Horse-riding is widely available in Africa and in certain areas you can ride alongside wild animals.
From gentle riding through beautiful scenery to more adventurous riding through big game territory, Africa is home to a number of excellent horse-riding operations.
Across Africa, a limited number of permanent camps and lodges have stables and offer horse-riding as an individual activity (as an alternative to nature walks or game drives). Whilst this gives you the flexibility to choose how much riding you wish to do, please note that many of these riding safaris cater for mixed riding abilities, so are less likely to satisfy very experienced riders.
A few specific operators offer multi-day riding safaris which are suited to more experienced and dedicated riders. These longer safaris will typically involve spending up to 7 hours a day in the saddle, with nights out in the bush in more adventurous ‘fly-camps’ or ‘mobile tented camps’, which adds to the whole safari experience. Many of these dedicated riding trails operate through big game country, where dangerous game can be encountered, and we therefore recommend that you talk to us about the standard of your riding to ensure you do not attempt a trail that is not suitable.
Some operators cater for non-riding partners, offering the chance to enjoy alternative safari activities whilst rides are taking place, meeting at rendezvous points during the day.
The breed of horses used varies from Boerperd (a South African breed) to Thoroughbred, and many cross breeds bred for their stamina and sure-footedness. The tack used varies from Australian stock saddle to more traditional English saddles. It is worth talking to us about the type of riding you enjoy at home so that we can best match you to the most appropriate ride in Africa.
Some of the best opportunities for riding are found in Botswana, where there are five excellent companies to choose from. The Okavango Delta is a natural destination to consider, but riding is also possible in the Makgadikgadi Pans region of the Kalahari Desert, and in the Tuli Region of south-east Botswana.
Another country that offers a range of good riding options is Kenya. From the rolling plains of the incredible Masai Mara, to the rugged wilderness of the Laikipia region and the remote Chyulu Hills in southern Kenya, riding options are numerous with a few very specialist outfitters. Kenya is especially good at catering for families or groups of mixed ability, as a number of permanent lodges have stables and offer riding as an individual activity.
The third major riding destination is South Africa, where there are many possibilities, ranging from serious big game riding safaris in the Kruger region to scenic rides through vineyards and across empty beaches in the Western Cape.
In Namibia it is possible to ride in the Namib Desert, in Zimbabwe riding is possible in several regions, and limited riding options also exist in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.
Whether you wish to join a specialist 10 day riding adventure or simply have one member in your party who would love to include a ride during your safari, we can help marry you up with the perfect riding experience. To speak to one of our specialists, please call us on +44 (0) 1787 88590 or email us via our Contact Us page.