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!