NOT JUST AN UNFORGETTABLE HORSE SAFARI BUT A TRUE WILDLIFE ADVENTURE
Discover the secrets of one of Africa’s hidden gems on horseback, foot, boat and game drive vehicle on this eco-friendly adventure holiday.
Whether it’s your first or hundredth safari, Zambia will not disappoint! This is a tailor-made adventure holiday that combines 3 unique places in Zambia. This riding holiday is for intrepid travelers that crave the feeling of freedom and reconnection with nature.
Travel by boat up the river to the Simalaha floodplains. 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. For experienced riders, it offers 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 open plains are perfect for long, thrilling rides alongside the herds of wildebeest, giraffe and zebra. After a day’s ride, just unsaddle your horse and let it wander off into the sunset to rejoin the herd.
Then head downstream to Chundukwa River Lodge. Set on a beautiful family-run ranch with luxury wooden chalets nestled in the foliage along the Zambezi River. This special place is filled with local craftsmanship, wonderful colourful fabrics and warm hospitality. 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, a sunset cruise or even a helicopter flight. And for those more daring – how about a swim in Devil’s Pool?
Lastly, head to Zambia’s oldest and largest National Park, Kafue, to finish this epic safari holiday. You have the opportunity to see 4 out of the Big 5 including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, as well as over 12 different antelope species and an array of other wildlife. Indulge in sundowner drinks overlooking the plains, long conversations around the campfire, decadent meals under the stars and falling asleep to the sound of the wilderness.
Ideal for intermediate riders and above who want to extend their time in Africa without crossing borders. We can create bespoke vacations for two to eight people. From the time you land to the time you depart, we’ll arrange all your transfers, and accommodation and help tick off those bucket list experiences.
Duration: 8 - 11 Nights
- Excellent riding alongside large herds of plains game and rare antelope with ample chances for lovely long canters
- Authentic accommodation with al-fresco dining and breath-taking views in 3 unique locations in Zambia
- The chance to see Zambia from different perspectives – on horseback, by boat, on foot and by vehicle
- A tailor-made equestrian holiday that is suitable for all riding levels and even non-riders looking for adventure off the beaten track
- Be part of responsible tourism to protect local culture and natural heritage – visiting the oldest National Park in Zambia as well as one of its newest wildlife havens
READ MORE REVIEWS
”Highlights from my trip to Zambia. For me anyway the highlight was cantering with a herd of zebra on the plains!! A memory that will stick with me for the rest of my life... what an incredible experience. I rode Bullet she was such a dote, super sassy but a sweetheart underneath it all... Tara rode Soho and Eric had George... I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all loved our horses. They were so well schooled and not your typical trail horses! Riding home in the supermoon was incredible too. Riding among the giraffes, antelope (all species of them!) the birds, wildebeest, zebra, ostrich!! We were in awe of the whole thing. The skies in Africa really are just something else... Also had a very close encounter with a leopard in Kafue! That was awesome. The food and the people and the hospitality was just perfect, we really had an awesome time.SusanZambian Odyssey - Zambia
Horse Safari & Victoria Falls Combination + Southern Kafue National Park
This 8-Night Safari entails: 3 Nights at Zambian Horseback Safaris with 2 Nights Post-Safari at Chundukwa River Lodge and 3 nights at Nanzilha Plains Camp in Kafue. We can tailor-make this experience for you. We already have 10-night, and 11-night itineraries drawn up, but can create a bespoke trip.
You will experience both morning and afternoon rides in the Simalaha Wildlife Conservancy. Meals will be planned around the flow and energy of the riders, with bush picnics and sundowners being highlights. You can look forward to up to 6-7 hours of riding per day, meeting the local communities and incredible wildlife sightings! Your stay at Chudukwa is also tailored to the group, with a day dedicated to a private driver who can take you to see Victoria Falls and tick off any other activities in the area. In Kafue, you’ll have morning and evening game drives or walking safaris, all heading out to make the most of wildlife sightings.
Please note that the daily itinerary is a rough guide – it will be determined by your guides with the best interests of the group in mind.
