We consider riders to be intermediate if they have had a number of lessons, been riding for a fair amount of time and are balanced in the saddle. You are confident in controlling a sensible/quiet and responsive horse at all paces and in the outdoors. You can post/rise in the trot and canter with a balanced seat, but may not be quite used to riding for extended periods or confident at a faster pace.
Intermediate riders are usually more suited to lodge-based horse safaris or working holidays. If you are a novice or intermediate rider, we don’t recommend choosing a ride that is too challenging. You might become anxious, lose your confidence or hold up the rest of the group. But if you trust our team of safari experts to guide you to the right ride for your riding level, you’ll be able to gain so much confidence in the saddle during your horse riding holiday! If you have any doubts, then our lodge based rides are often the best place for your first horse safari, and we can guarantee you that it’s addictive!
If you are a less experienced horse rider we have some amazing horse safaris in areas that have abundant plains game such as giraffe, zebra, antelope and sometimes even rhino, but no lions or elephants. These options combine shorter trail rides with other activities such as game drives and nature walks and are great for less confident riders or groups with mixed ability. You will have a more laidback introduction to horse safaris and still get the thrill of horse riding in Africa.
Remember that riding out in the wilderness might be very different from what you’re used to in the area or back home. You’ll be on trail rides across various different terrains, often having to keep an eye out for animal holes and low hanging tree branches. The joy of horse riding in Africa is being able to get off the beaten path and follow the wildlife trails, which makes for some exciting riding! Even intermediate riders can get close to wildlife on horseback, and it’s a thrill to ride alongside a herd of zebras or gaze up at the beady eyes of a giraffe. And it’s a great incentive to improve your riding skills!
Most of the horses are English Trained, so we recommend that any Western riders take some lessons doing English riding. For intermediate riders, they will give you horses that are sensitive and happy to follow the rest of the herd. The trail horses do respond to neck reining in the bush, however, they are used to being ridden with contact which might be very different from what you’re used to. You will need to become accustomed to posting in the trot and we recommend practicing a two-point canter.