Masai Mara Horse Safari with Gordie Church

6 nights: From USD $7995GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing

EMBARK ON A TRUE “OUT OF AFRICA” EXPERIENCE IN THE MASAI MARA

It is a wonderful privilege to go on a safari with the legendary guide, Gordie Church, through one of Africa’s most iconic and spellbinding landscapes.

Gordie’s father, Tony Church, helped pioneer the idea of the long distance horse safari in the 1970’s and therefore we have him to thank for this spectacular ride we offer you. Two generations, with over 50 years experience, the Church’s offer exquisite and bespoke horseback riding safaris in Kenya.

This is a journey-of-a-lifetime as you traverse the Masai Mara plains, taking in the wonders of the African bush and all its wildlife. During the ‘great migration’, the Mara witnesses some 1.5 million wildebeest and 300,000 zebra journey from Tanzania, and the Serengeti Plains, towards Kenya’s Masai Mara. The spectacular setting is home not only to plains game but also attracts many of Africa’s most impressive wildlife such as; elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, and hyena.

Return to a ‘safari-of-old’, journeying in the style of Africa’s original pioneers and experiencing the freedom and joy of cantering across wide open plains, alongside the accompanying game. With unparalleled wildlife encounters, unbelievable riding, luxury tents, 5 star service, unimaginable scenery… this is the crème-de-la-crème of African horse safaris. The Church’s have over 25 horses who are loved, cherished and well schooled, to carry you safely through the private conservancies this ride uses.

Gordie has a great understanding of the landscapes, its resident wildlife, and the indigenous Masai people. Gordie and his wife Felicia run an extremely smooth operation which caters for any possible need or want – with many wonderful and thoughtful touches thrown in – allowing you to absorb the African wilderness in absolute comfort and contentment.

CURRENCY CONVERTER

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

USDGBPEURZARAUD

DATES AND RATES

These rides fill up very quickly, so please enquire about availability. The below safari prices are also applicable to private groups of 5 or more. If you would like a private safari organized for a smaller group then please get in touch for a quote and to check availability.

2024 RATES

8 NIGHT MASAI MARA RIDE

02 – 10 August 2024 (Fully Booked)

21 – 29 September 2024 (Fully Booked)

01 – 09 October 2024 (Fully Booked)

Other dates on request for private groups

USD $9300GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ + USD $1500GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ conservation fees = USD $10800GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


6 NIGHT MASAI MARA RIDE

05 – 11 September 2024

13 – 19 September 2024

Other dates on request for private groups

USD $6485GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ + USD $1150GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ conservation fees = USD $7995GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


6 NIGHT LOLLBARAN RIDE

Dates on request

USD $7995GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing

2025 RATES

8 NIGHT MASAI MARA RIDE

22 - 30 June 2025 (Fully Booked)

15 - 23 July 2025 

02 - 10 August 2025 

10 - 18 September 2025 (Fully Booked)

20 - 28 September 2025 (Fully Booked)

30 September - 8 October 2025

USD $10000GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ + USD $1500GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ conservation fees = USD $11500GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


6 NIGHT MASAI MARA RIDE

14 - 20 June 2025 (Fully Booked)

02 - 08 July 2025 

25 - 31 July 2025 (Fully Booked)

Other dates on request for private groups

USD $7850GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ + USD $1150GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ conservation fees = USD $9000GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


6 NIGHT LOLLBARAN RIDE

Dates on request

USD $9000GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing

EXTRAS

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

No single supplement if you are willing to share with someone of the same gender

USD $2000GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ for the 6-night safari

USD $250GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ for the 8-night safari


ACCOMMODATION IN NAIROBI

If you need to overnight in Nairobi before your safari, we can arrange your stay and associated transfers. Costs depend on the hotel chosen

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Includes

  • All accommodation in luxury mobile tented camp
  • All food and drinks
  • Wilderness concession fees
  • Professional and private guiding
  • Full complement of safari crew with support vehicles
  • All riding activities on well-trained and responsive horses
  • All game drives in 4×4 game vehicles
  • Any cultural activities
  • Flying doctor membership
  • Laundry in camp
  • Nairobi airport transfers on arrival and departure days
  • Light Air transfers to and from the Masai Mara

Excludes

  • International flights to Nairobi
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Medical and Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
CHECK AVAILABILITYARRANGE A CALL

QUICK FACTS

Location: Masai Mara
Airport: Jomo Kenyatta (Nairobi) International Airport
Month: January / February / March / June / July / August / September / October / December
Duration: 6 / 8 Nights
Group Size: Max 12
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus & Advanced + Non-riders
Weight Limit: 90kg / 200lbs
Accommodation: Luxury Tented Camp
Solo Traveller Friendly: Yes. No single supplement if happy to share
VIEW GALLERY

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
6 nights: From USD $7995GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing

CURRENCY CONVERTER

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

USDGBPEURZARAUD

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • The freedom to journey across wide endless plains, absorbing the magic of the Masai Mara
  • The thrill of cantering alongside Kenya’s abundant wildlife populations including towers of giraffe, dazzles of zebra and herds of wildebeest
  • The privilege of safari-ing with one of Africa’s top guides – Gordie Church
  • The opportunity to become one with Africa’s wilderness, experiencing ‘bush life’ in pure luxury on this glamping mobile safari

