This is the land which was so loved by Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen. How fortunate for us that it remains much as it was in their day. The Masai are still there, herding their cattle, and living as they did in past centuries. Their fierce pride and strong culture survive. So do the wild animals in almost the same abundance as amazed the early explorers.
Riding through the country on horses, we breathe the dust, gallop after the zebra which cut our path, share our camp with the Masai and are part of age-old Africa. Our route avoids the clamor of tourist vans, roads and lodges. You are totally cut off from the noise of the modern world and life takes on the more gracious rhythms of a bygone era.After your nights on safari,consider adding additional nights at Deloraine House or Sosian Ranch.
This archetypal riding safari has been one of our most popular for 40 years.
Please view our trip video from this ride and read over this day-to-day journal from a guest.
Comfortable camps are set up each night by an extremely capable and amenable staff. When you reach camp at the end of the day, the showers are hot, the beer is cold and a delicious dinner is being prepared over wood fires.
All food is fresh and the hosts provide English breakfasts, light lunches and 3-course dinners. There are often picnics and eating in the open air if the weather is good. Ice cubes are available and the safari is self sufficient. Bread is baked daily on open fires and the chefs are extremely good. All house wines, beers and spirits are included, except Champagne. Please let ask if you have any dietary requirements or preferences ahead of time so that we can try to cater for you.
The horses are Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred cross that have been bred and raised on local ranches. They are accustomed to the wildlife and riding in the bush, are well trained and fit, and are used for polo and eventing when not on safari. They are therefore responsive, tough and fit. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Traditional English saddles and snaffle bridles are utilized, although many of the horses neck rein. Some Australian stock saddles are available on request. Saddlebags are attached to carry raincoats, water bottles, cameras, binoculars and a picnic lunch on moving days. Some seat savers are available, but riders are welcome to bring their own.
Moderate to fast with opportunities for lengthy canters and gallops
Non-riders often join safaris, when their spouse or friends are riders but they are not. We can cater very well for anyone who does not wish to ride and have an excellent team of guides
and spotters who take them out by vehicle, meeting up with the rest of the group for meals, picnics and sundowners. All our guests enjoy game drives, night drives and walking, as well as riding, so the non-riders are still very much part of the group. Game drives are always available, even for the riders, if they prefer a break from the saddle every so often.
Kenya was the first Equitours ride overseas and remains a great favorite.
You will be collected from your hotel in Nairobi, or directly from the international airport. Transfer to Wilson Airport (the domestic airport in Nairobi) to catch the 10:00am scheduled flight or 10:30am charter flight to the Mara. It is a beautiful flight passing the fertile Kikuyu Highlands before reaching the Great Rift Valley and then the Loita Hills and Naibosho airstrip. Here you are met by your guide for the drive to camp, your first chance to observe the abundant wildlife. The first camp is located on the banks of the Mara River adjacent to a teeming hippo pool. Lunch will be served and you’ll have some time to relax before meeting the horses and setting of on your first evening ride. (about 2 hours riding) Overnight Mara River Hippo Camp.
Begin the day with an early morning ride, crossing the Mara River for the first time, returning to camp for a light breakfast. After breakfast a game drive will be on offer; driving provides better photographic opportunities than from a horse and exploring more of this Northern part of the Mara has much to offer. We will return in time for lunch and a siesta before setting off on an afternoon ride. We will be back in good time to shower and maybe set off in the vehicles once more for a sun downer and a short night game drive before supper. Overnight Mara River Hippo Camp.
Leave camp after breakfast at about 9am, heading south towards the park boundary where we meet the river again at one of the famous wildebeest crossings. Cross the river and head southwest across the Mara Triangle, meeting the car with the picnic lunch at around 12:30pm. After lunch and a siesta set off at about 4pm and ascend the Soit Olololol Escarpment. Reach camp at about 5:30pm on the edge of the escarpment and spend the night overlooking the whole Mara ecosystem. (5 hrs riding) Overnight Escarpment Soit Olololo Camp.
Descend the escarpment after breakfast at about 9am and ride across to the same wildebeest crossing on the river. Head in a westerly direction and descend into the enchanting Olare Orok Valley with a picnic lunch and siesta from about 12:30pm-3:30pm on the way. (5 hrs riding) Reaching camp at about 5:00pm in time for tea, there should also be time to do an evening game drive and sundowners, before supper under the stars. Overnight Olare Orok camp.
Here you will have a full day of exploring this glorious area on horseback, car and possibly on foot. You will have excellent photo opportunities, getting close to buffalo, elephant, lion and maybe cheetah or leopard.Overnight Olare Orok camp.
Your third moving day and you break camp in good time as it the longest ride of the trip covering nearly 50 kms (7-8 hrs riding). Setting off at 7.00am, you’ll have a picnic breakfast, stopping from about 10-11am. Continue on until 1:30pm where you break again for lunch and a siesta after reaching Ol Kinyei Conservancy. At 4:00pm head to the final camp, arriving at Olare Lamun (the rhino salt lick) nestled in a grove of acacia trees by a small stream at the southern edge of the Loita Plains. Overnight Olare Lamun camp.
After an early wake up you will set off for a morning ride before returning to camp for a light breakfast. You will then set out for a game drive and beautiful walk up the nearby hill called Oloiburmut, returning to camp for a lunch and a siesta. At around 4pm you will drive or ride to visit the local Masai Village. Overnight Olare Lamun camp.
Your last morning ride before saying goodbye to the horses. After a final breakfast you will drive to the airstrip and fly back to Nairobi around 11am, landing into Wilson at 12pm. A taxi will pick you up and either take you around Nairobi to do some shopping/visits, or to a hotel day room (included), before taking you on to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your evening flight home, or your onward destination.
The itinerary goes in both directions (Mara River to Olare Lamun or Olare Lamun to Mara River). It is flexible and may be modified at guides' discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Trip Dates & Pricing
Additional Pricing Information:
Includes internal flights, from Nairobi to the Mara and return
Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time the deposit is paid.
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My time on safari with Equitours in Kenya was unlike anything I had ever experienced and surpassed my wildest expectations. It was truly the most exquisitely planned and wonderful introduction to Africa that I could have hoped for and is something that I will, and must, do again.
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