There is an incredible horse riding adventure coming up in Namibia, one of my favourite places in the world! I've mentioned Namibia before, but this time I'm hosting an equestrian meet-up here. It's an 11-day trail, which starts inland and goes all the way west to the Atlantic coast of Namibia. And here comes the fun part - much of the trail has never been ridden before. Therefore, this ride is for the truly adventurous horse people among all the adventurers out there. We‘ll discover this route for trail rides in the future not knowing what unexpected adventures may await us, but definitely finding out what it really means to be connected to nature and what true freedom feels like.
This blog post is written by Luzia Montag
Also read: volunteering with horses in Namibia
The riding holiday starts on November 20th at a Western Riding Ranch in the heart of Namibia, and from there the route leads all the way west to the Atlantic coast, where the ride ends on November 30th. November 20th will be our arrival day at the ranch. We will have enough time to settle in, get to know the farm, our guides and the horses. Depending on your arrival time, maybe even this day but definitely the next one will give us time to get to know and try out our horses for the ride, and most importantly to make sure that each rider is comfortable with their horse.
The trail starts on November 22nd, and whether we arrive at the coast on the last day or a few days earlier we'll find out when the time comes. It completely depends on the conditions we will be confronted with on the trail. A certain amount of adventurousness and flexibility is needed for this horse riding holiday, but a safe place to sleep for man and horse, food and enough water will be of course provided at any time. Should we arrive a little earlier than planned, this will give us the chance to explore the coast, which offers more than enough spectacular activities.
During the trail the landscape will change several times. It starts with the typical Namibian bush landscape. Here we ride in dry riverbeds, with a bit of luck we can spot the one or a few Kudu or Oryx and are still surrounded by comparatively many trees and bushes, the vegetation is quite dense.
This part of the trail has already been ridden many times with the horses, but the unknown part of the route comes soon after!
With time the landscape opens up, the view becomes wider until we find ourselves in true Namibian desert region. Here we will be fascinated by the small wonders of nature, like extraordinary plants, chameleons and with a bit of luck we pass a lonely ostrich with the horses. On the horizon the Brandberg can be seen and we ride along the Omaruru River. But the real highlight of this section are the wide open spaces, which offer room for almost endless gallops and you experience the feeling of true freedom like nowhere else.
The last section of the route will be the Atlantic coast, which awaits us with a cool breeze. The contrast between the ocean and the desert offers an absolutely dramatic and fascinating sight, which one simply must have experienced once. Here, last gallops along the beach await us before the horses and ourselves get a well-deserved rest.
On our way we will set up camp every evening at a new location, there it will be kept quite simple. It’ll consist of a fire pit, several comfortable 2-man-tents and a small truck that will transport the food and our luggage from one place to another, so we don't have to carry it on the horses. There will be fresh food cooked over the fire each evening, and simple, typical African bucket showers will be provided. In the morning we have coffee, tea and a fresh but light breakfast before heading back out on the horses.
Typical luxury will not be found here, but something even better awaits you: we will wake up every morning in the midst of true African wilderness, watch the sunrise, listen to the snorting of the horses and find out what it means to be truly connected with nature. Evenings will end around the campfire as we share stories of past or future adventures. We will fall asleep to the sounds of the wilderness while gazing at the overwhelming starry sky - which by the way in Namibia is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. For me this is the only luxury one really needs!
The ride starts at a ranch near Omaruru. I have already spent a few months there and loved every single day, so I am even more excited that we are now organising this trail together. They breed and train their horses themselves, all western style. Breaking in and training of the horses is done with a lot of time, patience and dedication. This and the fact that all the horses live almost wild 24/7 on the endless expanses of the farm grounds makes them very balanced, both mentally and physically, enduring and sure-footed horses.
The horses are perfectly adapted to the climate of Namibia, cover long distances with ease and make the perfect safari horse thanks to their bush sense. In short, they are some of the best trail horses I have ever ridden. Even though all horses are western style trained, they are perfect for any riding style out there. This trail is suitable for any experienced rider, whether you normally ride dressage, jumping or just for fun.
The arrival and departure airport will be Windhoek. From there, a transfer will take you to the ranch where the ride starts. Once at the coast you have the option to take another transfer back to the airport or to rent a car with several other riders and combine the way back with a little road trip (this will definitely be my choice, you are very welcome to join me). This gives us the option to include some stops on the way back to the airport to visit places nearby that you always wanted to see, such as Namib-Naukluft National Park or Walvisbay.
This trail is made for the really adventurous horse riders out there, of any riding style. As mentioned before, a large part of the route has never been ridden before, so we can't predict what adventures will come our way and it certainly won't all go 100% according to plan, but that's what makes this ride so appealing. Many sections of the route invite us for long and fast gallops, plus we spend many hours (5 to 8) a day in the saddle, so you should be an experienced and physically fit rider, feel very comfortable in all gaits and be able to trot and canter for several minutes at a time. Be prepared for hot riding days, since temperatures can get quite high at this time of year, especially inland. However, the closer we get to the sea, the more it cools down. The maximum rider weight is 85kg for the benefit of the horses.
Adventure factor: 5 out of 5 stars
Length: 11 days
Airport: Windhoek, Namibia
End location: Atlantic coast (near Swakopmund)
Riding style: Western tack, suitable for any riding style
Maximum rider weight: 85kg
Accommodation: First nights at ranch, mobile camping in small but comfortable 2-man tents on the ride.
Group size: 6 riders plus guides
Price: €2220 per person sharing (no private accommodation available)
Included: Accommodation, horse riding, food, tea, coffee, juices and water
Excluded: Transfers from and to Airport, alcoholic and soft drinks, flights, visa, insurance, any additional activities
Transfers from Windhoek airport to the ranch are 190€ each way total, split between the amount of people per transfer.
Options for the return from the Atlantic coast (Swakopmund) to Windhoek airport are:
Subscribe to our newsletter