Attractions & Things to Do
Kaapsehoop Horse Trails
Kaapsehoop Horse Trails is a well-known and idyllic hideaway at the end of a 7km forest track that winds through the Berlin Forest. Leaving behind the historic, quaint gold mining village of Kaapsehoop you will find your shoulders lightening, your eyes being drawn to the horizon and your lungs drawing in the air. You’ve left behind the world as you know it. It is time now to breathe in deeply the fresh pine-scented forest air, also to trace your fingers through the often swirling mist. The pounding of your heart foretells of the adventures ahead...contours, gullies, streams and natural splendour. The Horse Trails were established in 1994 by Christo, a 17,000 hectare private concession on the Berlin forestry plantation of Komatiland. With 26 years of trail riding experience Christo works on a natural horsemanship basis. We have well-trained cross-bred horses. This is a ‘no hurry, no worry’ out-of-world place offering many and varied riding conditions that will suit all disciplines and any level of experience. Here you’ll feel at home in the saddle, whether English or Trail. But this is no rodeo show. Your safety, comfort and enjoyment are our priorities, so both beginners and experienced riders will quickly feel at ease - all trails are guided. BASE RIDES 1 hour rides: - Enjoy an hour scenic ride which is suitable for the beginner type rider as well as the not-so-fit rider. 2 hour rides: - The two hour ride is for the more experienced rider who rides frequently. 4-6 hour rides: - The 4-6 hour ride is for the more experienced rider who rides frequently. A minimum of 6 riders are required. OVERNIGHT RIDES The Wilderness Trails is exclusively suited for experienced, frequent riders. The availabilty is subject to number of riders and season. Riders arrive at Kaapsehoop Horse Trails on the afternoon prior to the trail. Here they meet their horses and their guides and depart for an hour’s ride along the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. This is an ideal opportunity to get to know your horse, which you will be riding for the next 3 days: Day 1 : Riders load their baggage in the luggage vehicle (which transports it to the Ivy Falls wilderness camp) and depart from base camp for Kaapsehoop village and onto the blue swallow reserve grass plains. Here the riders will have their first taste of some fast riding. In this reserve, the largest breeding colony of blue swallows - the most endangered bird species in the southern hemisphere – consists of 14 breeding pairs. Arriving at Ivy Falls both horses and riders get settled in, then tuck into a hearty lunch. Then a short siesta followed by a late afternoon visit to the fascinating old gold mine that is tucked away behind a stunning waterfall. Back at camp, sunset drinks and conversation are complimented by a crackling fire before a traditional South African braai (barbecue) is the full stop of the day and the weary but satisfied riders retire to their tents. Day 2 : A crack-of-dawn, steaming cup of coffee, and an interactive grooming and feeding session for the horses heralds the start of day two. A camp fire breakfast is to be enjoyed before saddling-up and riding out to “Tafelkop”. Grassland riding at its best, look out for both the proteas and the wild horses in their natural environment. From here the De Kaap and De Goede Hoop valleys offers breath taking scenery. Back to Ivy falls for lunch, then to enjoy a siesta or to soak in the serenity. Late afternoon sees the departure on a sunset ride along the very edge of the escarpment amongst ancient man-made rock formations - “Adam’s Calendar” is alleged to be 75 000 years old! – all of which align with the summer solstice. Sunset sees a return to the camp, its crackling fire and more traditional South African bush cuisine and camp fire talk. Day 3 : Bags are packed and it is homeward bound to Kaapsehoop Horse Trails via meandering trails that are often frequented by the forest’s wild horses. ACCOMMODATION Built in 1937, the Guest House was one of the first houses on the Berlin Plantation. Its creaking wooden floors, redolent with the building’s history, continually draws back visitors who have experienced its unique and welcoming ambience. Sleeps 6 people: Double bedroom, 2x 2 single bed rooms, bathroom, shower, toilet, lounge with fire place, kitchen, veranda, braai area. The kitchen is equipped with a fridge, microwave, stove and basic cooking and eating utensils.