Cape Town’s unique feature has always been its proximity to oases of nature where you can feel kilometers away from the crowd. In just half an hour to an hour, you can be surrounded by lush scenery and the harmonious buzz of bees, frogs, and birds.
Whether you’re looking to cover the area in a speedy, yet natural way or harking back to the slower rhythms of yesteryear or just feel for the excitement of a ride, horse riding in and around Cape Town is a perfect activity! With beaches, vineyards and grasslands all hugging the city, there’s plenty of horseback rides to choose from.
Horse Riding on Cape Town Beaches
The long, flat beach of Noordhoek, or Long Beach, with its pale waters and gusts of sea spray and sand, has an isolated and adventurous, yet luxurious feel. Its size, 8km, also makes it perfect for horse riding.
Incidentally, Noordhoek is one of the only horse-friendly beaches in the city. You can trot along the gushing waves, dip your feet in the icy waters, admire the local birdlife on the seasonal lagoon and explore the Kakapo shipwreck from another era on the far end of the beach.
Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding
There’s a reason Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding is so popular; the horses are selected according to the rider’s experience and the staff is knowledgeable and passionate about horses. A two-hour horse ride on Long beach is R480-R530.
They have three scheduled rides per day at 9 pm, 1 pm, and 4 pm. The ride is at a steady walk (15km/hour) and picks up to a trot for a small section of the beach if you’re confident enough.
- Entrance Fee: R480-R530
- Operating Hours: Rides out at 9 am, 1 pm and 4 pm
- 083 261 0104
- (021) 789 2341
Address: Sleepy Hollow Lane Noordhoek
More Info: Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding
The Dunes is another reputable outfit for horseback riding on Noordhoek beach with a rate of R500 for an hour and a half’s ride. The ocean around Noordhoek is sometimes visited by dolphins and whales so keep an eye out!
- Entrance Fee: R550 for an hour and a half’s horse ride
- 082 784 8699
- (021) 789 1723
More Info: The Dunes
Imhoff Equestrian Centre
Imhoff Equestrian Centre also offers horse rides on Noordhoek beach. As they are based in Kommetjie, the horseback trail starts on their farm and meanders through the wetlands for about 20 minutes before arriving on Noordhoek beach.
All levels of experience are welcome as there are usually two guides on a trail, allowing the more experienced to canter ahead while beginners walk along the shores in good company and safe hands. Your knowledgeable guides will talk about the environment and any animals you might see on your journey.
These rides take approximately an hour and forty-five minutes and depart thrice a day at a cost of R550 per person. On your return to Imhoff, there’s the option of a well-deserved lunch or tea in the restaurant or café, as well as a visit to a snake park!
- 082 774 1191
More Info: Imhoff Equestrian Centre
Horse Riding and Wine Tasting Tours
Discover why Cape wines are so loved and are being served across the globe for centuries. Horse rides through Cape Town’s famed vineyards are quite popular and make for a more relaxed, rustic style of touring and tasting Cape nectar.
Cape Winelands Riding offers a wine tasting route. After a peaceful meander through the vineyards and orchards, you’ll arrive at Backsberg Wines for some tastings. There’s a wide variety of Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, Merlots and Shirazes, amongst others, for you to select your golden five tastings. Don’t worry ‒ it doesn’t end there. The route back to the stables is brand new and sublimely beautiful.
Entrance Fee: Price on request
- 082 924 6728
More Info: Cape Winelands Riding
For the more experienced rider, a full day’s ride through the Stellenbosch Winelands with Cape Town Day Tours, costing R2450, includes lunch and wine at a restaurant on the wine farm. On days when the restaurant is closed, you can enjoy a picnic of cold meats, cheeses, and fruit beside the vines.
A three to three and a half hour ride and wine tasting are R650. Beverages from the Backsberg estate that are available for tasting include whites, reds, brandies, ports and MCCs (sparkling wine which is similar to champagne).
Entrance Fee: R2450 for a full day’s ride, including lunch
More Info: Cape Town Day Tours
Paradise Stables also has wine tasting tours on horseback. Starting from the stables, situated in Franschhoek (capital of the Winelands), the trail wanders through verdant forests, dry Winelands and over rocky mountains. You can stop at two wine estates for tastings: Mont Rochelle and Rickety Bridge Winery.
Founded in 1787, Rickety Bridge offers superb wines to taste in splendid surroundings. On the menu are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotages, Merlots and more. At Mont Rochelle, there’s also plenty of choices with the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Chardonnays making appearances. These can be tasted in the century-old cellar, the bar or the restaurant if you fancy a lunch break.
Your guide is a thoroughly experienced professional horse rider for South Africa and will tailor the ride to your experience. The rides, which are on beautiful purebred Arabian horses, last about four hours, with forty-five minutes spent at each winery. All this comes at a price of R850 per person, excluding lunch.
Entrance Fee: R250-R850
Contact Number:021 876 2160
More Info: Paradise Stables
Romantic Places to Horse Ride
Seeking a romantic evening straight out of a fairy tale? With horseback riding, sunset dinner and breathtaking scenery, Wine Valley Horse Trails is the answer. A two-hour ride through the stunning vineyards, perfect for beginners, concludes with wine and dinner at a cost of R1800 per person.
