For those who have visited the Wildcoast, I may be preaching to the converted but, for those yet to explore this beautiful and mostly untouched stretch of coastline… you’re in for a life changing experience. Oh, it has its pros and cons (think potholes, cows performing death defying stunts aka just hanging in the middle of the road) but once you’ve been…you’ll always feel an inexplicable need to keep returning.
Constantly scouring the socials I came across Mtentu Campsite. I suggested the idea to the man who informed me that he had been meaning to add that to our list of places to explore but…he’s not one for making lists so, it was forgotten about (insert eye-roll here). Stalking their page and day dreaming about the relaxing time I would be having, the realisation came that it was time to take action when a post went up “bookings filling up quickly”. Action in the form of messaging via WhatsApp was taken and I quickly had a reply “sorry, we’re full booked”. No! Just no! There goes the packing list I was already formulating which included my beach towel that I had just bought from Bobums. I wanted to show it off! MAN! Why can’t he let me know when seeing somewhere nice to stay?!
Okay, vent over. I’m not that kind of girl. Now we just look for somewhere else to stay. The man has been visiting the Wildcoast from when he was just yay big and had a family cottage in Lambasi, and now, the coast was calling him back. We thus started looking at alternative options when….wait for it…wait for it…we got a message from Mtentu Campsite “we’ve just received a cancelation, are you still wanting to join us”. Uh…YES!!!! We received our invoice via mail and made payment. Chop-chop. Bobums beach towel, it’s happening! Pack. Pack. Pack.
The road there
We took the N2 from Durban, making our way in the direction of Port Edward. There are some great stops along the way (smallest desert in the world to name just one) but we tend to favour the Caltex which is just about the last decent garage before heading into the Wildcoast. They also make the best calamari burgers if you’re feeling snackish. We bought bait here as well as some other supplies and the Bean had a chance to stretch his legs before squishing into my little Mitsubishi Mirage (yip, the landy was in for some repairs). My car is aptly named Kei as its first ever long distance trip was to Cape Town taking the Wildcoast and Garden route. It is small enough to bob and weave between potholes and surprisingly spacious especially when towing a trailer as we were doing this time.
Now comes the tricky bit. Directions. As you pass through the big bridge which to us signals ‘you’re now in the Wildcoast’ we had to start paying attention as the road we were taking was a dirt road with no name. In fact, many, many, many dirt roads with no names. Turn left at the soccer pitch…you get the vibe? I’m generally not very good at interpreting maps soooo, we were all freaking out a bit here. The little man in particular got a bit of a fright when we had to negotiate a very steep cemented mountain. But, we stopped along the way to make sure we were on the right track and were cheered on by the young lads along route accompanied with the cry of SWWWWEEEEETTTS. Pack one or two bags of lollipops…it’s what’s done. My car was handling well but in all honesty, it is not the best road for small cars. Kei has quite high clearance for a small car but if you’re thinking you’ll make it there in a BMW, you would be very wrong. Expensively wrong. There were a few bumps along the way but we finally made it.
Now we’re here…
The man tends to hover around a bit to get the feel for the land whereas I’m the complete opposite. Unpack so we can crack some wine and relax! The little man was running around adding no value at all barring looking devilishly handsome. What can I say… I’m a boy mum. He can do no wrong. We were greeted by our hosts as well as by the staff working there with freshly baked bread. We were shown around camp and shown our tent for the weekend.
You do not need to bring your own tents as they have tents on wooden platforms but, you do need to bring your own bedding, food etc. There is a communal kitchen as well as…a bathroom (more of that later), pretty much all you would need for a good weekend and heck, you’ve got the estuary right there as well. We were busy carting all our belongings to our tent when we realised there was a bit of a ruckus at the trailer. Monkeys were attempting to steal our bacon! We were told that all food is to be kept in the kitchen and, it is best to close the door properly afterwards as they do tend to try and get in which happened while we were there and the Man had to coerce one out of its snack shack.
Our host explained the fishing rules and where one was allowed to fish and what had been caught of late. Man was planning for the following day. We then took a walk down to the Estuary which was at high tide but, the little man got a swim in just before it was time to start the fires. Would we ever visit a place without a braai? Time to relax with the smell of meat sizzling and a glass of wine in hand. Pizza for the bean of course.
We got up fairly early as had a plan to walk a distance up the coast to where we were told there was good fishing. Man carting all his gear, walking shoes on, we made our way through the campsite and over a little hill to get to the coastline. There is not much beach area along this stretch of coast as it is mostly rocky but, there are some lovely rock pools along route and, when you get to the fishing spot which is a point reaching out to the sea, there is a small sandy patch where the bean and I settled to build sand castles while the man did his thing. With no luck after a few hours of fishing we headed back as the Bean wanted to swim in the estuary. The pull of the tide is quite strong and if you are going to cross, it is suggested that you do this at low tide where you can easily walk across. At high tide… you need to be a fairly strong swimmer.
We spent an hour or two here taking in the absolute calm (there is literally no one else disturbing your peace) and if you’re lucky, you may just see a few fish darting across. I had seen quite a few but…the man caught none. I’m not saying I question his fishing skills but… I saw many.
It was time to head back and get all the sand off and well, the little ladies room was calling. Now… if you’re the sensitive type and need porcelain tiles, marble counter-tops when visiting the ladies or gents room, this may not be the place for you. There are two showers, one for men and one for woman which is shared by all in the camp and a long drop toilet with spectacular views… Let’s just focus on the view okay.
And so the day closes
We returned to camp and were greeted by our hosts with freshly caught crayfish. YUM! We were gifted 5 crayfish! Right, those babies are going on the braai! If you’re going to be diving for crayfish, make sure that you have the necessary licence and only catch during season.
We will most likely be returning but, we will be taking the landy as Kei is not the best suited vehicle for the area and… we will be asking for better directions as well. We may have got lost on our way out … adding an additional hour and a half to our trip.
RATING: 7 out of 10
Tents already supplied
Views for days
Fully stocked kitchen
Each tent sleeps two (or three with an added mattress)
Poor cellphone signal
Monkeys a bit of an issue
Directions need updating
Telephone: +27 (0) 82 699 3665
Walking and hiking trails
Traditional Transki Tour (coming soon)
Mountain bike trails