TOUR REVIEWS

Dreams do come true! No African adventure is complete without a horse safari… This trip exceeded expectations across the board. I expected the safari piece of the trip to be incredible, but what I wasn't expecting was the unparalleled staff, some of the best food I've ever had, and hospitality second to none. From the moment you woke up to a smile and coffee, to crawling into a warm bed at night, every day was perfect. Gordie, Felicia, and their entire crew did whatever they could to make your experience unforgettable. From the horse perspective, all were well schooled and in excellent condition. I waited a long time to go on this trip and it was well worth the wait. Thank you!!!

Marion PriceMasai Mara, Kenya
READ MORE REVIEWS

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Please note that this is a sample itinerary and therefore may change depending on the weather at the time, wildlife movements etc and the order of the camps is not guaranteed. You will either be riding from East to West, or West to East, meaning you may ride the following sample itinerary in reverse. The following route is for East to West. Any changes will however always be made with your best interests and safety at the heart.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL, FLIGHT TO THE MARA & INTRODUCTORY RIDE

You will be met at Nairobi International Airport or at your Nairobi Hotel and transferred to Wilson Domestic Airport. Here you will board your light air charter flight to one of the airstrips in the North of the Mara. After landing, Gordie, or one of the team, will be waiting to take you on a game drive to your first private mobile tented camp. The drive time varies depending on the wildlife you spot along the way. Arrive in time for your first delicious lunch out in the bush. During your meal, your guides will give a full and comprehensive safety briefing and let you know what to expect over the next few days.

Spend the afternoon settling into the bush environment, before heading out for your first short ride to get to know your new four-legged companion and get your first taste of Kenya’s stunning scenery.  Felicia and her team are amazing at pairing riders and horses, and the introductory ride gives you the chance to get to know your equestrian friend and get a feel for the tack and riding style. You can always chat to the team about swapping horses if you feel that they’re not a good fit for you.

After a decadent dinner, enjoy your first night in Africa, falling asleep to the sound of the song of the bush.

Overnight: Nkilenya, Lemek Conservancy

DAY 2: MORNING & AFTERNOON RIDES

Wake up to the sounds of birdsong on a glorious African morning, and ride out to explore the bush. Spend the day riding through acacia thickets and across wide open plains, keeping keen eyes out for the huge variety of birds and wildlife which inhabit the area. There is an abundance of animals found here, including giraffe, warthog, zebra, hartebeest, topi, wildebeest and with a little luck, you might spot cheetah and leopard too. The pace of the ride varies, depending on the terrain and the wildlife spotted, but always includes some lovely long canters. And, on quieter moments, Gordie will share his wealth of knowledge with you, enthralling you with tales of the bush.

Lunch is served back at camp and you’ll have time for a siesta. In the late afternoon, enjoy a ride or even hop in the vehicle for a game drive. As you make your way back to camp, savour the wonderful light of an African afternoon. Enjoy pink gin & tonics while you watch the sun go down on another spectacular day.

Overnight: Nkilenya, Lemek Conservancy

DAY 3: FULL DAY RIDE WITH PICNIC

After a delicious breakfast, set out for a full day in the saddle. You’ll ride through a stunning area, with panorama views of the plains beyond. This area is a favourite for elephant, leopard and cheetah. From open plains, ride into the denser forests. A picnic lunch is served in the enchanting Olomai forest, before a well-deserved siesta. The horses are tied up nearby and enjoy a break and mid-day snack, and it’s always a special bonding moment. 

After your break, amble along the south bank of the Mara River, looking for crocodiles and large pods of hippo. Keep a careful eye out for some of the tropical birds that also inhabit the forest, including the rare Ross’s turaco. The concentration of game, especially during the wildebeest migration (July to October) is absolutely mind blowing! Enjoy your camp on the edge of the Mara River. 

Overnight: Mara River, Mara North Conservancy

DAY 4: CROSSING THE MARA RIVER

Embrace another brilliant day surrounded by Africa’s magic! Depending on the wildlife, you’ll either set off on horseback or game drive vehicle in the morning. 

Depending on water levels, you may even cross the Mara River on horseback and explore the Siria Escarpment – an area rarely accessed and offering a truly wild experience. If you feel up for it, you may even want to try popping over a few fallen logs, the perfect cross country course created by the resident elephants. Back to the river camp for the evening, falling asleep to the sound of the grunting hippos. 

Overnight: Mara River, Mara North Conservancy

DAY 5: FULL DAY RIDE

Enjoy a ‘full monty’ breakfast, before setting off for a full day in the saddle.  You’ll ride in a southerly direction towards Maternity Plain. There are incredible views in every direction and fantastic riding terrain. You’ll cross the river again, entering the famous Mara Triangle. Enjoy a picnic lunch and siesta in the shade of the thick open forest. Leaving your picnic spot, after a relaxing afternoon siesta, you’ll have a short ride to the edge of the escarpment. Then hop off and walk the last bit to the very top, where you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the plains stretching out below. As you head into camp, fires will have been lit, and you can relax before a night spent sharing stories over dinner and sitting out under the spectacular African stars.

