how to get to lubanzi
GPS COORDINATES: S32
04 04.7 - E29 05 09.6 - 38 m
ALERT: Your GPS mostly gives the shortest route, not the fastest - which in our case can mean 50km of terrible gravel road instead of 80km of tar road. If you are coming from the N2, East London OR Durban direction, ALWAYS turn onto the Coffee Bay road to get to Lubanzi, no matter what your GPS may suggest.
How to use this map: Click on the menu icon in the top left corner of the map banner. A menu will appear, showing different placemarkers and routes. If you are driving your own car: Click on the "normel car" or "4x4/offroad vehicle" directions to follow the route from the N2 down to Lubanzi. If you travel by bus/local transport, the placemarkers can help you find your way.
You can also download a printable roadmap here.
BY CAR: From the N2, take the Coffee Bay turn off (about 20km from Mthatha). Follow the road for about 50km until you see the BIG sign to Zithulele Mission Hospital/Hole in the Wall. Turn right onto the new tar road. Follow the road for about 17km. Turn right onto a dirt road about 1km before the hospital, at the little orange sign to Wild Lubanzi. There is a big square silver water tank on stilts at that corner, and immediately afterward a shop called Emthunzini Store. If you have missed the turn off, just turn around at the hospital, drive back for about 2min and take the first road on your left. Follow the road for 5km. (The road has been graded and is currently driveable even by small cars, though still a bit bumpy over the last bit. And please arrive by daylight! It's a bit difficult to manage the road in the dark.) Just before the beach, about 3/4 down the last hill, turn left towards Wild Lubanzi Backpackers - the big construction site. ;)
If you are really worried about driving down a dirt road in a small car, there is secure parking available at the Putuma turn-off (on the Zithulele Road, at the big sign to Mpame/Tafalehase/Bulungla). Parking is R15 per night, and our shuttle will pick you up from there (R15 per person). SHUTTLE AVAILABLE ONLY ON REQUEST! Please book at least a day in advance. Call us when you take the turn off towards Zithulele Hospital, so we can send the shuttle to pick you up.
PLEASE NOTE: it's a 2 hour drive from the N2 to Wild Lubanzi Backpackers. Make sure you arrive in daylight - the road is difficult to manage at night!!!
BY SHUTTLE: We run shuttles to Mthatha (R90 per person). Our shuttle is on request only and subject to availability (sometimes we have no car for weeks) and it is essential that you book your shuttle at least a day in advance.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT: From the local taxi rank in Mthatha (or from opposite Shell Ultra City) catch a taxi to Mquanduli (last town on the Coffee Bay road). Draw a little cardboard sign with the letters XAE (code for Mqanduli) and stand at the side of the road - the right taxi, or even a private car, will pick you up. At the taxi rank in Mquanduli (next to Spar) find a taxi to Zithulele Hospital. Get our shuttle (R15 per person) to pick you up from there.
Alternatively, from Mthatha take a taxi or the Coffee Shack Shuttle direction Coffee Bay. Get dropped off at Kwaaiman (the turn-off to Zithulele Hospital). Catch another taxi to Zithulele Hospital, or get our shuttle to pick you up from Kwaaiman (R30 per person).
Give us a call when you are at the Zithulele turn-off, so we can send the shuttle up to the Hospital. THE SHUTTLE IS ONLY AVAILABLE ON REQUEST - PLEASE BOOK AT LEAST A DAY IN ADVANCE!
If you are up for a little walk, don't get off the taxi at Zithulele but ask the driver to take you to the end of the tar road. From there, keep on walking straight towards the coast. When you reach the hilltop above the sea, turn right down the hill, across the beach, a little bit up the hill and then turn right - the big building. Can't miss it.