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Author Topic: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei  (Read 977 times)

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Offline wildside

The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« on: September 24, 2019, 03:04:27 pm »

ANOTHER SMALL PIECE OF PONDOLAND - WILDCOAST.  ~ 2019




With the long weekend on the horizon we decided to visit Mtentu on the Transkei coast which is one place we missed out on due to unavailability during our last trip to Pondoland in 2018 (RR 'A Piece of Pondoland - Wildcoast/Transkei')). Luck was on our side now as they had a Safari Tent cancellation which gave us an excuse to steal a day and make an early start from Howick.

As this is a short distance from our home in the Midlands this will be a short Ride Report to share information of yet another beautiful stretch of coastline, 25 km south of Port Edward.


ALL PACKED UP...


....AND READY TO ROLL.

It was a cold start heading towards Richmond with a fair amount of taxi traffic.



We worked our way down into the Umzimkulu valley chasing the empty logging trucks that handled those sharp windy corners with speed and ease. The temperature dropped even more as we approached Ixopo. I managed to convince Kingsley it would warm up as we turned eastwards towards  Highflats. This proved to be correct once we turned off in the direction of St.Faiths. It was necessary to stop for a few coffee and bladder breaks along the way




A QUICK COFFEE BREAK.

I’ve always enjoyed this fairly quiet and scenic stretch of road, however, this day we encountered some crazy drivers and defensive riding was definitely required this morning.

With a numb butt and a sigh of relief we popped out at the Umtentwini /Port Shepstone off ramp. Fortunately the N2 was quiet and despite the gusting wind tugging at my peak and tossing my head about we arrived safely at the Port Edward turn off at about midday. We were now so keen to get the Lodge and we promptly filled up with fuel and coffee and set off once again.

On the Mtentu Lodge website guests are advised to download their directions , which includes a photo of every intersection supplying landmarks, rather than rely on a GPS or maps. We took their advice. From the SunCoast Casino we rode about 18km to the Umkolora turnoff. This was now the start of the gravel road.

This 46.7 km gravel road was extremely dry and dusty and had deteriorated somewhat since last year May. After a few kilometers we came across a stationary sedan vehicle and the occupants were moving rocks from the road to enable an easier access. They were also heading to Mtentu. This is when one is relieved to be on a motorbike as we are able to pick a more accessible line.

The concrete stretch of road that takes you down a short, windy pass is always a pleasure to ride.







Using paper directions was a bit of a schlepp and time consuming as we needed to stop at every intersection and check out the instructions. On several occasions I needed to stop and run after these directions when they had blown out of Kingsley’s small tank bag. Chasing after paper on a windy day in stiff, heavy riding boots proved to be a great source of amusement for the locals.























It was a good road up until the second to last turnoff. The Mtentu Lodge sign post indicates Low clearance vehicle to turn right and High clearance vehicles to turn left. There is also a sign indicating that the Mtentu Campsite is to the right. We just assumed they were all part of the same place but fortunately opted for the left turn as we didn’t just want to take the easy way out. This proved to be a good decision as the Mtentu Campsite is not part of the lodge and there is no access road from the campsite to the lodge.


















"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 
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Offline lone riderer

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2019, 03:07:22 pm »
 :thumleft:

Magic place, both lodge and campsite are great.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 03:07:54 pm by lone riderer »
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Offline wildside

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 03:20:46 pm »

This stretch of the 4 x 4 road was a bit bumpy which could prove to be rather challenging in the wet season. The views were awesome as the countryside is so vast with scattered dwellings bringing some splashes of colour to a very dry bushveld.





Our last turn to the right, opposite the pink spaza shop, led us onto double tracks and after a few kilometres we passed the water tanks and had a lovely sighting of the Mtentu River estuary and lodge. This view just confirmed that we were in for an awesome long weekend.







The rest of the photos will give you an idea of what a magical destination Mtentu is. The lodge provides full catering, three meals a day and go to a lot of trouble to cater for vegetarians and vegans, a well stocked pub and a super area for socializing and gazing into the fire.

For people living in and around the Midlands or Durban it makes for a quick getaway.













Googling for information on Mtentu we came across the mystery of the Giant King fish. This amazing fish is for some reason attracted to the Mtentu River and during a certain time of the year they head south from Bazaruto to the wildcoast and then up the Mtentu river for unknown reasons.Further upstream they begin to swim in circles. This has turned into quite a tourist attraction.

