15 May 2019

Advice on which horse-riding safari is best for you

YZ expert Izzy has recently returned from a horse-riding safari. Here she weighs up the different lodges that offer world-class horse riding in Kenya:

Riding in the bush is a unique and exciting way to view wildlife whilst out in Kenya. Whether you are a complete beginner or have ridden your whole life, it’s something I believe everyone should experience at least once in their life. Below, I outline and rate the lodges and horse-riding experiences that I tried, including what wildlife and scenery you can expect to see:

1) Offbeat Riding Safaris

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Who is it for?

Offbeat Riding Safaris offers the ultimate riding safari in Kenya, as you ride for seven days crossing from one end of the Maasai Mara to the other. This trip is therefore for hardcore experienced riders, who want to do nothing but ride. One of Offbeat’s regulars is the famous eventer Lucinda Green!

What do you see?

Imagine long canters across open plains whilst watching zebra run in the distance, jumping falling trees (only if you want to!), and crossing the Mara River, seeing hippo wallowing downstream. You come across a whole variety of wildlife out riding, from elephant to giraffe to lion to even rhino. This is not for the nervous rider, as you might have to make a quick exit if you come across an angry elephant!

"As someone who has ridden my whole life, this was my absolute favourite riding experience. It’s a trip I can’t wait to go back on, which makes it so hard to choose my best moment as every moment was unforgettable. However, watching two curious lion cubs whilst on horseback was a very special moment, and having a quick canter away from a protective mother elephant is something I won’t ever forget!"
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Izzy on her best moment at Offbeat Riding Safaris

2) ol Donyo

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Who is it for?

If you fancy a little luxury whilst riding, then ol Donyo is the place to be. It has a stable of impeccably behaved horses, suiting a complete beginner up to the more advanced rider.

What do you see?

The scenery around here is stunning, with incredible cantering across open plains with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. The wildlife here is very habituated to the horses; I had some amazing animal encounters, getting up close to giraffe, zebra, and eland. Out of all the places I rode, this is where I got closest to giraffe.

"Encountering two cheetah lying in the shade of a tree, who were completely unbothered by us standing there watching."
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Izzy on her best moment at ol Donyo

3) Borana Lodge

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who is it for?

Borana has a huge riding focus, as it has both a beginner stable and an advanced stable with around 80 horses in total. They have a horse to suit everyone! They will plan your ride depending on what you want, whether that’s looking for rhino, having amazing long canters over open plains, or taking a jump over fallen trees.

What do you see?

This is the place where you have the chance of riding with rhino, as the Lewa–Borana Landscape is one of Africa’s most successful rhino conservation projects.

"An amazing gallop across plains and up to the top of a hill with beautiful views."
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Izzy on her best moment at Borana Lodge

4) Sosian Lodge

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who is it for?

I absolutely loved riding here at Sosian. This is for the more experienced rider, as the area is shrubbier and more wooded; you never know what could be around the corner!

what do you see?

Out of all my riding in Kenya, this is surprisingly where I came across the most elephants! Trying to navigate my way through quite dense shrubs whilst spotting and avoiding the elephants was very exciting.

"Standing watching four bull elephants walk calmly towards us, then stopping to watch us before moving on."
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Izzy on her best moment at Sosian Lodge

If you are interested in a horse-riding safari, why not contact our experts here. Alternatively, take a look below for more inspiration: