Saturday was the perfect day for a horse trail. The Eye on Zululand team was so excited to be invited to Cruiser Ranch for a trail ride and picnic. Our expectations were pleasantly surpassed. While neither Robert nor myself have been on a horse for many, many moons, Melissa and Samantha made us feel right at home as we perched ourselves on the broad backs of their beloved horses Freckles and Uppity.
We arrived a little early and were lucky enough to catch the tail end of one of their horse riding lessons. These two young ladies certainly have a knack for what they do, the horse whisperers of Empangeni if you will.
The lesson ended and now it was our turn. Nerves on edge we mounted the gracious beasts. We were given instruction on how to guide the horses in the direction we wanted them to go and most importantly, how to stop! We strode around the arena a little before embarking on our absolutely breathtaking trail through forest and sugarcane. The fresh air and friendly conversation soon had us as relaxed as if we had been doing this for years. The hour passed by so quickly.
We arrived back at the arena to a romantic picnic that would leave any couple speechless. Beauty set up on a blanket under the trees with the beautiful, gracious horses grazing in the background. Picnic baskets filled with snack, sweet treats and fruit, topped off with a sparkling bottle of Grapetizer. This is truly one of the things fairytale's are made of. We were left to enjoy the scenery and savor our picnic treats amid the tranquility and peacefulness of the gorgeous surroundings.
A huge thanks to Melissa and Samantha from Cruiser Ranch who so graciously took us on a trip that will be etched in our memory forever.
Call Cruiser Ranch on 0713515586 or 0820828633 to experience a dream come true.
A stone’s throw from Empangeni, nestled among the trees, lies Reptile City. This past Sunday we were lucky enough to be invited to the park to experience it first hand. What an absolutely wonderfully pleasant and educational visit it was. Ryno, the park manager, is filled with knowledge, his passion for his animals shines through.
The setting is breathtaking. Trees overhang the walkways, shady spots are dotted throughout for those who simply want to sit and take in the glorious surroundings.
Sunday was feeding day. What a treat! There is nothing quite like witnessing these marvelous beasts showing their raw, natural instincts. The cracking of jaws closing is enough to send shivers down your spine. Tons of force exerted with every snap. Ryno was more than willing to share his knowledge and answer any question thrown his way.
The baby crocodile made a show and children and adults alike scampered closer to get their chance at holding what will one day be very dangerous predator. As small as the one and a half year old baby was, it’s teeth were razor sharp and easily able to snap off a finger or two if given an opportunity. It was fascinating to think that this tiny creature only measuring around 30 cm would one day be a giant that strikes fear in whoever crosses its path.
While crocodiles may be a huge part of the attraction at Reptile City, there are so many other weird and wonderful creatures on display. Birds and bunnies, a variety of snakes, frogs and spiders are all waiting to be discovered.
While the restaurant was not yet open due to the current pandemic, we will most definitely be back to try the scrumptious burgers that the park boasts.
This is truly a trip worth taking. Bring Africa and nature into your backyard and learn about the reptiles that inhabit our country, as well as other countries. Learn to identify a variety of snakes and whether they are a danger to you.
There is something so mysterious about the reptiles that roam our continent. Get up close and personal and appreciate what we have been given by Mother Nature. Living in Africa we truly are blessed.
Visit the Reptile City Mposa Facebook page to find out about the trading hours and when would be best for you to visit. This is the perfect facility for student groups and tourists who want to know what Africa is really all about.
Dayspring Animal Farm lies on the outskirts of Empangeni, a peaceful haven nestled amid the sugar cane fields. Family owned and operated, the farm yard has a unique character all of its own. The relaxed atmosphere will lull you back to sanity in an instant.
This is the perfect getaway for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle, even if only for an afternoon. There is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. While the parents enjoy a relaxing cup of tea and a piece of delectable homemade cake, the children can wander about and mingle with the animals on the farm.
Ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, sheep, ponies and even an emu are all part of the attraction. Allow the children to feed the animals and get a little bit closer to nature and a bit further away from technology, just for a moment.
The farm yard offers a variety of activities to excite even the biggest children. Pony rides, tractor rides, a play gym park area and a mini zip line will keeps your children captivated for hours on end. For the older children and adults you can book yourself on a horse trail and head out into the greenery on the back of a fine steed.
Birthday parties can be booked at the farm yard with all kinds of treats in store for the party-goers. Do something different to celebrate this year another year in the life of your little one.
For more information on the farm yard or to book your trail ride or party, you can contact Dayspring on 082 708 4168.
Take some time out today and enjoy what is right on your doorstep.
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