Farm riding and activity holidays, Tanzania
A cultural and riding holiday on a working farm on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania
Stay on a working farm and enjoy the incredible scenery from horseback, as well as all the many outdoor and cultural activities on offer. Few farms enjoy such a stunning setting, with Kilimanjaro rising majestically to the north and the plains of the Maasai Steppe spreading out to the south. The farm is set on a ridge bordered by two rivers, and the scenery alone is worth the visit. On horseback, you ride through the bush on and around the farm, surrounded by birds, butterflies and monkeys, whether to a coffee plantation, through riverine forest or thick bush or across open grassland. There’s a huge variety of landscapes to enjoy even on a short riding safari. Other activities include hikes and excursions that offer deep insights into the culture and life of Tanzania and its people, including village visits, a farm experience and learning how to keep bees Africa-style.
- Any number of days
- Rides to suit novice (short rides on the farm), intermediate and advanced (longer rides further afield). Non-riders welcome.
- Activities include farm rides, longer rides to river gorges, coffee plantations and other places of interest; visits to the market, local Chagga villages, hot springs and Kilimanjaro National Park
For experienced riders, there are daily horse riding activities, including early morning rides, sunset rides, half-day and full-day rides.
Makoa-Farm early-morning ride, half day ride or sunset-ride
The 358-acre farm has coffee plantations, crops and also natural bush and grasslands. In addition to traditional farm animals, you may see duiker, bush pig, jackal, serval, genet and civet cat, even striped and occasionally spotted hyena and leopard (though these are all mainly nocturnal). During the day you have a good chance of seeing Sykes or Vervet monkeys, savannah baboons and a seemingly endless variety of birds.
This trail leads through farmland and bush towards Masasiland. When you reach the Kikafu River Gorge, you’ll dismount and lead the horses into this enchanting area to explore. Depending on the rider’s abilities and fitness this trail will be arranged as an easier (3 hours) or more challenging route (6 hours). For the long route we will arrange lunch picnic in the river valley, on a half-day ride we will be back to the farm for lunch and a siesta.
Half-day ride over farmland and through bush, an exciting river crossing through the Weru-Weru River. On the way back you will pass flower farms.
Coffee Plantation and Giant Tortoise
Day trip on horseback over an historic bridge to the Kibo-Kikafu-Coffee Plantation, where you pay a visit to Tom, the 180 year old giant tortoise. You’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the plains over lunch.
Horse-drawn carriage ride
Enjoy a drive around Makoa and experience the pace of a horsedrawn carriage, pulled by one or two horses. It will make you feel like the first explorers in Africa.
Visit a local Masai market or a Masai cattle market (however, not everyday is market day). You will be surprised what items Masai trade in and what they will take home, often multiple day-journeys away, carried on their donkey’s back. Chagga markets or the markets in Moshi are colourful and also worth a visit.
Makoa Farm Experience
An introduction to the numerous Makoa-residents. Makoa is a haven for many domesticated and wild animals, some of which were brought to the veterinary clinic when injured or orphaned. Those who could not be re-introduced into the wild, due to injuries, live on the farm and play an important role of animal ambassadors to enable local children a “hands-on”-experience with animals for a deeper understanding of nature and conservation. You will be surprised how animals interact with humans and eachother. You can accompany bush pigs or banded mongooses on a walk, observe the perfect beauty of a three-legged serval cat or feed the wild bush babies. Every evening you will be able to see the resident bush babies close up.
Hike to a mountain fruit bat cave
Walk to a waterfall and caves that are home to a big colony of mountain fruit bats. Although you might think they should be sleeping, they seem to enjoy frolicking in the spray of the waterfall. If you are lucky we may also catch sight of Freddie, the two metre long monitor lizard.
A local guide will take you on a long walk through farmland and bush into Masasiland, with a rest on the Kikafu River Gorge for refreshments. Depending your requirements and fitness you will walk back on a different route or we will arrange for pick up by vehicle.
Tortoise Tom hike
On an exciting hike you will cross the deep gorge of the Kikafu River. Be prepared to get your wet feet and there is always lots of enjoyment during the river crossing as there is no bridge! Your guide will show you many plants on the way which are used to produce local medicines. With a moderate pace it will take you about 2 1/2 hours to get to the picnic spot where you meet the riders. After a well-earned picnic and the visit of Tom, the giant tortoise, you will be transferred back to Makoa- Farm by 4x4 vehicle.
Makoa offers various activities which will introduce you to the life of the Chagga, the tribe that populates Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The neighbours of Makoa-Farm
Take a guided tour through Chagga villages and small farms where you will witness people’s daily life, admire their permanent good mood and learn about their farming methods.
More Chagga life
Learn how to build a traditional Chagga house, and afterwards about stingless bee keeping. Or visit a milk purification centre run by women where they will explain how the dairy co-operative empowers women of the area and stimulates local economic growth. Meet the Kalali women’s group, specialists for cheese production near Kalali market. Or, tour a medicinal garden, carve a bowl, meet a midwife, hike to a waterfall...
Kikafu River Walk
Enjoy the beautiful scenery on a long walk following the Kikafu River and along the 12km water channel that provides water for the coffee plantation. You may visit a Chagga homestead which will give you a good insight into Chagga-lifestyle. Later you will pass by waterfalls, walk through scenic river valleys, banana and coffee plantations to reach a romantic spot on the river’s edge for refreshments. Afterwards you will be picked up by vehicle and driven back to Makoa-Farm.
Lyamungo Coffee Research Institute
Chagga land is coffee land. Visit the Lyamungo Coffee Research Institute where you will learn more about coffee production and can smell the aromas of different coffee types.
Also visit local educational projects, the hot springs, Kilimanjaro National Park and go on a Colobus Forest Walk.
Guide price: £900 per person for 5 nights
Full-board accommodation including house drinks
Riding Guide, horses and tack
Excursions, village walks and other hikes with a local guide, visit to a local Chagga or Masai market and visit to the Makoa Educational Program