Kalahari Desert Safari, Namibia

9 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom £5,400 GBP?Tour costs £5,400 GBP which is approximately $9,544 AUD

Come with us to one of the remotest pockets of Namibia, to an ancient, enchanted land that is constantly alchemised by water and earth.

Known to many as Bushmanland, but to the locals as Nyae Nyae, this 8,994-square kilometre conservancy sits at the northern edge of the Kalahari Desert BUT what makes it really special is that every few decades, it is transformed into a sub-tropical paradise. Heavy rains turn the saltpans into deltas, attracting wildlife from all over Africa including elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeest and flamingos. 

The Ju|’hoansi San people – who have survived longer than any other group of people on Earth – are the proud custodians of this land and still strive to live in harmony with nature. Tourism is a direct means of celebrating and sustaining their culture, and as globetrotters, we will be shown parts of their world that few outsiders have the opportunity to see.

Astride tough, eager horses and with veteran Globetrotting guides at the helm, we will spend seven full days splashing through the shallows, cantering across the plains and camping under the stars. We’ll cover between 20 and 40 kilometres each day, with plenty of opportunities to kick up our heels, so this ride is PERFECT for intermediate to advanced riders ready for a totally immersive, point-to-point African odyssey.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:One of each breed, i.e. Arab, Haflinger, Trakehner, ranch horses, even cross-breeds of the famous wild horses of the Namib Desert; they are small to medium-sized (14.3 to 16 hands) sure-footed horses raised on rough terrain, some of them with experience in endurance riding, and every one of them a kind, reliable companion that deserves the very best treatment and care.
  • Pace:Medium to fast, with lots of opportunities to canter.
  • Weight Limit:A bodyweight limit of 85kg / 187lbs applies - anyone heavier pays a 30% surcharge for an extra horse due to regulations set by the World Horse Welfare (IHPH: international league for protection of horses).
  • Type of tack:Endurance saddles.
  • Seasons:May.
  • Group size:A maximum 10 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:A typical day for guests is 6 to 7 hours in the saddle covering between 20 to 40 kilometres a day.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for strong intermediate to advanced riders. Fitness, good health, experience in horse riding and handling horses are essential. You need not be an accomplished dressage rider or show jumper, but you must feel totally at ease on the back of a cantering horse; in addition you should be mentally strong and have a sense of humour. Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:You will sleep in a warm, comfortable bedroll/swag on a stretcher. Tents are available if required, although then you will miss out on the spectacular stars overhead - few places on earth have zero light pollution.
    Hot bucket showers are available each night, as well as a chemical toilet.
    Luggage is transported on trucks; the riders ride across bush or desert as the crow flies and meet the back-up vehicles at camp sites. Camp is pitched at sunset; meals are prepared on the open fire, usually a ‘braai’ or ‘potjie’ (casserole) - typically Namibian and often a surprise.
  • Ride Length:10 days, 9 nights with 7 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes ground transfers to/from Windhoek on the first and last days, all riding, accommodation, meals and drinks while camping.

    As part of this Guided Exploratory Ride, globetrotters will also receive a professional photography and video package provided by Globetrotting.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include your international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), staff tips, personal drinks at lodges and restaurants, additional activities and meals not listed on itinerary.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes ground transfers to/from Windhoek on the first and last days, all riding, accommodation, meals and drinks while camping.

*As part of this Guided Exploratory Ride, globetrotters will also receive a professional photography and video package provided by Globetrotting.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include your international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), staff tips, personal drinks at lodges and restaurants, additional activities and meals not listed on itinerary.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN GBP?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Yippee, our Kalahari adventure starts today! On arrival at Windhoek Airport (Hosea Kutako), a shuttle service will be waiting to transfer us to our B&B in Windhoek. Here we will meet our wonderful host and guide, Andrew Gillies, for sundowners and dinner. Andrew will fill us in on what to expect over the next 10 days, then we’ll hit the hay.

  • Day 2

    After an early breakfast, we journey to Bushmanland, where we will meet the horses. The transfer will take most of the day and cover some spectacular Namib landscapes, with lunch enjoyed en route. Arriving in the late afternoon, we’ll meet the crew and be paired up with our equine partners for the ride ahead. Camp life on this trip is certainly not an ordeal: we’ll have hot showers, icy sundowners and very comfy beds waiting at the end of each day’s ride, and some of the clearest night skies in the world to lull us to sleep.

  • Day 3

    It’s time to saddle up, globetrotters! After our guides have briefed us on how to best ride their incredible horses, we’ll pack our bags and mount up for the first of many spectacular days in the saddle. The landscape will change dramatically as we move towards the water-filled Nyae Nyae pan and we’ll be able to get some speed up when the terrain allows. Get ready to squeal with delight when you and your horse first splash through the delta (if the rains have been kind to the countryside this season)! The crew will meet us for a picnic-style lunch before driving ahead to set up our evening campsite while we ride on. More cold sundowners and tasty Namib cuisine will be whipped up when we arrive, to be enjoyed over a crackling campfire as dusk fades and the stars emerge.

  • Days 4 to 9

    As we traverse the flooded, wildlife-filled plains of the Ju|’hoansi San people, each day will start with a campfire-cooked breakfast and freshly brewed Arabica coffee. At 8am we’ll hit the trail, riding 4-5 hours before our leisurely lunch break and 2-3 hours afterwards, covering between 20 and 40 kilometres (12-24 miles) in total each day. We’ll be privileged to ride with a member of the Jul’hoansi tribe every single day, who will share a unique and intimate perspective of their magical homeland and point out features and creatures we might have missed. The terrain is ideal for riding: fairly soft underfoot and mostly flat, making it easy to spot animals such as elephants, hippos, lions, hyenas, wildebeest, and even flamingos from afar. Be prepared to get wet as we wade through the delta in search of wildlife! 

    Every night will be spent under the stars, but two nights will be extra special: camped at a special location within the Nyae Nyae Conservancy close to some of the Ju|’hoansi San people, we’ll be graced by their presence in the evenings, when they’ll share their ancestral songs and dances with us around the campfire. This is a cultural experience like no other, guaranteed to stick with you until your last breath. Finally, the sounds of the African bush will lull us to sleep – perhaps the distant roar of a lion, owls hooting in the trees or the soft, low rumble of elephant.

  • Day 10

    Today we’ll say goodbye to the incredible people, horses and scenery that have etched themselves into our hearts and take a transfer back to Windhoek, with lunch along the way. So that we’re not rushed, we suggest booking a night’s accommodation in Windhoek and taking a departing flight out the next day.

  • Transfer Information

    Transfers to and from Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport are included in the ride price. We recommend arriving prior to 2pm on the first day, and a shuttle service will collect you from the Airport (your name will be on a board) and take you to your overnight accommodation. We’ll have a ride briefing at 4pm that afternoon. 

    On the last day the transfer won’t get back to Windhoek before 5pm. We recommend booking another night’s accommodation in the area before flying home the next day.

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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