Bulungula Lodge is something of a legend in ethical travel circles. Here is an eco-friendly destination in a remote and stunning setting along the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast, which is part-owned by the surrounding community. They are your hosts, and offer a Xhosa village experience you will never forget.

Did you know?

The Rough Guide has rated Bulungula as 1 of the world’s top ethical travel experiences.

Bulungula Lodge on the aptly named Wild Coast of South Africa has been rated one of the country’s top ethical and eco-friendly experiences.

It was among the first destinations to be certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa and has become something of a model. But that doesn’t nearly reflect how much fun it is to stay here.

Firstly, the setting: the Wild Coast is one of the world’s most beautiful places. Green, rolling hills, white beaches stretching to forever, and clear blue seas full of dolphins and whales. And at night, there is no light pollution. Bulungula will actually give you your night’s tariff back if you don’t see a shooting star in half an hour.

Secondly, the people: the Nqileni community owns 40% of Bulungula, and the arrangement has been a roaring success. The lodge and the village are seamlessly linked. There are no fences, there is no crime, no one will hassle you or beg.

On the contrary, wander around the village and you’ll doubtless be invited into someone’s hut or rondavel for a chat. Maybe a drink.

Thirdly, the activities (or lack thereof): you might choose to just chill on the beach or in a hammock; or you may want to go horse riding. Or just go with the flow and wander around the village. You may end up having your face painted with clay patterns, or learn how to grind corn or brew the (very popular) local sorghum beer, umqombothi.

Interested in making your own rod and line to fish? Just say so, and someone will show you how. In fact, you can also learn how to throw a net, and catch octopus and crayfish by hand.
There are also great storytellers in the village.

You can also paddle between the cool forested cliffs that line the Xhora River. The birdlife and plant life are astounding, and fish have been known to leap into canoes.

There are also epic beach bonfire parties.

Just as Bulungula Lodge fits in neatly with Wild Coast village life, so it also leaves a light environmental footprint.

Power is supplied from the sun. The ‘rocket showers’ run on paraffin, and you will use odourless composting toilets.

Visitors have been known to fall so deeply in love with Bulungula that they end up staying for months.

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