Chyulu Hills and Masai Mara Riding Safari
Horse riding in some of Kenya's most spectacular landscapes
Riding in the Chyulu Hills and the Masai Mara
Enjoy 3 to 7 night horseback safaris in Kenya’s stunning Chyulu hills or across the world famous Maasai Mara. On the other hand…you could experience both! With the 8 and 6 night Combo Safari which joins the two spectacular destinations. Both destinations combine perfectly with non-riders as they have a multitude of extra non-riding activities. See these in the itinerary section.
Chyulu Hills Lodge-Based
Unrestricted by roads and vehicles, you will forge your path through the diverse landscapes that Kenya has to offer. Tuning yourself to the rhythm of your horse and the surrounding bush, taking in its awe inspiring natural beauty. You will be more likely to cross the tracks of a pride of lion than that of a human!
Set in the heart of the Chyulu hills, between Tsavo and Amboseli, you will ride along old elephant paths and encounter some of the magnificent tuskers that make this such a special destination.
The varied terrain makes for fantastic riding, combining trails up into the volcanic Chyulu Hills and the Wild Olive Tree groves where you may glimpse a shy herd of hartebeest. Each ride set to the stunning backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro on the skyline. Down in the wide open grass plains, ride among inquisitive Maasai giraffe, herds of zebra, wildebeest and antelope such as the eland, impala, oryx and Grant’s gazelle. You may even see cheetah relaxing in the shade of a nearby tree.
In the evenings and during the heat of the day relax in the luxury of the lodge with views for miles over the plains and to Kilimanjaro in the distance.
Masai Mara Lodge-Based
Enjoy the Masaai Mara on its own or if you take on the combo package, then this makes up the second half of your Kenyan horseback adventure.
Home to the world famous Great Migration, the Maasai Mara is one for the bucket list.
Let your horse take you on an adventure across rivers, ravines and the tree dotted plains that are abundant with the plains game that attracts so many of Africa’s most impressive wildlife such as elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena and wild dog.
The luxuriously comfortable tented-camp is built on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River in the north-central section of the Maasai Mara where a thick forest meets the seemingly unending savannah. Famous for its big cat sightings, the camp is situated in prime leopard country and where the migration crosses almost in front of camp.
Witness over a million wildebeest and 300,000 zebra make the the treacherous journey from the Serengeti into the Mara. This will be an unforgettable journey where you can expect the unexpected.
You shall be mounted on some of Kenya’s finest horses who are all well schooled and sensible when riding through the bush and amongst the wildlife. Horses vary from 15hh to 17hh and breeds include Thoroughbreds, Friesian crosses, Percheron and Somali to name a few!
- Ride among some of Kenya's famous big elephant tuskers
- Experience the thrill of watching the Great Migration first hand - (season dependent)
- Ride in two of the Kenyas most iconic landscapes
- Shorter stays available and possible to combine with non-riders
- Arrival and Departure From Nairobi airport
- Length 3 - 7 nights at each property or 8/6 night combos; 4/3 spent in the Chyulus, 4/3 in the Maasai Mara
- When Open all year round. No set departure dates
- Rates Starting from $690pppn or Combo Safaris from $4,740 not including flights, transfers and conservancy fees
- Riding Level You will be riding in areas with dangerous game so a strong intermediate to advanced riding level is required
Ol Donyo and the Chyulus
275,000 acres of immaculate, private wild African wilderness that borders the the Chyulu Hills National Park. Ol Donyo Lodge is a blend of contemporary design with the rich culture and history of the Maasai people of the area.
With over 1 million acres – including 2 national parks – through which to ride, this concession is one of the largest in Africa. The area is home to a wonderfully wild and untouched ecosystem with a variety of terrains. From vast plains, dense acacia forests and of course the Chyulu Hill for which the area is named. During your stay you may come across some of the 38 species of game found on the reserving, including the world-famous Big Five.
The Maasai Mara, in south-west Kenya is one of Africa’s greatest treasures. Together with the Serengeti it provides important habitat and sanctuary for Africa’s most spectacular wildlife. The Mara has one of the most diverse eco-systems in Africa with almost 100 species of mammal and over 570 species of birds. In total, the Masai Mara National Reserve covers 1510sqkm.
The Mara has a magic that is very difficult to rival. This true African bush, with its wide open plains and teeming wildlife, will form the idyllic setting for an unforgettable ride of a lifetime.
- Example Day 1: Ol Donyo - Chyulu Hills Wake up on a stunning African morning, and ride up into the hills that form the back-drop to this stunning lodge. Reach the top of one of the hills and take in the spectacular panoramic views from this lush green hilltop.
