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Amboseli Safari

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Riding ability: (?)

Suitable for: non-riders families

Amboseli Safari

Horse riding holiday in KenyaThe Amboseli safari gives you some of the most thrilling riding in the world, as you take horses through swamps filled with elephant, buffalo, lion, hyena and more. This safari is for the serious, experienced rider; one who is used to long days in the saddle and riding at speed. This 6 night mobile 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 are luxury mobile tents for the 6 nights. Due to the flight arrival times in Nairobi and transfers to the safari, you are likely to need a night or day in Nairobi. We can advise and arrange safe, good quality accomodation from budget to luxury, all of which has been checked personally by Redlands.

Director's Review : "one of the world's true safaris, moving camp and leaving only ash from the fire as you journey on. Well schooled horses, lots of game, excellent guides and outstanding cuisine. This ride is a must for experienced riders who enjoy a fast pace." Karen Johnson Managing Director Reviewed October 2011

February 2012 News

February saw the safari team heading back to Amboseli National Park. This was our last Amboseli safari of the season, and was a smashing success, with daily sightings of Kilimanjaro and plenty of wildlife.

The dry season is one of the best times to visit Amboseli, as the swamps and springs in the Park are the only water sources for miles around. During February and March, we experience daytime temperatures of about 30 degrees Centigrade, so the water is a huge attraction for birds and mammals, for both drinking and cooling off in the heat of the day. Large breeding herds of elephant spend most of their day half-submerged in the mud and water, as well as buffalo and hippo. The plains game also favours grazing within reach of this water, and huge numbers of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest can be seen daily.

The most exciting game moment of our safari was being able to spot and spend time with a female lioness and her three adolescent cubs.  The lions were tracked by Patrick and Kim early one morning, and were finally spotted near the Kiturua Gate, just inside Amboseli National Park. It was wonderful to be in close proximity to the lions whilst on horseback, and even better that the lions were in an open area and happy to observe us from afar!

The breeding herds of elephant were another highlight, with herds of up to 200 being found together at this time of year. The elephant in Amboseli are getting more and more accustomed to seeing the horses, and we can now ride close to cows, calves and bulls without causing stress to the elephants or the horses.

Back in the Chyulus, Ol Donyo lodge guests have also been enjoying some fantastic horse riding, with about 80 riders coming to the stables this month.

Due to the dry conditions, many eland and oryx are in the woodland around the stables at this time of year, as well as giraffe, warthog and impala. Large troops of baboon and black-faced vervet monkeys also spend a lot of time close to Ol Donyo’s waterholes at this time of year, and there are plenty of ostrich, gazelle and zebra out on the plains.  Due to the large numbers of gazelle, there are also quite a few cheetahs in residence this month, and riders have been lucky enough to see the cheetah several times a week.

Perhaps the most exciting moment in the Chyulus this month was when a male leopard came to find water at Ol Donyo Lodge. Due to the elephants pulling up the water pipes at his house, Patrick was staying in one of the guest rooms at Ol Donyo. He was enjoying an evening soak in the bath when suddenly a leopard appeared on the decking outside the bathroom.  The leopard simply lay down quietly behind the glass doors and stared at Patrick for about five minutes- not shy, nor afraid, but watching and waiting for water! Eventually, he realized that Patrick was not going to give up his bath, so he slunk away in search of alternative source to quench his thirst.

Towards the end of this month, the heat has been building to an intensity that we recognize as a sign of the imminent rains. In the last few days,several millimetres of rain have fallen, and a few thunder storms have started brewing along the top of the Chyulu Hills, with great forks of lightning flashing to the west, near Mount Kilimanjaro. We hope that the rains will soon arrive, and look forward to telling you all about it next month.

