Trail riding in South Africa
South Africa

Kei River Beach Trail

The Kei Mouth riding trail is an excellent horseback holiday for all levels of riders who want to experience the wonderful Wild Coast of South Africa on horseback. See waterfalls, hidden coves and cliff tops coupled with canters along the long sandy beaches and splashing in the ocean. Enjoy a mini trail along the coast for three days of riding adventures staying at the lovely Wavecrest Beach Hotel & Spa.
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Centre based holidays
10 days/7 days riding
From £1,425
  • Riding cantering along the beach in South Africa
    Enjoy the Wild Coast in South Africa
  • A group of riders smiling and cantering on the beach
    A fun trail ride with lots of canters!
  • Watching the ocean from horseback
    The best views are through the ears of a horse...
  • Rider swimming in a lake with a horse in South Africa
    Trail riding in South Africa
  • Riders on a fast trail ride on the Wild Coast of South Africa
    Enjoy fast canters and gallops on the beach
  • A group of riding on the beach, in South Africa
    Beach riding holiday in South Africa, Wild Coast
  • Horseback riders on a riding holiday in South Africa, trail riding
    Enjoy the beautiful beach views of the Wild Coast on horseback
  • Horses and riding crossing the estuary on a ferry on the Kei River beach trail
    A riding holiday with a few surprises!
  • Riders and horses posing near a wrecked ship on a trail riding holiday
    This riding holiday is a more affordable version of the popular "Wild Coast Trail"
  • Horses and riders standing in the ocean, South Africa, Wild Coast
    Enjoy the fresh air and cool waves of the Ocean

Itinerary

Highlights

- Long canters that go on and on for miles along deserted and wild beaches
- Discover the stunning coastline of the Eastern Cape
- A chance to see dolphins and whales out at sea (peak viewing months for Southern Right whales and Humpbacks are July - November)
- Groups are usually limited to a maximum of 8 riders
- Comfortable accommodation
- Ideal for those who don't want the hassle of moving on every day.

For a full week itinerant trail ride, please see our "Wild Coast" itinerary.
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE – JOHANNESBURG - No riding

    International flight overnight to Johannesburg. Please note that you need to depart London at c. 19:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg at c. 07:00 in time to make your connection onto the flight to East London.
  • Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG - EAST LONDON - KEI MOUTH - 1-2 hour riding

    On arrival at East London airport, you will be transferred to Kei Mouth. We recommend flight SA471 from Johannesburg arriving in East London between 11.35 and 12:00. You will be collected from East London airport and should arrive in Kei Mouth, at about 13:00.

    A light lunch will be served at the Kei Mouth Guest Lodge. Change into your riding clothes before meeting the horses. This afternoon you will ride for on an hour or a little longer to blow away the travelling cobwebs and give the guides a chance to assess your riding and make sure that they have the right horses allocated. Down by the river mouth you will have your first chance to canter along the beautiful beaches that this area is famous for.

    Overnight and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge.
  • Day 3 3: KEI MOUTH RIVER - 5h riding

    Enjoy a continental style breakfast and then it's back to your room to collect your swim suit! The trail will take you through a kaleidoscope of rural Xhosa villages, past mysterious waterfalls, and rolling hillsides. A good canter along the beach is also on the cards for today. After a delicious picnic lunch by the waterfall (and maybe even a swim if you are feeling brave!) there will be long canters over endless hillsides, ensuring that you have had an exhilarating first day’s ride.

    Overnight and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge.
  • Day 4 4: KEI MOUTH -MORGAN BAY-KEI MOUTH - 3-4 hours riding

    Today you will set off in the opposite direction and explore the magnificent Morgan Bay cliff tops - you really are on the edge of Africa as you take in the views from the back of your horse. Then it’s off to discover Yellowwood Forest - a favourite place for wood fired pizza & forest fare. You will end the day cantering down Morgan Bay beach before heading back to the stables.

    Overnight and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge.
  • Day 5 5: KEI MOUTH RIVER - 4-5 hours riding

    Today there are several different alternatives and your hosts will mix and match them to your requirements.

