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“Totally unique experience!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shackleford Wild Horse & Shelling Safari

Shackleford Wild Horse & Shelling Safari
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Take a 15 minute ferry ride over to the pristine Outer Banks Island of Shackleford Banks, which is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. There you will be introduced to the Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks. This free roaming herd is believed to have descended from Horses that were brought here roughly 500 years ago, and still survive as one of the last isolated groups of wild horses in the US. You will help your guide track the horses and see first hand the fascinating behavior of horses in the wild, a rare experience with nature that you'll never forget.Bring your camera for pictures that will forever remind you of this amazing place and its fascinating inhabitants. Stay on the island for the length of the tour, or stay all day! Same price! Ferry tickets included in the price of your admission.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Totally unique experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

The island is so beautiful and pristine, and the tour was great... we were treated to a real show when some of the horses decided to have a territorial dispute, and our guide was calling the shots blow by blow. The horse behavior was really cool.

The shells were great too.. came back with a bucket full

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Kathy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Taylorsville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Loved this!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2012

This was so much fun. I loved walking around the island and seeing the wild horses. We had to walk quite a way to see them but it was well worth it. They are so used to people that they will let you get right up next to them. After we found the horses we sat out on the beach and got a little sun while people watching. You can take a cooler and lounge chairs with you, and whatever else you can carry.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank springnbloom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrboro, NC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great family nature tour!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2012

After short ferry trip (about 15 min), we had a whole day to explore the Shackleford island spending time at the beach, watching the horses, looking out for shells, crabs, birds... ocean side is very different from the sound side and all together we spent a whole day at the island and could stay more - the kids were so busy with everything around them - it was great!!!

Visited April 2012
3 Thank Smadar S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingsport, Tennessee
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Gorgeous views of scenery and horses. Definitely worth it!!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2011

We did the Shackleford Island Horse and Shelling Safari Tour. Checking in at the boat slip is very quick and easy. All of the staff are helpful and nice. The boat ride to and from Shackleford Island is pleasant and takes about 10-15 minutes. They drop you off at the ferry drop off on the inter-coastal waterway side where your guide will meet you. There is a place there where you can leave your stuff while you follow the guide in search of the horses. It is not a place that is locked but most people leave there stuff there and ours was fine and not tampered with when we got back to it. I would recommend taking beach chairs and an umbrella if you plan on spending time on the beach after the tour. When you check in they will ask you what time you want to catch the ferry back which is 20 after the hour each hour beginning at 11:20. You can stay as long as you want. The hike for the horses is on the beach, in and out of water, and across sand dunes. I would suggest wearing something like crocs that can get wet and are good on dry land. I would pack some flip-flops or sandals for afterward. Take plenty of sunscreen and water. The tour advertises 1-1 1/4 miles but our tour was between 3 and 4 miles long. We had a small group so we went a little farther. We saw 4 different herds of horses and were able to get great pictures and get very close. After that you will make your way to the Atlantic Ocean side to look for shells. The guide will give you a shell bag which is just a plastic bag so i you want to get lots of shells take a small backpack like a cinch sac. There are lots of large shells on the beach. To get the conch's and other rare shells you have to look in the water right around the sandbar which is very shallow. As you shell you make your way to your stuff and can swim, sunbathe, picnic or whatever you like until time for your ferry back to Beaufort. There are no buildings at all on the island. There are no bathrooms either. If you are staying a while I would recommend bringing a cooler and some snacks. There is nowhere on the island to spend money and the only cash you need would be if you would like to tip the captains and the tour guide. This Island is gorgeous and the Ocean side has beautiful teal water!! It is definitely worth the money. Don't forget the camera.

Visited August 2011
6 Thank Ashley J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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