Here, between the highest point in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, we explore the West Kilimanjaro Wilderness, encountering amongst others elephants, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and hundreds of different antelope.

This is a mobile tented safari for 2-6 experienced riders at a time, making it a very personal experience. The tents are dome tents and provided with comfortable mattresses and bed linen. There are en-suite toilet and hot bucket shower tents. The food is freshly cooked and of a very high standard.

The horses are mostly Warm blood, some Arab and Thoroughbred and X, all ridden in bitless bridles on a loose rein with trail or treeless saddles. Your hosts are both veterinarians and ensure the condition of the horses even in the challenging conditions in the bush, are superb. This horse riding holiday is at all paces where the terrain permits.

**Please note there are compulsory conservancy fees for this ride - please see prices and dates tab**

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 DH of on 26/08/2010

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday

Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
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Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments

Horses and Tack
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Condition of Tack     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments

Meals
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Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
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Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
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Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
You need to bring your own torch. There are no spare ones in the camp, not even the basic ones.
What could we do to improve this ride?

How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
It's quite uneven and rough territory. You have to be able to control your horse and move away from game if needed.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response:

May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
    (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments:

Unicorn comments:
Day 1: Arrival at coffee farm on the Foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Arrive at our coffee farm, the starting point for the safari. The 358-acre coffee and horse farm is nestled into the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. The house and rooms are situated to take in spectacular views of this impressive mountain; Africa’s highest peak!
During the afternoon we will introduce you to the horses and help you choose one to match your size and skill. Then we will take you on an introductory ride so you can become familiar with your horse.
Day 2: Arusha National Park
Early breakfast and transfer of riders and horses to Arusha National Park. Arusha National Park encompasses Mt. Meru which is the 2nd highest mountain in Tanzania and the 3rd highest free-standing mountain in Africa. There are dramatic variations in scenery: open savannah, dense forest and thick bush, impressive craters and many lakes. Furthermore there are 5 distinct vegetation zones which host a wealth of flora and fauna, Arusha Park is home to some of the most impressive big game such as leopard, elephant and buffalo.
We begin our ride and soon we reach the area known as “Little Serengeti” which is open pasture, home to plains game. Afterwards we will continue our way by passing through various glades and forests with breath-taking scenery. Often enough spoor and the fresh smell will remind us of the close proximity of the forest inhabitants.
We stop at the Park-Resthouse, the original home of the famous 'White Huntress', Margarete Trappe, and enjoy our meal somewhere near this historic environment. Afterwards we continue towards Mt. Meru and just before sunset should arrive at our mobile camp in the middle of the fantastic setting of this impressive mountain.
Our private mobile camp is waiting for you and the crew will make sure your stay will be a comfortable one. Spacious tents are equipped with comfortable beds and linen and en-suite WC, shower and wash basin which the crew will fill up with steaming hot water every night. This is a non-participation ride, all chores for the camp, meals and horses will be done by our ever-friendly staff. The stars are visible from your pillow and the night noises of Africa are the background to your sleep. Nothing brings the experience of Africa closer…
Day 3: Tracking game in Arusha Park
Waking to the calls of Colobus monkeys we will start early and ride through a 'fairy tale' forest with tree ferns and moss. What we really hope for though, is the chance for a peaceful meeting with a herd of magnificent African elephants. There are many paths with tracks and spoor, giving away the presence of hidden eyes watching you. Look out for the colourful Hartlaub´s Turaco with deep red wings, their calls echoing far through the forest.
We will reach a well-known landmark of Arusha National Park: The 'Fig Tree Arch', a natural feature created by assorted animals and birds. Brunch is set at a place overlooking plains and lakes with a bird’s eye view ending only at Mt. Kilimanjaro.  
Next we will descend to the thundering waterfall at the base of Mt. Meru – where we are guaranteed to meet some buffalo on their way back from their grazing areas. These massive animals can be watched excitingly close whilst they are grazing or resting... lots to do for your cameras!
Back to camp we will change the horses for a vehicle, to visit the Momella lakes a bit further away. The lakes are populated by flamingo and lots of other fowl. Hippos may be seen in close, but safe, distance and there are good chances to watch other game near the water edge, such as buffalo, giraffe and smaller species as antelope and more.
Day 4: Arusha Park and Masailand
A long ride in the morning leads us through dry forest and savannah where we look forward to seeing giraffe, buffalo, antelope and other game. Tanzanian National Parks are not fenced and the animals we encounter might have travelled great distances.
Late morning we will cross the border of Arusha Park. All of a sudden the landscape changes and we are leaving the green meadows and lush acacia forests, which indicate the presence of underground water, behind us.
There will be a short lunch break on the way as we will aim to cover a lot of ground through Masailand, giving a good opportunity for canters. Masai herders appear as colourful dots in the afternoon sun as we pass  through a mix of plains and their farmlands.
We will find our camp at a romantic place under yellow-barked acacia and next to a trail quite regularly used by elephant... Enjoy a hot shower and delicious meal and go to sleep with the sounds of the wild.
Day 5: Heading North
Rise to an African sunrise for an early breakfast. We mount our horses and head out further north. Our ride today starts crossing perfect terrain for long canters through bush and grasslands. Kori bustards and secretary birds are often seen here stalking their prey. Slowly and carefully we approach the wildlife we find along the way - lesser kudus, antelopes, gazelles and a lot of other animals. If you feel up to it, you can canter with zebra and wildebeests. This is a safari the way it was meant to be!
This is now Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, the wildlife corridor connecting Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park.
Late afternoon we reach Mgunga Camp; you will be welcomed with a cold gin & tonic at the end of the day. Our private fly camp is set in the shade of an ancient African tree, with stunning views of Mt. Meru, now in the  far distance. Relax with a cool drink and take in the rich colours of the African sunset. Your dinner is prepared on nothing more than a wood fire, served under the stars or weather depending there might be a mess tent. Our camp chef will impress you with her culinary skills, despite the rustic setting.
After dinner, retire to the campfire and marvel at the enormous night sky before falling asleep to the sounds of the African night.
Day 6: Another day in the savannah
Wake up with the sun and start for a long morning ride of game spotting along small hills.
The route of this day and whether we will change camp will be mostly dictated by the game movements. You are in the heart of the West-Kilimanjaro wilderness and many animals use this corridor on their routes between Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and Amboseli. In the right seasons we may find herds of elephant, buffalo, elands and other game, and may also expect to spot lesser kudu, waterbuck, many other antelopes and smaller species like warthog.
Predators are frequently heard although quite secret during the day, with some luck we might encounter such game as striped and spotted hyena, cheetah and leopard.
Day 7: Heading towards Mt Kilimanjaro
Today we will leave the West Kilimanjaro wilderness. We will ride through a mixture of open grassland and thorn bush savannah and explore the riverine forests , favourite routes of animals when they wander between Kilimanjaro forest and the savannah.
Later on the fantastic scenery of the montane forests of the Kilimanjaro National Park to the East appears - a lush world of exotic scenery.

