Horse Riding Zambia
If you’re looking to go on your first horse riding adventure in Africa, Zambia is the place to do it. On the banks of the Zambezi River you’ll find the seasonal floodplains of the Simalaha reserve, home to large herds of wildebeest, zebra, lechwe, puku, impala, waterbuck, giraffe and buffalo. At the present time, there are no real predators or elephants, so riders of all abilities can experience the magic of a horseback riding holiday. With small numbers, this area is perfect for groups of mixed ability and can be tailor-made for family horse riding holidays.
Simalaha provides a unique way to experience and appreciate the magnificent beauty of the Zambian wilderness. This authentic and rural adventure takes you off the beaten track, leaving only hoofprints behind as you explore the ancient lands. Here you can immerse yourself in the wilderness, meeting local people and observing wildlife in a safe environment. All trail rides in Zambia are led by expert local guides, passionate about the bush who take great pride in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with you.
Zambia’s Safari, Landscape and Wildlife
Experience some of Southern Africa’s wildest and most remote destinations and embrace the raw beauty of Zambia’s vast reserves, far away from any crowds. Over 30 percent of the country is dedicated to some of the worlds largest and most diverse national parks. Much of the country’s appeal lies in its remoteness: a rugged wilderness, far less explored than its busier neighbours. A horse safari in Zambia has to be complemented with a trip to the incredible Victoria Falls. A wide curtain of thundering water and the place to go in Zambia for all types of adventure activities – there’s little wonder why it’s known as the adrenalin capital of Africa, and one of the seven wonders of the world.
Zambia offers a range of riding terrain including vast open plains, bright mopane forest and dense acacia woodlands, all of which are home to a wide array of animal species. The flat terrain of Simalaha is ideal for endless canters as the annual floods renew the ground. Small tributaries wind through the landscapes on their way back to the Zambezi River and the region is alive with all manner of birds as well as the plains game. Zebra, wildebeest, impala and puku graze peacefully in harmony, inquisitive but not afraid of the horses that ride by. As there are no large predators in this conservancy, this is a great wildlife-focused horse riding adventure in a safe environment.
Zambia offers vast reserves are home to an abundance of elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, lion, zebra and various antelope species. The Lower Zambezi is the perfect peaceful retreat with picturesque riverside lodges, you can watch local wildlife such as elephants and hippos from your balcony. South Luangwa National Park in east Zambia has a worldwide reputation for its incredible diversity of wildlife and the phenomenal density of game that gathers at the park’s lakes and rivers. Down by the dusty river beds, huge herds of elephant, hippo and buffalo can be seen alongside well-fed pride of lion, graceful giraffes and the ever-watchful Nile crocodiles. And for an untamed but exceptional game drive, Kafue National Park is worth the trip. This almost unknown gem is not on many travellers’ radar, but it’s home to an abundance of game and birds.
During their stay, guests have the opportunity to get a privileged insight into the local way of Zambian life. Where possible, everything at the camps and lodges is locally sourced including the furniture; handcrafted from beautiful, bright and colourful fabrics. Most of the staff are local and provide guests with a unique insight into the ways of life, local traditions and unique legends around the campfire.
Visits to villages enable guests to meet the friendly locals, where you can see their beautifully built traditional mud style homes and even learn a few local beer brewing techniques! Or for avid (or aspirational!) anglers, how about learning the secrets of the river from a local fisherman in a truly unique, bucket list experience.
We have carefully selected camps and lodges that are small, unique and personal. You’ll experience some of Southern Africa’s wildest and remote destinations, but you’ll be far from roughing it. Home to the highest percentage of family-run lodges and safari operators in Africa, Zambia offers unique and intimate camps with fantastic game viewing in largely unvisited conservation areas. With accommodation made up of rustic seasonal canvas tents or traditional wood and reeds, you can really feel connected to nature during your Zambian Safari stay. You can expect friendly and attentive service, great local food and some of the best safari guides in Africa.
