Places to go for horse riding safaris in Kenya

Nothing would be more exciting than riding off the beaten path for a close up view of the game scenes in an African wilderness. Kenya is one of the pioneer destinations offering a unique riding safari experience to tourist yearning to go beyond the normal game drives. There are two main type of horse back safaris offered in various destinations in Kenya.

  • Centre based lodge riding. This is where all riding starts from a permanent lodge or camp riders heading out to the nearby wildernesses.
  • Mobile tented camp riding. Mainly found in the extensive Mara north conservancies this model uses mobile camping to give a more authentic riding experience as riders relocate from one area to another either moving with the serengeti herds or seeking new landscape and game scenes.

In this post we shall cover some of the places in Kenya you can go for a horse riding safari.

1.   Mara Naboisho conservancy

The conservancy is a flawless savannah wilderness in Mara north featuring hordes of zebras, wildebeest, antelope, buffalo, topi, giraffes and lions. When compared to other wildernesses in Mara North Naboisho is one of the best location for sighting overland hunting scenes as the Naboisho pride is one of the world’s largest lion family with close to a 100 individuals. The open Savannah that dominate these plains make the conservancy a perfectly ideal destination for horse back riding. In Naboisho the horses are majorly quality boerperds bred with a height of between 15 and 17 hands. Here, Asilia Naboisho camp is the best accommodation for horse safaris offering one of the best mobile tented camp riding excursions in Kenya. The conservancy is set along the Mara Serengeti herds migratory route offering one of the most rewarding migration tracking safaris for riders.

2.   Mara north conservancy

Set out in the northern end of Masai Mara, Mara north conservancy is one of the most outstanding private wildernesses in greater Mara region. For countless years the serengeti herds have been transversing this wilderness annually in one of the most dramatic nature show in planet earth. The conservancy is a preference for tourists due to its low visitor density that guarantee an almost completely exclusive experience. The conservancy is mainly  savannah plains dotted with broad shaded acacia trees giving riders one of the best landscape to gallop into the most hidden sections of greater Mara.

Here off beat Mara safaris and Safaris unlimited offer the riding safaris with mobile accommodations and a daily coverage of up to 20 km radius into the wilderness. The camps are moved every evening to guarantee a unique set of experience each day.

3.   Olerai conservancy

Situated adjacent Naboisho conservancy is the small 5000 acres Olerai conservancy. The conservancy boast having one safari accommodation giving guest unparralled exclusivity where the natural silence is only broken by the chirps of birds that bounds the serene habitat. Despite the small area size Olerai conservancy has a very diverse landscape mainly Savannah plains with exciting drizzling stream and patches bushlands. These tracts has a relatively high wildlife population giving rider magical opportunities to encounter impalas, gazelles, wildebeests and giraffes. With Lerai safari camp having only 6 spacious tents, the conservancy is an ideal choice for group riders who would like to have a completely exclusive stay and experience. The ride operator, ride Mara, has seven horses that are highbred and well trained for safaris.

4.   Chyullu hills/ Amboseli

Situated on the chyullu hills on the base of kilimanjaro and stuck between Tsavo and Amboseli National parks, is a 110000 ha long stretch of private wilderness. Here horse rides are operated by ride Kenya company based at Ol donyo lodge. With a dramatic wilderness featuring incredible view of lava flows, lush flora, exciting game scenes all backdropped by the magnificent snow capped Mt Kilimanjaro; chyullu is an exciting riders destination. Here there are 18 properly schooled south Africa boerperd of between 15.1 and 17.5 hand heights. The company also offer program for assisted riding to novice.

5.   Ol pejeta conservancy

The conservancy set on the bases of mount Kenya in Laikipia is well known for its large white and black rhino population, one of the largest in the world. It is also one of the most sought after conservancies in Kenya outside greater Mara. Marked with open savannah plains the ride here is a highly rewarding experience with most parts of the wilderness accessible and granting unparalleled sweeping view . Ol Pejeta horse rides take place in a section set apart for rhinos and with no predators making it the best horse back riding safari you can have for rhino tracking. The Ol Pejeta stable has well schooled major polo breeds granting one of the best quality ride experience you can have in Kenya. You need at least basic riding skills to participate.

6.   Lewa conservancy

Lewa conservancy is one of the major game hot spots in the laikipia plateau and one of the country’s most important sanctuaries for endangered southern black rhinos. The conservancy has been a top choice for luxury travelers. Notable figures who chose the conservancy include prince William who stayed in the conservancy in 2010 when he proposed to his fiance Kate at nearby Lake Rutundu on slopes of Mount Kenya. The conservancy has one of the best ride you can have outside greater Mara. Here the landscape is unusually alluring with dramatic valleys and hills shrouded by endless grasslands with moderately dense acacia trees. Lewa wilderness camp is the best choice for riders offering tented mobile camp riding

excursions leading to different areas of this wilderness. Besides the conservancy is the only place where experienced riders go for night rides for a more intense search of the nocturnal wildlife.

7.   Solio Ranch

The Laikipia conservancy is an ideal choice for small groups of riders who would like to have a totally exclusive riding experience. Here there are only 6 horses which one reserved for the guide. Solio Lodge is the only accommodation facility in this wilderness granting guest a low key stay over the extensive 19000 acres wilderness. Though rides are conducted outside the main rhino sanctuary, guest are still treated to incredible view of zebras, impalas, giraffes and warthogs.

8.   Lake Elementaita/ soysambu cnservacy

Lake elementaita is one of the three alkaline lakes that host a high flamingo concentrates in Kenya. The lake is also a breeding ground of many shoreline birds. Adjacent Soysambu conservancy is also one of the least explored game destination boasting an impressive population of Rothschild giraffe, zebra, leopards, lions, impalas, thompson’s gazelles, elands and colobus monkeys. Most of the horses at soysambu stable are boerperds with a few local crosses all schooled for shoreline rides. Here you will have an exciting shoreline ride enjoying a close up view of zebras, impalas and elands that inhabit the waterlogged lush shoreline and nearby bushlands. The lake itself is shallow allowing guest to ride through the water for a magical bird view.

9.   Sanctuary farm/ Lake Naivasha

Though not a prime game viewing spot the 450 acres conservancy on the shorelines of Lake Naivasha has one of the most beautiful flora setting in Kenya encompassing lush savannah and dense yellow backed fever trees. The lakeside conservancy also has an impressive population of zebras, elands, cape bufallos and a host of shoreline birds and waterfowls. Here the the horse stables are at the sanctuary house the only facility inside the farm with riding excursion leading to the nearby lake shoreline marked with a spectacular bird scenes and a view of herbivores grazing in the adjacent wetlands. The sanctuary farm riding is the best for novice riders and children.

10.         Aberdare

The Aberdare rides are in Aberdare country club a facility set on the slopes of Muiga hills a small hill cloaked by stunning dense woodlands. The expansive wilderness is home to wildlife like giraffes, leopards, buffaloes, gazelles and zebras. The Aberdare country club is the best choice for guest seeking to explore into spellbinding bushvelds off the beaten paths.

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Keyword: riding safari, fly camping