Words & Photo: Heidi Muller
Expedition Africa organisers are proud to announce that the event will be hosted in the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The host city will be in the holiday resort town of Port Edward.
An Expedition race in this region of Africa is a once in a lifetime experience.
This route will never be repeated again and this area may not stay as rugged for very long with Mining companies threatening its isolated existence.
Venture where only a fortunate few have passed.
The Wild Coast is a section of the coast of the Eastern Cape, a province of South Africa. The region stretches from East London in the south to the border of Kwazulu Natal, in the north.
It is an almost forgotten part of the country that seems to function at its own pace and without modern day influences. Many tourists and locals visit the Wild Coast as it provides a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the country or in the world.
The average daily temperatures in May along the coast vary from 13°C to 25°C.
The northern Pondoland section of the Wild Coast, stretching from Mtamvuna River in the north (Port Edward) to the mighty Umzimvubu in the south (Port St John's), is undoubtedly the least accessible, dramatically rugged and breathtakingly pristine section of the Wild Coast.
The southern section of the Wild coast stretches all the way to the Kei River and the border of commercial civilisation as we know it.
Pass through traditional Xhosa villages, rolling green hills, rocky headlands and sandy bays, as well as amazing waterfalls, freestanding rock stacks and pristine estuaries on your journey. The skeletal remains of numerous shipwrecks along the shore bear testimony to this high-energy coastline, whilst schools of dolphin and whales are a familiar sight. Here, in this undeveloped part of South Africa, locals go about their daily lives calm and peaceful, many still depending on horses and other non-motorized forms of transport. The roads are rugged and 4 x 4 vehicles are recommended.
Cycling and trekking in this area are one of a kind. No fences and a myriad of route choices using local footpaths and cattle tracks to reach any destination in a number of ways.
It is the traditional home of the Xhosa, and the birthplace of many prominent South Africans, including Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
Many rivers empty into the sea along the Wild Coast. In the southern-most parts of the region, where the hills are lower, and the rivers tend to be mature and are characterized by wide floodplains. But in the rugged north, where young rivers find their path to the sea blocked by massive cliffs, many, like Waterfall Bluff, leap over the rocky crags into the surf below.
Small sandy bays and long stretches of open beaches are often found near the mouths of large rivers. Estuaries, bays and headlands are plentiful, whilst rocky shores predominate, be they smooth wave-cut platforms with jagged and un-even surfaces or precipitous cliffs that plunge into the sea.
About half the coastline comprises indigenous forest and many forest species that were previously unknown to science have been discovered in places. About 900 forest and grassland species from the Wild Coast region have been identified as having commercial, traditional or homeopathic value.
The scenic beauty of the Wild Coast, coupled with its rich cultural heritage, make the region ideal for adventure racing.
Crossing Mtamvuma river in the north will take you to Port Edward, our host town. This area has a mix of commercial farming land, rural housing settlements and coastal holiday resorts, the 'beach holiday mecca' of KwaZulu-Natal. The Port Edward Holiday resort will be the Host venue for Expedition Africa 2014.
Expedition Africa organisers encourage teams to travel earlier to the venue to get a feeling of the area and for the International teams to have enough time to acclimatize. We have negotiated a special accommodation rate to make it economically viable to come earlier and get into the right frame of mind for the Expedition.
The closest airport is King Shaka airport in Durban and a transfer will be arranged for International teams to Port Edward. See full details on Expedition Africa page on http://www.kineticgear.co.za/AdventuresRaces/ExpeditionAfrica/tabid/1588....
To view the resort go to http://www.portedward.co.za/
Entries are now open. If you wish to enter complete the online entry form to secure a place. First 25 Teams will be booked into Luxury Chalets and the rest into smaller Chalets. Closing date for entries is 1 April 2014.
For any more race information contact or