There are oppportunities to combine this safari with a stay at the commencement or conclusion at one of Kenya's most luxurious lodges - Ol Donyo Lodge.  Please click here for a more detailed description of the 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, and has magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro.  In 2008 the lodge was completely redesigned and rebuilt, along sound environmental and conservation lines.  With 10 cottages comprising 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 cottages without a pool, this is arguably Kenya's finest lodge. All cottages have roof-top star beds for those who love to sleep outdoors. The gem of this camp is the variety of activities, from horse riding, game drives, walks, hikes, mountain bike rides, village visits and day expeditions to the 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 and secures a future for the area's threatened wildlife. It can accommodate up to 20 people, is staffed by people from the local community, produces fabulous all-inclusive meals, and boasts a communal swimming pool, open fires and a wine cellar.

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Ride Kenya Amboseli Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrival, Introductory Game Drive and Horse Ride

Fly into Amboseli National Park, and be met by a Ride Kenya guide at the airstrip. (Please note that due to the small plane transfer there is a strict weight limit for luggage.)

Enjoy a wonderful morning game drive, en route to the first campsite on the south-west boundary of the Park.

Amboseli is home to around 1,500 elephant which live in and around the swamps beneath Mt Kilimanjaro. This first game drive serves as an introduction to the Park, and its inhabitants. As well as the famous elephant, there are plenty of hippo, buffalo, plains game, predators and birds to enjoy viewing.

Arrive in camp, and be shown to your tent. Orientation around camp, have a cool drink, and then before lunch meet the horses and the staff who will accompany you throughout the safari.

After a post lunch siesta, mount up for a two hour introductory ride through the yellow fever tree woodland at the base of Kilimanjaro.

Today’s ride aims to get riders and horses acquainted at a gentle pace. Riders ease into their new surroundings whilst meandering through the woodlands in search of baboon, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, and gazelle. Do expect some trotting and cantering on this ride.


Day 2: Dawn Ride and Afternoon Bush Walk

Depart at dawn on horseback for a morning exploration of the Kiturua Game Concession.

Timing the ride early in the morning should enable riders to see the large herds of elephant that this area is famous for; the elephant emerge from their night time feeding areas and traverse the open plains en route to water holes on the far side of the concession.

Before heading over to these water holes, the ride meanders along the edge of thick bush, in search of predators such as lion and hyena, as they make their way back to their daytime cover.

Soon the scenery opens up to flat, sandy terrain which in the cool morning air is just perfect for enjoying the first long, fast canters of the safari. The pace of this ride is fast, though there are good stretches of time when horses walk amongst the wildlife.

Close to the water holes, large herds of plains game can be seen as they come to drink, in the safety of the bright sunlight.

The ride approaches in attempts to see elephant, and also hippo as they enter the water to protect themselves from the heat of the day.

Enjoy a full English breakfast in the shade of an old Acacia tree close to the water, before returning to camp on horseback.

Late lunch in camp is followed by a few hours’ rest in the heat of the day.

An evening walk is offered, to stretch out riding muscles, and to learn more about the local flora and fauna, and the art of tracking.

Scenic sundowners followed by a three-course dinner in camp.


Day 3: Forest Ride and Afternoon Game Drive

Breakfast served in camp before the morning ride.

Horses and riders now acquainted, there is a chance to enjoy some jumping, as well as more interaction with game on horseback.

Riding through the thick bush where the majority of the game is likely to be hiding, it is thrilling to come across a variety of wildlife; from flocks of guinea fowl, to herds of giraffe, or even jackals or hyena in the undergrowth. A common sight is the elephant again, though care is taken when riding with them in very thick cover.

Lunch in camp is followed by an afternoon game drive.

Kiturua is home to a great variety of wildlife. The afternoon light, combined with the animals and scenery creates a good chance to take some phenomenal photographs which may have been difficult to capture on horseback.

Today’s game drive often pauses for drinks at sunset, before heading back to camp with a spotlight, aiming to find predators as they begin their nocturnal hunting.


Day 4: Full Day Ride through Amboseli to Patrick’s Camp, Olgulului Ranch.

Depart camp early morning on horseback, with packed breakfast.

Today’s ride leaves the Kiturua Concession and enters Amboseli National Park.

Riding distance today is about 30 miles, much of which traverses the game dense Enkongo Narok swamp. Expect to ride with large numbers of elephant, buffalo and plains game and perhaps even predators as the safari navigates through and around the swamplands.

