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South Africa offers a wider selection of horse riding adventures than any other country in Africa.

It’s often the best place for your first horse safari, as there are riding holidays suitable for every rider. Whether you’re travelling solo, with friends, as a family or looking for a romantic escape, we have the perfect riding holiday for you.

Horse riding holidays in South Africa offer a captivating blend of equestrian adventure and the country’s diverse natural beauty. From the picturesque Winelands of the Western Cape to the rugged terrain of the Drakensberg Mountains and the savannahs of game reserves, riders have the opportunity to explore a wide range of landscapes on horseback. Wildlife enthusiasts can embark on horse safaris, spotting the Big Five and other iconic animals while riding through reserves near the Kruger National Park. Even novice riders can experience the magic of a horse safari, riding alongside giraffe, zebra, antelope and even rhinos! And for those seeking a more leisurely experience, beach rides along the Indian and Atlantic coastlines provide a chance to gallop on pristine sandy shores or enjoy sunset canters.

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For More Info About Horse Riding in South Africa

EXPLORE HORSE SAFARIS IN SOUTH AFRICA

7 Nights: From GBP £1460 pp sharing

Moolmanshoek Horse Safari

  • 7 Nights
  • South Africa
  • Wildlife & Scenery Focused Safari
Find horse and wildlife heaven at Moolmanshoek. With over 200 horses and incredible scenery, you will adore staying here
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7 Nights: From GBP £1881 pp sharing

Horizon Lodge Signature Horse Safari

  • 7 Nights
  • South Africa
  • Wildlife & Scenery Focused Safari
Explore the beauty of the Waterberg region alongside unique wildlife. This is the ideal trail riding horse safari.
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Horse riding in the Mashatu Tuli Botswana

5 nights: From GBP £1240 pp sharing

Horizon Lodge Riding Holiday

  • 5 - 10 Nights
  • South Africa
  • Wildlife & Scenery Focused Safari
Immerse yourself in the beauty of South Africa's diverse landscapes, where every day reveals a new adventure.
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2 weeks: From GBP £1162 pp sharing

Horse Riding Working Holiday in South Africa

  • 2 - 12 Weeks
  • South Africa
  • Working Holiday
Live the African dream by spending a few life-changing weeks out in the South African bush working with horses.
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4 nights: GBP £930 pp sharing

Wild Coast Beach Trail

  • 4 / 7 Nights
  • South Africa
  • Scenery Focused Horse Safari
Experience the untamed allure of the Wild Coast Trail, where rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and adventures await.
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3 nights: From ZAR 22950 / GBP £1095

Horse Riding in the Cape Winelands

  • 3 - 7 Nights
  • South Africa
  • Scenery Focused Horse Safari
Enjoy riding through some of South Africa's most picturesque Winelands - wining and dining along the way.
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Horse riding in the Tuli

7 nights: From GBP £2117 pp sharing

South Africa & Botswana African Explorer

  • 7 Nights
  • South Africa & Botswana
  • Wildlife Focused Horse Safari
Seamlessly blending South Africa and Botswana\'s incredible landscapes into a single, unforgettable horse safari.
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Horse riding on the Wild Coast of South Africa

12 nights: From GBP £3560 pp sharing

Wildlife & Waves – Tuli & Wild Coast Trail

  • 12 / 16 Nights
  • South Africa & Botswana
  • Scenery Focused Horse Safari
For intrepid travellers, this adventure combines riding on untouched beaches and incredible wildlife from the saddle.
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2 weeks: From GBP £1643 pp sharing

Moolmanshoek Wildlife Working Holiday

  • 2 - 12 Weeks
  • South Africa
  • Working Holiday
Discover an equestrian working holiday with a difference in a remote wildlife reserve in South Africa
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4 weeks: From GBP £4400 pp sharing

Endurance Training Programme

  • 4 - 12 Weeks
  • South Africa
  • Working Holiday
A journey that will push your limits, enhance your equestrian skills, and allow you to ride alongside Africa's wildlife.
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OVERVIEW OF HORSE SAFARIS IN SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is not only a diverse mix of cultures, scenery and wildlife, it is also home to a varied mix of horse riding experiences. South Africa offers a wider selection of riding safari vacations than any other country in Africa. There is a holiday for everyone. Whilst riding in areas where elephants, lions and buffaloes are present is restricted to intermediate plus and advanced riders, we can offer several horse safaris for more novice riders. Even beginners can ride alongside zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and even rhino.

