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Masai Mara Horseback Safari

Our rides in Kenya are operated in the most game-rich wilderness locations on the continent, in some of the largest unfenced expanses in Africa. Far from civilization, the sense of space and freedom is overwhelming. These areas offer great diversity in wildlife species, birdlife and scenery. This is also home to the Masai people, who roam the plains with their herds of livestock.


These safaris are designed entirely around the wishes of the guests, riding over a country that is home to abundant wildlife, framed by endless panoramas. The speed, distance and nature of our rides depend entirely on the dynamics of each group. Because of the sheer multitude of wild animals to be seen, our bespoke horse-riding safaris typically alternate between days riding out from our mobile camp and days on the move. This means we ride into new country every day, and on move days, we might cover between 20 to 40 kilometres. While the skilled crew break and move camp, you ride on horseback to meet them in the late afternoon. Aside from being a unique way to view wildlife, a horseback safari is also one of the most environmentally friendly ways of going on safari. In the event that any of the guests feel a little saddle sore, our 4x4 safari vehicles are on stand-by to take them on game drives.

THE MASAI MARA RIDE
An 8 night safari on horseback in the Masai Mara wilderness.

SAMPLE ITINERARY
On arrival in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be greeted by a representative of Safaris Unlimited and transferred to your hotel.

Day 1 ~ You will be met and transferred from your hotel to Wilson Airport for a safari briefing. Our morning flight departs at 10.30 a.m. and arrives in the Mara at approximately 11.15 a.m. Your professional safari guide, Gordie Church, will meet you in the bush for a game drive to our private-canvas mobile camp arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon is spent settling in, followed by a short ride or game drive.

Riding distance: 5-10 kms.
Meal Plan: Lunch and dinner in camp.
Overnight: Nkilenya, Lemek Conservancy.

Day 2 ~ Morning and afternoon exploring the riverine forests and open plains of Lemek. There is an abundance of wildlife here including giraffe, warthog, zebra, hartebeest, topi, wildebeest and with a little luck, cheetah and leopard too. Bloody Marys in the morning and Pink Gins for ‘sundowners’ in the evening. All-in-all, a heavenly first day on safari.

Riding distance: 10-15 kms.
Meal Plan: All meals in camp.
Overnight: Nkilenya, Lemek Conservancy.

Day 3 ~ Our first full day in the saddle takes us through spectacular wildlife country with impala, gazelle, elephant, buffalo, ostrich and more. Picnic lunch is enjoyed in a patch of forest called Olomai. After a siesta we ride down to the banks of the Mara River with its’ large pods of hippo and the odd monster crocodile.

Riding distance: 20-25 kms.
Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner in camp. Picnic lunch in the bush.
Overnight: Mara River, Mara North Conservancy.

Day 4 ~ A stunning area to traverse by horse or vehicle. We may ford the Mara River and ride under the iconic Siria Escarpment. The concentration of game is breath taking and with plenty of opportunity to jump fallen trees created by the resident elephant. Waterbuck, eland, jackal, hyena and lion occur, as do many other wildlife species.

Riding distance: 10-15 kms.
Meal Plan: All meals in camp.
Overnight: Mara River, Mara North Conservancy.

Day 5 ~ After a ‘full-monty’ breakfast we ride in a southerly direction across Maternity Plain. Stunning views in every direction and excellent going for the horses. We cross the Mara River on horseback and enter the famous Mara Triangle. Picnic lunch is enjoyed in a patch of thick forest often occupied by elephant. After lunch, a short ride, followed by an ascent on foot, to the top of the escarpment.

Riding distance: 20-25 kms.
Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner in camp. Picnic lunch in the bush.
Overnight: Out Of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle.

Day 6 ~ Options to ride and drive in the triangle with magical views looking down towards the Serengeti in the distance. This corner of the ecosystem is blessed with croton thickets, forest and endless tall grasslands, the perfect environment for rhino, elephant, buffalo and lion. In the late afternoon we may visit a small traditional homestead of our local Masai hosts.

Riding distance: 10-15 kms.
Meal Plan: All meals in camp.
Overnight: Out of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle.

Day 7 ~ Today we descend the escarpment on foot and head due east, riding back over the Mara River, skirting the large village of Rianta and onwards, to a lovely picnic lunch under scattered acacia trees. After a long siesta we ride over the Koiyaki Plain and to our new camp on the Olare Orok Stream, used by the Masai to water their cattle.

Riding distance: 20-25 kms.
Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner in camp. Picnic lunch in the bush.
Overnight: KO 8, Mara North Conservancy.

Day 8 ~ Morning and afternoon ride, drive or walk in this magical corner of the Mara. Exceptional riding country, where two large prides of lion make this area their home, allowing for a sensational big-cat experience. We may go out after supper by vehicle, with a spotlight, to discover the nocturnal creatures.

Riding distance: 15-20 kms.
Meal Plan: All meals in camp.
Overnight: KO8, Mara North Conservancy.

Day 9 ~ Our last morning ride in this stunning country. After a hearty brunch we say our "goodbyes" to the horses and camp crew. Our afternoon flight to Nairobi departs at 2.45 p.m. Upon arrival at approximately 4.15 p.m., you will be transferred to your Nairobi hotel or JKIA for your international flight home.

Riding distance: 10-15 kms.
Meal Plan: Brunch in camp.


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