The Best Horseback Safaris in Africa:

When it comes to determining the ideal country and tour for a horse riding safari in Africa, making a single decision is quite challenging. Each country offers a unique experience. Therefore, to make a fair comparison, we’ve considered various factors such as wildlife intensity, pricing, the level of horse riding, and other potential activities. Through extensive research, experiences, and reviews, we’ve narrowed it down to three countries that stand out as the best for african horseback safaris. In this article, we’ll provide a brief overview of each of these countries, the types of tours available, and then categorize them based on our Best For classification.

  • Best Horseback Safari For Wildlife

  • Best Horseback Safari For Budget

  • Best Horseback Safari For Beginners

  • Best Horseback Safari For Family

  • Best Horseback Safari For Overall

Kenya

best horseback safari in kenya

In East Africa, the incredible variety of wildlife never fails to captivate, and there’s never a shortage of wildlife to see. Going for a horseback safari in Kenya allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and encounter a wide range of fascinating animals, both big and small. Kenya holds the distinction of being where horse riding safari adventures first originated, offering an unparalleled equestrian safari experience that is truly unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Holding firm its position as the best Wildlife Destination in the world, Kenya offers 3 places to go for horse riding safari (Masai Mara, Laikipia & Amboseli), each with its own unique experience and nature.

Masai Mara:

Great wildebeest Migration in Kenya

The Masai Mara reserve stands as one of the world’s most wildlife-abundant regions, characterized by its vast, open landscapes that evoke a sense of boundless freedom. These expansive plains play host to extraordinary safaris, affording riders the opportunity to closely encounter lion prides, graceful giraffes, and the countless herds of wildebeest on their remarkable Great Wildebeest Migration. The horseback safaris happen in selected conservancies. This place offers a wide range of safari experiences, from luxury lodge stays to fly-camping.

Check our full post on Horseback Safari in Masai Mara 

Laikipia:

Laikipia safari in kenya

Laikipia, where the second-highest peak in Africa is found, provides a captivating journey. While riding through the undulating terrain of Mount Kenya, you’ll be treated to breathtaking mountain vistas. This region is also home to several endangered species, such as Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, and Jackson’s Hartebeest, all of which can be spotted from your horse.

Botswana:

Okavango delta horseback safari in Botswana

Botswana is where the desert meets an oasis, from the waterways of the Okavango Delta to the arid salt pans of the Makgadikgadi. It’s a land where wildlife still roams freely over vast distances, and the night sky reveals the breathtaking beauty of the Milky Way above. It is still home to the San Bushman, the original inhabitants of this amazing continent, Africa. Many parts of Botswana offer a sense of untouched, remote wilderness, making it a paradise for those seeking an authentic safari experience. The lodges here follow Botswana’s exclusive, high-end model, you’ll be virtually tripping over wildlife, including the Big Five. You might even catch lions swimming between islands, alongside endangered African wild dogs and more than 500 species of birds.

canoeing in Okavango delta horseback safari in Botswana

A horseback safari in Botswana is considered by many to be the ultimate riding safari holiday, offering abundant and varied game.

Botswana offers horseback safaris in three distinct destinations: Okavango Delta, Tuli, and Makgadikgadi Pans.

South Africa:

Horseback safari in South africa

Nothing beats the exhilaration of a long gallop across an open plain, the wind in your hair, and a sense of pure freedom. In South Africa, you can escape to your piece of heaven. This diverse country offers stunning landscapes, ranging from mountainous terrain to pristine bush and spectacular coastlines, making it an excellent choice for any horse riding adventure. Whether you’re a family looking for a leisurely ride or an advanced rider seeking a thrilling challenge, South Africa has something for everyone.

South Africa stands out as the destination with the widest selection of riding safari vacations across the African continent. Riders of all levels can find a holiday that suits their skills. While exploring areas inhabited by elephants, lions, and buffaloes is reserved for intermediate plus and advanced riders, there are several horse safaris tailored for novice riders as well.

Although Kruger National Park is known to be the best place for safari in South Africa, Horse riding safari is not done there for safety measures.

Waterberg:

Horseback safari in South africa

Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill provide an extraordinary opportunity for unparalleled game viewing in the heart of the African bush – all from the saddle of your horse. You’ll experience the thrill of cantering along open sandy tracks and traversing high ridges with breathtaking panoramic views. The horses, known for their fitness, reliability, and responsiveness, cater to riders of all levels, whether you’re a professional rider or a complete beginner or even on a family trip.

Riding on the reserve, you will enjoy close encounters with an incredible variety of game from rhino, buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, eland, sable, oryx, wildebeest, red hartebeest, kudu, impala, zebra, blesbuck, warthog, bush pig, and brown hyena, as well as all the smaller animals such as African wild cat, mongoose, and more than 250 species of birds.

