HORSE SAFARIS

Nothing captures the pioneer spirit of vintage safaris quite like exploring swathes of African landscape on horseback. For those looking to break from game drive safaris, taking to the saddle offers an entirely new perspective on the African bush and is a great way to stay active on safari.


Being in a strange land on a strange horse amongst dangerous game can make a lot of people a little fearful

For avid riders and horse-lovers alike, there is nothing quite like a horse safari. From rides of a few hours to multi-day affairs, fly camping along the way, enjoy a guided ride through different terrains – game-viewing as you go. “It feels like you have backtracked 50 years in Africa - especially on horseback where we are allowed to be off the roads,” said Jo Westermark from Kaskazi Horse Safaris in Tanzania. Merging the gentle pace and motion of horse-riding with the exhilaration of that off-the-beaten path safari feeling, horse safaris present an opportunity to traverse some seemingly impassable topography and offer a wholly unique viewpoint from which to observe game. If you find the idea a little daunting, this is something well understood by operators.

“Being in a strange land on a strange horse amongst dangerous game can make a lot of people a little fearful,” says Martin Dowdell of Ride Kenya and Equestrian Operations Manager at Great Plains. “Our aim is to keep similar abilities together and ride within the guest’s comfort level. We have many open areas with good terrain and visibility or areas with trees and bushes plus river crossings for the more adventurous. We pride ourselves on being able to match horse and rider well.” The connection between man and horse is centuries old - and this is almost palpable when exploring remote savannas, valleys, and hills in Africa. Combining adventure and endurance, watching grazing herds on horseback or galloping through wide open plains, this is what true freedom feels like. Be warned, though. According to Jo, horse safaris are immensely addictive!

A man dressed in safari clothing holding the reins of two horses on a horse safari in St Lucia, South Africa

Shop the horse safari essentials for him

For Jo Westermark, binoculars are one of the essentials and Martin Dowdell recommends a fleece. We combined their expert advice with our packing know-how to come up with the following list. Click on the images below to shop the horse safari packing essentials and click here for a comprehensive safari packing list.

Woman wearing a leather hat and safari shirt on horseback watching a buffalo while game-viewing on a horse safari in St Lucia

Shop the horse safari essentials for her

Martin Dowdell of Ride Kenya recommends a hat and sunscreen as essentials on a horse safari. We combined his experience with our packing knowledge to come up with the following list. Click on the images below to shop the horse safari packing essentials and click here for a comprehensive safari packing list.

A man and a woman in safari clothing on horseback at sunrise on a horse safari in St Lucia, South Africa

Discover more active safaris

Plan your next safari by exploring the different active safari options below and get expert advice on what to pack to get the most out of every experience.

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