NAMIB DESERT SAFARI
Inspiring Landscapes Welcome to the oldest, and one of the most scenic deserts on earth, the Namib. With its iconic ochre dunes, huge plains and unique
desert adaptations, this seemingly in-hospitable place leaves us enriched by its majesty.
Days 1 - 4: Windhoek to the Namib
Welcome to Namibia! Windhoek Airport Shuttle service will collect you from Windhoek International Airport (Hosea Kutako) to your first overnight in Windhoek. Meet fellow riders and your host and guide Andrew Gillies for pre-ride briefing and dinner.
Early breakfast and then the exciting journey into the desert (approximately 4,5 hours) with a dramatic drop off the escarpment. Lunch in camp and followed by an afternoon visit to Sossusvlei area returning to camp at sunset.
Our first riding day starts amid the encircling Naukluft (narrow gorge) mountains - a short ride to lunch to get acquainted with your horse, the terrain and the delightful companionship...
Day 5 and 6 The Canyons
While Namibia’s westward- flowing rivers rarely flow, they all run through deep valleys etched at a time when Namibia was wetter and sea levels were lower. We cross two river canyons on our way to the Namib plains; the Gaub and the much larger Kuiseb which forms a dramatic end to the 400-km long Namib Sand Sea. Following the tracks of Mountain Zebra which crisscross the steep sides of the canyon, a technical descent requires some walking/scrambling into and out of the Canyon. The high, narrow walls of the canyon preserve an almost year-round supply of precious water for the game in this area.
Day 7 – 10 Namib Plains to the Swakop River
Good going affords some fast-paced riding on the wide grassy plains on the Namib. Dry watercourses, distinguishable by the long lines of acacia trees marking their courses, are much favoured resting place of Giraffe, Springbok and Oryx. As the plains become more arid strange shapes form and disappear in mirages and dinosaur-like plants, the gnarled Welwitschia Mirabilis, tell of a land of great antiquity and of tremendous solitude.
The Swakop river basin has eroded a truly ancient geology (600 million years old) exposing a bizarre moon like landscape. Curious black ridges of dolerite intrusions form whalebacks on the hills surrounding the river basin. And finally to the sea with the last canter along the beach - the end of a truly epic adventure.
Day 11 Departure
Early breakfast and transfer to Windhoek (just over 5-hour commute) arriving in time for departure flights from Windhoek International Airport after 15:00
DAMARA ELEPHANT SAFARI
Namibia has many great natural assets, not least of these are its dramatic landforms – remote, inaccessible and extremely rugged - and yet etched with poignantly delicate colours.
From Twyfelfontein to the Skeleton Coast, the sheer remoteness of this challenging horse riding safari makes it unsuitable for inexperienced riders since encounters with Elephant, Rhino and even Lion are possible. On the other hand, this could be the most thrilling riding adventure of your life!
Days 1 – 2 Windhoek to Twyfelfontein
Welcome to Namibia! Windhoek Airport Shuttle service will collect you from Windhoek International (Hosea Kutako) Airport to your first overnight in Windhoek. Meet fellow riders and your host and guide Andrew Gillies for pre-ride briefing and dinner.
After an early breakfast next day, we journey north (about a 7-hour transfer including a lunch stop en-route) through some spectacular Namibian landscapes to our camp at Twyfelfontein (Doubtful spring) with a visit to the world heritage site rock engravings at Twyfelfontein itself.
Days 3 – 6 The Rivers
With the rising sun at our backs, we begin our westward journey to the distant Atlantic. In these ephemeral river systems, the cycles of rainfall dictate the seasonal movement of game which is not concentrated, but we can encounter Elephants, Rhino, Oryx, Springbok, and other desert-adapted game.
Here huge glacial valleys, impressive Tableland mountains, exhumed by erosion, and folds and fractures resulting from cataclysmic eruptions present a well-preserved snapshot of a land of great antiquity.
Day 7 – 10 The Great Plains
Leaving the river valley’s we now cross the vastness of open plains with the striking massive of the Brandberg (burning mountain) forming a dramatic backdrop. Here endless plains allow for some fast-paced riding as we approach the dramatic Messum Caldera, the eroded remains of a massive collapsed volcano.
Our last ride takes us to the ocean at last - the spectacularly formidable Skeleton Coast, apparently so called for the wrecked hulks of stranded ships which dot this coastline. The cold upwelling Benguela current results in some diverse weather conditions from hot desert easterlies to cold south Atlantic westerly’s – a place of extremes!
We overnight in the small coastal town of Henties Bay in a private house with the most spectacular view over the Atlantic Ocean. Our last meal together is freshly caught Atlantic Fish done to perfection over the coals.
