Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Mdumbi Trail Run that took palce earlier this month was a huge success. There was a big turn out for the 8k run as well as the "extreme" 18k run!  A big thank you to everyone who was involved in the organisation, sponsorship and running of the event. Transcape will receive in excess of R15000.00! The day was perfect and the party afterwards was even better ;)
Looking forward to next year's run already...

And they're off!!!
The 8k group being briefed

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Our Clinic

clinic on a hill, overlooking community

inside the new building

Nearly two years ago we sat in a big community meeting discussing the needs of the people here.  The clinic was one of the most prominent topics that came up.  At present, people have to walk for 8 Kilometres to get to the nearest clinic. Often these patients are quite sick by the time they decide they should seek help. Mothers carry sick babies for many days through pouring rain to get western medicines from the clinic. Malnourishment and Cholera are still huge problems within rural communities and without the right treatment people continue to die. Government is down referring ARV medicines to the clinics but patients have to collect these medications themselves. Often HIV patients are too weak to move. All of these reasons were enough to put building a new clinic high on the priority list.
The people of Mankosi community started fundraising to build their own clinic over two years ago.  We sold sand, collected the odd donation and received money from Mdumbi Backpackers. However, this process was taking too long. Outside help was needed. Thanks to organizations like Ubuntu and Kwaza and other private donations,  the clinic is no longer just a dream.
We started laying the foundations in May of this year. We completed the foundations in June and started with the walls in the end of June and early July. Then we had the exciting visit of our friends from Kwasa, followed by the very helpful hands of the Ubuntu group. The boys and girls dug war-like trenches like moles, with the ever present comments from our local builders: “yo yo that one is a girl but she can work with a spade and pick,” and “maybe the woman in that country don’t cook because they work outside.”  It was all good fun mixed with the odd emotional times. 
The groups completed the septic trenches and dug out the overflows which was a big achievement and hand work. The lawns around the building got cut and our old wooden building on site repaired beautifully to a state that it could be used again. There were tons of other jobs that the group helped us with and the Mankosi community is so grateful for your helping hands.  

builders discussing

The walls of the building are now up and the roof will be going up soon. We still have a ways to go though. The building will need finishing touches, water installation from a borehole, electricity lines and equipment like fridges and furniture. We are also looking at fixing the access road a bit since it is quite slippery when it rains. We will keep you updated on the developments of our clinic. Thank you for your support and interest in this amazing project!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Mdumbi --By Charlotte, a visiting backpacker

Mdumbi: the Transkei's lesser known sister and one which shouldn't be missed. Perched on the edge of a beautiful rugged coastline, there are many things to do at this eco-friendly backpackers, which is owned by 50% of the local community.  


A home from home hostel with friendly staff, it was easy to settle in with mounds of free popcorn and a film when it begun to pour down with rain. There is more to Mdumbi than meets the eye with a local pre-school on site and its own vegetable garden (watered by recycled shower water). Chickens, rabbits and horses all live together in this place... it even has solar powered showers!

One of their lovely guides Lusanda gave us a cultural tour of the nearby village of Tshani. We learnt more about xhosa tradition and I dressed up as a married woman - we even did a bit of weaving! To top it off we visited the local shebeen for some ciders, followed by some tasty pancakes at the Ziyaduma restaurant, overlooking the Mdumbi river.

                        Ziyaduma Restaurant 

The afternoon brought a walk which helped us to forge a spanking new forest walk with signs made by the cheery Naomi. The trail includes a great view of the coast which is a hotspot for seeing whales and dolphin if you're that way inclined! Our day ended with a delicious seafood braai around a roaring fire, with freshly grilled crayfish and homemade xhosa bread... you cannot go wrong with this gem. 

If you're after some more Mdumbi fun, there are plenty of local-led activities from deep sea fishing to surfing, all of which are run by the community and are cheap as chips.

Get off the beaten track and do something a bit different with this fair trade accredited hostel. You won't know until you try!

