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Offbeat Safaris

Overview

Offbeat Safaris have been operating since 1990 and are well-known for their mobile riding safaris with big game, in addition to their traditional safaris in lodges and camps. Seeing Kenya from the back of a well-schooled, fit horse is a pleasure for riders and there is nothing so special as riding …

Highlights

  • Thrilling game viewing from horseback
  • Adventurous river crossings - look out for hippos!
  • Long canters on fit Thoroughbreds
  • Game drives and bush walks for non-riders
  • Luxurious three course dinners by the bush chefs

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Description

Offbeat Safaris have been operating since 1990 and are well-known for their mobile riding safaris with big game, in addition to their traditional safaris in lodges and camps. Seeing Kenya from the back of a well-schooled, fit horse is a pleasure for riders and there is nothing so special as riding amongst the spectacular wildlife of the Masai Mara and beyond. Guests on the mobile safaris stay in a traditional tented safari camp which moves through the wilderness, fully supported by a knowledgeable, experienced team.

The horses of Offbeat are based at Deloraine House and are trucked out to each safari destination before guests arrive. Deloraine is home to the Voorspuy family, your hosts, and is also a base for their safaris - we can also organise stays there on request. Offbeat's Masai Mara ride is considered the ultimate riding safari as the Mara never fails to provide incredible game viewing throughout the year. During this exciting adventure you are joined by a professional, passionate guide who will escort you through this big game country, crossing open plains interspersed with bush.

Riders for the mobile safaris need to be experienced, confident riders who are balanced in the saddle with an independent seat. Riding is generally for 4 - 7 hours a day so good fitness is required, as is the confidence to get out of trouble calmly and at the necessary speed. The short grassy plains are ideal for riding (but do keep a look out for holes!) and there are plenty of chances for long canters.

Game drives, night drives and bush walks are all available for non-riding companions or for anybody who would like a break from the saddle. Enjoy days of exhilarating sightings, be it on horseback or by vehicle, before sipping on a cold drink as the sun goes down and you wait for a delicious three course dinner.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English GP saddles (both Wintec and leather) only - riders must be able to ride with a light seat (2-point position) when cantering. Seat savers are also available for those who require it. They mainly use snaffle bridles.

Horses

All the horses are Thoroughbred or Thoroughbred crosses and have excellent stamina as a result. They are well schooled and some play polo and event. They are therefore responsive, tough and fit.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Masai Mara Ride is a trail ride
  • Laikipia Ride is a trail ride

Ages

Teenagers of 14 and older will be accepted on set departures if they are competent riders and prepared to join in with the adults. Younger guests are welcome on private, tailor-made safaris (please enquire).

Health

General good health and fitness recommended.

Weight

90kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Food is all freshly prepared and includes English breakfasts, light lunches and three-course dinners. If the weather is good then you will often enjoy a picnic. The chefs are excellent and produce freshly baked bread everyday, cooked on the open fire. Ice cubes are available and all house wines, beers and spirits are included (not champagne).

Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

Accommodation

In the mobile tented camps you will find a mess tent where meals are served and then the guest tents for sleeping - they are 9ft x 10ft and are furnished with camp beds, mattresses, sheets and blankets. Each tent has a long drop loo and there are hot bucket showers always available for guests. Towels, soaps and torches are provided and there is a solar lamp in each tent with hurricane lamps outside at night time.

Itineraries

Masai Mara Ride Tented accommodation.

Laikipia Ride Luxury accommodation.

Other Activities

Game drives, night drives and bush walks are available for non-riders or for any rider who would like a break from the saddle. Offbeat have an excellent team of guides and spotters who take non-riding guests out by vehicle, meeting up with the others for all meals, picnics and sundowners.

Travel

Guests are collected from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi or from a Nairobi hotel and transferred to Wilson Airport for a 10am flight to Mara North in the Masai Mara. You should be at Wilson Airport 1 hour prior to departure and most guests arrive to Nairobi the day before the safari begins and stay overnight in a hotel to ensure they have plenty of time.

