This is an exhilarating point-to-point ride north along the coast of the Eastern Cape, known as the South African Wild Coast. Meander from beach to beach, from surf to savanna, past shipwrecks while spotting whales and dolphins in the scintillating expanse of the Indian Ocean. You will gallop along deserted beaches and explore hidden coves, and cross the mighty Kei River on a pontoon with your horse, into the undulating green hills of the Transkei to experience the essence of rural Africa on horseback.
The trail winds down from the cliff tops to deserted beaches, and then canter to a sleepy coastal village for lunch at a local pub. At sunset you can play with the horses in the warm lagoon waters before returning to your comfortable room at a small family-run beachside hotel for a memorable meal of fresh seafood and local produce complemented by South African wines.
We advise riders to try and plan to arrive in East London on SA flight 471 at 12.05. It is approximately 1 ½ hours drive to Kei Mouth from the airport. After settling you into your room we make our way to the horse paddocks situated a short distance from where you are staying. After a brief introduction, we will take the horses out for the afternoon, (time & light permitting) and explore the village and river front of Kei Mouth. The first evening we will join you for drinks and dinner, before a good nights rest after you long journey.
After breakfast we will pick you up at about 9.30 am and go to the paddocks to collect the horses. We head across the Kei River and enjoy some great beach riding and get to Trennery’s in time for lunch. The horses are given a few hours off and you get to laze around the swimming pool, walk, play tennis or head for the beach. During the afternoon, we take the horses across country and explore some unusual river formations at “The Gates”. We finish with a sunset canter down the mile long beach.
This morning we ride to the nearby local community development project and discover some Xhosa traditions and customs. We then meander through the tribal villages and ride onto the Nongqawases Pools and waterfalls, and hear about legends of the Xhosa people. After lunch, we ride to the wreck of the Jacaranda. Depending on the tide the riding is energetic and exciting as we canter the beaches and rolling country side.
Heading north, we pass the Jacaranda and turn inland across country and through rural villages to cross the Kobonqaba River. The horses set a steady pace at trot and canter as we head towards Wavecrest in time for lunch. This afternoon is free time. You can take a boat trip up the river and explore the Mangrove swamps, hike, fish, or just kick back and relax in the Jacuzzi! Guest are invited to spoil themselves at the spa, enjoy a massage, manicure, pedicure, Sauna, Steam room. If the sea is right, Conrad will take you out in his ski boat to sea the Dolphins. Drinks on the deck at sunset as we sit and watch the great Crested Cranes come in to roost, end a perfect day.
The low tide dictates our riding path today. We either circle inland towards the remote settlement of Cebe, exploring huge sand dune forests before finding a perfect picnic spot for lunch and head back towards Wavecrest along the endless beaches. Or we do the ride the other way around – this gives us the best beach riding at low tide and a safe river crossing.
Today we start our journey back home. This time we cross the Kobonqaba river at the river mouth. This crossing is a comfortable wade through at low tide, and our departure time will depend on this. We ride back past Trennery’s and call in a Seagulls Beach Hotel for a great pub lunch. We then head towards Kei Mouth and the pontoon crossing before dropping the horses off at the paddocks around 4 o’clock.
Our riders on the 6 night package say good bye after an early morning ride across the Cliff Tops at Morgan Bay. A light lunch will be served in the garden at The Cock Inn.