Wild Horses of Onrus and Fisherhaven

Wild Horses of Onrus and Fisherhaven

Photo Caption: Do you know where to find wild horses in Cape Town?
These horse’s ancestors were abandoned during the 2nd Boer War, somewhere around 1902. When we went searching for them we imagined a herd of wild mustangs galloping through a field. These are not quite mustangs but their story and presence is just as inspiring.

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Photo by @lara.jess

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The wild horses in Onrus and Fisherhaven are believed to be South Africa’s only herd of wild horses in a wetland habitat. There are many different stories of how these wild horses came to be, but the most plausible version of their origin is that these horses descend from the very first horses brought to South Africa by the Dutch and Flemish settlers from Europe, over a hundred years ago. It was believed that after the Anglo-Boer war their breed was almost wiped out but these beautiful self-sufficient creatures endured living in the wild.

These wild horses now roam freely in the marshlands next to the Rooisand Nature Reserve. Some people say there are about 100 of them and they can be seen grazing in their natural habitat. Although they are wild horses, these animals are surprisingly used to human interactions.

Wild Horses of Onrus and Fisherhaven

They even allow visitors to touch them. Touching these wild horses, however, is highly discouraged by the locals in order to preserve and safeguard their natural wonder. Signage containing words like “Help us keep the horses wild. Watch. Don’t touch.” has been posted in some areas.

The Fisherhaven horses symbolize resilience, strength, and survival. And their continued existence in an oftentimes harsh and unpredictable environment, makes them true legends in the region.