket backpacker-style accommodation and executive rooms. It also has world-class conference facilities.