Horse Back Tours in Africa
Best places for horse riding experience in Africa
Taking a ride on a horse is one of the unique and refreshingly thrilling ways to explore through the African shrubs. Forget about the traditional game drive of seeing wildlife enclosed in a safari car, simply imagine yourself riding beside a family of giraffes or a herd of zebras; it is an unforgettable experience. You will explore the beautiful landscapes, the lake shores, the wildlife habitats on the different horse riding adventure across the country. In fact, visiting the amazing wild animals in Africa’s wildernesses while on horseback is much friendlier to Mother Nature than doing so in a safari vehicle. The continent has several large open expanses without a paved road or even a fence line but simply pristine wildernesses so you can actually spend weeks on horseback just exploring beautiful Africa.
Best Horse Riding Destinations in Africa
Okavango Delta, Botswana
While on a horse ride, you may catch the unique sight of crocodiles as they glide through the canals as well as tracking elephants, giraffes, zebra, leopards and hippos through the lagoons of the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world.
The Serengeti, Tanzania
The renowned Serengei National Park together with ist neighboring Grumeti Reserve that share borders are among the best African expanses you can enjoy a horseback safari. their wide plains covering acres and acres of grassland are filled with very large numbers of wild animals. from the month of May to July is the best time to visit ad in fact you may be able to catch the large herd of nearly two million animals including wildebeests, gazelles and zebras trailed by several predators like lions making their way through these plains during the annual Great Wildebeest Migration. You can enjoy full day horseback rides or the half day horseback rides depending on your capability. Furthermore accommodation should not be a thing to worry about as there are several different options ranging from the budget, mid-range or luxury, so your financial stand will determine your level of accommodation comfort-ability on this adventure.
Masai Mara, Kenya
the open endless plains of the Masai Mara offers the best experience for any holidaymaker looking for some additional adventure as you will be able to have an up-close encounter of the unmatched large numbers of wild animals such as lions, antelopes, giraffes and so many others. From the month of July up to October, you will get an opportunity to enjoy the dramatic views of the Great wildebeest migrating herd crossing the Mara River which is infested with very large numbers of hungry crocodiles. It is quite a dramatic view seeing the crocodiles hungrily prey on the stampeding herd.
Having a chance to see numerous wild animals while riding on the back of a horse is a very unforgettable experience. in fact, some times the large herd of wildebeests, gazelles and zebras can extended across the plains to as far as your eyes can see. you will also get an opportunity to meet the native Maasai tribesmen living in that area who pride in a very amazing culture that has attracted millions of tourists far and wide to learn about.
Waterberg, South Africa
Waterberg is located just a few hours’ drive from the major city of Johannesburg in South Africa, and it a peaceful and quite place that offers very remarkable rides across water streams and bush lands with numerous large game. There are numerous horses available here and the place offers rides for all types of riders including experience riders and learners. The region is malaria free which makes ideal for kids as well. This is the best place you can enjoy a family horseback safari in Africa. Accommodation is favorably available in different classes including the luxury, midrange and budget facilities.
The Laikipia Plateau offers a beautiful wildlife sanctuary with a beautiful landscape of rolling hills covered with green forests and breathtaking views. there are full day and half day adventures offered here however there are additional activities besides game viewing such as visiting the sites with very old rock art works and the hyena dens on horseback, as well as taking bush walks to see explore the smaller plants and animals in this area. Nights can be spent at the exclusive Borana lodge with thatched cottages or in basic fly-camps. one of the most unique advantages of taking a horseback safari within Laikipia is that it can be easily combined with other adventures and tourist destinations in Kenya such as exploring the Samburu region, or cultural tours in Kenya.
The jugged Zambezi Valley found in Zimbabwe is a less popular tourist area with deep valleys having large numbers of wildlife, as well as high granite rocks. Exploring deeper into this region you will encounter the Mavuradonha Mountains which is uniquely rugged and unpopulated. There is only one major road in that region so the best way to explore this area is on horseback and despite the fact that the terrain can be challenging, the experience is very rewarding. In this far away wilderness, it will just be you on horseback and the amazing wildlife. You can combine this horseback safari with an adventure at the Victoria Falls.
The Kalahari, South Africa
In case you prefer a more relaxed less daring bush experience when on horseback, then taking a Safari in Tswalu – Kalaari is the best option. The rides usually take about two hours however they can be extended for a longer durations as per your request. You will get an opportunity to gently trek through the grassy plains and the beautiful golden dunes, with the Korannaberg Mountains offering an impressive glow in the backdrop. the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is home to a very large number of wild animals among which are the sable antelopes, cheetahs, and the black maned lions, however because these rides are more focused on enjoying the beautiful terrain in the countryside, you won’t go around chasing after animals.
