The Ultimate African Adventure : Horseback safari in the masai mara

Have you ever thought about what the ultimate adventure can be? A journey that allows you to seamlessly merge with the untamed beauty of nature, where every moment is an electrifying discovery. A whole new level of adventure in the most amazing continent ever. Hell yeah, in Africa, where you can explore the bush not as a mere observer, but as a part of the wildlife.

On the back of a horse, sweeping out these vast wild plains. With these powerful monsters, you can get deeper into those hidden areas, rich in animals—some beyond the reach of even the strongest four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Imagine racing alongside thousands of wildebeests, getting so close to towering elephants that you can almost feel their breath. Running over the savannah, where you’ll boldly cross rivers and lakes full of hippos, jumping over fallen trees, and encountering these big cats very close, witnessing their greatness while they’re going after their prey.

All of this unfolds at the thrilling speed your horse provides. the thunder of hooves as your stallion canters across shimmering salt pans, sends adrenaline coursing through your veins. With every beat of your horse’s hooves, you’re living the ultimate adventure, etching this unparalleled experience into your very soul.

Welcome to the extraordinary world of horseback safaris in Africa. A thrill unlike any other.

Horseback safari

1- Choosing the Right African Horse Safari: what is the best place for horse safari ?

Horseback safari in the masai mara, kenya

credits to inthesaddle

Africa offers Multiple amazing options for that experience but without even spending 1 sec of thinking what is the Ultimate one. it’s definitely going to be Kenya “where there’s never a shortage of wildlife to see”. 

Kenya offers 3 places to go for horse riding safari ( Masai Mara , Laikipia & Amboseli)                  The Masai Mara, is the best Wildlife destination in the world. one of the last true wilderness is left on this planet.

2- The Safari Experience:

a- The best time to go for Horse-riding Safari :The Great Wildebeest Migration

The Great Wildebeest Migration takes place from July to October, when over 2 million animals leave the arid plains of the Serengeti in search of food and water but the best time to go there is Between July & August . This is the best time to watch the dramatic Mara River crossings.


Great wildebeest Migration in Kenya

Other possible dates : 

 The Tour Companies operate for 10 months a year (April & May is unavailable) . but it’s the best to watch the Great Migration 

b- Safari Itinerary : A Week in the Wild

Horseback safari in South africa

credits to africanhorsesafaris

It’s a 7- to 8-night adventure where you’ll traverse various conservancies in the Masai Mara, covering over 200 km in the saddle as you track different animals. 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.

Many tour companies provide a unique experience called ‘Fly-camping,’ a mobile camp that accompanies your group and awaits you at different locations. This approach grants you the unique sense of accessing a broader area compared to traditional safari camps.

- Mornings on Horseback:

Horseback Safari in Okavango delta in Botswana

credits to africanhorsesafaris

You start your mornings at the break of dawn, setting out on exhilarating sunrise rides while the camp staff prepares your meals. After the 1st ride, you will go back to eat or you will take the meals with you depending on the day .

Mornings are your prime time for adventure, covering over 20 kilometers each day, where you’ll witness a wide variety of animals(you will even cross the Mara River as the wildebeests do). This is a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and capture stunning photographs (you can also find a horseback guide to assist with photography). In between, you take breaks to recharge and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you.

- Blissful Evenings in the Heart of Africa:

Safari nights in kenya


You enjoy peaceful evenings, listening to the sounds of Africa while watching the stars up there in the sky. Rest on a cozy bed in the camp and wake up refreshed

3- How to Plan Your Horse Safari ?

horseback safari planning

Booking this adventure through a tour company is the best way to ensure the quality your safety

3.1- Tour Operators :

There are not plenty of options out there. The 2 Giant Operators are Offbeat Safaris & Safaris Unlimited

a- Trip Duration:

  • Offbeats: Offers 7-night trips.
  • Safarisunlimited: Offers both 6-night and 8-night trips.

b- Route Differences:


  • Offbeat’s Route :
    Starts from the Mara River in the North Mara Conservancy, goes to the Soit Escarpment, then to Olare Olork Conservancy, and finally to Oi Kenyi Conservancy.

offbeat route
  • Safarisunlimited’s Route :
    Starts from the Lemek Conservancy and follows a similar route as Offbeat but ends in Olare Olork Conservancy. They do not go to Oi Kenyi Conservancy.

safarisunlimited route

c- Price Comparison :

The prices for these two providers are very similar. However, based on our recommendation, Offbeats is preferred due to its more favorable route.

3.2- Booking Your Adventure: When Should I book My horseback safari trip ?

Booking your safari adventure is best done well in advance, ideally around 9 months  before your intended trip. This is advisable because the available spots are limited

4- Transportation : How to get From Nairobi’s Airport to The Safari?

The tour companies provide transportation from Nairobi’s airport or hotels.

transportation from nairobi airport

What to Pack for Your Horseback Safari ? :

Packing for horseback safari

Luggage Limit:

The luggage weight limit is around 15 kg, so having a backpack is recommended. It’s both practical and convenient for carrying your essentials.

Here’s a quick information about Your Must-have Packing list :




  • Buff or bandana

  • Pants

  • Shorts



  • insect repellent

  • Blister plasters




  • Waterproof jacket





  • Chaps



For More Information: For additional packing tips and recommendations, you can refer to our dedicated section on packing 

6- budget & Costs: Horse Riding Safari Prices

Okavango delta horseback safari in Botswana

picture credits to africanhorsesafaris

A horseback safari in the Mara is undoubtedly a unique and unforgettable adventure. However, it’s important to be aware that this experience comes at a cost. Here’s a breakdown of the expenses:

  • Offbeat Safaris: For a 7-night adventure in 2024, the cost is approximately $10,000 USD.
  • Safaris Unlimited: This operator offers flexible options, including a 6-night package for $8,000 USD and an 8-night package for approximately $10,800 USD.

It’s essential to keep in mind that these prices can fluctuate, so it’s a good practice to confirm the current rates with the tour companies before making your booking.

What's Included:

Your horse riding safari package includes the following:

  • Full board accommodation with laundry services.
  • All house drinks and meals.
  • Participation in all activities, including riding, game drives, guided walks, and night drives.
  • All associated conservation fees, park fees, and camping fees.
  • Internal return domestic flights from Nairobi to the safari destination.
  • Transfers for pick-up and drop-off in Nairobi.
  • Amref Flying Doctors Membership, ensuring air-evacuation to Nairobi in case of emergencies.

Remember, the expenses might seem daunting at first, but the memories and extraordinary experiences you’ll gain are truly priceless. Investing in such a unique adventure is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of African wilderness, making it all worth the cost.

7- Safety First: Meeting Wildlife

Elephant encounter in horseback safari

picture credits to

  • Encountering Predators: You might wonder about encountering predators like lions while on horseback. Rest assured, horses are much larger than their usual prey.
  • Experienced Guides: The horses are accustomed to the wildlife, and your expert guides are well-prepared to handle any situation, ensuring your safety.
  • 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.

In conclusion, your horseback safari in the Masai Mara is more than just a vacation; it’s a transformative adventure that will etch unforgettable memories into your soul. Embrace the thrill of riding alongside wildebeests, the majesty of towering elephants, and the enchantment of the African wilderness. Engage with local communities with respect and cultural sensitivity. Your journey through this extraordinary land will leave you with a deep appreciation for nature, wildlife, and diverse cultures. So, pack your bags, prepare for your ultimate adventure, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Your African odyssey awaits!

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.

Leave a comment

Receive news

LostOnARoad © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Verified by MonsterInsights