By Charlotte, a visiting backpacker

                                           Fairtrade,Mdumbi backpackers, Wildcoast backpackers  

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Hiking Trails at Mdumbi

We are incredibly lucky at Mdumbi to have such varied and stunning nature at our fingertips. Just outside of the backpackers is an incredible forest. This forest has many little paths running through it, but most of them are overgrown and lead to nowhere. A few of us decided to establish a clear trail so guests and community members can enjoy our local hikes. We scoped out the best path and then set to work clearing the trail. We made sure to protect our local species, but the non-endemic Lantana and Inkberry we saw along the way met the bush knife.
start of the trail at the point

The hike starts from the front gate of the backpackers and takes you to the point look out, an incredible view and a popular spot with the dolphins (on a clear day you can see all the way to Port St. John’s) From there, walk down the hill to Whale rock-- keep an eye out for those great mammals! Follow the grassy track past Bird Rock, admiring the palm forest as you go. From there, the path takes you into the forest where you can see milkwood groves and a Yellowwood forest. Head up the hill and you will come out behind the backpackers on the soccer field. Please help us to maintain our trail by visiting us and taking a hike! Hope to see you soon, The Mdumbi Crew

In the Yellowwood Forest
A very beautiful flowers growing in the sand...does anybody have any idea what the name of this flower is? 

Clearing nettles

Eco and Lindy in the Milkwood Grove

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Mdumbi from the Sky

When one of the guests came to Mdumbi Backpackers in a helicopter, a few of the Mdumbi crew were lucky enough to get a ride. Here are some aerial pics of Mdumbi from the sky. Thanks for the ride Dean!
The Mdumbi Crew

Our beautiful piece of coastline

Tony, before take off

The after school enrichment program takes a break to welcome the helicopter.
Mdumbi Backpackers

Beach and Mdumbi River
Mamas gathering water from the water project (one of TransCape’s first projects— still running successfully almost a decade later J)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Lindeka's trip to Cape Town!

Hi I’m Lindeka and I’m a receptionist at Mdumbi Backpackers. I also do professional massage at Mdumbi. I’ve done it for 6 years now.  I want to tell you about a trip I went on to Cape Town. I went to see the other backpackers and learn more about tourism. Also I went because of the Fair Trade Travel Pass. Read more about this here and on the Fair Trade Travel Pass Facebook Page. I went with Dudu from Sowethu Backpacker and Scholar from Sani Lodge Backpackers.  We had lots of fun. First we went to Coffee Shack, where we had a big party. Then Bulungula- It was nice to visit Women’s Power and collect the firewood and cook mifuno. After that Buccanneers. The mamas there are so friendly. Then Jikeleza backpackers in PE, then to Hermanus  to Marine Dynamics to see the white shark, whales, penguins, seals, and  all those things. I was scared but it was fun. And then Cape Town!  I stayed at the Backpack. I learnt a lot there. I felt so welcome. Lucas the barman was so helpful showing me around. I enjoying my time in Cape Town and I hope I will be back soon!
Please come visit Mdumbi Backpackers and try my massage.
Hope to see you here at Mdumbi,

Welcome to Our Blog!

Welcome to our blog! Here we will be posting information and pictures on happenings in our community. This blog is run by Mdumbi Backpackers and their affiliated NPO, Transcape.
Mdumbi Backpackers is based in Tshani Village, a rural community in the heart of the Wild Coast surrounded by pristine beaches, palm forests and estuaries rich in bird species. We are continuously busy trying to figure out how to create a natural abundance and share it fairly with our community. We plant, sun energize, earth build, play in nature and celebrate community. Mdumbi Backpackers is Fair-Trade accredited with 50% belonging to the community and 100% of all activities owned by the community.

Transcape NPO was registered on the 4th of August 2004 with South Africa’s Department of Social Development.  The organization was the initiative of Mdumbi Backpackers’ workforce and friends. Together with the medical staff at Canzibe hospital, they established an NPO to assist the communities of the Nyandeni sub-district to tackle their significant health, social, educational and economic needs.