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AFRICAN LUXURY ON HORSEBACK

 

OVERVIEW

There is no more invigorating way to explore the African bush than by riding alongside some of the continent’s most cherished creatures on horseback. Whether trailing the Great Migration of the Mara and following in the footsteps of Kenya’s Maasai tribe, riding through South Africa's Waterberg or Tanzania's Chyulu Hills, a horseback safari offers an experience unlike any other. And apart from the exceptional game viewing, equestrian safaris also bring the splendor of a luxury lodge straight to the bush by providing catered picnics and offering overnights at some of the continent’s finest mobile tented camps.

WHAT WE LOVE
  • Explore the Okavango Delta: Home to three major river systems, the lush Okavango Delta is a mecca for wildlife of all kinds. Riders are likely to spot hippos and water buffalo cooling off in the waters as well as lion and zebra drinking from the riverbanks. This equestrian safari is flexible and offers three potential campsites – all of which are strategically located to provide guests with a variety of terrain & species.
  • Wander the South African Bush: In the northernmost reaches of South Africa, the UNESCO-certified Waterberg Biosphere contains some of the most varied topography and quality game viewing on the continent. Riding through Waterberg on horseback offers the opportunity for close encounters with an incredible range of species—Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Zebra and Wildebeest, just to name a few. And for those riders who want a break from the bush, a number of riding reserves offer other activities—like polocrosse, western games, jumping, cattle mustering and swimming—that can also be done atop a horse.
  • Traverse the Chyulu Hills: Falling in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the plush Chyulu Hills are the youngest range of volcanic hills in Africa, and contain some of Africa's most magnificent creatures, including elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo, along with hundreds of species of birds and a huge variety of plant life. Horse trails in the Chyulu Hills vary in difficulty—from day trips on gentle slopes to steeper multi-day climbs into the heart of a wild ecosystem—and riders on overnight safaris can sleep in high comfort at full service, luxury tented camps.
  • Ride the Maasai Mara: The wide, uninterrupted plains of Kenya’s celebrated Maasai Mara National Reserve are ideal for exploring on horseback, and offer a unique opportunity to witness both wildlife and native African ethnic groups in their natural habitat. The area was originally named by the Maasai people—whose lifestyle and vibrant cultural traditions still thrive within the Reserve—and who for thousands of years have lived in harmony with the bountiful lion, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, wildebeest, and zebra who also walk the land. Ride alongside the Maasai as they herd cattle, and gallop after the herd of zebras who will often cross an equestrian path, this safari experience offers a blend of culture and nature like no other.
  • Gallop through Amboseli: Ideal for experienced riders, Amboseli National Park allows guests to release their inhibitions and gallop through the open plains, under the endless Kenyan skies and the watchful eye of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Known for being one of the most thrilling rides on earth, riders can expect to see elephant, buffalo, hippo, lion and many more native species, and overnight at some of the finest tented camps on the continent, where both riders and horses are pampered at the end of a long and active day.

 

REST & REJUVENATE

After hours of riding daily, you can look forward to a night of comfort and relaxation at a number of luxurious full-service accommodations. From classically inspired tented camps to some of the most divine lodges Africa has to offer, you will end each day’s ride assured to rest, dine and unwind in utmost luxury.

  • Offbeat Mara Camp: Positioned along the Olare Orok, a meandering tributary of the Mara River, the beauty of Offbeat Mara Camp lies in its simplicity. Each of the camp’s sizable six tents rests atop an elevated wooden deck, and each are lit solely by oil-burning lanterns. The tents include a double bed, en-suite bathroom, hot bucket shower, washbasin, and flush toilet. There is also a communal tent where guests can reunite and recall the day’s remarkable ride over a glass of champagne.
  • Singita Explore Tented Camp: Intimacy is made easy at Singita’s Explore Tented Camp, which accommodates a maximum of only 12 guests in its six rustic chic safari tents. As an exclusive-use camp, every experience at Singita Explore is tailored to maximize pleasure, comfort and ease, and the plush bedding, superior service, and fine cuisine create an indulgent atmosphere that makes every single visitor feel like the guest of honor.
  • Singita Faru Faru: Built on the Grumeti Reserve in northern Tanzania, which forms part of the Serengeti Mara Ecosystem, Singita Faru Faru is located along a migratory route traversed annually by more than a million wildebeest, allowing guests direct proximity to some of the region’s most beloved natural species. Such closeness to wilderness has also influenced the lodge’s look and feel: an informal, organic design featuring some quirky flourishes that might have been found in the camp of a turn of the century botanist or wildlife explorer. But the amenities offered—luxury spa, designer boutique and gift shop, and world-class wine cellar—are far from rustic, and completely contemporary.
  • Kujwana Camp: Situated on the banks of the Xudum River in the Okavango Delta, each of the six spacious safari tents at Kujwana Camp is classically furnished and equipped en-suite. Kujwana’s handcrafted wooden furnishings and wool rugs reflect an authentic bush safari spirit, and the camp also features a common area tree house where guests can mingle, observe the River’s busy birdlife, and take in sweeping sunset views.
  • WHAT TO KNOW

  • The best months for riding safaris vary depending on location but are generally during the continent’s fall and winter months, from May until the end of August. During this time there is little rain and the evenings and mornings are cool, ranging from 45 degreed F to 75 degrees F at midday.
  • Minimum ability recommended for riding safaris is the ability to trot comfortably at length, and many riding safaris have a weight-limit that is typically between 200-220 lbs.
  • Riding safaris require 4-8 hours of riding each day. If you like to ride but do not want to commit to riding at this length, a combination safari that includes walking, riding, and 4x4 game drives is a good alternative. Non-riders in your group can also easily be accommodated with game drives and walking safaris. 
  • Lodges in Africa use English tack, though some will include Western or hybrid saddle options. Riders with a preference should investigate offerings ahead of time.
  • All individuals travelling with children under the age of 18 will need to produce a birth certificate when entering South Africa. Please click here for more info.
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