The Eastern Cape has been my top holiday destination in South Africa every year and I have been visiting these amazing shores all my life.  Recently we visited Mdumbi and although we have been going to that particular area for the last 8 years or so it still felt like I was seeing this bit of paradise through new eyes.  The spectacular sunrises and sunsets; the unusual thunderstorm out to sea; the dolphins surfing the waves; the whales breaching; the sardines bubbling all over; the patchy cows roaming the fields; the Milky Way that was in full view by 7pm each night; the fluttering butterflies; the smiling locals and of course the amazing beaches all add up to sensory overload and resulted in me becoming a hyper active child once again.  Below are some images that hopefully do this amazing area some justice but the only way to really experience it is to go there yourself. Be warned you may never leave which means I will see you there soon.

Emily showing some amazing strength by holding up the clouds!

Crossing the mighty Mthatha River on the local ferry.

The Mdumbi Backpackers with the spectacular thunderstorm out to sea in the background. The storm stayed there for nearly 2 days and the lightning on this evening was incredible.

A wave moves closer to shore in a blur whilst the clouds out to sea keep playing their “guess the animal” game.

A few local kids off to catch dinner at the point.

A local dog waiting for his owner to catch some breakfast. It’s a dog’s life.

This evening turned into a heavy downpour. I haven’t seen so much rain in the middle of winter there before.

The kids on our hike to the caves on the other side of the Mthatha River.

Our ferry trip across the Mthatha River. You should have seen the pile of wood to be transported across the river that awaited this poor guy on the other side.

Just when you thought that photographing children and animals was a challenge, along came butterflies. I cannot remember ever seeing so many butterflies down at Mdumbi. It was amazing.

One of the many spectacular sunrises along the Eastern Cape coastline.

Even the overcast days were worth photographing.

The aloes on the hill across the Mthatha River were beautiful.

An incredible sunrise off the Transkei coast.

The kids having fun on our hike to the caves.

Tom on his way to try catch some shad at the point.

Not only does the Eastern Cape have rough and rugged cliffs but it also has some long, beautiful beaches that go on forever.

Sunset over the local huts and homes.

This pic has it all with different colours, cloud formations and shapes of hills.

Tom and Badi having a rest after climbing the steep hills.

This cow had an amazing expression on it’s face.

Another view of the thunderstorm out to sea with the lightning lighting up the clouds.

Off to catch a whopper at sunset.

Emily is never afraid to be adventurous and explore the highest rocks and cliffs. Tom joining her on this little adventure.

Three locals off to sit on the bench and enjoy the sunset.

The ladies enjoying the view from on top of the point.

The Mthatha River on an overcast day.

A wave rolls by on a shallow rock shelf along the point.

Unfortunately what comes down must go up. The downhills are much more fun.

We found the caves at last. The one on the left goes back really far and you can actually walk to the back and then through into the cave on the right.

A calm sea at sunrise. Tom loves coming with me on these early morning missions as long as we can make a fire and cook something. This time we roasted a pair and an apple.

Badi and Tom full of energy on our way back from the caves.

Such amazing colours even though it was overcast.

A local fisherman trying to catch some shad.

On our way back from the caves. As I mentioned earlier, the way back is not as much fun as the hills are really steep.

Across the Mthatha River and around the next point looking north.

I can’t help photographing the grass especially at sunset.

This was the afternoon/evening before the heavy downpour started.

Another view of a beautiful sunrise. I often try other view points but always come back to the view of the bay as it is so special.

The rolling hills at sunset looking like a veil painting.