Horseback safaris are a dream for a large number of riders who would love the chance to ride with a variety of spectacular game and wildlife. The majority of horseback safari holidays are aimed at experienced riders who can cope with the demands of long hours in the saddle, exhilarating riding and with the potential dangers of riding amongst wild animals. They are often point to point trail rides during which you travel between different safari camps where you can indulge in a little relaxation and pampering at the end of the day. Such safaris are usually considered a luxury riding holiday due to the standards of accommodation, food and the riding opportunities they involve.
There is nothing so memorable as galloping with giraffes, riding amongst rhino or perhaps spying on hippos in their resident lake. Encounters with the 'big five' are particularly exciting - rhino, leopard, buffalo, lion and elephant. For those with less experience then you are not excluded - there are safari destinations where the less seasoned rider can get up close to some fantastic wildlife, usually whilst taking part in a based stay. Riding in Africa is a popular choice for honeymooners as it is undeniably a special experience and some destinations even offer the option to get married there!
Safari destinations often have several rides on offer which means that riders can start out with the tamer rides, exploring areas rich in the less daunting game, before taking on a more exhilarating challenge and encountering some of the big predators. Whichever type of safari holiday you choose, it is guaranteed to be something very special. Just don't forget your camera!
African Horseback Safaris (Macatoo), Botswana
Macatoo Camp is situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. This area is a lure for a variety of magnificent wildlife who depend upon the delta's waters in order to survive and these include lions, hyenas, buffalo, wild dog, elephant, antelope, hippo, crocodiles, warthog, mongoose, genets, monkeys, bush babies and over 400 species of birds (resident and migrant). Guests are invited to join these magnificent safaris, cantering through the Okavango Delta, listening to the calls of the wildlife or riding with a herd of zebra or giraffe across the plains. One of the resident elephants may even join you in camp!
Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill, South Africa
These two unique bush homes, Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill, are located on their own private game reserve in the beautiful and diverse Waterberg region of South Africa. They offer some of the most exciting game viewing and horseback riding in Africa and situated at an altitude of 4500 feet above sea level, this wonderful region offers a temperate climate and can be visited all year round. Due to the varying topography and ecology across the reserve, the bush is teeming with an incredible variety of game species from rhino and buffalo to leggy giraffe, rare sable antelope, herds of eland, zebra, wildebeest, big spiral horned kudu to the fleet footed oryx just to mention but a few. There are 300 recorded bird species in the area to add to the exquisite variety of all forms of wildlife that the reserves support.
Borana Lodge Safaris, Kenya
Borana Lodge is set on the edge of the Samangua Valley with panoramic views of Mount Kenya, the Borana plains and the Ngare Ndare Forest. The ice-capped peaks of Mount Kenya are also visible from almost anywhere on Borana. One of the best ways of seeing big game here is on horseback and they have horses to suit all levels of rider. Guests can ride through the plains among giraffe, hartebeest and impala or into the forest which cloaks the foot of Mount Kenya. The more experienced rider can explore the ranch with a trusty guide who will show them the special spots and introduce them to the fascinating wildlife which thrives here.
Eastern Cape Explorer, South Africa
Ever thought that you would like to canter your horse along a beach or play in the waves? The sound of a horse's hooves splashing in the water beneath you is a memory not to be forgotten. What better way to experience South Africa than on the back of a horse, enjoying this new and exciting trail ride along the coast! You can canter these fit horses for miles along the firm sand of the unspoilt beaches, swimming in the sea and combing the beaches looking for hidden treasures or admiring shipwrecks.
Horizon Horseback Adventures and Safaris, South Africa
Horizon Horseback offers a selection of fabulous based adventures and riding safaris in the Waterberg area of northern South Africa. Just three hours north of Johannesburg, this destination has a choice for everyone from honeymoon couples to adventurous families, single riders to groups of friends (non-riders also welcome). Guests can opt for a mobile safari or an adventure based out of the historic family property, set in a private game reserve alongside a beautiful lake with hippo and surrounding plains game. The choices of riding are almost endless and include outrides through the game reserve, cattle mustering, swimming with the horses in the lake, western games, jumping, cross country or even learning to play polocrosse.
Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris, Botswana
Explore on horseback the Mashatu Game Reserve which is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve - the eastern tip of Botswana. Mashatu covers 30,000 hectares and is home to great herds of elephant, estimated to be at least 800 strong. Let the beautifully schooled horses help you to discover this wild paradise.
Ride and Walk Safaris (Motswiri), Botswana
Exclusive, personalised riding and walking safaris based in the remote and beautiful Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana. These camp based safaris show you the spectacular landscapes of the reserve, which features both floodplains and perfectly dry areas and is ideal for a horseback adventure or for exploring on foot. Guests can experience close up encounters with resident and migratory wildlife whilst enjoying the comfort of this remote and relaxing camp.
Safaris Unlimited, Kenya
Exciting horseback safaris across the untouched wilderness of Kenya. Organised by Gordie Church, an experienced and passionate guide, these safaris are the riding trips of a lifetime for the adventurous rider with a love of wildlife. Experience the wilderness, learn about its people and ride your way across one of Africa's highlights.
Tours of the Raj, India
These breathtaking and luxurious Indian safaris combine the thrill of riding through the magnificent former Raj kingdoms with the experience of riding purebred Indian horses such as the Marwaris, with their beautiful curled ears, and the Sindhis. As you ride across this unspoilt terrain, you will interact with locals as you ride through untouched villages, enjoy a taste of the desert lifestyle, view the flora and fauna of Rajasthan and listen to the rhythms of folk musicians. This is the way to see real India, sharing the experience with likeminded people who have a love for horses, nature and the environment. Your experienced guides have taken special care to ensure that the routes are as varied and interesting as possible and that you find your selected horses to be well bred, appropriately schooled and a pleasure to ride.