Horseback Riding on the Beach in the Most Beautiful Place on Earth

There is no doubt that Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  This wasn’t news to me at all, but I had thought that I had seen how beautiful Cape Town could be.  I thought I had seen it all.  I was very wrong.  One morning, after breakfast at The Bay Hotel, I set out on a thirty minute drive to Noordhoek Beach just south of the city for some horseback riding on the beach.  It had been a late night last night and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t super looking forward to the horse riding.  I knew it would be uncomfortable and I’m always concerned the horse is going to see a patch of grass it never noticed before and just – freak the hell out. Plus, I had driven past Noordhoek (North Corner in Afrikaans) a dozen times and thought I had seen enough.  Boy was I wrong.

Beautiful Cape Town from Camps Bay with Lions Head mountain in the background

Beautiful Cape Town from Camps Bay with Lions Head mountain in the background

At Sleepy Hollow Horse Ranch we filled out some forms, got boots and helmets and saddled up.  I would be riding Rebel this morning and when Rebel came out to greet me I thought he had to be the most beautiful well groomed horse I’d ever seen! I’ll be honest, I was a bit intimidated by how beautiful he was.  He looked like he just walked out of a horse competition. Was this horse out of my league?  I just wanted to pet him so much.

Rebel - the most beautiful horse I have ever seen

Rebel – the most beautiful horse I have ever seen

We got underway and my wonderful horse Rebel was so chill, we were really enjoying each others company. He wasn’t letting anything bother him, and I wasn’t letting anything bother me.  We walked in a line through the neighborhood of Noordhoek for awhile until we got to the beach.  The neighborhood was a good warm up, but as we traversed the sand dunes and made our way out onto the open beach, I found myself blown away with what came next.  

Crossing the dunes on to Noordhoek beach on horseback

Crossing the dunes on to Noordhoek beach on horseback

 

The beach was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in South Africa – maybe even anywhere. Seemingly endless in all directions and in the morning air there was a bit of mist hanging over things that gave it all a mysterious atmosphere without being creepy. A shallow amount of water had washed up over the beach leaving stagnant water over almost all of the sand just a few inches deep.

Riding across the shallow waters of Nordhoek beach

Riding across the shallow waters of Nordhoek beach

 

It would not have been fun to walk on the beach as a human, but on horseback, it was magical. All the water on the beach perfectly reflected the epic mountains that lined the beach in both directions. All of this added together was nothing short of breathtaking. One of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever been hands down.  

The mountains surrounding Cape Town reflecting in the shallow waters of Nordhoek beach

The mountains surrounding Cape Town reflecting in the shallow waters of Nordhoek beach

 

We were alone on the massive beach with the only exception being a handful of people way off in the distance and also on horseback.  As we trotted down to the ocean and walked along the surf I realized I could have stayed on that beach all day.  I’m no equestrian, but I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to go horseback riding.  

The morning mist creates a magical atmosphere on Noordhoek beach

The morning mist creates a magical atmosphere on Noordhoek beach

 

 

I was told that the conditions on the beach change throughout the day and it’s never exactly the  same, but neither of our guides seemed to find our conditions too unusual so I imagine it can only get better.  If you find yourself in Cape Town, I would very strongly recommend this experience with Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding.  It is an awe inspiring way to start the day.

Noordhoek beach stretching out in all directions

Noordhoek beach stretching out in all directions

 

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