Tucked away between the picturesque mountain of the Hemel and Aarde Valley near Hermanus is Heaven and Earth Horse Trail Rides and Self-catering Cottages on Karweyderskraal Farm. Whether you would like to enjoy a slow gaited walk or an adventurous outride on horseback, we offer a variety of trails with scenic mountain views or wine tasting on spectacular wine estates.
In November 2012 Danie van Zyl and his brother-in-law Karl Gotze founded Heaven and Earth Trails that has since become one of the most reliable and best run horse trail businesses in the Western Cape, but don’t take our word for it, read full reviews from our happy clients on Tripadvisor, Facebook, SA Venues or Google reviews. We take great pride in allowing our horses to run together as a herd in large paddocks, barefoot trimming them and granting them to behave as horses in their natural environment. Our horses are trained to be easily handled by novices or experienced riders alike. Our clients’ safety is of the utmost importance to us and therefore we have adopted a health and safety methodology to try and reduce the risks associated with horse riding. Some of the measures include:
– Meticulous training and continuous handling, and specifically desensitizing our horses to possible hazards, for example, farm machinery, vehicles, chainsaws, gunshots, plastic bags, water hazards, etc.
– Incident reports completed after every trail where any serious issues are recorded and then follow-up training or remedial action taken.
– All trail guides have extensive experience, valid first aid training certificates, and a first aid kit is taken along with every trail.
– We have an onsite weather station and we’ll cancel any rides if the weather is inclement or windy.
– We always move at a pace that’s comfortable for the least experienced rider.
– Before the onset of every trail, there’s a 15-30 minute induction and training session in the lunge ring.
– Helmets are provided and tack is inspected weekly to identify worn or damaged equipment.
– There’s a code of conduct that we endorse very strictly – respect for horses and clients alike.
Scenic and exhilarating Horse Trails near Hermanus in the Overberg
Whether you have never been on a horse before or toughened by the saddle, our experienced horse riding instructors will guide you on our trails which takes you either through fynbos, wildflowers, orchards, vineyards or beautiful mountain scenery. We cater for beginners and advanced riders alike – we have bombproof ponies for young riders(age 6 and up) and strong horses that can carry up to 105kg. PLEASE NOTE: We do NOT offer beach rides.
Our Orchard Trail is available daily from 12:00 – 14:00. We can accommodate 2 to 8 riders at a time on this trail. PLEASE NOTE that occasionally we might join different groups together if there are numerous inquiries. During this trail the focus will be on handling the horse correctly and introducing clients to their first trot. Ideal for beginners or intermediate riders that would like to experience an adventure on horseback in beautiful surroundings.
We offer private and exclusive trails at 9:00 and 15:00 daily. Ideal for taking that special person or the whole family on a splendid adventure. During these time slots, we only book one group and our guides will give riders special attention and instruction during the ride. Any experience level can be accommodated – walk, trot and canter as per clients needs.
Cross Country Trail
Have you mastered showjumping in the arena and are looking for some lovely obstacles in pristine Fynbos? Why not try out our own beautifully designed 3,9km Cross Country trail? There are a couple of ditches to steer through and thirty natural obstacles (30-40cm) that needs maneuvering and jumping. With any obstacle, you will have the option of completing it or steering around it. Our guides will make sure all riders are comfortable at all times, move at a speed they prefer and give the necessary instruction to make this one of your most memorable experiences on horseback.
Sumaridge Scenic Trail:
If you are an experienced rider that longs for a relaxing, scenic ride with lots of walking and trotting; and the odd canter here and there; we highly recommend this trail. Starting off through apple orchards, vineyards, pine forests and a stud farm, you finally reach Sumaridge Cellar. From here there are spectacular views over the Valley. On your way back you will either meander along the banks of the De Bos dam or trek through Volmoed up the winding Fynbos track towards the stables.
The Frame House Wine and Picnic Trail
The Frame House is complemented by the aromatic smell of the indigenous fynbos, majestic mountains, and fertile soil. Innocently draped in pure white, this frame house is the perfect destination to our guests who would appreciate a stroll on horseback for beginners or an exhilarating ride with lots of trotting and cantering possibilities for our experienced guests.
Whether it is wine-tasting on the deck overlooking the vines, or a wicker picnic basket for two to enjoy, this experience promises to be delightfully, dreamily and memorable. To enjoy the picnic basket for two, it is necessary to request this with your booking inquiry.
Rotary Way Trail
The Crème de la crème and our top-rated trail for Experienced riders – this trail has it all. Walking among pristine Fynbos, trotting through grandeur vineyards, cantering across open fields and galloping homebound, you will whisk over this 23km trail. Reaching the summit of the Rotary Way above Hermanus is the main attraction, with breathtaking views over the whole of Walkerbay. On your way back you will pass “Die Plaaskombuis”(The Farm Kitchen) restaurant and can quickly make a pitstop if necessary.
Weekly Riding Club
‘Are you an Overstrand Local? Why not join our Riding Club? Every Friday afternoon at 16:00 we host a social trail for beginners and intermediate riders. It’s a great way to forget about the busy week and start off the weekend. Regular intermediate riders are invited to join our monthly social ride on a Saturday to one of the many sightseeing spots or interesting venues in our Valley.
