Bulungula Xhosa Community Lodge, Bulungula

4 Reviews
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Bulungula Xhosa Community Lodge Reviews

Bulungula Lodge, one-hundred-percent owned by the local Nqileni village community, is a flagship project for eco-tourism in South Africa and is highly ranked in a number of ethical travel publications.

The Location

Bulungula Lodge sits on a ridge overlooking the beautiful beach and estuary of the Bulungula River. It's located on the edge of Nqileni village, which is accessed by minibus taxi from Eliotdale. It is at the southwestern end of the Wild Coast hiking trail that runs from Mdumbi Backpackers, through Coffee Bay.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Rooms are built in traditional round-hut style (rondavels) and there are safari tents in the trees on the dunes fringing the beach. All the rooms share ablutions. The dorm is eight single beds with no bunks; like the whole of the lodge, it's brightly painted. The mattresses are ok, but there is no furniture in the hut. The common toilets are composting long-drops and smell surprisingly almost fragrant! The showers are paraffin-fueled "rocket" showers, which provide each shower with just enough hot water for a five-minute wash. Both ablution blocks are brightly painted with murals, and each shower cubicle is large, with clothes hooks fashioned from driftwood.

Common Spaces

The main building (where the reception is) is also where the most of the common areas are. There is a sitting room with wicker chairs and an alcove with cushions on the floor. This is also where the charging point is, as there are no power points in the rooms. All power is solar here. There is a firepit with comfy chairs around it and a chill-out area in the garden near the dorm hut. The common kitchen is small and has just three gas rings and a fridge, with no electric appliances such as a toaster or microwave. Self-caterers should bring all food with them, as there is a very limited choice from the small village shops.


This very clean and well-looked-after place is well worth supporting for its community initiatives. There are many activities that can be arranged through the lodge that employ trained village members. Horse riding, kayaking, hiking, and village visits to see traditional Xhosa rural life are very popular. The lodge is well maintained and you can order all meals here. A set dinner is available to be ordered in advance and served buffet style from the bar counter. The food is very good, usually traditional and great value. There is no Wi-Fi here and no TVs, so prepare for a very rural atmosphere.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Bulungula Lodge Entrance
Lounging Alcove
Garden Gazebo
Front Garden  Fire Pit
Dorm Hut
Dorm Beds
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on Aug 24, 2017

Location and Contact


The distance between Cape Town and Coffee Bay is 1023 km. The road distance is 1266.4 km.



Address: Bulungula River Mouth Nqileni Village Xhora Mouth, Bulungula, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Bulungula Xhosa Community Lodge is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Bulungula Xhosa Community Lodge Bulungula bulungula.com
Phone Number: 047 577 8900 or 083 391 5525
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Female Solo Traveller

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller





City Tours


BBQ Grill


Board Games

Evening Entertainment



Hot Showers

Live Music/Performance

Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Yoga Classes


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