DAMARALAND HORSE RIDING SAFARI

10 Nights: £4 900

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One of Africa’s most exciting horse riding safaris, set to the backdrop of some of its most magnificent scenery.

Over 20 years of experience guiding horse riding safaris across the hauntingly beautiful Namibian landscapes, has led to the creation of the ultimate horse riding safaris for those who love all things wild and free.

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 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.

QUICK FACTS
Damaraland, Namibia
Windhoek Airport 
July / August
10 nights
Group Size: Max. 12
Minimum of 2 guests
Intermediate
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.
THE DESTINATION

Namibia with its stark and striking landscapes will take your breath away. The Damarland 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.

DATES & RATES

Please enquire for availability – limited spots available

23 Jun – 03 Jul 2021 / 20 Aug – 30 Aug 2021
£ 4 900 PP SHARING

Single supplement for lodge accommodation unless willing to share: £190
Extra Horse if over 85kg: £800

Includes

  • All riding needed to complete your adventure.
  • Accommodation throughout the trip.
  • 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 ride and return transfer to central Windhoek or Windhoek International airport on day of departure.
  • A trip to the World Heritage site – the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings.

Excludes

  • 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.
YOUR 8-DAY 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.

Day 1

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

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. Elephant sometimes walk through camp at night….light sleepers be warned!

Day 3

This morning you will start to get to know your trusted mount and find your ‘hooves’. With the rising sun at our back, we 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.

Day 4

As you set off today you will head west across the plains which are often inhabited with game 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.

Day 5

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. Tonight’s camp 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.

Day 6

Reluctantly you will move on from camp and head towards the Ugab River, pausing to gaze at the ancient remnants of the rock formations that have been eroded over time. In this wide open country you will get the chance to pick up the pace for some long canters before reaching the narrow gorge at Soutfontein (salt fountain). You will arrive at camp in time for a well-deserved drink before a delicious dinner. Tonight you have the opportunity to stay at Save the Rhino Campsite; a community run campsite for the ‘Save the Rhino Project’ founded as an anti-poaching organization.

Day 7

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 Brakwasser. 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

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.

Day 9

Enjoy exhilarating fast rides over endless barren plains as the air starts to cool. Today you get the first views of the Skeleton Coast as you ride through one of Namibia’s trademark landscapes – vast and rugged wilderness leading down to the craggy coast.

Day 10

After the now well practiced breakfast routine you will set off for your last ride that will take you to the ocean. Feeling a huge sense of achievement, you will reach the Skeleton Coast, so called for the formidable ship-wrecks that dot the coastline and create an eerie, surreal landscape.The cold upwelling Benquela current results in some diverse weather conditions from hot desert easterlies to cold south Atlantic westerlies and lots of fog – a place of extremes! We 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

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Windhoek, a journey which takes roughly 5-6 hours. If you are flying home the same day flights must depart after 15:00.

THE ACCOMMODATION

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.

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.

QUICK FACTS
Damaraland, Namibia
Windhoek Airport 
July / August
10 nights
Group Size: Max. 12
Minimum of 2 guests
Intermediate Plus & Advanced
View Gallery
10 Nights: £4 900 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
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.
DATES & RATES

Please enquire for availability – limited spots available

23 Jun – 03 Jul 2021 / 20 Aug – 30 Aug 2021
£ 4 900 PP SHARING

Single supplement for lodge accommodation unless willing to share: £190
Extra Horse if over 85kg: £800

Includes

  • All riding needed to complete your adventure.
  • Accommodation throughout the trip.
  • 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 ride and return transfer to central Windhoek or Windhoek International airport on day of departure.
  • A trip to the World Heritage site – the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings.

Excludes

  • 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.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

It was a great, amazing, cool, top experience to ride the Tuliblock in Botswana. 8 day's on a back of a horse and view a lot of game. The guides and staff were great. So I will come back!

Nicole PlasTuli Safari, Botswana
READ MORE REVIEWS

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 around this.

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