Mbotyi River Lodge, Wild Coast 

Mbotyi River Lodge, Wild Coast

To wake up each morning and see cows lying contentedly on the sands is one of those idyllic scenes that sums up for me the beauty and uniqueness of the Wild Coast.  Simplicity describes the accommodation and surroundings of this lovely old-fashioned South African ‘jewel’ and Sincerity separates Mbotyi from many of the places I’ve been to before. Nothing was too much for ‘mine’ hosts Nita and Tuffy - they are that special something that together with the Setting made Mbotyi sparkle for me.

Mbotyi is an ideal place to spend a few days of rest and relaxation.   Secluded beaches, the warmth of the Indian Ocean and a beautiful lagoon just metres away offer plenty of opportunity to swim, to surf, to paddle a canoe or to fish.   For the more adventurous there are the forests to explore – home to over a hundred species of birds and even more botanical specimens that are unique to the area. There are spectacular waterfalls and the dramatically rugged coastline for the hiker to become acquainted with.  Over the few days I was there a young, enthusiastic and need I say ‘fit” couple took their bikes on daily rides over undulating grasslands and through tiny clusters of communities dotted with thatched rondavels painted in sea blue, apricot, pink and white.  The local Pondo people still have little today in the way of possessions but much in the way of friendship and hospitality.  

The Wild Coast as it is commonly known, is a place where ancient magic is still a force and where the skeletal remains of shipwrecks bear testimony to this coastline – so if it is culture and history that takes your fancy there is plenty to see and do.  One such trip was my ride in an open game vehicle, christened by Tuffy as the ‘Road to Nowhere’  – a folly that offers spectacular views along this pristine coastline and across untouched forests and a stop-off for a beer or two with folk in a community shebeen (bar).   It being Sunday it was business as usual for the herd boys of the village who, football in hand, whistled their Nguni cattle down the rolling green hills in the late afternoon to the safety of their kraal.  It was still light and time for a small detour up the valley to find Tuffy’s young foal.  Apples and carrots replaced the traditional, first birthday presents but it was a moment to remember.  This is the nature of Mbotyi – simple, but caring and sharing. 

The smell of the sea, the purity of the air and the natural beauty of the setting combined to make this a special few days – a journey worth repeating.   Maybe I will come again in July, when the narrow, continental shelf off the Pondoland coast hosts the annual Sardine migration, with its ‘cavalry’ of whales, dolphins, sharks, game fish and gannets in hot pursuit?  This is a spectacle that National Geographic describes as the most exciting diving experience in the world (see Richard Attenborough’s BBC  ‘Nature’s Greatest Events’ Series)

Mbotyi is not one of those places that is ‘just round the ‘corner’ but it is easily accessible.   The roads are tarred to within 19kms. of the Resort but as Nita says: “the beauty of the scenic drive forgives the odd pothole”.

 

Rates for 2013


Lagoon facing standard rooms R640
Sea facing standard rooms R675
Up-graded sea facing rooms R820


Lagoon facing standard rooms R765
Sea facing standard rooms R800
Up-graded sea facng rooms R955


 Lagoon facing standard rooms R640
Sea facing standard rooms R675
Up-graded sea facing rooms R820


 Lagoon facing standard rooms R900
Sea facing standard rooms R1125
Up-graded sea facing rooms R1225


Should you require a package which could include a guided hiking trail, a scenic drive to the waterfalls, a beach picnic or other available activity this can be organised with the Lodge.