Tanzania offers the “Out of Africa” experience most dream of when they imagine a horseback safari in Africa. Fall in love with the horses that can make your dreams of gallop over the endless African plains a reality.
Galloping across some of Africa’s most iconic landscapes and set to the backdrop of magnificent snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, horse riding here promises an unforgettable experience! Become part of the herd as you canter across the plains alongside zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, keeping a close eye out for the big cats that this area is famous for. Explore some of the last true wildernesses on earth, as you become part of a herd of cantering zebra, creep up on a munching elephant or gaze up in wonder at a tall giraffe. Trail riding, with the assistance of a mobile camp set-up, and spending 7 nights watching sunsets, sitting round campfires and sleeping out in the wilderness will be an adventure like no other! This is a challenging ride for experienced riders only as you will be riding in areas with big game.
Zoreya has been there right from the beginning of Jo’s Kaskazi adventure. According to Jo, she is one of the hardiest horses she’s ever seen, will never tire, never get sore and never go lame. She is also a character all on her own, willing to walk into safari tents, leap over logs and face lions out in the wild. She tends to hang out with all the other greys, Flora, Lummel and Heat Haze but typical mare avoids the boys when she can. Flora is her best buddy and they are inseparable, plus they look very similar, both being Arabs. Zoreya is a purebred Egyptian Arab but unfortunately was born sterile as she would have made some amazing little safari horses.
Heat Haze, has no passport, but judging by her teeth, she’s about 15 years old now. This mare was Jo’s first lead horse, and never in her life has she come across such a wild independent mare, braver than any other horse she’s ever ridden. She’s the worst pick for any guests as you can never relax in the saddle, the moment you do, she will do a “happy jump” into the air, followed by a “side jump” just to make sure that you’re “still there”. There’s nothing mean about her, just a happy horse with a lot of character that enjoys a fun ride. So when there’s no elephant to stop charging she makes sure she finds something else to entertain herself with. Probably too good to be a safari horse as she would have been an amazing eventing horse as she does it all, showjumping, dressage, cross-country….the bigger the challenge the more she thrives.
She has definitely saved Jo’s life on a few occasions and when she needed her the most. She’s always there for her and listens to the tiniest command from her rider. Not only is she incredibly brave but she is also a stunner to watch. She has amazing moves…..and Jo says she will never be bored running safaris when she have her to mount every morning.
Tzar, meaning Emperor, is Jo’s other lead horse and another stunner with an incredible temperament. Again not an ideal horse for a guest as you need to ride him and can’t just tag along. He has the biggest heart, always wants to please, can be a bit spooky with a non-confident rider. However with an experienced rider on his back he will master any challenge thrown at him. He also has a lovely temperament (as he’s a gelding and not a temperamental mare). He loves a good cuddle in the stable yard – a stark difference to her grey mare that won’t have any of it. This boy originally came from Kenya and is now about 10 years old and hopefully, he will have many years leading guests into the wilderness.
OTHER FAVOURITE SAFARI HORSES
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS MAKE THE IDEAL TRAIL HORSE?
For long trail rides, paces are important, and having a good walk is almost as important as a comfortable canter. Being happy to jump is always a bonus when out on the trail as there are often fallen logs to create the most epic cross-country courses. The horses are ridden in a line, so being sociable and not biting or kicking other horses is really important. A strong personality, big heart, and great attitude is just as important – but that’s what we all enjoy riding, right?
WHAT KIND OF HORSES ARE THERE IN TANZANIA?
Africa is a difficult place to keep horses, as it’s not the most horse-friendly environment. In Tanzania, they mainly use thoroughbreds that have been born and raised in East Africa. They seem to cope a lot better and are also great for the hotter climate. Throughout history, Europeans have kept on bringing horses across to the African continent and we have to be thankful to them as, without them, there wouldn’t have been any horses this side!
WHAT LEVEL OF RIDING DO YOU NEED TO HAVE?
Most of the horses are ridden in western style with just one or two ridden English style. They are beautifully trained and the range of different temperaments means there will be a horse to suit all riders. Riders will need to be intermediate plus or above, meaning confident and comfortable at all paces over any terrain, able to post in the trot, do a two-point canter and gallop out of trouble if necessary. Guests can expect to spend between five and seven hours in the saddle, with stops for drinks and a long lunch break and siesta. Being fit helps, but you’ll be amazed how your riding muscles wake up after the 3rd day in the saddle and you soon forget about the aches and pains.
WHAT IS YOUR STABLEYARD AND ROUTINE LIKE?
During the off-season, the horses live loose on a 4000-acre wildlife estate where they are often seen grazing with zebra, wildebeest and various antelope species. At night they all come into their warm comfy stables, where they are groomed, checked, de-ticked and fed. From the stables there is an incredible view of Mount Meru and on a clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro can be seen emerging from the skyline. In the mornings, they have a hearty breakfast before being turned loose again, and watching them gallop off into the morning light is always makes the team smile. All the horses have varied exercise, from lunging, jumping, cross-country and even Polo. At the start of every safari, the horses are trucked to the first camp. On safari, it’s usually a 3-4 hour morning ride, with a long mid-day break where they roam loose in the bush while being watched over by the herdsmen. After a 2-3 hour afternoon ride, they have a rub down and treats and are then tied to a picket line where they have hard feed, water and a good feed of hay.
WHAT HAVE THE HORSES BEEN UP TO DURING COVID19 LOCKDOWN
Life goes on here at Kaskazi’s family; the horses are enjoying their well-deserved rest after a successful season in the Serengeti. They worked incredibly hard and now have plenty of time to gather strength and enthusiasm for whenever the next season will start. Living out on a 4000-acre wildlife estate, they have plenty of freedom to graze, stretch their legs or laze around in the African sun – often surrounded by visiting wildebeest, zebra and warthog. The team is working with the youngsters and have two exciting colts that will soon become future safari stars. It’s also been an opportunity to go through all the containers, stable yard and tack room to make sure everything is neat and tidy, polished and ready for the next adventure!