Best family and children lodges for horse riding in Africa
Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest South Africa
This game reserve is under private ownership is approximately a four hour drive from Johannesburg which is in the malaria free Waterberg region. The reserve does not inhabit any predators which means that the horse ride is very safe and can be done with a number of horses. Ants provides for both inexperienced and highly experienced riders. The horses live in the wild with the other animals and are familiar with the local game so it is easier for you to get near the wildlife than in the other places.
Borana Lodge, Kenya
It is situated on a privately owned reserve in the shadows of Mountain Kenya. Borana has a number of horses ranging from horses for children to riders with different levels of experience. Each safari day is designed to cater to the desires and needs of each family ranging from taking a splash in the waterfall or swimming pool, riding on one of their magnificent stallions to tracking wild animals from a land rover.
Tswalu, Kalahari, South Africa
Tswalu is a lavish lodge also set on a malaria free privately owned reserve on the edge of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. Tswalu is a great choice for families that would love to take their children on riding safaris. It has a special pony camp in the stables for people that would love to get fully involved in the horses and for children to play with. Meerkats also live here and are partially habituated therefore kids can get near them and interact with them.
Lewa Wilderness, Lewa, Kenya
Lewa wilderness is situated in the beautiful wilderness of one of Kenya’s largest conservation success stories. It is an exceptional family home and the best destination for a family safari vacation. Lewa wilderness offers riding among a number of other activities which enables you to discover the forest on horseback which is a unique way to see the magnificent wildlife. Beginners can start with shorter rides which are supervised by professional trainers while experienced riders can have extended and more thrilling rides.
Kurland, Garden Route, South Africa
Kurland is a splendid country hotel located near Plettenberg, the beautiful seaside town in South Africa’s Cape region. It provides the perfect family safari by offering babysitting, child friendly rooms, private playrooms and special children’s menu among others. Young children can enjoy Shetland pony rides while the older children can indulge in riding and polo classes. You can spend an afternoon quad biking to catch a polo match on the estate’s polo fields which comes with a tasty lunch.
Singita Grumeti camp riding safaris, Serengeti, Tanzania
Singita Grumeti is among the most upscale and elegant mobile riding safari in Africa. The riding is in a private concession area of Tanzania’s famous Serengeti national park, open only to guests of Singita Grumeti. The riding outfit is now closed however the Singita Grumeti is still open to guests for safari. Please contact us for more information. Apart from the extra ordinary wildlife, you may get the opportunity to witness the great migration between the months of June and October and doing it on horseback can forever be etched in your memory.
Okavango Horse Safaris, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Here the riding safaris range from permanent luxury tented camps to the simpler fly camps so you can have a number of opportunities to see much of the large Okavango Delta. Okavango Horse Safaris does not offer access to Wi-Fi therefore teenagers are coerced to embrace and the surrounding environment. It provides the unique opportunity for long canters side by side with giraffes on the floodplains as well as swimming with the horses in the Delta. If you get tired of riding, you can opt to travel by vehicle, boat and give fishing a shot or travel on foot. Since we are equipped with a lot of knowledge on the different classes of horses, we can tailor a horse riding safari that is suitable for the needs of your family based on their different levels of experience.
Safaris Unlimited, Kenya.
Safaris Unlimited is privately owned by Gordie Church and it offers an enjoyable and thrilling riding experience through the exceptional wildlife filled plains of Maasai Mara and other stunning areas in Kenya. A big number of riding safaris here are privately designed to fit individual needs which makes this an excellent spot for families that are searching for an unforgettable African riding experience. Gordie guides, the wildlife is stunningly beautiful, the accommodation is excellent plus the food is delicious. It is the perfect choice for the best family riding experience.
Types of horse riding safaris in Africa
Different places offer different horse riding experiences therefore before choosing the best place for you, you should figure out what kind of riding experience will be the most suitable and enjoyable for you. They can be categorized into three groups.
Fly camping is the most daring and is for people that are bold and fearless. This riding experience involves packing up and moving to a different place to camp out every night. These are still lavish but because of the mobility of your camp, they are not connected to private bathrooms and toilets that flush. Fly riding safaris are the traditional ways of exploring the forests and are great for people that appreciate simplicity, risk taking as well as a real experience in the wild. African Horseback Safaris are the best place to go to get this kind of experience and is also the only fly camping riding safari destination.
