Wild Coast Horse Trail

Wild Coast South Africa: (IT-SART12)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/africa_south_wild_coast_horse_trail.aspx

Introduction
Wild Coast South Africa
Explore the rugged, unspoiled natural beauty of the Wild Coast of South Africa. Miles and miles of empty beaches, remote rural villages, spectacular country side and fantastic riding!

A malaria-free area, the Wild Coast offers unparalleled riding experiences over rocky headlands, through the rolling hills of the former homeland of the Transkei and along vast tracts of unoccupied golden beaches.

This trail takes riders along the coast from Kei Mouth into the southern region of the Wild Coast, staying at coastal hotels along the way which provide comfortable, unpretentious stop-overs for horse and rider alike! The ride is carefully planned to ensure optimum riding experience balanced with rest periods for our hard-working horses whose responsiveness and enthusiasm is complemented by their fitness and stamina.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in different locations.

Description
The hotels used by the trails offer a series of quaint accommodation all with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Only accessible by others by dirt road or airstrip, they offer a break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Each hotel has something special to offer, from stunning views, river boat trips, rickety rope bridges and whale and dolphin watching from the bar. All hotels will be well remembered even after a fleeting visit. The hotels are comfortable, old fashioned, family sea side resorts, that are made for sandy feet, sun kissed skin, wind blown hair and they welcome us horse riders with informal relaxed Wild Coast hospitality. All rooms have private bathrooms and WIFI on site.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Kei Mouth Guest Lodge
Night 2: Trennery's Hotel
Night 3: Mazeppa Bay
Night 4 & 5: Kob Inn
Night 6: Wavecrest Hotel
Night 7: Kei Mouth Guest Lodge


Kei Mouth Guest Lodge
Situated in the village of Kei Mouth and is a short distance away from the horse yard. There are several lovely rooms available for our riding guests, all with modern en-suite shower and toilets, tea making facilities, and everything else expected in a Bed & Breakfast guest lodge. The lodge is within walking distance to the supermarket, pubs, restaurants, the beach, the Kei River & ferry crossing. Laundry is available for an additional fee.


Trennery's Hotel
Has an old-fashioned feel and is a favorite South African holiday resort. You'll also have a pool to enjoy.


Mazeppa Bay

Thatched building, palm fringed beaches, and an island, make this a unique stop over. Laundry is available for an additional fee.


Kob Inn
It is on the rocks on the edge of the sea. This is a lovely hotel.


Wavecrest Hotel

Stunningly situated, the thatched rondavels make this a very nice retreat. Both pools and hot tubs are available at your disposal. There is a table tennis room, jungle gym and sand-pit, tennis court, squash court and a fishing jetty. Feel free to book some time at the spa (fees not included) for some extra relaxation.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement fee is waived if you are willing to share.


Meals
All meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on the last day.

Breakfast is hearty, with a selection of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast, and the traditional bacon and eggs.
Lunch is varied, sometimes light, a choice from a pub lunch menu, or picnic while out riding.
Dinner is normally around 7:00pm and will consist of a starter, main dish of roast meat/ chicken or casserole-type dish with vegetables, followed by a dessert.

Alcohol is not included, but can be purchased.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
This trip is suitable for strong intermediate and advanced riders only as some days are 30 to 40 km in the saddle, along fast beaches & challenging terrain! Our holiday is for riders who have ridden before and are comfortable and confident at a trot, canter, and gallop, and who can control their horse independently and I open areas. If in doubt, it is a good idea to contact us and discuss your needs and expectations.

Pace
The trail pace varies from walking through the country side to enable good wild life viewing, long trots and canters on open plains, to fast gallops down the beaches if wanted. We generally ride 2 to 3 hours in the morning and again 1 ½ to 2 hours in the afternoon, depending on the weather, sea tides and what the riders can manage. Sometimes it is a little shorter, and sometimes a little longer.
On some days we cover 30 to 40 km in the saddle, along beaches & challenging terrain. We will ride a total of 190 km over 6 riding days.

Horses
Our horses are of a very high quality, endurance fit and well schooled. They are selected and trained for trail riding with great care. Just as your guides are professional and know the area in which they operate, the horses are familiar with the environment and conditions in which they are being ridden. They are sturdy, comfortable to ride, beautiful, forgiving, easy to ride and control, yet lively to command and enjoy their work. Athletic and barefoot, they take you over a wide range of terrain.
Many of our horses are homebred and include Arabs, Anglo Arabs, Arab/ Percheron crosses and of course the trusty Boerperd. The average height of our horses is about 15.2hh.  We find that for trail riders this is a good size horse- making them light and sure-footed along the sandy beaches and rocky headlands.
All types of riders can be catered for, from those that would appreciate gentle, confidence givers to people that like a horse with a lot of personality!

