GALLOP ACROSS THE DESERT, VISIT SOSSUSVLEI & SEE NAMIBIA’S WILD HORSES
A fast-paced horse riding holiday across the hauntingly beautiful Namib Desert, this is for those who love all things wild and free.
Over 20 years of experience guiding horse riding safaris across the hauntingly beautiful Namib Desert, has led to the creation of the ultimate ride in Namibia for those who love all things wild and free. This true adventure takes you through some of the most unique and breathtaking desert landscapes on earth. You will tackle this challenge aboard super fit, responsive and impressively sure-footed horses. There are approximately 80 horses of varying types available; ranging from Arab, Trakehner/Cross, Hanoverian, Boerperd and ranch horses. These rides are suitable for experienced riders only.
This is an adventure like no other; from the iconic dune sea of the Namib Desert to the edge of the stunning Sperrgebiet National Park, this ride traverses land previously unexplored and you will pioneer trails across spectacularly contrasting desert landscapes. You will cross some of the best riding terrain in the world, covering vast grassy plains, passing the inselbergs (island mountains) and encountering herds of desert-adapted game. The journey ends at Klein Aus Vista close to the home of the Wild Horses of the Namib – an unforgettable end to what will have no doubt been an unforgettable ride in Namibia.
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 tented camp can be constructed however most prefer to embrace the unforgettable opportunity of sleeping out under the stunning stars of the big African sky.
- Visit the Wild Horses of the Namib and Kolmanskop the old mining “Ghost Town” in Luderitz Bay
- Pathless adventure into hugely contrasting desert terrain
- Unrestricted riding across endless desert plains and the inescapable sense of adventure
- The chance to experience one of the world’s last true wildernesses from the back of a horse
- Sleeping out every night under the vast African sky and stars like you won’t see anywhere else
READ MORE REVIEWS
”This has been an absolutely incredible experience. It exceeded my expectations. Namibia is absolutely stunning and the horses are amazing. There are no words that can begin to describe how incredible and stunning this experience was. I will always dream about those endless gallops, the thrill of flying over the desert! When you said it was addictive, you weren't lying! I loved that I could ask as many questions and had them all answered! I would recommend AHS to anyone and you'll definitely see me again, I'm already booking for next year!Danita EnslinNamibia
** 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.
After being met at Windhoek International Airport you will be transferred to your overnight accommodation and meet the rest of your riding group for dinner. Over dinner you will be briefed about what to expect on your upcoming adventure by your host/riding guide, Andrew Gilles.
After breakfast on day two, there is a 5-hour commute with lunch en-route, followed by a decent down the picturesque Zaris Pass to our camp in the Tiras Biosphere Reserve. Settle in and explore your surroundings – here you will meet your crew, your horse and be instructed in how to be ‘desert savvy’.
As the soft evening light descends, enjoy your first spectacular sundowners as the sky turns from red and orange to reveal stunning views of the Milky Way overhead.
After breakfast, you will set out across the wide open country calling out for some faster paced riding and the chance to release your inner cowboy! Riding across vast plains of truly unspoiled countryside with exceptional panoramic views where sentinel inselbergs (island mountains) dot the desertscape. You will have spontaneous lunch spots, enjoyed under a shady tree or somewhere particularly picturesque. Desert adapted wildlife such as oryx, zebra, giraffe and antelope can be spotted in the rich grasslands.
Reaching your overnight camps before the sun sets will give you a chance to grab that all important sundowner beverage and watch the trademark pastel light of the Namib paint the landscape, before tucking into your camp bed for yet another night spent sleeping under the stars. The Namib Desert, with such little light pollution, offers unparalleled views of the southern constellation.
Crossing the dune sea is an experience in itself and you will come to appreciate why Andrew chose this route – the remarkable desert-scapes on the far side are as true “Namib” as one can get. Being desert pioneers, this section of the route may vary depending on weather conditions or other circumstances but there is no doubt each day will be an adventure and one to remember.
From our last night camp in Geistershlucht (Ghost valley) you will visit the waterhole of the Namib’s – the wild horses of the Namib – for a sundowner. The Namib Desert horses are likely the only herd of feral horses in Africa and one of the most isolated horse populations in the world. After crossing this desert landscape, you’ll be even more in awe of these incredible horses who not only survive in the desert but have thrived!
On your last day you’ll visit the coastal town of Luderitz, with a stop at the extraordinary ‘ghost town’ of Kolmanskop – the town the desert is ‘reclaiming’. This is a photographers paradise! This was an old diamond mining town established in 1908 which was abandoned in the late 1950’s. Now only the museum remains in tact, and the rest of the buildings are slowly being covered by desert sand.
After bidding a sad farewell to your horses, and the staff, you will be transferred to Windhoek International Airport (journey time approx. 7 hours). Flights should depart Windhoek after 18:00.
SLEEPOUT / GUESTHOUSE
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.
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 amiable lodges. The accommodation is chosen for their comfort, where possible 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.
Namibia with its stark and striking landscapes will take your breath away. The Namib Desert is one of the most spectacular desert 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. As the sun sets the Namib skies reveal an equally impressive spectacle of the Milky Way stretching far out; with less light pollution than virtually anywhere else in the world the stars are virtually unparalleled.
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 horse’s 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