Ride Overview - Ultimate Beach Ride
If your dream is a horseback riding vacation on dramatic beaches, this one is for you! We have never seen a horseback riding vacation where every type of sandy terrain is experienced! These beaches are waiting for you on the Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. You will experience the thrill of riding along golden beaches, coastal forests and grasslands, crossing sand dunes and exploring secret coves. This is a faster pace ride with opportunities to swim with your horse. One day will be enjoyed riding in the Alexandria State Forest, a narrow stretch of pristine indigenous forest bordering the Alexandria dune field, one of the largest active dune fields in the world. In addition, a non-riding day is planned to visit either South Africa’s 3rd largest game reserve, the Addo Game Reserve to see the “Big 7” – elephant, black rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, great white shark and sperm whale or the Sibuya Game Reserve home to the Big 5 – lion, leopard, rhinoceros elephant, and Cape buffalo – and the rare Bontebok and Oribi antelopes as well as nearly 400 species of birds. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
This horse trail exceeded all my expectations! It was the best trail of my recent horse riding journeys. From the hosts, Jono and his team, to the way the horses are treated. My horse, Abby, was an absolute pleasure to ride. It was wonderful to notice that the horses also enjoyed the trail. The diverse landscapes in this region of South Africa is second to none. The beautiful and extensive beach gallops were unique, and exploring the forest and bush with the wild animals made it a varied and exciting horse riding experience. C.H.
Ride Itinerary - Ultimate Beach Ride
Day 1: Saturday
In the afternoon, you will be met at the Port Elizabeth Airport and driven (2 hour) to the Kowie River Mouth near the sea shore. In the evening, you will meet your guide and fellow riders over drinks and savory platters with traditional recipes. The accommodation is comfortable with sea views.
Day 2: Sunday
After a breakfast of yoghurt, muesli, cereals and toast we saddle up and head for the Kasouga River. The beach is remote and spacious and the ride is normally quite fast with long canters between walks. The scenery is spectacular and the beaches deserted. After a water break for the horses are at the Kasouga Farm, you will head back to Port Alfred. Along the way, you will have a packed lunch of nuts, dried fruit and biltong. We cover about 22 miles/35km on this day. Back at Port Alfred, you will enjoy drinks and a nice hot home cooked meal.
Day 3: Monday
The tide will direct your trail. At low tide, you will pass Ship Rock and wade through the waist deep Kasuoga River. Today is a fairly fast pace to catch the tide so the canters are long but controlled. The route will take you to the two tidal rivers that need to be crossed at low tide. When you get to near Kenton-on-Sea, you will meet the backup vehicle and remove the saddles and prepare for the river crossing. You will be provided with a life jacket for the swim. The first river to cross is the Kareiga River and then there is a 1.80 miles/3 km walk without the saddles to cross the Bushman’s River. After you saddle up, you will ride to the trail’s base. Here you will have a nice picnic lunch. The night’s lodging will be in a comfortable cottage in Kenton-on-Sea and your dinner is a traditional South African braai.
Day 4: Tuesday
Today is a non-riding day and a welcome rest from two invigorating riding days. Your group will spend the day at either at Sibuya Game Reserve with a boat trip and a safari in a game vehicle or in the Addo Elephant National Park touring with a small bus. Animals that can be seen are lion, elephant, buffalo, zebra and many others. We stay in the same place as yesterday.
Day 5: Wednesday
On this day, you will ride at a slower pace to explore hidden coves and rocky outcrops. You will see stone-age pottery in the ancient human middens left behind by the Khoi San, the original inhabitants of the area. Depending on the weather, you will unsaddle and swim in the sea or in the lagoon of the Boknes River. At a hidden small bay between big outcrops of rock, your group will take a break to look for unique sea shells. After a packed lunch on top of Diaz Cross (a memorial to the first European to round the tip of Africa), you will enjoy the spectacular views of the coastline. Your day ends at the next beach front cottage. You will be served an evening meal of fresh fish and chips and salads.
Day 6: Thursday
After breakfast, your guide will lead you along the coast. The first part of the day’s ride is along the shore and before you leave the sea, you will taste the sweet water that comes from a permanent spring. If it is low tide, you can collect a few sea snails to sample later during dinner as it is considered a delicacy with the locals. A dirt road will brings you to Woody Cape Backpackers for a packed lunch overlooking the breathtaking sea and coastline. You will have an option to go for a swim in the large swimming pool or sit at the poolside bar. In the evening, you can take a sunset walk to the sand dunes. The evening meal is ordered from a menu at the restaurant.
Day 7: Friday
This is the game safari on horseback day. We start the ride along the dirt road that goes through the Alexandria State Forest and then we turn off into a private game reserve. Here we have the chance to ride with giraffe, zebra, Cape buffalo, Eland, waterbuck, bushbuck, Nyala and many more. Here the scenery changes into rolling grasslands and forest with huge hills and the constant view of the sand dunes and sea all the way to Port Elizabeth. We have a picnic lunch in the shady forest and after crossing another long valley and up the other side we come to the exclusive and remote thatched cottage set on top of an enormous hill. The horses stay in the enclosed garden of the cottage and the herds of wild animals graze all around in front of the house. The evening meal is a barbeque, South African style, and we eat around a large candle lit dining room table. In good weather we sit on the deck and enjoy the stars.
Day 8: Saturday
A short ride will bring you back to the stable where you will meet the transfer vehicle to take you to the airport.
Ride Details - Ultimate Beach Ride
Dates: Year round, Saturday – Saturday
Length of ride: 6
Meeting point: Port Elizabeth Airport
Ability level: INTERMEDIATE Capable of trot and canter in open spaces. Swimming with the horse. Some bareback riding.
Horse: Arab crosses and hardy bush horses
Group size: 1 – 8
Daily Riding Hours: 5 – 7
Weight Restriction: 230 lbs.
Saddles: McLellan and English
Vaccinations: Please consult your doctor. Vaccinations for typhoid and malaria. Yellow fever at least 10 days before arrival is required for travelers originating from or transiting through WHO-designated yellow fever countries.
Non-riding activity: Beach walks, shopping, bird watching, fishing, river trips by motorized boat
Hotel/s: strong 3* perched beach cottages and private B & B
Price per person: $1,580.00per person, double or single occupancy
*Prices are based on USD/EURO exchange rate and will be fixed on the date of your final payment.
Includes: lodging, transfer to and from the airport, all meals, horse, tack, guide, entrance to game reserve
Not included: airfare
ANNUAL TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL:
Ultimate Beach Ride: Gallery
Ultimate Beach Ride
Eastern Cape, South Africa