Terra-Khaya is backpacking accommodation in Hogback that prides itself on running and accommodating travellers from all over the world completely “off the grid”. It is situated on Chillington Farm on the magnificent escarpment of the Amathole Mountains, which drape the horizon around Hogsback.
The aim of this backpackers is to allow visitors to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and flavours of the Hogsback village and the Eastern Cape without leaving a negative impact in their wake. In fact, all visitors are encouraged to leave the backpackers in an even better condition. This is done by offering a free meal for every three hours spent taking out the invasive alien Black Wattle trees around the area and a free night’s accommodation when guests bring an indigenous tree to be planted.
The name Terra-Khaya means “Earth Home”. The accommodation and other buildings have been built using eco-friendly and sustainable materials and techniques, so that the environment does not suffer for the human intrusion. Nestled within such beautiful surrounds, guests are assured of a very special backpacking experience, where the bounty of the earth is showcased. The simplicity in this beauty is the core of its success.
Guests are requested to respect and nurture the facilities and surrounds, so that the fauna, flora and community benefits from Terra-Khaya. This includes considering all of the packaging they bring onto site and the refuse, or garbage, that they produce.
Being completely off the electrical grid means that there are no plug points, geysers, stoves, televisions or computers. Outdoor ablution blocks are effective, though rustic, and water for bathing is heated up on the fires made from Wattle wood. Still, the Terra-Khaya experience is of a high quality with a dash of fun, leaving very little to be desired.
Guests of this backpackers are requested to eat together. Not only does this give them an opportunity to get to know fellow, like-minded travellers, but it also saves on the resources and energy used to prepare and serve meals to large groups of people.
Chillington Farm covers 38 acres, 1 450 metres above sea level, It is a working farm that uses permaculture and land rehabilitation techniques in order to recover from the invasion of Black Wattle that had completely overwhelmed the area. Since 2007, indigenous trees have been reintroduced and fruit and vegetable gardens established. In addition, grasslands have been created for the local animal species to inhabit. The Black Wattle’s wood continues to be used for fires (used for heating water, cooking food, and so on) and building. Farm-fresh milk is bought every day from a local dairy farm for the freshest and most nutritious product.
There are loads of things to do and see in and around Hogsback. These include horse riding, abseiling, hiking, mountain biking, 4 x 4 trails, and searching for edible mushrooms.
For more information, see www.hogsbackecobackpackers.com.
If you are not into ‘roughing it’ at a backpacker you can stay in any number of accommodation options, from guest houses to self catering. You might also be interested in seeing Eastern Cape accommodation options if staying outside of Hogsback was part of your plan.