HORSE RIDING IN SIMALAHA

5 Nights: From USD $2350

pp
sharing

See Detailed Rates

View Gallery

Discover Zambia from the saddle 

Explore the floodplains along the Zambezi River on a horseback safari and then follow Livingstone’s footsteps to the edge of the Victoria Falls

On the banks of the Zambezi River, you’ll find the seasonal floodplains of the Simalaha reserve, home to large herds of wildebeest, zebra, lechwe, puku, impala, waterbuck, giraffe and buffalo. With no predators or elephants, riders of all abilities can experience the magic of a horse riding holiday. Right from the start you’ll feel immersed in true Africa as you travel up the Zambezi river to Simalaha. Passing colourful villages built on the riverbanks, you can hear the songs of the local women as they go about their daily chores, and see the fishermen using traditional hand-woven nets. Further upstream you may even see herds of elephants coming down to the river for an afternoon swim.  And then you’ll reach your destination, greeted by the horses ready to take you on the trail ride of a lifetime. 

Home to 16 large mammal species, but no large predators, this area offers an incredible horseback safari adventure, suitable for any level of horse rider. For experienced riders, it offers the ideal terrain for some wonderful long canters and unforgettable wildlife sightings from horseback. It’s also the perfect horse riding vacation for families or those who want to experience a horse safari for the first time.  The camp’s safari horses are a marvellous mixture of breed, character and colour, personally schooled, exercised and loved by the local team of horse masters. Saddle up and set out to seek adventure across the varied terrain. The open plains are perfect for long, thrilling canters alongside the herds of wildebeest and zebra. Weave your way through the forests in search of the more elusive sable and reedbuck. And splash along the edge of one of Africa’s mightiest Rivers before returning to the camp at sunset. 

Simalaha provides a unique way to experience and appreciate the magnificent beauty of the Zambian wilderness. The owners have a strong partnership with the Peace Parks Foundation and the local community, working towards re-establishing wildlife populations and renewing the Simalaha flood plains to their former glory, “where wildlife and people come together and co-exist under one sky”. If you’re looking for a truly authentic African horse safari experience where you can combine wildlife and community whilst only leaving only a hoof print behind… this is the horse riding holiday for you.  All trail rides are led by expert local guides, passionate about the bush who take great pride in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with you. They love showing guests their way of life, local traditions and telling unique legends around the campfire. You can also choose to visit the local village, perhaps learn to brew local beer, or for avid (or aspirational!) anglers, learn the secrets of the river from a local fisherman.

Delicious wholesome food and starlight skies await you from the comfort of bespoke safari accommodation. Simalaha’s boutique en-suite safari tents and enjoy an eco-friendly stay at the heart of the conservancy, without compromising on overnight essentials such as USB charging sockets and comfortable beds. Chundukwa River Lodge provides luxury chalets with incredible views over the Zambezi River. From your riverfront hideaway, you get to explore Zambia’s jewel, the mighty Victoria Falls. Explore this unique area with a tour of the falls, sunset cruise or even a helicopter flight. And for those more daring – how about a swim in Devil’s Pool? 

QUICK FACTS
Simalaha Conservancy & Victoria Falls, Zambia
Livingstone or Victoria Falls Airport 
July – January
From 3 to 7 nights / Tailormade
Group Size: Max. 8
Group Size: Min. 4
Intermediate and Above
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Combine a unique horse riding holiday with a luxury riverside stay and visit to the incredible Victoria Falls.
  • Go off-grid in a truly unique and boutique safari experience. With just four tents offering accommodation for up to eight people, you’ll be immersed in nature. 
  • Ride with a variety of plains game, including herds of lechwe, wildebeest and zebra.
  • Suitable for all levels of rider plus, with lots of other activities on offer – non-riders can join too!
  • Be part of responsible tourism using environmentally friendly practices to protect local culture and natural heritage
THE DESTINATION

The Simalaha Reserve, on the southern edge of Zambia, bordering the Zambezi River, is an expansive area of African wilderness. Simalaha, (said Sim – a – la – ha) meaning ‘come together’, is a fitting name for the area, as the Simalaha Community Conservancy (part of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) have worked hard to protect and preserve the local wildlife and promote sustainable tourism. Started in 2012 by Visionaries Chief Inyambo Yeta of the Sesheke Chiefdom and Chief Sekute of the Sekute Chiefdom, the project has introduced over 1,100 animals into the conservation area including zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and waterbucks. 