Overnight: Out of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle

DAY 6: OUT OF AFRICA RIDE / DRIVE

This morning you have the choice of heading out on horseback, or game drive vehicle in the Mara Triangle. On a clear day, you can even the plains of the Serengeti in the distance. The everchanging eco-system is home to buffalo, elephants, lions and leopards, and you never know what wildlife you may come across.

Later that afternoon, there is also the option to visit a local manyatta (traditional village) – an unforgettable and interesting experience – sometimes joined by the local Masai ‘chief’ who is a great friend of Gordie.

Overnight: Out of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle

DAY 7: FULL DAY ON THE ESCARPMENT

It’s time to descend the escarpment on foot, and then mount up again. Today, you’ll head due east, riding back over the Mara River and skirting the local villages. This leads you to a fabulous picnic spot, situated under two large yellow-fever trees in the Olesere valley. After a siesta, ride over the Koiyaki Plain and then down to the new camp set on the banks of the Olare Orok Stream. This is a special spot, used by the Masai to water their cattle. This area is a also favourite for elephant, leopard and cheetah, and it’s fascinating to learn how these local people live so closely with wildlife. 

Overnight: Kampi Ya Simba, Mara North Conservancy

DAY 8: MORNING RIDE, AFTERNOON RIDE / DRIVE / WALK

Morning and afternoon rides, game drives or guided walks. Game drives off excellent opportunities for photography, and allow you to get up close and personal with some of Africa’s wildlife. Two large prides of lion are often seen in this area, making it a great place for big-cat encounters. Walking offers you a chance to take in the smaller creatures and learn the art of tracking.  And of course, we’ll never get tired of riding in this corner of Eden. After dinner, head out on a night drive in search of nocturnal creatures such as porcupines, badgers, owls and even leopard – you  never know what you might encounter. It’s also a great time to learn more about the stars. 

Overnight: Kampi Ya Simba, Mara North Conservancy

DAY 9: DEPTURE DAY

After an early morning ride and delicious brunch, bid a sad farewell to your now beloved four-legged companion and the camp staff who have helped you along the way. Enjoy a last drive through the bush to the Mara North airstrip, where you will board a light air charter flight to Nairobi, departing just before 3pm. Upon arrival in Nairobi around 4pm. you will be met and transferred to JKIA for your international flight home. Dinner en-route to the airport is optional and payable locally. If you’re heading to the Kenyan Coast or Zanzibar, we can arrange all of your accommodation and transfers for you and it’s the perfect way to end your adventure!

THE ACCOMMODATION

Luxury Mobile Tented Camp

On safari with the Church’s you will experience exclusive and luxury mobile private canvas camps – 1920’s style at its best. You will stay in spacious twin bedded or double tents. Each tent is complete with cosy and warm duvets to keep you warm at night, and they each have ensuites – a short drop loo and hot bucket shower to clean off after a day in the saddle.

Meals will be taken in the beautifully finished mess tents, which always boasts a delicious array of food and you will be spoiled for choice at the ‘bush bar’. Get used to sitting around the campfire, under a vast African sky and feeling wonderfully full and satisfied.

In addition to the horses, there are 4 x 4 safari vehicles and walking guides for any non-riders, or those who wish to explore in a different way.

THE DESTINATION

Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s greatest treasures. Together with the Serengeti National Park it provides an important sanctuary for some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife. The Mara has one of the most diverse eco-systems in Africa, with over 95 species of mammals and over 570 recorded species of birds. The Masai Mara National Reserve covers 1510sqkm and is 1500 – 2170metres above sea level.

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.

Gordie Church and the safari crew
Masai Man with horses in the Masai Mara

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 are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:

  • Our horses live out in a herd environment at close quarters with wild animals, allowing them to live as naturally as possible in a secure environment
  • Under the professional guidance of Felicia and her team of grooms, each safari horse is carefully schooled, exercised and loved
  • Full days of riding when we move camp are alternated with days where we ride out of camp and return for lunch and a siesta in the afternoon
  • Saddles and equipment is checked regularly and to the highest level. Saddles are imported from England. We use Thorowgood saddles and believe in each horse having their individual saddle fitted to them (with a smart name plate on each saddle) to ensure both horse and guest are comfortable
  • Horses have several months off a year and a careful record is kept of how much work they do. They are checked twice daily to make sure they are well in
  • The team of grooms have been carefully selected to be quiet and caring around them. Carrots are provided after every ride and guests always have lots of fun giving their steeds these extra treats
  • Most are barefoot, a few are shod in front only and they have a farrier with them at all times. They have a dentist come out once a year and Felicia regularly checks their backs and does Bowen Therapy on the horses, ss well as having a professional therapist to help keep them in shape
  • All our horses absolutely love being out and about on safari. They thrive on the wide-open plains, and love the freedom of journeying from one camp to another, an experience that our riding guests also adore by the end of a safari

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

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Confirm your ride and dates by paying your deposit

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