The Southern coast of Africa offers visitors to what has now become known as the Cape Whale Coast, a bounty of exciting activities that are geared at outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
If you’ve experienced the adrenalin of tandem paragliding, zip-lined your way between towering trees and leapt your way down into the depths of your bucket list when you finally did that much feared bungee jump, then it’s time to kick-back and relax. Slow down to a trot, so to speak.
Hop on to the N2 freeway when you leave Cape Town International, and then take a detour through Gordons Bay toward the coast. Absorb the breathtaking beauty of False Bay from an elevated position as you wind your way along one of the Cape Whale Coast’s most scenic mountain passes, known as Clarence Drive. Less than ten minutes from Hangklip, you will reach your destination. Enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation in Kleinmond where you will stop and smell the Fynbos (endemic to the region). The places to stay in Kleinmond includes self-catering cottages, guesthouses and for those who prefer camping, a seaside resort next to a tranquil lagoon.
It is at this point that greeting the day at dawn will be highly beneficial for those who have heard the legend of Kleinmond’s wild horses. There are many tales about how this herd of free roaming horses found themselves in the Rooisand Nature Reserve. Amongst the tallest of these tales are that they are direct descendants from the eight horses that swam to safety on the night the ill-fated HMS Birkenhead sank off the Gansbaai coast in 1852. Another, is that their ancestors were cavalry horses that were let loose along the Kleinmond lagoon at the end of the Anglo Boer War. One likes to imagine that one of these stories could be true because after all, who doesn’t enjoy a good story.
Seeing as these steeds are reputed to be South Africa’s last herd of free roaming horses, this is one to add to your outdoor adventure to-do list. Around 26 of them enjoy grazing along the marshy shoreline close to the mouth of the lagoon where they munch away contentedly on water grasses like ‘kweek’ and ‘buffelsgras’. Some have been spotted in amongst the sandy white dunes at the beach or even next to the busy R43, and some locals have even been lucky enough to discover one having a nibble on their front lawns. Others, like myself, have never seen them and the challenge to spot them when I am in the area is high on my agenda as I drive to wherever it is I am going. Yet, the long wished for sighting continues to elude me and I am wondering if making a day of it may be a better idea.