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8 Day Incredible Kilimanjaro Elephant Safari on Horseback in Tanzania

West Kilimanjaro, North Tanzania

Elephant Safari Tanzania on a Horseback

Kaskazi Horse Safaris welcomes you to this Kilimanjaro elephant safari on a horseback in Tanzania. This safari is led by qualified and professionally trained guides, always pushing for a new and exhilarating adventure. Your guides will share its enthusiasm and tell stories that will travel generations. The routes are off the beaten track and with vast knowledge about the countries fauna and flora, you will go deep into the bush and together enjoy the wonders that Tanzania has to offer, the magnificent wildlife, the scenery and the magical interaction with the local tribes who inhabit these areas. All this viewed from what back in the days also used to roam wild, the horse.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 187 pounds / 85 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 15 hands around and about
  • Tack Type: Australian stock saddles and some in Wintec and English (all-round) saddles
  • Horse Breed: A mix of local breeds and thoroughbreds

Meet the instructors

Highlights

  • Big game rides
  • 5 to 7 hours in the saddle a day
  • Qualified private guide, horses, and riding
  • Elephant tracking and a chance to see zebras, giraffes, and wildebeests
  • Park, wildlife department, and WMA (wildlife management area) fees included
  • 1 night and a half day at a permanent camp and 6 nights under private canvas
  • All food and beverages included
  • Roundtrip airport transfers

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 4-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Kilimanjaro International Airport
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Accommodation

Permanent camp

Upon arrival to Tanzania, your first night will be spent at Kaskazi's permanent camp. There, they have combined spacious traditional safari tents with a permanent polo safari club. The camp is beautifully located on a wildlife estate with great views of Mt Meru and on a clear day Mt Kilimanjaro. The camp overlooks the polo clubhouse and two polo fields where often zebras and wildebeests are seen grazing.

There are ten fully equipped tents, each with its own on suite bathroom, flush toilet and white fluffy towels. There is Wi-Fi in the clubhouse and a swimming pool, gym, and spa to be enjoyed. All beverages and delicious home cooked meals are prepared for you at the spectacular clubhouse (a replica of the Sultan of Zanzibar’s very own palace).

Mobile camp

The tented fly camp is of Kaskazi's own homemade design. They are comfortable and spacious, being 3 x 3 meters with a removable bottom part, giving a 360 view. They have mosquito netted door and windows to allow for ventilation but still remain insect proof. Each tent is provided with scissor beds, cotton linen, and a solar light. Outside each tent, there is a chair and a washstand that you share with your tent partner.

Each tent has its own bush toilet and bucket shower. The toilet is a traditional short drop style toilet with a nice wooden toilet seat over a metal box with open sides. Their motto is “Rhinos cover it, please do the same." There is a small mound of dirt with a trowel next to the toilet seat for this purpose. The shower is a traditional stargazing canvas bucket, suspended from a tree inside the shower enclosure. It’s a mobile operation; therefore every day the staff crew awaits the riders at a new destination before the sun hits the horizon.

Solo travelers

For guests traveling on their own, Kaskazi Horse Safaris does not charge a single supplement. However, for guests traveling in a group (with friends) who are unwilling to share a tent, you will be charged 50 USD per person per night.

Program

A horse safari with Kaskazi

The horse, with beauty unsurpassed, strength immeasurable and grace unlike any other, still remains humble enough to carry a man upon his back. The journey will bring the essential joy of being in contact with rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom, the horse and its nature.

Day one, you will be exhausted and full of amazement. Day two, you will arrive in camp unable to walk and nearly too exhausted to eat. A good night’s rest and you will wake up and the horse will lend you his strength, speed and grace to continue, you will give him guidance, intelligence and understanding greater than his and together you can achieve a richness that neither can alone. Day four, as companions you have the strength to carry on the day with triumph. The days go by and suddenly the sad day comes when the companionship come to an end.