South Africa offers several great reserve-based riding safaris which are perfect for families. Our lodge-based safaris can cater brilliantly for any level of horse rider and families due to their flexibility on how long, fast or far you wish to explore each day. They also have a host of non-riding activities available for anyone that needs a break from the saddle. And advanced rider can enjoy dynamic riding and speedy free canters weaving in and out of the bush, or wizzing along pristine coastline and beaches – Not seeing another soul and soaking up the South African wilderness.

Ride locations

Waterberg: Ants Hill + Ants Nest & Horizon Lodge

The untamed Waterberg is rich in cultural, archaeological and biological diversity. The area’s iconic beauty and bio-diversity has been awarded the status of a World Biosphere reserve by UNESCO. This is a wildlife Eden and set in the middle of its vast wilderness and the safari possibilities seem as endless as the horizon itself. Riding in the wild is exhilarating for both novice and experienced riders and nothing beats a long canter across an open plain with the wind in your hair. An area favoured by families, the area offers a wide range of other adventure activities such as game drives, nature walks and mountain bike trails

Horse riding with giraffes in South Africa
A great backdrop to your horse riding holiday

Kruger Area: Big 5 horse Safari + Working Holiday

Undoubtedly South Africa’s most iconic game-viewing destination and Africa’s second-largest park, the Kruger National Park is home to some of the best iconic 5 game viewing on the continent. To the West of the park lie several private game reserves, many unfenced, creating an area larger than Wales exclusively for wildlife. Here you will not only have the horseback safari you’ve dreamed of, but can enjoy exhilarating game drives, fascinating nature walks and fire-lit boma dinners. With several connecting flights, we can create the perfect Bush and Beach combo or end your adventure at the mighty Victoria Falls

Lion seen through the horses ears in the Kruger
Incredible wildlife around the Kruger

Cape Wineland’s: Cape Winelands riding

Whether you’re just looking for an escape from the city, a romantic getaway or a few days exploring some of the most beautiful countryside, the Cape Winelands may be the one for you. Just 40km outside the vibrant city of Cape Town, the dramatic mountains and maze of vineyards are the perfect place to savour world-renowned wines and visit the country’s culinary heart. Canter through the country roads & hidden forest paths before sampling superb wines and indulging in mouth-watering cuisine served in the shade of century-old oak trees

Horse riding in the Cape Winelands of South Africa
Ride through the scenic winelands

Wild coast: 4 & 7 night Wild Coast Trail

Experience the freedom of coastal riding and fulfil every horse rider’s dream; cantering down vast empty beaches, with the sun on your face and the sea breeze in your hair. Explore the rugged, unspoilt natural beauty of the Wild Coast. Rolling hills, deep gorges, and cliff tops that plunge into the ocean ensure that this is not just a beach ride; it is an adventure on the edge of Africa! An area easily accessible and malaria-free, the Wild Coast offers some truly ‘wild’ riding experiences. All rides are led by experienced guides who follow the tides for exciting but safe riding, including exhilarating gallop and river crossings

Horse Riding on the Wild Coast
Adventure on the edge of Africa

Ficksburg Area: Moolmanshoek

Life in the African Bush is exciting and very different to anything you would have experienced before! Living on Moolmanshoek Game Reserve, is something special. Not only do you have incredible landscapes to explore on horseback, but you’ll be able to see a variety of incredible wildlife from the saddle. With huge open spaces, the herds of horses live out all year round, and seeing them gallop in for feeding always invokes a feeling of awe.

