Hostelling International South Africa (HISA) has a wealth of fun campaigns and exciting offers all the time and Buccaneers is a proud member of the Hostelling International network. HISA regularly run contests for backpackers to write blogs and win trips around South Africa’s top Hostelling International backpacker hostels and Buccaneers jumped at the chance to be involved and show their latest winners what we have to offer!
“21 Taking on 30 Days of South Africa” was the name of their blog (hosted in the HI South Africa blog) and Canadian girls Jenna (who turned 21 on day 17 of their trip!) and Alicia really did take South Africa on – full tilt! (I think they’ll need a holiday to recover once their adventure is over!)
“When we arrived at Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Chinsta tonight we hung out in our own room, bathroom and kitchen over-looking the ocean. ABSOLUTE OASIS!”
Having spent just under two weeks travelling down to the Wild Coast from Soweto the girls hit Chintsa on September 17th - Day 13 of their adventure. Upon their arrival and after some crazy parties in Coffee Bay they took the chance to enjoy their quiet en-suite room looking out onto the lagoon and beach, to catch up with themselves and have a chilled night in.
Find out their first impressions of Buccaneers and Chintsa in their Day 13 blog…
The night of the 13th held a HUGE storm in Chintsa with sheet rain and high winds – luckily the girls aren’t scared of a little thunder and lightning and enjoyed the spectacle from the comfort of their room, watching the storm take hold of Chintsa through their glass sliding door. Jenna and Alicia took advantage of the Buccaneers travel desk to arrange a quick trip to idyllic and beautiful Hogsback for a few days (how can you get so close and miss this stunning little town which inspired the Lord of the Rings set?).
“…this has been the easiest place to plan adventures and excursions! The front desk can book anything and everything for you, an absolutely amazing place!”
|“Their voices and beautiful dancing sends shivers down your spine.”|
Day 16 (20th Sept) saw the girls hopping onto the Away with the Fairies shuttle and making their way back to Chintsa in time for the Bulugha School feeding scheme concert in the afternoon. The concert is a regular feature of the Buccaneers free activity schedule and supports this local farm school (sitting in a scenic natural reserve with giraffes and zebra over the fence!) who’s choir put on a fun concert of traditional Xhosa songs to raise money for their daily feeding scheme through donations from the audience. The scheme ensures that all children at the school receive two hot meals per day – often the only food they will eat during the entire day.
|“I’ve been here not even two days and I can tell you…I AM COMING BACK!”|
After the concert the girls were dropped off at Inkwenkwezi – the local game reserve - for a close up interaction with the elephants there.
Read more about Day 16 here!
Day 17 (Sept 20th) saw an adventure filled day for the bloggers in Chintsa, all planned and organised by Sal.
|“Sal is the most nurturing, mothering figure we have met here in South Africa and she makes absolutely every backpacker feel welcome and at home.”|
The girls wandered over the beach in the morning with German volunteers Petra and Steffi who are volunteer teachers on the VA32 Wild Coast Schools Project (a computer literacy program in local schools). They met tour guide Denver at the African Heartland Journeys (AHJ) office (tour operator and the official hub for VA32 volunteers) and were given a tour of Chintsa East township where both local and international volunteers as well as Buccaneers, VA32 and local NPO Friends of Chintsa have a big hand in the development and empowerment of the village and its people. Jenna and Alicia spent time with the kids in the pre-school at Chintsa East with local teacher Phumla. The girls also saw the Wild Coast Schools Project in action as the Big Green e-Machine (VA32’s solar powered mobile computer lab) was running computer lessons for the learners at the primary school with the help of volunteer Petra.
“…if you are ever in Chintsa, SA, Mama Tofu is not to be missed!”
Denver then took the girls on a Cultural Village Tour – operated by AHJ – where they visited the infamous Mama Tofu, the oldest registered tour guide in South Africa! Regaled with stories of Xhosa customs and traditions they really took the chance to learn about this ancient culture and enjoy Mama T’s company.
|“Alicia has gone InkwenCRAZY! Probably the best day of her life!”|
The afternoon saw the girls back at Inkwenkwezi for a full game drive around the reserve. Experiencing the white lions and cheetahs was a massive highlight for Alicia whose dream it was to experience big cats during their time in Africa.
Read their Day 17 blog and find out what they learnt from Mama Tofu!
Day 18 (Sept 22nd) was the bloggers final day in Chintsa – and a well-earned day of rest! Luckily the weather was drab which made it easier to relax and settle into the chilled out vibes of Buccs. After a day of relaxing in the TV room with tasty food to get their energy back-up the girls jumped on the BazBus - who have supported a lot of their travel through their South African journey, bound for PE and JBay where their next adventure awaited them.
|“It might sound silly but I really want to mention it…the Baz Bus drivers going out of their way to ensure our safety was amazing”|
Read about Jenna and Alicia's final day in Chintsa on their blog from Day 18...
A massive thanks to Hostelling International South Africa for helping us to be a part of this awesome blogger initiative and to Jenna & Alicia for their amazing photos and creative blogs (all images in this article courtesy of Jenna & Alicia). We have really enjoyed being a part of their adventure and it's great to see so much of South Africa being appreciated and experienced by enthusiastic backpackers.
Read the whole of the "21 Taking on 30 Days in South Africa" adventure in blogs from Jenna and Alicia here. See all of their photos on the HI South Africa facebook page: 21 Taking on 30 Days of South Africa.