Please be aware that the ride below is for strong intermediate riders only and that each itinerary is subject to change due to the movement of games and weather conditions. The routes are designed for the best possibilities of viewing wildlife and follow suitable terrain for horses. If the itinerary would change prior to the safari, this would only be for the safety and to the benefit of the journey on horseback.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). There, you will be picked up by one of the team from Kaskazi and driven for thirty-five minutes to their polo club, where the first night is spent. Settle into the new surroundings and meet the other participants on the safari. Sundowners and dinner at the clubhouse where your guide for the safari will hold the briefing.

Day 2

Wake up calls with tea and coffee, breakfast is served anytime from early hours. After breakfast at around 11:00 a.m., you drive for about twenty minutes to Arusha National park gate. There, the horses will be waiting, ready to be mounted and shortly after, you will ride into one of the most beautiful parks in East Africa. There, the vegetation will change dramatically, from open grassland to rainforest.

With good chances of seeing elephants, buffaloes, all your plains game, leopards and rare species such as Suni, Red Duiker, the magnificent Hartlaub’s turaco and so much more. The feeling is magical as you enter into the big canopy forests. Lunch will be set on the route, with time for a small siesta.

After lunch, the ride continues through leopard country and as you head towards the night stop, you will pass by Margarete Trappe’s old house. The legendary lady known and remembered as the Iron lady from the first world war. “If, as children, we were thrilled by Buffalo Bill we should have been still more spellbound by Mrs. Trappe’s adventures, the adventures of the fearless woman with her two legendary horses, Comet and Diamond, and her two inseparable Alsatians. Like a phantom she would suddenly appear, like a phantom she would vanish; as intimate with wild beasts as though they were tame.” These are some of the tales about Margarete who’s old riding paths this horse safari follows through the holy forests of the park.

Arrive at the camp, based on the foot of Mt Meru in time for showers and sundowners then dinner under the stars.

Day 3

This morning, you will hopefully wake up to the very talkative Colobus monkeys. Breakfast is served and shortly thereafter, you mount and directions are taken towards the area where the film Hatari was filmed, starring John Wayne. Thereafter, halfway into the morning ride, you will start the climb (on horseback), aiming to reach the “Fig Tree Arch”, a massive fig tree arch, big enough to fit five horses underneath the arch.

The ride continues until you reach lunch, beautifully located in the rain forest next to a waterfall. You are now on about 2,000 meters above sea level. After lunch, you start heading back towards camp, passing by another 30-meter high waterfall on route back. After returning to camp, there will be an option to jump into the vehicles and go visit the Momella lakes, hoping to see some hippos and beautiful water birds. Sundowners at the lakes before heading back to camp for showers and dinner.

Day 4

You wake up with the sun and a big breakfast is served. Thereafter, it is time to get on your horse. Today, you ride out of Arusha National Park. The directions are eastbound heading towards Mount Kilimanjaro and leaving Mount Meru behind you like a shadow. The day’s ride is long and amongst Tanzanian farmland and the Massai steppe, its scenic with many cultural interactions as the rides goes along. You make use of the cooler hours in the morning and try to cover as much ground as possible.

The lunch is served under a big acacia, sometimes near to a dam where the Massai’s water their cattle and you water your horses. You will have a good three-hour stop for lunch, with time for a siesta to regain some strength. The afternoon enters into wildlife areas again, continues across opened plains, making sure to reach the night stop before the sun hits the horizon.

Day 5

Early wake up with coffee and tea before a bush breakfast is served. The day will be spent tracking the biggest land-living mammal, the elephants. The terrain differs from thick scrublands to acacia woodland. Today, you will return to camp for lunch and head out for another ride in the afternoon. Before sunset, you will return to camp to enjoy another night in this remote and remarkable place on earth.

Day 6

Early wake up calls followed by an English breakfast. Everyone mounts their companion and the safari starts heading towards the so-called Seven Sisters. After having crossed the seven hills (seven sisters), you will ride through Sinya Village and continue towards lunch, served under a shady tree. The terrain varies from opened grassland to beautiful canopy forests.