Tack
The saddles are especially designed for trail riding by Leon Liversage. The saddle distributes the weight equally on the horses back and is very comfortable for the rider. The design with a high pommel and cantle makes one sit straight automatically and is therefore better for you and the horse. Each horse has its own saddle to ensure a comfortable-and perfect fit.
Each saddle is equipped with a splash-proof saddlebag carrying 2 water bottles and can hold a camera and other essentials while out riding for the day. The tack and equipment is scrupulously maintained.

Riding Helmet
Helmets are mandatory for this trip. We have a selection, but it is always best to bring your own to ensure a good fit.

Guides
Your professional guides and hosts will receive you with true South African hospitality, having lived their whole lives in this area they ensure that you get the most from your adventure into the malaria-free Eastern Cape Province. Their high standard of service, love of horses, and passion for what they do make this horse-riding holiday exceptional. The guides are expert and the staff will pamper you.
This is a full service riding holiday. Your guides and grooms will prepare the horses for you in the morning and take care of them after the ride. You just show up and enjoy - unless of course you want to get involved - the choice is yours.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary 2020- subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival day
On arrival at East London airport, you will be transferred to your lodge. A light lunch is served, then you will change into your riding clothes and be taken up to the beach paddock.
The afternoon is a short introductory ride around the local area. It will give you the opportunity to blow away those travelling cobwebs and get to know your horse for the week. A relaxed, friendly evening meal awaits you back at the guesthouse along with a good night’s sleep.
Overnight at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge

Day 2: Kei Mouth to Qoloha
Your horse riding adventure starts now! After a light breakfast, we go back to the paddocks. A short ride down to the Kei River and then a crossing by ferry, to ride over rocky headlands and long stretches of beach. The guides will take you to hidden waterfalls for a picnic lunch and a swim if you choose! Then we ride to our accommodation near Qoloha. Here you can stretch your legs on the beach or unwind with a beer by the pool before enjoying a great dinner, and time with your riding group. Our unhurried itinerary will give you plenty of time to explore the hotel.
Overnight at Trennerys or Seagulls Hotel

Day 3: Qoloha to Mazeppa Bay
You will awake to the sound of the sea, and the solitude of being somewhere on the edge of Africa. Now it is time to move on with a distance of 40km to be covered. Heading out from the hotel you will continue up the coast, traversing rolling hills and sandy beaches and pass through rural settlements. You cross a number of inland river drifts, then the ride veers back to the sea for a breakfast or lunchtime picnic on the beach. Tides permitting, the rest of the day is a breath-taking ride on long, endless beaches, which mean faster riding and the thrill of a good horse in a great location. Another traditional beach hotel in Mazeppa Bay is your next stop. Exploring the secluded beach will lead you to a suspension bridge onto one of the only islands along the coast. A pleasant evening spent soaking up the relaxed atmosphere gives riders the opportunity to unwind after a challenging day in the saddle.
Overnight at Mazeppa Bay Hotel

Day 4: Mazeppa Bay to Qwaninga River
The next leg of your adventure is “The Gorge”. This route takes you through a beautiful river ravine and over some tricky terrain. Once through the rocky river bed, the ride heads back to the sea through valleys and along winding cattle tracks before reaching your next destination. You arrive at your next hotel just in time for lunch. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to relax and soak up the laidback hospitality of another coastal treasure. With a pub on the rocks overlooking the wild seas and sheltered private beaches on either side, this is an exquisite location in which to kick back and truly embrace ‘Africa time’.
Overnight at Kob Inn Hotel

Day 5: Beach Ride
Today you should be fresh and ready for a full day in the saddle. The tides dictate the day’s schedule, which will take you about 20kms up the coast along sheltered beaches, into hidden coves and beautiful lagoons. Your guide will select a suitable spot for you to enjoy a picnic and a swim in a lagoon before heading back to hotel for an evening of delicious dining and maybe a few cocktails!
Overnight at Kob Inn Hotel

Day 6: Qwaninga River to KwaGcaleka
It is time to head back down the coast again. Once more, the timing of the day’s riding will be dependent on the tides as you cross rivers, climb hills and speed along beaches on your way to your next Hotel. After a good +/- 30km ride, in the afternoon you can choose to indulge in a little pampering at the hotel’s spa. Maybe explore the rare mangrove forests by either boat or canoe. More South African coastal hospitality awaits you as you relax and allow yourself to be spoilt by the hotel’s team.
Overnight at Wavecrest Hotel

