Riders and cows along the Wild Coast
South Africa

The Wild Coast Trail

One of the most beautiful beach riding trails in the world! Explore on horseback the rugged and unspoilt natural beauty of the Wild Coast: ride down deserted beaches, exploring gorges and gullies on horseback. A fantastic journey with spectacular scenery from Kei Mouth into the southern region of the Wild Coast of South Africa, stopping at comfortable coastal hotels along the way. Ideal for experienced riders who enjoy exciting riding, with long gallops and some adventures along the way!
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
10 days / 8 riding
From £2,120
  • Trail rider climbing rocks on a riding holiday in South Africa
    This is a semi-adventurous trail, for experienced riders only
  • Riders on a trail riding holiday in South Africa, Wild Coast Trail
    Enjoy the contrasting landscapes of the Wild Coast in South Africa
  • Riders enjoying a scenic trail riding holiday
    Discover the beautiful scenery of the Wild Coast on a riding holiday
  • Riders in an open space in South Africa
    Discover South Africa in the saddle
  • Riders riding alongside the Wild Coast, South Africa
    This riding holiday offers a variety of terrain and scenery
  • Beach riding holiday in Africa, South Africa
    One of our best beach riding holiday in Africa
  • Riders and horses abroad the ferry
    Hitching a lift to cross the estuary
  • Cantering along the Wild Coast in South Africa
    Long canters and gallops are a highlight of this trail ride in South Africa
  • Horses against the sunset in South Africa
    A wonderful riding holiday for horse lovers

Itinerary

Highlights

- Exhilarating beach canters that go on and on for miles
- Horseback trails along the stunning coastline of the Eastern Cape and its beaches
- Ride inland through Transkei and past local traditional Xhosa villages
- The deserted and wild beaches are perfect for long canters and gallops
- Watch for dolphins and whales out to sea (peak viewing months for Southern Right whales and Humpbacks are July - November)
- Groups are usually limited to a maximum of 8 riders
- Varied and interesting, comfortable accommodation
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - JOHANESBURG

    International flight overnight to Johannesburg. Please note that you need to depart Europe 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 hours riding

    On arrival at Johannesburg, you will make your way to the domestic terminal for your connecting flight to East London airport - again we can book this flight for you if requested. We recommend flight SA471 from Johannesburg, which arrives into East London between c. 11.35am and 12:00 noon. (If you arrive later than 12:00 midday then you may have to pay extra for a private transfer).

    You will be met on arrival and transferred by minibus to Kei Mouth. A light lunch will be served and you will change into your riding clothes. Your horse riding adventure starts now!

    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 3 3 : KEI MOUTH - TRENNERY'S - 4-5 hours riding

    TRENNERY'S HOTEL
    Your horse riding adventure starts now! After a light breakfast it’s back up 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 it’s to Trennerys or Seagulls Hotel (both quaint, authentic hotels that give guests a real taste of traditional South African holidaying). 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 4 4 : TRENNERY'S - MAZEPPA BAY - 5-6 hours riding

    You will awake to the sound of the sea, and the solitude of being somewhere on the edge of Africa. Now it’s 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, 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 5 5: MAZEPPA BAY - KOB INN - 3-4 hours riding

    Kob Inn
    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 – Kob Inn. You arrive just in time for lunch.

    In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to relax and soak up the laid-back 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, relax and truly embrace ‘Africa time’.
  • Day 6 6 : WILD COAST - KOB INN - 5-6 hours riding

    Kob Inn
    After having had an opportunity to relax the day before, you should be fresh and ready for a full day in the saddle.The day's ride will take you along sheltered beaches, into hidden coves and beautiful lagoons. During the ride, your guide will select a beautiful, sheltered spot for you to enjoy a picnic lunch on the hoof before heading back to the Kob Inn for another evening of lively conversation, delicious local food, and maybe a few cocktails!
  • Day 7 7 : KOB INN - WAVECREST - 3-4 hours riding

    Wavecrest Hotel
    It will be time to turn around and start heading 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 back to Wavecrest.