The day offers a good chance of seeing plains game such as zebras, giraffes, and wildebeests but most important is the presence of the shy antelope, the Gerenuk that you will keep an eye for as you ride along. The night is spent at an astonishing place, hopefully the night is clear and you will get the feeling being watched by four powerful mountains, Mt Meru, Namanga, Longido and the most legendary of all, Mt Kilimanjaro.

Day 7

Wake up with the sun, taking directions for the Kenyan border. This day will be spent tracking the footsteps of the biggest land living mammal, the elephant. Hopefully, you have good luck tracking and get the chance to see these giants from the back of a horse. The night will be spent overlooking the pans with its plains game on constant alert for predators. Hopefully, this night is clear, as apart from the view of the mountains within this area, the night sky is a mind-blowing site.

Day 8

The last morning has arisen and the safari has come to its end, enjoy a big breakfast before directions are taken towards civilization, depending on road conditions about three hours journey back to the airport. For those who fly out late, there is a day room at the polo club.

Horses

The horses are all-purpose trained safari horses, with a mix of local breeds and thoroughbreds. Close to all of them are ridden in western style, with one hand. This allows you to take photos and dig into your saddlebag while out on safari. Only some of them are ridden English style. If this is the case, the guide will tell you before you mount your horse. All horses are given lots of love, care and attention, therefore resulting in their nice characters and strong personalities. They all have their own heads with different temperaments, which allows us to find a perfect fit for each rider.

Tack

All the horses come with their own tack, some in Australian stock saddles and some in Wintec and English (all-round) saddles. All horses go on snaffle bridles. Also, each rider will carry a saddlebag with essentials out on safari.

Riding ability

Different routes require different riding skills. For beginners, the rider must be able to walk and trot with the horse under control. Intermediate riders must be able to post the trot for a longer distance, be comfortable at all paces and able to gallop out of trouble. Experienced riders must be confident and comfortable at all paces over any terrain, ability to gallop for a longer distance and if needed out of trouble.

A fit and proficient rider is of big advantage out on safari. Kaskazi Horse Safaris will only accept strong intermediate riders on their safaris. You will be riding in an open and broken country, with steep riverbanks, thorn trees, and ditches, which have to be negotiated. If you are not of the required standard, please do not attempt a ride, as you will not only be endangering your life but also the lives of those accompanying you on the ride.

Weight limit

Maximum weight is 85 kilograms / 187 pounds. Other arrangements could be organized subject to availability and would have to be requested well in advance.

Safety

Out on safari the lead guide is armed and they communicate over radios and cell phones, with a mobile station in each vehicle.

Guiding

All guides are qualified and professionally trained, with good knowledge about Tanzania’s fauna and flora. A keen interest is taken in the smaller creatures as well as bigger game. The cultural visits bring in knowledge of medicinal and traditional beliefs about Tanzania’s trees and plants.

Time spent in the saddle

Kaskazi Horse Safaris aims to do between 5-7 hours in the saddle a day. During the rides, you will stop for drinks and refreshments and a three-hour lunch break, with time for a siesta. The terrain will vary and some legs will have to be done by foot, which is also a good opportunity to rest the horse’s backs and loosen up the rider’s muscles.

Routes and the terrain

The terrain varies from place to place, everything from open savannah, acacia woodland, and Doum Palm forests to really thick vegetation. Open savannah caters for long, adrenaline thrilling gallops while in a thick bush all ears and eyes must be alert for any game you might encounter. Depending on climate and rainfall, you will cross riverbeds and ride along the shores of beautiful lakes. Apart from game viewing, the landscape and the scenery mustn’t be forgotten, the rides are in some of the most spectacular areas in Africa.

Game viewing

Massai land rides cater for beginners and have no big game such as elephants and lions. Still, there is game to be seen such as zebras, striped hyenas, jackals, impalas, Thompson gazelles, African wild cat, Kudus, dik-diks, and plenty of beautiful birds.

For intermediate and experienced riders, animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and all the plains game can be spotted. At night, Africa’s nocturnal animals wake up and can be viewed using a big spotlight out on a night drive.

