Horse riding in South Africa

This blog has been written for people looking to experience horse riding in Africa, whether as a solely horseback safari experience or as part of a traditional safari involving game drives. We share with you, in the second installment of our equestrian blog series, the top locations and camps offering horseback safaris in South Africa. Let’s find out more.

South Africa is a country with so much to offer, with experiences ranging from self-driving the garden route, the cosmopolitan and vibrant Cape Town, walking safaris, and incredible game viewing in its many national parks. What we will focus on here however, is its many horse riding safari opportunities.

South Africa by Horseback

Horizon Horseback Safaris is located in the malaria-free Waterberg Reserve, and offers fantastic itineraries that combine both a stay at their permanent lodge and a few nights in their bush camp. 10 days in length, the itineraries incorporate a number of activities alongside horse riding, including game drives, walking safaris, lake swimming (with you and your horse!), an introduction to polocross, a visit to the local town, and even a chance to do some cattle mustering and western games. One of your game drives is in the neighbouring Big 5 reserve, with the chance to see rhino, leopard, lion, elephant, and buffalo. For families, there is a specific itinerary aimed to include activities that the whole family can enjoy together.

These are for those who don’t want to see big game from their horses, but rather wish to spend time in the bush on horseback and enjoy all the different horseback activities on offer. For those that want to get off the beaten track, then Horizon Horseback’s ‘African Explorer’ itinerary is the one for you. The first few nights spent at the traditional tented Camp Davidson before crossing into Botswana to join Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in the Tuli block for three nights under canvas. This area is known for big herds of elephants as well as all other game.

A fantastic option offering both riding and non-riding activities is The Ants Collection. Also located in the malaria-free Waterberg, Ants Collection features two properties: Ants Nest and Ants Hill, owned and run by Ant and Tessa Baber. These two stunning bush homes bring guests back year after year, offering horse riding to all abilities, and also all ages, makes this an ideal family destination. There are no set timetables or safaris, riding is offered as an activity alongside game drives, walking safaris, mountain biking, archery and other local activities.

Ants Hill accommodation is in cottages, varying from standard to superior deluxe. As the name suggests, the property is located up high overlooking a gorge and waterhole, so not only are the views are amazing, but you can also watch animals come and drink from the comfort of the deck. Some of the cottages can take up to five people so fantastic for families. Ant’s Nest has six rooms, also varying from standard to deluxe, but for horse riding groups travelling together or multigenerational families this property can be booked exclusively, offering the ultimate home away from home experience.

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Images courtesy of Ant's Collection, Sotuh Africa

When to go?

South Africa is a year round destination to visit, however summer can be very hot, so if you are not good in the heat then do consider avoiding the peak summer months. If you are planning on a riding safari as part of a longer African itinerary, we would first consider the other areas you are visiting to determine the optimum time to combine these.

Where to rest your legs after?

With Johannesburg as your nearest airport from the aforementioned lodges, your options truly are endless. You could head out on a second safari in Southern or East Africa, head to Cape Town for some city life, or if some beach time is on your radar then Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique and Zanzibar are only a few hours away by plane. So if you are interested in a horse riding safari adventure in Africa, contact us today.

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