A horse riding holiday in Africa will deliver memories full of adventures way beyond your wildest dreams.
Africa is a vast and intoxicating continent and once you've been there you will want to return time and time again. It currently consists of 49 different countries of different size, climates, tribes, traditions, religions, wealth, poverty, politics, wildlife, customs and languages. Some welcome tourists more than others and have a well developed tourist infrastructure. In this beautiful continent you can escape on horseback and ride with only the wildlife for company, and remember the wildlife in Africa really is genuinely wild and free.
Each country has its own charm and key features to attract you.
Morocco in the far north and on the Meditteranean Sea, has traditional cities like Marrakesh with it's historic medina, or atmospheric seaide Essauira which are ideal to visit before or after a riding holiday in such scenic paradises as the Atlas Mountains or in the wide open spaces of the Sahara Desert. The riding is superb and offers wonderful opportunities for experienced riders. If you are travelling from the UK a real advantage is that flights to Morocco are very short and budget airlines offer cheap options. Short breaks are a real possibility.
Egypt is the home of the oldest recognised horse breed - the Arab horse. Of course its rich history of Pharaohs and pyramids is known by all. Whilst the country is largely desert the green, fertile banks of the River Nile support extensive agriculture. Egypt has long been a major tourist destination - but not for horse riding holidays. At Unicorn we can confidently assure you that we have found a gem. Horses are beautifully looked after and so well treated. What a joy to discover the relics of historic Egypt on horseback - surely the only way to really understand this country.
Namibia has exhilarating riding holidays for riders and fascinating programmes for non riders. This African country creates some of the most stunning visual scenes imaginable in the vast deserts. The Namib Desert trail is the flagship ride and is defintely not for the faint hearted. Billed as the toughest ride in the world, this challenging 12 day ride covers 400 km across the Namib desert. The Skeleton Coast, home of the desert elephant, offers another wonderful horseback holiday in Africa as does the restricted Diamond Area (Sperrgebiet) on historic ground in the area of the wild horses of the Namib Desert. Namibia is home to a fabulous game reserve - Etosha - where because of the nutrients in its salt pan, the animals grow larger than normal.
Many riders are looking for the ultimate horseback safaris in Africa and in Kenya, home of the Masia Mara and the Tsavos, in South Africa, home of the Kruger national Park and in Botswana, home of the stunning Okavango Delta, Unicorn has many wonderful safaris holidays. Often they are totally luxurious whilst camping trips are available for the more adventurous. An African horseback safari is without doubt the best way to get up close and personal to the game.
Tanzania is another great safari country in East Africa and after your riding trip why not extend your stay here to dismount and climb Mount Kilmanjo the highest peak in Africa. For that once in a lifetime moment, arrive at the summit just before dawn and watch the glorious sunrise.
Safaris, deserts and mountains are not the only horse riding holidays that Africa has to offer. Fancy galloping along white sand and turquoise oceans on fabulous horses? Well you can do just that in South Africa and also Mozambique. These provide the ultimate in beach riding!
If you are looking to partake in a horseback safari, you may wish to consider our Get Fit for Safari ride, in South Africa. Here you will learn all the skills necessary to be out in the wild among game on horseback, and your confidence will grow.
For the adventurers amongst you, and only for experienced riders looking for a challenge, ride with Barry and Joe along the Wild Coast or through the Cape Winelands - perfect for endurance riders.
Just as with Northern Africa, flying to to Southern Africa from Europe has benefits too. Why not take an evening flight departure. You can dine, sleep overnight and then disembarque to eat breakfast in Africa with no jet lag.
Lastly we are delighted to offer you a unique ride in Ethiopia. This will suit the adventurous riders who don't mind a limited tourism infrastructure in return for discovering a little known but totally fascinating ancient Abyssinia source of the Great Rift Valley; the origins of mankind, the marvels of ancient christianity and the wild highlands and semi nomadic Oromo people. The wildlife of the Bale highlands are a world class treasure and best explored on horseback.
So Africa awaits you - whatever type of ride you choose, whatever country you decide on , you will an an unparalleded adventure. Contact us now to tailor make your personal African riding adventure!
To create great photobooks of your riding safari click the link below. They're really easy to make and look superb. We're great fans and have our personal "travelogue" books.
You've either never ridden or may have had a few lessons. You may be able to trot or ride out at a walk.
You've mastered the basic aids in walk, trot and canter. You're confident on a well-schooled horse in walk, rising trot (posting), and for short periods of canter in a school or outside.
You're a secure rider on a well-schooled horse at all paces including cantering in open country. You're happy to ride for several hours and may have some jumping experience.
You're an experienced rider, confident and relaxed on horseback. You ride regularly, have an independent seat and soft hands. You're capable of handling a spirited horse in open country and are happy to jump. You have experience of riding a variety of horses.
Does not wish to ride.
A little different from home, there may be language barriers or different ways of doing things, still quite comfortable, may be unpredictable parts or some rugged terrain.
Different accommodations, attitudes or methods of riding are used to normal riding at home, may have challenging terrain, long days or itinerary changes, may involve camping or not so comfortable accommodation. An appetite for exploration and new experiences required.
Extreme adventure, very challenging terrain and possible extreme or fast changing weather requiring adaptation of the itinerary, must be very flexible, good humoured and fit.
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