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vicino a Mbotyi, Eastern Cape (Republic of South Africa)
The Wild Coast is a wonderful place where nature and subsistence life-style coexist. Mbotyi is within the Pondoland Marine Protected Area, adjacent to the Mkhambathi Nature Reserve, and provides protection for line fish under threat like red steenbras and black mussel cracker. It is approximately 90km long and runs between the Mzamba River in the north and the Umzimvubu River in the south, extending 10km out to sea. It has restricted zones (No take) as well as open areas. No fishing from a vessel is allowed in the large offshore restricted zone between the Sikombe and Mbotyi Rivers, primarily to enable the recovery and rebuilding of depleted line fish stocks. The Pondoland MPA also provides a haven for whales and dolphins and is within the area that hosts the annual sardine migration (Sardine Run), which attracts many different bird species and ocean predators. In fact, it is full of sharks.
The coast is mostly rocky shores and clifts where swimmable sand beaches seldom happen. The river mouth of the Mkosi River is a 1700 meters sand beach only accessible by foot (1km walk) and 4x4. Cars can be parked directly in the southern river bank.
It is a to and fro route. The road is gravel with some rocky areas covered by a thin layer of silt. Driving the way to the river mouth is less demanding than the way back, where there is a portion of 200 meters 25% up hill near a cliff.
It is important to be aware of the weather report as rain makes the superficial silt turn into a very slippery layer of mud, turning the road into a very difficult terrain to drive through, especially up hill, and one can get stuck in the area. Nevertheless, it is possible to finding a safe higher point in order to avoid any possible flood.
Once in the river bank, the scenery is just amazing. The river gets wider into a small lagoon with very little current (or nonexistent), swimming friendly. Photos of the area are intentionally omitted in order to avoid mass attendance.
This lodge is managed by locals. It is not very well advertised on the internet due to the management limitations on communication technologies, which makes possible to find accommodation even when the surrounding places are fully booked. There is a fully equipped kitchen and lounge area, making self-catering a good option. Meals can be also provided if previously required. The views from the lodge are amazing and it is on the way of the Great Transkei Traverse, so hikers often stay in the place.