Crossing the oldest desert in the world on horseback is a journey of a lifetime! This 8-night ride will take you 185 miles across wide plains and hugely varied terrain and despite its aridity, you can expect to see a lot of plains game. Tremendously rewarding, it challenges you the rider and builds mutual respect between yourself and your horse. Central Namibia offers spectacular and fascinating contrasts; from Khomas Hochland mountains and escarpment to the Kuiseb Canyon; the Tinkas, Tumas and Welwitschia plains, Moon Valley, the seasonal Swakop River and the coastal dunes of the Atlantic Ocean.
You will fly into Windhoek where you will spend one night before a 4 ½ hour drive into the desert arriving at camp in time for lunch with the crew. In the afternoon you will visit the extraordinary Sossusvlei dunes. Days 3 and and 4 will be traversing the Nakuluft foothills and grassy plains on the edge of the Namib dune sea.
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. You qill cross two river canyons on the 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.
Days 7-10 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 - a truly epic adventure finishes in the coastal town of Swakopmund where you sleep with a roof over your head.
This part of the holiday ends with a five-hour drive to Windhoek arriving at around 1300 - quite possibly not ready to return home, but Ranch Rider can provide an alternative to the aeroplane!
2023 dates: April 1-11; 19 – 29: May 26-5 June: 22 July-1 August: 28 August-7 September
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