As the mighty Zambezi River crashes over the gorge, it drops 108 metres down into a powerful whirlpool, forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world – The Victoria Falls. Traditionally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (meaning the ‘Smoke that Thunders’) it is a sight not to be missed. Staying on the Zambezi River offers a unique experience, away from the hustle of the touristic towns, but close enough to experience the magic of the falls.  Staying on the Zambian side also offers visitors the chance to swim in the renowned Devil’s Pool – a unique swim on the edge of the falls!

DATES & RATES

Safaris run between July and January with set 3-night departures for Simalaha. Your stay is completely tailor-made and we recommend adding 2-4 nights at Chundukwa River Lodge to create your own bespoke itinerary. All itineraries can be tailor-made to fit your riding experience and group. 

 

01 September – 31 January 2023 / 01 July – 31 January 2024

3 nights: USD $1350 + transfers and conservation fees

5 nights: USD $2350 + transfers and conservation fees

7 nights: USD $3300 + transfers and conservation fees

Transfers 

Livingstone Airport to Simalaha – USD $300 per person

Kasane Airport to Simalaha – USD $300 per person

Chundukwa River Lodge to Simalaha – USD $300 per person

Victoria Falls Airport to Simalaha – USD $368 per person

Includes

  • Accommodation – 3-4 nights at Simalaha + 2-3 nights at Chunkukwa River Lodge
  • All meals and snacks
  • Tea, coffee and selected soft drinks
  • Expert Guiding
  • All horse-riding activities on well trained and responsive horses
  • Activities at Chundukwa River Lodge including river cruise, guided walk and tour of Victoria Falls

Excludes

  • International Flights to Livingstone / Victoria Falls / Kasane Airports
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Simalaha Conservancy fees ($50 per person per day)
  • Victoria Falls Entrance Fee ($30 per person)
  • Transfers to and from the Simalaha Conservancy & Chunkukwa
  • Premium drinks
  • Other activities not mentioned
  • Gratuities and any items of a personal nature
YOUR ITINERARY

This is an example itinerary, your stay can be tailor made based on your requirements. We recommend the 7 night Simalaha and Chundukwa combined stay to get the most out of your Zambian safari stay.

Day 1 - Arrival & Introductory Ride

After arriving at Livingstone Airport you will be greeted with a friendly smile by a member of the Simalaha horse safari team. Your journey to the Chundukwa River Lodge is approximately 35 minutes by car, take in the sights of the rural Zambian countryside and local communities along the way. After a break at Chundukwa River Lodge with some light refreshments, you’ll head to the Mombova Harbour for your first river safari. From the comfort of a riverboat, you will travel 1.5 hours upstream to the Simalaha Conservancy. Doug’s horses and safari guides will meet you at the river’s edge to take you the final distance into camp before you enjoy your first tasty dinner and watch the beautiful African sunset before settling down for the night. It’s an incredible start to your adventure!

An overnight stay at Chundukwa River Lodge is possible on arrival day, depending on your flights. In this itinerary, we have suggested that you go directly to the Simalaha Community Conservancy to begin your horse safari experience and then end with a few days or relaxation at Chunkukwa.

We can arrange transfers from Victoria Falls as well as Kasane if you’re combining this with other destinations.

