7 riding days… 7 nights…
7 breakfasts… 7 lunches… 7 dinners…
3 mountain ranges… 1 ocean…
2 inland valleys…1 coastal plain…
Klein Karoo cuisine & local wines

Our exciting trail ride offered in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo by our experienced  team on fantastic Cape Riding Horses, traverses two mountain ranges and the valleys in between. You will be thrilled  by the spectacular change in scenery from start to end, especially combined with  warm hospitality and local food and wine.  It is a supported trip, with a dedicated support team looking after everything from luggage transfer, catering to guiding.

The 150-180 km trail ride covers a variety of terrain, gravel roads, farm roads, foot paths, forgotten jeep tracks and even an old Voortrekker and trade route.

We start at the foot of the Swartberg, cross the Klein Karoo, traverse the Kammanassie Mountains and travel through the Langkloof, over the Outeniqua Mountains, and on to the coastal plain, where our trip ends on a seemingly endless beach.

Prepare yourself for lots of history, culture, breathtaking vistas, varied terrain and riding experiences, and wonderful conversation and food.

You are welcome to extend your trip before the start of the ride at Doornkraal, our starting point, or linger longer at the beach near George, at the end of the ride.

2024 TRAIL DATES

KLEIN KAROO TO COAST;
23-30 August / 4-11 October / 1-8 November
COAST TO KLEIN KAROO;
22-29 April / 20-27 May / 9-16 September / 11-18 November

Sample itinerary of the Klein Karoo to Coast Trail ride;

Arrival from 12:00 to 14:00 for lunch at Doornkraal. Check in rooms, lunch, ride briefing, short afternoon ride to check horses & tack. Unsaddle, relax and dinner.

10 km

Day ride  in the vicinity of Doornkraal and De Rust.  25 km

Ride from Doornkraal to wild  camping spot in Kammanassie mountains via De Rust for lunch.  25 km.  Stretchers and bedrolls with linen (tents if expecting rain).  Hot shower.  Long drop toilet.

Ride across Kammanassie mountain (Home to Cape Mountain Zebras) to Jacobsdal farm. Saddle bag lunch.  25 km.  Farmhouse with 6 rooms and 3 bathrooms.

Ride from Jacobsdal to Louvain farm lodge at the foot of the Outeniqua mountains across a vast, rough landscape.  Picnic lunch. 35 km

Ride across Outeniqua mountain via a forgotten pioneer pass and some indigenous forest to Hoekwil on the coastal plain.  Saddle bag lunch.  30 km. Two rooms will share a bathroom.

Morning transfer to Glentana after breakfast, saddle up for beach ride, our last riding day! 1.5 hour ride in a game reserve will be fitted in somewhere.

Departure/transfer after breakfast or when needed.  Transfers to airport can be arranged according to flight bookings.

Sample itinerary of the trail ride ‘back' - Coast to Klein Karoo;

Arrival by 14:00 for lunch at the beach house. Check in, lunch, ride briefing, short afternoon ride to check horses & tack.  Unsaddle, relax and dinner.  6 rooms with 3 bathrooms.  Bonus 1.5 hour trail ride at a game reserve.

Breakfast and transfer to Hoekwil.  Ride on the beautiful coastal plain farmland and indigenous forest.  Stay over on a dairy farm.  Sharing two rooms per bathroom.

Cross the Outeniqua Mountain via indigenous forest an old pioneer pass to Langkloof region, north of the mountain.  Farm hotel.  Cottage and stable rooms with lots of bathrooms.

Ride across the Kammanassie plain to Jacobsdal.  Farmhouse with 6 rooms and 3 bathrooms.

Cross the Kammanassie Mountain into a secluded valley where we will camp  Stretchers with bed rolls (tents only if rainy).  Long drop with hot shower.

Ride from our camping spot in the Kammanassie mountain to our farm, Doornkraal via the town of De Rust.  Farmhouse dinner.  Various rooms and cottages with ample bathrooms.

A final on and around Doornkraal or you can choose to relax.

