Why a horse safari is perfect for a 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 really appreciate your loved ones. In Africa, time moves slower and you can reconnect with your family in a natural and exciting setting. Some lodges allow children of all ages to join their parents on all game viewing activities, so you can witness their first encounters with wildlife. Many lodges in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Kenya have an abundance of exciting safari activities for kids of all ages and can even offer private dining and child minding to give parents some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Why horse-riding holidays are great for non-riders
Africa is often the perfect place for non-riders to get their first experience of the wonders of horseback adventures. In areas where there is no big game, novice riders can encounter giraffe, zebra and antelope on horseback. While we would love to get everyone as addicted to horse riding as we are, we know that not everyone is keen to leap onto the back of a horse. In Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, non-riders can still have an incredible safari experience from open vehicles and on foot. Families or couples, where some ride and others don’t, can enjoy separate activities and meet up for meals and sundowners. Sitting around the campfire at night catching up on the day’s adventures is the perfect way to reconnect with loved ones.
Other activities on Safari
Most lodge-based trail rides can easily cater to non-riding spouses, partners, friends, and children. Even some the riding guests like to have a break from the saddle and take advantage of the wide range of other activities on offer. For the very little ones, they can do pony rides, nature-inspired arts and crafts, go on walks around the lodge and learn the basics of the wildlife and birds in the area. For the older kids, learning bushcraft, how to track animals and survival skills creates memories that will last a lifetime – with many conservationists born on safari.
Most lodges offer informative and exciting game drives for epic wildlife photography as well as guided walks to take in the smaller creatures and hone your tracking skills. In Kenya, spend an afternoon with the Massai warriors and take part in traditional games. The Okavango Delta offers tranquil mokoro safaris or thrilling helicopter flight over the wetlands. Get up close and personal with the meerkats in the Makgadikgadi pans and sleep under the stars. In Egypt, while riders gallop across the open plains, non-riders can spend time exploring the desert on a quad bike or take in the sights of Cairo or Luxor. And for the cycle enthusiasts, how about cycling through the wilderness in South Africa and Botswana?
In areas where there is no big game such as in parts of South Africa, many of the lodges will have a range of horses and ponies catering to both the novice and experienced rider. Children under four will be led on a pony in and around the lodge area as they are too young to go out on the trail rides. Children over 12 may be able to ride with their families as a group to experience the magic of Africa on horseback. On some rides in South Africa and Kenya, novice and Intermediate adult riders can join in on shorter horseback adventures. As there are always two guides on each ride, novices can often go out with their more competent partners without slowing the ride.
Less experienced riders will not be allowed to ride in areas with big game such as elephant, buffalo, lions and leopards such as in the Okavango Delta. Advanced riders may wish to ride twice daily and turn their stay into a pure riding safari or take a break from the saddle and join for an evening game drive or walk – the possibilities are endless! For expedition-like safaris and mobile safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, the distances are too far for inexperienced riders, but they will be driven between camps in a game drive vehicle, meeting up along the way to share meals and stories.