Day 2 - First Full Day Horse Safari Ride

After enjoying a tasty and fresh breakfast at camp, you will head out on your first full day of riding to see wildlife from the saddle in the Simalaha Conservancy. Hosted by stable owner and guide, Doug Evans, he will show you the ropes as you explore the area, before returning to camp for lunch and a siesta. The afternoon ride will follow the Baobab route, where you will see the magnificent Baobab trees, also known as Africa’s ‘tree of life’. Even on horseback, you’ll feel dwarfed by these giants! Your guides will tell you all about how the fruits and flowers are used to make local delicacies and medicines.  In the evening you will be served a delicious dinner at sunset before settling down for the night in your safari tent.

Day 3 - Ride & Village Visit

Today you will get to discover another part of the Simalaha conservancy and get a different view of the wildlife. For a privileged insight into the local community, a trip to Monde’s Village is on offer. Monde will invite you into her traditional home and tell you first-hand what the community has done to support the conservancy. You may even learn a few local beer brewing techniques! Enjoy another delightful dinner back at camp, and for those looking to sleep under the stars, you have the option to stay on a luxury bedroll to view the spectacular African sky in all its nighttime glory.

Day 4 - Extensive River Ride

After breakfast at camp, you will have a long ride along the edge of the river. Take in the incredible sights of local herds of Zebra, antelope and wildebeest along the way and meet local fishermen in traditional dugout canoes called “makoros”. After your safari river ride, relax and watch the sun go down with a dip in the pool and treat yourself to a gin and tonic.

Day 5 - Last Ride at Simalaha

Canter across the plains on the last ride of your Simalaha camp stay. After lunch, say goodbye to your trusty steeds before heading to the Chundukwa River Lodge, where you will check into your luxury riverside lodge. Enjoy a relaxing evening and delicious dinner and watch the sun go down over the magnificent Zambezi before putting your head down for the night.

Day 6 - Livingstone & Victoria Falls

Wake up with the sun from your eco-luxe chalet and peer out over the magnificent Zambezi River, place of the wild. Sit back and watch the River come to life with colours, sights & sounds. Today you will take a rest from riding to go on a day trip to visit the infamous Victoria Falls or other local sights. A local guide will take you in a private vehicle to the destinations of your choice, including museums, markets, historical town tours and more. You could even try the local cuisine or get a handmade dress from the local tailor. Your helpful hosts at Chundukwa will assist you with planning your day. Please note that the entry to Victoria Falls is not included in the stay rates, this is paid directly to the guide.

Named after the Scottish Explorer, Dr David Livingstone. Livingstone’s culture and history is intriguing – as is evidenced by the arts and craft producers, museums, colonial architecture, traditional village life, local food and the general African lifestyle. History lovers will find Livingstone alive. Many buildings from the first decade of the century are still in use. The town has preserved much of its colonial character but is a typical African town with a bustling charm. Rich in scenery and heritage, Livingstone today has become the tourist heart of Zambia. We welcome you to the city of heritage and culture!

  • Walk over Knife Edge Bridge and experience an incredible view of Victoria Falls
  • Swim on the edge at Devil’s Pool on Livingstone Island
  • Take your time to catch a “moonbow” when the moon is full, the sky is clear and Victoria Falls are at their peak flow, huge rainbows appear through the mist at night. The light of the moon is refracted through the spray that rises from the base of the falls.
  • Visit the rescued elephants at the Elephant Café
  • Experience the World’s Best One Day White-Water Rafting!
  • Take the “Flight of the Angels” by helicopter or microlight
  • Visit the Livingstone Museum which has an impressive gallery of the adventures of David Livingstone, including original letters, pictures and gear.

Day 7 - Activity Day, Tick Off Your Bucket List!

Enjoy a free day for any of the activities offered at Chundukwa Lodge. Whether you fancy a river cruise at sunrise or sunset, a morning fishing or want to go mountain biking, the choice is yours. If you want to get back in the saddle, there’s the option to include an hour and a half trail ride here too, or chat to Dough about putting your Polo skills to the test! For those who want to connect with the local community, visit the nearby village and community project. To embrace the Chundukwa riverside surroundings, a guided wilderness walk or bird watching might be of interest. You are welcome to book and pay for as many activities as you like, please note that guests staying at Chundukwa for three days or more will have one complimentary activity per day included in their stay.

