For those used to hunting or eventing, finding a suitable African riding safari can present a challenge. After all, some operators in Africa cater for a range of abilities and, inevitably, in some cases this can mean that they have to take into account the fact that not all guests have the same degree of ‘stickability’. While they will do their best to cater for a variety of abilities, slower and safer rides can be frustrating for those who have hunted all their lives and relish galloping across varied terrain.
The finest view in Africa
David Foot of Ride Botswana, who runs a number of rides in both the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert, is reassured when he sees ‘hunting’ on a guest’s form – he knows they will be able to cope with the pace of a more challenging riding safari. And while there is capacity to take special care of less experienced riders within a group, he is at pains to point out that if a ride is categorised as being for the experienced, that means being able to sit securely on a good horse at a flat out gallop across rough terrain.
Tristan Voorspuy of Offbeat Safaris offers perhaps the most challenging and exciting riding for guests in a number of locations including the Masai Mara. His five or ten day rides are not for the faint-hearted but they do provide thrills and spills sufficient to satisfy the most experienced cross-country rider.
Adrenaline riding safari
The advantages of matching riding ability to operator, ride and terrain are obvious. Viewing game close up is not without its risks, but galloping alongside herds of wildebeest or among zebra is truly thrilling. As is seeing an elephant at close hand or galloping in a moonlit desert. But if an operator is confident about the abilities of a group, more risks can be taken and experience is often enhanced by the frisson of a little bit of danger.
At Bushbuck Safaris we are always happy to discuss the exact abilities and ambitions of every guest, whether travelling in a group or as a single person, and we will advise on all aspects of a trip so that we can ensure the reality matches the dream. Prices are the same whether you book through Bushbuck Safaris or directly through an operator so there is nothing to lose and an awful lot to gain.