The Pondo Trail

The Pondo Trail

The Pondo Trail

Blog post with #NANANtravel
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We recently did the Pondo trail, one of the most scenic and beautiful trails in South Africa, the planning started almost a year before when our friend asked if we would join them on a trail, he knows us very well so he knew it had to be a fully serviced trail, what do I mean by that? Well, firstly, we needed someone to help carry our bags, definitely not sleeping in tents. Secondly, we wanted food cooked for us and obviously, drinks, so, yes! The Pondo trail is just like that, you carry a small bag with whatever you might need during the day, basically a water bottle, a long sleeve sweatshirt or jacket just in case, preferably a rain jacket, snacks, and sunblock, that is what I had in mine. 

The way the trail works, you start from Mtentu, just outside Port Edward, this can be, by road, a couple of hours on a bumpy road, or by boat, if the sea conditions are good, now, to get there you fly to Durban, we spent the night before there and then met everyone at the airport to start the 3-hours drive to the Estuary hotel in Port Edward, where we spent the night, next morning we go on a 2-hours drive to the starting point of the trail, some people were very lucky, actually, just Jan, because one of the guys doing the trail didn’t want to do all the driving so he went on a Helicopter and since they charge for a minimum of 2 people Jan got to go with him. We all met at the edge of the Mtentu river mouth and the adventure started with us going across the river. No, we didn’t swim, and although a few of the guys did, we went on a Kayak. 

Day 1. (15km)

We start the trail and it’s all very exciting and fun, within 45 minutes of starting we find a waterfall and we jump in the water, then we keep going, we stop for lunch at a very nice natural pool, now, the first dat we walk across a nature reserve so although we didn’t see any, we could have seen some wildlife, wait, we did se Zebras. 

Day 2. (18km)

Now, we are out of the nature reserve, and I have to admit, it was the less exciting day of the 5, the landscape was pretty much the same all day, lots of grasslands and not much diverse scenery, it got quite windy at one point, but it ended majestically!

As we were reaching the end of the day we saw far away in the distance, these massive waves crashing against the coastline making giant splashes, I immediately thought, ah! It would be so cool if we could walk right next to them, well, guess what? We walked right next to them, the splashes were huge and very often and that rocky coastline was about 1km long, at the end of all this splashing and fun was our campsite, right next to the river mouth which they had organized a bonfire and plenty of G&T waiting for us, (wine for me please)

Day 3. (17km)

 

This is supposed to be the most exciting day, we are going to see the waterfall Bluff, one of the few waterfalls that go straight into the ocean. According to our guide, there are only 12 waterfalls like this in the world, and 3 of them are on this trail but only this one is accessible. OK, only this one has easy access. Lots of uphill and downhill, we even went to see a cave, and then we came up to the waterfall, very impressive. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side so we didn’t walk down to it and got totally wet, I should have done it! So, yes, it was the best day.

Day 4. (10km) 

On our last day walking, we did walk a lot, a total of 10 km. Day 3 is the longest and the best day, today. It wasn’t as long but it took us across 7 headlands and 6 beaches, each one more beautiful than the other. When we reached the top of the last hill, the view of the estuary where we ended the trail was just amazing. We arrived there at midday and spent a fabulous afternoon by the river, drinks, friends, and fun, all around a fantastic bonfire.

Day 5.

We head back to where it all started, Durban. Word of advice, if you can take a helicopter back, DO IT! It was a long drive and of course, we were all super tired. In my opinion, it was a bit too much, about 7- hours drive back, but when you think about the trail and how beautiful everything was, it was all worth it.

In summary, The Pondo Trail is a Must-Do, especially if you love nature and like the outdoors. However, you have to like walking. A total bonus are the beaches, rivers natural pools, and waterfalls. The best time to do it is between April and May, but you need to book this well in advance, almost a year in advance.

Want to join the next Pondo Trail Hike?

Book a FREE 30-minute consultation with German – for the perfect advice on where to stay, what to do, and how to get the best out of your travels.

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Maria Isabel Armejo
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2022-11-29
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2022-11-24
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2022-11-12
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Paola Izaguirre
Paola Izaguirre
2022-10-23
100% recomendado. Germán planeo con nosotros nuestro viaje a africa. Estuvo literal 24/7 durante todo el viaje, haciéndonos sentir seguros durante las 3 semanas que estuvimos en Africa. Los hoteles donde nos quedamos súper bonitos y súper bien ubicados, sus recomendaciones también súper! Definitivamente entendió lo que queríamos en este viaje. Los guías que nos puso todos con bastante conocimiento, muy buen inglés y amigables. Y en Capetown definitivamente Germán nos hizo sentir como locales y en casa! Ahora a planear africa parte 2 y con muchas ganas de volver a Cape Town! Thanks German!
Rachel Konforti
Rachel Konforti
2022-10-21
German from Nanan Travel was amazing to work with! I found Nanan Travel on instagram when I was researching places to do our safari at. I had some questions before booking but he actually helped take over that process for me which was so helpful! Also, I never thought to work with a travel agent because I wouldve thought they charge us but turns out they dont and even more….they have discounted pricing to hotels I wouldve already booked at myself. So truly it is a win win situation for a traveler to work with Nanan Travel & I will definitely be using Nanan again. 🙂
Betina Menahem
Betina Menahem
2022-10-04
Gracias Germán por tu búsqueda, tu buena onda, tu paciencia y tu predisposición. Gracias a tus recomendaciones pasamos un hermoso fin de semana en un safari cerca de Port Elizabeth y tuvimos nuestra primera experiencia en un safari como familia. 100x100% recomendado!
Ernesta Swanepoel
Ernesta Swanepoel
2022-09-26
This was the second time that German from Nanan Travel arranged accommodation for us during our holidays. And every time he delivers ! German understands what it is that you are looking for in accommodation and he makes sure that you gets what you want. He is quick to respond and happy to answer all questions. We recently travelled to the Maldives and he patiently guided us through the 1000+ options until we found what we were looking for. The accommodation that he suggested exceeded our expectations. Everything went smoothly and all our transfers were arranged. Nanan Travel is the company to use when you want to have a picture perfect holiday !
Pablo Tapia
Pablo Tapia
2022-08-29
Una experiencia alucinante todo el viaje a Sudafrica! Gracias German y a todo el equipo de Nanan Travel! El lodge de Kapama y los safaris fotográficos un éxito! Vimos a los big 5 y muchos más muy cerca! CapeTown también de maravilla! Una ciudad espectacular, el hotel 👍🏻👍🏻! La zona de viñedos también espectacular, un viaje recomendable para los amantes del vino! Clouds estate donde nos alojamos estuvo excelente! Y la Garden Route (si bien manejamos mucho por los pocos días) fue muy interesante, paisajes preciosos, actividades súper divertidas (caminatas, avistamiento de tiburones y ballenas, kayak en stormriver!…) Gracias por todo!
Paola Protzel
Paola Protzel
2022-08-27
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Daniela Abugattas
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2022-08-25
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