Day 7: KwaGcaleka to Kei Mouth
If the tide is right, the ride back to our lodge will be fast paced and along the beach. After dropping your horse off at the beach base for a well-earned rest, you will have a late lunch at the country club.
Alternatively, after an inland start, we will stop for lunch en route and hit the beaches at low tide for some fast canters in the afternoon before arriving back in Kei Mouth.
Your last night of trail is spent, once again, at the home and guest lodge of Julie-Anne & Clint, where they will treat you to a typical South African Braai; finishing off a week of unforgettable riding with the warm hospitality that the Wild Coast is known for.
Overnight at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge

Day 8: Departure day
Depending on your departure time, you could squeeze in one more ride before the shuttle picks you up to transfer you back to the airport.

Note: All riding and itineraries are subject to change due to variations in local conditions, hotel accommodation availability, rider’s abilities, the weather & the influences of the sea tides and during the rainy season the conditions of the rivers.


Rates and Dates for Wild Coast Horse Trail

Rates include:

Accommodations in quaint hotels, all meals, back-up and luggage transfers, entry to local projects, groom and professional guide services, 6 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionZAR ~US$
    A
    20198 day APR38720$3100
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.08

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2019 Transfer from East London airport at set times (p/u @ 11:35am) -return per car (R1200)
- to be paid locally
2019 No single supplement but subject to availability -- please inquire

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 10/12 - 10/19 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 11/09 - 11/16 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 11/23 - 11/30 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Expired
A 2019 12/07 - 12/14 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Expired

Dates Note: Trails are scheduled throughout the year to coincide with the New or Full moon, ensuring that we get maximum low tides on the beaches and safe river crossings.

Rates do not include:

Airport transfers, drinks, spa treatments, other activities, gratuities and items of a personal nature

Other Info
Meeting: Kei Mouth
Airport: East London Airport
Transfer: East London Airport

Climate:
                                            East London area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

76

76

74

72

69

67

66

66

66

68

71

74

Average Low Temperature (°F)

62

63

61

58

54

51

50

50

52

55

58

61

Average High Temperature (°C)

24

24

24

22

21

20

19

19

19

20

21

23

Average Low Temperature (°C)

17

17

16

14

12

10

10

10

11

13

14

16

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

10

9

10

9

8

7

8

9

9

10

10

10

Source: NOAA
 
 
Seasons
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 east coast, encompassing KwaZulu-Natal and the Wild Coast, is sub-tropical, with high humidity.
 
The climate along the coast is nearly always warm to hot, with humidity levels rising form 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 best time to visit is from the end of March through to August. During September, October and November the weather is generally good but can be unpredictable as this is when we have our spring rains!

Temperatures in summer: 15-26° C (60-80° F) with occasional highs of up to 32°C (90°F) in Dec, Jan and Feb.
Temperatures in winter: 10-22°C (50-70° F) 

January/February: It’s summer, and the weather is hot & humid with afternoon thunder showers, we have to be aware of flooding rivers!  While riding, you can cool off by playing with the horses in the sea and lagoons. 
March: days are long and warm, still some chances of rain as the wet season tapers off.  The riding is good and the sun is not as harsh. 
April/May: Autumn, with warm days and blue skies.  Good riding weather. 
June/July/August:  Winter days are dry and warm, with cool nights.   The sun sets early, but the weather is so fine you can be out on your horse all day. Good riding weather. 
September:  The end of winter.  It can be windy and wet. 
October/November/December:  Lovely time of year, everything is green and fresh as the spring rains bring relief to the parched earth.  Riding is mostly fine during the day, with late afternoon rainstorms and we have to watch the river crossings.  The temperatures are pleasant until around mid-December when the summer heat kicks in. 
December/January is the summer & Christmas holidays. 

What To Bring:
Packing List
• 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.
• Something comfortable to wear to dinner in the evenings.
• Warm clothing 1 x jersey (jumper/fleece) to ride in and a nice one for the evenings!
• A good warm rain proof coat.
• Lightweight rain jacket/wind breaker that can be tied to your saddle.
• Sun block. Factor 50 is recommended!
• Swimming costume and swimming towel.
• A torch (flashlight)
• A camera and binoculars (battery charger).
• South African plug adaptor!
• Reading material
• Other items of a personal nature.
• Enough cash to cover your drinks and spa treatments and other items of a personal nature. All hotels accept Mastercard and Visa.

Note: A valid credit card to cover any unforeseen emergency. This would be used to cover the unlikely event of a medical emergency. The doctors and hospitals in our area demand a deposit to be paid up front. You would be able to reclaim this amount from your travel insurance.