This weekend we took a road trip up the Wild Coast to stay at Umtendwe Beach Cottages located on the Eastern Cape coast between Haga Haga and Morgan’s Bay. The drive down to our self-catering accommodation on the Wild Coast took us along dirt-roads and through a private reserve before we arrived at our destination.
Umtendwe Beach Cottages are two privately owned holiday cottages and we were staying in one of them – Milkwood Cottage. Aptly named with all the Milkwood trees nearby. The cottage was perfect with three good size bedrooms and three bathrooms. Inside was a fully-equipped kitchen plus a nice size scullery area. The thatched roof, outside deck with table and chairs for six people and braai were all we were looking for. The very large fridge and freezer in Milkwood Cottage is ideal and more than adequate for those thinking of a longer self-catering stay of 5 to 7 days.
We had brought our two dogs, with the owners consent, and naturally we took them off for a walk not long after we arrived. Just a short walk (less than 100m) from the cottage and you are walking on the beach – amazing. The beach was deserted but for a few Oystercatchers and other sea-birds. It was low-tide and the dogs enjoyed running along the beach, through the rocks and small rock pools.
With the sun going down fast we lit our braai and settled down for a relaxing evening with only star-filled sky, the sound of crickets and the odd bat flying around to keep us company.
In the morning Angelina (the maid) arrived and we all introduced ourselves. After breakfast we headed out for a walk on the beach heading towards Morgan’s Bay. We were amazed at how quiet it was with only a few other weekend holiday-makers around. At the other end of the beach the path heads upwards and takes you along a well-trodden route. Rock fishing seemed to be the order of the day with most of the folks we bumped into heading off to the flat rock area that juts out towards the sea.
We had brought our rods with us and we tried fishing off this headland on the second day but it’s one thing to catch a fish (which we did) but another thing entirely to and it. The fish just seem to dive straight under the rocks when you hook them and the strong incoming tide makes it nearly impossible to land them. If you were to carry on walking along the coastal path you would get to Morgan’s Bay which is quite a walk but if you take enough water, sunscreen and hats it is more than possible to do.
The weather the whole weekend was stunning with not a cloud in the sky. Algy, the cottage owner, had kindly provided more than enough firewood and we tucked into steaks and boerewors on the second night. It must have been all the fresh sea air because we were all very tired by the time 10pm came round.
Early one morning we walked along the estuary right next to the cottages where we spotted a monkey or two and also a Kingfisher which was diving into the water from quite a height to catch his breakfast. I should point out that we were not bothered by monkeys at all at the cottages.
The remote location means that there is no cellphone reception at the cottages but you will get reception if you just walk up the beach in the Morgan’s Bay direction. However if the purpose of your visit is to relax and rejuvenate your soul then this is perfect. It’s an idyllic spot where you can relax on one of the outdoor loungers and engross yourself in the latest bestseller.
Milkwood Cottage at Umtendwe can sleep 8 people quite easily with two of the bedrooms having an extra single bed as well as a double bed in them. Two bedrooms are downstairs while the other is upstairs. The bedroom upstairs has a double bed, cupboards and drawers and a bath and toilet.
For more ideas on where to stay on the Wild Coast check out our selection of Wild Coast accommodation.