FIND THE SOURCE OF THE RIVER NILE & EXPLORE RURAL UGANDA ON HORSEBACK
Delve deep into rural Uganda, this riding holiday takes you through the forests, plantations and local villages that line the world’s longest river.
The story of the search for the source of the Nile is one of the real classics from the era of the great explorers; it ranks alongside the search for the Northwest Passage, and the search for the Oregon Trail. This is an off-the-beaten-track ride and for those seeking a unique adventure. It is an awesome feeling to stand at the source of the world’s longest river. To be able to do so as part of a riding holiday makes it even more special!
Here you will experience rural Africa, riding from farmland to forest, rapids to river, staying at 4 amazing lodges along the way. Feel like the Pied Piper as the children run to say “Jambo!”, following the horses as you ride through traditional villages. Spend your first few days cantering through sugar cane and tea plantations, or riding along the banks of the River Nile with the rushing white water below you. Explore lush green rain forests, feeling like jungle explorers in search of rare birds and monkeys, cross swamps and climb hills boasting beautiful vistas. Spend a day riding along the edge of the magic Lake Victoria before following the edge of the River Nile to its source.
Stunning and diverse vistas teamed with Africa’s world-famous sunrises and sunsets, ensures a feast for your soul throughout the week. Stay in some memorable and beautiful lodges, from a cabin in the forest to an island in the middle of the Nile! Besides incredible riding, there are other activities at the lodges – white water rafting, swimming pools with breathtaking views, and sunset cruises on the Nile. The fabulous sights of Uganda, pristine rain forest, great birding, monkeys galore, iconic rivers and lakes and the colourful villages makes this a riding holiday to remember.
Small groups ensure that each rider has the best possible experience and the pace can be adjusted to suit the group’s riding ability. The horses are incredibly well trained, forward going and love showing off their little piece of paradise. Many of the horses compete in dressage and eventing and are fit and responsive. To get the most out of this exciting experience, we recommend that you are confident in the saddle, being able to trot and canter for long periods – You’ll be well rewarded! The dirt tracks make long canters a pleasure and there are some brilliant spots for faster gallops! This is also a great ride for those who would like to boost their confidence, we can almost guarantee that you’ll be galloping up front by the end of the week!
We also HIGHLY recommend adding a few extra nights on to see the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – a must-do while in Uganda!
- Riding alongside the majestic River Nile and enchanting Lake Victoria
- Feeling like a jungle explorer as you ride through the lush green rainforest in search of monkeys and birds
- Enjoying a multitude of activities such as a sunset boat cruise, white water rafting and swimming with your horse in the Nile
- Fabulous views of Ugandan countryside and an insight into rural Africa at its best
- Add-on a visit to the world-famous gorillas
READ MORE REVIEWS
”The organisation of the Whole trip was second to none. From the accurate documentation given before going, to the collection at the airport, to the Hotels, the horse owners, the guides, the horses, the varied activities each and every day, the team, the closeness of the Gorillas - everything was 5star !!
I thought the African Safari we did with you in 2019 was Epic .. but this trip Was even better !!! .We are now thinking Where next ???Nikki BanksUltimate Uganda, Horse Trail and Gorilla Trekking
I was riding ‘Southern comfort ‘ and although he was a little grumpy towards a couple of other horses, he was the best ride I’ve ever had!!! He really was a comfort!! Bomb proof, smooth in canter and gallop and super sure footed on the trickier terrain. In fact all the horses were fantastic, well fed, well cared for and definitely loved by the whole team. The best day has to be when we visited the school, rode through plantations and more rural villages, then had a paddle in the lake.. a very varied day. Uganda is such a beautiful ‘safe’ country. The scenery is breathtaking and the people are just so friendly and happy!
The gorillas were just ‘wow’!! I have no words, we were so close to them, a family, with a baby. They were so content with us being there, we managed to get within a few meters distance. We even saw the silverback have an intimate interlude with one of the females ( we have it on video.. ;-0. !! ) a very rare sighting we were told, but they were clearly not shy, but very happy with us there!