Day 8 - Departure Day

After a leisurely breakfast, you will be taken to the airport for your flight back home or onwards. For those that have an afternoon flight, you’re welcome to add on extra activities or enjoy some last time soaking up the sunshine at the lodge before your departure.

For those wishing to extend their stay in Africa, how about exploring more of what Zambia has to offer, or head to one of the neighbouring countries to destinations such as Hwange or the Okavango Delta?

Non-Riders

Non-riders are welcome to join their partners and friends on a riding safari – there are few roads on the conservancy but there is the option for some ‘light’ safari experiences and exploration/game viewing on the conservancy. Activities such as meeting up with the riders for sundowners/picnics on the plains or whatever the activities will be for the day. When it is a group booking novice riders will have the opportunity to return to camp with a second guide if they wish if the more experienced riders want to push on. The Simalaha conservancy is a beautiful place to take long walks with or without a horse for company, use our eco bikes and ride or walk the Baobab trail and visit with us to the villages. Bird watching, boat cruises and fishing on the Zambezi River can also be arranged at additional cost. Visitors may simply want to sink into the insatiable peacefulness of the place, put their feet up and read a good book and enjoy an occasional dip in our eco-pool.

THE ACCOMMODATION
SIMALAHA CAMP

The Simalaha horse riding safari camp accommodation is made up of four bespoke luxury safari tents, raised above the ground with great views over the flats and are designed for sustainable living. These impressive eco-friendly spaces have all of your overnight necessities including en-suite bathrooms with hot water showers, solar power electricity and USB charging ports. Dine under the stars in style on the elevated outdoor lounge and dining area, with spectacular 270 degree views across the  Simalaha plains and take in the insatiable peacefulness of the place.

Experience the romance of Africa under a blanket of stars in the Simalaha Wildlife Conservancy – a remote, yet safe star bed experience far from Wi-Fi and artificial light. Completely off the grid, this evening on a bedroll promises one of the most exclusive wilderness experiences in Zambia. All the bedding and comforts will be set up especially for riders requesting a sleep-out. The bed will be surrounded by a mosquito net but is otherwise open to the beautiful Southern skies, home to transfixing celestial sights such as the nearest stars to our solar system, two dwarf galaxies, the Milky Way and the Southern Cross.

CHUNDUKWA RIVER LODGE

The Chundukwa River Lodge is situated just 25km from Victoria Falls and has magnificent views over the Zambezi River. With boutique bush accommodation provided in a choice of river-facing chalets, or a family-friendly cottage all on a fully-inclusive basis (meals and house drinks), this small but superior safari camp will feel like a home away from home. With friendly and knowledgeable staff and a riding stable on-site, you will have everything you need for a great safari stay.

QUICK FACTS
Simalaha Conservancy & Victoria Falls,  Zambia
Livingstone or Victoria Falls Airport 
July – January
From 3 to 7 nights / Tailormade
Group Size: Max 8
Group Size: Min 4
 Intermediate and Above
View Gallery
3 Nights: From USD1050 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Combine a unique horse riding holiday with a luxury riverside stay and visit to the incredible Victoria Falls.
  • Go off-grid in a truly unique and boutique safari experience. With just four tents offering accommodation for up to eight people, you’ll be immersed in nature. 
  • Ride with a variety of plains game, including herds of lechwe, wildebeest and zebra.
  • Suitable for all levels of rider plus, with lots of other activities on offer – non-riders can join too!
  • Be part of responsible tourism using environmentally friendly practices to protect local culture and natural heritage
DATES & RATES

Safaris run between July and January with set 3-night departures for Simalaha. Your stay is completely tailor-made and we recommend adding 2-4 nights at Chundukwa River Lodge to create your own bespoke itinerary. All itineraries can be tailor-made to fit your riding experience and group. 

