Explore the Wild Coast on Horseback!
Horse Riding Holidays in South Africa along the Eastern Cape Wild Coast.
Horse riding along the beaches of the Wild Coast offers some of the most perfect and spectacular horse riding country-side found anywhere in the world. At the Great Kei River, a pontoon will transport you and your horse into rural Africa where sleepy tribal villages await you. As you ride through undulating hills, comfortable hotels are nestled in coves along the coast, providing perfect stop off points for the horse and rider. Explore the rolling hills and savanna grasslands that is home to a kaleidoscope of gaily painted rondavels that form the heart of the Transkei landscape. You will experience for yourself a rainbow of people and a community working together through tourism. Our horses are very fit and for advanced riders, the pace is fast and exciting. Rolling hills, deep gorges, and cliff tops that plunge into the ocean ensure that this is not just a beach ride; it is an adventure! The beach gallops are exhilarating, the environment pristine, and the views stunning. The local Xhosa people are warm and friendly as we meander through their villages that have been forgotten in this rural African wilderness. One sweeping bay after another, rolling hillsides, river crossings, and warm lagoons ensure adventure-filled days of fabulous horse riding.
· Jodhpurs or riding pants.
· Riding chaps or long boots.
· Own hard hat.
· Shorts for walking and hiking.
· Walking shoes or boots to ride in.
· Slip slops or sandals.
· A couple of light long sleeved shirts with collars to protect you from the sun while riding.
· T-shirts and tops.
· Light long trousers. Jeans will do.
· Smart outfit to change for dinner at the hotels.
· Also bring :
· Warm clothing 1 X jersey (jumper/fleece).to ride in and a nice one for the evenings!
· A good warm rainproof coat.
· Lightweight rain jacket/windbreaker that will be tied to your saddle.
· Sun hat (that stays on) and sunblock.
· Swimming costume and swimming towel.
· A torch (Flashlight) each.
· A camera, (battery charger) & adaptor!
· Reading material
· Other items of a personal nature.
· Bring some DVD movies to watch in the evenings.
· Enough pocket money for day trips & outings. (R3000.00 to R5000.00 will cover day trips and other bits and pieces)
· There is an ATM to draw cash in the local village
· Please note that is customary to leave a tip to housemaids and other staff that help look after you.
NB! A valid credit card to cover any unforeseen emergency. This would be used to cover the unlikely event of you having to go to a hospital if you have a bad fall from a horse. The hospitals in our area demand a deposit to be paid up front. You would be able to reclaim this amount from your travel insurance.
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Work riders will typically be around 18 – 25 years old. We occasionally have more mature riders stay with us to escape and enjoy a career break (30 to 40 something and up!). If you are an older rider we encourage having a young heart and a spirit of adventure. You must have a great love of horses and want to learn & do without any pre-conceived ideas of what this horse riding experience is the homeland. Our Kei River Riding Holiday is for all levels of riders who are comfortable and confident at a trot and canter. The Wild Coast Horse Trail is for strong intermediate and advanced riders only! On the work rider program, riders need to be intermediate and have a sound foundation in flat work schooling. Our horses are of a very high quality, endurance fit and are well schooled. The horses are gentle and reliable enough for the holiday rider, but also of such a standard that the more experienced rider will have a good time. The trail pace varies from walking through the countryside to enable good wildlife viewing, long trots and canters on open plains, too fast gallop down the beaches if wanted
Due to high demand, it is best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. seaside will also allow plenty of time to do fundraising or raid the piggy bank! Always contact us to check availability, as some places may become available at short notice. First of all, contact us to confirm your chosen dates and availability. Then complete our online booking form and rider details. We will send confirmation and payment details – and that’s it…you are booked!
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The Eastern Cape Wild Coast South Africa
The Transkei Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Situated an hour north of Buffalo City East London off the N2 between Durban & Port Elizabeth. Stunningly beautiful landscape. A magical combination of rural Africa, Xhosa traditions, rolling hills, jagged cliff, and wild un-spoilt beaches. One of the last remaining untouched coastal ecosystems in Southern Africa & the best way to explore it is on horseback.
