Freedom O Clock Backpacking Retreat

Wake up to mind-blowing views of the ocean, beach, rare mangroves and forest-lined Mdumbi River!

This small, family-run gem of a holiday spot lies on the eastern side of the Mdumbi River mouth and is located in the rural Pondo village of Mngcibe, Eastern Cape, Wild Coast.

The incredible views and access to the beach and river in this un-spoilt rural area makes this an ideal laid back place to visit for families, friends, couples and all nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Freedom O Clock can sleep 17 people indoors and also offer camping space.

Discovering the safe, secluded, pristine beaches, river estuaries, rare white mangrove swamps and other Wild Coast treasures make the 2 hour trip from the main road well worth it. Coffee Bay is just 45 minutes drive away and there is a very scenic 3 hour hike between Coffee Bay and Mdumbi.

Freedom O Clock is owned and managed by Otto, Lu and little Coral-Bella, who all have a great love for nature and the ocean. "We love hanging out with guests, sharing info on the area, enjoying a cold one on the deck while watching astonishing sunsets and sharing stories about the days adventure around the fire."

It must be noted that Freedom O Clock is completely off the grid water grid and rely only on harvesting rain water. The area only recently received electricity. We try to stay off the grid as far as much as possible and make use of solar power for lights and charging of devices. Refrigeration is run off electricity and we use gas for the stoves.

Freedom O Clock strives for a Zero Waste Journey. There is no municipal infrastructure in the area and no municipal dumps in our nearby towns (believe it or not). Therefore, we request our guests to seriously consider the use of "convenience packaging" and non-reusable / refundable bottles.

For those who have not yet travelled to the Wild Coast it should be pointed out that you will be travelling in an under-developed region. The variety and quality of goods and services you may be accustomed to are not always readily available. We are set in a remote and primitive region, where even the provision of fresh water can not be taken for granted. If you prefer luxury to comfortable living then Freedom O Clock may not be for you.

As the name implies, Freedom O' Clock gives you just that, freedom to do as you want and when you want, freedom to just chill, do nothing, zero, nada. Simply meaning to lie around on the beach all day, read to your hearts content, just sit around and sleep all you want.

Freedom O Clock Backpackers is responsibly 420 friendly.

booking enquiry no obligation!


  • "The great view and atmosphere"

    09 January 2018

    "The owners are incredibly friendly people, always up for a chat and never to busy to help. Just be aware that the place is very rustic and the roads going in and out are in a very poor state."

  • "Magic in Mdumbi"

    24 November 2017

    "Incredible place! A little piece of paradise on the edge of the world. Lu and Otto are fantastic hosts with a truelly magical thing going on at this backpackers. The road there was a tad tricky but only adds to the adventure and for the views and tranquillity totally worth it. Accommodation was nice and clean and profered meals home cooked and tasty. Would recommend sticking around more that on one night for the full experience and to properly unwind."

  • "What an amazing surprise"

    19 September 2017

    "We LOVED it here, so remote, untouched ... real freedom from the clock!!"

  • "Great place"

    03 March 2017

    "Very nice setting. Friendly host"

  • "Disgusting"

    29 March 2016

    "<p>Hi, I have never been so disappointed in my 40 odd years of going to the Transkei, I was devastated on arrival with my guests from Cape Town, besides been so ashamed of putting my family and guests through what I call absolute Hogwash, they should be taken off the map completely, in fact I should demand at least half my money back, I am not interested in going intoall the detail but really, how SafariNow can accommodate this place is beyond words, that is all I have to say. We came back 2 days before we were to leave. I will never go back there, ever.</p><p>Regards</p><p>Herman Korte</p><p><em><strong>ESTABLISHMENT RESPONSE:</strong></em></p><p><em>Hi Herman,</em></p><p><em>I must say that I was unpleasantly surprised to see your review on Safarinow. I understand that Freedom O Clock might not be everyone's "cup of tea", but what I don't understand is why you didn't say anything while you were here.</em></p><p><em>You were booked in for 3 nights. You stayed for 2. Every morning on asking your group how you slept and if everything was all fine, you personally replied everything was great. You even commented on how peacefully you slept in the rondavel. You not once seemed grumpy..... (we actually really enjoyed your company). </em></p><p><em>When you decided to leave a day early and I asked if there was a particular reason, your reply was that you wanted to show your family Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall and didn't want to drive there and back and then just to head back that way the next morning when you were meant to depart.</em></p><p><em>I am sorry that you felt that this place was "disgusting" and that you had such a terrible time. I would never have said so after hearing your face to face comments (from yourself and other people in your group), you guys enjoying the beach, evening braais and crayfish feasts, chats on the deck. What about your comment in the guest book? See pic attached.</em></p><p><em>I would appreciate your constructive criticism.</em></p><p><em>Kind Regards</em></p><p><em>Lu</em></p><p><em><br /></em></p><p></p>"

  • "Freedom bliss"

    23 December 2013

    "We had eight days of immersion in a real, friendly, rural South Africa with completely amazing views, beaches, river and ocean swimming, and a memorable canoe up the river. Lu and Otto have created a rare treat of welcome, care, and connection with a local community within a stunning environment."

  • "Highly recommended!"

    14 January 2013

    "The place is a real gem with lovely hosts and a great setting in unspoiled nature. Would recommend to anyone who looks for something off the beaten track."

  • "A true escape from reality"

    06 May 2012

    "Lu and Otto were fantastic hosts, who made u feel welcome and cared for in the most rural of rural settings of the Transkei. A place were electricity and warm water are a luxury, Freedom O'Clock provided a sense of tranquility and a feeling of where time doesn't exist. A true escape from reality to people who's rural existance is often forgotten."

  • "Great stay"

    19 September 2011

    "Great stay and getaway. Great views."

  • "Very nice"

    22 April 2011

    "We enjoyed the great hospitality of Otto and Lu, the beautiful unspoilt beach and living in harmony with nature in the guest house."

  • "Great"

    12 April 2011

    "A wonderfull relaxing place to stay with pristine beaches, kilometers of estuary and mangroves. Miles from the maddening croud. Clean and comfortable. Hope you enjoy oysters and crayfish."

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