As the original home of the African horse safari, Kenya offers unrivalled opportunities when it comes to horse riding. The country boasts a variety of safari experiences; from luxury high-end lodge-stays, to fly-camping and nights spent dining and sleeping under the stars. Choose to ride through the great open plains of the Masai Mara or scale the steep rocky outcrops in Laikipia’s high country. Perhaps even combine the two for the ultimate safari experience!
A Kenyan riding safari is most famous for offering the chance to ride alongside the world-renowned wildebeest migration. Picture cantering alongside and weaving through vast herds of wildebeest and zebra as they migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara. Long and rolling savannah filled with the whole cast of the Lion King – wildlife everywhere you look!
However, horse riding in Kenya goes beyond simply the Masai Mara. Smile at the flourishing population of wild dog and their pups in Laikipia, and gasp as Mt Kilimanjaro breaks through the clouds in the Chyulu Hills. From the vast plains of the Mara, to mountainous regions further North, Kenya offers a huge variation of experiences. Riders and non-riders, families, couples, groups and solo adventurers alike, there is something for everyone. Intermediate riders and families can be catered for here as the landscapes are more open, meaning you are far less likely to come across any wildlife by surprise. On horseback safaris in Kenya, you will experience the best the country has to offer, and from the best seat available!
Safari, Landscape & Wildlife
There are three main areas where you can mount-up in Kenya; Laikipia, the Masai Mara and the Chyulu Hills.
Laikipia is home to the second highest peak on the continent, Mt. Kenya. Here, you’ll be faced with dazzling views of the mountain as you traverse the high country on horseback. View endangered plains game such as the Jackson’s Hartebeest, Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk and the Reticulated Giraffe from the saddle. Communities here have been passionately involved in the conservation of both Black Rhino and White Rhino over the last few decades.
In the Masai Mara, it is likely you will experience the thrilling sensation of viewing predators from horseback. Lions are regularly seen from the saddle, and if you’re lucky, cheetahs and leopards may also make an appearance. With highly professional guides (and horses) you’ll always be kept safe – It is an adrenaline kick like no other!
Forming a corridor between Tsavo West and Amboseli, the Chyulu Hills boast striking and diverse landscapes. Horseback ride in the presence of some of the largest and most impressive Tusker Elephants that still roam beneath the backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Kenya’s vibrant, colourful and fascinating culture is a joy to experience whilst on safari. Relish combining some of the most outstanding game viewing opportunities that Africa has to offer, with the fascinating traditional culture of the Maasai tribe. As a break from the saddle, visit a Maasai Boma and learn from the famous Maasai warriors. They will proudly show you the traditions of their people and how they manage living and herding cattle in a Big 5 landscape!
Be inspired by passionate antipoaching teams who protect their treasured and increasingly threatened black and white rhino. Riding safaris in Kenya help fund these programmes and help act as a reason to keep fighting for their conservation.
When it comes to where you lay your head after a day of horse riding, there really is an accommodation to suit everyone. Recline in luxury after many hours in the saddle at one of our lodge-based horse riding holidays. Or alternatively, choose the ‘Out of Africa’ experience with the highest standard of luxury mobile horse safari. Despite being a mobile camp stay, you will have comfortably furnished tents and food you would’ve expected to be cooked in a five-star hotel, not over a simple wood fire.
When is the best time for a safari in the Masai Mara?
Game viewing is said to be best between July and September, coinciding with the migration, a bucket list experience! However, with incredible wildlife sightings year round, you will never be disappointed, no matter what time of year you go! Many choose to travel on the edges of the peak season, with less tourists and lower prices, and most avoid March and April which is known for heavy downpours.
Will I see the wildebeest migration on horseback in the Masai Mara?
The migration is a constant movement of millions of animals following the rhythms of nature – so it is impossible to predict where they might be. The riding route is in the paths of the wildebeest migration, so you may get to experience the magic of riding amongst the herds, a surreal feeling that you will never forget! If you have your heart set on witnessing the death defying river crossings, we suggest adding a few days on a vehicle safari where you can dedicate more time to this and travel further afield.
Do I need a yellow fever vaccination for Kenya?
Kenya is considered a Yellow Fever risk country and you may be asked for a vaccination certificate on arrival, or when travelling to other African countries. The Yellow Fever vaccination is given as a single injection at least ten days before travelling offers lifelong protection. We highly recommend consulting with your doctor or visiting a travel clinic before you travel.
Do I need a visa for Kenya?
Requirements for visiting Kenya are a valid passport, with 2 blank pages, and a visa. Currently, it is possible to get a visa on arrival, however, it is best to get an e-visa online before you travel. You can apply for these up to a week before travel and it is a very simple process. Check with your local Kenya embassies regarding visas before travelling as it could change without prior notice.
What if I have dietary requirements?
Most dietary requirements can be catered for if we request them well in advance. You must remember that many of the safaris are in the middle of the African bush, so there is no way to pop out to the shops or local restaurant. We also love being part of special occasions, so when you book your safari, let us know if you are celebrating any birthdays or anniversaries.