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Combining Horse Safari With Non-Riders

Here at African Horse Safaris we often come across horsey-mad women, men and teenagers desperate to come out to Africa and ride horses, but feel restricted by their non-riding other halves, family members or even friends.

We completely understand that for an African adventure-of-a-lifetime, you would often want to have your partner and favourite people travelling alongside you. It might seem a shame to embark on such an epic adventure, and leave them behind at home. Although hey, let’s face it, if they really aren’t keen you might just have to! Hehe. However, let’s start with the good news… There is an answer where you can all enjoy your holiday, before we jump to any drastic actions.

Here’s How

Many of our lodge-based horse riding safaris are in jaw-dropping and stunning locations. These settings make the perfect backdrop for any African adventure and boast a heap of different activities, beyond those which involve our four-legged friends.

Idea 1: A stay in the Okavango Delta

Horses or no horses; many consider the Okavango Delta in Botswana to be one of the ultimate safari destinations in Eastern Africa.  With exceptional game viewing and wonderful bird life, you can easily see why.

The luxury tented-lodge runs horse safaris out into the surrounding wilderness each morning and afternoon. However, there is a whole host of other activities available for non-riding partners. The lodge is extremely flexible allowing guests, including those booked as riders, to pick and choose what they do each day.  Indeed, many riders enjoy having a break from the saddle to take advantage of the wide range of other activities on offer.

A stay here, can easily be combined with one of our Add-On options which can be riding or non-riding.

Non-riders can enjoy;

  • Game drives: These exciting drives offer the opportunity to track and photograph birds and big game in the wilderness.  Drive out at dawn or dusk and soak in the wonderful atmosphere of the African bush either coming to life, or winding down.
Game drive at dusty sunset

Game drive at sunset

  • Boat Trips: Once the annual floods have arrived, usually around May, there is the special opportunity of exploring the Delta by water. Explore the area by motorboat, or even by traditional dugout canoes called ‘mokoros’. Skillful polers navigate them through the crystal clear waters. The tranquility and peace of the journey allows guests to feel at one with the surrounding nature and wildlife.
Mokoro and buffalo herd in Okavango Delta

Embark on a mokoro safari during high water

  • Fishing:  Enjoy from both boat or land – fishing is hugely popular with guests in the Okavango Delta. There is a wide range of beautiful fishing spots where guests cast between water lilies and wallowing hippos. Competing with the local fish eagles and kingfishers for the night’s dinner.
Fishing in the Okavango Delta

Fishing in the Okavango Delta

  • Helicopter Flights: From the air one can really appreciate the diversity and vastness of the Okavango Delta. Take off from camp and enjoy soaring across the Okavango with a bird’s-eye view of the entire eco-system, and a better understanding of this world-famous landscape.
Helicopter over Okavango Delta

Bird’s eye view of the Okavango Delta

Idea 2: A Luxurious Getaway at Ant’s Hill & Ant’s Nest, South Africa

Based in a beautifully picturesque reserve in South Africa’s pristine Waterberg Region lies the wonderful lodges Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest. These two idyllic properties are the home for guests looking to immerse themselves in the African bush… Whilst enjoying all the luxuries an African safari has to offer. Again, whether you find the idea of cantering through the bush alongside game, extremely alarming or a dream come true – the Ant Reserve can cater for you. They embrace family visits and facilitating for non-riders.

Even The Most Cynical End Up In The Saddle

The brilliant factor of being based in an enclosed reserve, means that there are no elephants or lions on the property. This allows for Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill to cater for any level of riders – even complete beginners and young children. It is not uncommon that you find even the most cynical and stubborn non-riders climbing aboard!

However, The Ant Reserve also offers a huge selection of activities:

  • Guided Walking, Hiking and Tracking: For those who prefer being on two feet rather than four hooves, guides can lead you through the bushveld. These walks are incredibly informative and interactive, explaining the world of flora and fauna surrounding you. Smaller details come to life on foot which you often miss when on a vehicle or horseback.Walking options range from a gentle stroll to identify insects and birds and track animals through the bush, to hiking over the plains and up impressive gorges.
  • Mountain Biking: The Waterberg is a mountain bikers paradise – Try out mountain biking along game trails. The varied terrain offers a range of extreme technical cycling as well as gentle winding routes. As you canter passed, non-riders can cycle passed herds of game in the more gentle plains and valleys.
Cyclists in bushveld

Cycling in the wilderness

  • Rhino Interaction: The Ant Collection does incredible work for rhino conservation and anti-poaching. The property is home to 12 of these wonderful creatures who wander the property freely. You can track them on foot, learning how its done from your knowledgeable guides, or spend an afternoon watching them come in for their evening dinner. It is such a privilege spending time with these gentle giants.
Guided walk Ant's Nest

Guided walks at Ant’s Nest

  • Led pony rides for beginners or under 4
  • Bug and spoor walks / learn to become a ranger
  • Horse riding lessons
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding safaris / full day rides
  • Snake and reptile talks / handling
  • Swimming with the horses
  • Mountain biking
  • Archery
  • Rhino tracking
  • Big 5 game drives
  • Night sky safaris
  • Visit to our local children’s home

So as you can see, there is a way you can get to go on your dream horse riding holiday and take your favourite non-riding travel partners along with you! Perfect 😀

Creating a safari adventure that includes 3 to 5 nights in a place where you are able to saddle-up and your non-rider travelling companions are wonderfully catered for, is easy! We often create these combination itineraries and would happily send you through some ideas.