For info about this strange phenomenon click on the below link for a brief video by David Attenborough




"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2019, 04:08:07 pm »
Very nice trip!
I camped on the south bank years ago and it was a blast, the road was just very bad as we had rain just before and there is a rather deep river crossing just before you get to the mouth.
Thanks for rekindling fond memories. :thumleft:
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Offline Clockwork Orange

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2019, 04:59:52 pm »
Looks amazing. Thanks for posting.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2019, 06:14:34 pm »
Sub!! :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline eberhard

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2019, 07:24:01 pm »
Great trip! Thanks :thumleft:
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Offline mtr89

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 07:58:26 pm »
Mtentu is a fantastic place!!
We have stayed there a couple of times and it is totally worth it
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Online woody1

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2019, 07:34:01 am »
 :ricky:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


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Offline MRK Miller

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2019, 07:27:22 am »
Awesome. Love that part of the country although i have never had the privilege. Closest i now came is on holiday at Leisure bay. Want to as you, does Kingsley work at the oribi gorge. Went and took the plunge. Saw someone their with i would guys the same bike, and looking a lot like him. Would love to go down further south some time 
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Offline Buff

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2019, 07:39:17 am »
Gotta love the Transkei, it's dirt & adv riding paradise. Thanks for sharing your trip, it looks amazing  :thumleft:
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Offline Goingnowherekwickly

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2019, 06:55:07 pm »
Great place, I think I've stayed here 13 or 14 times over the last few years..
Did you pass Nyameni falls on the way out?
 

Offline husky

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2019, 10:07:05 am »
Great trip; very well done.

I was in a group on MTB's that stayed there at the end of September riding from Mboyti; stunning ride (not that easy for ballies though). It is a haul to get there (Motor bikes would have to go round - bicycles can boat across the estuary) but Msikaba then Mboyti would be a great trip - if you were allowed into the reserve. Really stunning area; well worth a visit.
 

Offline wildside

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2019, 03:18:37 pm »
Awesome. Love that part of the country although i have never had the privilege. Closest i now came is on holiday at Leisure bay. Want to as you, does Kingsley work at the oribi gorge. Went and took the plunge. Saw someone their with i would guys the same bike, and looking a lot like him. Would love to go down further south some time

Hi there. Nope he doesn't work at  Oribi Gorge. If ever you get the opportunity you must get to Mtentu. I can't believe that we waited so long to do it.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2019, 03:22:35 pm »
Great place, I think I've stayed here 13 or 14 times over the last few years..
Did you pass Nyameni falls on the way out?

Hope you're keeping well. I think that is one place you will never get tired of visiting...it's just so chilled with plenty to keep you busy.
This is the second time I have heard of those falls since our return and have no idea where they are. I will need to Google them.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2019, 03:29:56 pm »
Great trip; very well done.

I was in a group on MTB's that stayed there at the end of September riding from Mboyti; stunning ride (not that easy for ballies though). It is a haul to get there (Motor bikes would have to go round - bicycles can boat across the estuary) but Msikaba then Mboyti would be a great trip - if you were allowed into the reserve. Really stunning area; well worth a visit.

That must have been an amazing experience...as you say 'hard work'. One has to cover big distances in and out from the coastline on a motorbike to try and visit all the coastal resorts but that's what adventure is all about. I'm doing a hike from Port Edward to Port St Johns next year and really looking forward to discovering that whole coastline.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2019, 03:32:49 pm »
Sorry for the late continuation but time just skipped by   ::) .... will be posting the rest shortly.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2019, 04:01:01 pm »

The next day, after a comfy nights sleep, we did a 5 km easy hike which took us past the  We Ol Mie 303 wreck, dating back to 1968. We soon crossed over the Mkambati River to find the stunning Mkambati falls. Fortunately there was some running water and we could still appreciate the magnificence of this stepped waterfall before it plunged into Falls Bay. The water was icy cold but I still couldn’t resist a brief swim in what is known as the ‘jacuzzi’, a pool on the lowest ledge that slips over the edge into the sea.










Enjoying the early morning views before our walk to the falls.


Laundry time








Down at the wide and fairly deep Mtentu River. It costs R20 per person return using the ferry man and his canoe.




















Crossing the Mkambati River


Looking down onto Falls Bay






Offside's interest in the falls... ::)

A walk up river takes you over some rocks up a brief climb, along a small suspended but secure wooden bridge and into Baboons cave. From here the brave can jump a long way down into the river and swim around the corner to get a better view of the Strandlopper falls that can be seen from the caves.










"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 
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Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2019, 04:32:46 pm »
Lekker-Nice you two
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Offline Spectaitor

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Re: The MAGIC of MTENTU ~ Transkei
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2019, 04:57:13 pm »
I've got a list of great places to have a decent getaway and this is definitely going to the top!
Aspiring rider. Soon soon!