Reconnect with nature on a magical horse ride in Noordhoek

Posted by Nidha Narrandes on 14 September 2020

It was midday and the waves glistened and sparkled as though someone had sprinkled fairy dust over the shoreline. It was a moment of complete and utter peace. In the distance I heard a friend ask, is this for real? And I understood exactly how he was feeling. After months of lockdown, this moment right here during a horse ride on the white sandy stretch of beach between Kommetjie and Noordhoek, felt surreal. It was a larger than life feeling of contentment, happiness and disbelief that it took us this long to attempt horse riding on the beach.

It was the perfect day for it too – in between winter rains and snowfall in some parts of the Western Cape – this unseasonably hot day dawned, as though it was meant to be.

Kilometres of white sand for you to trot.

Imhoff Farm is a popular tourist destination and local favourite in Kommetjie. There is something to keep the whole family entertained – laser tag, and paintball for the youngsters, Higgledy Piggledy Farm Yard for the smaller kids, and a print art studio, as well as horse rides for adults, and young adults.

Imhoff Farm has undergone a rejuvenation during lockdown.

The farm used lockdown as an opportunity to freshen up its facilities. From clothing to hairdressers, artisanal foods and wine-tasting – they truly are fully inclusive and cater to all ages.

Besides horse rides, pony rides are also on offer for children with their highly trained guides.

The horse ride starts with a safety briefing, and in no time we are saddled up and ready to head out. The stables are being reconstructed and I look forward to going back to see the state of the art facility in a few months time.

The first few minutes of any horse ride are tense for me. This was only my fourth time riding. Will my horse be jittery, or easily startled by bees, or worse? Turns out we encountered a feisty pony named Shadow along the trail who took exception to our horses traipsing across her turf which she shares with the cows. She scared a few of our horses, who were twice her size. Note to self, don’t mess with a pony and her cows.

The trail from Imhoff Farm runs along the Wildevoelvlei wetlands. A blue crane, our national bird, wanders around the wet grass, while in the air above, a hawk circles in search of prey to pounce on. Along the trail the only sounds you can hear are the buzzing of nearby beetles, and the rustling sound of the wind between the reeds. This is nature at its peaceful best. There’s a serenity in the air that is instantly calming, as your body begins to relax and you become comfortable with your horse.

The horses were calm and friendly, and with names like Indie, Puma, Thor and Harry it was easy to befriend them. But it would be good to note that horses are not dogs, they do not respond to whistles, they don’t really care to be friends if they are never going to see you again. They are magnificent animals, who feed off your energy so stay in control, and the horse will do the rest.

Nothing more peaceful than the sand and the sea, and the mountain.

Now, if you’ve had visions of galloping at full speed across the 8km stretch of white sand, the wind flowing through your hair like a lead character in a romantic novel, slow down. What you can do, however, is trot along the shoreline, same feeling, same movie-shot, just more realistic. The horses move at a gentle pace so you can appreciate the world around you. On Long Beach, you’ll be able to get close to the Wreck of the Kakapo, which ran aground here 120 years ago. There isn’t much left of it, but it’s still a piece of history.

Here in Noordhoek, a vital part of the ecosystem in this area is preserved, and the reward is a rich diversity of nature and experiences like no other, where the fish eagle rules. With Chapman’s Peak as a backdrop, blue skies and the white sand below, you couldn’t dream up a better combination. To be immersed in that moment, in that beautiful setting, was a truly a privilege.

Out here, between the mountains and the beach, there is little to stress you out, you fall into the lull of the trot and lose yourself to the experience.

It is a long ride down to the beach, but the time passes too quickly. It’s when you hit the sand that everything falls in to place and the magic begins. For all the time trotting along the shoreline, with the waves crashing beneath your horse you are in a sort of a trance.

Views of Chapman Peak.

After an exhilarating ride, and just when you thought the day’s events were completed, we sat down for lunch at Umami. The sushi was so impressive it could very well be classed among the very best in the Mother City, and that is huge praise. It’s always the dark horse, pun intended, eateries that blow me away.

The sushi platters were incredible and fresh.

 

We ordered sushi platters, some deep fried, others consisting of salmon roses, fashion sandwiches, nigiri and the usual suspects. But, there was nothing usual about the food. Everything on the platters were freshly prepared, and the quality of the sushi was outstanding. In the shade of the big oak trees that frame the outdoor eating area, we enjoyed a truly magnificent spread.

Imhoff Farm and the stables provide a magical day out for the whole family, a space to unwind but still feel connected to nature around you, and appreciate the indigenous wildlife Cape Town is blessed with.

Contact: 021 783 4545
Address: Kommetjie Rd, Kommetjie, Cape Town
Wesbite: Imhoff Farm






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