WORKING RIDING HOLIDAY

WILD COAST

A hands on, get involved, equestrian experience, on the spectacular Wild Coast of South Africa! Eat, sleep and breathe horses on our action filled, working riding adventure.

Escape for a while and experience the joy of riding horses daily, while assisting in the care of top class trail horses. On this trip, horses are a way of life. Ride along unspoiled, breath-taking beaches and blow all your cares away. 

Bring along your spirit of adventure and love of the great outdoors, while volunteering for a beach trail riding establishment; helping care for their horses, and keeping them fit.

  Eat, sleep, ride, repeat.

Riders Galloping their Horses through the Sea.

Volunteers on the working riding holiday need to be at an intermediate level of riding or above. Riders need to have a good foundation in flat work, schooling, and be able to ride and work a horse in the correct outline. 

 

The Wild Coast looks exactly as it sounds; an untamed wilderness with some of the most stunning, unspoilt coastline in the world. With a combination of breath-taking coastline, precipitous and craggy cliff faces, wild and desolate beaches, secluded bays, and green rolling hills that rush headlong into deeply etched river valleys, your wild side will well and truly be ignited.

​Included in the Wild Coast is the Transkei, which, due to lack of infrastructure and the fact that it isn’t easy to ‘fly in’ for a weekend, has ensured that over 200 kilometres of coastline is virtually inaccessible to all but those prepared to hike it, or venture on horseback.

The beauty of the coastline is interfered with by few, and aside from the odd collection of thatched rondavel huts, is virtually uninhabited. It is difficult to describe just how over overwhelmingly breath-taking the Wild Coast is to anyone who has not experienced it for themselves!

There is no better feeling than exploring miles of stunning coastline and galloping down a deserted beach, with the wind whipping your hair and sea spray in your face.  You are guaranteed to feel relaxed, inspired and invigorated all at once!

A girl's hands grooming a horse - close up.
Two horses walking through the sea.

Volunteers on the Wild Coast Working Riding Holiday live like a local, and quickly become part of the family at the stables. Volunteers are an integral part of the care of the horses, and your assistance is greatly appreciated. While taking part in this experience you will be doing lots of riding, learning, helping out and having fun! The more you participate, the more you will learn and the more you will take home with you. 

The horses are much loved and are the stars of the show! Most are a mixture of Arab, Boerperd, Thoroughbred and Percheron crosses, that have been hand selected and are perfect for trail riding. You will be delighted by how gentle, well trained and friendly they are! The trail team is kept endurance fit to be able to complete our adventure trails along the coast, while our younger horses are brought on carefully with ground work and schooling. This is where you come in. You will be caring for the horses on a day to day basis, and helping to keep them fit, as well as schooling the younger horses on the team. 

NAVIGATION

 

ACTIVITIES

A normal working day is from 8am to 5pm with an hour off for lunch. However, holidaymakers and horses do not always work to time, so these hours may be variable.

 Your work will include the activities listed below:

  • Grooming and Bathing the Trail Horses

  • Daily Feeding of the Horses

  • Daily Health Checks of the Horses

  • Cleaning Tack and Equipment

  • General Management

All horses live out in free roaming herds, so there are no stables to muck out, but you will be asked to help tidy up, poo pick and complete yard work!

  • Riding

Exercising & schooling horses in basic flat work, dressage & jumping, as well as fitness training.

  • Trails

You will be required to assist on out rides and trail rides in Kei Mouth & Morgan Bay.

A herd of horses wading through the sea.
 

ACCOMMODATION

Kei Mouth Guest Lodge dining area.
Kei Mouth Guest Lodge bedroom with bunkbeds.

During your working holiday, you will be accommodated at the Kei Mouth Guest Lodge, in the friendly village of Kei Mouth. 

Kei Mouth Guest Lodge is situated in a tranquil street just off the main road in Kei Mouth, and central to all amenities such as the supermarket, pub and beach.

 

The lodge is comfortable and homely, and perfect for putting your feet up after your horseback adventures of the day!

The lodge has a communal sitting room, dining area, kitchen and braai (BBQ) area.  Rooms are serviced daily and free wi-fi is available to update your friends back home with stunning pictures from your rides. 

You will be sharing a room with other volunteers, although a single supplement is available if you do not want to share. 

Kei Mouth Guest Lodge lounge area.
Kei Mouth Guest Lodge.

FOOD

Working with horses causes a huge appetite! 

Your package is half-board, and includes breakfast and home cooked dinners during the week.

  • Breakfast is at 7.30am, and consists of fruit, yogurt, cereals, toast & preserves.

  • Lunch is self-catering, with a shop around the corner for everything you may need. 

  • Some basics are always available - bread, fruit, margarine etc. 

  • Working riders are provided with delicious home cooked dinners during the week (Monday to Thursday nights).

  • Over the weekends, volunteers are free to self-cater in the communal kitchen at the lodge, or go out and socialise. Friday night is often a night out, with everyone heading out for a meal or a fun evening at a local pub. 

The local supermarket is around the corner from the house. It is well stocked with all the fresh produce and groceries that you may need, and there is a pub and cafe within walking distance.  

 

WEEKEND ACTIVITIES

There is tons to see, do and explore in the Eastern Cape! Evenings and weekend are your own free time, and it is up to you how you wish to spend them. You can make your free time action packed with activities, chill out on the beach, or curl up at the lodge with a good book.

 

Below is a list of activities and things to do in the area:

*Please note these activities are not included in the cost of your trip*

Close By in the Kei Mouth + Morgan Bay Area:

  • Kei River boat trip

  • Abseiling at Morgan Bay

  • Yellowwoods Backpackers - go for a lunch in the woods and visit the Saturday market

  • Lunch/dinner out in Morgan Bay or Kei Mouth

  • Township Tour

  • Social evenings out in the village

  • Overnight trails along the Wild Coast

  • Hikes + Walks

  • Visit the Morgan Bay Hotel + Spa

Further Afield:

  • Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve 

A game reserve an hour away in Chintsa, offering game drives, kayaking, and their famous Sunday buffet lunch. Take a day trip or stay for a weekend in their luxury, en-suite safari tents.

  • Explore the Rest of the Transkei

The Transkei is one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa, full of traditional African culture. The Baz Bus offers a hop-on, hop-off bus service all along the Transkei for tourists. 

It is usually best to book weekend activities once you arrive in Kei Mouth. Staff will be able to advise you on pricing, and also on many other activities available! Staff are happy to assist you in planning how to get to activities, as long as they are given a few days' notice. 

A woman leading a horse along the beach.