Wild Coast Horse Riding Adventures
Frequently Asked Questions
We are situated in the seaside village of Kei Mouth next to Morgan Bay on the Wild Coast. This is about 1 hours drive from the city of East London. We are in an area known as “The Wild Coast” or the former homeland of Transkei. This is now called Eastern Cape Province.
What is the average age of riders?
Work Rider Program
Work riders will typically be around 18 – 25 years old. We occasionally have more mature riders stay with us to escape and enjoy a career break (30 to 40 something and up!). If you are an older rider we encourage a young heart and the spirit of adventure. You must have a great love of horses and want to learn & participate without any pre-conceived ideas of what this horse riding experience is about.
Trails & Safaris
We have had riders as young as 7 and as old as 75 on our riding holidays. We would not recommend children under 12 taking part in the Wild Coast Trail. Our Kei River Riding Holidays are for all ages and abilities.
How far should I book in advance?
Due to high demand, it is best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. This will also allow plenty of time to do fundraising or raid the piggybank! Always contact us to check availability, as some places may become available at short notice.
First of all contact us to confirm your chosen dates and availability.
Then complete our online booking form and rider details. We will send confirmation and payment details – and that’s it…you are booked!
No, your local travel agent will be able to assist you.
Holiday riders will need to ensure they have full comprehensive insurance before travelling.
We also recommend that you travel with a valid Master or Visa Credit card to cover any other unforeseen emergencies.
Holiday visitors are required to hold a passport valid for at least 6 months longer than your date of return. Guests should also ensure your passport is in good condition. South African Visas - guests from the UK, EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not required to pay for a visa to enter South Africa. You will be granted a temporary visitor’s permit valid for 90 days when you present your passport on arrival at the airport in South Africa. If you are intending to stay for longer than 90 days however, it is worthwhile applying for a visa in your home country before you travel. This will save you the trouble of having to extend your visitor’s permit once you are in South Africa. Visas can be extended in South Africa for a fee at the Home Affairs office in Port Elizabeth, two months before your visa expires. Exempt: Australia, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, USA, France, Switzerland
All riding guest should seek medical advice from their doctor at least two months before departure. They will provide you with any necessary injections and prescribe malaria tablets if needed.
Please note: The Eastern Cape and Wild Coast Area is Malaria free
· 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
· Smart outfit to change for dinner at the hotels
· Also bring;
· Warm clothing 1 x jersey (jumper/fleece).to ride in and a nice one for the evenings!
· A good warm rainproof coat
· Lightweight rain jacket/wind breaker that will be tied to your saddle
· Sun hat (that stays on in the wind) and sun block
· Swimming costume and swimming towel
· A torch (flashlight) each
· A camera, (& battery charger) & adapter!
· Reading material
· Other items of a personal nature
· Some DVD movies to watch in the evenings.
· Enough pocket money for day trips & outings. (R3000.00 to R5000.00 should cover day trips and other bits and pieces)
· There is an ATM to draw cash in the village
· Please note that is customary to leave a tip to housemaids and other staff that help look after you
NB! A valid credit card to cover any unforeseen emergency. This would be used to cover the unlikely event of you having to go to hospital. The hospitals in our area demand a deposit to be paid up front. You would be able to reclaim this amount from your travel insurance.
In The Field
We organize a shuttle service to transfer you to and from the airport. They will meet you in the arrivals hall and will have a sign saying Wild Coast Horse Trails. We can also arrange for you to be picked up at Baz Bus points. We book the transfer on your behalf, but you need to have South African Rand, in cash to pay the driver direct.
No you don’t, as the people at your placement will speak English.
Work Riders also stay at the guest house in a shared room.
Trail riders are accommodated in various hotels along the Wild Coast that are comfortably rustic, seaside resorts.
Do you cater for vegetarians?
Of course! Please just let us know if you have any particular dietary requirements and we will do our best to meet them.
Yes, it is fairly common for our riders to travel around once they have completed their stay with us. We are happy to help anyone with flight arrangements and will give helpful advice on future destinations. The back packing network in this country is particularly good, cheap and safe, and there is a hop on hop off bus service that goes to all the most popular places!
Riders can also hire a car in East London and then take a few days to drive along the coast to Cape Town – a truly memorable trip!
How well do I have to be able to ride?
Our Kei River Riding Holiday is for all levels of riders who are comfortable and confident at a trot and canter. The Wild Coast Horse Trail is for strong intermediate and advanced riders only! On the work rider program, riders need to be intermediate and have a sound foundation in flat work schooling.
Our horses are of a very high quality, endurance fit and are well schooled. 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. The trail pace varies from walking through the countryside to enable good wildlife viewing, long trots and canters on open plains, to fast gallops down the beaches if wanted
Is it all right for me to travel alone?
