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Chyulu Safari

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Suitable for: non-riders families

Chyulu Safari

Horse riding holiday in kenyaThe scenery is unbeatable at Chyulu and the going for the horses is perfect. This ride offers families, and other less bold riders a chance to see some of Africa’s most beautiful creatures from horseback. The wildlife is more spread out than in Amboseli, so riders can be a bit more relaxed on this trip, but still enjoy great game sightings.

Like Ambosel, this safari is quintessentially East African, offering riding with views of Mount Kilimanjaro, across vast open plains, into acacia forests, swampland, volcanic hills and mist forests.

Your accommodation is luxury mobile tents for this 6-night safari and you can combine this, if you wish, with a stay at one of Kenya's most luxurious lodges - Ol Donyo Lodge.  Please click here for a more detailed description of this magnificent lodge.

Ol Donyo Lodge is a family-owned lodge located on a communally-owned Maasai Group Ranch with exclusive use of 70,000 acres of the reserve. The lodge has magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro and was completely redesigned and rebuilt in 2008, following sound environmental and conservation lines. Ol Donyo is arguably Kenya's finest lodge, with 10 cottages -  one family cottage with 2 separate bedrooms, bathroom, open veranda and a plunge pool as well as 6 pool cottages with separate plunge pools, en suite bathrooms and outdoor showers, and 2 more cottages without a pool,  All cottages have roof-top star beds for those who love to sleep outdoors. The gem of this camp is the variety of activities -  horse riding, game drives, walks, hikes, mountain bike rides, village visits and day expeditions to Amboseli.

The lodge is well known for its homely, warm, child friendly, and welcoming atmosphere and is the touchstone of a new, sustainable model of conservation tourism,  securing a future for the area's threatened wildlife. Ol Donyo Lodge boasts a communal swimming pool, open fires and a wine cellar, and can accommodate up to 20 people. It is staffed by people from the local community and produces fabulous all inclusive meals.

Horse riding holiday in kenyaHorse riding holiday in Kenya


Day 1: Arrival, Introductory Game Drive & Horse Ride

Fly into Ol Donyo Lodge airstrip and meet the Ride Kenya guides.

Enjoy a short game drive en route to the first campsite, which is nestled in thick acacia woodland overlooking the savannah.

The Chyulu Hills offer some of the most stunning scenery in Africa: rolling volcanic hills, acacia forests, and grassy plains converge under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. This first game drive serves as an introduction to the area and its inhabitants; there are 38 recorded species of large mammal here and over 300 species of bird.

Upon arrival into camp, guests are given a brief orientation and introduction to the overall safari itinerary before enjoying lunch in the cool shade of the mess tent. After a post-lunch rest, drive to Ride Kenya’s main stables to meet the horses and staff.

The Chyulu Hills Safari starts close to Ride Kenya’s stables, so that riders can be paired up with their horse and then assessed in the fenced schooling arena before heading out into the bush. Anyone who is not comfortable with their horse has a chance to switch at the stables.

The first afternoon ride then sets off from the stables, and is designed to introduce the rider to their horse and the local ecosystem. The ride passes through acacia woodland, and out onto the savannah. Expect to ride at a variety of speeds and to see game such as giraffe, impala, elephant, warthog, oryz, zebra, wildebeest and gazelle.

Arrive back into camp at dusk. Enjoy a sunset drink by the fire, a hot shower and a three-course dinner. As the sun goes down, listen to the jackal and hyena calling as they commence their nocturnal hunts.

Day 2: Bush Breakfast Ride & Afternoon Walk

Depart at dawn on horseback for a morning exploration of the acacia woodland and savannah around camp. Giraffe are commonly spotted browsing here, and antelope abound. Another highlight in this area is a ride past a Maasai village, with the traditional Maasai culture fascinating to see first-hand. Emerge from the forest, and traverse the wide-open Mbirikani plains, dotted with wildlife. The plains stretch for 70 miles before Mount Kilimanjaro rises up on the distant horizon.

The footing here is ideal for horse riding; coarse volcanic soil that is firm yet forgiving under hoof, allowing riders an opportunity to enjoy the horses’ schooling and fitness; for those who wish, long trots and canters can be supplemented with some cross-country style jumping over fallen trees and other fences. 

Enjoy a full English breakfast under the shade of an Acacia tree before riding back to camp. A few hours’ rest in the heat of the day follows a late lunch in camp.

This evening a walk is offered, to stretch out riding muscles and learn more about the local flora and fauna. There is a chance to track and locate some of the surrounding forest’s resident bull elephants (several of which are known to be the largest elephant ‘tuskers’ left in Africa today).

 After dinner in camp, a night game drive is suggested, to try to find some of the resident big cats, who are more active at night, as well as other nocturnal animals such as spring hare, aardwolf, hyena, aardvark, bush baby and the genet cat.

Day 3: Morning Ride to Crater Camp & Afternoon Hike

After a light breakfast in camp, depart early and proceed through the acacia forest up towards Chyulu East National Park. This morning is a long, exciting and fast ride, with plenty of chance to canter, gallop and jump. Taking snacks and water in the saddlebags allows the ride to be flexible. Expect to spot a diversity of game ranging from small creatures like guinea-fowl, dik-dik or jackal, to the enormous oryx, eland and elephant.

Leaving the thick acacia forests, the ride begins to pass through vast stands of whistling thorn acacia on the ascent up into the Chyulu Hills, eventually ascending around 2,000 feet.  Stunning views stretch for 90 miles on a clear day, and this is a good ecosystem for seeing cheetah, gerenuk, zebra, ostrich, wildebeest and Coke’s hartebeest.

