Beach riding in South Africa
Riding on the sand dunes
Having fun on the beach
Riding in the shallow water
View from camp
Drinks on the deck
Giraffes in the game reserve
Evenings at camp

Try out this shorter, 3-day version of our popular Beach and Game Trail in South Africa. Combine beach and game viewing riding forward-going Arabian X horses. Gallop for miles along the pristine beaches beside the Indian Ocean, ride with big game and enjoy a day at the famous Addo Elephant Park by vehicle. This is an unforgettable and affordable break, available year round for intermediate riders onwards.

You'll spent two days riding on the pristine Indian Ocean coastline and one day riding in a local Big 5 game reserve. In addition to the thrilling riding, you'll spend evenings sitting on the deck at camp with a cold drink watching the sun go down. Accommodation is in a static camp (equipped with twin beds) offering spectacular views over the river.This short break includes all meals and you can expect home-made food with picnic lunches and multi-course dinners. The horses are Arabian crosses and your ride leader is an experienced endurance rider with a passion for maintaining and preserving the wildlife of this region. This is a thrilling and affordable destination for intermediate riders onwards who want to add a few days of beach riding and wildlife spotting onto their South African holiday.

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Day 1
Meet at Port Elizabeth airport at around midday and transfer to the Addo Elephant National Park (a 30 minute drive). Spend the afternoon at the park spotting wildlife before driving to camp (around a 1 hour drive), your base for the next 3 nights. Settle in to camp and enjoy a drink on the deck while waiting for your evening meal to be prepared. Enjoy dinner while watching the sunset before settling into camp for the night.

Day 2
After breakfast you'll head off to a small coastal village for some beach riding. The beach along this section is remote and spacious and the ride is normally quite fast with long canters between walks. You'll often swim with the horses at one of the clear water lagoons, especially the Kasuga lagoon. You can look among the rock pools during the lunch stop for edible sea snails and then cook them for starters for the evening meal. The scenery is spectacular and the beaches often deserted. You'll ride for between 5 and 6 hours. Dinner and overnight back at camp.

Day 3
Today you'll head off to ride in the Sibuya Game reserve and ride among 4 of the “Big 5”. The views are breathtaking and you'll ride over a large area with the chance of seeing elephant, rhino, buffalo, zebra and giraffe. It’s mostly slower riding with limited cantering in the reserve. You'll have a packed lunch overlooking the spectacular Kariega River. In the afternoon, you'll ride back to the tented camp in the evening and enjoy a few drinks and a braai (South African barbeque).

Day 4
You'll be able to enjoy a last short ride in the morning with a final gallop on the beach to finish off the week. Then you will be transported back to the airport for your afternoon flight.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

The horses here are a hardy mix of Arabian crosses. They are safe, well mannered and are very lively when needed but also happy to plod along with less experienced riders. The saddles provided are comfortable trail riding saddles and soft bits are used on all the horses. Guests can assist with grooming and tacking up their horse but help is available to do this.



The riding is a mix of paces to suit the different terrain and is fast in places. You need to be confident riding in open spaces and in control at a fast pace. This trail is not suitable for very nervous or novice riders. You'll be riding in trail saddles, made locally, designed for the comfort of both horse and rider alike. We recommend you wear half or full chaps with comfortable riding boots and a light weight riding helmet, preferably with good ventilation. There are a limited number of chaps and helmets at the stables, but we recommend that you bring your own for a good fit.


Rider requirements

To make the most of this ride we recommend that riders are healthy and have a relatively good level of riding fitness. The ride is not recommended for inexperienced or unfit riders. The ride includes different types of riding including long canters on sand, to relaxed walks with the wildlife encountered along the way.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 231 lb/105 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

You'll be put up in a tented, static camp each evening which is in a spectacular setting with views over the river. Each static tent sleeps two in two single beds complete with bedding and towels. The bathrooms are rustic but comfortable with hot water, flush toilets, a bath and a shower. There is a kitchen tent and a large deck where you'll enjoy meals and drinks looking out over the view.



You'll be able to enjoy home-cooked meals on this ride. Breakfast is usually served around 8am, lunch is usually a packed lunch or picnic around 12.30 and dinner is normally around 6.30pm. You can expect a varied menu which could be a barbecue with salads, local meats or a speciality potato bake followed by a home-made carrot cake for dessert.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. You must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your return date and has at least 3 blank pages. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

NEW RULES ON TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN - DEC 2019:
Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are required will no longer have to carry supporting documents. This is because they would have been required to provide these during the visa application process.
Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required may be asked to produce supporting documents upon entry. Even though producing supporting documents is no longer compulsory, travellers are strongly advised to carry the supporting documents.
In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be sufficient to establish the identity of the parents of the travelling minor.

General Entry Requirement Information:

A valid passport is required for travel to South Africa for U.K. or most other European nationals. Technically, your passport should be valid for at least 30 days beyond your intended date of exit from South Africa, in line with South African immigration regulations. However, some immigration officials still request that a passport should have at least 6 months validity on the date of entry to South Africa. To avoid problems at the airport on arrival, you’re advised to ensure your passport meets this requirement. Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages if you require a visa to enter the country. If you do not need a visa, one blank page will be sufficient. If you are visiting South Africa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days, you don’t need a visa. If you overstay, you are likely to be declared undesirable and denied entry into South Africa in future. The enforcement of these penalties is strict, and appeals can take many months to process. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0230/0233.

