Active Community Support on the Wild Coast

An exhilarating trail amongst the communities of South Africa's Wild Coast

Active Community Support on the Wild Coast Beach Trail

The team from Wild Coast Beach Trails works closely with the locals to give active community support to the villages that dot this beautiful stretch of coastline. The Wild Coast lies along the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa and is named for the sudden storms, wild winds, and heavy seas with the occasional freak wave that have haunted mariners throughout the ages and led to plenty of shipwrecks over the years.

This is an exhilarating point-to-point trail where you travel from beach to beach, surf to savannah, past shipwrecks while spotting whales and dolphins in the Indian Ocean. At the Kei River you and your horse will cross on a pontoon and head into the Transkei to experience rural Africa on horseback. The trail takes in a long stretch of coastline with accommodation in remote traditional hotels in beautiful settings. This area is also the home of the Xhosa tribe and where their most famous son, Nelson Mandela, was born. Rural life continues little changed in the interior.

Active Community Support
Local trade helps support village infrastructure. Image: Unicorn Trails

On this ride, all riders visit the ‘Kamanga’ community project, which is a self-help development village.  Here riders are able to see and experience traditional methods of living, food preparation and rituals such as witch doctor readings.

R10 per rider is donated to visit the project and take part in the cultural activities. Guests are also encouraged to buy from the craft shop and encouraged to leave a tip to help the project.

On the route riders visit a local ‘trading store’ and are shown how this works for the community.

Active community support
Trennery’s Hotel a part of the active community support programme – Image: Unicorn Trails

The local community adjacent to Trennery’s Hotel overnight stop is paid R10.00 per horse per night for use of their paddocks and the local community is paid R5.00 per horse to ride through ‘The Gates’.

Donations are made to the local church at the Wavecrest Hotel overnight stop

On the farm where the horses are based between rides, two self-employment opportunities have been opened for people who live on the farm.


One person has been allocated the wood resource free of charge. He chops wood, mainly invasive thorn trees which need to be controlled, Wild Coast Trails then supply him with the bags to pack it into and then organize for the local shop to come and collect the chopped wood. The man takes all the money earned and is able to support a family from this income.

Active community support
Grinding maize meal the traditional way –       Image: Unicorn Trails

The second free resource supporting the local community consists of long grass harvested from the farm. The local ladies harvest grass from the farm and bundle it for thatching use. There are several thatching companies who come around every couple of weeks who buy the grass from the ladies. This again creates enough income to pay for schooling for their children.

All riders are educated about the local community, their needs and the projects being undertaken to meet them, and, most importantly, how their horse riding holiday fits into active community support. By allowing riders through their beautiful villages, rolling countryside, and stunning beaches. communities are being developed and supported. Thus tourism gives value to the environment, ensuring that it will be valued and protected for many years to come.

If you are interested in booking a Wild Coast Trail riding holiday you can visit any of these projects and your holiday funds will support all the above projects. Any additional donations will be much appreciated and you are able to specify which projects they should support. Speak to your Unicorn Trails consultant for more details.

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