On departure day you are transferred to the local airstrip for an 11am flight back to Nairobi, landing back to Wilson airport at around 12 noon. Offbeat will organise a taxi to take you around Nairobi if you wish or for a hotel day room (included in the price) before transferring you on to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your evening flight home.

Testimonials

Sandra B., Feb. 5, 2024

Offbeat never disappoints! Was my second time on a riding safari with them in the Masai Mara - and it is just unforgettable! The horses, the guides, the accommodation, the food, one gets spoiled from head to toe out in the bush.


Wendy & David, Oct. 18, 2023

Excellent, breathtaking & awesome. Cantering over the plains surrounded by wild animals and viewing a sleeping leopard from only a few feet away. The leopard was on a tree branch next to the remains of a Thomson gazelle. Very happy. Although due to the nature of camping in the wild the accommodation was very basic, every effort was made to provide as many luxuries as possible including hot water for washing and showers, boot cleaning and a laundry service. The food was spectacular especially considering the conditions and equipment the chefs were working under. Breakfasts included everything from cereals, fresh fruit, porridge and everything you'd want in a full english. Evening meals were 3 courses and of good quality and diversity. My horse was very good, very forward going and sure footed with a great turn of speed if asked. I had a couple of issues with the saddle, but when I mentioned them to the guide, the issues were rectified as soon as we got back to camp.


Sabrina R., Oct. 18, 2022

It has been an unforgettable experience and an amazing ride though the Masai Mara. The horses and guides were brilliant (horses super fit, forward going and very comfortable to ride), the guides knowledgeable, super fun and professional at the same time, and we had a lot of fun. Not to forget the excellent food and incredible good service from the whole team! I think my riding boot have never been treated so well and will definitely miss the daily cleaning and polishing.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival - Mara River Hippo Camp

Riding: 2 hours

You will either be collected from Jomo Kenyatta International airport or from a Nairobi hotel, if you have arrived the day before, and transferred to Wilson Airport for a 10am flight to the Mara. You will be met by your guides at the airstrip and driven to your first camp, set up on the banks of the Mara River adjacent to a teeming hippo pool. Lunch will be served and there is some time to relax before you meet your horses and head out on a gentle evening ride.

Day 2 - Mara River Hippo Camp

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today begins with an early morning ride, crossing the Mara River for the first time, before returning back to camp for a light breakfast. After breakfast a game drive will be on offer - this provides better photographic opportunities than horseback and gives you a chance to explore more of this northern part of the Mara which has so much to offer. You will return to camp in time for lunch and a siesta before your afternoon ride. You'll be back to camp with plenty of time for a shower and maybe you'll head off in the vehicles once more for a sundowner and a short night game drive before supper.

Day 3 - Escarpment Soit Olololo Camp

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today you'll head out from camp after breakfast at about 9am, heading south towards the park boundary where you meet the river again at one of the most famous wildebeest crossings. You will cross the river and head southwest across the Mara Triangle, meeting the car with your picnic lunch at roughly 12:30. After lunch and a siesta you'll set off at about 16:00 and ascend the Soit Olololo Escarpment. You will reach your camp at about 17:30, situated on the edge of the escarpment, and will spend the night overlooking the whole Mara ecosystem.

Day 4 - Olare Orok Camp

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

You will descend the escarpment after breakfast at about 9am, riding across the same wildebeest crossing at the river. You will head in a westerly direction and descend into the enchanting Olare Olok Valley, stopping for a picnic lunch and siesta from about 12:30 - 15:30 along the way. You will reach your camp at about 17:00 in time for tea, followed by an evening game drive and sundowners before supper under the stars.

Day 5 - Olare Orok Camp

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today you will have a full day exploring this glorious area on horseback, by car and possibly on foot. There are excellent photo opportunities, getting close to buffalo, elephant, lion and maybe cheetah or leopard.

Day 6 - Olare Lamun Camp

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

This is your third moving day and you will break camp in good time as it is the longest ride of the trip, covering nearly 50kms. Setting off at 07:00am you will stop for a picnic breakfast from around 10 - 11am. You will ride on until 13:30 where you will break again for lunch and a siesta after reach Ol Kinyei Conservancy. At 16:00 you head to your last camp, arriving at Olare Lamun (the rhino salt lick) which is nestled in a grove of acacia trees by a small stream at the southern edge of the Loita Plains.

