Accommodation is in a chalet with beautiful views of the snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro from private balconies. All rooms have en-suite hot showers, basin and toilet. Meals at the farm are taken on a large netted veranda with views of Kilimanjaro. There is a large living room with a fire lit every night in the colder months.
The riding, which can be tailored to all riding abilities, takes place on the slopes of the coffee farm and plains below. Non-dangerous plains game is encountered on your rides. Here you are free to relax between your twice daily rides or you can take part in many activities. See below for a suggested itinerary.
Your hosts are both veterinarians and ensure the condition of the horses even in the challenging conditions in the bush, are superb. They are very welcoming and are helpful with requests for unusual items. This is a farm environment with many dogs, cats, geese, chickens, peacocks, and a little further stables for horses, a donkey, some pigs and cattle. All the animals are very friendly and welcome a pat or scratch behind the ear!
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from RG of London on 24/09/2020
Kilimanjaro looks on as you discover an area of Tanzania far off the beaten path. On this horse riding holiday, you will experience the African landscape from horseback - a refreshing change from being enclosed in a safari vehicle. We ride through wilderness and farmland, enjoying stunning scenery with opportunities for viewing Kilimanjaro up close.
Day 1: Arrive Coffee Farm
Arrive at the farm, nestled into the southern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. If you arrive early enough, you can meet the horses, choose one for your safari and begin an introductory ride, exploring the plantation and getting to know your horse.
Farming in Africa may be a little different from what you are used to. We ride through the coffee plantation and along natural grass and bush land. In addition to the expected farm animals like cattle, horses, pigs, chicken and geese, the area is also inhabited by a variety of wild creatures, most obvious the noisy ones such as Sykes monkeys, yellow baboons, and vervet monkeys.
Day 2: Coffee Farm – Experience
The day begins with tea or coffee served on the farmhouse veranda with a breathtaking view of Kilimanjaro. Then we head out on horseback for a half day’s exploration of the area. The 358-acre farm consists of coffee, crops and also natural bush and grasslands. In addition to traditional farm animals, we share the farm with many others: There is small, mostly nocturnal game like duiker, bush pig, jackal, serval, genet and civet cat, aardvark, even striped and occasionally spotted hyena and leopard. However, these animals are rather shy and very difficult to spot. During the day you have a good chance of seeing Sykes or Vervet monkeys, savannah baboons and a seemingly endless variety of birds.
In the distance we will see small homesteads of the local Chagga people and later we will stop at a scenic spot for some refreshments. From here you can choose to descend on foot to a waterfall and caves that are home to a big colony of mountain fruit bats. Although you might think they should be sleeping, they seem to enjoy frolicking in the spray of the waterfall. If you are lucky we may also catch sight of Freddie, the two meter long monitor lizard. Lunch will be taken at the farmhouse.
In the afternoon we will introduce you to the numerous farm residents: our farm is heaven for many domesticated and wild animals, some of which where brought to our veterinary clinic when injured or orphaned. Those who could not be re-introduced into the wild, due to injuries, live with us and play an important role of animal ambassadors to enable local children a “hands-on”-experience on animals for a deeper understanding of nature and conservation. See how animals interact with each other and humans, take the chance to accompany bush pigs or banded mongooses on a walk, observe the perfect beauty of a 3-legged serval cat or feed our wild bush babies in the evening. Most of the animals are very close to humans and they believe that all the visitors are here to give them a scratch behind their ears...
Day 3: Dayride into Masailand
This horseback trail leads through farmland and bush deep into Masasiland. We pass a historical bridge and move far down inside a fertile valley. Our crew prepared a delicious lunch at a scenic point.
Later on we return on another way to the farm, crossing the steep gorge of the Kikafu river. When we reach the Kikafu River Gorge, we’ll dismount and lead the horses into this enchanting area to explore.
After a small break or some exploring of the riverbanks on foot we make our way further through bush- and farmland, passing flower and coffee plantations.
Day 4: Excursions to the Hot Springs
Wake up early in the morning for an early morning ride. The ride leads you through our land and you have a good chance to meet some of the wildlife who shares the farm with us.
We come back for breakfast and depart by 4xvehicle to the Hot Springs to see more of this unusual ecosystem. We retrace the footsteps of Dr. Livingstone on a guided walking tour through numerous springs and small streams. Keep alert for exotic birds, different types of monkeys, and for crocodiles! We return to the springs for lunch and for a refreshing plunge into the spring, followed by an afternoon for leisure.