Horse riding in Moolmanshoek
Riding into the African sunset

Safari Highlights

RIDING FOR ALL LEVELS
South Africa has a range of horses and ponies catering to both novice and experienced riders. Whether you’re an experienced rider looking for a thrill, or someone who doesn’t have that much experience in the saddle, or even a family that has different riding levels – there is something for everyone.


VARIETY OF EXPERIENCES
South Africa is a great first-time safari, as it offers fantastic riding amongst vast landscapes and has diverse activities for you to enjoy. This includes guided walks, safari drives, animal tracking and many other non-riding activities for the whole family.


WILDLIFE DIVERSITY
While South Africa is primarily renowned for its Big Five animals, it boasts an extensive variety of plant and animal species. You’ll have the chance to see elephants, lions, zebras, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and various antelope species from the saddle. 


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH WILDLIFE
Horse riding holidays in South Africa offer you amazing oporunities to get really close to wildlife on horseback. On our Big 5 Horse safari near the Kruger, you have the chance to elephants, rhinos and even lions from horseback. In the Waterberg area, you’ll ride alongside herds of zebra, antelope and giraffes. And at the Ant Reserve, you can almost get within touching distance to their incredible herd of rhinos. Seeing Africa’s unique animals from horseback is an incredible experience not soon forgotten!


HORSE SWIMS
There are some great dams on the reserves which are the perfect place to slip off the horses saddles and take them for a lovely cooling swim. We’re not sure who enjoys this more, the horses or humans.


BEACH RIDING
South Africa doesn’t just provide exceptional horse safari adventures; it also presents thrilling opportunities for coastal riding along the breathtaking Wild Coast. This coastline features untamed, rugged beaches of pristine beauty, perfect for exhilarating canters along the sand.

Horse riding in South Africa
Everyone can experience the magic of a horse safari
Game drives at the Ant Reserve in South Africa
Game Drives at the Ant Reserve
Swimming on horseback in South Africa at the Ant Reserve
Swimming on horseback is always a treat

Activities

GAME DRIVES
Guided game drives in open 4×4 vehicles give you great opportunities for wildlife photography, often getting within a few meters of animals such as elephant and big cats.! After sunset, head back to camp in the dark, allowing you to spot nocturnal creatures like leopards, hyenas, and owls, which are typically more active after dark. And of course, remember to take a moment to take in the African stars


WALKING SAFARIS
Slow down and join expert guides for walking safaris, which offer a unique opportunity to explore the bush on foot. Learn about tracking animals, the local flora, and the smaller, often overlooked, creatures of the wilderness.


FAMILY SAFARIS
All our lodges offer a variety of amazing activities for riders and non-riders alike. These include bumble safaris, game drives, cycling, archery, pony rides and mounted games. Your stay can be tailor-made to suit each member of your family, so you get to make unforgettable memories together. 


BEACH RIDES
Our Wild Coast safari showcases South Africa’s stunning coastline and its wonderfully varied terrain. Saddle up, and enjoy a week of trail riding along the pristine beaches of the Wild Coast. For a shorter trail, ride on the beautiful Pearly beach, with pristine white sand next to an impossibly blue ocean. Here, you could also opt to visit Hermanus for shark cage diving or do a road trip along South Africa’s famous Garden Route.


TRADITIONAL SAFARIS
If you desire additional time in Africa, we have the option to organize a safari in the private reserves bordering the globally renowned Kruger National Park. There are various types of accommodations available, ranging from basic to luxurious.


CITY ESCAPES
Cape Town is an urban haven, offering local markets, art galleries, a captivating history, gourmet dining establishments, and waterfront shopping districts. However, a brief drive from the city will lead you to some of the planet’s most stunning beaches, breathtaking hiking trails, and submerged forests.


WINE TASTING
Visit the Cape Winelands where you can enjoy wine tasting on horseback for a unique experience in Africa! Known as the gourmet capital of South Africa, this area is known for incredible restaurants, world-renowned wines, gourmet cheeses and hand-crafted chocolate.


