Riding Safari: Kilimanjaro, Masai land and game (8 and 10 days)
On horseback the pace is ideal to getting to know the country. While trekking along the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro you will see much more than you ever would imagine. We take you through enchanting and constantly changing sceneries. Pass lush river valleys and meet tribal people – Chagga farmers populating the slopes of this mountain. Enter the Kilimanjaro montane rain forest to admire the jungle and it secret residents. Feel like “out of Africa” in the savannah with animals roaming freely – and with Masai herding their livestock in close proximity as they might have done since hundreds of years.
Sample itineraryDay 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro Farm
Pick-up from Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to Kilimanjaro Farm. If you arrive early enough, you can meet the horses, choose one for your safari and begin an introductory ride, exploring the plantation and getting to know your horse.Day 2: Kilimanjaro Farm – Experience
The day begins with tea or coffee served on the farmhouse veranda with a breathtaking view of Kilimanjaro. Then we head out on horseback for a half day’s exploration of the area. The 358-acre farm consists of coffee, crops and also natural bush and grasslands. Farming in Africa may be a little different from what you are used to. We ride through the coffee plantation and along natural grass and bush land. In addition to the expected farm animals like cattle, horses, pigs, chicken and geese, the area is also inhabited by a variety of wild creatures, most obvious the noisy ones such as Sykes monkeys, yellow baboons, and vervet monkeys. Further there is small, mostly nocturnal game like duiker, bush pig, jackal, serval, genet and civet cat, aardvark, even striped and occasionally spotted hyena and leopard. However, these animals are rather shy and very difficult to spot.
We stop for a walk to the Makoa-River waterfall for an unusual wildlife viewing –a colony of rare mountain fruit bats in a cave below the waterfall. You may also see one of the shy, very impressive monitor lizards that live nearby. Lunch will be taken at the farmhouse.
In the afternoon we will introduce you to the numerous farm-residents: The Kilimanjaro farm is heaven for many domesticated and wild animals, some of which where brought to our veterinary clinic when injured or orphaned. Those who could not be re-introduced into the wild, due to injuries, live with us and play an important role of animal ambassadors to enable local children a “hands-on”-experience on animals for a deeper understanding of nature and conservation. Most of the animals are very close to humans and they believe that all the visitors are here to give them a scratch behind their ears... Day 3: Visit Tom
The first destination on our way to the forest reserve leads along the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro to Kibo-Kikafu-Coffee Estate. We ride over farmland, passing an old historical bridge and continue lush banana and coffee plantations. In the coffee and over long fields there are possibilities for good canters. During our lunch on the neighbour’s farmhouse veranda we enjoy breathtaking views. Afterwards we leave the horses here and drive back to Makoa. On our way back we pay a visit to Tom, the 170 year old giant tortoise. Tom is the mascot of this farm and could tell us lots of stories... instead he will demand his extra banana ration. Day 4: Go West… through Chagga Land around Mt. Kilimanjaro
Early morning we drive back to the horses. This is a day which offers wonderful insights in Chagga lifestyle and culture. The Chagga tribe populates the Slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and successfully farmed long before any explorers reached this spot. We will ride through villages, small holder farmland, banana and coffee plantations and scenic valleys. We usually will lead the horses through river valleys as they can be sometimes a bit slippery or stony. All this goes along with lots of chatting with the local population who take a real interest in our horses and guests. Later we will reach the national forestry projects of West Kilimanjaro area. The scenery changed completely and instead of coffee plantations we are all of a sudden in Eucalyptus forests that are farmed for serving Tanzania’s construction demand. By the evening we will arrive at our camp at the border of the Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve (*weather permitting, alternatively in our private guest house). Enjoy the lush environment and the noises of the forest – next morning you will probably wake up with early calls of the Colobus monkeys. Day 5: Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve
Today we will explore the indigenous montane forests of the Kilimanjaro Reserve – a lush world of exotic scenery. We ride slowly and carefully so as to spot the shy Black and white Colobus monkeys. Mostly there are no roads and we use elephant trails to pass through. These dense forests are populated by a whole range of mostly secretive animals. A sharp eye will discover lots of tracks and signs, maybe even an elusive leopard, and a keen ear might pick up the crunching sound of a herd of elephant feeding not far off. After a picnic lunch in the forest reserve we return to our camp. Here we will arrive in time for a sun downer drink, a hot shower and a delicious meal. Day 6: Out of Africa
We leave the forest and ride toward the northwest. Our journey leads us through a mixture of open grassland and thorn bush savannah. Along the way we will encounter our first plains animals. Lunch will be prepared under a shady tree and if you are lucky there will be an elephant herd watching us during our break.