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 on horseback. Then 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! Overnight Simalaha Camp
You will experience both morning and afternoon rides in the Simalaha Wildlife Conservancy. Meals will be planned around the flow and energy of the riders, with bush picnics and sundowners being highlights. You can look forward to up to 6-7 hours of riding per day, meeting the local communities and incredible wildlife sightings!
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 of relaxation at Chunkukwa but the trip can be tailored to suit you. We can arrange transfers from Victoria Falls as well as Kasane if you’re combining this with other destinations (at an additional cost)
Today you will ride to another part of the Conservancy, riding alongside the big herds and getting lost in the wilderness. Then it’s time to stop off at a local Village. Community members will give riders an introduction to their homes and you will learn first-hand about community involvement within the Conservancy and the special bond the people and wildlife share. This is a privileged insight into Lozi life and it is wonderful to be welcomed into a traditionally-built mudstyle home. You may possibly even learn a few local techniques, like beer brewing or basket weaving.
After a day’s adventure, a rare Star Bed experience can be found here at Zambian Horseback Safaris! Riders have the option to fall asleep gazing at open African skies in the safety and comfort of open Star Beds. It’s pure magic falling sleep with just the stars above you and the horses grazing nearby. Overnight Simalaha Camp / Star Bed
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”. This ride offers some lovely long canters across the open plains as well as slower walks along the river taking in the sights and sounds. After your safari river ride, relax and watch the sun go down treating yourself to a gin and tonic. Overnight Simalaha Camp.
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 by boat and vehicle, keeping an eye out for elephants, hippos and other wildlife. Check into your luxury riverside lodge for the next two nights. 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.
Your stay at Chudukwa is also tailored to the group, with a day dedicated to a private driver who can take you to see Victoria Falls and tick off any other activities in the area.
Overnight Chundukwa River Lodge
After a good night’s rest and a hearty fresh breakfast, feel free to explore Livingstone and Victoria Falls today! Inclusive in your stay you’ll have a vehicle and guide who will take you to visit Victoria Falls. We suggest having a few hours to walk to the different viewpoints, across Knife’s Edge Bridge and if you’re up for it, down to the Boiling Point.
There are many additional experiences that you may want to do and the driver guide will take you there, wait for you and bring you home safely at the end of the day. These outsourced activities are extra and for your own account. A magnet for tourists of all descriptions, Victoria Falls is one of Earth’s great spectacles. View it directly as a raging mile-long curtain of water, in all its glory, from a helicopter ride or peek precariously over its edge from Devil’s Pools – the sheer power and force of the Falls is something that simply does not disappoint! Overnight Chundukwa River Lodge
Activities you can do: Helicopter Flight over the falls; Microlight flights over the falls; Walking safari to see the endangered White Rhinos; Visit the local village markets; Buy traditional material and crafts; Visit the Livingstone Museum; Take a Swim in Devil’s Pool or Angel’s Pool, followed by lunch or tea; etc. Devil’s Pool and Helicopter flights need to be pre-booked in high season to avoid disappointment
After a leisurely breakfast overlooking the river, say goodbye to your hosts at Chundukwa. You’ll head back to Livingstone Town, where you’ll meet your driver who will take you to Kafue. It’s a 4 – 5 hour drive from Livingstone to the Camp, situated in the Southern part of Kafue National Park. The last hour is in the park itself and you might encounter wildlife en-route so keep your cameras ready. Then it’s time to settle down in your new home for the next few nights. Over tea, you’ll be briefed about what to expect at the lodge and what the day’s itinerary might look like, plus the guides will ask about your interests and what you’d like to see. Then it’s time for your first game drive to explore the park! Overnight Nanzhila Plains Camp.
Each morning you’ll be woken up by the dawn chorus and head out on your morning drive as the light brightens. For those who wish to do something more leisurely, head out on a safari walk instead where you can learn the art of tracking, uses of plants and appreciate the smaller creatures and birds that live here.