** Please note that this is a sample itinerary, and may change due to weather etc. All changes will always be with your best interests at heart.
Book your international flights to Entebbe International Airport. Many flights arrive in the morning so you can head straight to the start of your adventure. If you choose to arrive a day early and overnight in Entebbe, we can arrange a hotel for you. On the first day of your trip, you will be met and transferred to Jinja around 9AM. It’s about a 3 hour drive, depending on the traffic and takes you through lush farmlands and colourful markets.
Arrive at Holland Park near Jinja where you’ll be welcomed by a cold drink and endless views of the River Nile. Once you’re settled in, take a short walk down to the edge of the river and board the River Nile boat cruise. Enjoy lunch as the team briefs you on what to expect over the next exciting week.
After meeting the horses and your guides, mount up for a 1 and a half-hour ride to get to know your horse. Riding in that beautiful afternoon light, as the sun starts to sink, you will explore the local village and the banks of the River Nile. Enjoy dinner overlooking the Nile and spend the night at Holland Park.
After waking up to a glorious African morning and delicious breakfast, set off for a 4-hour ride through the sugar plantations and traditional villages. This is a circular route through the lush and fertile countryside. Riding up the hills to your lunchtime picnic spot; there are some stunning vistas of the countryside below. You will have the opportunity for some long canters, revelling in the freedom and wide-open landscapes. Spend the night at Holland Park.
After a delicious breakfast, hop in the car for a day of adventure. The horses will be transported to your starting point and if you like, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a local school before you mount up. Feel free to bring any primary age books you can spare to donate to the library! Then set off for a wonderful 5-6 hour ride around Lake Victoria, along winding roads and through beautiful forests and plantations. Cool off in the waters of Lake Victoria after another epic canter before ascending to the viewpoint where a picnic awaits. Today’s lunch spot is nestled in the hills overlooking the lake and Jinja town. The ride boasts stunning views of the lake, surrounding sugar plantations, and traditional villages. After your ride, you’ll be transported to your new home for the next 2 nights. Spend the afternoon by the pool or even take a dip in the river as you enjoy views of the impressive white water rapids. Fish Eagles, otters and monitor lizards are regularly seen from the bar. As the sun goes down, the red-tail monkeys put on an acrobatic display as they leap from tree to tree. Spend the night at The Haven.
After breakfast, mount up and spend 3 and a half hours winding your way through the endearing Mabira forest, searching for rare forest primates like Grey cheeked Mangabeys and other local monkey species that are only found in this forest. This can be an adventure in itself, as the forest can be muddy in patches and your guides might have to create a new path for the horses. There are even a few streams to ford or jump over, but it’s all part of the fun! Riding around the corner, you’ll find a lovely lunch and birdwatching spot set up in the shade of the beautiful forest canopy. Return to The Haven in the afternoon for an afternoon siesta, a chill session by the pool or even indulge in a massage. Spend the night at The Haven Lodge.
Today you will enjoy around 5 hours of riding through tea plantations, lookout points and forest terrain. Lots of scenic walks and brilliant fast canters! Arrive at your next destination in time for a late lunch, or enjoy another picnic lunch set up in the tea plantations. After viewing the incredible xxx falls and taking some epic photos, you’ll leave the horses behind. Hop on board the tiny boat to Wild Waters Lodge, a trip that is an adventure on its own! The lodge is breathtakingly situated on an island in the middle of the Nile and surrounded by massive white water rapids. Spend the evening lazing on your deck, or head to the main area for a cocktail and afternoon swim in the pool overlooking the rapids. Overnight, Wild Waters Lodge.
Today is a free day to enjoy other activities in the area. Spend the day thrill-seeking with some of the most spectacular white water rafting in the world with warm water and excellent rapids – an unforgettable experience! If rafting isn’t your thing you may wish to go quad biking, bungee jumping, mountain biking, kayaking or a birding trip up the river. None of these activities is included as part of the trip but can be arranged for you. Let us know if you have any special interests or chat to the team when you’re there. You can also choose to just relax at the Wild Waters on your private verandah. Spend the night at Wild Waters Lodge.