Day 11 Departure
After breakfast the transfer leaves early for Windhoek (a 6-hour commute) arriving at Windhoek Airport in time for flights leaving after 15:00
WILD HORSE SAFARIS
This adventurous ride includes some of the most breath-taking desertscapes on the planet. From the great dune sea of the central Namib to the very edge of the Sperrgebiet (German for restricted area) this ride covers diverse desert terrain: immense grassy plains, signature inselbergs (island mountains) and the rugged Tiras Mountain Reserve. This exclusive ride ends at Klein Aus Vista near the home of the Wild Horses of the Namib
Days 1 + 2 Arrival and Transfer
A Desert Paradise
Welcome to Namibia! Windhoek Airport Shuttle service will collect you from Windhoek International (Hosea Kutako) Airport to your
first overnight in Windhoek. Meet fellow riders and your host and guide Andrew Gillies for pre-ride briefing and dinner. After breakfast a 4-hour commute to our lunch spot in the quaint town of Maltahöhe, followed by a decent down the Zaris Pass to the Wolwedans Private Reserve. Settle in and explore your surroundings, meet your crew and horses before enjoying sundowners in the soft evening light with the spectacular Milky Way arching overhead.
Days 3 - 8 Desert Wonderland
We set off into the wide expanse of one of the largest Nature Reserves in Southern Africa. Riding across vast plains of truly unspoiled countryside with exceptional panoramic views where sentinel inselbergs (island mountains) dot the desert-scape. Desert adapted game are encountered during the day where open country with good going allows for some fast-paced riding. Lunch is enjoyed under a convenient tree or interesting spot with a good view. Overnight camps are chosen for their spectacular views and we arrive in time to enjoy sundowners in the soft pastel light the Namib is known for. Sleeping under the magnificent starry sky has its own kind of magic - few
places on earth afford so little light pollution and an incomparable view of the southern constellation.
Our route may vary depending on weather conditions or other circumstances but be assured, every day will be memorable.
Days 9/10 Luderitz and Departure
From our last night camp at Geistershlucht (Ghost valley) we visit the waterhole of the Namib’s – the wild horses of the Namib. On our last day we visit the coastal town of Luderitz, visiting the extraordinary ‘ghost town’ of Kolmanskop – the town the desert is ‘reclaiming’. Our departure from Klein Aus Vista gets us to Windhoek International Airport by 17:00
DESERT CANYONS SAFARI
Floral diversity and dramatic geology
The Fish River Canyon is an impressive geological feature, a natural gorge revealing the Earth’s history laid out like the pages of a book. Despite its seeming aridity this extraordinarily diverse biome is a delight for nature lovers. Expansive plains invite endless canters in a landscape characterised by meandering gorges and dramatically eroded escarpments.
The terrain dictates a slower start to this riding safari, so this ride is suitable for intermediate and advanced riders. From the northern reaches of the Fish River Canyon to the Orange River, this is a spectacularly diverse wonderland
Day 1 and 2 Cape Town to Holoog
You will be met at Cape Town International Airport (or city) for your transfer north, overnighting at the town of Springbok on the edge of the Richterveld Transfrontier Park. Next day, after the border crossing we reach Holoog (meaning ‘hollow eye”) Ranger Station in time for lunch with the crew. After lunch meet the horses and saddle up in the afternoon and ride in and around the Gaap River with is fascinating rock formations and rich plant diversity
Day 3 – 5 The Canyons
Following the Gaap River and crossing several small canyons which crisscross this very plant-diverse area which is also home to a number of game species including giraffe and Rhino. We have some open plains too so the pace quickens with some lovely long canters. We camp at Canõn Roadhouse, with its curious ‘living museum’ of old cars and movie memorabilia, and overnight at the intimate Mountain Camp lodge with its spectacular view.
Day 6 – 10 The Plains to the Orange River
Starting with a transfer to view the main viewpoint of the Fish River Canyon, we continue riding after lunch. Being both a winter and summer rainfall biome, this area is known for its rich diversity and large herds of seasonal plains game species can be seen. We ride to our overnight at the hot springs at Ai Ais where the deliciously warm water of the spring can be enjoyed in the afternoon – bring your swimming trunks! Finally dropping down into the valley of the Orange River we enjoy the last overnight on the banks of the river.
Day 11 Departure
After an early breakfast we depart on a 9 1⁄2 hour commute to Cape Town International Airport arriving between 17:00 and 18:00.
- All riding, accommodation and meals and drinks while on the ride - excluded are drinks at lodges, restaurants, and petrol stations en-route.
- Ground transfers from Cape Town City to starting point of ride and return transfer to Cape Town City
SKELETON DAMARA SAFARI
From the formidable Skeleton Coast into the remote western Damaraland and back onto the wild Atlantic Coast, this adventurous riding safariis not for the faint of heart!
Day 1: Arrive Walvis Bay airport, transfer to hotel in Swakopmund, sundowners, orientation and dinner with your guide, Andrew Gillies
Day 2: Depart Swakopmund to our lunch spot on the Skeleton Coast with a visit to the lichen fields and a ship-wreck en-route. Lunch in camp, saddle up after lunch and ride to first overnight camp.
Days 3 - 10: There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth.
From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding!
Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the huge lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
Last night in a luxury beach house with a fabulous view of the Atlantic.
Day 11: Transfer to Windhoek International Airport for flights departing around 15:00