    • A full day ride up the coast for a pub lunch
    • Try your hand at ground work, and TTouch methodologies
    • Go explore the local area on horse or by foot
    • A big 5 jeep safari & elephant interaction at a nearby game reserve
    • Elunxwemeni Township Tour with our local guide & friend Siyabulela

    PLEASE NOTE: Some of these activities are not included in the package and will be paid for locally in cash or by card on site to the operator.
  • Day 6 6: KEI MOUTH RIVER - WAVECREST - 4-5h riding

    Wavecrest Hotel
    Your overnight adventure trail begins! A full day riding along the coast, and the scenery is simply stunning. There is a good chance of spotting dolphins in the surf as you canter along the beautiful stretches of beach. Lunch is either a saddlebag picnic or at Trennerys Hotel where you can soak up the sun and bathe in the sea before heading back to Wavecrest in the afternoon.
  • Day 7 7: Wavecrest - 3 hours riding

    Wavecrest Hotel
    Departure time this morning is dictated by the tide. A fantastic three-hour ride across country awaits you, through rolling hills and traditional villages. You will ride along stretches of beach at low tide – the gallops are exhilarating. There will be a river crossing at the start or the end of the ride (tide dependent) which will complete this magical morning. You will be back at the hotel in time for lunch.

    This afternoon you will have a choice of activities, you can take a boat trip up the river and explore the stunning mangrove estuary of the Nxaxo river, go walking or just relax at the spa or in the jacuzzi. This afternoon is totally flexible as there are so many options to consider.

    Overnight and dinner at Wavecrest Hotel.
  • Day 8 8: WAVECREST - KEI MOUTH - 4-5 hours riding

    You will head off from Wavecrest this morning. If the tide is right, the ride back to Kei Mouth will be fast 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, if it is an inland start, you will stop for lunch and then at low tide get ready for some fast canters home. Your last night of the trail is spent, once more, at the guest lodge where you will be treated to a typical South African Braai. A great finish to your week with unforgettable riding and warm hospitality that the Wild Coast is known for.

    Overnight at Kei River Mouth Lodge.
  • Day 9 9: - EAST LONDON - JOHANNESBURG - LONDON

    You will be collected at 09:00 for flights at noon or 14:00 for flights at 17:00 or you can be dropped off at another address as arranged (we can organise an extension: safari in the Kruger, riding safari in Botswana, a visit to Victoria Falls, or even a relaxing beach holiday in Mozambique!).

    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.
  • Day 10 10 - EUROPE

    Arrival in London early in the morning.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Prices quoted are per person sharing accommodation, and exclude international flights to East London and transfers.

- Please note that these prices are based on the South African Rand rate which can be volatile, we will confirm all prices to you upon booking.

- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 8 riders.

- Airport transfers are an extra c. 1200 ZAR (c. £70) per person per transfer at a set time. Transfers are payable locally in ZAR only and the cost is shared between the number of passengers.

- Single rooms are provided if available and subject to availability only.

SPECIAL GROUP DISCOUNTS, valid for riders booking together
- 2 riders booking together: -10% for the first rider
- 3 riders booking together: -25% for the first rider
- 4 riders booking together: -50% for the first rider
- For 5 or more riders booking together, the first rider will get a free space.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Inland transport

