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Simalaha Horse Safaris

Overview

Simalaha Horse Safaris is a new venture in Zambia on the Zambezi flats, run by Doug and his partner Gail who have been running their well-established Chundukwa River Lodge since 1992. The lodge is the main home of the horse herd and lies just 30km upstream of world-famous Victoria Falls, providing …

Highlights

  • Canter across the endless flat plains of the reserve
  • Ride amongst wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and antelope
  • Support local communities involved in the conservancy
  • Visit the stunning Victoria Falls
  • Toast the sunset on a cruise along the Zambezi river

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95 kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Description

Simalaha Horse Safaris is a new venture in Zambia on the Zambezi flats, run by Doug and his partner Gail who have been running their well-established Chundukwa River Lodge since 1992. The lodge is the main home of the horse herd and lies just 30km upstream of world-famous Victoria Falls, providing bespoke stilted accommodation overlooking the Zambezi River. From here it is around a three hour car journey into the Simalaha Community Conservancy where a comfortable semi-permanent tented camp awaits you, the perfect base from which to ride into a land previously unridden until now!

The Simalaha Community Conservancy is "a place where wildlife and people co-exist under one sky", inspired by local visionaries Chief Nyambo Yeta of the Sesheke Chiefdom and Chief Sekute of the Sekute Chiefdom. Years ago the Simalaha flood plains were home to a range of wildlife and the local people were able to benefit. In partnership with Peace Parks Foundation, this is becoming a reality once again - wildebeest, zebra, lechwe, puku, impala, waterbuck, giraffe and buffalo have all be re-introduced already. The local communities are being well-supported in order to embrace these changes and indeed they have become involved in the care and conservation of the conservancy and its wildlife. Community cattle roam the plains and the landscapes are now teeming with animals once again.

The flat terrain of Simalaha is ideal for endless canters as the floods keep it smooth and prevent holes. Small tributaries wind through the landscapes on their way back to the Zambezi River and the region is alive with all manner of birds as well as the plains game. At the present time there are no real predators and guests can relax and enjoy riding through this area, although all riders need to be competent in the saddle at all paces and able to ride for full days. On their reconnaissance ride into Simalaha the team were quite sure that the children had never seen horses before - this is truly an exciting adventure into new lands. Conservancy fees are included in the rates and go directly to supporting the Simalaha Community Conservancy Trust with their hands-on community initiatives.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Australian stock saddles, western saddles or trail saddles. Saddle bags are provided.

Horses

Basuto ponies, Quarter horses and Boerperds

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Zambezi Explorer Safari is a based ride

Ages

12+ years

Health

General good health and fitness recommended.

Weight

95 kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Food & Accommodation

Food

Guests are well-fed with fresh, tasty cuisine in the style of home cooking. Proteins are sourced from local farmers and many of the greens are homegrown or from the neighbours. When at Chundukwa you are served a continental buffet and cooked breakfast. Lunches are light and served with fresh garden salads and homemade breads, whilst dinners are three courses. The dining area also has bottomless cookie jars, a water-refill station and tea and coffee facilities, plus there is also cake at afternoon tea!

When you head out to Simalaha on the riding safari your hosts try hard to be 'plastic-free' as much as possible. During the full riding days you stop for picnics - an ox cart often brings this out to meet you.

Meals are served with water, tea, coffee, house beer, house wine and soft drinks. These drinks are included in the rates but additional/premium drinks cost extra.

Accommodation

A combination of nights at Chunduka River Lodge in stilted wooden chalets and nights out in the semi-permanent bush camp in the Simalaha Community Conservancy.

Chundukwa River Lodge's chalets are built overlooking the Zambezi River and all have en-suite bathrooms. One is large enough to fit two extra beds to make space for a family whilst each chalet can be with twin beds or a king bed as preferred. The chalets all have large walk-in mosquito nets, fans, gowns, electric blankets and a selection of organic shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers - your hosts would prefer that you utilise these since they are environmentally-friendly.

The camp at Simalaha is a semi-permanent arrangement and you are based there for your nights out in the conservancy. Each tent has its own en-suite with proper sink, flush toilet and hot shower.

Itineraries

Zambezi Explorer Safari Tented / Luxury accommodation.

Other Activities

On the week-long package some other activities are included:

- a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
- a personal guide and vehicle for one day (could be used to visit Victoria Falls or to do other things like visit a local market, enjoy a historical town tour or perhaps go to the local tailor and have a dress made)
- one other activity at Chunduka (a hack, guided wilderness walk, guided mountain biking, sunrise/sunset cruise, visit to local village and community project, birding of approx 2 hours or a river float)

The above activities can also be organised at extra cost whilst at Chundukwa River Lodge.

Travel

Road transfers from and to Livingstone airport are included in the packages - it is an easy drive of 30km.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Road transfer from Livingstone airport to Chundukwa River Lodge in time for a sundowner cruise, dinner and overnight there.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

5am departure from Chundukwa River Lodge to Simalaha Community Conservancy. The transfer takes approximately 3 hours by road and you will arrive to your tented camp on the edge of the Simalaha Plains in time for a quick breakfast. There is a 'meet your horse' session and from there a ride out onto the plains. Meals today will be planned around the flow and energy of the riders with a bush picnic and sundowners as part of the experience. Overnight in Simalaha Tented Camp.

Days 3 to 5

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Full day ride with overnight at Simalaha Tented Camp.

Day 6

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Morning ride followed by brunch. You will then depart by road for Chundukwa River Lodge, arriving there in time to check-in before your sundowner cruise.

Day 7

Riding: No riding.

Day trip to visit Victoria Falls and other optional sights and activities. You have use of a personal vehicle and guide for the day and can visit the Falls, museums, local/curio markets. For those who prefer you can enjoy a historical town tour or visit the local tailor to have a dress made. You could also head out to try some local cuisine! Your hosts at Chundukwa will help you to plan your day and the timings. Entry to Vic Falls is not included in the rates, you pay this directly.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Today you have one free activity included and you can choose from a hack (approx an hour and a half), a guided wilderness walk, guided mountain biking, sunrise/sunset cruise, a visit to the local village and community project, birding (approx two hours) or a river float. You are welcome to book and pay for additional activities too of course.

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

Check-out today is by 10:30am. There is time to add in a morning activity before departure for those who wish (not included).

Accommodation

4 nights at Chundukwa River Lodge and 4 nights in semi-permanent tented camp on the Simalaha Community Conservancy.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders must be able to ride at all paces including rising to the trot and keeping good control at canter. You should be confident about keeping up with the group and fit enough to spend 5 - 6 hours per day in the saddle.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Dates are opened on request - please contact us for details of dates you can join)

Pricing

2021
Single occupancy
£4585 $6335 €5440
2021
Sharing
£3110 $4300 €3690
Included Road transfers from and to Livingstone airport, 4 nights at Chundukwa River Lodge, 4 nights at Simalaha Tented Camp, all meals, house drinks (beer, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee), riding and activities as detailed in the programme, road transfers from and to Simalaha Conservancy, VAT, tourism levy and service charge.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, entrance to Victoria Falls, additional activities & other personal expenses.
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.