Saying this, everyone needs to bear in mind that any wildlife seen is a bonus and never a guarantee. Even though Tanzania is world famous for its wildlife which is best viewed from what back in the days also used to roam wild, the horse. You will never forget the feeling of galloping alongside a herd of giraffes out on the African savannah; it is a memory that will last you a lifetime.

Non-riders

For those who are not keen horse riders or not confident enough, options for vehicle safaris and walking safaris can be arranged. Their itinerary will be tailored to individual needs and sample itineraries are available upon request.

Children

Kaskazi Horse Safaris does allow children, depending on their riding ability. They must be confident and strong enough to ride a full-sized horse.

Instructors

Jo Westermark

Location

The tour will take place at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, passing through Arusha national park and ending at the Kenyan border.

Food

The food is of a great standard with professionally trained bush chefs. Mark English, a gourmet chef from South Africa, trains and every now and then joins us out on safari. Himself or his trained chefs create delicious and highly entertaining dishes.

Breakfast is of traditional Cowboy style, served with homemade juice and exotic African fruits. Lunch is alfresco, enjoyed somewhere out in the wild under a nice shady tree, it may either be vehicle supported or you may carry it in your saddlebags. Dinner is a three-course affair, with a mix of local and international cuisine, always served with newly baked bread and fresh salads and herbs.

Drinks are locally sourced and a large variety is brought along on safari.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

For those who haven’t had enough of a full days ride, one of the nights the adventure will continue into the night. With a big spotlight, you can explore the African bush at night with new species to be added to your list. Bushbabies, hyraxes, bat-eared foxes, spotted hyenas, aardvarks, genet cats, civets, and not to forget, all the nocturnal bird species that will keep you alarmed with their calls at night.

What's included

  • 1 night at the polo club and permanent camp
  • 6 nights at Kaskazi Horse Safaris' mobile camp
  • A half day room at the polo club
  • All food and beverages
  • Flying doctor membership for each client (fly out insurance)
  • National park fees
  • Qualified private guide, horses, and riding
  • Transfer back and forth from the airport to polo club (at set times and departures)
  • Village fees
  • WD (wildlife department) fees
  • WMA (wildlife management area) fees

What's not included

  • Any personal purchases
  • Gratuities for the camp team and guides (guideline of 20-35 USD per guest per day)
  • International flights
  • Visas and medical expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.

Arusha is the start off point for most safaris. Kilimanjaro International Airport is the most convenient port of entry and exit, located just 45 minutes from Arusha Town and only 35 minutes drive from the permanent camp, where your first night upon arrival is spent. The airport is served from Europe by KLM/Northwest, which flies daily from Amsterdam.

You can also fly into Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), where you would have to purchase a Kenyan transfer visa for 25 USD (US Citizen 50 USD). Thereafter, depart from the airport with the so-called Impala Shuttle. Kaskazi Horse Safaris can book this for you prior to arrival. The shuttle will cross the border between Kenya and Tanzania, where you will have to purchase a Tanzanian Visa for 50 USD (US citizen 100 USD). The drive altogether is about five hours, before you reach Impala Hotel, based in the middle of Arusha, where a vehicle from Kaskazi Horse Safaris will be arranged to pick you up.

  • Kaskazi’s set arrival times: On the set arrival date, Kaskazi will pick up guests at any time at any place between Arusha Town and Kilimanjaro International Airport. In case of arrival a day or two earlier, then the set arrival date, an additional transfer cost of 80 USD per vehicle (maximum four persons) will apply. This transfer fee applies within the region of Arusha Town and Kilimanjaro International Airport.
  • Kaskazi’s set departure times: On the set departure date, Kaskazi will drop off guests within Arusha Town and Kilimanjaro International Airport. It is of the highest importance that no one has a flight departure before 3:00 p.m. on this day. For guests who depart later (who prefer not to wait at the airport), a day room can be arranged prior to the safari for an extra cost.
Airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport Airport transfer included: Kilimanjaro International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Availability

Custom dates are available for a private group of a minimum of 6 riders and a maximum of 15 riders. Please send an inquiry for further details.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

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