The ride also crosses a vast dry lake bed so there are plenty of chances for galloping and also jumping some of the trees that have been pushed over by elephant.

A Ride Kenya vehicle meets riders with cool drinks, cushions in the shade and a picnic lunch for riders and horses!

The ride today ends on Olgulului Ranch, on the North-western boundary of Amboseli.

After about seven hours riding, enjoy a hot shower and drinks in camp; an oasis of tall trees set in the midst of vast open country, with deep red soil and endless views.


Day 5: Full Day Ride from Olgulului Ranch to the Chyulu Hills.

An early departure from camp, as the ride today is aiming for the northern end of the majestic Chyulu Hills.

Similar in length to yesterday’s ride, with a picnic lunch half way. Enjoy the scenery as it changes from deep red soil, through black cotton and into volcanic basalt.

Expect to see migratory herds of eland, kudu, oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest, gazelle and giraffe as they too make their way from the swamps of Amboseli to the high country of the Chyulu Hills.

Enjoy meeting groups of nomadic Maasai herdsmen, and passing by their villages. Some Maasai still live a very traditional lifestyle, and experiencing their culture first-hand is fascinating.

Arrive late afternoon into the new campsite.


Day 6: Morning Hike Lenkiloriti and Afternoon Horse Ride.

Whilst the horses rest, set off on foot to climb Lenkiloriti; a massive volcano that offers stunning views of the Chyulu Hills. Take binoculars to the top and scan the forests below for the black rhino and breeding herds of elephant that reside in the area.

Enjoy lunch in camp today, followed by an afternoon ride through the beautiful volcanic landscape.

This area is a favorite hunting ground for a local leopard. Perhaps opt to do a night game-drive after dinner to try to locate the leopard and other nocturnal animals that inhabit the area.


Day 7: Long Morning Ride to Crater Camp.

Depart camp on horseback and head though thick Acacia woodland towards the main base of the Chyulu Hills.

The route winds through seemingly endless stands of whistling thorn acacia as it climbs into the hills. Ample opportunities to canter, gallop, and jump due to the excellent footing.

The Acacia woodland is home to many species of mammal including some of the biggest ‘Tuskers’ left in Africa. Over the course of the day, the ride ascends about 2,000 feet above the plains, with stunning views stretching for 90 miles on a clear day.

Arrive at Crater Camp for a late lunch. The camp is nestled into a forest next to a large volcanic crater, and it overlooks the plains that stretch to the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Late afternoon, climb the volcanic crater in pursuit of the very rare Verreaux’s Eagle which nests in the nearly inaccessible 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 8: Departure

Enjoy breakfast in camp, followed by departure by road, to the Ol Donyo Lodge airstrip for the schedule flight to Nairobi departing at 0815.



2012 prices:

8 days, 7 nights, full board £3,180pp (Single supplement: £740) Transfers: £380pp return flight

Includes: luxury tented accommodation, laundry, all meals and alcoholic and non-alcololic drinks (excluding imported and premium drinks) community levvy.

Not Included: Flights and Travel Insurance. Optional extras: Game drive into Amboseli National Park

2012/13 dates:

January 22nd - 29th
February 12th -19th - only 6 places left!
June 23rd - 30th
July 21st- 28th
August 4th - 11th - only 7 places left!
September 1st-8th - FULLY BOOKED
December 30th - 6th Jan 2013 - only 7 places left!


Meeting point: Amboseli National Park, having caught an early morning flight from Wilson Regional Airport in Nairobi (luggage weight limit on internal flight 15 kgs luggage per person)

Group size: 4 minimum to 10 maximum Max weight: 90 kilos

Redlands is pleased to announce that it is now possible to confirm all of our set departure rides with a minimum requirement of one rider!

We will charge a small group supplement of £64.50 per person per night.

This supplement will be charged only if minimum numbers have not yet confirmed, in order to secure the departure for 1-3 riders. The supplement will be refunded as soon as a 4th rider books

No of hours in the saddle: variable but approx 6/7

Suitable for  non-riders: No

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