Thursday, 30 October 2014

Top 10 Chintsa Adventures Not To Be Missed

Whether you're looking for a reason to visit or you're on route to Chintsa, here's the low down of the adventures you can get up to whilst here...

1. Stay At Buccaneers Backpackers

View from a Safari Tent at Buccaneers
Whether you're here for a night or for a month "Buccs" in the place to be. This family run backpackers is friendly, funky, relaxed and full of staff and fellow travellers to connect with. Buccs offers a wide range of accommodation options from camping and dorms to gorgeous new suites and en-suite rooms - there's something for every budget and taste. Best of all, most of the rooms have sea views (seriously gorgeous sea views!) and if you don't manage to get a room with a view, you can enjoy it from any number of communal areas designed with this in mind. You're a stones throw from the beach, they do amazing food in big portions and you'll feel like one of the family. It's an experience in it's self.

2. Volunteer on VA32's Wild Coast Schools Project

VA32 is the volunteer organisation based in Chintsa. Our pioneering volunteer project - the Wild Coast Schools Project - was recently nominated "Outstanding Volunteer Project 2014" in the Global Youth Travel Awards and is also Fair Trade certified. Volunteers teach computer literacy in local rural schools in the mornings and join a number of community development initiatives in the afternoon. The experience of working in small local communities on needs driven projects can transform your travel experience from just "looking in from the outside" to really experiencing the community and culture that you're exploring and connecting with the people who's country and village you are staying in. Fall in love with the kids, know that you have given a little back on a long term, sustainable project and become a part of the international Chintsa community. On top of that you live in the volunteer house which is just minutes from the beach!

3. Learn to Surf

Who hasn't fancied themselves as a tanned, wetsuit clad figure strolling down the beach with surfboard under arm - it's cool, right? Here's your chance! Buccaneers' live-in surf instructor is available for surf lessons most days of the week. He'll teach you all the way from the basic beginner skills like knowing where to lie on your board, how to catch a wave and paddle, to jumping up on your feet and riding a wave in style! Boards and suits are available to hire from Buccaneers so you can practise in between lessons.

4. Take a Beach Horse Trail

With a 15km stretch of uninterrupted coastline to play on you'll be spoilt for choice of how to explore and enjoy the beach. A highlight for many travellers is Cintsa Horses beach horse trails where you will join a guided ride from the top of Chintsa, through Buccaneers bush and to the beach. Once on the beach more advanced riders are given the opportunity to gallop or you can simply stroll the coastline at your own pace and soak up the pristine, quiet beach from horse back. Cintsa Horses also runs a Rehabilitation Centre for abused and vulnerable horses which the trails help to subsidize.

5. See the Big 5 on a Game Drive

It wouldn't be Africa without the wildlife. Join a game drive at local reserve Inkwenkwezi where you will be introduced to a wealth of Eastern Cape flora and fauna as well as wildlife including rhino, giraffe, springbok, zebra, and ostrich. You will hunt down the lions in their enclosure and can take the opportunity to get close to elephants and leopards if you choose.

6. Zip-line Through the Trees

For the adrenaline junkies - take the leap and swing through the trees on Areena's giant zip line tour. Another option that's not for the faint hearted!

7. Meet the Oldest Tour Guide in South Africa

Visit Mama Tofu - 95 year old tour guide - still guiding in her traditional Xhosa homestead around 20km from Chintsa. Local tour company African Heartland Journeys (AHJ) run this cultural tour where you will visit local projects and initiatives facilitated by Friends of Chintsa - non-profit organisation - on the way to see Mama Tofu. Once in her homestead  you will be greeted by African song and dancing in traditional costume, introduced to Xhosa culture and language and ways of life for this indigenous people.

8. Quad Bike in a Reserve

Jump on a quad bike and rumble around one of the private game reserves local to Chintsa, with a guide. This adventure filled twist on a game drive leaves you out in the open air to spot bird and wildlife, get your heart beating as you navigate dirt trails and pathways and get dusty ans dirty on your adventure. A highly recommended experience.

9. Mountain Bike through a Rural Township

If you prefer pedal power and you've got some energy to spare join AHJ's mountain bike tour which takes you through Mama Tofu's village and surrounding settlements. Not for the faint hearted you will need to pack water, sunscreen and a lot of energy!

10. Enjoy a Locally Brewed Craft Beer & Brewery Tour

A new addition to Chintsa's attractions, Emerald Vale brewery was established in 2012 by local home brewer Chris Heaton. The craft beer is now available in a wide range of local (and non-local!) bars, restaurants and shops. You can join Chris and his team for a tour around the recently upgraded brewery where the brewing process will be explained and you get tasters at the end!

Have you been to Chintsa and do you have a highlight to add? Comment below to add your own experiences and recommendations.

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