Masai Mara Safari

9 Daysย  |ย  From ยฃ6900pp

Kenya ( Best airport: Nairobi)

This is the ultimate riding safari through some of the most prolific wildlife areas in Africa. Home to one of the greatest natural spectacles on earth; the wildebeest migration where more than a million hungry wildebeest travel from Tanzania to Kenya’s Mara National Reserve alongside a few hundred thousand zebras and half a million gazelles, these safaris are characterised by the relaxed pace, luxurious camps and interaction and collaboration with the indiginous Maasai people. On this mobile tented safari youโ€™ll ride alongside an abundance of wildlife such as lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and zebra, as well as huge numbers of plains game and birdlife.

The Riding

The riding is in some of the largest unfenced expanses in Africa. Far from civilization, the sense of space and freedom is liberating. These areas offer great diversity in wildlife species, birdlife and scenery and are also home to the Masai and Samburu people, who roam the plains with their herds of livestock. Youโ€™ll ride through rolling savannah, acacia woodlands and forests on the banks of the Mara and Olare Orok rivers. This is part of the Serengeti ecosystem and Kenyaโ€™s most impressive wildlife sanctuary. These rides are situated mainly in the private conservancies outside the game reserve, which tends to get very crowded, whereas the conservancies are exclusive. These are incredible areas that have been chosen by the Masai owners to protect the wildlife and their cattle. Much of the riding is at a walk due to the terrain but there are opportunities for trots, canters and some faster canters and gallops across the wide open plains. Youโ€™ll ride between 4 to 7 hours, covering 20 to 30 kilometres per day. Full days of riding when you move camp are alternated with days where you ride out of camp and return for lunch and a siesta in the afternoon.

Youโ€™ll see amazing game from horseback such as fighting giraffes, elephants wallowing in a mud bath, lions and cheetahs. One of the riding highlights is cantering along with the plains game; hundreds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope running alongside makes for a thrilling riding experience.

Level of Riding and Fitness

All riders need to be competent and confident at all paces; surprises in the bush cannot be predicted. Youโ€™ll need to be fit enough to enjoy between 4-7 hours in the saddle across varied terrain although in the event that any guests feel a little saddle sore, the safari is fully backed up by 4X4 safari vehicles which are on standby to take any weary riders on game drives instead.

Guides and Group Size

This is probably the only riding safari in Africa where all trips are guided by the owners; Gordie and Felicia Church. Gordie is a third generation Kenyan and grew up on safari with his father Tony who pioneered the concept of riding safaris in the 1970โ€™s. Two generations, with over 45 years experience, the Churchโ€™s offer exquisite and bespoke horseback riding safaris. The group size is between 2-12.

The Horses

The horses on this safari are in beautiful condition; fit, forward-going, expertly schooled and well-mannered. There is a fantastic selection of breeds including Thoroughbreds, an Arab cross, a warmblood cross, a Friesian and Boerped cross, Friesian and Percheron cross and a Boerped, ranging between 14-17hh. Living at close quarters with wild animals, the safari horses are familiar with being amongst big game, have great endurance and are evenly tempered. Each horse is carefully loved, schooled and responsive to carry guests safely through the wilderness. There is a wide range of horses to suit each individual and every effort is made to match horse and rider. The horses are sure footed in their terrain and comfortable in their environment

The riding style is English using very comfortable French cavalry and English generalโ€“purpose saddles. Saddle bags are provided to carry small items required en-route such as sunscreen, cameras and film or a sweater. Bottled water is also provided.

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Accommodation and Dining

Accommodation is in traditional mobile tented camps pitched in the most secluded and beautiful areas, chosen to fully immerse you in your surroundings. Each tent has a double or two twin beds luxuriously made up with Egyptian cotton sheets and warm feather duvets. Bedside tables and rugs on the floor complete the furnishings. Each bedroom tent has its own bathroom, a separate tent complete with hot shower and large towels. Bedside tables come equipped with solar lamps and at night, 1920s-style hurricane lamps sit in the covered area just outside the bedroom tent where thereโ€™s a mirror and dressing table. Fires burn around the perimeter of the camp overnight. The camp crew take care of everything and after you’re done, the camp is packed up leaving behind pristine wilderness.

Professional chefs provide delicious, impressive meals and tasty cocktails. The dining tent is furnished with table and chairs for elegant camp meals and these include a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and fish. All of the food is locally sourced with full cooked breakfasts, al fresco lunches and candlelit 3-course dinners. Bread is baked fresh each day and imported wines and spirits are available as well as a choice of local beers, sodas and bottled water.

Get a free Masai Mara Safari mini-brochure in PDF format.

Itinerary

Masai Mara Safari

9 days / 8 nights / 9 riding days
ยฃ6900pp

Single supplement (if not willing to share) ยฃ1620

Flights & Airport transfers

Do not book flights until you have received the Booking confirmation email from saddletravel.com.

You should book your flights to Nairobi Airport. You will be met at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to your hotel for the start of the programme. Airport transfers are included in the safari prices.

Price Includes
  • Nairobi airport transfers
  • Shared camp accommodation
  • All meals
  • All drinks in camp (including bottled water)
  • 4-7 hours riding on 6 days
  • Qualified guides
  • Conservation fees
  • Return domestic flights (Nairobi-Mara-Nairobi)
  • Laundry in camp
  • Government taxes
Price Excludes
  • International flights and visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Nairobi accommodation on the first night
  • Tips

Join a ride - Select your date:

2nd July 2022 - 5 Saddles Available - ยฃ6900pp
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12th July 2022 - 4 Saddles Available - ยฃ6900pp
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1st August 2022 - 5 Saddles Available - ยฃ6900pp
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21st September 2022 - 0 Saddles Available - ยฃ6900pp