Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information (5)

What is the weather currently like in our area?

Have a look at the latest update of our current weather conditions:
Clear
Today 06/24 10%
Clear
Sunny. High 16C. Winds SSE at 15 to 30 km/h.
Clear
Tomorrow 06/25 10%
Clear
Sunny. High 16C. Winds SSE at 15 to 30 km/h.
Clear
Monday 06/26 0%
Clear
Sunny. High near 20C. Winds light and variable.
Partly Cloudy
Tuesday 06/27 10%
Partly Cloudy
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 17C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 km/h.

What should I bring?

Pack comfortable, light riding gear especially in summer months. In addition to your hard hat, we recommend the following essentials:

      • Bum bag
      • Lip ice / lip protection
      • Sun cream – SPF 20 or higher, and After Sun lotion
      • Sunglasses with neck strap
      • Short boots and chaps (long rubber boots are not advised)
      • Walking shoes
      • Swimming costume
      • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts
      • Lightweight raincoat or anorak
      • Camera, extra batteries, a camera charger or film (if you are old school)
      • Prescription medicine (a basic First Aid kit is available)
      • An adaptor (SA uses round plugs)
      • Mosquito repellent
      • Anti-histamine cream

In the case of injury or illness, what medical facilities are on hand?

There are full scale hospitals and emergency facilities within a 20-minute drive. All our riding trails are accessible by vehicle / ambulances. Our insurance company also has a standby emergency service available and, in critical situations, airlifts/evacuations can be arranged (at the client’s expense).

I don’t drink alcohol – are soft drinks available at the wine tastings?

Yes, please be sure to let us know of any preferences or food allergies / dietary restrictions when you book.

Riding and Horses (10)

Who will be guiding us and in what language?

Seasoned rider Louis Geyer will be your guide.

Louis is a natural guide and attentive host with a broad knowledge of the area and local culture. He is also one of the top birders in the country. Louis grew up around horses and is passionate about gentle horsemanship, people and the tourism industry.

We operate mainly in English and Afrikaans but also have German and French staff on hand from time to time.

What are the horses and tack like?

Currently we have a stable of 31 horses, 18 of which are used for our riding holidays. Breeds include TBs, Boerperd, Arab and Frisian crosses, Nooitgedacht and Saddlebreds, and also some Basotho and Shire crosses.

We mostly source quality tack overseas, using primarily trail saddles and English GP saddles. Bridles are standard with noseband and mostly snaffle bits.  Horses are schooled in the arena as well as in the cross country and flatwork setting. Most of our horses are therefore comfortable in both neck reining as well as classical riding styles. We generally ride with a loose rein and gentle on the hands.

Are there any weight limits for the horses?

We generally allow riders weighing up to 90 kg, however we can accept experienced riders over 90 kg on request.

What is the local riding terrain like? Is it fast riding throughout or gentle walking?

The trails allow a mixture of gentle walks with plenty of stretches to enjoy a fast canter or gallop depending on the terrain and conditions on the day. Most of the riding is down old tractor tracks and vineyard roads so the going is generally soft underfoot. Most of our horses are not shod, and shod only when it is absolutely needed.

I am an experienced rider but my partner is not. Do we go on the same rides?

Rides are always kept at the pace of the least experienced rider in the group. We generally group the rides according to rider ability so everyone is on a par. That said, should riders of different levels request to ride together we will accommodate it.

Are all the rides accompanied by a guide or is it possible to go on an unguided trail?

Rides are always led by experienced guides. This is for your own safety.

What riding equipment should I bring?

We have extra sets of the most essential riding equipment you will need but feel free to drop us a line if you have any specific tack requests and we will see what we can arrange.

Are hard hats compulsory?

Yes. We do provide riding hats but we recommend riders bring their own. We don’t ordinarily provide half chaps however there may be an extra pair on hand if required.

Do you accommodate riders with disabilities?

Yes. In the past we’ve had deaf and blind riders, and single and double amputees. Private rides can be arranged but we are happy to integrate disabled persons with other riders, if they are comfortable with the overall level of experience in the group. Please be sure to advise us of any disabilities when booking.

