Our favourite way of exploring the bush! A riding safari in Africa is one of the most exhilarating ways of being at one with nature; one gets so close to the wildlife as the human scent and outline is masked by that of the horse. Horses are well suited to the rider, whether they be novice or experienced and we, as riders ourselves, advise you on which safari to choose based upon capability and season.
There are two kinds of riding safari. The first is as part of an overall safari, staying at a lodge which offers horse riding as part of its activities. The second is a dedicated riding safari – which lasts anything from three to ten nights on a “proper” and focused riding safari.
The horses are selected for their suitability to the terrain and range from bush bred horses to thoroughbreds and polo ponies. They are all well schooled and one usually rides in traditional European/classical style although there are a few possibilities to ride western, australian stock and trails style as well.
We offer the following Riding Safaris in Africa:
South Africa - we have several options. In the Waterberg mountains, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal and, more limited, in the Cape. What is good fun is wine tasting in the winelands by horseback, which avoids the breathalysers or riding along the beach! In the Waterberg mountains, one can stay at a ranch. This is a real home from home and particularly good for famillies. They offer polo crosse, western games, cattle herding, or mingling amongst game and antelope. This experience caters for novices and experienced riders alike and they have a mixture of Thoroughbreds and Arab-Boerperd crosses. Combine this with another ranch closeby that has larger game for a wonderful contrast or we have another excellent ride which is for experienced riders only and offers the big 5. It is a combination of South Africa and Botswana.
In Mpumalanga, we offer two different rides. The first is a fast paced wildlife safari for intermediate and advanced riders, camping out from point to point with tremendous scenery. This wilderness safari is for 7 nights in the Songimvelo Game Reserve. The first night is spent at the lodge, whilst the next five nights will be spent riding out whilst returning to your comfortable tented camp each night, complete with hot bucket showers and long drop loo. The last night is spent at a traditional Swazi village in a rondavel. The riding is between 4 and 5 hours per day and the horses are made up of Boerperds, SA warmbloods and crosses. The second is a lodge based safari which caters for Novices and experienced riders, and is available throughout the year.
In KwaZulu Natal, you can stay on a malaria free, 2500 hectare Arab stud farm where one can view game both on horseback and by vehicle. Accommodation is in a colonial Spanish homestead. In the Cape, we can offer a day’s beach riding, to polo in Plettenberg Bay, home to some of the best polo fields, as well as good riding in the general garden route and Cape area. We also offer wonderful riding in the Kalahari Desert, where you sleep out at night beneath the stars!
The riding in Botswana is excellent and in the Tuli Block, some of the fastest paced riding is offered for the more experienced rider. These can either be lodge based (depending upon ability and time of year) or a mixture of a lodge and riding from camp to camp. This area is known as the Land of the Giants, because of the large elephant population as well as excellent wildlife in general. Unlike the rest of Botswana which tends to be more flight, the Tuli area is hilly, and has great archeological importance. The horses have been chosen from various South African breeds, bred for their toughness, such as the boereperd, Shire Cross thoroughbreds, Apaloosa’s and South African warmbloods. We offer a 7 night safari here. This ride is unique in southern Africa. Moving every day enables you to cover vast tracts of the Mashatu and surrounding game reserves. This safari has an old style feel to it. Excellent guiding and horsemanship combined with attention to detail and comfort make for an unbeatable experience. The first night is spent in a cottage, with four nights flycamping in different areas, followed by the last two nights spent in either a luxury lodge or tented camp. This ride is for experienced riders only.
In the Okavango Delta, we have several rides on offer – all stunning! - and the most amazing riding in the Linyanti region with fantastic horses and one of the finest naturalist guides. Combine that with riding in the Kalahari Desert with one of Botswana’s finest guides and this gives you one of the best contrasts and riding safaris imaginable! We can also combine these riding safaris with canoeing which adds another dimension!
