Southern Comfort Horse Ranch is in the middle of the forest in Haakenberg (just outside Knysna) and it’s as horsey as you’re going to get. A family run and maintained farm with the chattiest tannie and her daughter taking bookings. If you don’t like flies or the smell of farm or a communal kitchen with gas stoves then this isn’t the place for you, BUT if you don’t mind handmade bedspreads, old fashioned pots and pans and you’re keen on bottle feeding baby lambs, meeting some seriously friendly people, and being on a hill with a view of the surrounding forest then this is a good place to visit. The “double” rooms are converted stables with a bathroom and shower and you’d never think this but the most comfortable sealy beds! There are also camping spots available with lovely clean ablution blocks. No baths but the showers are hot!
There’s a dog named Thandi but you’ll recognise her immediately because it honestly looks like one of her parents may have been a sheep, she and the african grey parrot named Cowboy both adopted me (careful with Cowboy though, apparently he doesn’t actually like people, I’m just special).
They have quad bike rides, a 4×4 track, a massage therapist and horse rides. The latter of course we chose to do. We got a little brave and decided on doing a 2 hour ride (which ended up being a 2.5 hour ride) through the forest and it’s a literal forest safari – think a bruised knee from bashing into a tree and a few scratches bundu bashing through the ferns and bushes but it’s brilliant. I used to ride daily but haven’t been on a horse since our last ride in 2014 and neither has The Person hence saying we got a little brave. Needless to say we are sore but don’t regret a second of it. The Person galloped for the first time (and stayed on) and even managed to master the canter near the end. Blue was a fiesty little bugger and initiated said galloping when he decided to race the guide’s horse and of course with just a halter he fought with me easily. BUT it’s strengthened my resolve to find somewhere I can work to ride again or bloody earn enough to make sure I’m on and around the four legged beasts more often.
Kid friendly? Yes. Definitely wanting to bring Fysh here in the future, I think he’d absolutely love it. From the dogs and horses to the sheep. It’s also affordable and they haven’t upped their prices to tourists rates yet which is great.
Notes about the area – nothing dries in winter (and it’s still Autumn), expect wind and rain and a lot of friendly people. One of the permanent residents said there is wifi but we didn’t ask and it wasn’t offered so am actually not sure if there is. The signal is all good though so blog and tweet and instagram away!
PART FOUR OF A SERIES OF POSTS ABOUT #WHERETHEFUCKISCUPCAKE (because the trip turned out too long to be posted as a single post.)