By Neil Playdon
There are times when it’s just great to escape normal life and to leave behind the internet and DSTV (ok so you can get 3G here but lets face it you are here to relax!) and this was one of those times.
Over the Mother’s Day weekend we took a trip to Haga Haga which for this of you that don’t know is situated 60km east of East London on the famous Wild Coast. The small seaside village of Haga Haga lies midway between Chintsa East and Morgan’s Bay. To get there we took the N2 route out of East London towards Mthatha and then turned off right down to Haga Haga. The first part of the road down to Haga Haga is tarred but the last 10kms take you along a dirt road which is best done in a 4×4.
The last part of the drive heads downwards and you are suddenly met with views over the Indian Ocean at the first sight of Haga Haga. We had chosen to stay at Stagger Inn which is one of two self-catering cottages (Stagger Out is the one) that are literally just a few steps away from the beach. The cottage comprises three bedrooms and two bathrooms – one of which is ensuite. The lounge/dining room is large and overlooks the ocean. At the back of the cottage there is a kitchen and an outside area (some of which is covered) where you can braai. The cottage is pet-friendly which meant we could bring along our two miniature schnauzers. The kitchen is well equipped with cooker, microwave, fridge, freezer, toaster etc. If there is anything you need during your stay then ‘no peace’ will be glad to help you. She was there everyday we were there with a smile on her face and even came to sort out lanterns for us when Eskom decided to turns the lights out late on Saturday night.
This stretch of coastline along the Wild Coast is beautiful. Rugged rocks, small coves and steep lush green hills with beautiful wild flowers dotted about. From our cottage in Hadeda Way we enjoyed a beautiful walk with the dogs along the Krantz Garden Trail which takes you right along the coastline in the direction of Chintsa. The path is marked but you need to keep an keen eye out at certain points. The paths marked by painted white footprints which have been marked on the rocks to show you the way. The path takes you right along the incoming tide mark so its best to check you are walking at low-tide to ensure you can get back easily or you may be getting your feet wet.
The beach at Haga Haga is lovely with a mix of sand and rocks. In certain places the rocks reminded me of pictures of Giants Causeway in Ireland with its strange rock formations. Fishing is a popular past time here despite the fact that i didn’t actually see anyone catch anything. My guess is you need to chat to the locals to find out the best places to fish from.
We visited Haga Haga in early May and we spotted quite a few dolphins out to sea. On the last day there we even spotted a whale which was thrashing its tail in the sea. Seeing a whale at this time of year was a first for us as we generally don’t see them till June time.
If you have a 4×4 it is worth taking time to explore around the area of Haga Haga. Close by, as the crow flies but not driving, are the small villages of Marsh Strand and Bosbokstrand. The remoteness of these villages is striking. There are very few places to shop and if you come on a self-catering stay then be sure to bring all your supplies – over-estimating what you need is definitely better than underestimating!
We heartily recommend a trip to the Wild Coast. Here is a selection of our Wild Coast accommodation to help you start planning your trip there.