Coffee Bay is located about 250 km south of Durban on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The town is named after the hundreds of coffee trees which grew from beans either scattered by a shipwreck or by plunderers.
The scenery and views are stunning. Coffee Bay is a small town of fewer than 300 people, so accommodation is limited and should be booked in advance.
If the more luxurious hotels are booked, there are several backpacker places to stay. But the standards of backpacker places all over the world can vary greatly, so those who like to travel in a bit more comfort can be wary of the experience.
Sugarloaf Backpackers, however, was a place to fall in love with instantly.
Step through the eco-friendly doorway to find beautifully hand painted murals and décor dominated by plants and surfboards. Some of the local women sell bead necklaces in a corner.
Enter the bar and dining area, and one gets a feeling for the vibe of the place – a hangout for backpackers and surfers.
Located just by the bay, the ocean can be seen from the front yard and one can enjoy the sunrise lying on a hammock.
At night the front yard becomes a party place with live fresh barbecue, music, fun and drinks. It is worth spending a couple of days here.
Sugar Loaf Backpackers has many options to choose from — huts, rooms and tents. An entire hut can be booked or just one of the five beds in the hut. The rooms are basic but nicely done with clean sheets and no traces of dirt.
The hut did not have air conditioning, though there was a fan, but no strong locks for the doors or windows. This can be a reason for many travellers to stress but it did not seem to be an issue here.
The rooms do not have private washrooms. There is a common washroom for bath and toilet. No toiletries or towels are provided, which is expected at backpacker or hostel stays.
There is a restaurant to order food and drinks as well as an open kitchen where guests can cook their own meals.
Safety and security at Coffee Bay
There are some pretty scary reviews on TripAdvisor about Hole in the Wall — a tidal island with a natural arch — which is a tourist spot about 8 km from Coffee Bay.
But security at Coffee Bay is tight with electric fences, CCTV and huge dogs patrolling all the time and it had very good reviews.
Sugarloaf Backpackers is pretty impressive with nice, friendly people running it. It is close to the beach and the property overlooks the ocean.
Accommodations at Hole in the Wall are expensive, so it is well worth trying Coffee Bay if one is visiting the area.
Amit and Anindita are Indian Travel bloggers who blog at Travel Like We Do. They talk about affordable travel in India and abroad. They are still travelling and capturing their moments.