One of my favourite spots along the Wild Coast is the secluded Mbotyi River Lodge just north of Port St Johns. The drive there is an adventure in itself. A gravel road leads through the lush valleys and hills of the Magwa tea plantation then through deep gorges with tumbling waterfalls and towering indigenous trees.
Finally you emerge at the coast where lovely en suite thatched bungalows and log cabins line the dunes and the shores of the sheltered lagoon. Stand on the terrace and scan the sea for whales and dolphins, and listen to the cry of fish eagles, before enjoying a dip in the warm Indian Ocean. One of the big appeals of Mbotyi is that it’s child-friendly with a jungle gym, trampoline, kids’ swimming pool and local women offering their services as child minders.
No motorised craft are allowed on the lagoon, and, thank heavens, this is one place you can escape the roar of quad bikes. There are wonderful walks, opportunities to visit shebeens and of course a glorious stretch of beach. Oh, and did I mention the scrummy food? For the holiday-maker, it’s simply heaven.
By Fiona McIntosh
Mboyti River Lodge, 039 253 7200