We will leave the horses on a farm next to Kilimanjaro forest and drive back to coffee farm. Enjoy the view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in its lush environment and watch the bush babies visiting you while you sit on the veranda with a sunset drink.
Day 8: Coffee farm and Departure
After a relaxed breakfast there may be enough time to have look around our farm and learn more about our educational projects.
This is a farm environment, attached to  a veterinary clinic and an uncountable number of animals, pet and tame wild ones, which have often arrived because they became orphaned, injured or have  unwillingly lost their habitat and found themselves stuck between the human population. Those who will not be able to fend for themselves, often due to injuries, get a new home at the farm are ambassadors in education. On a weekly basis various Tanzanian school children come to see, smell and touch the animals - for most of them an eye-opening experience which encourages them to become passionate about their environment. All the animals are very friendly and welcome a pat or scratch behind the ear!
Or, if are you still up for an adventure and would like to learn more about life around Mt. Kilimanjaro you might decide for one, or even two more days’ riding while circumventing this impressive mountain. On this route you will ride through Chagga villages, small holding farmland, banana and coffee plantations and cross scenic valleys.
This is a day which offers wonderful insights into Chagga lifestyle and culture. The Chagga tribe populates the Slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and successfully farmed long before any explorers reached this spot.
The ride goes along with lots of chatting with the local population who take a real interest in our horses and guests. Depending on how much time you have available* we might load the horses somewhere en route or ride all the way back to coffee farm.
Later transfer for Kilimanjaro International Airport and departure.  

Please note that itineraries, including the order of the days, may change depending on game movements, weather and other local circumstances, as with many riding holidays.

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.

