Damaraland Horse Riding Safari

10 nights: USD $GBP £5800EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing

EMBARK ON ONE OF OUR MOST CHALLENGING & REWARDING EXPEDITION RIDES

Over 20 years of experience has led to the creation of the ultimate horse-riding safari set to the backdrop of Namibia’s endless landscapes.

These true adventures take you through some of the most unique and breathtaking desert landscapes on earth. You will take on the challenge aboard super fit, responsive and impressively sure-footed horses. There are close to 80 horses of varying types available; ranging from Arab, Trakehner/Cross, Hanoverian, Boerperd and ranch horses.

Virtually inaccessible, the Damaraland of Namibia is a fascinating and spectacular setting for an unforgettable horse riding safari. Ancient craters and prehistoric remnants dot the absurdly wide and distant horizons and these ancient landscapes are painted with contrastingly delicate and detailed patterns of colour. This is true wilderness; out in the middle of these remote primeval lands, stretching out in all directions as far as the eye can see and with only the African wildlife for company. This horse riding holiday will take you from the Twyfelfontein to Cape Cross on the forbidding Skeleton Coast with its musuem of shipwrecks that dot the beaches – a journey you will never forget. The safari is unsuitable for inexperienced riders as you may encounter elephant, rhino and even lion (if you’re lucky!) along the way adding to the thrill of the adventure for those who are confident in the saddle!

Strong bonds are built with your fellow riders and horse as you tackle the adventure together and you are responsible for grooming and tacking up your own steed. The luggage is transported via a truck which then sets up camp (see ‘Accommodation and Logistics’ for more detail). A tent can be constructed however most prefer to embrace the unforgettable opportunity of sleeping out under the stunning stars of the big African sky.

The day will usually begin at sunrise with departure generally by 8am. Riders will usually be in the saddle for around 4-5 hours before lunch, lunch break between 1-3 hours and then another 2-3 hours riding in the afternoon. You will average 20-60km per day over all types of terrain, some of the riding is tough and will require a good sense of humour on the odd testing moments necessary in any adventure.

CURRENCY CONVERTER

At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly

USDGBPEURZARAUD

DATES AND RATES

Please enquire for availability – limited spots available

2024 RATES

24 July - 03 August 2024

04 - 14 September 2024

USD $GBP £5800EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing

2025 RATES

30 July - 09 August 2025

10 - 20 September 2025

USD $GBP £6200EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing

EXTRAS – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

2024: USD $GBP £190EUR €ZAR RAUD $ for lodge accommodation

2025: USD $GBP £200EUR €ZAR RAUD $ for lodge accommodation


EXTRA HORSE

2024: USD $GBP £800EUR €ZAR RAUD $ for riders over 85kg

2025: USD $GBP £850EUR €ZAR RAUD $ for riders over 85kg

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Includes

  • Accommodation throughout the trip (lodge and camping)
  • Delicious meals three times a day and drinks while on the ride
  • Personal and expert guide throughout the trip
  • A well trained, fit four-legged friend to escort you on your adventure
  • Ground transfers from Windhoek International Airport to starting point of the ride and return transfer to central Windhoek or Windhoek International airport on the day of departure
  • A trip to the World Heritage site – the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Visas
  • Extra horse charge for riders 85kg and over in riding gear – For our horses’ sake, please be accurate regarding weight and level of fitness
  • Personal drinks and refreshments at all lodges, restaurants, and petrol stations en route
  • Accommodation and transfers not listed on the itinerary
  • Safari staff gratuities
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QUICK FACTS

Location: Damaraland, Namibia
Airport: Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport
Month: July – August
Duration: 10 Nights
Group Size: Max 12
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus & Advanced
Weight Limit: 90kg / 200lbs (Extra cost for riders over 85kg)
Accommodation: Sleepout / Guesthouse
Solo Traveller Friendly: Yes. No single supplement if happy to share
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SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
10 nights: USD $GBP £5800EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing

CURRENCY CONVERTER

At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly

USDGBPEURZARAUD

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the Rock Engravings at Twyfelfontien, a World Heritage Site.
  • The chance to encounter unique desert-adapted elephant and rhino.
  • Spectacular landscapes and dramatic geological formations.
  • A horse riding safari to experience one of the precious few last true wildernesses.
  • Enjoy some faster riding across wide plains and embracing a true sense of freedom.
  • Spending each night sleeping under the vast African sky.