Most clients will see at least 12 different antelope species on an average three-night stay at Nanzhila, with sable, roan, Defassa waterbuck, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, kudu, eland, wildebeest, common reedbuck, oribi, impala and duiker to name a few. Nanzhila Plains provides visitors with the opportunity to sight 4 out of the Big 5 including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo (more specifically around Lake Itezhi-Tezhi). The numbers of these species have been increasing steadily over the last ten years and remain a highlight sighting for any safari enthusiast.
You’ll head back to the lodge for lunch and a long afternoon siesta. Then it’s time for a delicious tea before grabbing the binoculars and hopping aboard the game drive vehicle once more. Heading out in a different direction, you might follow a lion’s or leopard’s tracks into the bush. Who knows what you might see! You also stand a chance of sighting other special wildlife species such as cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, servals and honeybadgers on the late afternoon drives. Before sunset, you’ll stop somewhere scenic for the all-important sundowner drinks. Then head back home to enjoy chats around the campfire before dinner and retiring for the night.
If you spend 4 nights in Kafue, we can combine 2 nights at Plains Camp and 2 nights at Lake Camp – giving you more chances to see wildlife in different areas of the park (additional transfer costs apply)
Another early mornig as you head out for a last morning game drive. Then enjoy a late breakfast and freshen up at camp. You’ll be transferred back to Livingstone Airport for your departure flight. If you’re heading elsewhere in Africa, we can arrange your transfers accordingly. Then it’s time to say goodbye to Africa, until next time!
The Simalaha horse riding safari camp 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.
SIMALAHA SLEEP OUT
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. (Weather Dependent)
CHUNDUKWA RIVER LODGE
The Chundukwa River Lodge is situated just 25km from Victoria Falls and has magnificent views over the Zambezi River. There are lots of beautiful personal touches at the lodges, from local fabrics to homemade biscuits in your rooms. 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 intimate camp will feel like a home away from home. With friendly and knowledgeable staff and a stable of horses on-site, you will have everything you need for an unforgettable visit to Victoria Falls.
NANZHILA PLAINS CAMP
Nanzhila Plains Camp is a small, owner-run and very exclusive lodge in the stunning wilderness of southern Kafue. The main boma has a relaxed bar, lounge and dining areas. The elevated deck is perfect for an armchair safari, watching wildlife visiting the permanent waterhole. In the evenings, guests gather around the open-air fireplace to enjoy a nightcap, share experiences and watch the astonishing night sky. Accommodation is in three en-suite, Meru-style raised safari tents, and three en-suite thatched chalets. They’re far enough apart to ensure privacy, with each overlooking the waterhole.
Found at 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) has worked hard to protect and preserve the local wildlife and promote sustainable tourism. Started in 2012 by the chiefs of the Sekute Chiefdom, together with support from Peace Parks and local operators such as Dough and Gail, the project has introduced over 1,100 animals into the conservation area including zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and waterbucks. The aim is to provide a sanctuary where wildlife and people can co-exist as they did in the past.
Chunkukwa River Lodge, Zambezi River
As the mighty Zambezi River crashes over the gorge, it drops 108 metres into a powerful whirlpool, forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world – Victoria Falls. Traditionally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (meaning the ‘Smoke that Thunders’) it is a sight not to be missed. Staying at Chundukwa River Lodge, 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!
Nanzhila Safari Camp, Kafue National Park
Despite its proximity to Livingstone and Victoria Falls, four-star Nanzhila Plains is the only lodge in the southern Kafue. Your nearest neighbours are three hours away, so you’ll have this 3000-square-kilometre area of pure wilderness to yourself. The southern Kafue is a luscious place of beautiful woodlands and green plains, and the lodge itself is set on the edge of a shallow wetland attracting a vast variety of wildlife and birds. The park gets its name from the Kafue River, which flows through it in the north, down to the eastern boundary, and into Lake Itezhi-Tezhi before turning eastwards through the Kafue Flats to the Zambezi. It is the oldest and largest National Park in Zambia and the 5th largest in the world.
HOW WE CARE FOR OUR HORSES
Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for the quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Simalaha and Chudukwa 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 about this.