Cue the Monday Motivation! It’s that time of week where we show you places around the world that wake the brain and encourage a visit. Today, we go off the grid to Lubanzi, South Africa and pitch camp at Wild Lubanzi Backpackers. Now, kick back and relish in your right to unplug from society’s routines.
Lubanzi, South Africa
Somewhere on the Wild Coast
Lubanzi’s intrigue comes from its bereft web presence; there is hardly any information beyond rare tourist reviews and a microscopic outline on Google Maps. In fact, its most informative and enticing details are found on Wild Lubanzi Backpackers‘ web page. Further inquiries can be answered by emailing the Backpackers staff or calling your Jaya agent to set up a Lubanzi experience for yourself.
Lubanzi is located along South Africa’s Wild Coast. The Wild Coast runs over 280 km between Port Edward and Kei Mouth, putting the ultimate distance between hikers and city life. The hike provides an escape from ordinary existence into a simple, undisturbed lifestyle complete with full days of shoreline treks, magnificent bluff views, and sweet liberation from the “plugged in” epidemic. Common attractions along the coast include Port St. Johns, Coffee Bay, and Hole in the Wall, a stunning natural archway that is a must-see for every Wild Coast hiker.
Wild Lubanzi Backpackers
As you head about 5 km southwest of Hole in the Wall, you’ll come across a collection of hand built structures comprised of huts, safari tents, and a main cottage building. This is Wild Lubanzi Backpackers, a trail lodge created by motivation to “live a life as far away from the city as possible,” says Rahel Lawrence.
Lawrence runs Backpackers with her husband, Aidan, whom she met in South Africa. They, a small staff, and volunteers built Backpackers from scratch and created a place where travelers can experience the Wild Coast in all its authenticity and beauty. They regularly host volunteers (short- to long-term) who help with construction projects and working in the garden. Accommodations include dream lodging for any vagabond from 10-bed rondavel dorms, to double room safari tents, to the freedom to pitch a tent anywhere on the property. All accommodation options are unbelievably affordable, and the most expensive barely reaches $30 (R380 in South African currency).
Although they are currently rebuilding Backpackers after a location change in 2016, lodging and bathroom facilities are in full function. Guests concoct all sorts of recipes in the lodge’s self-catering kitchen by harvesting ingredients from the property’s garden. In addition to fresh meals made by visitors, the staff offers home cooked breakfast and dinner daily. Ensure a plate at the table booking your meal with them a day in advance.
Where to Wander
In a place that welcomes the art of kicking back, there is a lot to do while here. Wild Lubanzi Backpackers pours free filter coffee every morning to accompany guests during the epic sunrises. Get to know the Xhosa locals by visiting Lubanzi Village, a very short walk from Backpackers. Xhosas are extremely friendly people who harbor a contagious happiness you’ll be glad to catch when you visit a Shebeen pub or join a weekend soccer game. Furthermore, you can grab a book from the Backpackers’ free book exchange and venture to a “secret” beach, where you can bask in rare solitude.
Scads of domestic cows, sheep, and goats can be found relaxing by the sea, but touching them isn’t advised. However, there are free range dogs roaming the area who will welcome a small pet session. Still, maintain the same caution you would with any animal you don’t know. For wildlife of the aquatic variety, visit the bay at Lubanzi beach for whale and dolphin watching. The most dolphin sightings occur May-July, during South Africa’s annual sardine run.
Sometimes, the best way to wake the brain is to relieve yourself of focus and absorb inspiration from your surroundings. Put Lubanzi on your self-care bucket list and create your getaway package with a Jaya agent today!