Our riding holiday is quite different from your usual package destination and many people travel alone. We only cater for small groups, so you soon get to know others during your stay with us. You are sure to meet and make new friends. There is no single supplement if you are prepared to share with someone of the same sex. Horse riding holidays are a great way to meet other adventurous and active people.
How safe is it on the ride?
Horse riding always has some inherent risks which is why safety is a priority with us. We regularly assess the quality and the temperament of the horses, maintenance of saddlery and equipment, safety briefing of riders, training and attitude of trail personnel, trail principles in force, quality of first aid/medical care available and we make adjustments as circumstances change. We fully comply with all local regulations and indeed the standard of our guiding is excellent.
We are well known in the area that we ride through and have never encountered any safety issue that would relate to our clients wellbeing and security.
How fit do I have to be?
If you choose to, it is possible to have time off to relax if you are feeling stiff or tired. If you do not ride on a regular basis, we suggest you go for a few weekend riding breaks or day rides to get fit. You will enjoy your holiday a tremendous amount more if you are riding fit.
Do I have to wear a safety hat?
Our liability insurance insists that all riders wear a hard hat when in the vicinity of horses. We have a selection, but it is always best to bring your own to ensure a good fit.
What is excluded?
International flight to South Africa. Internal flight to and from East London Airport, road transfers from East London Airport, soft drinks, refreshments and alcoholic beverages. Spa treatments. Inkwenkwezi Big 5 game drive, elephant & cheetah interactions. Gratuities. Other items of a personal nature.
What is included?
Except where otherwise indicated accommodation, meals, the use of the horse and tack, the services of a guide, transportation of a reasonable amount of luggage from point to point.
All our prices are per person and based on two people sharing.
Can my children be accommodated?
Yes. Competent child riders are welcome. We have some super horses suitable for confident children who ride regularly.
We reserve the right, without further notice, to make use of any photographs (including digital or 35 mm) or video footage taken during your stay with us, for general publicity purposes without payment or permission.
Laundry can be done for you during your holiday. There is a full laundry service at all the hotels. This is payable separately. On the Work Rider Program, laundry is included.
- Beginner rider = someone who is comfortable in the saddle & can stay on a reliable well school horse. They can post to the trot (go up and down) and may have cantered a few times. Beginners generally ride once or twice a year on holiday with their partner!
- Novice rider = someone who is comfortable in the saddle & enjoys a reliable well-schooled horse. They generally ride at a riding school once or twice a month, or like to ride a friend’s horses on the farm. They can post to trot comfortably and enjoy a nice controlled canter.
- Intermediate rider = someone who rides regularly and enjoys a forward going, well- schooled horse. They may or may not be a little nervous for the first little bit while they get to know their horse. They can control their horse independently and are confident trotting and in controlled canters.
- Advanced Rider = someone who is comfortable on most horses in most situations. They ride regularly and may or may not have their own horse.
Weight limit: The maximum weight for riders is 220 lbs (95 kg). We can accommodate heavier riders but reserve the right to charge a supplement, and riders will be required to alternate between two horses while on trail. We have two horses available that are able to carry about 100 kg’s and riders must accept that they are not quite as fast as the other horses!
Age limit: Competent riders of any age are welcome.
HORSES AND TACK
The horses are selected and trained for trail riding with great care; they are the other half of the team that makes your holiday a fantastic experience. Just as your guides are professional and know the area in which they operate, so the horses are familiar with the environment and conditions in which they are ridden. Each horse is handpicked and trained for trail riding. They are sturdy, comfortable to ride, beautiful, forgiving, easy to ride and control, yet lively to command and enjoy their work.
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.
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.
We do not offer trails or working holidays between the 15th Dec and 15th Jan each year as, due to the South African summer holidays, we are unable to secure accommodation at this time of year.
The price of the trip includes all meals (unless otherwise stated), horses, tack, guides, accommodations and taxes. Includes a backup vehicle on trail. Airport transfers are paid separately.
The standard gratuity is about 10%, but this amount is entirely at your discretion. The gratuity can be paid in British Pounds, Euros or SA Rand. It should be given to the guide at the end of the safari, and will be split fairly among the trail staff.
· On receipt of your completed booking form and rider details, we will send you our booking confirmation and invoice.
· A 25% non-refundable deposit is payable within 7 days to confirm your booking.
· A non-refundable balance of payment is payable 30 days before your arrival date.
Please have South African Rand or a credit card available to pay your drink accounts at the hotel. Spa treatments and laundry is also payable direct to the hotels.
Owner: Julie-Anne Gower
Mobile: +27 82 561 0972
What’s App: +27 82 567 0972
Web site www.wildcoasthorsebackadventures.com
P.O. Box 131, Kei Mouth, 5260
Courier Address (door to door delivery)
18 Coral Street, Kei Mouth, East London – please phone 0825670972 for directions
– search for Wild Coast Horse Trails to find our beach paddocks in Kei Mouth and Kei Mouth Guest Lodge to see where we live!