An exciting and beautiful 7 day bush ride covering some 225 km for intermediate to experienced riders accustomed to riding English. Ride between Mt. Meru to the South, Lake Natron game controlled area to the West, Mt. Kilimanjaro to the East and the Kenya border and Amboseli National Park to the North.
The route passes close to the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro with spectacular views of the mountain and the surrounding landscape. The riding area is unfenced and migrating game moves freely. The ride follows a circuit starting and ending at Uto Farm. During the morning, ride for about 3 hours before breaking for lunch and siesta during the heat of the day, and then ride another 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon. The distance covered averages 30 to 40 km per day depending on the speed of the group. The ride passes through unfenced communal pastoral lands and some deserted cattle ranches dating back to colonial days. Areas include, Lake Natron Game Controlled Area, Longido Game Controlled Area and Ngasurai Open Area as well as Ndarakwai Ranch on West Kilimanjaro.
The Masai contribute an important aspect to the ride by adding a splash of colour and providing an insight into the rich cultural diversity of Tanzania. This ride takes place away from other tourist attractions in unspoiled wilderness. It is unlikely you will meet other visitors during any the ride. Passing through Masailand at the very base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the area has some of East Africa's most spectacular scenery, surrounded by 5895m high Kilimanjaro to the East, 4660m high Meru to the South, the rugged but beautiful Longido to the North and the Rift Valley volcanoes, Kitumbeine and Gelai to the West.
A relatively fast pace makes this an exciting safari for riders interested in a mixture of game viewing, beautiful semi-arid African bush, a wide variety of birdlife and good quality horses. Each evening when you arrive at camp there is a large campfire ready to go and your tents are all set up with your gear inside; all you have to do is tie up your horse on our picket line and make sure your mount gets a bucket of water. One rest day is included in the itinerary.
Horses are mostly thoroughbred with some cross thoroughbred/arab or thoroughbred/Australian brumbee. Riders should expect to spend on average 6 hours per day in the saddle and be fully capable of controlling their horse at a trot and a canter.
Game encounters are varied, with good numbers of Zebra, Grant's and Thompson's gazelle and Giraffe throughout the ride. Seen in lesser numbers is a large variety of game including the elusive lesser kudu and Oryx antelopes, only found in this semi-arid area as well as the elegant Gerenuk or Giraffe-neck gazelle which lives off browsing the leaves of bushes and trees.
In the portion of the ride that passes closest to Kilimanjaro, encounters with elephant are common as are sizeable herds of Eland, wildebeest and other game including baboon, vervet monkey, water-buck, warthog and impala - often all visible at the same moment. You can expect to see a variety of plains animals including zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, Thompson's and grant's gazelle, gerenuk, jackal, ostrich, lesser kudu and a great variety of birdlife. Riders often encounter sizeable herds of elephant and may be lucky to find some of the bigger cats and other predators. Other game species seen include eland, oryx, cheetah and hyena.
During the months of July through November, riders should expect to get dusty as this is the dry period, with most of the trees without leaves - but also spectacularly beautiful. Riders during December to June can expect some rain, but also a landscape transformed to brilliant green, teeming with life - a very different ride from that during the dry season.