When riding in the mountains, could we encounter any dangerous wildlife?

You can expect to see small buck / antelope in the vineyards and possibly small wild cats but nothing dangerous such as the Big Five. Riders are absolutely safe in respect of wildlife encounters.

The Package (8)

What is included in the package price?

Your package is all inclusive of: 5 star accommodation, all riding, airport transfers for longer stays, wine tastings, all meals (including restaurant meals), drinks (including house wines at the table) and drinks during and after rides.

At restaurants, house wines are included. Premium spirits and other wines are available but not included.

Laundry service is not included but can be arranged at a nominal fee.

Spa treatments are charged extra however the use of the heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms are free of charge.

Who handles my airport transfers?

Cape Winelands Riding will both meet you on arrival and transfer you for departure from Cape Town International Airport. Your accommodation is a 40-minute drive from the airport.

The suggested arrival time is as close to 1pm as possible.

On the last day you will depart the villa at 2 pm for arrival at the airport by 2.40pm. Please book onward domestic flights from 3.30pm onwards and international flights from 4.30pm onwards. (Domestic check-in is one hour before, international check-in is two hours before).

What are the largest and smallest groups one can book?

We can book a trip for one subject to availability and we accept a maximum of eight riders at once.

Is one expected to tip riding instructors or hotel and restaurant staff?

In South Africa tipping is customary but it is always at your discretion and never compulsory.

What is the minimum age you accept?

We accept riders from a very young age but this would ultimately depend on your personal travel insurance.

Do you accept bookings over the Christmas period / Christmas Day?

We accept bookings over all holidays however we do not ride on Christmas Day nor New Year’s Day. Accommodation is still available but these days are normally treated as rest / non riding days.

Do you require a deposit?

The travel agent booking your holiday determines the deposit to be paid. Feel free to drop us a line if you are unsure about this.

What is your policy on cancellations?

The travel agent booking your holiday determines cancellation terms / penalties. Feel free to drop us a line if you are unsure about this.

Tourist Information and Local Attractions (5)

What’s the local weather like?

Summer

Cape Town has a long summer from November to March, a season with 11 or more hours of sunshine every day. The average summer temperature is 24.3 degrees Centigrade, with January and February temperatures averaging 26 degrees Centigrade. February is the driest as well as the hottest month of the year. Strong winds occur during November and early December. Temperatures may rise above 30 degrees in these months (for part of the day).

Spring and autumn

Spring (September/October) and autumn (April/May) are beautiful seasons in the Cape when nature is at its showiest!

Winter

Cape Town’s winters (June to August) can be stormy and wet. June is the wettest month of the year and light snow can fall on the higher Cape mountains. The average winter temperature is between 7 and 20 degrees Centigrade however it’s not uncommon to enjoy a beautiful week of sunshine in winter.

Do I need a South African visa?

It is advisable to check visa requirements with your local travel agent or embassy but click here for a list of nationalities that are exempt from visas: http://www.southafrica-newyork.net/homeaffairs/visaexempt.htm

NB: Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after your date of return and must have at least three blank pages in it. Conditions may vary from country to country.

What credit cards are accepted in South Africa and what is the local currency?

Pretty much all major credit cards are accepted across South Africa, with a good selection of Foreign Exchange outlets too should you require cash.

Our local currency is the ZA Rand. Click here to see the rates of exchange http://www.x-rates.com/table/?from=ZAR&amount=1

What is the dress code at the restaurants we will dine in?

We’re quite relaxed in South Africa – jeans and a middle-of-the-road shirt / top will work pretty much everywhere!

What can non-riders do in the area?

Non riders can visit the nearby towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch or Franschhoek – all a short drive away and full of historical sites, world class restaurants and coffee shops, and other attractions.

One can go hiking, play golf, visit crocodile, ostrich, eagle, cheetah and butterfly farms or penguin colonies, go whale watching (in season), and enjoy wine, cheese or chocolate tasting. The spa facilities at your villa are also a great way to spend the day. Mountain bikes are also available should you wish to cycle on our farm.