Breakfast and departure/transfer after breakfast and good byes.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Transfers from George airport or nearby towns for arrival: Please indicate on the booking form or let us know if we can assist.  If you wish to arrive a day earlier, please let us know so that we arrange accommodation and transport if necessary.  This will be an additional cost, which will depend on the number of guests transferred and sharing the service.  At the airport, you will also find available taxis for quick transfers to the beach house (but not the farm).

Transfer back to the starting point after the trail ride  can be arranged or if you brought a vehicle, we can arrange to have it brought to the destination. 

Airstrip available in Oudtshoorn.

Insurance:  Medical and personal insurance is your own responsibility. 

Accommodation:  All in comfortable farm or lodge accommodation in sharing rooms with sharing bathrooms but there are never a shortage of bathrooms.  Towels and linen are provided.  You will have access to a kitchen with coffee/tea making facilities.   We will be camping on one of the nights.

Water:  Bring your own thermal water flask (max 750 ml for our saddle bags, but a 500ml fits better) or lend one from us.  Make sure to fill it in the mornings before saddling up.   All of our overnight lodges have excellent quality water drinking water out of the taps. 

Menu & Catering:  Please be aware that it is very difficult to cater for everyone’s special needs on a trip like this, and we are therefor not able to accommodate all dietary preferences .  We are ofcourse happy to let you know if dishes contains allergens or anything that you are able to eat. If you have a very strict dietary requirement which involves specialized catering, you are welcome to bring  it or it will involve an extra cost.  Please keep in mind that we have limited space in the back up vehicle, but will go out of our way as far as practically possible to accommodate  exceptions.

Drinks:  Included in your ride is coffee & tea (Ceylon and Rooibos Tea) with rusks at our accommodation spots as well as water and some soft drinks, and a welcome drink at arrival every day.  We provide a honours bar with wine, beer, mineral water and spirits/mixers for the entire trip.  Special requests and limited BYO welcome.

Laundry:  This can be arranged at the start or end of the trail ride.

Tack and Saddle bags:  We have 2 x Liversage Trail saddles and the rest are English saddles.  We will provide some saddle bags  (they aren’t huge, but good for bits and bobs and saddle bag lunch for two of the days) for all riders which is handy for water and  personal items.  You are welcome to bring additional travel bags, as long as you have ways to tie them to your saddle.  We do not recommend that you carry a back pack, except if you prefer to carry a small camel back for water.

Participatory ride:  Riders will be responsible to prepare and unsaddle their own horses, of course with the assistance of our team.  The team will look after the feeding and general stuff concerning the horses.

Access to shops:  Keep in mind that our support staff & bakkie will  pass through George between Louvain and Oakhurst, so make sure you are stocked up with saddle bag snacks, personal requirements and additional drinks before arriving for the trip.  Oakhurst has a great farm shop, and so is our farm shop, Doornkraal, worth a stop.  Any special trips for provisions or medical attention will be for your own account but we can help to arrange it.

Mobile signal:  Most of the way, but not everywhere.  For instance, no mobile signal at Jacobsdal or the camp spot in Vermaaksrivier.  Wi-Fi is usually available in the evenings at all the lodges, except for the night that we camp.

Logistics:  Transfer from the airport for riders arriving at George airport can be arranged on request at an additional cost.   Transport is provided every day for the luggage to the next overnight stop. 

Luggage:   Please pack conservatively (not too much luggage please).  For those travelling far to come on the trail, we suggest that you pack a smaller bag with clothing/necessary items for 2 days, and leave the balance of your luggage in the truck so that everything doesn’t have to be unpacked every day.  We will let you know the possible weather closer to the trail ride’s date which will make packing more efficient.  Please make sure that you have no loose stuff in for instance shopping bags, it will be damaged and possibly lost.  Luggage tags will be provided by us.  If you have any luggage that can be stored while on the trip, you are welcome to leave it with us.  The back up vehicle will have to travel on very dusty roads, so make sure your luggage are able to get a bit dusty on some days.

Our horses:  Cape Riding Horses, which is the ancestor of the Boerperd, a recognized breed in South Africa.  They are known for their excellent temperament and sure-footedness.  You will be asked on entering for one of our rides to describe your perfect horse, and we will do our best to match you to the best horse!