Late afternoon we drive back to the farm, arriving there just after sunset.
Day 5: Kilimanjaro-Flight, Masaimarket and Masailand
This morning we suggest a flight around Mt. Kilimanjaro inside 4-seater Cessna (This is not included in the rate, booking on extra charge). Depending on the weather this might be arranged for another day. Enjoy a fabulous view of the glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro and see from here which places you will visit during the next days.
We will be back for breakfast and afterwards you have the chance to visit a local Masai market. You will be surprised what items Masai trade in and what they will take home, often multiple day-journeys away, carried on their donkeys back.
After lunch we depart for another ride towards the Masailand. We will find another place to reach the deep Kikafu river gorge and anyone who wants to join the horses for refreshing splashes or a plunge in the water is welcome. On our way back for sure you will experience one more of the unforgettable sunsets of Africa.
Day 6: Day trip north-east through lush plantations…
… Chagga villages and small coffee farms, passing through scenic river valleys to reach a beautiful spot on a flower farm with an incredible view over the Masaisteppe. Our picnic lunch will be prepared under old trees.
The non-riders will be transferred by vehicle to this spot and have a look around the flower farm until the riders arrive for lunch. They also may choose to do a long hike to reach the flower farm; in this case they will be accompanied by a local guide.
Later in the afternoon we will make our way back, taking a slightly different route. What will not change is the permanent good mood of all local people we meet.
Day 7: Coffee Plantation and Giant Tortoise
Day trip on horseback over an historic bridge to the Kibo-Kikafu-Coffee Plantation, where we pay a visit to Tom, the 170 year old giant tortoise. During lunch we enjoy a breathtaking view of the plains.
After a break we saddle our horses again and ride back home to the farm. The day ends with sunset on horseback and, weather permitting, the breathtaking scenery of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the evening sun.
For non-riders we will offer an exciting hike, crossing the deep gorge of the Kikafu River. Be prepared to get wet feet and there is always lots of enjoyment during the river crossing as there is no bridge! Your guide will show you many plants on the way which are used to produce local medicines.
With a moderate pace it will take you about 2.5 hours to get to the picnic spot where you meet the riders. After a well-earned picnic and the visit of Tom you will be driven back by 4x4.
Day 8: Experience the Coffee Farm and surroundings
In the morning a hike through the smallholder farms of the Chagga tribal people. See people’s daily life, admire their permanent good mood and learn about their interesting farming methods.
Later on we will transfer you back to Kilimanjaro International Airport in time for your departure flight home.
It may be possible to extend your stay before or after this riding programme. Please contact us to discuss availability and activities. Rates are based on a minimum of 2 people staying on the farm.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
The horses are mainly warmblood and range from 14.3 to 16hh. There are 16 well schooled horses to choose from. They are all ridden in bitless bridles and with long reins. They are very responsive to neck reining and weight shifts. There are some English and many trail saddles available, the saddle type is matched to the horse to ensure a correct fit. The horses are all in excellent health and very well schooled. The owners are both veterinarians and ensure the best health care round the clock!
Riders should have a secure and independent seat and be in control of a horse at a walk, trot and canter. Riding depends on ability with experienced riders given an opportunity to ride at all paces including gallop where the terrain permits. Riders should be prepared to take their own line at a faster pace, avoiding obstacles and holes where necessary.
The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Coffee Plantation Accommodation. At the farm there are 2 large chalets with beautiful views of the snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro from private balconies. There is also a family cottage and large guest room in the main farm house. All rooms have en-suite hot showers, basin and toilet.
Meals at the farm are taken on a large netted veranda with views of Kilimanjaro. There is a large living room with fire lit every night in the colder months. The food is of an excellent quality and extremely fresh with much being produced on the farm. This includes the pork, beef and coffee.
Example menu: Light breakfast - fruits, cereals, milk, yoghurt, coffee/tea/lemonade, honey, marmalade/jam. After the long morning ride brunch/lunch - salads with homemade rolls and extra virgin olive oil/balsamic vinegar or variety of other dressings, homemade lemonade, quiche/pasta/warm dish and coffee, tea. Afternoon tea/coffee with cake or biscuits. Dinner - starter such as soup and homemade bread, main dish such as chicken curry or pork casserole with local fresh vegetables and grains, dessert such as fruit, ice cream, local fried banana flambé and home grown coffee and tea.