Rising on your last morning of the trip, enjoy an early horseback swim in a beautiful bay with a sandy bottom, no hippos or crocs, followed by a scrumptious breakfast. The Nile provides some great views of the rapids as we follow the river downstream. Your final ride will give you a lookout point for a birds-eye view of the Nile and then a last fast-paced ride to Kalagala Falls. After saying goodbye to your horse and the grooms, you will board the small boat to the lodge. Arriving in time for an afternoon swim, you have some time to take in the sights. Enjoy a last meal, reminiscing
over the week’s adventures, and taking in the wonderful and surreal setting. Spend the night at Wild Waters Lodge.
Depending on your plans, indulge in breakfast and free time at the lodge before the drive back to Entebbe. Book your flight after 17h00 or overnight in Entebbe. We highly recommend adding on a few nights in Bwindi to see the Gorillas or game viewing in Murchison Falls or Queen Victoria National Park.
This little gem of a lodge is located in a beautiful spot at the top of a hill and boasts wonderful views of the Nile. The cottages can accommodate up to 4 people and all overlook the river. Standard rooms are set away from the edge of the river, but overlook the tropical gardens. The lodge is surrounded by lush gardens and home to a variety of birds and monkeys. The pool and big veranda are the perfect spots to watch the river change colours throughout the day. The lodge is a 5 minute walk from the stables and the perfect spot to start your adventure.
A peaceful and relaxed River Lodge that boasts great views over the starting point of rafting at the first waterfall of the river Nile. This tranquil setting allows you to relax and gaze into the gently flowing water of the longest river in the world. You can watch the fish eagle, fish otters, monitor lizards, monkeys and numerous species of birds from the spacious terraces and enjoy the delicious food of the restaurant and bar.
Staying at Wildwaters is a unique and spectacular experience; the Lodge is situated on its own private island, surrounded by luxuriant rain forest, out in the middle of the flowing Nile River. This breathtaking property has 10 rooms, all with private decks offering views of the river and equipped with elegant free-standing baths and washbasins carved from the local pink granite. Walk through the heart of the forest on the wooden walkways which gracefully link the rooms to the restaurant and bar area. Here you can lose yourself in a book in their lounge, relax in the sun on the deck, or dive into the beautiful pool. No matter where you are, you’ll be surrounded by incredible white water. You might not want to leave, so if you have a little extra time, how about adding one extra night?
This is a very varied ride across some of rural Uganda’s most beautiful scenery. You will experience traditional Ugandan culture as you pass through local villages that dot the landscapes and pass through farm lands growing crops and stunning sugar cane and tea plantations.
Pass areas of wild pristine Uganda, traversing exciting jungle and rainforest terrain, and riding along the banks of the River Nile at its source in Jinja Uganda.
The River Nile
The iconic River Nile is a lifeline for huge swathes of north-eastern Africa and is generally regarded as the longest river in the world. The Nile is considered 6,853km long and labeled an ‘international’ river as its resources are shared by eleven countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, filled primarily by the Nile’s waters. The lake lies mainly within Tanzania and Uganda but has a border with Kenya. The vast area is 69,484 square km of fresh water, a total that is only exceeded by Lake Superior in North America. This stunning area is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna and is one of Africa’s greatest treasures.
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 Nile Horseback Safari are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
- Horses undergo a morning medical including checking temperatures, a physical exam for any cuts, bruises or lameness
- Horses are washed down each morning or taken for a swim in the Nile
Dentist, vet and farrier are flown in regularly for checkups. The team is well trained in hoof care, shoeing, veterinary, osteopathy and horse management
- Horses spend the morning in stables when not ridden, and afternoons and nights in large paddocks in a natural herd environment
- All tack is well-fitted and cleaned regularly by a dedicated team member
Please let us know if you have any more questions about this.