Day 7 - Olare Lamun Camp

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

After an early wake-up you will set off on a morning ride before returning to camp for a light breakfast. You will then head off on a game drive and a beautiful walk up the nearby hill called Oloiburmut, returning to camp for lunch and a siesta. At around 4pm you will drive or ride to visit the local Masai village.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

There is a last morning ride before saying goodbye to your horses. After a final breakfast you will be driven to the airstrip for a flight back to Nairobi at 11am, landing into Wilson airport at around 12 noon. Offbeat will organise a taxi to take you around Nairobi for shopping or visits or they will take you to a hotel day room (included in the price) where you can shower and rest before they transfer you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your evening flight home.

Accommodation

Each night is spent in mobile tented camps with camp beds, mattresses, sheets and blankets. Each tent has a bathrooms with long drop loo and hot water bucket shower for an added touch of luxury.

Experience Experienced

Riders must be experienced, competent riders who are comfortable at all paces (walk, trot, canter and gallop), able to get out of trouble calmly and at the necessary speed. You should be balanced with an independent seat and fit enough to ride long days and manage long canters.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

Jan. 6, 2024 - Jan. 13, 2024

Feb. 10, 2024 - Feb. 17, 2024

March 9, 2024 - March 16, 2024

June 15, 2024 - June 22, 2024

June 22, 2024 - June 29, 2024

June 29, 2024 - July 6, 2024

July 6, 2024 - July 13, 2024

July 13, 2024 - July 20, 2024

July 27, 2024 - Aug. 3, 2024

Aug. 10, 2024 - Aug. 17, 2024

Aug. 17, 2024 - Aug. 24, 2024

Aug. 31, 2024 - Sept. 7, 2024

Sept. 7, 2024 - Sept. 14, 2024

Sept. 14, 2024 - Sept. 21, 2024

Oct. 5, 2024 - Oct. 12, 2024

Oct. 12, 2024 - Oct. 19, 2024

Dec. 7, 2024 - Dec. 14, 2024

Pricing

2024
Rider, Sharing
£7750 $9870 €9110
Included 7 nights tented accommodation, all meals and drinks (except champagne/premium spirits), riding on 8 days (including short arrival and departure day rides), game drives, conservation and park fees, internal light aircraft flights and all transfers associated with the safari. A day room in Nairobi on last day is available if required & flying doctor membership is included.
Not included International flights, travel insurance, extra transfers or hotel nights in Nairobi, premium spirits/champagne, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £79 $100 €92 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement payable if not willing to share
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: 2 hours

You will arrive at Sosian, either by private charter or scheduled flight, in time to have lunch in camp with the group. This afternoon is your first ride exploring this rehabilitated wildlife and cattle ranch.

Overnight private Sosian camp.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today is a full day of riding, driving and enjoying this diverse area. The region is home to a variety of game including Jackson's hartebeest, Grevy's zebra, elephant, hippo, buffalo, lion, giraffe and more. From certain points on the ride you can look across at the Lolldaiga Hills - you will pass over these in the coming days, with Mt. Kenya in the distance.

You'll have an early morning ride, followed by breakfast in camp and then a game drive or walk. Lunch will be in camp, followed by a siesta and then another ride, finishing up in time for sundowners and a game drive before dinner.

Overnight private Sosian camp.

Day 3

Riding: 6 hours

Today is your first day of moving camp and it's a long ride to El Karama. You will cross the pretty Mutara River and head down to the Suguroi valley and across the black cotton plains (which are a bit monotonous!) - these are covered in whistling thorn (Acacia Drepanolobium) which is home to the Patas monkey, a chestnut-coloured and long-limbed primate which is widespread but rare among the northern savannahs of Africa. You will ride on across Segera Ranch, crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River, before reaching El Karama Ranch which is home to the Grant family.

The schedule today will be breakfast in camp followed by a long ride, a picnic lunch and siesta time. Then you'll saddle up and finish your ride to El Karama.

