The WESSA Wild Walk is an initiative which began very close to our hearts in here in Chintsa. Adopted "local" Jacqueline, a fun loving lass from Leeds in the UK, spent several years fundraising from home for Chintsa volunteer organisation VA32. One of her bigger campaigns involved walking from Leeds to London on a "Walk Talk" where participants could join any leg of the walk and were encouraged to talk to each other and raise awareness of both local issues as well as issues in the targeted charity and country. In 2011 Jacs and her partner Owen decided to move their fundraising efforts to Chintsa and as a follow on from the Walk Talk campaign in the UK, created the Wild Walk 2011. This walk covered a whopping 380km - the entire stretch of the Wild Coast - and lasted for one month.
The Wild Walk is now in its third consecutive year and is gaining increasing support from both walkers and East London organisations. The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), one of the oldest environmental non-profit-organisations in South Africa, has taken over the Wild Walk and now leads the walk and highlights environmental and social issues in the larger Wild Coast area. The walk is operated by Chintsa tour operator African Heartland Journeys (AHJ).
Having covered a range of current issues on the walk over the past 3 years from education in the area to seafood harvesting awareness and the illegal use of motorised vehicles on beaches, this year WESSA are launching an educational program around wood burning stoves and handing out a number of these low-volume burners to households along the route.
The walk takes participants through the amazingly rich ecology of the Wild Coast region, on foot, through a largely untouched area of South Africa. Walkers are unlikey to be offered the opportunity to experience so close to hand, such a dynamic and diverse mix of landscapes elsewhere in South Africa. From long white sandy beaches to lush green coastal tropical forest and harrowing cliffs with sheer, breath-taking drops.
The Wild Walk is split into three sections: Pondoland Highlights at the north of the Wild Coast, the Cultural Immersion section through the middle point of the coast and finally the Southern Wild Coast. Walkers can join the walk anywhere along the route.
The Wild Walk 2013 began on 1st March and will be arriving in Port St. Johns on Wednesday 6th March having explored the shipwrecks on the coast along the way! Buccaneers is offering all guests free transport to PSJ to join the walkers for the beginning of the Cultural Immersion section (from 6th - 14th March) from Port St. Johns, via Coffee Bay to Bulungula.