In South Africa the UK High Commission is at No.19 Parliament Street, Cape Town, 8001, Tel +27 21461 7220.

The High Commission for the Republic of South Africa in the U.K is at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP. Telephone: (020) 7451 7299. Email: general@southafricahouse.com.

Climate Summary

Overall, the Eastern Cape region's climate is typically Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers and mild, moist winters and low summer rainfall. Near the coast, summer’s temperature rises from a pleasant low of 15º C to a heart warming 27º C. Inland temperatures are some 3-5º C higher. Coastal winters see the mercury dropping to a mild 7º C at night and rising to a comfortable 18º C by day. Away from the beach, morning wakens to an invigorating 5º C and midday peaks at 22º C. To many, March and April signal idyllic weather. Summer's heat subsides, the wind settles and autumn casts its brightly coloured mantle, generating red, burnished colours spreading from the mountain tops to the sea. In keeping with its sunny, tranquil character, a temperate climate with gentle, intermittent precipitation complements the warm summers and mild winters.

Climate Chart

Climate chart for Kenton

Health

Awareness of Malaria risk and bite avoidance is recommended and if travelling to an area of Malaria risk in season we recommend speaking to your doctor about antimalarial medication. Current Malaria areas are; North-eastern Kwazulu-Natal, low altitude areas of Mpumalanga and low altitude areas of Limpopo. Malaria season is in the summer or rainy season. All travellers should avoid insect and tick bites day and night by using insect repellent and should wear adequate sun protection during the day.

According to the 2018 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.1 million people living with HIV. HIV prevalence is high among the general population at 18.9%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS; avoid contact with bodily fluids and keep any cuts or wounds properly clean and covered.

We advise speaking to your doctor at least 8 weeks before your trip, to check the latest country-specific health advice and to see if you need any additional vaccinations or precautions while travelling. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. There is no reciprocal health care agreement between the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Health and medical facilities are generally of a good standard and readily available near larger centres. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 10177 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/ medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Electricity

The electricity supply requires a 3-holed, round pinned adapter. If you have a European two pinned adapter you can buy an adapter at Johannesburg Airport.

Film and Camera Equipment

There is Wifi available at the campsite however at present there is no electricity. Laptops and phones can be charged if given to your guide while you are out riding.

Packing List

• Jodhpurs or riding pants.
• Riding chaps or long boots.
• Riding hat (available to borrow)
• Shorts for walking and hiking.
• Walking shoes or boots to ride in.
• Flip flops 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.
• 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.
• Light weight rain jacket/wind breaker that can be tied to your saddle.
• Sun block. Factor 50 is recommended!
• Swimming costume and swimming towel.
• Tick repellent (there's potential of tick bites)
• A torch (flashlight)
• A camera
• South African plug adaptor

Programmes

This is an 4 day / 3 night programme on set dates available year round. Departures are usually the third Saturday of each month.

Departure Dates

2021: TBC

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.
Other Activities

This short break is the ideal package for adding onto your South African holiday. If you want to stay in the area a few days before or after the ride there are plenty of other activities available in the local area which your hosts are happy to arrange. Take your pick from river & sea fishing, river cruises, golf or a spa trip. For the more adventurous traveller there is mountain biking, canoeing or hiking available. Please speak to your travel advisor if you would like to find out more, all these activities can be organised and paid for on-site.

Wildlife

This ride includes a a day at the Addo Elephant National Park as well as riding in the Sibuya Game Reserve. You can see elephants here in their natural habitat as well as the possibility of seeing any of the Big 5. Animals that can be seen are lion, elephant, buffalo, zebra and many others.

Other Country Information

South Africa's land area is 1,228,376 km.2 (larger than The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy & Germany combined). It borders Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland & Zimbabwe to the north, and entirely surrounds Lesotho (a total land border of 4,750 km.) It has a coastline of 2,954 km, with few natural harbours.

The average day in South Africa starts early so the main work of the day is complete before the sun starts to really burn. Shops are open from around 07.30am and it is also acceptable to call people at that time.

South Africa is an exhilarating, spectacular and complex country. With its post-apartheid identity still in the process of definition, there is undoubtedly an abundance of energy and sense of progress about the place. The infrastructure is constantly improving, the climate is kind and there are few better places to see Africa's wildlife.

The international dialing code for South Africa is +27 and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. The time zone is GMT plus two hours.

Always collect your luggage on arrival at any local airport and take it through customs. Most of the South African smaller airports don’t have customs clearance. Even if the airline tells you that your luggage can be checked through, it is not true.

At local airports there are a lot of porters who can be of great help if you are in a hurry to find your check in counter or your gate. However they sometimes ask for a lot of money. R 50,00 is more then enough to give them when they have been of great help, if they have only pushed the trolley, R 20,00 should be enough.

If you travel by car and police stop you for speeding or something else you might have done wrong, don’t give them any cash money, always ask for a ticket. If they persist, ask to speak to their supervisor. Also the toll gates don’t take international credit cards.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Port Elizabeth (PLZ) Airport, South Africa
Transfer:
2021: Transfer from/to Port Elizabeth Airport is included. A 2 hour drive.
Flight Guide:
London to Port Elizabeth (PLZ) from £650 return
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