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Bot River Wild Horses

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

When we first bought the Oppiedam Cabin (then Flamingo Lake), we were completely unaware of the Wild Horses of the Bot River (or as we know them now, “our wild horses”), so we were thoroughly surprised when we first saw them walking on the beach in front of the cabin.

We started spotting them around town in Fisherhaven, freely grazing on someones lush green lawn lazily watching the cars go by. This prompted the obvious question: Where do these feral horses come from and how did they end up here?

As it turns out there are a number of theories as to the horses' origin story. As always some are more fanciful than others. My advice would be to pick the one that speaks most to you :)

One of the theories (my favourite given my Boer ancestry, and my two Boer General forebears) is that the horses are the descendants of those hidden by the Boer forces from the British during the Anglo Boer War (1899 – 1902), when the British forces would commandeer horses for their army.

Another theory is that the horses swam ashore when the troopship Birkenhead sank near the coast.

The more likely, but far less romantic, theory is that the horses are the descendants of farm horses that were used in the early days of the region for riding, the pulling of wagons and ploughing before these activities became mechanised.

Truthfully though, we really don't mind where our wild horses came from, what we do know is that we love them and seeing them is always a magical moment.

If you’re lucky you might catch them, a stone’s throw from the Oppidam coastal cabin, popping by to say “Good morning”.

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