The two places we recommend in the Okavango Delta offer slightly different experiences, yet being in the Delta, they both offer the most extraordinarily beautiful scenery, together with abundant game! There is a minimum stay of 3 nights at the one camp, which caters for both novices, intermediates and experienced riders. This camp caters for both riders and partners who are non riders. The second camp caters for the more experienced rider and one can either ride for 5 or 10 nights and is purely for riders. Whilst the main accommodation in both cases s in permanent luxury tented camps, they both offer flycamping, and depending upon how much fly camping you wanted to do and how experienced you were, would determine which camp we suggested. Lastly, brand new is the riding with some friends of ours in the Linyanti region, where you ride out with your amazing naturalist guide, through the most pristine area in Botswana, which has excellent wildlife, and then you can combine it with canoeing if you like. Another alternative is to ride in the Kalahari Desert which is sensational and if you want to see the best of all worlds, you can combine the riding between the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta (and also the canoeing should you wish!).
We offer riding here with three different operations in the Masai Mara, the Chuylu Hills, Amboseli and Laikipia regions. Riding with the wildebeest migration, mainly “mobile” camps, or on a private mobile riding safari for the more experienced rider. The wildebeest migration takes place from July to October in the Masai Mara. These riding safaris are for ten days. The first seven nights are spent moving from camp to camp, and your accommodation is in a comfortable tent with adjacent short drop loo and steaming hot bucket showers. The last two nights are spent at a glorious colonial homestead where there is a cross country course, a polo field and riding in general. There is also a Laikipia safari, which is a different region, offering diverse game, not found in the Masai Mara, such as the Grevy’s zebra, Gerenuk and Somali ostrich. It is an area which is less rich in game. Here you spend eight nights at a number of private camps throughout the area, with the last two nights spent at a homestead. The horses are thoroughbreds or thoroughbred cross, and these safaris are suited to the more experienced rider who is comfortable at all paces, including galloping should one need to react quickly. One generally spends between 4 and 6 hours in the saddle. Then we have an amazing 6 night ride in both the Chyulu Hills at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro – this is some of the most stunning scenery imaginable – and Amboseli. We also offer riding staying at traditional, characterful homesteads in Lake Naivasha and at several ranches in the Laikipia area.
For those wanting just a few days riding – there is a magnificent lodge with views over Mount Kilimanjaro, where one can ride each day, staying at the lodge, or even venturing for a night or two flycamping, which we can thoroughly recommend! There are lots of lodges in Laikipia which offer riding from them – just call us and we shall recommend the ideal riding safari for you!
Tanzania – We offer luxury riding safaris in northern Tanzania in the Serengeti. These safaris last from around three nights to a week with a combination of staying at uber luxury tented mobile camps to a luxury lodge and then riding to a second luxury tented camp.
In the Mavuradonha Mountains. The “explorer” safaris here are serious adventure and for good riders as the terrain is very rugged, although there are options for less experienced riders. Highly recommended! These safaris are for both novice through to experienced riders, and one can choose from a variety of different types of accommodation, from a beautiful and tastefully designed African lodge, to a colonial house, whose surroundings offer faster riding, to a rustic but comfortable bush camp, or even flycamping, with just a bedroll. These safaris can be tailored from a night to seven nights, or longer and perhaps combined with some canoeing or game viewing in the Mana Pools region which is renowned for its concentration of game. There is also some excellent riding, fly camping en route, in the game rich Hwange region, under the supervision of Zimbabwe’s best guide, James Varden. This is an opportunity not to be missed! Only experienced riders can partake in the Hwange ride. The horses comprise ex-polo ponies, Arabs, Quarter-horse crosses and Thoroughbreds.
Namibia: This is an amazing country to ride in. Not for the wildlife, quite obviously, but simply because of the sheer space and freedom that it allows for miles and miles of cantering. We offer riding safaris both in the Namib Desert itself – either based from a lodge – riding across the desert, or with a combination of tented camps and lodges on a five day riding safari. The second is a riding safari for five nights in the Fish River Canyon, which again is absolutely magical and completely different terrain. One could even combine the two! This would be for intermediate and advanced riders although novice riders could ride out from the lodge in the Namib Desert.