Moonlit horse riding outrides are also available and include sundowners’ snacks and drinks for R950. These rides begin at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate in Paarl and meander into the Paarl Nature Reserve. The views, of the farming plains, the surrounding mountains, and iconic Table Mountain, are spectacular. This guarantees a romantic date!
Entrance Fee: R650-R1800
- 083 226 8735 / 083 657 5135
More Info: Wine Valley Horse Trails
If you’re looking for some more quality time with your loved one, try an overnight horseback riding trail. You can spend the days riding in pristine natural environments, picnicking in shady spots along the way and sampling splendid Cape wines; the nights can be spent at secluded luxury establishments.
There’s not much more to paradise than this! These horse riding trails happen around Cape Town, extending up to Stanford and the Elgin Valley, and are custom-made according to budget, skill and time.
One option is the two-day horse ride in the Winelands. On day one you depart the stables and ride to the Backsberg wine estate with its variety of Cape wines to taste as you enjoy a lunch of gourmet salads, burgers or pasta. The estate also offers the choice of blending your own wine, with the help of an expert, which will help you appreciate the art behind your drink!
End the day with a relaxing evening spent in a double bedroom on a horse farm. The following day brings another horse ride, this time for three hours. The cost is R3700-R4550 per person, dependent on transport arrangements.
For a more extravagant weekend away, the Two Day Beach and Mountain Trail answers all your desires. In exchange for R9000 per person, you are provided with three nights of luxury and two days of tranquillity. In a couple of days on horseback, you’ll experience a diverse range of landscapes.
These include the Walker Bay Conservancy with the scent of fynbos wafting around you, endless shores where waves crash in eruptions of sea spray, sandy dunes littered with small bushes, mountains, dams, vineyards and other farms.
Highlights include a spot of swimming in a farm dam with your horse and concluding each day’s journey with a seaside dip! Between July and November, you may even be lucky enough to spot a few whales! Along the road, you can stop for some wine tastings on the splendid Springfontein and Lomond wine estates and enjoy everything from a Shiraz to a Chardonnay.
Accommodation is provided in comfortable farmsteads for two nights and the stunning Stanford River Lodge for one night. Every evening is characterized by delicious food, comfortable rooms full of beauty and candlelit baths for you and your loved one. With such a package in hand, no-one could say you aren’t a romantic!
Entrance Fee: R3700-R9000
- 083 313 4821
- 021 856 2246
More Info: Cape Town Horse Riding
Places to have Horse Riding Parties
If horse riding is your passion, then an equestrian party is probably a dream come true. There are different sorts of horse riding birthday parties possible in Cape Town, from trails in the vineyards to carriage rides and picnics while your horses graze. With such a variety of options, a horse riding party in Cape Town is not only for kids!
Cape Town Horse Riding offers a fun party package, tailored for kids. Children get to not only ride a horse but also learn how to look after it. For R550 per child, your guests can enjoy a party programme of grooming and saddle a horse, riding it for one amazing hour in the area, grooming and unsaddling the horse and finally enjoying party packs of chips, sweets, cupcakes and cool drinks. What a perfect party for any prince or princess!
Entrance Fee: R550
Contact Number: 021 856 2246
More Info: Cape Town Horse Riding
A great idea for parties is to take a horse ride to a beautiful, shady location and have a picnic. This suits any age and provides structure for your event. You could ride astride one way and in a carriage on your return. To give your event a grander atmosphere, consider making your horse riding party part of a theme such as vintage or Jane Austen. Your guests can dress up and enjoy the otherworldly vibe of parasols, horses, and carriages!
Oude Molen offers cart rides, in addition to horse riding trails, providing two fun activities for your horsey party! Oude Molen is conveniently situated in Pinelands only 10 minutes from the city centre.
There are lovely views of Table Mountain from this historic site, where the Khoi grazed their cattle and the Dutch farmed, and the rides are cheaper than most places, at a wonderful R150 an hour. You’ll also get the gift of knowing that your party helps to support this community eco-village which supports the local community in a sustainable way. If you opt against a picnic, there’s always the onsite café to host the cutting of your cake!
Entrance Fee: R150/hour
Contact number: 073 199 7395
Address: Oude Molen Eco Village, Alexandra Rd, Pinelands
More Info: Oude Molen
Heading out of the Mother City, Wine Valley Horse Trails offers carriage rides and horse trails in the Stellenbosch region. Their specialty is incorporating wine tasting into the rides. One of our favourite options is the Picnic Carriage Trail which includes one wine tasting, a carriage ride and a picnic for R1200 per person.
The Full Day Trail, a wonderful time of wine tasting and horseback riding near Cape Town with sterling views, is also fabulous with a cost of R2500 for adults and R2000 for children. This is a lovely horse riding party venue for adults and families, making for an occasion everyone will long remember!
Entrance Fee: R1200-R2500
- 083 226 8735 / 083 657 5135
More Info: Wine Valley Horse Trails
With so many different locations and different packages, Cape Town’s horse stables are suited to everyone’s desires. Offering so much more than just a quick trot around, they can take you to some of the city’s most iconic natural environments and help you to taste true Cape hospitality.
Your experiences of the Winelands and the beaches will be so much more enriched by your lofty position on horseback. With the added options of horse riding parties and overnight romantic getaways, there’s a horse ride in Cape Town for every occasion!