- Back to homepage
Pristine shorelines, rolling cliff tops and deep river gorges – discover South Africa’s Wild Coast on horseback! This 9-day tour combines exhilarating ‘surf riding’ with a 4-day safari in Dinaka, where you’ll encounter hippos, giraffes, rhino and zebra, all from the safety of your trusty steed!
South Africa’s little-visited Wild Coast is a rider’s fantasy. Lush forested valleys, rolling grasslands, freshwater rivers and of course the spectacular beaches offer some of the best riding anywhere in where in the world. You’ll have 4 days to explore this stunning landscape, riding between comfortable beachfront hotels while your bags are transported in a separate vehicle.
The riding is hugely varied and is often dictated by the tide. One morning you may be cantering along cliff top paths or exploring a deep river gorge, another may find you crossing the Great Kei River on a pontoon before picnicking in a secluded cove. The circular route from your base at Kei Mouth will give you the chance to see traditional plains villages, little-changed in centuries, as well as the towering wreck of the Jacaranda, a Greek coaster that run aground in 1971. The second half of the tour sees you transfer to the Dinaka Game Reserve, where you’ll enjoy a 4-day horseback safari. Dawn and dusk are the best times to view the reserve’s incredible diversity of wildlife, which includes hippos, white rhino, leopards, giraffes, zebras and an amazing 20 species of antelope, from the giant Eland to the tiny Steenbok!
You’ll be staying in the luxurious Dinaka Lodge, the only game lodge in the reserve, which sits perched atop a cliff overlooking the hippo-filled Little Sand River and the endless Dinaka plains. Your morning and evening rides will take you through thick wooded valleys, around the foothills of the Seven Sisters and along the course of the river, as well as giving you the opportunity to canter alongside herds of antelope in the “Small Serengeti” plains. What’s more, you’ll come face-to-face with the elusive white rhino – Dinaka has one of the oldest breeding herds in the country. And in between rides you can escape the heat of the midday sun with a dip in the pool while you watch the hippos do much the same in the plains below!
We think the Wild Coast safari is a fantastic trip, but only if you know what you’re doing. This means being competent and confident on a horse, with some experience of riding in open countryside. You’re likely to encounter uneven, rocky terrain in places, so you’ll be expected to know how to negotiate this. There’ll also be stretches of flat beach or grassland that are best covered at a canter, so if you are a beginner rider you will not manage the pace of the ride (and the rest of the group won’t enjoy waiting for you to catch up!). And needless to say, Dinaka is an area with dangerous game so riding experience is again essential.
If you meet all these criteria, then this trip is absolutely for you! ‘Exhilarating’ is the word most guests use to describe the safari, though the ‘spectacular scenery’ and ‘lovely’ and ‘happy’ horses also get a lot of mentions. Though the schedule is fairly rigid – designed to incorporate the best riding – there’s loads of time to unwind in comfort at the end of the day, with the opportunity for some pampering – perfect if you’re feeling a little saddle sore! – and really great food. Be warned: at mealtimes the group might sit around one big table, so if you’re after absolute seclusion best look elsewhere. However, most guests, whether families, couples or singles, say they really enjoy sharing this fantastic experience with other like-minded horse-lovers
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.