Support vehicule and driver

Accommodation

5 nights in a guesthouse, 2 nights at a hotel

Meals

Full board from lunch on day 2 to breakfast on day 9

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

Return airport transfers - See dates and prices
International flights

Extras

Staff gratuities

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Extras

Trip extensions or additional activities
  • January - February 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    24/01/2020 02/02/2020 £1,425 Open Book now
    31/01/2020 09/02/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    14/02/2020 23/02/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/02/2020 08/03/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • March - April 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/03/2020 15/03/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/03/2020 22/03/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/03/2020 29/03/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/03/2020 05/04/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    03/04/2020 12/04/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/04/2020 19/04/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/04/2020 03/05/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    08/05/2020 17/05/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    15/05/2020 24/05/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    22/05/2020 31/05/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    05/06/2020 14/06/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    12/06/2020 21/06/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/06/2020 28/06/2020 £1,425 Open Book now
    26/06/2020 05/07/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/07/2020 19/07/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/07/2020 26/07/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/07/2020 02/08/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    07/08/2020 16/08/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    14/08/2020 23/08/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    21/08/2020 30/08/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/09/2020 13/09/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/09/2020 20/09/2020 £1,425 Open Book now
    18/09/2020 27/09/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    02/10/2020 11/10/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/10/2020 18/10/2020 £1,425 Open Book now
    16/10/2020 25/10/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/10/2020 01/11/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/11/2020 15/11/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/11/2020 29/11/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/11/2020 06/12/2020 £1,425 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

There is a stable of approximately 40 horses which are calm, energetic and sure-footed. Many are home-breds and have been bred by your host. They are a mixture of Arabs, Thoroughbreds, crossbreeds or local African horses such as Boeperds.

It is possible to try different horses on the days you are staying at Kei River before you head on the mini-trail.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

This trail is open to riders from novice to experienced. At the minimum you should be able to control your horse at the walk and trot. Complete beginners are not accepted. You will ride out in groups of similar ability and we will not mix novice and experienced riders. Experienced riders will be in their own group to enjoy a faster pace and longer rides.

There is a maximum weight limit of 15 stones/95 kg - please contact us if you weigh more than this as it may be possible to pay a supplement for an extra horse.

Pace

The riding is at mixed pace, with plenty of opportunities for long trots and canters along the beaches or on inland paths. You are divided in groups of similar ability and the pace of your ride depends on your riding levels.

Tacking ability and participation

Your guides will feed, care for and saddle your horses, but you may wish to help untack at the end of the day.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for long hours in the saddle in the African sun.

Equestrian equipment

The saddles are comfortable for riders with a high pommel and shallow seat which permit a good seat - most also have a
sheepskin seatsaver on top. Each saddle also has a small saddle bag sufficient for carrying bottles of water and sunscreen necessary for the entire riding day.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

Kei Mouth Guest Lodge is near to the stables, so a great base. It's a short walk from the Kei River and the ferry crossing and also from the beach. There are three ensuite twin/double bedrooms. Substantial home cooked meals and South African braais are on the menu. Hotels on the mini-trail are basic, bus clean and comfortable.

Wavecrest has the most amazing setting on the banks of the estuary of the Nxaxo River. This area is known for its breathtaking scenery. The ensuite rooms overlook the river, beach and sea.

Meals

Meals are provided by each hotel you stay at.

Breakfast is usually buffet style and includes cereals, bread, tea and coffee, fruit.
Lunch may be a picnic carried in your guides saddlebag or something light at the hotel.
Dinner usually consists of three courses and is local fare - hearty and tasty. Fish is often available!

Drinks are not included at hotels, but are very cheap! You will put drinks on your room bill each evening and settle up before departing in the morning. Tea/coffee/water are provided.

Vegetarians and special diets can usually be catered for but must be advised in advance so that we can notify each hotel.

Climate

The rainy season is between November and the end of March, with some storms at the end of the day. The warmest months are January and February: expect around 26°C. The South African winter (July/August) is cooler with 10°C during the day on average.

May: temperatures between 13°C-23°C during the day
June/July/August/September: the South African winter (July/August) is cooler with an average of 20°C during the day.
October: between 14°C-22°C
November: lovely riding weather with temperatures between 16°C and 23°C
December: 17°C - 25°C

Guide and local team

Julie-Anne and her team of guides are your hosts on this riding holiday. They will share with you their love for their horses and this beautiful part of South Africa.

Tips

We would recommend approximately £10 per guest per day which you can give to your guide to distribute amongst the team

Packing list

Head
- Hard hats are compulsory and we recommend you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - required all year round, but particularly during the winter months (May - October) when there can be rain or thunderstorms
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged (they can also be hot!)
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for when not riding
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear - pyjamas

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for the pools - the sea is generally not safe for swimming
- Binoculars for spotting dolphins/whales along the coastline
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...