TOUR REVIEWS

We rode about 330km through the most stunning and ever changing Damaraland landscape. Seeing desert elephants from horseback, galloping through Star Wars scenes in the desert and ending up at the striking Skeleton Coast. Best part of this ride was meeting so many wonderful people, turned friends. And of course, my soulhorse Muchacho. It feels like I only blinked once and then it was over… Guess I’m ready to go back (again and again and again!)

Hannah Van SlootenDamaraland Horse Safari - Namibia
READ MORE REVIEWS

SAMPLE ITINERARY

** Provided below is a sample itinerary however guests must be aware that due to the adventurous nature of the ride, timings and routes can vary. All variations and changes to the itinerary will always be in your best interests. The expected saddle time each day ranges between 5 to 8 hours, covering 20-50km and over varying terrain.

Note that this is a challenging ride with the possibility of encountering big game so not for inexperienced riders. It is however undeniably the ride
of a lifetime and possibly why many of our guests come back for more year after year.

Camp life has a leisurely pace – days begin at sunrise with the aroma of freshly brewed 100% Arabica coffee wafting through camp. After an ample breakfast
we start riding around 8 am for 4 – 5 hours. Lunch breaks are 1 – 2 hours, followed by another 2 – 3 hours riding in the afternoon.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL & OVERNIGHT WINDHOEK

You will fly into Windhoek International Airport where you will be met and transferred to a guesthouse just outside Windhoek. Over dinner you will be introduced to the rest of your fellow riders and be briefed about what to expect on your adventure!

DAY 2: DRIVE TO TWYFELFONTEIN

Day two starts with an early breakfast and then the exciting journey north (approximately 7 hour transit including a stop on the way for lunch) to our camp in the Aba Huab river. In the afternoon we visit the World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein with its 5000 year-old petroglyphs. Rock art played an important role in ritual practice among southern African hunter-gatherer communities.  Painting and engraving traditions developed over the last 20,000 years into a highly sophisticated way of expressing complex beliefs about the supernatural world. These are some of the best preserved engravings in Africa.

After your adventure, enjoy your first night under the stars.  Elephant sometimes walk through camp at night….light sleepers be warned!

DAY 3-6: THE RIVERS

On the morning of Day 3, you will start to get to know your trusted mount and find your ‘hooves’. With the rising sun at our back, you begin our westward journey to the distant Atlantic. In these ephemeral river systems, the cycles of rainfall dictate the seasonal movement of game which is not concentrated, but we can encounter elephants, rhino, oryx, springbok, and other desert-adapted game. The ride will take you through the sandy, open plains of Abu-Huab – ideal for long canters – passing some of the fascinating rock formations for which the area is famous.

As you set off  across the plains, you might spot wildlife which has adapted to desert life, such as springbok, oryx and if you are lucky, whilst you are following the dry river beds dotted with Mopani trees, you might come across the quiet, yet magnificent, kudu or the odd ostrich. A light lunch is enjoyed in the shade by the riverbed before continuing to traverse the rocky and sandy undulating hills as you make for your camp by the Huab River. Here huge glacial valleys, impressive tableland mountains exhumed by erosion, folds and fractures resulting from cataclysmic eruptions present a well preserved snapshot of a land of great antiquity.