The morning ride is a longer ride, sometimes taking up to 4 hours. On morning's with 4 hours rides a packed breakfast will be carried in saddle-bags. You will need to keep your eyes peeled for the elephants, giraffe, eland and antelope which dot the landscape.
If you would like a break from a saddle-filled morning, you can spend the afternoon enjoying a massage, or watching game from the hide are near the lodge waterholes. From here you can watch the wildlife coming and going as they take their afternoon 'sundowners'.
Those that haven't got enough of riding, are able to go on a shorter evening ride.
Take an early supper in order to set-out in time for a night game drive. Searching for all those creatures that only come out after dark.
- Example Day 2: Ol Donya - Chyulu Hills After rising with the sun, and enjoying a delicious breakfast, ride out early for a long ride through this wonderful scenery. Pulling in mid-morning for a divine cooked 'bush breakfast', set-up in the shade of an acacia tree with the horses tethered nearby. Keeping your eyes and ears open for wildlife along the way.
Return to camp for lunch and a siesta before saddling up and heading out towards Crater Camp for the afternoon. After 2 hours of riding up into the famous Chyulu Hills, you will reach a secluded campsite that is nestled into a beautiful cedar forest.
A fabulous day to combine with non-riders who travel from Ol Donyo by vehicle, arriving in the camp in time to climb the nearby volcanic crater. Search for the rare Verreaux’s Eagle which builds it's nest in the jagged out crops. The area is full of interesting nooks and crannies to explore.
Sip sundowners as you unwind in this quiet and peaceful campsite, spending the evening sat round the campfire telling stories and soaking up the magic of Africa. Enjoy a slightly more 'rustic; evening in comfortable bell tents, with bedrolls, and hot showers are provided.
- Fly-Camp Ol Donyo - Chyulu Hills Ol Donyo Lodge’s fly camping experience in the Kenyan wilderness is created for riders and non-riders alike.
2 guests minimum and 6 guests maximum
Yurt-style bell tents with bed rolls, full linen, hot
showers and inner around the camp fire
Not available March – May, November and over Christmas and New Year
No additional charge for this experience
Available as part of a standard 4-night stay
Must be booked in advance at the time of reservation
- Extra Activities: Ol Donyo - Chyulu Hills Guided bush walks
Hill hikes and exploration of extinct volcanoic lava tubes
Game viewing drives
Night game viewing drives
Cultural villages visits (additional charge)
Anti-poaching tracker dog experience (additional charge)
Amboseli day trip (additional charge)
Scenic Kilimanjaro flight (additional charge)
- Example Day: Masaai Mara - Mara Expedition Camp Set out each morning for a 2 hour ride which is likely to take you passed a huge variety of wildlife such as giraffe, elephant, zebra, many types of antelope and possibly even some big cats! Keep your eyes peeled as you canter across these stunning 'Out of Africa' wide open plains.
Return to camp for a delicious lunch and siesta before heading out once more in the afternoon for a jaw-dropping sundowner ride. If you would like a break from the saddle, opt for an afternoon game drive instead.
Dinner will be taken at camp before you snuggle into your deliciously soft bed, surrounded by the sounds of the African bush
Open all year round
The Below rates are based per person for an eight night safari not including flights and, transfers and Park fees.
We also offer 3 to 5 night packages at both lodges. Please enquire for nightly rates – Rates starting from $520pppn!
June – October from $9,380 per person
November – 19th December from $4,740 per person – ( 4 for price of 3 deal )
20th December – 10th January (festive period) from $9,380 per person
*Domestic flying costs and park fees from $1,165
11 January – March from $6,177 p/person (4 for 3)
April – May from $5,370 p/person (4 for 3)
1- 14 June from $7,160 p/person
15 June – October from $10,576 p/person
November – 19 December from $7,160 p/person
*Domestic flying costs and park fees from $1,237
For the first four nights of your trip you will be based from Ol Donyo Lodge, a stunning location situated on a hillside with views that stretch out over the plains to Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance.
The lodge is comprised of a series of suites and villas where the design is a blend of contemporary and rustic accommodation, merging with the landscape on either side of the luxuriously comfortable lounge and dining area. All of the rooms have their own plunge pool and the use of a private roof terrace where “star beds” can be set up, allowing guests to sleep under a canopy of endless stars.
Enjoy a change of scenery in a luxury tented camp in the Mara, the perfect blend of comfort and adventure in the camp’s five tents each beautifully decorates with rich textiles and soft cottons.The superbly situated camp offers you the chance to witness first-hand the beauty and serenity of the African wilderness from your verandah.
Prior to their first ride, riders will be required to take a short riding assessment in an arena to ensure you are happy with your horse and equipment.