It's early in the morning. The sky above the ocean begins to turn red and orange.
A sunrise like in a picture book.
The village awakes and the first animals gather around the waterholes. But I am not talking about lions, elephants and giraffes as many people imagine wild Africa to be. You can find some cows, donkeys and horses. ou always see these four-legged friends as soon as you leave the house.
At the Mdumbi River you have the possibility to observe the life on the riverbank. Between the fascinating mangroves you can discover different bird species and locals, who are busy fishing.
Every now and then the fish jump out of the water.
To get to the village, you have to walk up a long steep path. This can be quite exhausting with 36 degrees in the blazing sun.
Every day the Mamas walk this way home on their heads with branches and sticks that they have collected on the shore for fire. Whether a bucket of water, cooking pots or 25kg of rice, for the head of a Xhosa woman, nothing is too heavy. Xhosa is one of the eleven official languages in South Africa and contains three click sounds.
On the hills there are a few colorful round huts with thatched roof, which the locals themselves build.
Now and then someone sings or calls from one rondavel to the next, even matter if there are 500 meters in between them. You can hear it for miles.
Imagine it a bit like a local radio.
Once you arrive at the Mdumbi Backpacker you will see many new faces. Guests from corners of the whole world. There are candles everywhere and the campfire is being prepared. A few men from the village have taken drums and are now taking care of the music.
It's getting dark and by the campfire.
Friends and strangers get to know each other, share their life experiences and laugh together. I look up at the sky. A starry sky like in a picture book.
And I can't put into words how happy I am to call this magical place my second home.