Level of skill required:    Intermediate plus to experienced riders.  It it important that you are able to control your horse at all paces in the open, even a bit of  faster but controlled canter.  You are welcome to let the guide know if you are nervous about anything, and we will assist where we can to make you feel safe.

Pace:  4 – 6 hours in the saddle per day, riding at all paces. It is not a race, and the pace can be described as medium. 

Group size:  We aim for a minimum of 6 riders and a maximum of 10 riders per group,.  

 

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
Riding gear for 7 days of riding:

  • Comfortable riding pants for long hours in the saddle. We suggest you bring 2 – 3 pairs of jodpurs/riding pants.  Its important to wear comfortable underwear (BOODY underwear have been recommended).  Tip:  wear pantyhose under your riding pants to prevent rubbing.
  • Long sleeves for sun protection, layering in case of temperature fluctuations, buff for neck, jacket or body warmer for cool mornings. Please avoid puffer jackets due to possible ripping on vegetation.
  • Short pull on boots e.g. farm/hiking boots or sneakers with chaps (long or short).  We like the ankle protection of short boots for the bits that we will be walking. Good tread important for loose stones in places. Vellies are also good, but long riding boots with smooth tread definately not recommended.
  • Sunscreen (plenty!), lip ice or Zambuc.
  • Riding hat (recommended but not essential, and it might be a condition of your insurance) or a wide brimmed hat with chin strap or string to keep it on your head at speed. Please note:  not wearing of a safety helmet is entirely at your own risk. 
  • Rain coat or waterproof riding gear in case of wet weather. The farmers co-op shop sells cheap rain suits.
  • Hygiene wipes: handy for the saddle bag if you need to go while on the trail. Please make sure that used tissue or wipes should be buried (heels can dig in soft soil) if used in the veld or placed under a big stone.
  • Sunglasses (preferably on a string if you are riding with them).
  • Optional: gloves, personal water bottle, sweets/snacks for the saddle bag, hip flask…?, Ziploc bags for waterproofing items in saddle bags e.g. mobile phone.
  • Optional: you are welcome to bring your own saddle, providing it fits on your horse.

RATE & BOOKINGS

Thank you for your enquiry about our exciting trail ride offered in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo by our experienced  team on fantastic Cape Riding Horses, traversing two mountain ranges and the valleys in between. You will be thrilled  by the spectacular change in scenery from start to end, especially combined with  warm hospitality and local food and wine.  It is a supported trip, with a dedicated support team looking after everything from luggage transfer, catering to guiding.

RATE 

Please contact Celia for the rates.

 

Rate Includes:  your own dedicated horse with equipment, sharing accommodation, all meals & snacks from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on the last day, basic soft drinks, water, tea and coffee.  It also includes luggage transport (supported trip) and a guide with support team.

Rate excludes:  airport transfers, special dietary requirements, beverages, single supplement, tipping, medical expenses or extra costs  associating with personal damage, insurance & laundry 

Non riding companions:  we recommend that you either rent a vehicle to explore during the day time as its not always possible to travel the same route as the riders.  You can however overnight with the group.  We will gladly discuss the options. The route is a great adventure for families or groups of friends.

 

BOOKINGS

Please contact Celia via email or telephone.  We will send you a booking form with associated forms to complete booking. 

30% deposit required on booking, balance payable 6 weeks before the start date of your trail ride.

Contact Celia to book…

  • Celia 082 899 4531
  • Office 082 895 5009
  • celia@doornkraal.co.za

PERSONAL

  • Comfortable & casual clothing for the evenings. We will have dinners at all our lodgings.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Honours bar available and limited BYO welcome.  Soft drinks and water will always be included with all meals.
  • Torch or head lamp (important for camping evening and load shedding power outages).
  • Soap, shampoo and personal toiletries.
  • Basic first aid kit for your own use.
  • Mobile phone chargers and plugs. There’s electricity at all our accommodation places except when we are camping.  Bring an external battery if you are worried about your phones’ battery not lasting.