04 June 2012 by Roy Barford

Learn to surf in the Transkei

For R1 800, you can spend 5 nights in the Transkei (including breakfast and dinner) and learn to surf, as part of a package that the Coffee Shack in Coffee Bay has put together.

Photo provided by the Coffee Shack

If you want to experience proper backpacking in South Africa, you must experience the magic of the Transkei, far from the stresses of the modern, urban world, and where time takes on a different meaning.

And if learning to surf is on your bucket list, the generally gentle waters of Coffee Bay provide the perfect classroom.

Learning to surf in Coffee Bay. Photo provided by the Coffee Shack

Hole in the Wall Hotel, situated just off the beach, has a vibey pool bar that is frequented by local characters who have excellent stories to tell.

Coffee Shack, a backpackers' establishment, offers a great Learn to Surf package – you get 3 theory lessons, as well as 6 practical lessons (equipment included). Says Coffee Shack: 'We have been giving surf lessons since 2000 and love introducing people to our favourite pastime, surfing. There is no better place to start than the beautiful beaches of Coffee Bay, in the warm, blue, sub-tropical Indian Ocean, averaging a pleasant 20.5˚C/69˚F.

'We have perfect, safe, waist-deep water for your surf lessons and the beach to ourselves most of the year. The soft, easy, gentle gradient of Coffee Bay beach makes it the perfect spot to learn to surf, or to work on improving your surfing technique and skills.'

As part of the package, Coffee Shack staff will collect you from Mthatha, which has a small airport and is on bus routes between Durban and Port Elizabeth. Coffee Bay is also on the Baz Bus backpacker route.

The Coffee Shack has received rave reviews on the respected travel site, TripAdvisor. 'I have stayed in many hostels and hotels around the world, but this was certainly 1 of my favourites. The staff were always friendly and the guests were just as ready to chat,' DavidAngelus87 from London wrote in his review. 'The service was always with a smile, the food was always delicious (the breakfasts especially) and the mood in the evening was 1 of chilled party scene.'

To get a better feel for the Coffee Shack, visit its website and have a look at its Facebook page. Or phone Coffee Shack on +27 (0)47 575 2048 for more information.

If you want to extend your stay in the area once you've completed your surfing lessons, I recommend a few days at Hole in the Wall, which is less than 10km from Coffee Bay. Here you'll find the famous rock in the ocean that has a big tunnel running through it.

Hole in the Wall Hotel, situated just off the beach, has a vibey pool bar that is frequented by local characters who have excellent stories to tell.

Just note that Coffee Shack and Hole in the Wall are very remote and it's best to draw spending money in Mthatha, as these services are not always available closer to the coast.

Category: Adventure


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