Keen equestrians or those looking to rekindle their love of horse riding might be surprised to hear that there are lots of fantastic holidays out there – in the UK and further afield – designed just for them. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, here are a few ideas of horseback holidays that should add a taste for adventure to your next trip.
Horse Safaris in Kenya
for experienced riders
If you’ve always dreamed on going on safari in Africa, this could be the perfect trip for you. And on this very special Kenyan safari, you can leave the 4WD parked at the lodge. Designed for more experienced riders – you’ll need some serious skill to keep up with the herds of zebra and giraffe – this is an amazingly immersive experience which will place you (and your horse) in the midst of the action.
Riding horseback through the plains of the Masai Mara is a very different experience to walking a jeep through it. You’ll feel closer to nature, be able to see and appreciate more of the wildlife around you, and feel like you’re stepping back into a lost era. Riders on these kinds of holiday typically spend between four and six hours in the saddle every day, so be sure to choose a lodge which will keep you comfortable in the down-time!
Crossing the Andes on horseback
for all abilities
South America’s Andes Mountains and their surrounds offer some of the most magnificent and varied scenery in the world. And if you’re a keen rider, what better way to see it than gaucho-style, from the saddle?
Active itineraries generally involve a week or more starting from Quito – the capital of Ecuador. Routes through the foothills and mountains will take you past smoking volcanoes, Incan ruins, local villages and gorges, lagoons, forests and grasslands. Although your days will be spent outdoors, you don’t have to camp if you don’t want to. Many tours will accommodate your aching muscles in cosy, luxurious haciendas along the way.
Highlights include spotting the rare condor circling above you, exploring Otovalo’s indigenous market stalls, discovering Incan ruins, crossing the equator, and passing the snow-capped Cotopaxi – the highest active volcano in the world.
Saddle up in the Argentinian Lake District
for all abilities and non-riders
The gaucho way of life is still standard for many of those living in the gorgeous wilderness of the Argentinian Lake District. Throughout the region, you’ll find traditional estancias – or ranches – which adhere to the old way of living. Many of these now host visitors to the region and are keen to get them exploring the beautiful scenery in the proper way – on horseback.
Places such as Estancia Huechahue have been welcoming travellers to its working cattle ranch since 1990. It’s a good choice for groups with mixed desires to go riding. If are couple of you are up for it and others aren’t, then there is something for everyone here. The ranch’s 80 horses cater for all abilities from total beginners to expert riders and trails take you through the rugged Patagonian scenery and further afield. Meanwhile, non-riders can get outdoors in other ways, going fishing, floating down the river, visiting to Indian burial caves and hiking.
Article courtesy of Exsus Luxury Holidays, providing luxury holidays on horseback in Africa and South America.