Horseback riding in Tanzania. How Tanzania Became the Inspiration for Equitours
Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain and is surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful and spectacular landscape with teeming wildlife. The family farm of Mel Fox, wife of Bayard who founded Equitours, was located on the slopes of this mountain and that is where she was raised as a child. At an early age she began riding her horse on the farm and in the neighboring forest. When she married Bayard and moved to their Wyoming ranch in 1979 she had the idea of taking guests during the winter on riding safaris in Africa when the dude ranch was closed. It proved to be a great success. Now Equitours promotes rides in many parts of the world including Tanzania, but that was how it began.
Tanzania was a British protectorate which was given independence in 1961 as Tanganyika and combined with the island of Zanzibar, formerly an Arab sultanate, in 1964 to become Tanzania. The country is twice the size of California and incudes a very diverse group of languages and ethnicities from Masai tribesmen in the highlands to Arabs in Zanzibar. Despite the diversity of the population, it has one of the most stable democracies in Africa. It also has some of the best and most abundant wildlife in the world and almost half the country has been set aside for national parks or game reserves.
The Serengeti in northwest Tanzania is famous for the largest wildlife migration in the modern world when nearly a million wildebeest plus a 500 hundred thousand zebra with attendant predators travel between Tanzania and Kenya’s Masai Mara. The Serengeti Ride will take you onto remote, uninhabited parts of the vast expanse of the Serengeti Plain in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where the herds calve on the mineral rich plains. Viewing these huge numbers of animals as far as the eye can see is an unforgettable experience. You can also observe this unique migration on Kenya’s Masai Mara side from July to October.
Equitours also offers the Kilimanjaro Ride, a marvelous riding safari between the base of two great extinct volcanoes: Kilimanjaro at over 19,000 ft. and Mt. Meru at nearly 15,000. Meru was once the taller of the two, but the volcano collapsed, leaving a caldera over two miles across. The ride begins in Arusha National Park and around the base of Mt. Meru, offering a great diversity of wildlife and landscape.
If you really want to get off the beaten path, there is a seasonal ride to the remote soda lake, Natron. The ride begins at the foot of Ol Donyo Lengai, the Masai holy mountain, and during the trip you will come in contact with members of this unspoiled tribe which has retained much of its ancient culture.