Meandering along the Huab River, the trail continues under the shade of the huge ‘Ana’ trees – a favourite food for desert elephants so keep your eyes peeled! You will ride out across the land, aiming for Mikberg which will lead you to the lunch stop at ‘cheetah tree’ – it doesn’t take much imagination to work out what you might spot here. After lunch there is a long ride across the watershed which offers breathtaking views. The camp in the Huab will be carefully selected to provide an excellent place from which to admire the impressive colours of the Brandberg (Burning Mountain), Namibia’s highest mountain. From the Huab you will cross the mountains to the Ugab river valley, staying overnight at Save The Rhino’s campsite on the banks of the river

DAY 7: ONTO THE PLAINS

Riding out and greeting the African morning, you will find yourself weaving through reeds and kori bush thickets as you navigate the banks of the Ugab all the way to the open gravel plains. After lunch you will leave the Ugab River and make your way up a large gorge with spectacular rock formations. Camp is in a great spot, beautifully shaded and the perfect rest stop after a long day.

DAY 8-10: GREAT PLAINS

Leaving the river valley’s we now cross the vastness of open plains with the striking massive of the Brandberg (burning mountain) forming a dramatic backdrop. Here endless plains allow for some fast-paced riding as we approach the dramatic Messum Caldera, the eroded remains of a massive collapsed volcano. Sometimes you’ll follow animals tracks where the ground is stony, riding up ridges to get breathtaking views of the pains below. Camp is always set up in a scenic remote spot.

Our last ride takes us across huge desert plains to the ocean at last – the spectacularly formidable Skeleton Coast, apparently so called for the wrecked hulks of stranded ships whichdot this coastline. The cold upwelling Benquela current results in some diverse weather conditions from hot desert easterlies to cold south Atlantic westerlies and fog – a place of extremes! You overnight in the small coastal town of Henties Bay in a wonderful private house with the most spectacular view over the Atlantic Ocean

DAY 11: DEPARTURE

After a bit of a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast, you will be transferred to Windhoek for your departing flight (after 15h00). If you have extra time in Africa, extend your stay to visit the high dunes and desolated valleys of Sossusvlei, the wildlife of Etosha National Park, or travel further to South Africa or Botswana.

THE ACCOMMODATION

SLEEPOUT

Most guests choose to sleep out under the glorious southern stars – a very special experience. Large dome tents can be provided if required (two people sharing unless paying single supplement). Camp beds are supplied with a warm bedroll consisting of a canvas bag containing an insulating mattress, down duvet and pillow. You are welcome to add a fleece liner to the sleeping role if you feel you might get cold. Desert nights can drop below 0°C so if you feel the cold then it is worth bringing your own sleeping bag and/or fleece liner. Hot bucket showers are available at most camps; toilets are available at all overnight camps.

GUESTHOUSES

On the nights stated in your safari itinerary, you will stay in comfortable lodges, with twin-bedded rooms and en-suite facilities. While most guests are happy to share twin accommodation (or tent if required), on booking it is possible to request single accommodation – subject to availability and a supplementary charge. On the first night, you’ll stay at River Crossing Lodge which is just outside of Windhoek, and in Henties Bay, it will be a beach house near the Atlantic Ocean.

THE DESTINATION

Damaraland

Namibia with its stark and striking landscapes will take your breath away. The Damaraland is one of the most spectacular ancient landscapes in the world and what better way to explore it than from the back of a horse. The desert is home to a surprising variety of wildlife, all adapted in exceptionally special and interesting ways to survive such harsh environments. Traversing this sparse, wide and varying terrain will give you a sense of adventure very difficult to rival and a spectacular horse riding safari.

HOW WE CARE FOR OUR HORSES

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Namibia Horse Safaris are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:

  • Between safaris the horses live out in thousands of hectares of natural bush in herds of up to 100, forming natural social bonds
  • They do 10-night safari every six weeks between April and late October. All horses spend the remaining four/five summer months out in the bush
  • While on safari, horses are fed and groomed, with a mini vetting at the end of the day. There are several spare horses to give the youngsters a rest
  • We use simple snaffle bridles or bit-less bridles where possible and each horse has its allotted bridle and specially designed saddle for the duration of the safari, which are cleaned daily

Please let us know if you have any more questions about this.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A HORSE SAFARI

Fill in the form on our website/social media describing your dream African Horse Safari

A Horse Safari Specialists will get in touch to help you plan the perfect escape

Confirm your ride and dates by paying your deposit

We’ll send you a reminder for your balance payment + travel advice

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