Before heading out on safari its important for your own safety, and indeed your own enjoyment, to choose a safari suited to your riding level.

Beginner

We have riding holidays that cater for all abilities. It is, of course, beneficial if you have some riding experience before you go on a horse riding safari. However, some horse riding holidays do cater for complete beginners and you can ‘learn on the job’. A beginner’s experience is likely limited to walking on a trail ride or one or two beginner lessons. Beginner riders have not yet learned the ability to correctly guide the horse with their aids. Please seek advice from one of our consultants in finding an appropriate package.

Novice

You have limited horse riding experience, having only been on easy gentle rides or taken a few basic lessons. Novice riders know the basics on how to ask the horse to move forward, turn and stop. You have some experience in trotting and cantering on smooth, well-trained horses but not yet well balanced in the saddle or able to rise to trot for long periods of time.

If you are a novice rider, you will be able to go on gentle rides in areas with plains game such as giraffe, zebra and antelope. Many lodges will have other activities such as game walks, boat trips, and game drives where you get closer to the larger wildlife.

Intermediate

You have had a number of lessons, been riding for a decent length of time, and are balanced in the saddle. An intermediate rider does not apply unintentional aids to the horse when they lose balance or become unseated. You are confident in controlling a sensible/quiet and responsive horse at all paces and in the outdoors. You can post/rise in the trot and do a two-point canter.

Intermediate Plus

You have been riding for many years and are well balanced in the saddle. Intermediate Plus riders are riding fit and ride regularly. You are confident in controlling a sensible but fit horse, e.g. a thoroughbred, at all paces and in the outdoors. You ride with an independent seat and have soft hands. You can ride in the English style of rising to the trot and standing two-point in canter.

If you are wishing to ride in environments where there is big game such as lion, elephant and leopard present, then you will need an advanced or intermediate plus level of riding. You will need to be balanced in the saddle and able to react to all eventualities. It is essential for your own safety and your enjoyment that you are confident at all paces and able to gallop out of trouble if required.

Advanced

You are riding fit, very well balanced in the saddle and confident outdoors at all paces and on almost any horse. You may have owned your own horse, competed or hunted seriously and been riding for many years.

If you are wishing to ride in environments where there is big game such as lion, elephant and leopard present, then you will need an advanced or intermediate plus level of riding. You will need to be balanced in the saddle and able to react to all eventualities. It is essential for your own safety and your enjoyment that you are confident at all paces and able to gallop out of trouble if required.