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“Horses Lend Us the Wings We Lack.”

And sometimes, if we’re lucky, those wings have Cupid’s bow following in hot pursuit…

Africa’s intoxicating atmosphere and spectacular vistas has been the backdrop for the most captivating love stories throughout time – both fictional and real life romances alike!

With the unmistakable feeling of love in the air, we’ve looked back at the love stories that have captured our hearts within the African Horse Safaris’ community.

Check Out These Top 10 Equestrian Inspired Love Affairs

1. A Four-Legged Love Affair

One of the risks of going on a horse safari is the high chance of falling in love with your new ride – we’re pretty sure your horse back home won’t approve of this illicit equine affair, but we promise we won’t tell!

African Horse Safaris’ Founder Isabel, has herself fallen for the charms of a beauty whilst on safari. In this case however, it wasn’t ‘khaki fever’ rather one of her favourite steeds. Mama Mia captured Isabel’s heart from day one,” Athletic, brave, wonderfully cuddly she kept me grinning throughout my safari and a lot of fun, magic and laughter was shared with this special soul. My love for Mama Mia notwithstanding, I love them all for different reasons.

Hannah formed a deep bond with her beloved ride, Muchacho (Arab X Quarter Horse) whom she described as “her heart horse”. After riding across vast stretches of the Namib Desert together it was incredibly difficult for her to say goodbye to him. We have seen many teary eyed guests struggle to leave after such a profound connection has formed.

Isabel with Mamma Mia and Hannah’s beloved Muchacho.

2. Out of Africa

Obviously, we couldn’t leave out this literary love story; the movie version inspiring a generation to flock to the plains of Kenya and witness the magic of this iconic wilderness for themselves (and possibly find a dashing adventurer/bush pilot along the journey).

Our guests Susanne and Jim had fallen in love with the movie, having watched it together many times. For their 60th birthday gift to themselves, they wanted to finally have the adventure they had always spoken of, and of course do some incredible riding along the way! First, they travelled to Kenya’s Laikipia area where they saw incredible wildlife from horseback and game drive vehicles. Isabel also arranged for them to stay at Angama Mara where they were able to indulge in an unbelievably romantic picnic set up just for them. Together, sitting atop the very same hill Meryl Streep’s character knew so well, they overlooked the green valley below – their own movie moment come to life.

3. Khaki Fever

‘Khaki Fever’ – a phenomenon known only to those who have experienced falling for a safari guide in the African wilderness. Even one of African Horse Safaris’ team members, Christina, has succumbed to its magnetic charms. On her first ever African Explorer South Africa and Botswana Safari, life changed forever with a chance allocation to her now husband’s safari vehicle.

Having met and fallen in love on safari, Simon and Rosy Kenyon are incredibly connected to this land. A Kenyan by birth, Simon grew up on a farm in Laikipia near Mount Kenya. With a local’s keen understanding of this wilderness and local cultures, he has spent 10 years guiding safaris.

With an enthusiastic nature and palpable passion for the bush, he provides a uniquely special experience for his guests. We can only imagine this sense of fun played a part in Rosy falling for him, breaking many of our guests’ hearts in the process. Rosy has lived and worked in Kenya for over 10 years, managing luxury safari lodges and mobile tented camps. Rosy often serenades her guests around a campfire – a memorable touch! Now married, with a little one, they are inspiring a new generation of conservationists and horse safari lovers.

In August 2023, Simon and Rosy grabbed the reins at Offbeat Riding Safaris who run incredible safaris across the Masai Mara and became co-owners of this beloved operator originally founded by the Voorspuy family in 1989. Their goal is to continue the legacy of unparalleled riding safaris across Kenya’s most scenic and wildlife-rich wilderness – a place that symbolises all they love about Africa.

Simon and Rosy Kenyon.

4. Solo Safari Self Love

Love isn’t just for those coupled up – it’s about freedom, solitude, soul searching, finding your spark and exploring the world. Self-love is high up on our list of priorities at this time of year and we always suggest booking some time away just for you! We’ve got countless stories of guests who’ve been out on safaris with us and loved every moment of the freedom they found in the saddle.

Forgetting everything else, falling back in love with yourself and remembering exactly why you’re on this planet – to ride and ride some more!

Don’t take it from us here’s what some of our solo guests have to say…

“Just go, don’t let that hold you back! You’ll meet friends for life with a very special bond.”
“You will absolutely not regret the decision ever. I can’t wait to start planning again”
“Go! Guests on the ride have the love of horses and travel in common already.”

Solo Horse Safari adventures are continuing to be increasingly popular, with almost 50% of our bookings being made up of solo riders. Booking with us also ensures your trip is planned to suit your budget, interests and riding level, and most importantly is safe.

5. Lifelong Couple Goals!

Horse Safari gurus Robyn and David Foot were both born and raised in Africa. With a shared love for exploring Africa’s wildest their love match was fated to be sure. Since 1993 the couple has run their own horse safari operation. They began in the Nyika National Park in Malawi and from 2008 Botswana became home. Here they offer extraordinary horse safaris in what has become a family love affair with a passion for the wilderness at their core.

And don’t get us started on their horses – get ready to fall in love!

Robyn and David Foot on horseback.

6. Renewed Love and Sharing Dreams

Finally, Lora and Dom experienced the Tuli Horse Safari in Botswana. They’ve been dreaming of going on a horse safari in Africa, and now it’s something they can happily tick off their bucket list. This ‘Land of Giants’, well known for its large herds of elephant, is also home to a variety of wildlife species including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, a multitude of plains game that can all be seen from the back of a horse. The adventure is suited to nature lovers like Lora and Dom, creating a space for the couple to soak up the wonderful luxuries of ‘glamping’ with true African bush experiences.