 

01 September – 31 January 2023 / 01 July – 31 January 2024

3 nights: USD $1350 + transfers and conservation fees

5 nights: USD $2350 + transfers and conservation fees

7 nights: USD $3300 + transfers and conservation fees

Transfers 

Livingstone Airport to Simalaha – USD $300 per person

Kasane Airport to Simalaha – USD $300 per person

Chundukwa River Lodge to Simalaha – USD $300 per person

Victoria Falls Airport to Simalaha – USD $368 per person

Includes

  • Accommodation – 3-4 nights at Simalaha + 2-3 nights at Chunkukwa River Lodge
  • All meals and snacks
  • Tea, coffee and selected soft drinks
  • Expert Guiding
  • All horse-riding activities on well trained and responsive horses
  • Activities at Chundukwa River Lodge including river cruise, guided walk and tour of Victoria Falls

Excludes

  • International Flights to Livingstone / Victoria Falls / Kasane Airports
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Simalaha Conservancy fees ($50 per person per day)
  • Victoria Falls Entrance Fee ($30 per person)
  • Transfers to and from the Simalaha Conservancy & Chunkukwa
  • Premium drinks
  • Other activities not mentioned
  • Gratuities and any items of a personal nature
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

If you love horse riding and the African wilderness, we would not hesitate to recommend. What a lovely experience! We were riding forward going, responsive horses. Setting out from base in various directions, in search of adventure across varied terrain. Saddle bags loaded with tea and cake in the mornings, or a sundowner to enjoy just before returning home at the end of the afternoon ride armed with cameras and binoculars. Doug’s experience as a field guide and horseman very quickly matched our level of skill with what he felt we could and could not do, and he allowed the kids in us a loose rein! Herds of wildebeest and Zebra dominate the flood plains. Lechwe and puku roam the wet grassland. Reedbuck and duiker jump from their hiding spots in the tall grass as you ride along. The more elusive sable haunt the woodland areas and beautiful giraffe hang out in the Mopani scrub. Being on horseback made us part of the environment, and we could ride close to the moving herds. We were out on horseback during the most beautiful time of the day, mornings and late afternoons. During the hotter time of the day we would rest in camp.

Simalaha Conservancy, Zambia
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 Simalaha Horse Safaris are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • Horses are at the heart of Doug and Gail’s family-run Simalaha stables. Doug can often be found taking guests on trails, playing or teaching Polocrosse and training or rehabilitating horses. Murray, Doug’s son, is the herd’s Master Farrier and looks after all of the horses’ hooves.
  • The herd of horses live out, freely grazing on the Simalaha plains and are brought in twice a day for grooming, vetting and feeding.
  • Each guest is allocated two horses, to allow horses plenty of resting time in between rides.
  • All of the horses have endearing qualities and gentle natures. You will be appropriately matched with your horses based on your riding experience.
  • Well-schooled under the guidance of Doug, they have been carefully introduced to the bush and wildlife to give you a safe and enjoyable experience

 

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

RELATED SAFARIS

Endurance Horse Riders

2 Weeks: From £1 375pps

Endurance Training Programme

Endurance Training Programme

2 - 12 Weeks

South Africa

Working Holiday

Get involved in aspects of endurance riding - from training, vetting and even competing.

Two horseriders galloping through water

12 Nights: From GBP £3460 pps

Wildlife and Waves – Tuli Horse Safari and Wild Coast

Wildlife and Waves – Tuli Horse Safari and Wild Coast

12 Nights

South Africa & Botswana

Scenery & Wildlife Focused Horse Safari

For intrepid travellers, this is a combination of incredible horseback game viewing and endless deserted beaches.

Horse riding with elephant in Zimbabwe

7 Nights: From $3 850 pps

Horseback safari in the heart of Hwange

Horseback safari in the heart of Hwange

7 Nights

Zimbabwe

Wildlife Focused Horse Safari

An exciting horse safari in one of Zimbabwe's premier wildlife reserves, off the beaten track and into wild Africa!