The week that was...

* Trips & Tours

* Wild Coast Overview

* How will the fuel price affect our tours?

* Wild Coast Tour 2023

* Wild Coast Tour V4 Days 1 & 2

* Podcast

* Pass of the week

* New passes added

Trips & Tours

Our next tour is the Swartberg Classic in July and we have had one cancellation. Online Bookings can be done via the link.

The Garden Route Tour is happening in spring from the 10th to 16th September. This is a new tour and offers fabulous scenery, history dating back to the 1700's, stories of hardship and triumph and some of Thomas Bain's best passes and very comfortable overnight stops in lovely lodges and hotels.

We are still finalising dates for the Seven Sisters Tour (another new tour of 2 days with some unforgettable experiences included) as well as the next Baviaanskloof and Bedrogfontein tours. Watch this space. The new Wild Coast 2023 V6 Tour will open for bookings next week.

Wild Coast Overview

Spending over 3 weeks along the Wild Coast during May puts one into a mental time lag. Where on earth do we start relating this epic adventure? It was an overwhelmingly successful tour with wonderful guests, exceptionally good weather (with only 3 days rain), no punctures, no mechanical breakdowns, a handful of fun recoveries and the welcoming locals of the Wild Coast ensured we were well taken care of.

We included a number of new points of interest on these two tours, which included a visit to the new Msikaba bridge construction site, the Msikaba vulture colony, Majola Tea Estates, kayaking on the Mpako River, Banyana Falls, and a new route to the Collywobbles.

Fuel price

Our journey from Cape Town and back covered about 3500 km and that brings me to the next point. The current fuel price hike of roughly R2.25 per litre inevitably results in a knee jerk reaction with people cancelling trips to faraway places, but let's put this into perspective.

Based on an average SUV consumption of 10 km per litre, about 350 litres of fuel will be used on this trip. That means an additional cost of R787 onto your fuel bill. If taken as a percentage of the overall cost of a Wild Coast Tour it works out at just 2.4%. That is the equivalent of 2 bottles of good wine (or 4 bottles of plonk) or one meal for 2 at an average restaurant. Relax your knees please! 

I recall back in 1979 the fuel price increased by a whopping 42%. You should have seen that knee jerk reaction! We all survived it. We still went on holidays. We still travelled. This too shall pass. The Rand is currently undervalued. There are also other positive indicators that this will not be a fuel armageddon. Travel remains the best investment.

New Wild Coast Tour for 2023

With each tour we complete, we sit down and review every aspect and determine what can be improved on. So even if you did a Wild Coast Tour a year ago, you will find the new tour quite different (and hopefully much better). We ask our tour guests for feedback and we pay attention to their suggestions and comments. That way we get valuable input from people who really know what they're talking about.

Our 2023 Wild Coast Tour will take place during May 2023. The reason we choose this month is that there is little rain; the scenery is still green from the summer rains; mild to warm days (24C to 27C) with little wind; it's out of season so accommodation is more freely available and prices are better. We will be setting the dates and loading the tour onto our shop page during the next week. Here is the provisional itinerary:

Day 0 - Meet & Greet at Resthaven in Matatiele

Day 1 - Matatiele to Mbotyi via Nungi, Colonanek, Tabankulu, Mzintlava and Lusikisiki.

Day 2 - Walk to Waterfall Bluff & Cathedral Rock. (Chill day at the lodge for the not so fit)

Day 3 - Drive to the new Msikaba Gorge Suspension Bridge and later to the Msikaba vulture viewing site.

Day 4 - Angel, Fraser and Magwa Falls, Mount Thesiger for some fun drag racing, overnight at Umngazi River Bungalows

Day 5 - Umngazi to Coffee Bay (a day of big gravel passes and amazing scenery

Day 6 - Mapuzi Caves, Little Hole in the Wall, Hole in Wall, White Clay Restaurant (legendary)

Day 7 - Coffee Bay to The Haven - another day of scintillating scenery and some challenging gravel passes

Day 8 - Cwebe Nature Reserve, Banyana Falls and Forest Walk, drive to Kob Inn via some more major passes.

Day 9 - Collywobbles vulture viewing via some secret back roads that will beguile and enchant (heart of the Wild Coast)

Day 10 - Kob Inn via Cats Pass to Centane and we cross the Kei River via the vehicle ferry to Morgan Bay where the tour ends.

That is 11 nights & 10 days of Wild Coast magic that will guarantee to leave you a renewed and more relaxed person.
Bookings open next week.

(Read more...)

Published in Mountain Passes News

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