Within the small and tight-knit world of horse riding holidays, we’re all mourning the loss of a great man, Tristan Voorspuy, owner of Offbeat Safaris. Tristan was one of the world-leaders in horse riding safaris and shared many an elephant stampede, wildebeest canter, Mara swim and more with globetrotters the world over. Tristan was tragically killed on his Laikipia property in March, 2017.
If you were fortunate to ride shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan in his African playground, the Maasai Mara, you would have been swept up in his enthusiasm for his country, Kenya, the people, and more importantly the wildlife. He greeted every rider with the decorum and finesse of a true English gentleman and made it his priority that every guest had the time of their life on his safari. He was a brilliant horseman and guide and will be sorely missed by those that had the privilege to ride with him.
His legend lives on and in honour of his legacy, riding safaris are running as normal.
We caught up with Tristan back in 2016 to find out more about his riding outfit and love for his country.
How long have you been running your horse riding holidays?
26 years and before that six years with Tony Church from 1983.
And what was the background, history or reason for starting?
After working for Tony I got married and decided we could do the same. We had the luck to find Deloraine House at the same time as a base to breed horses and turn into a home stay.
How many guest horses do you have?
A total of sixty with mares and foals.
Describe your herd of horses in four words.
Thoroughbred-cross and very versatile.
What do you love most about your job?
Meeting new people and showing off the delights of Africa’s wildlife from the back of a horse.
What is the most challenging part?
Dealing with foreign travel advisories and reassuring people about Africa’s delights as opposed to being the dark continent full of danger.
Why should globetrotters sign up for this ride?
Because you know what we offer. The Mara has undoubtedly the best game on the planet and is great riding country.
A tip that every globetrotter must know before signing up for this ride.
Be prepared for adventure. Every safari has a new game experience even for the guide.
We will look after a novice rider so do not worry.
Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without… binoculars, a head torch and sun screen. Half chaps are very useful too.
What has been the most memorable or significant moment of your guiding career?
That is a hard one but crossing the Mara River in flood and various close encounters with elephant, buffalo and lion over the years have left indelible imprints on the mind.