Unique Places To Ride

February 2nd 2017  |  Riding Safaris, Travel  |  by  Alice Gully
Namibia Horse Safaris riding in the desert

Riding in Africa is a real thrill. Whether you’re hacking on a glorious white sandy beach or galloping alongside Kenya’s great wildebeest migration it’s a magical experience. Here are some of the most memorable unique places to ride:

1. Cantering across the flooded grasslands of the Okavango Delta, Botswana

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The annual flood experienced in the Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest inland waterways, transforms the area into a unique watery wildlife paradise. The actual area flooded depends on rainfall elsewhere in Africa and ranges between 6,000 and 15,000 square kilometres. For proficient riders, a safari here is a real bucket list experience. The wildlife is superb, the terrain is great for riding, and the horses know their job. African Horseback Safaris and Okavango Horse Safaris are both situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta and offer riding safaris of varying length.

2. Through Africa’s largest canyon, Fish River Canyon, Namibia

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While the wildlife in Namibia isn’t as prolific as other safari regions, the spectacular scenery more than compensates. Among the safaris offered by Namibia Horse Safaris, the Fish River Canyon ride, through the largest canyon in Africa, is one of the most spectacular. This surprisingly diverse wonderland is characterised by meandering gorges and dramatic escarpments and offers a real exploratory feel to the safari.

3. Cloud forests and giraffes in the Chyulu Hills, Kenya

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This is one of Kenya’s most beautiful regions where wildlife viewing is excellent and tourists relatively few. Although they look as though they’ve been part of the landscape for thousands of years, the Chyulus are in fact relatively new and created from volcanic eruptions as recently as 240 years ago. Riding over the green hills you’re likely to spot elephant and giraffe as well as plentiful plains game. There are horses at Ol Donyo Lodge to suit both experienced and novice riders.

4. Across a dried up super lake, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

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These ancient salt pans provide perfect riding country and team up with Ride Botswana to explore the very best of it. Once a giant super lake, the area drained many millennia ago to leave some 6,200 square miles of pristine wilderness. There’s evidence of prehistoric man due to the ancient tools discovered here, the stars are among the brightest on the planet, and lie on the ground and you can almost make out the curvature of the earth. It’s a wild, unspoilt and truly magical place where you can seek out meerkats and large herds of zebra. It’s possible to combine vehicle based game drives with riding too which opens up the chance to go in search of desert species like springbok and red hartebeest as well as the rare brown hyena found here.

5. Riding with the wildebeest migration, Kenya

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The wildebeest migration deserves its reputation as one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife events. From early June thousands of animals teem across Tanzania’s Serengeti towards the Masai Mara – the famous river crossings occurring as they make the perilous dash through the croc-filled waters en-route. The whole thing is repeated in reverse around September/October-time. For experienced riders, Offbeat Safaris run fabulous riding holidays in the Mara plains, allowing the chance (at the right time of year) to ride alongside the migration.

7 night Masai Mara ride October 2018 including the Wildebeest Migration

Safaris Unlimited run a trip in October 2018 which will be fully hosted by Alice from our Scotland office. This six night (seven day) ride through the stunning and wildlife rich Masai Mara. The ride is in three different parts of the Mara which gives a wonderful insight in to the area. Riding through rolling savannah, acacia woodland and riverine forest guests will enjoy the opportunity yo game view from horseback on responsive well schooled horses. It is likely you will find yourself cantering alongside plains game and giraffe, and when not riding there will be game drives and walks. Just 12 guests will have a highly personalised experience with supremely knowledgeable guides and excellent support staff. Accommodation is in comfortable tents in beautiful, private locations. October is a fantastic month to ride as it is during the peak of the wildebeest migration. There are a few places left on this exciting safari, contact Alice to find out more.

6. Along glorious white sands, beach riding, Mozambique

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A safari and beach combo is a classic African holiday and there are plenty of places where it’s possible to ride along a white sandy beach. If it’s a couple of hours along the shore you’re interested in then somewhere like Azura Benguerra, an idyllic island lodge just off the Mozambique mainland, is a good choice. If you’re keen to explore a little further on horseback then Mozambique Horse Safaris offer a range of tailor-made trips to include the beach, dunes or coastal bushland.

7. Riding with the Big Five, South Africa

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Of course it’s exhilarating to see the Big Five of lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo from safari vehicle – but how about trying the same feat on horseback? Stay at Wait a Little Safaris where you ride over privately managed game reserves close to the famous Kruger National Park and you have an excellent chance of doing just that. The horses are great and the guides really know their stuff – a top choice for wildlife enthusiasts and experienced riders.

As you can see there are a few variables to consider when choosing the right African riding safaris for you. For unique places to ride get in touch with us either on the phone, meet face to face, email or live chat and let us help you choose. Aardvark Safaris have large depth of knowledge when it comes to riding safaris – chat to Alice, Francis, Lucinda and Jo. We have ridden with them all, slept in the beds, eaten the food and met the guides!

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