You now have the opportunity to travel with Platteland Tours on a 15-day Road Trip from Gauteng to Namibia. However, interested people from outside Gauteng can join en route at a reduced price.
There is space for maximum ten vehicles on the trip and all the vehicles are connected via good quality VHR two-way radios in order to stay informed by the tour leader.
Accommodation, all breakfasts and certain other meals are included in the trip fees. You’ll overnight in good lodges, on working farms’ guest houses and in country hotels – no camping.
Note: There is an option available to travel along in a mini-bus, for those people who don’t or can’t drive long distances anymore.
Now is the time to book!
Wild Coast Tour V3 - Day 8
The planned route for the day was from The Haven to Kob Inn.
Next up was a big pass - the traverse of the Xhora River Gorge. The views along this pass are dramatic with craggy cliffs, steep hilly slopes (with plenty of mud in the wetter months) and of course, the Xhora River itself, which is a powerful one as can be evidenced by years of regular flood damage. On the southern side, after completing the ascent, we passed the Emadwaleni Hospital. These scattered hospitals provide an essential health service to the Xhosa people. It was good that all appeared to be in good shape and operational.
The next river gorge to traverse was the Ntlonyabe River, which was a minor one. Once on the far side we passed yet another clinic, the Bomvana Clinic. We turned sharp left past the clinic, and took a minor road that follows a ridge down to the Mbashe River. This was easily the biggest descent of the day in terms of altitude lost/gained and provided guests with marvellous Wild Coast views as far as the eye can see. It's a long and continuous descent, requiring gearing down to save on brakes overheating. At the bottom of the gorge is a long, single lane concrete bridge, known as the Fyfe-King Bridge. Many maps show it as the Five Kings bridge and it's not too difficult to see why so many people have perpetuated this basic cartographic error.
This bridge was built to replace the Fyfe King Bridge (First) which was sited a few hundred metres up stream and which was substantially destroyed during the flooding experienced in May 1959.This is a 12 span, slab type, reinforced concrete bridge, with 11 free-standing reinforced concrete piers.
Fyfe-King was the magistrate of Idutywa and Mthatha and it was he who made (by order of the court) the decision to construct this bridge, which proved to greatly improve access in the area. He was a very popular person and his funeral was attended by large numbers of Xhosa mourners.
Once the big climb up the far side of the Mbashe Valley was completed we passed by the Mpozolo Clinic, still resolutely heading south. This is a day of marvellous scenery where one really gets into the true spirit of the Wild Coast. At this stage all the drivers had their Wild Coast "driving legs" and were into the swing of things keeping the convoy nice and compact and enjoying all the challenges and never ending camaraderie.
We routed down to the Dwesa Nature Reserve and then tackled the the Nqabarha River gorge. This is another spectacular gorge with magnificent views that are hard to describe. On all the passes a slow speed is necessary to avoid running into livestock, which are everywhere. After three or four days in the Wild Coast, one grows accustomed to these mini roadblocks. The cattle are exceptionally patient or disinterested in vehicles and generally stand their ground until you are less than a metre away.
At the Mthokwane village, our route went inland once more for a while, before swinging back towards the south as we savoured the next big pass - the Shixini River Pass. The mouth itself, just a few kilometres to the east is one of the most picturesque estuaries along the Wild Coast and well worth a detour if you have the time.
Three smaller valleys are crossed before Kob Inn - the Ngadla, Jujura and KuNkazana. As the afternoon wears on, thoughts turn towards comfortable beds, cold beers or a glass of fine wine. The scenery on the road down to Kob Inn remains beautiful and finally the spotless grounds and warm hospitality on offer at Kob Inn became a reality. Kob Inn is owned by Daan Prinsloo and is one of our favourite stop-overs on this tour. The rooms are very close to the beach and rocks, separated by a healthy strip of lush green lawn.
We arrived with sufficient time to enjoy a walk on the beach before happy hour and another hearty Wild Coast meal.
Next week: Collywobbles
PASS OF THE WEEK
This pass should not be confused with Botha's Nek Pass (R38) in Mpumalanga or the Botha's Pass (R34) in KZN. It's located near the beautiful Vondo Dam in the northern sector of Limpopo Province and is to all intents and purposes more of a forestry access road than a commuter pass, but for those willing to seek out the roads less travelled, this pass packs a big punch within its 5,7 km, featuring no less than 49 bends, corners and curves, of which 9 exceed an arc of 100 degrees. The folklore and myths that abound in this area are legendary and fascinating to read
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New Dictionary: CATERPALLOR ~ The colour you turn when you discover half a worm in the fruit you've been eating.