You’d think that a seasoned horse rider for over fifteen years and an African for over twenty-six would have had the idea to go on a horseback safari a long time ago. I’m ashamed to say that I had no idea such an activity actually existed until it was recommended to me last year.
Whilst I had been on plenty of outrides in spectacular places (including the Drakensberg mountains) which were beautiful, I can say that I have never had an experience that came close to a safari on horseback.
Whether you are African born and bred or simply visiting our beautiful continent (welcome), here’s why you should go on one in the Kruger Park and what you should be looking for.
Guides taking you across African plains near wild animals also have lives that they would like to make it back to in one piece. Safety is a priority for them – yours, theirs, the horses’ as well as the wildlife. They will be passionate about the environments they work in and place value on conservation – which means they care about the safety of the wildlife as well as their horses. They will have the necessary knowledge pertaining to the avoidance of dangerous situations as well as what to do in the event of worst-case scenarios.
Horses – More than Just Pretty Faces
Horses are smart in general and ones that are accustomed to going out near other wild animals instinctually know how close they can or cannot get to another animal that has the ability to harm them. They would also have grown accustomed to the successful navigation of the terrain, meaning your steeds will be quite sure-footed and knowledgeable themselves. If you can’t trust the guide, trust your horse.
A Closer Experience
No safari that I have ever been on in the past got me closer to wild animals than one done on horseback. I essentially infiltrated a herd of giraffes disguised as a ‘shorter’ and less spotty giraffe. When on horseback, wild animals tend to view you (and smell you) as another animal, which means you have the chance to get much, much closer than usual. Horses are also substantially quieter than cars (who’d have thought) and this gives you an opportunity to sneak up on wildlife without scaring them away.
An Activity for Everyone
Experienced or inexperienced, older or younger (within reason), this is an activity which can be enjoyed and loved by all. Of all the times I had been on a horse in my life, this one was certainly unique and memorable. To have your own safari on horseback experience to brag about, contact Timbavati Safari Lodge or visit their website for more information.