Overnight private El Karama camp.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you'll be exploring this 13,000 acre wildlife conservancy by horse and vehicle with the option of a game walk along the river before lunch. El Karama is home to world renowned wildlife sculptor, Murray Grant, and a visit to his studio is a fascinating experience. There is a host of game including Grevy's zebra, the rare endemic Jackson's hartebeest, elephant, giraffe and hippo in the river.

Today's schedule will usually begin with an early morning ride and breakfast in camp, followed by a game drive or walk. Then you'll take lunch in camp and a siesta before your next ride, drinks and another game driver before dinner.

Overnight private El Karama camp.

Day 5

Riding: 6 hours

This is another moving day as you make your way onto the specialist cattle ranch of Mogwooni, home to the Kenyon family, where you will stop for lunch on the Nanyuki River. After lunch you'll head over to Enasoit through a hidden valley, following elephant and buffalo tracks with little dams, before reaching the Lolldaiga Hills, a 55,000 acres ranch and probably one of Africa's most beautiful farms. Your camp tonight sits at the head of a beautiful valley surrounded by cedar forest and you'll be here two nights.

Being another moving day, the schedule will be breakfast in camp followed by a long ride, a picnic lunch and siesta time. Then you'll saddle up and finish your ride to Lolldaiga.

Overnight private Lolldaiga camp.

Day 6

Riding: 4 hours

Today brings spectacular rides and a picnic lunch, eaten from the land rover, during a drive into the northern part of the ranch. At one point you will be on the western edge of the Lolldaiga Hills with spectacular views over the Laikipia Plateau below, which you have ridden across in previous days.

Today's schedule will usually begin with an early morning ride and breakfast in camp, followed by a game drive with picnic lunch. Then it's time for another ride before sundowners and a pre-dinner game drive.

Overnight private Lolldaiga camp.

Day 7

Riding: 6 hours

Today is your last moving day as you ride eastwards with a picnic lunch. You will cross from Lolldaiga to Ole Naishu, winding past large Kopje's interspersed with cedar forest, before reaching Borana Conservancy. This is a wildlife conservancy in pristine countryside on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya with beautiful views of the snow-capped peaks of the mountain in the south and the rugged Mathews Range to the north. It is home to large numbers of rhino and seeing these prehistoric beasts from the back of a horse is a real highlight. You will arrive in camp in time for sundowners.

For your last moving day the schedule will be breakfast in camp followed by a long ride, a picnic lunch and siesta time. Then you'll saddle up and finish your ride to Borana.

Overnight private Borana camp.

Day 8

Riding: 4 hours

For your last full day of adventure you'll be exploring this wildlife rich conservancy by horseback and vehicle, with a picnic lunch on the Ngare Ndare River. Borana has a high concentration of big cats and there is always a chance to find these predators from horseback. Borana is situated on top of an escarpment and the scenery here is spectacular. Borana is home to your hosts Nicky and Michael Dyer, who own and run this exceptional conservancy.

Today's schedule will generally be another early morning ride, breakfast in camp and then a game drive of a few hours before lunch in camp. Then you'll saddle up again and ride before your last sundowners and dinner.

Overnight private Borana camp.

Day 9

Riding: 2 hours

This morning you'll take a final ride before breakfast together in camp, then you'll transfer back to Nairobi in time for your travel home.

Experience Experienced

Riders must be experienced, competent riders who are comfortable at all paces (walk, trot, canter and gallop), able to get out of trouble calmly and at the necessary speed. You should be balanced with an independent seat and fit enough to ride long days and manage long canters.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

Feb. 20, 2024 - Feb. 28, 2024

Feb. 28, 2024 - March 7, 2024

Pricing

2024
Rider, Sharing
£8740 $11130 €10275
Included 8 nights tented accommodation, all meals and drinks (except champagne/premium spirits), riding (including short arrival and departure day rides), game drives, conservation and park fees, internal light aircraft flights and all transfers associated with the safari. A day room in Nairobi on last day is available if required & flying doctor membership is included.
Not included International flights, travel insurance, extra transfers or hotel nights in Nairobi, premium spirits/champagne, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £79 $100 €92 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement payable if not willing to share
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.