Africa on Horseback: Places for a horse riding safari

Horseback safaris appeal to some people, while others are more trusting of a man-made game viewer, or a human-powered mokoro when it comes to exploring wild Africa. We are passionate about every which way one can experience the bush and we’ve tried it all. From migration safaris among thousands of other tourists to walking safaris in private concessions with no one else in sight, luxury lodging in South Africa’s Sabi Sand, to roughing it in a tent through Botswana’s wildest landscapes. Horse riding can be the most liberating, breath-taking, grounding, and enchanting way to view wildlife and the natural surroundings. You’re essentially part of the furniture when you horseback through the bushveld – blending in on the back of an animal among other animals (that we would not ride)! We’re here to tell you that your passion for horse riding, whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice who just likes a gentle walk in the saddle, can add to your safari experience in such an incredible way. These are some of our top selections for where to go on a horseback safari in Africa!

RAW Botswana, Selinda Reserve, Botswana

Talk about the Golden Hour! Botswana’s Selinda Reserve is elite Delta territory, brimming with natural beauty and enigmatic tales of lions preying on buffalo in the waterlogged marshes. On the Selinda Spillway lies RAW Botswana, and they are not only located in a prime location, but they offer some of the most sublime exploratory activities for their safari guests. An acronym for Ride And Walk, RAW focuses on horseback and trails safaris, while expert guides conduct equally as thrilling mokoro and canoe trips, game drives, fishing activities, and fly camping. This week, however, we’re all about the horseback safaris and the thrill they offer. Beginning at RAW Botswana’s Motswiri Camp, we are riding off into the sunset and making the most out of this Monday.

horse riding safari

horse riding safari

Camp Kalahari, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

Getting back to the primitive safari roots on horseback in some of our top spots in Africa has to include the enigmatic Makgadikgadi pans in Botswana’s Kalahari. To traverse the grassy plains in the saddle is to revert back to the days of old fashion travel and to see the wilderness the way ancient explorers used to. Camp Kalahari offers sublime excursions through the wild with experienced guides and on the back of beautiful, energetic horses. During the zebra migration in the Makgadikgadi, this exceptional safari activity brings riders right into the action and creates an experience never to be forgotten. Camp Kalahari is definitely one of our top picks for a horseback safari in Africa.

horse riding safari

Ol Donyo Lodge, Chyulu Hills, Kenya

Riding on horseback in the vast wilderness sandwiched between Tsavo, Amboseli, and Chyulu Hills in Kenya is one of Africa’s most exclusive and breathtaking experiences. Ol Donyo Lodge occupies such a premier spot in the country’s wild terrain on the sprawling Savannah with views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and it offers the unbeatable experience of a guided horseback safari just to take wildlife viewing to the next level. Encountering animals on the back of a horse is unique in that our human presence is diluted by the fact that we are carried by a four-legged animal, blending in in appearance and behaviour, and therefore remaining undetected by the magnificent wildlife. At Ol Donyo, beginners and experienced riders are welcome to participate in horseback activities which last up to 4 hours in the mornings or afternoons. Pure magic!

horse riding safari

horse riding safari

Ant’s Nest, Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, South Africa

We’ve declared our love for South Africa’s dramatic Waterberg Biosphere, and now we’re revealing yet another reason why we can’t get enough of this quiet and abundant natural area. Beneath the exquisite mountain rises, among the roaming animals that traverse this phenomenal area, horseback safaris give us a new view of the world that surrounds us. Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest lead guided horse riding excursions through the natural terrain, bringing wildlife encounters into a new dimension as guests blend in on the backs of 4-legged animals. Suitable for all experience levels and for families looking for an adventure, these Waterberg riding activities are even more reason to visit this northern South African reserve.

horse riding safari

Lewa Wilderness, Kenya

Blending in on horseback changes the game when it comes to safari activities, making this experience quite unlike any other. Exploring the wilderness that is home to Africa’s indigenous inhabitants has never been so intimate and brings you as unthreateningly close to magnificent species such as giraffe or buffalo. This is a personalised experience with Lewa Wilderness on Kenya’s exclusive landscape, and it is highly rated as one of our best horseback safari opportunities in East Africa. This picture says it all.

horse riding safari

Ol Malo House, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya

Ol Malo House in the northern reaches of the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya is an intimate safari lodge with only six bedrooms, iconically designed with unusual and interesting decor. Warming flames dance in the stone fireplaces and thatch roofs rest overhead while the expansive views of the rolling thornveld below cannot be missed. Out in the wilderness, horseback safaris are just one of the activities offered to Ol Malo guests, and perhaps it is the most reminiscent of the first explorers travelling through Africa. Blending in like a natural resident of the bush, this is one way to delve into the Laikipia wonderland and let go of your inhibitions as you are guided by a living animal. Not an experience you’re likely to forget!

horse riding safari

Solio Lodge, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya

Under African skies… You know the line in the song by South Africa’s very own Johnny Clegg! Any safari experience takes place in the warm sun and under the blue sky (unless you’re braving a wet season activity in which case you’re surrounded by flashes of lightning and rolling thunder), but not every activity possesses the magic of a horseback safari. In Kenya’s Solio Game Reserve, the remarkable landscape provides the perfect terrain for adventurous horse riding excursions. Supreme exclusivity of this private reserve at Solio Lodge allows for total freedom of routine and with activities for all energy levels, there is something that will appeal to everyone.

horse riding safari

horse riding safari

horse riding safari

Author: Chloe Cooper

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