Qolora Trail

Wild Coast South Africa: (IT-SART15)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/africa_south_qolora_trail.aspx

Introduction
Wild Coast South Africa
With just enough adventure, this itinerary is ideal for riders who enjoy more time to discover the hotels and beaches of the Wild Coast.

At the Great Kei River, a pontoon will transport you and your horse into rural Africa. As you ride through undulating hills, comfortable hotels are nestled in coves along the coast, providing perfect stop off points for horse and rider.
Explore the rolling hills and savannah grasslands, home to a kaleidoscope of gaily painted rondavels, that form the heart of the Transkei landscape. Deep gorges, and cliff tops that plunge into the ocean ensure that this is not just a beach ride; it is an adventure! The beach gallops are exhilarating, the environment pristine, and the views stunning.

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 & 2: Kei Mouth Guest Lodge
Night 3 & 4: Trennery's Hotel
Night 5 & 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.



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 continental type breakfast is served every morning and includes cereal, fruit, preserves, toast and tea/coffee.
Lunch is varied, sometimes light, a choice from a pub lunch menu, or picnic while out riding.
Dinner is normally around 7:00pm and consist of a typically South African fare including 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 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.
Guest should be comfortable at all gaits and capable of riding for up to 3 or 4 hours in the saddle at a time. Riding a horse does require a degree of natural fitness and balance.

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.

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 - subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival
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.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge


Day 2 (Sunday): Morgan Bay Cliffs & Yellowwoods Ride
Today we go 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.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge


Day 3 (Monday): Kei Mouth to Qolora
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 Qolora. 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.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Trennerys Hotel


Day 4 (Tuesday): Qolora Ride 
Today's route is dictated by the tides. One option is to ride up to the Gates Waterfall on the Qolora River.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Trennerys Hotel

Day 5 (Wednesday): Morning Ride to Wavecrest
This morning, we ride along the coast on our way to the Wavecrest Hotel. There is a good chance of spotting dolphins racing you in the surf as you canter along the many beaches.
After lunch, you have some free time to relax. You can choose to go on a boat trip up the river (included) and explore the stunning mangrove estuary of the Nxaxo river, indulge in a spa treatment (extra cost) or go for a short afternoon ride.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at
Wavecrest Hotel

Day 6 (Thursday): Morning Beach Ride
Departure time this morning is dictated by the tide. It is a fantastic 3-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 go paddle on the Nxaxo river (included), hike or just kick back and relax at the spa or in the Jacuzzi (extra cost). This afternoon is flexible as there are so many options to experience!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at
Wavecrest Hotel

Day 7 (Friday): Return 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 guest lodge, where we 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.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Kei Mouth Guest Lodge


Day 8 (Saturday): 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.
Meals included: Breakfast

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 Qolora Trail

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Back-up and luggage transfers, Groom and professional guide services & 6 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionZAR ~US$
    A
    20218 day APR32500$2600
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:



 DescriptionZAR~US$
2021 Transfer from East London airport, per car (1-3 pax), each way
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
R 1,200 $100
2021 No single supplement but subject to availability -- please inquire R 0 $0

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 08/07 - 08/14 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Reserve
A 2021 09/11 - 09/18 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Reserve
A 2021 10/16 - 10/23 8d / 7n 8 day AP 2 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: Custom dates can be arranged on request

Rates do not include:

Airport transfers, Drinks at restaurants and hotels, Spa treatments, Activities not mentioned in the itinerary & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Qolora Trail (IT-SART15):

COVID 19  ADJUSTED TERMS & CONDITIONS
• Deposits and payments are payable on the due dates as stated on invoice.  
• No refunds will be given once payment has been made. (the money will have been used to prepare for the trail)
• No refunds will be given if the client departs early for any reason.
• Should you have to cancel or postpone your reservation due to Covid-19 related illness or travel restrictions,or injury, (proof will be required) and you are not be able to make the dates that are booked, we will assist as best as we can to reschedule your riding holiday to another date within 12 months that suits both parties.    
• Failure to inform us of Covid-19 related illness or travel restriction 48 hours prior to arrival date = your payment will be forfeited and is non refundable or transferable.
• Guests will be required to sign a Covid transmission indemnity form on arrival as well as our standard waiver.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

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.