Kei River Horse Trails

Wild Coast South Africa: (IT-SART13)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/africa_south_kei_river_horse_trails.aspx

Introduction
Wild Coast South Africa
The Kei River Beach Trail is an excellent horse riding holiday option for all levels of riders that want to experience our wonderful Wild Coast riding and enjoy the home from home hospitality of the guest lodge in Kei Mouth.

For the first few days you will enjoy being with the horses and exploring the local area. You will visit waterfalls & cliff tops, hidden coves, and local favorite pubs and restaurants for delicious lunches, canter the beaches, and play in the ocean. Then it’s off on a mini trail up the coast for 3 days of riding adventures and 2 nights at the lovely Wavecrest Beach Hotel & Spa. We can accommodate riders of all levels and will split the group if necessary into slower paced and faster paced to ensure that everyone is comfortable and has a thrilling time. The last night is back at the guest lodge and we will squeeze in a final ride if you have time on the morning of departure.

This is a very personal riding holiday where you will really get to know your hosts and guides, who they are, and how the horses are entwined into their way of life.
 

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent at 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. 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. Laundry is available on request for an additional fee. Accommodations are subject to change based on availability.


Night 1-4, & 7: 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.


Night 5 & 6: 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. A reasonable amount of South African wine, beer & soft drinks is included during nights spent at the lodge
Breakfast is hearty, with a selection of cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast, and the traditional bacon and eggs.
On most days, lunches are enroute and we stop off at a local restaurant, a pub or take a picnic with us. 
Dinner is normally around 7:30 and will consist of a starter, main dish of roast meat/ chicken or casserole-type dish with vegetables, followed by a dessert.

DRINKS – please note that drinks & refreshments bought at the local bars, restaurants & off sales are not included in the rates!
There is a shop just around the corner from the guesthouse if you would like to purchase extra drinks, snacks and refreshments.

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 trail is suitable for all levels of riders from low intermediate and above. Less experienced riders can be accommodated by splitting the riding groups. 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.

Pace
The riding is paced according to the rider’s abilities. Generally, we walk along cattle paths and cliff tops, take long trots and canters on sandy tracks, and enjoy fast canters and an occasional gallop along the beaches. Riding includes 2 to 4/5 hours of riding per day, split into morning & afternoon rides or a full day. 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.

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.

Children
Competent child riders are welcome. We have some super ponies suitable for confident children who ride regularly. Nannies are available to take care of the little ones who are not riding.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1

On arrival at East London airport, you will be transferred to Kei Mouth, the beach base of Wild Coast Horse Trails. A light lunch is served at the Kei Mouth Guest Lodge, and you will change into your riding clothes. The afternoon will take you on an hour or so ride to blow away the travelling cobwebs and assess your riding. Down by the river mouth you will have your first taste of cantering along our beautiful beaches.
Overnight and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge

Day 2
Enjoy a continental style breakfast and pack your swim suit! During the morning, your trail will take you through a kaleidoscope of rural Xhosa villages, mysterious waterfalls, rolling hillsides and of course the mandatory beach canter. After a picnic lunch by the waterfall (and maybe a swim!), long canters over endless hillsides ensure that you have had an exhilarating first day’s ride!
Overnight and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge

Day 3
Today we go off in the opposite direction and explore the magnificent Morgan Bay cliff tops - you really are on the edge of Africa as you sit perched on your horse and take in the views. Then it’s off to discover Yellowwood Forest - our favourite place for wood fired pizza & forest fare - a place that works to inspire you to be eco-friendly, off the grid, and recycle everything! You will finish the day cantering down Morgan Bay beach before heading back to the paddocks.
Overnight and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge

Day 4
Today we offer several different alternatives and we 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 exploring 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
- Ski Boat trip – either up the river or out to sea (weather and guide dependent!)
Please Note: Some of these activities are not included in the package and are paid in cash or by card on site to the operator

Day 5
Your overnight mini beach trail adventure begins! It is a full days riding along the coast, and the scenery is simply stunning. There is a good chance of spotting dolphins racing you in the surf as you canter along the many beaches. Lunch is a saddlebag picnic or stop at Trennerys Hotel and a chance to soak up the sun and sea before heading off to Wavecrest Hotel in the afternoon.
Overnight and dinner at Wavecrest Hotel

Day 6
Departure time this morning is dictated by the tide. It is a fantastic three-hour ride across country, through rolling hills and traditional villages, up beaches and getting to ride on the hard, wet beach at low tide – the gallops are exhilarating. A river crossing at the start or end of the ride (tide dependent) completes this magical morning. You are back at the hotel in time for lunch. The afternoon has a choice of activities. You can take a boat trip up the river and explore the stunning mangrove estuary of the Nxaxo river, hike or just kick back and relax at the spa or in the Jacuzzi. This afternoon is flexible as there are so many options to experience!
Overnight and dinner at Wavecrest Hotel

Day 7
From Wavecrest, if the tide is right, the ride back to Kei Mouth 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 and hit the beaches at low tide for some fast canters home. Your last night of trail is spent, once more, 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 and dinner at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge

Day 8
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.

Please 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 Kei River Horse Trails

Rates include:

Accommodations (5 nights at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge, 2 nights at Wavecrest Hotel), all meals, drinks at the lodge, 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 APR25000$2000
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 09/21 - 09/28 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 09/28 - 10/05 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 10/05 - 10/12 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 10/12 - 10/19 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 10/19 - 10/26 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 10/26 - 11/02 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 11/02 - 11/09 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 11/16 - 11/23 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 11/19 - 11/26 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Expired
A 2019 11/23 - 11/30 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 11/30 - 12/07 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Reserve
A 2019 12/07 - 12/14 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /6 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages from the restaurants, hotels and pubs, personal spenditure, gratuities, airport transfers

Other Info
Meeting: Kei Mouth
Airport: East London Airport (ELS)
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.