‘Oh man we are missing it very much. We had the time of our lives, and nothing will ever compare!!!

The trip was nothing like we could dream up the experiences, accommodation, food, guides, everything! Not sure I can pick a favorite but it’s tied between seeing all 3 cats on the game drive from treehouse, or just the long canters and taking it all in. We will definitely be doing another one later down the road, but I think Egypt is next on the list with you guys. Thank you thank you!! Our lives have forever changed!!’

Lora and Dom on horseback.

7. Unforgettable Proposals in Kenya

Evgeniya Savina and her partner Julius visited Kenya last year for what can only be described as a fairytale proposal under the African skies with Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.

”Now it is definitely a new beginning for us and not in my wildest dreams I imagined I’d say “YES” to the man I love from the bottom of my heart like this…right after getting off the horse, in the Kenyan wilderness, during the sunset and a mighty Kilimanjaro looking at us with its snowy top…I feel I’m still speechless, and all I can say for now that I want to say a thousand more “YES” to you @julius_hne who always makes me feel like a movie character and this proposal has been so much like “US”, reflecting my out essence and our spirits… After 7,5 years, a new chapter begins.

Million thanks to @greatplainsconservation for being the unbeatable partners in crime and organizing everything so beautifully but also keeping it a secret from me so I stayed unaware till the very last second! I will forever cherish your work, but also, I’ll always think of Ol Donyo Lodge as the most special and magical place…the most special place in our hearts now.” – Evgeniya Savina

We told you right? A true safari fairytale…

Evgeniya and Julius.

8. A new start in Africa – unforgettable proposals

Charly planned an epic two week adventure in Kenya as a surprise for @kristalspirit! Before their trip he spent a lot of time planning the perfect moment with Isabel. He wanted to find the perfect location to pop the question, not leaving anything to chance. Knowing what he had in mind, she suggested a horse safari at Borana Lodge, an unforgettable combination of incredible scenery, superb game viewing, and luxury accommodation. The ideal setting for Charly’s proposal – only a yes would do!

After a day of adventure, Charly popped the question while they sipped sparkling wine and watched the sunset turn the sky red. Returning to the lodge for a private candlelit dinner next to the swimming pool, it was all Charly had imagined, and more! Borana really is the epitome of a romantic safari experience and was the perfect place to celebrate their new beginning!

And their Kenyan adventure was just beginning. From Lewa, they flew to the Masai Mara, embarking on an epic 7-night horse safari across one of Africa’s most incredible wildlife areas. And of course, it was only fitting to end off on Kenya’s sublime coastline – a tropical escape where basking in the glow of love and balmy sunshine was the perfect end to their African adventure.

“We have been on a paradise planet for two weeks, it has been absolutely amazing every single second. Yes, it was a surprise the engagement too, hehehe, I had it all planned since day one. It went super well, everything was amazing…”

9. Safari Friendship Love – Isabel & Daisy

Some of the greatest friends are made on safari – both 2 and 4 legged!

Isabel and Daisy from African Horse Safaris went on a phenomenal riding trip in Tanzania with a brilliant group of riders who all left as safari buddies! Our whole team has always had a slight girl crush on Jo, who is not only an incredible horse woman, but completely fearless; even faced with charging elephants! And it was quite easy to see the effect she had on the other riders too. The moments shared in the saddle and around the campfire at night, are forever ingrained in our memories.

If you’ve been on horse safari, you’ll understand the mixed emotions of being home after experiencing something so epic and special with like-minded friends – total contentment but also a fierce longing to be back out there! Total soul food.

Isabel and Daisy with new friends.

10. Safari Friendship Love – New mates in Namibia

A last minute decision to head off on the Namib Desert Ride in 2019 saw two horse lovers from different parts of the planet joining together to make their riding dreams come true!

Anna and Hannah were two solo travellers who spotted a last-minute special for this adventure.
The catch? The offer had to be taken by two people. Our team introduced them to one another and as fate would have it, they jumped at the chance. When they first met at Windhoek airport it was a ‘friendship at first sight’’ and the rest as they say is history.

In Hannah’s words, “The whole ride had a Mad Max feel to it, and it was absolutely amazing!”

They have since returned together 3 times, having been completely caught up in the addictive spell that Namibia weaves.

Hannah and Anna

Love Knows No Bounds

The beauty of a safari on horseback is that for those older couples with a shared love for riding, these bespoke trips can be enjoyed together for as long as they are riding fit. Often, after a life spent raising a family, managing busy careers and dealing with the daily hustle and bustle, it’s in those later years when we see many older equestrians treating themselves to a once in a lifetime safari vacation.

Allan and Ellen (pictured below) are one such couple that inspires riders of all ages. Safari’s Unlimited’s Gordie Church shares, “This fabulous couple have enjoyed countless safaris over the last decade and more, with their family and friends, and ourselves as outfitters and guides. It has been an honour for Felicia and I and they are scheduled for yet another private-canvas ride with us in 2025. He is riding ‘Drakensberg’, and she is riding ‘Flashman’ in this picture, during their ride in the Masai Mara, Kenya.”

Entering the unique world of Gordie and Felicia’s Safari’s Unlimited experience, you will become a part of their story and explore this rich and inspiring land alongside vanguards in the safari world.

Allan and Ellen – image by Emma Badger

We still advocate that the best Valentines out there have four legs, soft squishy noses and whinny when they see you.

With love from the African Horse Safaris’ team.


*Reference: – Pam Brown, Horse Lover: A Memoir in Four Movements (2008)