Karoo Horse-Riding Expedition

Date: 7-14 May 2016
Cost:
  • R5950 – formal per person (bedding is provided, not necessarily private room, will have to share on occasion)
  • R5400 – “camping” per person (sleeping-hall/barns, mattress is provided, but not bedding)
Included in the price:
  1. Three meals per day (it includes supper for the first evening and breakfast on the last morning)
  2. Coffee and tea are provided with breakfast and supper
  3. Transportation of camping equipment, clothes, snacks, drinks and water buckets.
  4. Two bales of lucerne per horse (please note that you must bring fodder for the first two days and also the last day – we provide lucerne only for days 3, 4, 5 and 6)
Number of Riders
  • Maximum of 20 riders
  • Riders must bring their own horses

The Route

We shall cross the path where Sylvester, the widely known lion, roamed about a few times. On the last day, we ride past the place where he came out of the Karoo National Park. We shall ride a circular route of about 225 km over 6 days. Water points are about 11 km apart. Sunrise is at 07:10; therefore, the plan is to leave at 08:00 in the morning to reach the destination of that evening in the afternoon at about 16:00.

Day 1:
We begin at Boplaas Guest Farm, where we shall stay the first two nights and also the last night. We unpack here, and the horse boxes and vehicles also remain here. Those who want to, can ride to the summit of a hill with a beautiful view. We enjoy supper around the fire where the tour leader will elaborate about the enjoyable adventure to come.

Day 2: 38 km
Today, we ride a circular route and plan to be back at our accommodation between 14:00 and 15:00. The route does not have steep hills, but we descend into a dry riverbed, which we follow for ±6.5 km. It soon becomes a beautiful little ravine from which we must ascend again later. The last 10 km is level again and fairly soft with the possibility of seeing game like gemsbok, ordinary and black springbuck, kudu and other small game.

Day 3: 41 km
Today we ride up Tafelkop, which is rather a stiff one. The reward however is great at the summit when the Karoo plains open up in front of you. At times, we are going to pass under stretches of thorn trees that form a canopy, and then the beautiful Oukloof Pass is our last challenge for the day.

Day 4: 44 km
Today will be a longer ride, but the road is softer and relatively flat. We are now in the Northern Cape in the Fraserburg district. This morning, we must ride up the last hill of Oukloof Pass to reach the plateau of the Nuweveld Mountains. Here, Sylvester will “walk next to us” for some distance. In the late afternoon, we descend into a narrow little ravine to the Leeukloof homestead where we shall overnight.

Day 5: 30 km
The first part will be a little uphill, just to get out of the ravine, then the road is flat and soft again. The next two nights we stay over at Amandelboom Guest Farm, where the house has a lovely visiting room and a large fireplace.

Day 6: 26 km
Today we do not spend much time in the saddle; there will be more time to study the unique and diverse vegetation closely. We shall also have a look at fossils and will have beautiful vistas from the escarpment of the Nuweveld Mountains.

Day 7: 46 km
Our last day in the saddle. Today, we ride back to Boplaas. The route is mostly downhill and flat, and we ride about 14 km along the western border of the Karoo National Park. Hopefully, we shall see some game. On route we will visit a 150-year-old corbellede house. The house still has its original stone roof. We also make sure the hole in the fence where Sylvester escaped is still closed.
At Boplaas, a well-earned hot shower or something cool in the swimming-pool is waiting. We enjoy our last evening with a wholesome plate of food beside the fire.

Day 8:
After breakfast, we reluctantly say farewell until the next time.