Best Horseback Safari For Wildlife : Kenya

Horseback safari in the masai mara, kenya

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When it comes to the best horseback safari for wildlife in Africa, the Masai Mara horse riding safari is the perfect fit. With the intensity of wildlife and spectacular landscapes as the main experience, this safari offers an unparalleled opportunity to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration and diverse wildlife. You can go on a 7 or 8-nights adventure where you go through various conservancies in the Masai Mara, covering over 200 km in the saddle as you track different animals with a fly-camping experience. The Mara is a haven for diverse wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, and an array of plains game and birdlife that you’ll intimately coexist with throughout the journey. check the Full Guide

Best Horseback Safari For BUDGET: South Africa & Botswana

Horseback safari

For a budget-friendly option, consider “The African Explorer,” an exploration trip covering two different countries, South Africa and Botswana. This unique horseback safari adventure immerses you in the breathtaking and diverse landscapes of both countries. You’ll explore the Matlapeng valley in South Africa, encountering wildlife and embracing the rich flora and fauna. The second half of your safari takes you to the Tuli Block of Botswana, known as the “Land of the Giants,” where you’ll encounter vast herds of elephants and other wildlife. This adventure provides a taste of two fabulous countries without breaking the bank.

Best Horseback Safari For BEGINNERS : South Africa

Horseback Safari for beginners in South Africa

If you’re a beginner, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill in South Africa provide safe and enjoyable experiences for riders of all levels. Whether you’re a professional rider or a complete beginner, you can enjoy exceptional game viewing while horseback riding. The horses at these reserves are known for their fitness, reliability, and responsiveness, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. You’ll have close encounters with a wide variety of game, making it a perfect choice for novice riders.

Best Horseback Safari For FAMILY : South Africa

Family Horseback safari in South Africa

Horse-riding safaris can also be a great experience for families. South Africa, with its Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill reserves, offers an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy game viewing from horseback. These reserves provide the flexibility for riders of all levels, including beginners. Your family will have close encounters with a diverse array of game, from rhinos to giraffes, creating unforgettable memories.

Best Horseback Safari For OVERALL: Botswana

Horseback Safari in Okavango delta in Botswana

For the best overall horseback safari in Africa, the Okavango Delta horse riding safari in Botswana stands out. This safari offers an outstanding blend of wildlife intensity, budget-friendliness, and a variety of activities. In the heart of the Okavango Delta, you’ll experience the thrill of crossing water passages and exploring inaccessible wetlands on horseback. The wildlife in the Okavango Delta is intense, including the Big Five and a myriad of other species. You can also enjoy a unique canoe safari, adding to the adventure. This safari offers high-quality experiences at a reasonable cost

Now, you have a comprehensive overview of the best horse riding safaris in Africa, catering to various preferences and budgets. Each of these safaris promises a unique and unforgettable adventure in the heart of Africa. Check The FAQ section below 

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FAQ section

You might be wondering, what if you encounter a predator like a lion while on a horse? Well, horses are much bigger than what lions usually hunt, so you don’t need to worry.

The horses you’ll ride are used to the animals you’ll see, so they won’t get scared. Plus, your guides are experts at handling any situation. So, there’s no need to be concerned!

Like any activity with wildlife, there’s a little risk. But on a horseback safari, experienced guides lead all the rides to make sure you have a safe and fun time.

Shoulder season is a great time to go on a safari. November and December, roughly, falls between the rainy and dry seasons. Wildlife viewing is still fantastic, fewer people are around, and you could get some good deals on a safari

Horse Riding Safari Prices vary also depending on how many days you want

Horseback safari tour operators will provide you with tack that is suited to the type of riding you’ll be doing. You can bring your own riding boots and helmet to be a good fit.

Saddles and tack will vary by company, but you can expect to receive high-quality equipment from industry-leading names. For more specific information, contact the company you plan to book with.

The type of horses you’ll be riding will depend on your destination and the tour operator you plan to book with. The horses selected for horseback safaris are relaxed and pleasant to ride, and your chosen company will make sure to pair you with the match that suits you best.

Check My blog Post about Packing For Safari

Weight and age restrictions may vary depending on the company you choose. Typically, the minimum age requirement is 12 years old for children (as long as they’re a strong, competent rider). In terms of weight restrictions, the maximum weight is approximately 90 kg (200 lbs).

Safety and etiquette are paramount during horseback safaris. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Approach your horse from the side to avoid blind spots.
  • Avoid loud noises and sudden movements around your horse.
  • Always wear a safety-regulated helmet.
  • Listen to your guide and follow their instructions.
  • Maintain a safe distance from fellow riders.
  • Never overtake the guide; stick to their pace.
  • Stay with your group and wait for all riders to be ready before proceeding.

To find the perfect horseback safari, consider factors such as skill level, destination, and the type of adventure you desire

Accommodations vary but are often comfortable camps, lodges, or mobile camps that move with the safari group.

You can often get remarkably close to wildlife on a horseback safari without causing disturbance. Animals tend to perceive horses as less threatening than vehicles, allowing for incredible proximity for observing them.

1 Comment

  • Omar Kamel
    Posted December 22, 2023

    INDEED, we will never be lost with your recommendations!

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