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Horse safaris are like stepping into real-life adventure stories, providing a unique and unforgettable experience for family holidays. Horse riding vacations offer families an active, challenging adventure holiday. The slower pace of a safari lets you soak in every moment. There’s time to make incredible memories together and connect with nature. For the kids, it’s like being in their own wildlife movie, but better because they’re part of the action! It’s a perfect combination of excitement, nature, and quality family time.

Here Are Our Favourite Family Horse Riding Hoidays in South Africa

Horse riding holidays at Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill in South Africa

Nestled within the picturesque Waterberg area of South Africa, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill lodges offer an enchanting retreat for families seeking adventure and relaxation. Just a short drive from Johannesburg, these two remarkable lodges are in a malaria-free area. The lodges are perfect for solo travellers, couples, groups of friends and families of all sizes and ages. From traditional lodge rooms to family suites and cottages complete with private lounge areas and heated pools, there’s ample space for everyone to unwind in comfort.

But the real highlight of these lodges lies in their exceptional equestrian experiences. With riding suitable for all levels, including children and novice riders, families can embark on unforgettable horseback adventures through the breathtaking landscapes of the Waterberg. Experienced riders will also find plenty of exhilarating trails to explore and some wonderful fast canters. The reserve is home to some incredible widllife, and close encounters with herds of zebra, buffalo, eland and giraffe are always a highlight. Plus seeing rhino from horseback is something that your children will never forget!

Beyond horse riding, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are incredibly family-friendly, offering an array of activities to keep children entertained. From pony rides and guided walks to swimming on horseback and game drives, there’s never a dull moment. The lush gardens and swimming pools provide ample space for family fun and relaxation, while the stables are just a short walk away for children eager to visit the horses.

One of the lodges’ unique selling points is their close proximity to rhinos, with these majestic creatures often venturing near the lodges. Guests have the extraordinary opportunity to observe them up close, learn about conservation efforts, and even witness them during meal times—an experience that truly sets Ant’s apart. Moreover, guests contribute to rhino conservation efforts through a dedicated levy, ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at these incredible creatures. With its perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and conservation ethos, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill offer families a horse riding holiday experience unlike any other.

Family fun at Horizon Lodge in South Africa

Experience the warmth of family hospitality at Horizon Lodge, situated in South Africa’s captivating Waterberg region. This family-run retreat, just a short drive from Johannesburg and nestled in a malaria-free zone, offers a cozy haven for solo travellers, couples and families seeking adventure. With a number of chalets with multiple bedrooms and private verandas, all guests can find their own little piece of paradise. Private dining can be arranged for the little ones, or guests can join wonderful communal meals set in on the lawns under the trees.

At Horizon Lodge, horse riding is a highlight for families of all ages and skill levels. From gentle pony rides for the little ones, to longer rides across the reserve, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. With small groups, and dedicated guides, the pace can be slow or fast, and it’s the ideal place for less experienced riders to gain their confidence in the saddle. One of the most memorable experiences at Horizon is encountering wildlife on horseback for the first time. Imagine the thrill of riding through the bush, with zebras grazing nearby and giraffes towering above the trees. These are sights that will leave even the most cynical teenager in awe!

In the summer months, after a morning ride, riders can slip off the saddles and head into the dam for a horseback swim – A feeling like no other! Another highlight is the mounted games, which often has parents competing just as intensely as the kids, leaving everyone wonderfully exhausted after a day’s adventure. Children can easily stroll from the lodge to the stables, where they can witness the herd cantering in from the bush for their evening meal, adding a touch of excitement to their stay.

In addition to horse riding, Horizon offers a variety of family-friendly activities such as guided walks and game drives. If you’re staying at the lodge for 5 or more nights, they can also add on a game drive to a nearby reserve where you have the chance to see rhinos, elephants and even big cats from a game drive vehicle. And for those who would like to give back to the local community, there is the option to visit the local schools and contribute to meaningful initiatives in the area.


Here are our favourite horseriding holidays for families in Southern Africa and the best family horseback adventures in East Africa

Equestrian heaven at Moolmanshoek

Indulge in a tailor-made horse riding holiday at Moolmanshoek, a family-owned oasis nestled in the majestic Witteberg Mountains of the Eastern Free State. Offering stays ranging from 3 to 7 nights, this idyllic retreat is steeped in rich history, tucked away in a quiet corner of the country. Explore quaint local villages that feel like a journey back in time, or delight in family picnics and traditional barbecues under the stars.

Moolmanshoek is a paradise for families, with expansive gardens for children to play in and family rooms boasting private verandas with unforgettable views. And for colder winter days, the lodge itself offers an array of amenities, including a billiards room and library, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. The newly established equestrian centre features vast paddocks and a comfortable lounge area where guests can relax between rides.

With over 200 horses roaming the rewilded farm, Moolmanshoek offers unparalleled opportunities for horse riding amidst a ranch-like reserve teeming with wildlife. The reserve offers some incredible trails, and there are plenty of open roads for long canters into the sunset. From cherry picking on horseback in December to exhilarating horseback swims in the lake, the adventures here are endless. Families can even camp in the caves with horses tethered nearby, creating a truly immersive experience. Plus, the lodge boasts incredible viewpoints and technical riding trails, showcasing breathtaking mountain scenery and sunsets that will leave you speechless.

A Family Horse Riding Adventure on the Wild Coast

There’s something truly magical about sharing the adventure of horse riding with your children, and the Wild Coast of South Africa provides the perfect backdrop for creating cherished family memories. Picture the joy on your child’s face as they experience the thrill of cantering along empty beaches, exploring hidden waterfalls, and riding through traditional villages alongside you. Whether you’re joining a small group or booking a private ride, we invite families to experience the magic of the Wild Coast in a way like never before.

For those seeking a fun, fast and challenging ride, the Wild Coast Trail offers an unparalleled 7-night adventure. Families with less riding experience can do the Qulora Trail which provides a more relaxed pace, and more time at each laidback beach hotel. Tailor-made trips can also be planned for 4 nights or more, ideal if you have younger kids. From leisurely beach rides, and scenic trails though the forests, to exhilarating gallops along the shoreline, each day brings new adventures and unforgettable moments to treasure with loved ones.

Step back in time as you disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Wild Coast. The family-friendly hotels offer the perfect retreat after a day of exploration, with opportunities for beach combing, tennis matches, kayaking, or even braving the chilly ocean. Evenings are spent gathered around the dinner table, swapping stories of the day’s adventures or engaging in lively board games, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


If you’re looking for the ultimate safari for your family, check out our collection. Ready to tick swimming on horseback from your bucket list? Get in touch with us if you’re looking to go on a horse riding holiday or chat to one of our horse safari experts.