Looking for something different….? How about tailoring our Standard Trail into a Special event? We can customize the trail into a picnic, kiddie party, engagement photo shoot or just sundowners in the mountain with magnificent views. Maybe a teambuilding Cattle Drive or as the Aussies call it: “Muster!”
Or that young daughter of yours that adores horses and would like to take her friends for her birthday to our picnic spot on horseback.
How about some private lessons for yourself or your child? We have 2 lunge rings and arena on the farm. The options are countless…speak to us
Meet Our Team:
Trail- and field guide, Instructor
Louzanne has an Equine and Fieldguide CV as long as my arm with a vast amount of knowledge related to our beautiful Fynbos area. Friendly and very capable – she will make your horseriding experience a memorable one.
Trailguide and Instructor
Bronwyn has three energetic kids, yet she still finds the time to help with the trails in her busy schedule. She and her sisters used to run their own stable yard and riding school back in Kwazulu Natal before she got married and moved to Hermanus. She loves being involved with the instruction of new riders. Bronwyn nicknamed 3 of our horses “The Dream Team” for their marvelous work ethic and suitability for any experience level rider.
Danie van Zyl
Horse owner and stand-in guide
Danie has been managing Karweyderskraal Farm since 2005 and his love for horses only developed in 2010 when he and his wife Sonja bought two mares – not knowing they were actually pregnant at that stage. Later that year Sirocco and Allegro were born and they are currently two of “The Dream Team” that numerous riders have come to know.
Groom and Stablehand
Jaylin is the man behind the scenes making sure the stables, tack, and paddocks are well maintained and the horses are cared for daily. He helps with exercising, lunging, desensitizing, feeding and the list just keeps going. Jaylin loves what he does and you’ll see it when you visit our stables.
Born and bred on Karweyderskraal this Thoroughbred X mare is a pure delight to ride and has an inquisitive nature. She’s part of “The Dream Team” with impeccable behavior, yet some days her cheekiness brings delight to her spectators and we love her all the more for it.
Also born on Karweyderskraal this Boerperd X gelding will enter a war zone with you and not flinch at the drop of a bomb. Laid back and mellow – novice riders adore him but put an experienced rider on Sirocco and he becomes an intercontinental ballistic missile with power steering(If that’s your thing).
Also nicknamed “Houdini” because of his ingenious ways of escaping from any paddock or gated enclosure. “Nappi” is the third member of “The Dream Team” and willing do anything his rider asks him to. He has phenomenal endurance and power but even the tiniest of riders can control him.
Meet Buck – the Boerperd X Saddlebred gelding we know very little of, except that he has the softest, kindest eyes of all our horses. We rescued Buck from a drought-stricken farm at the beginning of 2017 and since then he has become a very reliable steed with good work ethics.
This young mare is a purebred SA Vlaam from Williston. We acquired her to pull our carriage but these days she helps out with the trails (if we can steal her away from Sonja). She’s unique for 3 reasons – her excessive flatulence, she’s our only Afrikaans horse and my wife Sonja adores her – so be very fortunate if you happen to ride Juliet.
Tooings “Mr. T”
Tooings is an inquisitive and affectionate Boerperd gelding. His nickname “Mr. T” was given by Bronwyn since his Dutch name “Tooings” is difficult to pronounce in English. Very sensitive to his rider’s commands – Tooings handles nimbly and precise. Therefore, a great asset when mustering cattle.
An off the track Thoroughbred who won a couple of races at Kenilworth and Durbanville. Our own “Chuck Norris”has the greatest character you’ll ever find in a horse. When mustering cattle, Poker will batter through bushes -rather than around them and whatever you do – don’t whisper “Let’s go boy” in his ears, otherwise, he will gallop ahead at full
Tibby “A Little Tibsy”
Another Off the Track Thoroughbred, “A Little Tibsy” competed at Turffontein where she did exceptionally well especially in the longer races before she ended up on Karweyderskraal. She is the fastest horse of the herd but on an out ride, she will be far behind – dragging her feet and plodding on like a donkey. Kids and novice riders enjoy her for it.
The oldest lady of the herd and the Alpha mare – Lara is a schoolmaster Thoroughbred. She was bitten by a puffadder in 2013 on her left front leg and never recovered fully. These days we only let her carry smaller riders and we use her regularly in the riding school to keep her fit and supple. She might look a bit dull and shaky, but she’s got a heart of gold and is extremely capable.
Amirah is Lara’s foal – born in 2014 – she’s our youngest team member. Her sire is Amir, an Arabian stallion from McGregor. Although she’s still young and a bit green in the trail business, she has an incredible willingness to learn and work, and if she’s anything like her mom Lara, she is going to be a star.
Our newest member of our team – Coda is laid back and cool as a cucumber. Strongly built horse with good conformation and inquisitive nature.
Meet our cheeky and affectionate pony Lady Gray. Kids adore her and once warmed up, she is like the Duracell bunny who never stops. Contributing in the riding school, with kiddies parties and trail rides (young kids aged 6-12).
Last but not the least is Emma our Shetland Pony. She adores attention and grooming from kids. Ideal for young riders that are nervous or anxious, since she is not forward going at all. Ages 5-9 years are well suited for Emma.