We are a family of adventurers & nature lovers; horses, horse riding, endurance riding, hunting, fishing, and the sea; and of course beautiful Sunray Farm and great Africa outdoors is all about who we are.
We live the life that we dreamed, we are very blessed and very grateful to be able to live and work and love doing what we do. Escape with us for a while, and experience our lifestyle…
The Wild Coast
The “Wild Coast” is the rugged, remote, fairly unpopulated stretch of South African coastline between East London and Port Edward, on the N2 between Durban in the North and Port Elizabeth in the South.
This stretch of some 280 km of cliff faces, perfect beaches, and rich tidal estuaries is between the Mtamvuna River in the north and theGreat Kei River in the south. Inland, to the west, lie the Stormberg and Drakensberg mountain ranges, which reach on the altitude of 2400 meters, descending to the Indian Ocean in the east.
At the Wild Coast, the sun shines day after day, month after month, on this beautiful and extensive tract of undulating pastoral countryside studded with whitewashed, thatched rondavel huts.
Since Portuguese mariners first pioneered the sea route around the Cape to India, this notorious coast has claimed countless ships such as the Governor, Waratah, and Oceania. The prospect of finding sunken gold and diamonds has lured treasure hunters to the Wild Coast over the generations. Although coins, trinkets, and fragments of porcelain from sunken hulks are still occasionally washed up along the shore, it is, of course, the natural wonder of the Wild Coast that attracts the majority of visitors to the many resorts scattered along the coastline.
The rural people live a life richly colored by tribal tradition and beliefs. Brightly colored examples of the bead-work, together with traditional pottery and basketwork can be bought from roadside vendors and at some trading posts. The whole region, once known as the Transkei homeland, is the home of a major section of the Xhosa-speaking southern Nguni tribes and of course the birthplace of the great Nelson Mandela.
It is also called the Border. For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was the region of conflict between the British colonists, moving ever eastwards, and the southward moving Xhosa peoples. A simmering border conflict of nine major wars was fought along the Great Kei river.
The Indian Ocean creates a sub-tropical land of flora and fauna from different climates all flourishing side by side like nowhere else in Southern Africa. The climate along the coast is nearly always warm to hot, with humidity levels rising from December to March. The climate is temperate with warm summers and mild winters. Soft gently falling rain occurs during the summer months (November to March) although it can be wet it is never cold. The winters are perfect. The average minimum temp rarely goes below 10 ‘C and the days are around 25’C.The best time to visit, fish and ride is from the end of March through to August. During October and November, the weather is generally good but can be unpredictable as this is when we have our spring rains!
Fauna & Flora
The flora rejoices in a vast array of indigenous coastal forest, prehistoric Cycads, tree orchids, Kiepersol, Sneezewood, and Yellowwood. Lush vegetation with plentiful water, forest and fruit trees provides a beautiful environment for over 250 species of birds. Inland, coastal and seabirds rub shoulders and compete for sky space. Above it all, the regal Fish Eagle can be heard to shriek his haunting cry.
Our Horses are very much loved and the special relationship we have with them ensures that you have a wonderful horse riding holiday. Each horse has been hand-picked or homebred for the purpose of trail and safari riding. Besides good conformation and movement, we select our horses for their exceptional temperament and then school and educate them to be professional at the work that is required of them. We use holistic horsemanship principles, developing their trust and a willingness to want to work with us. Our horses are kept out 24/7 and range over a huge bushveld area in a natural herd. They are barefoot and are schooled in English style in the arena and a relaxed western type of ride out on the trail. The horses well being are always our first priority, they are the personalities that make your riding holiday exceptional.
We have a mix of Part Arabs, Anglo Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Percheron crosses & South Africa Boerperd.
The average height of our horses is about 15.2hh. We find that this is a good size horse for holiday riders and they are light and sure-footed along the sandy beaches and rocky headlands. We have a good selection of horses that suit most riders from nervous novice through to advanced.
The horses are exceptionally fit and in Endurance condition, they are responsive and forward going. They are kept on natural bush grazing, fed the best concentrate feeds and Lucerne. They are regularly dipped, de-wormed, vaccinated and kept in the very best working condition.