    After a good +/- 30km ride, you can choose to indulge in a little pampering at the Wavecrest spa; explore the rare mangrove forests by either boat or canoe or challenge one of your fellow riders or guides to a game of tennis. More South African coastal hospitality awaits you as you relax and allow yourself to be spoilt by the Wavecrest team.
  • Day 8 8 : WAVECREST - KEI MOUTH - 4-5 hours riding

    Departing from Wavecrest, you will continue your journey back to your starting point with a horseback ride meandering through villages, dune forests and rolling hills, with a smattering of beach work to keep the adrenalin pumping!

    After dropping your horse off at the beach base for a well -earned rest, you will have a late lunch at the country club. Your last night of trail is spent at the home of Julie-Anne in her guest lodge, where you will be treated to a typical Braai (the traditional South African BBQ). Finishing off a week of unforgettable riding with the warm hospitality that the Wild Coast is known for.
  • Day 9 9 : EAST LONDON - JOHANNESBURG - LONDON - 1-2 hours riding

    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.

    On the final day of the ride, you will be transferred to the airport at either 9:00 am if taking a flight at noon or 2:00 pm for a late afternoon flight. Flights are not included but can be booked for you on request.
  • Day 10 10 : EUROPE

    Arrival in Europe early in the morning.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room.

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

- For 2020 there is no solo rider supplement. Single rooms will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please let us know in advance if you'd like a single room, but there is no guarantee.

- Airport transfers are an extra c. 1200 ZAR (c. £70) per person at a set time, each way. Transfers are payable locally in ZAR only and costs are divided by the number of riders in the vehicle.

- 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

- Wild Coast Trails are available throughout the year at set dates to coincide with the tides. Rides are possible all year round on a semi-itinerant basis - contact us to find out more or see "Kei River Beach Trail".

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

2 English-speaking tour leaders

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 assistant groom who looks after the horses

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels/guest houses from day 2 to day 8

Meals

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

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extra
Price does not include breakfast on day 2 or lunch on day 9

Transports

Airport transfers
International flights

Extra

Tips to local team - at your discretion

Insurance

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
  • March - April 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    17/04/2020 26/04/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    01/05/2020 10/05/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now
    29/05/2020 07/06/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/07/2020 12/07/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now
    31/07/2020 09/08/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/08/2020 06/09/2020 £2,120 Full
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    25/09/2020 04/10/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now
    30/10/2020 08/11/2020 £2,120 Full
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    13/11/2020 22/11/2020 £2,120 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

There is a stable of 40 horses which are calm, energetic and sure footed. Many are home-breds and have been raised on the farm. They are a mixture of Arabs, Ango Arabs, Thoroughbreds, crossbreeds or local African horses such as Boeperds.

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.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a competent rider, capable and in control at all paces. You must be able to rise to the trot and canter/gallop in a forward seat. You should have experience of riding in the outdoors and over rough terrain as well as being fit for long hours in the saddle.

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.

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

Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the ride. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces.
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

Accommodation is in local hotels along the coastline with the first and last night's stay at Julie-Anne's guest house.

They are basic, but clean and comfortable. Tea and coffee making facilities are available. Meals are had from the set menus at the hotels and are prepared with local fresh produce. Special dietary requests can be accommodated for with advance notice.

Meals

Meals are provided by each hotel you stay at. Breakfast is usually buffet style and includes cereals, bread, tea and coffee, fruit and often a hot option. 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 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: average of 20°C.
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

There are always two guides with the group - a lead guide and a back-up guide. There may be extra support crew riding as well.

Your luggage is moved by vehicle and the driver may join you for dinner in the evenings as well.

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!). Please note riding in salty water can damage the leather so don't bring your brand new boots.
- 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

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take or needed for this trip
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- In your hold luggage: Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc. We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - 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.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Eastern Cape has slightly different weather to other areas of southern Africa and so the following guide may help you when planning your riding holiday.

January / February:  It’s summer, and the weather is hot & humid with afternoon thunder showers and possible flooding rivers!  While riding, you can cool off by playing with the horses in the sea and lagoons.
March:  Days are long and warm but there is still some chance of rain as the wet season tapers off.  The riding is good and the sun is not too harsh.
April / May : It's 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 you have to be careful with the river crossings.  The temperatures are pleasant until around mid-December when the summer heat kicks in.

Average temperatures in summer (Oct - Feb):  15-26° C (60-80° F) with highs up to 32° C (90° F) occasionally in Dec, Jan and Feb.
Average temperatures in winter (Jun - Aug):  10-22° C (50-70° F)