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Zambian Horseback Safaris

Overview

Zambian Horseback 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, providi…

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 2 - 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95 kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Description

Zambian Horseback 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 an exciting 2.5 hour adventure to reach the Simalaha Wildlife Conservancy – by road (40mins) river safari (1h30) and finally by horseback (20mins) where a comfortable semi-permanent tented camp awaits you.

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 (7 nights) 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 (7 nights) 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.

Once you have cleared Immigration at Livingstone airport and collected your luggage, you will be met by a driver and transferred to Chundukwa River Lodge (approx. 35 mins by road). On arrival at Chundukwa, you will check in to your luxurious riverside chalets (with en-suite bathrooms) before taking part in some of Chundukwa's activities or simply relaxing in these magnificent surroundings. Tonight you can enjoy sundowners overlooking the magnificent Zambezi river.

NB: If you are able to arrive to Livingstone on an early morning flight, or you are already in the area, you can head straight to Simalaha this day and we can shorten the programme - please ask for details.

Day 2

Riding: No riding.

Early this morning you will depart from Chundukwa River Lodge to the camp in Simalaha Community Conservancy. This transfer consists of a road transfer to Mombova Harbour (approx 1 hr) where you will board a riverboat for a river safari experience into the Simalaha Conservancy (approx. 1h30min). You will be met by the horses at the river edge and ride the final distance into camp (approx. 20 mins away). Enjoy an African sundowner and tasty dinner before your first night at this billion-star retreat!

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Following a delicious breakfast in camp, you will mount your horses for your first full day experience in the Simalaha Conservancy hosted by guide and owner, Doug Evans. The day will include a morning ride to discover the conservancy a little better before returning to camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon you will enjoy a ride to follow the Baobab route. Dinner and overnight in camp once more.

There are no large predators in the conservancy and so it is a safe riding & wilderness combination! However, you will be able to spot 16 large mammals on your daily rides across the plains and surrounding mopane forests of Simalaha. This can include hundreds of wildebeest, zebra and lechwe grazing in harmony with the local tribesman’s cattle - a truly unique horse safari experience.

A gin & tonic sundowner will round off the day nicely once you return to camp.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today's ride will be to another part of the conservancy to view the wildlife and perhaps also to visit Monde's Village. Monde will give you an introduction to her home and you will be able to hear firsthand about community involvement within the conservancy. Enjoy this privileged insight into the local way of life, their beautifully built traditional mud style homes and even learn a few local beer brewing techniques!

Another option for today is an extensive river ride (the programme is somewhat flexible). On the way, you will pass herds of wildebeest, sable antelope and zebra. On the river banks, you will have the chance to meet local fishermen who have set up their temporary homes along the river's edge. You may even get to witness them fishing in the traditional dugout canoes called "makoros".

Dinner and overnight back in camp today. For those who wish to, you may choose to spend this night sleeping out on a luxury bedroll to truly experience the pristine African sky!

Day 5

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Today you will enjoy a final opportunity to canter across the plains for wildlife sightings before returning to camp for an early lunch. You will depart for Chundukwa River Lodge in the early afternoon!

On arrival at Chundukwa, you will check back in to your riverside chalet before enjoying a relaxed afternoon and another wonderful dinner.

Day 6

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 7

Riding: No riding.

Today you have a free day to enjoy any of the activities offered at Chundukwa Lodge. 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 or fishing. You are welcome to book and pay for as many activities as you wish. Those guests staying at Chundukwa for 3 days or more will have 1 activity per day included.

Day 8

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

1 night at Chundukwa River Lodge, 3 nights in semi-permanent tented camp on the Simalaha Community Conservancy, 3 nights back at Chundukwa River Lodge (this itinerary is somewhat flexible, please enquire at time of booking).

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

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

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

July 1, 2022 - July 8, 2022

July 16, 2022 - July 23, 2022

July 18, 2022 - July 25, 2022

July 29, 2022 - Aug. 5, 2022

Aug. 10, 2022 - Aug. 17, 2022

Aug. 20, 2022 - Aug. 27, 2022

Aug. 30, 2022 - Sept. 6, 2022

Sept. 10, 2022 - Sept. 17, 2022

Sept. 21, 2022 - Sept. 28, 2022

Sept. 27, 2022 - Oct. 3, 2022

Oct. 2, 2022 - Oct. 9, 2022

Oct. 12, 2022 - Oct. 19, 2022

Oct. 22, 2022 - Oct. 29, 2022

Nov. 2, 2022 - Nov. 9, 2022

Nov. 12, 2022 - Nov. 19, 2022

Nov. 22, 2022 - Nov. 29, 2022

Dec. 1, 2022 - Dec. 8, 2022

Dec. 10, 2022 - Dec. 17, 2022

Dec. 29, 2022 - Jan. 5, 2023

Pricing

2022
Sharing; valid until 31st August 2022
£2955 $3300 €3365
2022
Single occupancy; valid until 31st August 2022
£3975 $4435 €4525
2022/2023
Single occupancy; valid 1st Sept 2022 - 31 Jan 2024
£4335 $4835 €4935
2022/2023
Sharing; valid 1st Sept 2022 - 31st Jan 2024
£3315 $3700 €3775
Included 7 nights accommodation (4 nights in total at Chundukwa River Lodge, 3 nights at Simalaha Tented Camp), all meals, snacks, tea, coffee and selected soft drinks, riding and activities as detailed in the programme, Simalaha Conservancy park and conservation fees, VAT, tourism levy and service charge.
Not included Flights, travel insurance (with medical evacuation), transfers, premium and alcoholic drinks, entrance to Victoria Falls, additional activities & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Livingstone Airport Transfers £255 $285 €290
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost includes round trip travel from Livingstone to Simalaha conservancy by road & boat.
2022 - Victoria Falls Entrance Fee £18 $20 €20
Paid to Far and Ride
This fee covers your entrance to Victoria falls on day 7 of the programme. This is an optional tour and can also be substituted for any of the other wonderful activities offered at Chundukwa Lodge. You may also prefer to organise and pay for the tour locally.
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.