About 10 km (6 mi) of sandy beach fringes the impressive Sandown Bay, at the eastern edge of town. Much of the beach is nothing more than a sandbar, separating the Atlantic from the huge lagoon formed by the Bot River. Swift currents make swimming risky, although there is a sheltered corner near the rocks close to the old Beach House hotel, which burned down a few years ago. Keep an eye out for the famous Bot River horses that live on vlei (pronounced flay), or
marsh. There are lots of theories about just how the horses got here. One has it that they were turned loose during the Boer War to save them from being killed and ended up on the vlei for safety. DNA tests show that these horses are descendants of the Kaapse Waperd (Cape wagon horse), a sturdy breed used to help settle the wild regions of the Overberg.