CYCLING & MOUNTAIN BIKING
Cape Town is a mecca for cycling enthusiasts who want to cycle some of the most scenic roads in Africa. And for those who are seeking more adventure, many of our horse safaris offer amazing trails for mountain biking. 


THE PANORAMA ROUTE
This scenic part of South Africa offers amazing activities such as hiking, zip lining, quad biking and visits to the wildlife sanctuaries. It’s also the world’s longest green canyon and the views, waterfalls and interesting rock formations make it a photographers dream.

Game drives in the Kruger
Big cats are often seen on game drives
Family horse safaris in South Affrica
Riding holidays are perfect for all ages!
Hiking in the Panorama Route of South Africa
There are incredible hikes along the Panorama Route
Cape Town South Africa
Visit the vibrant city of Cape Town

Accommodation

The value and quality for money of accommodations, guided experiences, thrilling activities, and horseback riding adventures in South Africa are unparalleled when compared to other African destinations.

Whether you seek to fully connect with nature in a canvas-tented safari camp where you can listen to the captivating sounds of wildlife throughout the night,  or love the feel of a traditional stone and thatch game lodge, South Africa caters to a diverse range of accommodation preferences. On our Big 5 Horse safari, guests have a luxury trail ride sleeping at a tented camp, a sleepout and a luxury lodge overlooking the waterhole filled with hippos. Both Ants Nest and Horizon Lodge offer more traditional stone and thatch rooms and cottages which are perfect for solo riders, couples, families and groups of friends travelling together.

For those heading to the coast, we offer the tranquil atmosphere of a beachfront hotel, where you can drift off to the soothing sounds of the sea after a day on horseback. You can also awaken to breathtaking vistas of sunlit vineyards while enjoying your stay at a delightful wine farm bed and breakfast. The opportunities for a comfortable and immersive experience during your South African riding safari are truly abundant.

Tented camp in South Africa
Fall asleep in an authentic canvas tent
Luxury outside bath at the Ants Reserve in South Africa
Bath under the stars at Ants Hill

South African Culture

South Africa is woven with captivating and vibrant cultural experiences. Renowned for its diverse culinary offerings and exceptional wines, you’ll be treated to a delightful dining experience following a day on the trail. The region’s abundant agricultural heritage and natural resources, including game meat, cattle, seafood, and crops, result in a flavorful culinary adventure. South Africa’s wine-producing regions are on par with the best in the world, boasting some of the planet’s finest wines. When you combine this unforgettable hospitality and vibrant culture with the thrill of horse riding, you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Kid in the colourful BoKaap area of Cape Town
South Africa is known as the Rainbow Nation

SOUTH AFRICA SAFARI FAQs

Is South Africa a safe place to go on holiday?

South Africa is safe if you well informed and sensible. The country does have a high crime rate but almost all of these crimes happen in non-tourist areas. The likelihood of a crime being committed against a tourist is low and even lower for anyone venturing on horse safaris. From the minute you step off the plane you have 24 hour support throughout your stay and you will be travelling in safe areas which are established for tourism.

What's the best place to horse rode in South Africa?

South Africa has the widest range of horse riding options of all the African countries. To pick a ‘best’ option is impossible but we can help advise you on rides from the best beach riding to the best horseback safari.

Do they look after the horses in South Africa?

On all our horse riding holidays they have the highest standards of horse care – We would not accept anything less. You will be hugely impressed with the quality of horses available and how they are treated as members of the family.

What is the best time of year to visit South Africa?

Different areas of South Africa are best at different times of the year, so there is no ‘bad’ time to visit. The summer, and rainy season, falls from November through to March each year – This is an awesome time of year for the Cape Winelands and Wild Coast rides. Wildlife is often considered easier to find in the winter months of May to September.

Are there any family-friendly horse safaris in South Africa?

Yes – We have two reserve-based horse safaris that are perfect for families – Ants Hill and Ants Nest and Horizon Lodge – Both these options have plenty of wildlife but no elephants, lions or buffaloes, meaning they can cater for all levels of riding.

RECENT SOUTH AFRICA REVIEWS

One of the best experiences I’ve ever had!
African Dream Horse Safaris was amazing! Traci and Shannon were such great people and treated the horses and the volunteers so well. Not only was the place beautiful but I got to make so many new friends and so many new experiences during my time as a volunteer. They always made sure that we got to do the excursions we wanted and ride our favorite horses everyday. Luckily I got to ride my favorite horse Star almost every day and I can’t wait to go back and visit him and the rest of the ADHS family whenever I get the chance! I definitely recommend this working holiday to anyone who is thinking about it, especially for people who are hesitant about doing it alone! I got to see so many different animals and places during my time there and it really was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!

Isabelle LindbäckSouth African Working Holiday - South Africa

I just came back from an incredible trip to Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill in South Africa. It was everything I expected and more. The staff at both lodges were so hospitable and welcoming, always making sure every guest had everything they needed. I was traveling alone and instantly felt very at home thanks to their kindness. The horses were incredible, so accustomed to all the wildlife (and we saw a LOT of wildlife!) The guides are so great at what they do and make sure they know what you want to see so they can find whatever it is you are looking for- giraffes, zebras, buffalo, rhinos, kudu... and many more! Setting up this trip with African Horse Safaris was such a smooth experience. I contacted them less than two weeks before the trip and immediately got a reply that they would be able to accommodate me. They provided so much useful information- I wasn't left with any questions after the very thorough packet I received! I will definitely be planning a trip with them in the future and would recommend anyone else who loves horses and adventure to do the same!

Lisa CarperThe Ants Collection - South Africa

There aren’t enough words to describe this experience!
I went to Wait a Little camp in South Africa for the Big 5 horse safari and I don't think there are enough words to describe this experience.The camp was incredible and the staff was amazing.
It has been 100% the best experience of my life: the connection with nature, the peacefulness, the combination of my passion together with this place & animals. When someone asks me I just say that I was on another planet, it's a feeling you can't understand if you haven't tried it. And for sure once in your life is not enough.

Sara OngaroBig 5 Horse Safari - South Africa

Just had the most amazing week at Horizon Lodge in South Africa. I was immediately welcomed as a solo traveler by both the staff and the other guests. The hospitality was great and all the staff were always making sure we were well taken care of and had everything we needed. All the guides are extremely knowledgeable about the plants and animals we come across and it was clear they loved their jobs and the horses. They would even take some requests to make sure every ride was enjoyable and different and they would try their hardest to find whatever animal you wanted to try and see. From cantering long stretches of the plains, to trekking through the rocks and bush, to jumping logs and swimming in the dam, every day was something special and unique. There were even opportunities for wonderful non riding activities such as stargazing where I was able to see the stars from a completely different hemisphere. I can’t recommend this trip enough and I’m already wanting to start planning my next one.

Karen WatlingHorizon Lodge - South Africa

Myself and my partner have just come back from our dream holiday thanks to African Horse Safaris. Isabel, Rebecca and Hope were an absolute pleasure to deal with. They were so helpful, friendly and professional from our first inquiry right up to the day we headed off on what was an experience of a lifetime. We went on The Big 5 safari in SA and it surpassed all expectations. We saw all the big 5 within a couple of days thanks to our fantastic guide Jo along with plenty of other game such as zebras, giraffes, hippos, wildebeest, Kudus, empalla...the list goes on. The camps we stayed in were stunning. The Wait A Little team that run the safari were incredible. The week was organised impeccably, the food was delicious and most importantly the team were great fun. We really felt like part of the family. The horses are just amazing. So welll trained and looked after. For anyone thinking about booking a horse safari in Africa, I cannot recommend this place enough. We're already looking into booking again next year.
Thanks again African Horse Safaris. We've made memories for life.

Lisa KerrBig 5 Horse Safari - South Africa

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