Why a horse safari the perfect family vacation
A trip to Africa will give your family a life-changing experience. Modern-day life tends to be non-stop and it is often hard to find time to bond with your loved ones. In Africa, time moves slower and you can reconnect with your family in a natural environment. Here you can share a common love of horses in a unique setting. Our lodge-based rides in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania have an abundance of exciting safari activities for kids of all ages. The lodges are set-up for family holidays; offering private dining, kids activities and child minding to give parents some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Riding levels for your family horse riding holiday
Lodges like Ants Nest and Horizon Ranch have a range of horses and ponies catering to both novice and experienced child riders. There are pony rides around the lodge for the little ones. Riding lessons to give more nervous riders the chance to improve their confidence in the saddle. Novice and advanced children riders can join their parents on horse rides with plains game such as antelope, zebra and giraffe in South Africa. More experienced kids will enjoy trying their hand at jumping, polocrosse, and mounted games – Often the adults join in the fun!
Very experienced children over 12 will be able to ride with their families or parents to experience the magic of Africa on horseback on one of our ‘big game’ trails. In the Kalahari Desert, the wide-open spaces offer the perfect place for riders of all ages and abilities to feel the freedom of a horseback adventure. At Borana Lodge or Ol Donyo in Kenya, more experienced children can join longer rides on the open plains.
Eswatini and Egypt can offer intermediate teenagers the chance to join their parents for a weeklong trail ride. For expedition-like mobile safaris in Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania, the distances are too far for inexperienced riders. But we can create custom-made itineraries where non-riders will be driven between camps in a game drive vehicle.
Family-friendly beach riding escapes
Mozambique and South Africa’s Wild Coast offer exciting beach escapes for the perfect family holiday. You can easily combine a riding safari with a few days of sunshine and splashy canters. In Mozambique, relax in a tropical paradise. Make family memories riding along the white sands, enjoying beach canters and horseback swims in the warm turquoise waters.
In contrast, the Wild Coast is true to its name and offers remote beaches and lush forests to explore on horseback. This untamed area is ideal for a family adventure – blue skies, clear water and incredible horse riding. Children can also learn about natural horsemanship and often fall deeply in love with their ponies.
Child-friendly activities on safari
Many lodges are well set-up with families in mind and have unique activities especially for them. Not only are there swimming pools and games to keep them entertained, but some lodges even have reptile shows, bicycles and archery. For the little ones, there are pony rides, nature-inspired arts and crafts, and interpretive walks around the lodge. Guides will teach them the basics of wildlife and birds in the area through fun games and activities.
For older kids and teenagers, the guides will teach them bushcraft, animal tracking and survival skills. For those that are interested, they can see the conservation projects and meet the rangers. At night, star gazing and storytelling around the fire are always a highlight. It is amazing how quickly kids fall in love with the bush – with many conservationists born on safari.
Activities for non-riding family members
In cases where some members of the family who do not wish to ride on holiday there are other interesting activities. Most lodge-based horse safaris can easily cater to non-riding partners, friends, and children. Even some of the riding guests like to have a break from the saddle.
Many lodges offer informative and exciting game drives for epic wildlife photography as well as guided walks to hone your tracking skills. In Kenya, spend an afternoon with the Masai warriors and take part in traditional games. A safari in the Okavango Delta offers tranquil mokoro (canoe) safaris or thrilling helicopter flights over the wetlands. Get up close and personal with the meerkats in the Makgadikgadi pans and sleep out under the stars. And for the bicycle enthusiasts, how about cycling through the wilderness in South Africa, Botswana or Kenya?