Mara Explorer riding holiday in Kenya - Far and Ride
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Mara Explorer, Kenya




Programme


• Mara Explorer

 

Horses



Type of horses:

The horses have all been imported from South Africa and include Boerperd's, Friesian's and a number of crossbred's incorporating Arab, Thoroughbred and Shire.

Nature of horses:

Well trained and experienced safari horses.

Height of horses:

15hh - 17hh

Weight limit:

95kg

Tack type:

English leather bridles are used with English bits. There are English, Trail and Western saddles available, but the horses are English trained and do not lope/jog.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

The Maasai Mara is renowned for its annual migration of zebra and wildebeest and is near the top of most safari-goers wish list. This fabulous new ride is ideally situated within the reserve and offers you the chance to spend your nights in a luxury camp in the area and simply join them for your daily out-rides.

Mara Expedition Camp sits in a small bend on the Ntiakitiak River, where thick forest meets savannah and benefits from access to the intense action of the Maasai Mara as well as the more private 70,000 acre Mara North Conservancy. This position enables it to take advantage of two migrations - the famous annual Serengeti migration plus the green season migration from the Loita Plains which brings in an additional 50,000 wildebeest and over 100,000 zebra.

Just a few kilometres away, Mara Plains Camp is located on the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy and visitors to this camp have access to 100,000 acres of private conservancy land as well as the Maasai Mara. This camp blends the finest in wildlife viewing with the absolute best of safari hospitality and guiding.

A safari at one of these camps is the ideal option for keen wildlife enthusiasts who wish to combine their riding with game drives, or for groups of mixed ability riders or where some of the group don't ride at all. Everyone is catered for in equal measures and the game drives are spectacular.

Rides are offered by Ali Mundy and her partner Martin Dodwell, who were previously running the riding operation at Singita reserves in Tanzania. Their stable of well-schooled horses and high quality equipment are now located in airy and comfortable, custom-designed stables overlooking lush grasslands. The all male herd have been carefully selected for their temperament and comfort - they are fun to ride but well mannered and clearly love their job.

On horseback you can explore the exclusive wilderness areas of the Olare Motorogi, Mara North and Naboisho private conservancies as well as the Maasai Mara itself. Wildlife abounds as you cross the tree-dotted plains, rivers and ravines. This is an unforgettable experience where you never know what will happen next.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Choose from the opulent luxury of Mara Plains Camp or the small, intimate Mara Expedition Camp.

Mara Expedition Camp has five light and airy, spacious canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms. Classic design on slightly raised platforms with a centrally located lounge and dining area, and an outdoor fire are with seating.

Mara Plains Camp contains seven tents and is one of only two Relais & Chateaux properties in Kenya. The large tents have canopied ceilings, rough hewn wood floors and en-suite facilities including a deep copper bath. Centrally there is a lounge area with library and a dining area.

All meals are included as well as all drinks (excluding imported champagnes and spirits). Meals are of a high standard and timings are flexible.

Picnic breakfasts or lunches are the norm if partaking in game drives so you can stay out on the plains as long as possible; otherwise meals are taken in camp.

All dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice.

 

Activities

Both camps are primarily safari camps offering exceptional access to the Maasai Mara Reserve and Mara North Conservancy. Game drives are offered daily in their open sided vehicles to explore the plains and riverbanks.

Visits to Maasai bomas as well as local school and community projects can be arranged if culture is of interest.

Hot Air Ballooning is also available at extra cost.

 

Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: There is no riding for children under 12 years of age, and riding for those under 14 years is by special arrangement. Children must be accompanied by an adult when riding. Children of 8 years and older are welcomed in camp.

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals and drinks (excluding champagne and premium spirits), riding and other safari activities, hats/boots/chaps

Not included: Flights, transfers, Hot Air Ballooning

 

Travel Information

You will need international flights into Nairobi's JKIA airport but will then need to transfer to the smaller domestic Wilson airport for a light aircraft transfer to your camp in the Mara.

Air transfers are at extra cost and vary depending on the camp you are staying at. We can also arrange your airport transfers in the city if required.

Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi

 

Programme


Mara Explorer



Each day you will be transferred from your accommodation choice to the stables which are less than 10 minutes away and nestled within an acacia forest overlooking lush grasslands and riverine woodlands. The spectacular Siria Escarpment forms an impressive backdrop on the western boundary of the Maasai Mara.

From the stables you can head out in any direction, unrestricted by roads, in one of Africa's most game rich wildlife areas, riding through areas of outstanding natural beauty which is most famous for its annual wildebeest and zebra migrations.

Throughout your ride you can expect to encounter large numbers of plains game such as elephant, giraffe, buffalo, eland, zebra, wildebeest, topi, Grants gazelle, impala, Thompsons gazelle and warthog, whilst the rivers and pools are home to hippo or crocodiles resting lazily in the water or on the banks. The Maasai Mara is famous for its big cats and so you are ever vigilant for sightings of the lion, leopard and cheetah which follow these antelope herds.

Rides are offered in the morning and afternoon and last approximately two hours. The morning ride departs at c. 8am and the afternoon ride at c. 3.30pm. All riders are assessed in the arena before setting out on their first ride to ensure you are comfortable with your horse and equipment. It is also possible to request a 4 hour ride in the morning, but then there will be no riding in the afternoon, however, you can join a game drive from your camp instead.

Intermediate riders and above can join an exhilarating ride with opportunities for fast paced canters and negotiating rivers and ravines. To join these rides you need to be riding fit, confident and competent, ride with an independent seat and be able to control an easy horse at all paces over uneven terrain.

Less experienced riders can take a gentle ride across the open plains, interacting with the abundant plains animals. Ride pace depends on the ability within the group but generally these quieter rides will keep to walk and trot and stick to open areas with good visibility. You do need to have some riding experience - able to mount/dismount, walk and trot, stop and turn your horse.

At the end of your ride, you will be transferred back to your safari camp for lunch/dinner and to rest. Any non-riders in your group will be offered normal game drives whilst you are riding and you will re-join them at camp.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You need to be at least an intermediate rider capable of walking and trotting unaided and able to turn and stop your horse. Experienced riders will be taken further afield on more challenging rides.
Type of ride: Centre based Safari
Total riding time: 2-4 hours riding each day
Departure dates: Mara Plains Camp - Open all year round
Mara Expedition Camp - Open all year except 1 April-14 June

Dates to suit. Minimum 3 night stay
 
Pricing: 2017:

Mara Expedition Camp:

Low Season (6 March-31 May, 1 November-19 December):
£695 per rider per night
£451 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

High Season (1 June-31 October):
£820 per rider sharing per night
£575 per non-rider per night
Sngle supplement: £256 per night

Peak Season (20 December 2017-10 January 2018):
£948 per rider sharing per night
£703 per non-rider sharing per night
Single supplement: £321 per night

Mara Plains Camp:

Low Season (1 November-19 December):
£990 per rider per night
£684 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

High Season (1-30 June):
£1270 per rider per night
£963 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

Peak Season (1 July-31 October, 20 December 2017- 10 January 2018):
£1596 per rider sharing per night
£1290 per non-rider sharing per night
Single supplement: £645 per night

2018:

Mara Expedition Camp:

Low Season (1 April-14 June, 1 November-19 December):
£691 per rider per night
£466 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

High Season (11 January-31 March):
£816 per rider per night
£575 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

Peak Season (15 June-31 October, 20 December 2018-10 January 2019):
£924 per rider sharing per night
£730 per non-rider sharing per night
Single supplement: £334 per night

Mara Plains Camp:

Low Season (1 April-14 June, 1 November-19 December):
£1018 per rider per night
£715 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

High Season (11 January - 31 March):
£1324 per rider per night
£1022 per non-rider per night
No single supplement

Peak Season (15 June-31 October, 20 December 2018- 10 January 2019):
£1701 per rider sharing per night
£1398 per non-rider per night
Single supplement: £699 per night


If you wish to do less than four hours riding each day, or only ride on some days, then it is also possible to book either camp as a Non-Rider and add a 2 hour ride for £194 per person. These rides can be booked and paid for locally, subject to availability.

Prices do not include air transfers or additional activities such as hot-air balloon trips.