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Home | Hwange Horse Safari

Hwange Horse Safari

Experience one of Zimbabwe's best game viewing areas on horseback

Daily horse safaris are offered for guests at Bomani Tented Lodge and Camelthorn Lodge in Hwange National Park. It is an optional opportunity to explore the wild at a slower pace than game drives, and with a professional guide and tracker. There are different horse safari experiences for riders of different levels. During a Hwange horse safari, you may spot some plains game including kudu or impala. On the longer trips, riders may spot elephants, waterbuck, some predators and a variety of birdlife.

Horseback safaris in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, from Bomani and Camelthorn lodges

Hwange horse safaris in the Ngamo Plains

The stables are near Camelthorn Lodge and all rides depart from Camelthorn. Those staying at Bomani will be transferred by road to Camelthorn at no additional cost.

* All times are approximate and may change according to the season and circumstances on the ground

Beginner Bush Experience

Ages: 7 years +
Duration: 1 hour ride. 10:30am to 11:30am
All riding levels

As the name suggests, this excursion is meant specifically for those with very little experience with horse riding. You depart from Camelthorn at about mid-morning, and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the open grassland on the expansive vlei that borders the Camelthorn Lodge grounds. This ride includes a stop for light refreshments before heading back to the lodge.

Hippo Sunrise

Ages: 16 years +
Duration: 3 hour ride. 7:30am to 10:30am
Experienced Riders

This early morning excursion takes experienced riders through the grasslands near Camelthorn Lodge. You will make your way to a picturesque spot for a tea break with the chance to see a variety of wildlife! Snacks and water will be provided along the way with at least 2 breaks for horses and riders.

Cultural Immersion Ride

Ages: 16 years +
Duration: 5.5 hour ride. 7:00am to 12:30pm
Intermediate Riders

This trip takes riders into the communities living on the boundary of Hwange National Park. It goes through Ngamo Plains into Nganyana Village. Explore the small village on a tour lead by the headman. Observe the different activities that make up their daily living, as well as those that contribute to their income – basket weaving, beading and jewellery making. A bush brunch and refreshments will follow the tour. There will be at least 3 breaks for horses and riders during the trip.

Sundowner Ride

Ages: 16 years +
Duration: 2 hours. 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Intermediate riders

This trip starts later in the day, in time to catch an African sunset. A short ride takes you through the savanna grassland during which you can spot plains game, elephants or even lion and cheetah. The trip stops for snacks and refreshments in true African style. Remember to bring your cameras!

Full Day Safari Ride

Ages: 16 years +
Duration: 8 hours. 7:00am to 3:00pm
Experienced riders

This trip departs after an early breakfast. It is an exploratory ride through the Camelthorn and Bomani concessions in search of premier game viewing experiences. The concessions are on the border of Hwange National Park, and a variety of game can be seen along the way. It includes a picnic lunch, with at least 4 breaks for horses and riders.

Bush picnic during a horse safari in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Refreshments during a horse safari

Included in a Hwange Horse Safari

• Return road transfers to the start point for guests at Bomani Tented Lodge.
• Snacks and refreshments during rides. Lunch during the cultural trip.
• The service of an experienced guide, tracker and backup rider

Excludes

• Any other transfers or those to or from other camps.
• Items of a personal nature.

What to Bring

• Camera and/or binoculars
• Insect repellent

What to Wear

• Wear comfortable clothing and sunglasses – no bright colours.
• In summer, light clothes as it can get hot. In winter, bring warm sweater or jacket for the as it can get chilly in the early morning and in the evening.
• Suitable shoes must be worn. No sandals or slops will be permitted.
• Helmet. These are available, but you are encouraged to bring your own if possible.

Giraffe seen on a horseback safari in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Wildlife sightings are a regular occurrence while on safari

Rider Information

Weight Restriction: 90 kgs / 198.4 lb.

Minimum/Maximum Riders: Between 2 and 4 people on any ride.

Availability: All year round.

• A Beginner Rider: has limited experience, balance, control and is unable to rise /post to the trot and cannot canter.
• A Novice Rider: is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted. They must also be capable of applying basic aids, comfortable at a walk can do short posting trots and short canters but still lacks control and balance at these paces. After approximately 50 hours + over a six month period and average adult should be able to ride a reliable horse on an easy trail, and be considered a capable novice rider only.
• An Intermediate Rider: has been consistently riding for a minimum of 1 to 3 times a week for 1 to 3 years and has over 200 hours of riding time. Has a secure and independent seat and does not hold onto the saddle or use the reins for balance. Confident and able to control a horse in a variety of circumstances at all paces, including rising trot, canters and could gallop if required.
• Strong Intermediate Rider: is all of the above, currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for long hours with 500 plus.
• Experienced/Advanced Rider: is all of the above. Rides daily or rides competitively and is capable of handling a spirited horse at all paces in open country at all times.

The pace of the rides is determined by safety and terrain and is mostly fast walking and trotting. Where possible in open areas you may canter and gallop.

Variety of wildlife and birdlife in Hwange National Park. Horseback safaris are available here.

Variety of wildlife and birdlife

The Horses

Available are seven well-schooled bush horses, including Thoroughbreds, Boereperds, Percheron and Quarter-horses.

Saddles & Helmets

Saddles used for the trips vary, and include English, Australian stock, McClellan and Western. Tacks are of leather and nylon bridles with snaffle bits. Helmets are available, but guests are encouraged to bring their own if possible.

Safety on a Hwange Horse Safari

• A lead tracker, armed guide and backup safety rider will accompany guests.
• A maximum of 4 people on each trip

Children

Children under 16 years of age are not allowed except on the Beginner Bush Experience, on which children 7 and above are permitted.

*The manager has the discretion to ask any rider to dismount if they are not of a suitable competency level for the ride. The manager’s decision is final and no discussions will be entertained.

 

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