Kenya, Masai Mara
- Riding Safari in Masai Country -
This is ride for those who are fascinated by wildlife and want to experience it in total freedom. Imagine a fast gallop across the vast savannah next to herds of zebras, wildebeests and gazelles. This is a unique safari where you explore places far from the usual 'tourist trail', but don’t have to forsake "luxuries" such as good food and drink, a shower every night and a comfortable bed. The ride goes through the Maasai, which is one of the most animal rich environments in Africa. During this long ride, you will get close to many of the animals of the savannah. If you are lucky you will see the "Big Five", which is the leopard, buffalo, rhino, elephant and lion.
Most of the riding goes through the Masai Land and through the northern ranches. The terrain is flat open plain and is very suitable for galloping. After a 7-9 hour ride, it's nice to come back to camp and relax with a cold drink. In the midst of the wilderness you will be served three-course dinners with wine as if you were at a fancy restaurant. Afterwards, everyone gathers around the campfire and it is fascinating to sit there in the pitch-black and try to distinguish the different calls of hyenas, lions, monkeys, etc. The feeling cannot be described in words.
Tristan, who comes from South Africa, is the founder of this safari. He and his wife Lucinda have lived with horses all their lives. Both are enthusiastic polo players and Lucinda is also an amateur jockey. They welcome you to their stunning home, a colonial house from 1920. You will stay 2 nights in a double room with shower / toilet. The other eight nights you stay in different camps.
Kenya - Riding Safari Seven Nights
Preliminary day-by-day program
DAY 1 - Mara River Hippo Camp You will be picked up at your hotel in Nairobi or at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport and driven to Wilson Airport where a domestic flight departs around 10:00am to Mara Shikar. At the airport, you will be met by a car and driven about 1 hour to the camp. You can enjoy a good lunch and then get to know your horse on an evening ride where you also get the chance to see zebra, topi, giraffe, wildebeest, gazelle and there is also a great chance of seeing elephant, buffalo and lion. Overnight at Mara River.
DAY 2 - Mara River Hippo Camp - We begin the day with an early morning ride, crossing the Mara River for the first time, returning to camp for a light breakfast. After breakfast a game drive will be on offer, driving provides better photographic opportunities than from a horse and exploring more of this Northern part of the Mara has much to offer. We will return in time for lunch and a siesta beforesetting off on an afternoon ride. We will be back in good time to shower and maybe set off in the vehicles once more for a sun downer and a short night game drive before supper.
DAY 3 - Escarpment Soit Olololo Camp - We leave camp after breakfast at about 9am, heading south towards the park boundary where we meet the river again at one of the famous wildebeest crossings. We cross the river and head southwest across the Mara Triangle, meeting the car with our picnic lunch at around 12:30. After lunch and a siesta we set off at about 16:00 and ascend the Soit Olololol Escarpment. We reach our camp at about 17:30 on the edge of the escarpment and spend the night overlooking the whole Mara ecosystem.
DAY 4 - Olare Orok Camp - We descend the escarpment after breakfast at about 9am and ride across to the same wildebeest crossing on the river. We head in a westerly direction and descend into the enchanting Olare Orok Valley with a picnic lunch and siesta from about 12:30-15:30 on the way. Reaching our camp in time at about 17:00 in time for tea, there should also be time to do an evening game drive and sundowners, before supper under the stars.
DAY 5 - Olare Orok Camp - Here we will have a full day of exploring this glorious area on horseback, car and possibly on foot. You will have excellent photo opportunities, getting close to buffalo, elephant, lion and maybe cheetah or leopard.
DAY 6 - Olare Lamun Camp - Our third moving day and we break camp in good time as it the longest ride of the trip covering nearly 50kms. Setting off at 7.00am, we have a picnic breakfast stopping from about 10-11am. We continue on until 13:30 where we break again for lunch and a siesta after reaching Ol Kinyei Conservancy. At 16:00 we head to our last camp, arriving at Olare Lamun (the rhino salt lick) nestled in a grove of acacia trees by a small stream at the southern edge of the Loita Plains.
DAY 7 - Olare Lamun Camp - After an early wake up we will set off for a morning ride before returning to camp for a light breakfast. We will then set out for a game drive and beautiful walk up the nearby hill called Oloiburmut, returning to camp for a lunch and a siesta. At around 4pm we will drive or ride to visit the local Masai Village.
DAY 8 - Departure Day - Our last morning ride before saying goodbye to our horses. After a final breakfast you will drive to the airstrip and fly back to Nairobi around 11am, landing into Wilson at 12noon. We will organise for a taxi to pick you up and either take you around Nairobi to do some shopping/visits, or to a Hotel day room (included), before taking you on to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your evening flight home, or your onward destination.
Minimum 5, maximum 12 participants.
Subject to change due to local circumstances, without changing the nature of the program.
Accommodation & Food
You live in comfortable 2- bed tents in traditional safari style with washbasin and toilet tent next door. There is also a shower close by. There is no electricity at the campsites but rather lights are operated by battery and gas.
Lunches are a delicious picnic. Dinner is served at set tables by costumed Masai. It's an amazing experience to eat such good meals while you listen to different wild animal sounds in the darkness. All the food is fresh, as the camp has a large amount of ice. Bread is baked daily on an open fire and the chefs are extremely talented. There is free access to all alcoholic beverages (except champagne) and soft drinks.
Safe deposit box: Yes
Hair Dryer: No
Towels and sheets: Yes
Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner: Yes
As the location is so close to the equator, there is no winter and summer. However, the rainy season runs between April-May and October. The hottest periods are Feb March and Sept / Oct, but the ride is about 1,800 meters (5,900 ft) above sea level which makes it quite cool with few mosquitoes.
Ability description: Level, trail ride 3 >>
Included in the price: All conservation & park fees, domestic flights and transfers associated with each safari. Dayroom in Nairobi on last day if required (7 night ride only). Full board accommodation, all drinks (except Champagne), all riding, game drives (day & night), walking, laundry, local airstrip transfers.
Not included: International flights, personal insurance.
Travel: Book flight/rental car >>
Flight: To Nairobi where you will be met at the airport.
From the international airport you are transferred to Wilson Airport to fly at 10.00 am with domestic flight to Naiboisho, in the Masai Mara.
Maximum 15kg luggage is allowed.
Riding: You will ride effectively 4-6 hours per day often at a fast pace. It is therefore important that you are a good rider, are in good condition and are accustomed to fast gallops. The horses are English Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred crosses.
Vaccinations: You need vaccination against hepatitis and should eat malaria tablets. Also ask at your vaccination center what they recommend.
Visa: A citizen of a foreign country, wishing to enter The Republic of Kenya, generally must first obtain an evisa via https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=7
Currency: Kenyan shilling
Credit card: Only accepted in shop.
Tipping: Not required but appreciated, normally around 9 EUR/day.
Wifi: Yes, in reception.
Electricity jack: Adapter is available.
Group size: 5-12 riders
Age limit: They accept teenagers of age 14yrs and above on set departure safaris if they are competent riders and prepared to join in with other adults
Child discount: 14-17yrs - 25% discount
Closest village: None
Riding equipment to borrow: Helmet with request in advance
Saddle bag available: Yes
Special diet: Inform when booking.