This type of horse riding is similar to fly camping in terms of daily mobility however here you live in permanent lodges. Okavango Horse Safaris are the best choice for this horse riding experience. The company has three impressive lodges that provide you with a memorable horse riding safari which takes place in the exceptionally stunning and action packed Okavango Delta.
Based at one permanent lodge
This is the most deluxe horse riding safari you can take which involves residing in a permanent lodge, taking rides every day then coming back to the bliss of the same lodge. This kind of riding is designed for people that love an elegant safari but are also interested in riding as a major activity. The lodges are mostly upscale with the most prominent ones being in Kenya and South Africa like Ol Donyo plus Ant’s Nest.
Eight Tips When Planning a Riding Safari In Africa
- Always Plan ahead
Planning should be based on the type of riding safari experience you want to have as well as the group of people you want to travel with. The best riding safari groups can only cater for a few riders at a time and they get full very quickly way beforehand therefore it is highly recommended that you make a reservation with enough time before your planned vacation. Planned riding safari dates and flights are usually launched a year in advance and then planning should commence immediately after to improve your likelihood of getting the trip you desire and the flights will also be cheaper.
- Ask yourself some questions regarding this type of Safari
Based on past experience of planning riding safaris, one of the essential things to do is getting to know your main interests and what you look forward to or anticipate on your safari. so one of the recommended ways to this self discovery is asking yourself some questions. Below I have highlighted a number of questions that can help in this self discovery for your safari.
If you have been to Africa, what was the purpose of your visit and what did you do?
What were your likes and dislikes?
Have you visited other countries on a riding holiday? If yes, which ones?
What were your likes and dislikes?
How much experience do you have in riding?
Are you currently in shape to ride?
Would you want to take your kids on safari as well?
Would you like riding to be the main part of the holiday or just a subsection?
When do you plan to take your safari in Africa?
What sort of accommodation would be suitable for you? (Lodge, tented camp, hotel)
What other activities would you want to include in your riding safari?
- Plan Your Riding Safari Through Brainstorming
A different way may be to get everyone going on the riding safari with you to state their different expectations from the riding safari. They can vary from long rides over the open plains to seeing the different wild animals on horseback.
Liberty involves galloping across the plains beside different animals and the African sun shining in your face.
- Produce a list
After identifying the different expectations from the people you are travelling with, the next logical step is to prioritize them. This will make it easier for us to know your expectations and exceed them as well as match you with the most suitable riding safari. Providing us with the different ideas of what you expect enables us to plan sufficiently for you to have the best time while with us. The point of this is to specifically design a riding trip that is perfect for you and the people you are traveling with. If you require some guidance, visit my Best Riding Safari Photos.
- Find an African riding safari expert you can talk to
You need to ask yourself a couple of questions before choosing the right riding expert. You need to find out his experience, recommendations from riding friends, whether the riding expert has been to all the riding safaris and whether he or she rides on a regular basis. You also need to carry out online research to find out who is mentioned in travel sections of newspapers or horse magazines.
Usually, they are African experts who comprehend the logistics of holidays to the continent and how to plan an excellent riding safari. A number of them might have taken their family members with varying riding abilities or even a non-riding member. It is important to take time and talk with the expert about their experience since websites of companies can only give you an idea about them. Exchanging emails may not be a s effective as calling the expert as this gets you in personal contact with the expert and help you determine whether this is the right person to plan your riding safari.
- Give your ‘riding safari expert’ an initial brief and see their ideas.
During the conversation phase with the expert, you should paint a picture of the type of riding experience you desire and clarify the different things that they may not have understood initially. Experts can also make a few suggestions on specific riding safaris and it is easier for them to email these ideas rather than describing them on the phone. It is also easier for them to send you links to different websites and you can share these with your companions for the riding safari.
- Phone, email, face to face
In the past, planning riding safaris involved phone calls followed by brochures in a post. Currently, email with references to riding safari pages or websites or to the websites of the numerous riding operators in Africa.
- Get on and book
It is highly recommended to immediately book a riding safari once you find one that is suitablefor you and your companions to ensure that everything is confirmed and the price is guaranteed.
What to Pack / Wear on your Horseback Riding Safari in Africa
Below we have highlighted the important items you should pack during your riding safari. These include:
Comfortable closed shoes.
Multi pocket safari shirt,
Sun screen lotion
Drinking water to keep well hydrated
Wide brim hat
Small cross bag to carry your phone, camera, and binoculars, pus some little additional items