Namib Desert Ride, Namibia

Crossing the oldest desert in the world on horseback is a journey of a lifetime. This ride is also one of the toughest rides in the world and not for the faint hearted!

Central Namibia offers spectacular and fascinating contrasts, from Khomas Hochland mountains and escarpment t o the Kuiseb Canyon, the Tinkas, Tumas and Welwitschia plains, Moon Valley, the seasonal Swakop River and the coastal dunes of the Atlantic Ocean. Highlights of this safari include crossing the Namib Desert and enjoying the contrasting landscapes and plains game. You travel through rocky hills and riverbeds, gravel plains, open sandy plains and undulating sand dunes, staying under canvas each night. Sometimes the going is tough and occasionally you may need to dismount and walk with your horse for some sections. Often there are wide-open spaces suitable for lovely long canters, and several areas of rolling sand dunes. This is best suited for riders with strong personalities, and a sense of humour that will see you through the tough moments! Tremendously rewarding, this ride challenges you, the rider, and builds mutual respect between yourself and your horse.

  • 10 nights
  • Experienced, fit riders (intermediate+). You will be riding 20-70km a day over uneven terrain and at various paces.
  • Adventure riding safari through the desert

move over the photos for a larger version

l
back to top

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1

You will be met at Windhoek International Airport and transferred to Windhoek to rest and refresh. At 14h30 your riding group departs on a 2-hour road transfer to a guest farm, where you will overnight. At the farm you are introduced to your riding guides and fellow-riders, and will have time to acquaint yourself with the awesome terrain and enjoy traditional hospitality before a good night’s sleep.
Overnight: Guest Farm

Day 2

You’ll start off cross-country on game and cattle tracks, through the bush savannah of the central highlands (1500-2000m above sea level) towards the escarpment, where the highlands drop into the wide plains below. Passing steep rock faces in constantly changing colours that give way to inspiring views of endless hills. Camping African-style, enjoy a good meal cooked on the campfire while chatting about the day's events. Retire to your tent or sleep under the stars.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 3

A long and exerting, but particularly memorable day awaits. Over tricky terrain, along dry riverbeds; along the tracks of mountain zebra, oryx and baboons, past leopard caves and thorn bushes. This is unspoiled countryside with stunning panoramic views... and you are sure to appreciate a hot shower and a good meal at the end of this day! Our camp is en route down the escarpment, remote and rugged, on a Namibian cattle farm.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 4

You’ll take this day a little slower, riding to the fringe of the Namib Desert. The campsite is situated below the Gamsberg, the third highest mountain in Namibia. After another beautiful day, sunset is a predictably dramatic show.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 5

Through the semi-desert between the Gaub and Kuiseb valleys, past remote farms, heading towards the 500,000 ha Namib-Naukluft Park where you have exclusive traversing rights for horses.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 6

Today you’ll enter the largest nature conservation area in Africa (an area as large as the British Isles). The Skeleton Coast, Namib Naukluft and Sperrgebiet Parks extend the length of Namibia’s 2,000km coastline, 100km inland at the widest point. You ride through the bizarre Kuiseb Canyon and camp at the oasis of Arunvlei. Marvel at the incredibly beautiful African sunset and myriad of stars in an area acclaimed worldwide for clarity of the night sky. Strongly recommended reading before this safari is the unique tale of escape and survival in this desert, told in the autobiographyThe Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin. Together with his friend Herman and dog Otto, they sought shelter in the Arunvlei area from the madness of the Second World War (www.the-sheltering-desert.com).
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 7

A long, tough riding day and non-stop sunshine. Long-sleeved shirts, broad-rimmed helmet covers and maximum UV protection recommended. Spot shy mountain zebra, oryx, ostrich, springbok and if you’re lucky, desert warthogs while crossing gravel plains ‘as the crow flies’. You stop at Ganab - a borehole that provides much-needed water for game in the desert, for lunch. Rest before heading to Hotsas -the Tinkas and Tumas plains. Considering the distance covered today, your camp with the prospect of chilled drinks and a relaxed dinner is a particularly welcome sight.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 8

An exuberant canter towards Poacher's Turn and Marble Mountains, infinite space and tremendous solitude, encountering strange shapes and the first mirages - fascinating survival devices of desert adapted creatures.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 9

Continue through true desert landscapes, habitat of the ancient and unique Welwitschia plants. Close to the coast you enter spectacular Moon Valley. Your last night on the ride and you’ll camp out under the stars, around the campfire near Goanikontes, in the dry Swakop River bed.
Overnight: Tented Camp

Day 10

This day is a big push on the final leg to reach the coast. An exhilarating long canter up the Swakop valley to the dunes and then, at last, the Atlantic ocean shore at Swakopmund. Your first glimpse of a town in 10 days and the possibility of riding your horse for the last time ...along an endless beach! You overnight in comfortable holiday chalets while your horses enjoy their well-deserved rest in a cosy stable. You all meet for a farewell dinner in the evening.
Overnight: Chalet

Day 11

Depart after breakfast on return road trip to Windhoek.

Guide price: £3,180 per person.

This includes:
Full-board accommodation
Drinks on safari (but not in lodges or restaurants)
Internal flights and road transfers
Riding guide, horses and tack
Ground transfers from and to Windhoek airport on dates of arrival and departure


back to top