Have you ever been on a Segway? I hadn’t until we visited Spier for their Segway tour and wow! What a lot of fun it is. To make the Spier experience even more interesting, theirs is off road! Which, strangely, feels safer as a newbie as you feel you can just jump into the flowers in you’re going to bail! Here’s how we spent the afternoon:
Fun on the Segway Tour at Spier Wine Estate
Step 1: Segway Training
Mr John and I joined the Segway group at 3:30pm for the tour. The later time actually suited me as it was very hot in Stellenbosch and I burn easily. We arrived at the office on the far side of Spier and were greeted by our instructor for the day, Dylan.
I was nervous as I’d never ridden a Segway before and had concerns about hurting myself. But Dylan was INCREDIBLY patient, kind and clear about how to use the Segway both in optimal conditions and when things go wrong. We practised possible falls and he instructed us on how to reduce injury should we crash. We were able to give it a few spins in the car park as well as on a more bumpy course on the lawn before setting off.
Step 2: Off-Road Segway Tour
From the get-go, riding a Segway on the farm is exhilarating. A very small portion of the tour is on cement, meaning you’re in the ‘bundu’ from the start. Driving up sandy roads and footpaths up the Spier hills is just marvelous. Whizzing past the veld and vineyards with the wind blowing over your shoulders; really is a wonderful experience.
Step 3: Enjoy the Views
We were given a lovely tour of the Spier hills, stopping off at a ‘test block’ where vineyards are grown and used to trial various methods before applying any changes to the whole farm.
The test block offers a beautiful view across the Stellenbosch valley, up to the Hottentots-Holland mountains. And on a day with baby blue skies, it was perfection.
Step 4: Visiting the Free Range Chickens
Our adventure continued to the hills of Spier where the farm’s free-range chickens reside. They literally live in a barrel shaped caravan on the hill. They were really friendly as they thought we were bringing them food! #CakeFriends. These chickens lay free-range eggs, which are sold at Spier as well us patrol the farm, providing fresh manure for the vineyards.
Step 5: Home
We ended the tour by flying down the hill, across the brook and back to the office. I LOVED it Segway tour and want to ride a Segway to work every day of my life now! (If only!).
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does a Segway Work?
The Segway works on a leaning method where to turn right, you lean the shaft right. To go left, you lean the shaft left. This takes a little getting used to as most of us are used to bicycles where you turn the handlebars. This is not the same on a Segway. The more you lean forward the faster you go until the limit is reached.
How Fast Does It Go?
The fastest you can go on the Spier tour is 20kms an hour, which Dylan will have to grant permission for on your Segway. We started off at 10kms an hour, but he ‘upgraded’ us due to our competency. I’m sure if there’s a really experienced group, they could go faster but I feel 20kms an hour is appropriate – because it’s not about staying on, it’s about what happens when you come off!
How Long is the Tour?
The whole tour, including training, is about an hour and a half. Half an hour on training and safety and an hour out in the field. Should you wish to ride for longer, they do have a number of options including the Spier Wine Farm and Vineyards Glide which is 2 hours and the Dusk Tour which is 2 hours.
How Much Does It Cost?
Our tour was R350 per person. The wine tasting tour is R550 per person and the 7 hour dusk tour is R700 per person. Full rates available on the Spier Segway Tour page.
What Should I Wear?
I wore sandals and Mr John wore sneakers, which was a better option. I pierced myself on a stick when walking to the chickens, which left a nice gash in my foot, OUCH! So I’d recommend sneakers, but shorts and a t-shirt, with lots of sunblock is great. Helmets are provided so your face is partially covered. Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind is also helpful.
How To Book Your Segway Tour
I’d absolutely love to do a Segway tour again! It was the perfect afternoon activity and so much fun! Definitely look into giving it a whirl if you feel like doing something different. Bookings are essential to avoid disappointment. Contact them on +27 (21) 809 1157 or visit www.segwaytours.co.za.
THANK YOU SPIER FOR HAVING US! THAT WAS AWESOME!