Riding for ten days across the Namib Desert in Nambia is not for the faint hearted and riding guests must be fit and enjoy the challenge of an epic endurance ride – think Hidalgo the movie. But for those that thrive on a challenge then this is the perfect ride for you. The ride covers a total of 400 kilometres across ten days. Starting in the central highlands with an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level to the final day where riders are serenaded by the wild Atlantic Ocean. A typical day for guests is seven hours in the saddle covering between 40 to 70 kilometres a day in searing hot temperatures, scooting down mountain faces, galloping across desert plains and sighting oryx, springbok, mountain zebra, warthogs and ostriches along the way.
Horses used are 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 and 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.
Our riding partner in Namibia not only offers the famous Namib Desert ride, other rides include the Damara Elephant ride and Wolwedans to Wild Horses.
Namibia offers a perfect platform for world-class horse riding safaris.
- 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
- Weight Limit:We apply a bodyweight limit of 85kg / 187lbs - 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:March to September
- Group size:Minimum of 6 and a maximum of 15 guests
- Time in Saddle:A typical day for guests is 7 hours in the saddle covering between 40 to 70 kilometres a day.
- Riding Ability: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.
- Accommodation:Large dome-shaped tents (two participants sharing) with camp beds and swags (canvas bedrolls) consisting of lambskin, duvet or quilt and pillow; folding chairs, hot showers. 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 nights
- Inclusions:Price includes ground transfers to and from the ride, meals, riding, drinks while camping and accommodation.
DEPARTURE DATES & RATES
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Price includes ground transfers to and from the ride, meals, riding, drinks while camping and accommodation.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include personal drinks at lodges and restaurants, additional activities and meals not listed on itinerary, flights or travel insurance, staff gratuities (recommended £8 to £10 per day per guest).
Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments.
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.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*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.
You will be met on arrival day at Windhoek airport (Hosea Kutako airport) and transferred to a specified B&B in Windhoek. Here you will meet the rest of your riding group for dinner and a representative to brief you about the ride.
After an early breakfast we journey to the Namib on a transfer (approx. 5 hours) through some spectacular Namib landscapes including a dramatic drop off the escarpment with an arresting view of the desert below. After lunch we depart for a visit to the dunes at Sossusvlei, returning to camp by sunset. The evening will be spent at a tented camp or guesthouse depending on circumstances, whichever a good meal and drinks will settle us all into the flow of the ride.
Our first ride begins amid the encircling Naukluft (German for ‘narrow gorge’) – a short ride before lunch allows you to get more acquainted with your horse before we ride into the undulations and isolated hills which are a feature of this area.
We continue on our riding adventure: cross- country on game and cattle tracks through the bush savannah and plains with stunning views of endless hills and steep rock faces in constantly changing colours. The night’s camping spent around a campfire in either a tent or stretch out under the stars.
Days 5 & 6
While Namibia’s westward-flowing rivers rarely flow, they all run through deep valleys etched at a time when Namibia was wetter and sea levels were lower. We cross two river canyons on our way to the Namib plains; the Gaub and the much larger Kuiseb which forms a dramatic end to the 400 km long Namib Sand Sea. Following the tracks of Mountain Zebra which crisscross the steep sides of the canyon, a technical descent requires some walking/scrambling into and out of the Canyon. The high, narrow walls of the canyon preserve an almost year-round supply of precious water for the game in this area.
Days 7 to 9
Namib Plains to the Swakop River.
This is unspoiled countryside with stunning panoramic views. Marvel at the incredibly beautiful African sunsets and myriads of stars. See mountain zebra, oryx, ostrich, springbok and if you’re lucky some of the desert warthogs while crossing the deserts gravel plains as the crow flies. Good going affords some fast-paced riding on the wide grassy plains on the Namib. It has been known for the mountain zebra to run alongside us on one of our many canters! Dry watercourses, distinguishable by the long lines of acacia trees marking their courses, are much favoured resting place of Giraffe, Springbok and Oryx. As the plains become more arid strange shapes form and disappear in mirages and dinosaur-like of plants, the gnarled Welwitschia Mirabilis tell of a land of great antiquity and also of tremendous solitude. The Swakop river basin has eroded a truly ancient geology (600 million years old) exposing a bizarre moon like landscape. Curious black ridges of dolerite intrusions form whalebacks on the hills surrounding the river basin. And finally to the sea with the last canter along the beach – the end of a truly epic adventure.
Joyfully ride along the Swakop valley until you reach the dunes and then at last the ocean shore at Swakopmund. Our first glimpse of a town in ten days! And the possibility of riding your horse for the last time along the beach!! For the night we stay in comfortable holiday chalets/guest house and our horses enjoy their well-deserved rest in a sandy paddock. We meet for a farewell dinner in the evening.
After an early breakfast we all say goodbye as you transfer to Windhoek (just over a 4-hour commute), arriving in time for departure flights from Windhoek International Airport after 3pm.
Transfers to and from Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport are included in the ride price. A shuttle service will collect you from the Airport (your name will be on a board) and take you to your overnight accommodation on day 1. And on the last day you will be dropped off at the airport in time for departing flights leaving after 3pm.
“Join if you are prepared to sleep on the ground with frost on the swag and a howling wind then get up before dawn and ride on – I truly loved it.”
“The Namibia Desert Ride was the most ‘AWESOME’ and memorable thing I have ever done in my life.”
“The Namibia ride was a great experience. The company was great and Andrew, Sara-Jane and Tahlani were just terrific hosts and the horses were very well suited to all the riders.”
Stories from the saddle
Andrew Gilles is the consummate professional when it comes to guiding and hosting guests on our Namib desert rides. You could probably call him an adrenaline junkie, but it was his love for adventure and his passion for nature that saw him become the one thing that would allow him to pursue both – a […]
Culture? Tick. Freedom? Tick. Adventure? Tick. Adrenaline? Tick. It seems ‘the bigger the better’ is the philosophy when it comes to choosing a horse riding holiday for globetrotter Desiree Charlesworth. Des is one of our most loyal globetrotters and as with many, once she got started she couldn’t stop. Addicted to the world of horse […]