A horse riding safari through the Maasai Mara in Kenya is the most exhilarating off-the-field encounter a polo player could ask for. To shamelessly name drop, high goal polo player Eduardo Novillo Astrada is one of the many polo players who has galloped with the wildebeest in the Maasai Mara.
#1 – Riding guests are mounted on ex-polo ponies that have been bred and played by Kenyan polo players and guides Tristan and Archie Voorspuy. The string of safari horses on offer are agile, quick-off-the-mark, swift, and accustomed to eyeballing elephants and swimming across the murky waters of the Mara River while hippos blow bubbles upstream.
#2 – Speed and adrenaline are your friend. There is no denying that polo players love white-knuckle speed and heart-thumping adrenaline. This five, seven or ten day horse riding safari in Kenya’s heartland isn’t for the faint-hearted. Intermediate to advanced riders need only apply, which means guests are not poking along nose to tail where the maximum speed is a trot. When the conditions are correct, imagine pancake-flat plains topped in acacia trees and a well-trod animal path to guide you along at a fast-paced canter – perfect.
#3 – Why not practise your riding off skills on a herd of migrating wildebeest? There is no better experience than galloping beside a mob of wildebeest and zebra under a bruised African sky while the rich smell of horse sweat and dirt swirls in the air. For those that do it, it’s a memory that will stay with you forever – riding shoulder to shoulder with the wilds of Africa.
#4 – The colourful culture of the Maasai who call Kenya home add another unforgettable element to this riding safari. Throughout the riding itinerary you’ll be able to take a glimpse into the world of this semi-nomadic tribe. Guests will be serenaded by dancing warriors by the glow of a campfire beneath a canopy of stars to spending time in an authentic village where you’ll get a taste of life as a Maasai.
#5 – It’s known that polo players appreciate the finer things in life. Kenya’s renowned white glove luxury is weaved throughout the itinerary. Be prepared to be spoilt: such as your boots being polished to a chilled gin and tonic handed to you after a day of riding to gourmet three-course meals to your horse being tacked up and ready to go of a morning.