Horse Safari from the famous Amboseli National Park to Chyulu Hills and Deloraine Lodge (11 days)
This ride begins close to the border town of Namanga, and crosses through Amboseli National Park en route to the Chyulu Hills away to the east, with Africa's highest mountain, the snow capped Kilimanjaro, as a constant backdrop to your adventures. The distance in a straight line is some 90 miles, however you will cover a much greater distance exploring the bush.
Day 1: You will be collected from Nairobi International Airport and driven to the first campsite at Lalahroi - meaning swamp of the buffaloes - near Namanga, stopping en route for a picnic lunch, there should be time for an evening ride before dinner. Overnight Namanga.
Day 2: Today you begin the ride towards Amboseli, heading eastwards parallel to the Tanzanian border. You are likely to see game such as giraffe, zebra, eland, gerenuk, a glimpse of a lesser kudu, impala, wildebeest, Grants and Thompson's Gazelle on your way to the Ngorambuni rocks, where a huge boulder on top of a rocky kopje provides a cool and shaded picnic spot with panoramic views towards Amboseli. After lunch you ride across the dried up lakebed to a campsite at Soit Nado (red rocks), where your tents are pitched beneath a grove of lovely fever trees, some 200 yards from the Tanzanian border, and home for the next three nights. Overnight Soit Nado camp.
Day 3: From this base you are able to ride and drive out from camp in any direction, exploring the defunct Meerschaum mines, the extraordinary landscape of Lake Amboseli Lake, and the surrounding marshes. These provide shelter to thousands of head of game, including large herds of buffalo and the famed herds of Amboseli elephant who spend hours of their day like dinosaurs in the swamp before wandering out onto the desert like features of the lake bed with its shimmering mirage of heat haze. Overnight Soit Nado camp.Day 4: Another morning exploring the area on horseback, perhaps crossing the border to explore the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro. We will take a day drive into Amboseli with a barbeque lunch, so will be able to get some close up shots of big game from the landrovers. Approaching large and peaceable bull elephant of 70 lb+ tusk size per side by horse and landrover is one of the more exciting prospects from the Soit Nado area. Overnight Soit Nado camp.
Day 5: Today we move camp from Soit Nado heading northeast across the National Park, skirting the green swamps and passing large amounts of game as you canter across the lake bed, which provides near perfect going for horses without any of the dreaded aardvark holes to trap the unwary. You will break for lunch on the far side of the lake bed, and a welcome siesta beneath the shade of an acacia before riding a further 10 miles to camp at Risa, on the plains between Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills.
Day 6: The ride continues towards the Chyulu Hills, which rise from the plains to a height of 7000ft. These hills are recent volcanoes only 500,000 years old and some of the craters and lava flows are only 200 years old. This evening you will camp at the foot of a small hill, amongst beautiful groves of Balanites and Acacia Tortilis trees with craters rearing up at intervals as if the ride were passing through some kind of magical theme park. Overnight Millennium campsite.
Day 7 & 8: We will spend two full days at the Millennium camp from where we will do an early morning stalk accompanied by game scouts, to find fresh signs of the small but closely guarded black rhino population that live in the lava flows of the Chyulus. We shall also do some game drives and take an energetic walk up Ol Donyo Sambu, one of the conical craters found towards the western end of the range. There will also of course be the opportunity for some early morning and evening rides in this stunning scenery with soft volcanic ash as great going for the horses. Overnight Millennium campsite.
Day 9: After breakfast you will be transferred to Deloraine House in the Great Rift Valley for your final two nights in Africa, where we exchange our tents for the comfort of the house. Overnight Deloraine.
Day 10: An early morning ride before breakfast is optional. Also day trips to either Lake Nakuru or Bogoria famous for their flamingos can be arranged with a picnic lunch. Overnight Deloraine.
Day 11: Transfer back to Nairobi, leaving after lunch.
(subject to change)
Camp: Spacious 10ft x 9ft sleeping tents with camp beds (double on request), mattresses, sheets and blankets. Towels, soap and torches provided. Gas lamp and hurricane lamp in each tent. Loo tent for each double tent and showers always available.
Deloraine House is the home of Tristan and Cindy Voorspuy. It is full of Kenya's fascinating history and boasts a host of British Royal visitors over the years. Deloraine was built in 1920 by Lord Francis Scott, a prominent early settler who became a leading politician in Kenya. It is set in 3500 acres of farm and is one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in the country. Your time here will reflect the elegant lifestyle of a bygone era.
Deloraine is located on the western edge of the Great Rift Valley on the lower slopes of Mount Londiani (9872 ft.), an extinct volcano with a bamboo shrouded crater. It is within an easy drive (45 minutes) of Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for its flamingo's, rhino, and a host of other game. Lake Bogoria, another beautiful flamingo lake and home to Greater Kudu is also close by and well worth a visit.
Guests are encouraged to join in with the house party atmosphere and become part of the family. Upstairs there are 3 large bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and a further 2 bedrooms en suite downstairs. There are large drawing and dining rooms and outside two spacious verandas which overlook Deloraine’s beautiful mature gardens. There is also a cottage adjacent to the house with 3 separate double en-suite rooms.
The yard and stables, with approximately 80 horses, boast a string of some of the finest polo ponies in Kenya. There is an active breeding programme and the majority of the horse are home bred from ex polo mares. Guests are encouraged to ride around the farm and the nearby mountain provides spectacular views across the whole Rift Valley. There is also a cross country course and full size polo ground. A stunning forest ride to search for elusive black and white Colobus monkey’s is a must for the novice rider as well as the old professional and there are horses to cater for every ability.
There is a lovely swimming pool, croquet lawn and tennis court. Birding can be spectacular and 2-4 day stays are the norm. Half and full day safari’s to the lakes with a picnic are a usual feature and simply relaxing by the pool in the stunning formal gardens is extremely rewarding.
Program: Horse Safari
Lodgings: mobile safari camp and lodge
Catering: Full Board, all inclusive
Rooms: Double room/tent
Bring own Horse: no
Capacity min/max: 4 / 12
Your Expert: Angelika Kaiser
Our horses are well schooled thoroughbred and thoroughbred cross. Many are home bred from our best mares. All of them are responsive, tough and fit. Many are trained for polo and the best ones are handpicked for each guest on their riding safari. Over the duration of a full riding safari our guests become highly attached to their own personal mounts.
Saddle & tack: English saddles (with a selection of polo, jumping, French trekking and Australian stock). Mainly snaffle bridles
Riding level & experience: Good riding ability is important. Guests should be comfortable at all paces, be able to gallop and react quickly and safely - we ride in areas where big game wildlife is abundant. You should be fit enough to ride between 4 and 6 hours a day. The weight limit is 210 lbs or 95 kgs unless special requests are made.
Most of the rides alongside the Masai Mara and through the northern ranches are on fairly open plains where you find black cotton soil interspersed with acacia bush. Many areas have short grass plains ideal for riding. Care must be taken for holes but canters and gallops are taken on the open plains.
Picnic lunches are carried in saddle bags on days that the camp is moved. Lunch normally lasts 1 - 2 hours with a short siesta. Sometimes if we encounter rough terrain we dismount and have to walk. For each of our set departure safaris we require a minimum of 4 guests whilst we keep numbers to a maximum of 12 in a riding party unless previously agreed.
Seasons – The riding safaris close for April, May and November.