Horses & Riding

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 trail and treeless 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! The riding can be at all paces including a good gallop on an airstrip. In the game area most game viewing is at a walk and canters are along sandy tracks to avoid the holes. The group can decide for an early ride, snack in between and back in camp for late lunch, siesta afterwards with an evening walk following OR extended breakfast, morning ride, picnic in forest, but without siesta, afternoon ride, back in camp in evening. The total riding hours will not change.

Rider requirements

For this safari riders should have a secure and independent seat and be in control of a horse at all paces. In addition riders should be fit enough to ride for 6 hours in a day and be able to trot and canter for 15 minute stretches. On this safari you will come face to face with big game such as elephant and buffalo and riders should be able to beat a hasty retreat if necessary!

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 15 st/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, a basin and a 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. Your hosts are very welcoming and are helpful with requests for unusual items. At lunch time a vehicle usually meets the ride and brings a full cooked lunch with table and chairs but on occasional long days a simple saddle bag picnic with sandwiches is the order of the day.


Safari Accommodation: The tented accommodation are V framed walk-in tents, large enough to stand up in and equipped with beds, mattresses, sheets and duvets. Each tent accommodates 2 people either as a double or twin and has en-suite bathroom facilities. Soap and towels are provided. 



Single dome tents are also provided for those wishing to avoid the single supplement charge. These tents are still spacious enough to fit in a bed, bedside table and enough comfortable space for luggage and moving around but the bathroom facilities will be erected separately next to the tent (instead of en-suite).



There may be a dining tent enclosed with fly netting and a roof for shade where necessary, or weather permitting the meals are at the table under the stars. There is a full service from aperitifs to a four course dinner served at the table. There will be a camp fire in the evenings. Torches are provided to make your way around the camp sites at night.



Single supplement: there is no single supplement charge for riders happy to share accommodation and if a sharer can be found or for riders staying in single dome tents (see above). A single supplement charge is payable for riders wishing to secure a larger V frame double tent.



**Although torches can be provided there will be only the “normal” ones. We recommend that riders take head torches as this will be make it more convenient.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

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.

General information:

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: bhc.dar@fco.gov.uk.

The Tanzania High Commission in the U.K is at 3 Stratford Place,London, WIC 1AS. Tel: 0207 569 1470. Email: balozi@tanzania-online.gov.uk

The Foreign and commonwealth office gives travel advice on www.fco.gov.uk or on 0207 008 0232/0233

Climate Summary

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.

Climate Chart


Health

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.

Health (ride specific)

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.

Electricity

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.

Film and Camera Equipment

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, although this will not be available at the camps along the way.

Packing List

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-shirtsraincoat (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.
Torches are provided to make your way around the camp sites at night.**Although torches can be provided there will be only the “normal” ones. We recommend that riders take head torches as this will be make it more convenient.

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.

Programmes

This is an 8 days / 7 nights programme with 8 days riding available on set departure dates. Please contact us as further dates may be available for groups of two or more and tailor made itineraries can also be arranged.

Departure Dates

2019: 12, 26 Jan; 9, 15 Feb; 2, 16 Mar; 12, 27 Jul; 10, 24 Aug; 7, 21 Sept; 5, 19 Oct; 8, 23 Nov; 8, 20, 29 Dec

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20198d/7n8double pp4,359
20198d/7n8single supplement565
20198d/7n8Conservation fees/entry fees for private or national reserves1,139
20198d/7n8Xmas / New Year Supplement pppn26
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20198d/7n8double pp4,625
20198d/7n8single supplement599
20198d/7n8Conservation fees/entry fees for private or national reserves1,209
20198d/7n8Xmas / New Year Supplement pppn27
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20198d/7n8double pp5,499
20198d/7n8single supplement715
20198d/7n8Conservation fees/entry fees for private or national reserves1,439
20198d/7n8Xmas / New Year Supplement pppn32
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20198d/7n8double pp50,975
20198d/7n8single supplement6,615
20198d/7n8Conservation fees/entry fees for private or national reserves13,345
20198d/7n8Xmas / New Year Supplement pppn295
Recommended Reading

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)


Wildlife

The landscape and scenery are as diverse as they are enchanting. Much of the Coffee Plantation 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.
In the safari areas you there are amongst others large herds of elephants, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and hundreds of different antelope types.

Other Information

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).

Other Country Information

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.



Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania (JRO)
Transfer:
Included from meeting point. Transfer time is approximately one hour.
Flight Guide:
Kilimanjaro from London return £530-£790. See below for flight info.
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