Desert Horse Ride
Includes: Riding in Namibia
This is a relaxed, slower paced circular ride, covering up to 30 Kms a day in the mountains, open plains and sand dunes of the Aus area in Southern Namibia which is also home to the wild horses of Namibia. 2 nights are spent in lodges and 3 nights camping out in the desert.
A 4-day circular ride in the Sperrgebiet Rand Park, a private reserve adjoining the Sperrgebiet National Park and habitat of the wild horses. The ride begins at Klein-Aus Vista's Desert Horse Inn and ends at Eagles Nest Lodge. Experience a variety of landscapes, from mountains to wide open plains and sand dunes where the unique attraction is the chance to observe the wild horses and desert game species from horse back.
Suitable for confident intermediate riders and those who do not wish to spend so much time in the saddle. Can be combined with the 5-night Fish River ride or part of another non-riding itinerary. The route starts and ends in Luderitz, and participants can choose to fly into the town or jon the safari as part of a fly drive safari around Namibia.
- Day 1: Start of riding safari
- Guests flying in will be met at Luderitz Airport (please discuss your flight details). At 14h30, your riding group departs on a 1-hour road transfer to Klein-Aus Vista's Desert Horse Inn. For self drive guests, meet the group at Desert Horse Inn. Meet hosts, horses and friendly crew at Desert Horse Inn on the edge of the southern Namib Desert. Time permitting, a short sun down ride will introduce you to the horses and the terrain.
- Day 2: Riding Safari
- Ride through the quaint little town of Aus and to the mountains beyond. We visit an archaeological site with Bushman paintings and continue to the first overnight camp at Leopardenschlucht (Leopards Valley). We could see Oryx, Kudu, Klipspringer and rock hyrax, as well as birds of prey, during the ride.
- Day 3: Riding
- A day which will start at a slow pace and build in momentum as we cross mountain foot slopes before venturing onto the red sandy plains known as Rooikam (Red ridge). The afternoon's ride will cross more sandy plains - with a strong chance of encountering the wild horses, to an eccentric inselberg called Kuckaus. Imagine unlimited desert plains with a few prominent hills and totally unspoilt landscape.
- Day 4: Another day in the Saddle
- Ride towards the Watershed and the old transport or ox wagon route between Aus and Luderitz. One just has to admire the people who, at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions, conquered the desert in those early years. We follow the old route for some way before turning off to the big "Sand ramp" of Ausweiche. Our camp is in a dry riverbed at the foot of a sand dune, spectacular location for sundowners and the most magnificent view over the Namib Desert.
- Day 5: Riding
- An exhilirating canter back across sandy plains. By lunch we should be settling in at Eagles Nest before the afternoon excursion to seek out the Wild Horses of the Namib Desert
- Day 6: Horse Riding Safari Ends
- Depart after breakfast; transfer to Luderitz airport to fly to Windhoek (you may have time to visit the ghost town of Kolmanskoppe before your flight departs). Or continue on your self drive safari around Namibia. You will be sure to take away special memories and maybe the dream of another ride in the awesome desert of Namibia.
- Bottled and canned drinks, souvenirs, tips for local guides and crew
- General info
- HORSES and SADDLES: "One of every breed", i.e. Arab, Haflinger, Lippizzaner, Trakehner, Ranch Horses, even the famous wild horses of the Namib desert; small to middle-sized, swift horses raised on rough terrain, some of them with experience in endurance rides, each one of them a kind, reliable companion deserving the very best treatment and care. Comfortable equitation and Western saddle, which we prefer.
TERRAIN and DISTANCE: Gravel, sometimes hard and difficult, later sand. On average we cover 35km a day, 6 - 10 hours on horseback. Speed depends on terrain and temperatures as well as on fitness and weight of riders; gait, trot and canter. 6 - 15 riders + 1 - 2 riding guides per group.
TENTED CAMP: big igloo-type tents (two people per tent), camp-beds, swags with lambskin, duvet or continental quilt and pillow; folding chairs, hot shower. Luggage is transported on trucks; the riders take short-cuts through the bush or desert and meet the back-up vehicles at camp sites. Camp is erected every sunset; meals are prepared around the open fire, usually "braai" or "potjiekos", typically Namibian and often a surprise.
BRING your sleeping-bag, wide-brimmed hat, windcheater, warm pullover, 2 neckerchiefs, long-sleeved shirts, sun-tan lotion, sun glasses, comfortable riding clothes (well-fitting beloved sportswear rather than fashionable brand-new jeans) - bring at least 3 changes -, riding boots/tekkies/chaps/mini-chaps according to habit, leisure wear, towel, water bottle (2l!), torch, gloves, moon bag, lip salve. We strongly recommend riding caps (not wearing them is at your own risk).
- Fitness, good health, experience in horse riding and dealing with horses is essential. You need not be a professional dressage or show jumping rider, but should really feel very much at ease on the back of a cantering horse, have a tough mind and a sense of humour.
- Weight limit is 85 kg - anyone heavier has to pay additional 30% for an extra horse.
Canned or bottled drinks are supplied by us to your prior instructions and on your account.
Should we get into a sand storm we shall leave the desert immediately either for Swakopmund or our ranch.
As we are not liable for any loss, damage or injury on your side, your travel insurance should include accident, health cover, emergency rescue. Day rides and shorter trails may be arranged by individual enquiry. We also offer to handle or help with other travel arrangements around our country.
Non-riding company is welcome to join the trucks.