Arrive into Crater camp for a late lunch. This camp is situated within a forest next to a large extinct volcanic crater, and overlooks the quintessentially East African plains that lead up to Mount Kilimanjaro. 

In the later afternoon, take the opportunity to climb the volcanic crater in pursuit of the rare Verreaux’s Eagle, which nests in the rocky outcrops at the rim. Or explore the lava tubes under the crater, which lie within walking distance of the camp. These jagged caves stretch for miles as they lead away from the crater and have been used for generations of hunter-gatherers as shelter.

Enjoy sunset in this most spectacular campsite.

Day 4: Full-Day Ride to the Mist Forest

Depart after breakfast in camp. Today’s ride ascends another 2,000 feet higher into the Chyulu Hills with a noticeable change in climate and temperature as you reach over 7,000 feet above sea level. The view is dominated by the vast wilderness of Tsavo East National Park to the east, and Mount Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National Park to the west.

Today’s riding traverses steep slopes and valleys (leading the horses may be necessary at times) and is a slower day in terms of pace, but provides challenging and stunning terrain. Due to the altitude of the area, clouds often sit on the top of the Chyulu Hills. This consistent moisture has created to pockets of mist forest that dot the summits of the hills. 

Enjoy a picnic lunch just outside one of the largest mist forests, and then enter the mist forest on foot, in search of buffalo, leopard, Syke’s monkey and giant forest hog that reside within.

Get back on the horses after exploring the mist forest and enjoy the dramatic descent out of the hills, passing a few subsistence farmers’ villages en route. Most of the farmers are Kamba people, who make a living with maize farming on the hillside. Rural school children often spot the horses and follow them for a while, giggling and running along beside.

Arrive in the late afternoon to Olecuto Camp. Enjoy a well-earned drink and rest in stunning scenery.

Day 5: Full-Day Ride, with a Barbecue Lunch

After breakfast in camp, depart on horseback to explore the forests of Olecutu. This area is extremely beautiful and remote, with herds of giraffe, gazelle, zebra and wildebeest. Enjoy seeing ostrich and Kori bustard bathing in the red dust.

Leaving the forest, the ride passes by the Inchalai swamps. These are swamps where breeding herds of elephant come to drink at night and if riders are lucky they might catch the elephant returning to the thick lava flow in which they seek refuge during the day. Maasai herdsmen and women also bring their livestock for water in the swamps.

Enjoy a midday break for a barbecue lunch, atop some beautiful rocky outcroppings, then ride across the vast savannah and into ‘Pelican’ campsite.

Day 6: Amboseli Game Drive or Morning Ride. Afternoon Ride to Stables

Choose between a full morning’s game drive to the majestic Amboseli National Park or a morning ride to Lenkiloriti, at the northern end of the Chyulu Hills. Guests opting for Amboseli leave camp before dawn. Game driving around Amboseli National Park gives guests the opportunity to view and photograph the park’s world-famous herds of elephant, not to mention buffalo, hippo, lion, hyena, plains game and abundant birdlife.

Enjoy a packed breakfast with views over the Amboseli swamps, before returning to camp for a late lunch. Those opting for a morning ride leave camp after breakfast and explore Lenkiloriti. This unworldly, almost lunar environment is home to klipspringer, rock hyrax, porcupine, mountain reedbuck, baboon and Kenya’s last wild population of black rhino.

If riding this morning, enjoy some amazing canters up long ridges with far-reaching views of the Lenkilariti plain, and jump over fallen logs and abandoned Maasai livestock fencing.

Be back in camp for a late lunch.

In the afternoon, enjoy one last ride, heading back to the stables. Have a chance to visit Ol Donyo Lodge for sundowners or have private sundowners on top of a nearby hill overlooking the Mbirikani plains. Take a short night drive back to camp before dinner.

Day 7: Departure

Early breakfast in camp, followed by departure by road to the Ol Donyo Lodge airstrip. Scheduled flight to Nairobi departs at 08.15.

2013 Dates:  
2-8 March   
8-14 June   
8-14 July 
28 September-4 October
19-25 October
7-13 December


2013 Prices: 7 days, 6 nights, full board - from £2915pp

Single Supplement: from £610pp     

Includes: 7 days/6 nights full board accommodation in luxury mobile tented camp, all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (excluding champagne and imported premium drinks), and laundry.

Not Included: Flights, travel Insurance, transfers (to & from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport & Wilson Airport, Safarilink scheduled flights to & from Ol Donyo Lodge),Temporary membership of Flying Doctors' Society of Africa, and gratuities.

Transfers: from £380pp return  

Optional Extras: Game drive into Amboseli National Park

Meeting Point: Ol Donyo Wuas, having caught an early morning flight from Wilson Regional Airport in Nairobi (strict weight limit on internal flights 15kgs per person)

Indicative Flight Price: Return flights from London to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi cost from £450-£800pp, depending on time of year.

Group Size: 3 minimum - 10 maximum

We will confirm for only 1 or 2 riders at no extra charge. Please note the itinerary will be modified to include only one camp move. Should three or more people then book onto the ride, the itinerary will then revert back to the original.

Max Weight: 90 kgs

Suitable for  Non-riders: No

Hours in Saddle: Variable but approximately 5 per day

Suitable for children: Yes


  • STRICT 15kg/33lb luggage restriction, per person, on all internal flights in Kenya.
  • You require a visa to enter Kenya, which you can buy at the airport on arrival (USD 50pp) or arrange through the Kenya High Commission.

Call us on +44 (0)1225 000000 or email contact@redlandsequestrian.com to check the ride availability and dates, once we have confirmed availability you can download and fill in a booking form:

Each rider in the party must also complete a riding ability questionnaire before we can complete the final confirmation of your holiday booking.

Accepted Payment Types