Miscellaneous
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- Any liquids in your hold luggage, such as shampoo, moisturizer, over 100ml should be decanted into small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- In your hand luggage take any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your boots/ hiking shoes and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in you hand luggage is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all UK, Australian, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals.
Passports must have at least two blank facing pages for entry stamps - visitors have been refused entry by airport immigration officials for flouting this regulation.
Yellow fever certificates are required if your journey starts from or passes through a country with yellow fever (such as Zambia/Victoria Falls).Visas for South Africa are not required by UK, Australian, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals for stays of up to 90 days except:
• Nationals of Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, who may stay visa-free for up to 30 days.
• Nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia, who do require a visa.
Other passport holders are advised to contact the embassy/high commission for visa requirements.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION RE: TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
South Africa has relaxed its requirements for travelling with children under the age of 18. Visa exempt children (including UK Nationals visiting for tourism purposes) entering South Africa accompanied by an adult are required to present only a valid passport on arrival, regardless of whether the child is travelling with both parents, one parent, or an adult who is not a biological parent (for more information, please see the Immigration Act in conjunction with the advisory from the South African Department of Home Affairs). This includes children travelling as part of school groups.

Contact South African Immigration for what is required for other circumstances.

Addresses of consulates

  • South African High Commission
    South Africa House
    Trafalgar Square
    WC2N 5DP London
    Tél. : +44 (0) 20 7451 7299
    Fax : +44 (0) 20 7839 5670
  • Paris | Ambassade d’Afrique du sud
    59, Quai d’Orsay
    75343 Paris Cedex 07
    Tél. : 01.53.59.23.23
    Fax :
    info@afriquesud.net
  • Ambassade de France en Afrique du Sud
    250, Melk street
    New Muckleneuk
    0181 Pretoria
    Tél. : +27 (0) 12 425 1600
    Fax : +27 12 425 1609
    france@ambafrance-rsa.org

Health

We recommend that you talk to your doctor as they have access to the most up-to-date information.
There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to South Africa, however, you need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country where that disease is widely prevalent, such as Zambia/Victoria Falls. So although Yellow Fever is not a problem in South Africa, you will need to carry a certificate of vaccination if you are arriving from an infected country.
Like with most countries, it's advisable to have general injections regarding diseases like Hepatitis A and typhoid. Most travellers are already vaccinated against DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio) and Hepatitis A, especially if you travelled already to countries outside the western world. If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria, although not prevalent in most of the country, is a serious disease which must not be underestimated. If you are travelling in the eastern quarter of the country (towards Kruger National Park), take anti-malarial medication such as Malarone, especially when travelling during the warmer and wetter summer season (October to April/May). Also wear long-sleeved shirts and use insect repelling containing DEET.
Very occasionally there are reports of African Tick Bite Fever in guests returning from South Africa. Cover up when riding/walking through the bush and check yourself for ticks. If you experience flu-like symptoms on return to the UK it is worth mentioning to your doctor that you have visited a rural part of Africa. The disease is easily treated with antibiotics.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220/230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs have three fat round pins.

Budget and money

The currency of South Africa is the Rand, often called the 'buck', and it's divided into 100 cents. The sign for it is R and the financial code is ZAR. It was introduced in 1961 to coincide with the establishment of the Republic of South Africa, replacing the South African pound.
Notes come in R10, R20, R50, R100, and R200 denominations. Coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents exist, as well as R1, R2 and R5.

Telephone and jetlag

GMT +1
South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls).
Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies and coverage extends to most of the country except the very remote areas. GPRS for data coverage is also widespread. Airport kiosks can sell you a phone or local SIM card if you show some ID.
Internet cafes are common in towns throughout the country and wireless is available at airports and in up-market hotels. Most hotels charge for connectivity and it can be cheaper to find the nearest internet café.