The thing about staying at Easy Five Guest House in Somerset West is that despite our gorgeous gardens and enticing pool, it’s so difficult to just sit still when you’re here. There is so much happening in the Cape Peninsula that you will want to get out adventuring almost as soon as you arrive.
That’s not a bad thing, although you might want to remember what Frodo, recalling Bilbo’s advice, famously said to Sam in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
And we remind you of this because you might end up finding these Five Fine Adventures when you set your feet a-moving:
Horse riding at Journey’s End Vineyards
Journey’s End Vineyards is one of the more unusual wine estates in the Helderberg region – it has its own trebuchet fer goodness sakes! (“You’ll battle not to have fun with a 42-foot tall, 12-ton siege engine!”) – so you can imagine that horse riding here’s going to offer some great experiences.
The horses and ponies at Journey’s End cater for novices and experienced riders of all ages, and their guided outrides “meander through various vineyards and through surrounding wine farms such as Mount Rozier, Highberry, and Journey’s End itself. Both the natural bird life and awesome splendour of the mountains will add to the tranquility and beauty of the ride.”
A highlight of their longer rides is a stop at a viewpoint that looks out over False Bay from where, on a clear day, you can see all the way to Cape Point.
Journey’s End offers outrides daily from Monday to Saturday, as well as sunrise or sunset rides for groups of two people or more. (Although you’ll need to book these at least two days in advance.) You can also enjoy wine tasting and cheese platters after your ride, also by prior arrangement.
Journey’s End is on the Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, about 8.5 km, or a 10-minute drive, from Easy Five Guest House.
Mountain biking or trail running at Helderberg Farm
Helderberg Farm is a destination on its own, offering strawberry picking, laser shooting, paintball, a kids play-park and farmyard, Five (Five! – we love it) different walking and hiking trails of between one and 20 kilometres, and much more.
For cyclist and trail runners, though, the big attractions are the various 15- to 25-km MTB routes, all of which have been designed and built to international standards.
Beginners routes, aimed at kids, start at about one km, and the longer routes are graded moderate to difficult, so you’ll have challenges aplenty if you’re a more experienced athlete. Maps are available on request.
The farm is open seven days a week from 8:00 to 5:00, and you’ll need to buy your permits to ride from the tea garden. The trails are also accessible after hours, though, with self-service permits available from the kiosk.
Follow helderbergtrails on Facebook for up-to-date information.
Helderberg Farm is situated about 7 km – 10 minutes – from Easy Five Guest House.
Segway or Quadbike Tours with WildX Adventures Helderberg
Also situated on Helderberg Farm — so all the good things about wonderful views and great location apply — WildX Adventures offers guided Segway and quad bike tours for adults and children. The Segway experience is suitable for kids from seven years of age, while kids from five to 13 years can ride as passengers on the quads.
WildX provides all equipment and safety gear.
Tandem skydiving with Mother City Skydiving
Like Aquila Private Game Reserve, which we’ve introduced below, Mother City SkyDiving is a bit further afield. But who wouldn’t want to go parachuting with a company that truly believes that “The sky is not the limit… It’s a playground,” and whose website states that “No previous experience is required, just a good sense of adventure…?”
Staffed by a fun team of full-time air-sports professionals who are genuinely passionate about skydiving, this drop-zone near the town of Malmesbury operates daily, conditions permitting, throughout the year.
On good days (But every day’s a good day with this lot), you’ll see the Cederberg and Ceres mountain ranges and all the way to Table Mountain!
Mother City SkyDiving is 90 km, just over an hour’s drive, from Easy Five. You don’t have to drive yourself there; the company’s contracted shuttle service is available to collect and return you by arrangement and at an additional costs apply.
Big Five Safaris at Aquila Private Game Reserve
Aquila Private Game Reserve has developed an enviable reputation for its service, and for its conservation and social responsibility programmes, so we have no hesitation in suggesting you drive all the way there for an African wildlife experience when you stay at Easy Five. It’s about 165 km, a little over two hours, from our gate.
This 10,000 hectare reserve boasts Africa’s Big Five- — leopard, lion, rhino, buffalo, and elephant — as well as significant populations of various other wild animals such as antelope, wildebeest, and zebra, all of which roam freely.
Aquila offers a choice of half-day and full-day guided safaris with various meal options, and even various transport options such as quad bikes, open 4×4 game viewing vehicles, or a combination of both. If time is a concern, we’d recommend the half-day afternoon safari, where you arrive at the reserve at 12 noon for a buffet lunch followed by a two- to three-hour game drive, or the sunset safari, which includes snacks, tea and coffee. You arrive at Aquila by 3pm. After a hot day in the African bush the animals are just starting to stir, moving towards the watering holes and coming out of the shade.
- p.s. We promised you Five Adventures, but here’s a sixth you’ll want to try: a Cape Canopy Tour in Elgin. If you haven’t read Linda’s review of this excellent experience, check it out here.
“Then one day, when you least expect it, the great adventure finds you.” – Ewan Mcgregor