The Directory of Unusual Places to Stay

Bulungula Lodge

Xhora Mouth Admin Area, Eastern Cape, South Africa
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Experience village life while staying in luxury tents or huts on the stunning coast near Mthatha

The Bulungula Lodge is the realisation of a dream dreamt during years of travels through the most remote parts of Africa, China and South America: to create an eco-friendly backpackers lodge in the most beautiful place in South Africa in partnership with a vibrant, traditional community.

The lodge is situated in the most beautiful location of any lodge in South Africa - on the breathtaking Wild Coast. Beach, forest, lagoon, rolling hills, dolphins, whales, you name it. The sky is so clear, they guarantee shooting stars – look at the night’s sky for half an hour without seeing one, and you stay that night free.

The lodge is run on solar power, the rocket showers are legendary and the 10 huts have been positioned for great sea and forest views. Sarah, a London artist, has spent 9 months creating a visual spectacle – each hut has been theme painted and the odourless compost toilets are brilliant.

The community of Nqileni village owns 100% of the lodge and are an integral part of daily life here. No fences, no crime, no beggars, no hassles, just friendly smiles. Take a walk around the village at any time of the day and night and you’ll be invited into the mud huts for a drink and a chat.

During the day you can wander around the village – horses are available - or you can chill out in the hammocks or on the beach. There is a superb music collection. Girls can head off with the village women for a crazy day of face painting, brick making, maize stamping, traditional food preparation, beer brewing and firewood collecting. Local fishermen will show you how to catch fish with throw nets, catch crayfish and octopus by hand and to make your own fishing rod from wood and wire. Lindile is your main man who’ll lead you on your journeys through the village and local culture.

For accommodation, there are 5 beautifully decorated huts with 4-6 beds and 5 beautiful huts with double beds (or 2 single beds). They all have bedding and beautiful views. Also there is accommodation in lux safari tents which are on wooden platforms in the forest (most have sea views) and have a double bed or 2 single beds with bedding and an electric light... you can watch the dolphins from your bed!

Dorm accommodation starts at around R190 a night and a double room from around R450 a night for 2. Three meals a day can be ordered at reasonable cost. A luxury safari tent with views is also available for 2 or camping.

Room Types

Dorm
Quad
Triple
Whole property for 5 or more
Single
Double

Nearest Airport/s

Mthatha / East London