1. Tell us your story. How did Coffee Shack Adventure Backpackers get started?
I was unemployed, lurking around having fun and surfing, after 10 years abroad, surfing and travelling. I was a silent partner in two hostels, when the stunning location of Coffee Shack was offered to us. We were given two days to decide if we should start a new backpackers lodge in the middle of nowhere. Next thing, I was off to Coffee Bay, and we opened three weeks later.
2. What makes Coffee Shack Adventure Backpackers different from your competitors?
I think that we have a few points of difference: an absolutely idyllic location on the beach at a tiny river mouth, on one of the most beautiful and unique sections of coastline in the world, the “Wild Coast”. Secondly, 40% community ownership, 90% local employment, a significant contributor to local empowerment and education initiatives, together with sustainable environmental practices and proudly accredited by Fair Trade Tourism.
Lastly this allows us to create some unique experiences and packages for our guests, that are just not available elsewhere.
3. What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
First and foremost is our partnership with our community, and the various programs we manage, most notably the Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori Nursery school (Early Learning Centre), which is providing a world class foundation phase education to 60 children between three and six years old. Then the fact that we have managed to lure so many travellers so far off the beaten track, to come and enjoy Coffee Shack and Coffee Bay.
4. What can we expect to see from Coffee Shack Adventure Backpackers in the future?
I think that we can still do a lot more to improve the lives of staff and communities living in the area. By early 2024, the main property with the reception, café and bar will be totally off grid using solar electricity and rain water.
5. Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
Food is the new “bar”.
6. What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
To keep in touch with youth tourism trends.
7. Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event (WYSTC, STAY WYSE, WETM-IAC)? If so, what was your experience with the event?
I attended WYSTC 2023 and as usual it was great. An added bonus was to catch up with friends we have not seen for years, due to the pandemic.
8.What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
Primarily very high airfares, which are two to three times the pre-pandemic levels, combined with the current tight global economy, means that significantly less people, particularly those with tight budgets are flying long haul (or can afford to). This is causing a lot of poverty in developing countries, amongst the informal tourism traders dependent on tourism for an income.
Founding Partner & MD
Coffee Shack Adventure Backpackers
Coffee Shack is located in Coffee Bay, a deeply traditional area of South Africa. A fun, good-value hostel with excellent facilities and amazing, friendly local staff. It provides clean, safe, budget accommodation which includes ensuite private rooms, dormitories and camping. Coffee Shack offers a variety of packages, with its speciality being its “Learn to surf packages” for five, seven or 14 days. The Adventure package is a contemporary rural African experience, with village homestays, cultural learnings and lots of adrenalin. The Responsible & Sustainable Adventure Package is an educational tour into sustainable development and tourism, with some adventure thrown in.
Membership type: Associate Member