Late afternoon we reach our private “Out-of-Africa” Camp; you will be welcomed with a cold gin and tonic at the end of the day. Our private fly camp is set in the shade of an ancient African tree, with stunning views of Mt. Meru. Relax with a cool drink and take in the rich colours of the African sunset. After dinner, retire to the campfire and marvel at the enormous night sky before falling asleep to the sounds of the African night. Days 7 & 8: Tracking game on horseback
Two full days of riding in West Kilimanjaro Wilderness. This area is usually populated by elephant, zebra, wildebeest and many other antelopes (Elands, Thomson, Grant and Impala), occasionally buffalo. Our picnic places will provide a view over rolling grass fields and bush, Mt. Meru at one side, Mt. Kilimanjaro behind you and the mountains Longido and Namanga to the other side. Whether or not we will change camps will be determined by the movements of the game. On day 8: Late afternoon we will return the horses to their paddock. After a last sunset drink transfer to your home- or ongoing journey. Day 9: More game…
Another day of game viewing: The day will be mostly dictated by the game movements. You are in the heart of the West-Kilimanjaro wilderness and we may find seasonally large herds of Elands and sometimes up to 100 to 200 elephants. Expect to spot lesser kudu, waterbuck, bush pig and warthog, with some luck even predators such as striped and spotted hyena, cheetah and Leopard.
We arrive in a permanent tented camp for late lunch. Afternoon is for leisure or walk to the nearby water hole for some wildlife viewing. The elevated wooden platform by the water hole offers great sightings.
Alternatively you can meet indigenous Masai while herding their cattle. You may take the chance to visit them in their Masai Boma to learn more about their daily life.
This evening there will be an early dinner and then we start for another experience: A night game drive in an open vehicle. With the aid of a spotlight we will spot species usually not seen during the day.Day 10: Go East - Last game rides at West Kilimanjaro
Today we will leave the West Kilimanjaro wilderness. We wind our way through numerous euphorbia forests, acacia trees, passing small Masai settlements on the way. The Euphorbia forests add to interesting scenery and although it seems very unfriendly it still host a number of animals.
We will cross the Narco plains that offer a fascinating mix of livestock and game; we will watch herds of zebra grazing in direct contact with herds of cattle.
Late afternoon we meet the truck which will transport riders and horses back to Makoa Farm. Enjoy the view of Mt.Kilimanjaro in it’s lush environment and bush babies visiting you while you sit on the veranda with a sunset drink.
Later transfer for Kilimanjaro International Airport and departure. (subject to change)
Program: Horse Safari
Lodgings: Farm and camp
Catering: Full Board
Rooms: Double room, single room, tent
Languages: English, German
Bring own Horse: No
Capacity min/max: 2/6
Reiturlaub in Ostafrika: Auf den Spuren grosser Tiere in Tansania - hier geniessen Sie abwechslungsreiche Safariritte vor der Kulisse des Kilimanjaro.
Your Expert: Angelika Kaiser
A variety of reliable, for safari-purpose trained horses like Partbred- and Anglo-Arabian, Thoroughbred, Trakehner, Bavarian Warmblood, Australian Brumby etc., ranging from 14 to 16.2 hands (140 - 165 cm) high - there is a horse to suit everyone.
Saddle & tack: Tack is usually bitless (Hackamore and Sidepull). There are good quality treeless saddles (Barefoot and Torsion), Endurance and Trail Saddles available.
Riding level & experience: Safari rides require prior experience in riding over rough terrain as during the rides we may cross steep valleys, river with seasonally strong current and dry river beds. You need to be able to react to the movement of wildlife which may startle the horse. You may also be required to gallop out of trouble so the minimum ability for these rides are 'Strong Intermediate'. We spend 4 to 6 hours per day in the saddle. Riding groups will normally be no more than 6, maximum 8 guests.
Riding terrain: The terrain can be uneven with areas of rocks, clumps of grass, thorns and holes. These obstacles can sometimes not be seen from far and therefore require a quick reaction of the horses - they will confidently jump or move around rocks, stones, thorns or holes. The horses are sure footed. They will bring the riders safe to where we want to go, however the rider is expected to be balanced enough to follow the movement of the horse.
There is a strict riders weight limit: Usually 14 stone / 200 lbs or 90 kg (in exemptions 15 stone, 210 lbs or 95 kg but only if you are an advanced rider). The horses will not carry heavier weight than this.