One of the greatest safari experiences has to be venturing out into pristine wilderness on horseback!

Horseback Safari

The very best safaris are those that bring you closest to nature, so one of the greatest safari experiences has to be venturing out into pristine wilderness on horseback!

Experienced guides will lead you through an awe-inspiring range of ecosystems filled with game and into areas that are well off the beaten track. The local wildlife sees horses and riders as other non-threatening animals and therefore allows you to get really close, a truly unique safari experience! It is worth mentioning, however, that areas offering horse riding usually have lower numbers of big cats, as they can make the horses skittish.

Whether you are a beginner or a confident rider, you will be given a horse best suited to your specific requirements. The pace can vary, from the thrill of cantering alongside giraffe and wildebeest to the serenity of a meandering ride while watching the sun set or a quiet trot through a herd of grazing zebra or a family of rhino – all moments to cherish.

There are plenty of horse riding options in Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe - take a look below:

Botswana

If you are seeking the ultimate horseback safari in a truly wild area, we highly recommend Macatoo Camp for competent riders who feel at ease in the saddle. This camp is set in the depths of the western Okavango Delta in Botswana, offering breathtaking scenery, abundant and varied game, extremely experienced and knowledgeable guides, and well-schooled, responsive horses. You’ll get to ride up close to the birdlife, game and nature for 4–6 hours each day.

Kenya

Some of Africa’s most outstanding riding is also available in Kenya. Sosian offers a great variety of riding for experienced riders, across open plains filled with zebra, oryx, giraffe, eland and gazelle and with Mount Kenya as a backdrop. Riding is generally 2–3 hours in the mornings and/or afternoons, with up to 6 hours per day spent in the saddle. For keen riders seeking a true wilderness experience, a 1 night fly camp option is available with the horses, as well as 5–7 night horseback safaris. 

Ol Donyo Lodge is situated on the southwestern side of the Chyulu Hills in southeast Kenya, within a limitless expanse of plains and amazing views as far as Mount Kilimanjaro. This lodge is renowned for its outstanding horse safaris – whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, there is a suitable route for you. Advanced riders can also include fly camping, 5–7 night horseback safaris.

For a real "Out of Africa" moment, Ride Mara offers a horseback riding experience over the vast plains of the Maasai Mara, where guests are able to explore the area surrounding Naibosho Toto and ride alongside herds of zebra and giraffe. Any guests staying at safari camps in the Maasai Mara, Olare Motorogi, Mara North and Naboisho Conservancies can take part - but we suggest staying at either Mara Expedition or Mara Plains Camp for an excellence combination of adventure and luxury. 

Zimbabwe

Recent developments in Hwange National Park have really turned our heads towards this gem of a park in northern Zimbabwe and in particular we are delighted with the launch of horse riding safaris, the first of their kind in southern Hwange.

Managed from the Imvelo Safari Lodges, Bomani Tented Lodge and Camelthorn Lodge, there are currently seven well-trained horses available for all levels of ability, and we’d highly recommend giving the experience a go. Most of the wildlife is unaware of your presence, so you can get really close to the animals, often even riding alongside big game.

If you’d like more information on planning a horse riding safari to Africa, feel free to call us on +1 855 225 1155 or send us an email at [email protected]