Horse riding in Uganda
Uganda is often overlooked because of its past, but adventure tourism has brought new light to this incredible destination. This unique horse safari offers terrific riding around the source of the world’s longest river, the River Nile. Explore lush green rain-forests, feeling like jungle explorers in search of rare birds and monkeys, cross swamps and gallop up hills to see what incredible scenery lies beyond. Spend a day horse riding along the edge of the magic Lake Victoria before following the edge of the river to its source in Jinja, Uganda’s adventure capital.
Experience authentic rural Africa, riding through traditional Ugandan villages, wonderful sugar cane and tea plantations and vast open farmland. Uganda is the perfect destination for those looking for something off the beaten track and caters for families, couples or the intrepid solo traveller. While they can take riders with less experience, it is most enjoyable for intermediate and above riders who enjoy hours of fast paced riding over ever-changing terrain.
For the more adventurous explorers, you can combine a horse riding vacation here with trekking through the misty mountains in search of the iconic mountain gorillas and curious chimpanzees. We can also arrange an overland trip to visit some of the National Parks to see other incredible wildlife – the possibilities are endless.
Safari, landscape and wildlife
Uganda is home to Africa’s tallest mountain range, the source of the iconic river Nile and some of the most diverse wildlife in Africa. For most the highlight is found trekking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, but you can also discover tree climbing lions in the Queen National Park and inquisitive chimps in Kibale Forest. While you won’t be able to track the gorillas on horseback, riding through the misty Mabira rain-forests gives you the chance to come face to face with mischievous Mangabey monkeys as well as 9 of their curious cousins. With countless bird species and butterflies, the forests offer unique riding tours.
Wake up to the warm, rich aroma of the world-renowned coffee grown on your doorstep before seeing where it is cultivated. When riding in Uganda, the dirt roads through the pristine farmlands are perfect for an adrenaline filled gallop before a cooling horseback swim in the river. While most associate the Nile with ancient Egypt, explorers traced the source back to the lush green valleys of Uganda. Horse riding along the longest river in the world allows you to travel back in time and should be a bucket list experience for any adventure enthusiast. This incredible force of nature has changed landscapes and created an African Eden waiting to be explored on horseback.
The people and culture of Uganda
Uganda has transformed itself from a country with a troubled past to one of understated prosperity. Riding in Uganda you will see a diverse culture influenced with hints of Asia, India and Europe – but holding on to their rich African traditions. A horse riding vacation means you can immerse yourself in the rural Ugandan culture as you ride through colourful villages, with wide-eyed children following in the horse’s wake. Many guests choose to visit the local schools, explore the craft markets and try the traditional food, filled with rich African flavour.
Accommodation on your Uganda Horse Safari
Trail riding through the Ugandan countryside allows you to explore the diverse range of unique and memorable lodges. From eco-friendly hotels with breath-taking panoramic views of the River Nile to secluded cabins set deep within the magical Mabira rain-forest. The highlight for many is spending a few nights on a remote island in the middle of the Nile – only reached by boat and with rapids all around, this surreal lodge is straight out of a fantasy novel.
Many of the lodges in Uganda offer a large range of adventure activities to compliment your horseback riding holiday; from serene nature walks and picnics for the romantics, to wild water rafting, bungee jumping and jet boating for the adventure junkies. With relatively low tourist numbers, this is a haven for those looking for a unique African adventure.
How safe is Uganda?
Uganda is generally a safe and stable country. When in Entebbe, use the same precautions that you would in any town or city. When you venture out on your horse safari, you will be in rural areas where even petty crime is a rare occurrence. From the moment you step off the plane, you will have a team of qualified local guides to ensure you experience the warm Ugandan hospitality.
Can I combine a horse safari with gorilla trekking?
Yes! Uganda is perfect for those searching for something off the beaten track – horse riding and gorilla trekking offer just that! Your horse riding safari starts and ends in Entebbe, as does the gorilla trekking. From Entebbe it is a short flight to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where your primate adventure begins. Chat to us about extending your stay in Uganda.
Can I swim on horseback in the River Nile?
Swimming with your horse is a highlight of the Nile River Horse Safari. Start a morning at the Haven Lodge with a horse ride down to the sandy beach and swimming bareback through the swirling waters of the Nile River – a bucket list experience!
Can I see the big 5 in Uganda?
While Uganda is best known for incredible gorilla and chimpanzee encounters, it offers so much more. Queen Elizabeth National Park is the best reserve in the country for wildlife diversity and famous tree-climbing lions, and Murchison Falls National Park for large herds of elephant, giraffe and buffalo. Due to poaching in the past, rhino can only be found in sanctuaries and by going on a horse safari in Uganda, you directly contribute to saving these tubby unicorns. Chat to us about visiting these local parks.
How far in advance do I need to book my horse safari in Uganda?
We generally recommend booking equestrian safaris at least 6 months to a year in advance. If you would like to combine your horseback riding with gorilla trekking, we would need to check whether there are permits available for your time-frame – these are very popular and sometimes sell out up to a year in advance, so this is not a trip you can book spontaneously.