Did you know?
South Africa’s biggest annual horse race is the J&B Met in Cape Town, attracting around 50 000 spectators annually.
Horseback safaris allow explorers to experience a more personal connection with the wildlife they encounter, as well as the opportunity to explore terrain that is inaccessible by vehicle, such as mountains, valleys and ravines.
The horses used for game viewing are used to wild animals and experienced guides ensure that all safety precautions are followed during the safaris. While reserves with Big Five game generally only allow riders with previous experience, most private reserves cater for beginners as well.
The Waterberg region of South Africa, in the Limpopo province, is home to a number of private game reserves that offer horseback safaris.
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill, 2 private lodges that form part of the Ant Collection in the Waterberg, both offer game viewing on horseback. Rhino, buffalo, giraffe and waterbuck are some of the wild animals that riders can see up close on horseback while exploring with the Ant Collection.
Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is a destination you should definitely consider if you are looking for luxury living and some equestrian exploration. General manager Joe Dawson recently starred in a reality television series about endurance horsemanship. He and his brother-in-law re-enacted the famous 10-day, 960km horse ride that English trader Dick King completed between Durban and Grahamstown in 1842.
The wildlife at Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve includes rhino, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and a wide variety of antelope.
In the Eastern Cape, Endalweni Private Game Reserve offers game viewing horse safaris as well as beach rides. This reserve is situated near the Kei River mouth and offers a variety of terrain for riders to explore and the beach ride includes a visit to a shipwreck. Wildlife on this reserve includes giraffe and zebra.
So swap four-wheeled safaris for four-legged adventures and discover Africa the way it was done before automobiles.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)14 755 3584
Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)36 3520100
Endalweni Horse Safari
Tel: +27 (0)43 8311087
Length of stay
Give yourself at least three nights to a week for a decent horseback safari.
What to pack
Choose trousers with fairly sturdy material, such as denim jeans, to avoid saddle chafe. A hat, sunscreen and insect repellant are also advisable.
Where to stay
All establishments listed in this article offer excellent accommodation options as well.