With bespoke en-suite safari tents in a beautifully peaceful remote camp, this rustic, eco-friendly accommodation has just the right balance of luxury and locality, situated off the beaten track with spectacular views over the flats, for a truly immersive Simalaha safari experience. Combine your Simalaha camp stay with a few nights in the Chundukwa lodges. Ideally located just a stone’s throw away from the mighty Victoria Falls, you can enjoy your own luxury chalet with a private deck overlooking the Zambezi River.
Beyond Horse Safaris
Beyond the horse safari, there are lots of amazing activities to experience on your holiday in Zambia. Whether you’re on a family vacation, a romantic honeymoon or a solo sabbatical, there’s something for everyone.
Victoria Falls is one you have to tick off your bucket list, one of the seven wonders of the world, this is a trip for anyone to enjoy. Make sure you take a dip in the Devil’s Pool right at the top if you’re feeling brave enough. If you’re feeling adventurous, the white water rafting down the Zambezi river might float your boat. If a scenic cruise sounds more your style then hop aboard a sunset Zambezi River Cruise. Helicopter rides over Victoria Falls offer a once in a lifetime experience, with unbeatable views across one of the world’s greatest natural sights and is the perfect add on to any African Horse Safari adventure.
Combine your Simalaha horse safari with other destinations in Zambia to tick everything off your bucket list. For a more traditional safari experience, head to South Luangwa, known as the highlight of east Zambia. The infamous walking safaris see experienced guides take guests on a stroll through the wilderness, in a truly immersive and unique safari experience. In the Lower Zambezi, canoe safaris are a fantastic way to get close to crocodiles, hippos, elephants and waterbuck with a truly unique vantage point and insight into the meaning of Big game.
1. What animals can you see from horseback in Zambia?
Zambia has an exceptional range of wildlife to discover on your horseback safari. Here you can ride alongside Africa’s plains game including wildebeest, zebra, lechwe, puku, impalas, waterbuck, giraffe, buffalo and more.
2. Is it safe to do a horse safari in the Simalaha reserve?
With exceptional local guides that are proud to share all of their knowledge with you and well-trained horses, you are in safe hands on your horseback safari in Zambia. In the Simalaha conservancy, there are no large predators, so it is safe to ride and discover the wildlife that can be seen out on trails, grazing in harmony across open floodplains.
3. When is the best time to visit Zambia?
The dry season in Zambia is between June and November and is typically known as the peak safari season. Horse safaris are seasonal in Simalaha, running from July to January. The dry season brings a hot and dry climate but the game viewing is phenomenal. It’s also a great time to tick the Devil’s Pool off your bucket list! The first rains arrive in late November and the landscape is transformed into a green oasis with vibrant summer birds and an abundance of newborn animals dotting the plains.
4. How do I get to my horse safari in Zambia?
International flights arrive at either Livingstone Airport or Victoria Falls Airport. From the airport, we arrange a road transfer to the river edge where you’ll hop aboard a motorboat that will take you to the start of your horse riding adventure. It’s easy to combine your horse safari with other destinations if you want to explore more of what Africa has to offer and we can assist with any onward travel and transfers.
5. What level of rider do I need to be to go on a horse safari in Zambia?
Our horse safari in Zambia is suitable for all riding levels. With no big game, it is the perfect location for groups with mixed riding abilities or nervous riders. Horse safaris can be completely tailor-made for multi-generational travellers and families with children. And experienced riders can still enjoy long days in the saddle and fast, fun riding on the open plains.
6. What vaccinations do I need for Zambia?
It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or visit a travel clinic 6-8 weeks before travelling to Zambia. Malaria can occur in Zambia, so it is important you get advice on medication available and potential side effects. We’ll send you a list of other recommendations such as Typhoid, Hepatitis and Tetanus.
7. Can I see Victoria Falls while on safari in Zambia?
Absolutely, Zambia is a great place to see Victoria Falls as around a third of the waterfall lies on the Zambian side. One of the best vantage points from which to view Victoria Falls is from Livingstone Island. Here you will find the Devil’s Pool, located on the top of the falls that offers an amazing bathing experience on the very edge of the falls. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe and you’ll have an experienced guide with you on your trip!