Wine or beer with dinner are included, other drinks available at reasonable prices.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
You should have a valid passport and visa when visiting Tanzania. You can obtain visas at Tanzanian diplomatic missions or on arrival.
The British High Commission in Tanzania is at Umoja House, Garden Avenue, PO Box 9200, Dar es Salaam. Tel: (255) (22) 211 0101. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tanzania High Commission in the U.K is at 3 Stratford Place,London, WIC 1AS. Tel: 0207 569 1470. Email: email@example.com
The Foreign and commonwealth office gives travel advice on www.fco.gov.uk or on 0207 008 0232/0233
Short rains in October/November, long rains from the end of March through to first half of June.
Cold season June/July/August, very pleasant riding weather with temperatures around 25C during the day. Temperature drops in the evening, requiring a fleece.
In the summer temperature goes up around 35C in the day, dry heat.
Before leaving the UK, you should take medical advice on appropriate anti-malaria medication and on arrival in Tanzania, ensure you take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes. Please ask your G.P for advice.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org. You can also check the Department of Healths website at www.dh.gov.uk.
Malaria prophylaxis. Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A&B, Typhoid and Meningitis advisable.
With effect from Monday 21st January 2008 all passengers travelling to Tanzania will be required to produce a valid yellow fever certificate upon arrival in any entry point (all borders points, sea ports and international airports)in Tanzania (whether coming from an infected area or not).
All current and prospective passengers must carry a valid yellow fever certificate if travelling to Tanzania. The vaccination needs to be administered at least 10 days before travel to Tanzania.
Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
Make sure that you buy plenty of film and spare batteries in the UK before you travel as they are not readily available in Tanzania.
There is electricity available at the farm to re-charge digital camera's and batteries.
You need a riding helmet or a broad rimmed hat which must stay on firmly and sunglasses with string.
Khaki, green and bush colours; please avoid wearing white as this scares wild life or black as it tends to attract insects.
At least 2 pairs of riding trousers/jodhpurs, half or full leather chaps are recommended, riding gloves, jersey, warm jacket (May-August), shorts, long sleeves shirts, T-shirts, raincoat (seasonal), sunblock, insect repellent, antihistamine cream/pills, torch, camera, plenty of film and batteries, binoculars, indispensable bumbag, 1 pair of lightweight riding boots and 1 pr of trainers/shoes to wear when not riding.
Film, camera and binoculars on a strong shoulder strap, preferably in a (waterproof) pouch to be secured to belt.
From 1st June 2019 plastic bags are prohibited from mainland Tanzania, with the exception of plastic or plastic packaging for medical services, food stuff, Ziploc bags (used to carry toiletries) or sanitary.
This is an 8 day/7 night programme which runs on set dates throughout the year. Other start dates are available on request (excluding in April and May) depending on availability
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David Read has written some interesting books on his life in Tanzania and about the Masai culture. See; 'Waters of Sanjan', 'Barefoot over the Serengeti' and 'Beating about the Bush'. A range of interesting and inspiring equestrian travel books can be purchased from www.horsetravelbooks.com (part of the Long Rider’s Guild)
The landscape and scenery are as diverse as they are enchanting. Much of the farmland is devoted to conservation, bordered by two rivers, each filled with towering trees - a habitat we are committed to preserving. The birdlife is phenomenal, monkeys, small antelope and nocturnal game abound, and are frequently seen and heard.
All guests are required to take out full medical and travel insurance including Flying Doctors Membership, details (e.g. membership number, emergency phone numbers) of which must be submitted prior to arrival.
Please check to see if your travel insurance includes Flying Doctor Membership. If it does not then you can book a membership with the Flying-Doctor-Service by visiting http://www.flyingdoctorsafrica.org/ (the farm is within the 500 km from Nairobi Wilson Airport).
Tanzania was a German colony from the 1880s until 1919, when it became a British trust territory until 1961. Julius Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960, and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became independent in 1961. Tanganyika and the neighbouring Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. Nyerere introduced African socialism, or Ujamaa, which emphasized justice and equality, but proved economically disastrous, leading to food shortages as collective farms failed.
Though it remains one of the poorest and most corupt countries in the world, with many of its people living below the World Bank poverty line, it has had some success in wooing donors and investors and is slowly progressing towards a more stable economic structure.
It also has one of the largest, wildest animal populations in the world including wildebeest, monkey, antelope, lion, cheetah, crocodile, gazelle and flamingo.
Tanzania is three hours ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +255.