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Trekker’s Hostel Highlights: Bomvu Paradise Backpackers, Coffee Bay

I had heard about this unique backpackers’ somewhere on SA’s Wild Coast while travelling in St. Lucia – but time was catching up with me and I didn’t think I could get down to Coffee Bay.

But as you may know, backpacking trips seldom stick to the original itinerary, and – lo and behold! – within a week the Baz Bus dropped me off at the Shell Ultra city in Umtata for my 3-day stay at Bomvu Paradise Backpackers.

That was in November 2005. I finally left in January 2006!

  • Read more on Trekker’s backpacking adventures through South Africa on the Baz Bus: Baz Bus Blog.
  • Book your stay at Bomvu – and keep reading to find out what you’ll be doing there!

Bomvu Paradise is just that – a paradise! Situated on the mouth of the Bomvu river, it’s about a 10-second walk from the beach, and is surrounded by lush tropical forest and permeated with good vibes.

You can hear the hearbeat of Africa here with:

  • Free weekly drum classes every Wednesday;
  • a 3-day drum making workshop
  • Nightly traditional singing and dancing from a group of local Xhosa schoolgirls (all donations go towards their schooling);
  • the place really heats up on Friday nights when the local community joins everyone for a great party that is blessed by the local sangoma (traditional healer);
  • last, don’t forget the Full Moon parties and numerous festivals that happen year ’round.

If you are not a drumming fanatic, never fear, other highlights include: massage, yoga class, surfing lessons, the only Billabong shop on the Wild Coast, day-long walks to “Hole in the Wall” or Mapuzi, overnight trips to Mdumbi and one of the best beaches around, horse riding, beach, beach and more beach – and how about a sleepover with a Xhosa family? or a tour of their village? or a visit a to their sangoma? Make plans to stay at least a week!

One of the things that makes Bomvu so perfect is the fact that you can party all night or find a quiet spot under the trees and relax, all on the same property. But what really made my day was DINNER TIME at the Red Restaurant, with head chef Jenna and the wonderful kitchen ladies. I definitely recommend the special “Bacon Lettuce and Tomato on toasted Xhosa Bread”……mmmmmm! My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Some of the downsides to this fantastic place are that the main dorm and some of the private rooms are right next to the (noisy) bar – that and the fact that when it rains (and oh boy can it rain!) there is seldom a dry spot to be found.

All in all the pros well outweigh the cons, however, and this is one backpackers I would go out of my way to visit again.

Bomvu accommodation tariffs: