For Part 1 in this series of blog posts, please follow this link.
After a delicious breakfast, we all meet in the parking lot of Crystal Barn with our 4x4's, where your
SA Adventure guides will give everyone a basic 4x4 off-road skills briefing. The briefing covers things like when to engage 4x4, the correct etiquette for driving in a convoy and tyre pressures. We teach you along the way, so you not only take home amazing memories but learn some new 4x4 skills too!
The off-road driving today is on some excellent gravel back roads. We take the Lower Lotheni road that winds through the foothills of the Drakensberg and takes us to the little village of Himeville. This landmark town is known as being the last stop en route to Sani Pass. We drive through Himeville and the Coleford Nature Reserve and make our way to Kokstad, where we will refuel our 4x4's and have lunch.
One of the most beautiful back roads we travel on is the Mzintlava Pass. It winds its way through sub-tropical forests and through the valley and over the Mzintlava river.
In 1997 it was reported that a "giant reptile monster" was sighted in the Mzintlava river. This glow in the dark monster dubbed Mamlambo was reported to be 20 meters long. According to villagers and local legend, the creature had the head of a horse, lower body of a fish, neck of a snake, stocky legs, and was apparently responsible for nine deaths between January and April 1997. Keep an eye out for Mamlambo while snaking through the winding roads and especially when crossing the Mzintlava river at the bridge where we will stop for a photo!
The last town we drive through before we get to Mbotyi River lodge is Lusikisiki. The name Lusikisiki is derived from the rustling sound that reeds make in the wind. Say the word out loud. Go on... Lusikisiki
Finally, we proceed to Mbotyi River Lodge:
This unique Wild Coast hotel is the perfect place for a peaceful, tranquil holiday or for the more adventurous traveller wanting to experience the many amazing natural treasures like waterfalls and forests this coast has to offer, rolling hills, lush tropical forest and the Indian Ocean.
Approaching Mbotyi, we drive our 4x4's down a dirt road through a section of the magnificent Magwa Tea Plantation. This is known to be one of the world largest tea plantations. The evergreen tea bushes, hugging the rolling hills and surrounded by borders of massive Eucalyptus trees are a sight to behold." Mbotyi
As we park our 4x4's under the beautiful mangrove trees, the friendly faces of Sarina and Billy, who own and run the lodge, greet us. There will be ample time to take a dip in the warm Indian Ocean after check-in, so don't let this chance for some soul-healing and vitamin sea pass you by!
For dinner, we will enjoy a delicious three-course meal where the seafood reigns supreme.
Since humans started our exploration of the earth, we've wanted to be close to the water. Maybe it's the sound of the waves, maybe it's the fresh air, but you are guaranteed to sleep like a baby at Mbotyi!
In our next blog post and day 2 of our Great South African Escape 4x4 Tour, we venture to the restful little village of Rhodes! Don't miss out on our next adventure! For Part 1 in this series of blog posts, please follow this link.
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Stay Safe, Big Love, the SA Adventure Team!