Horseback Riding in Namibia

Ride to the Sea

Overview

This is an endurance horseback riding tour in Namibia through a region of overwhelming beauty and isolation. It crosses 400 kms of the world’s oldest desert from central Namibia to the Atlantic Coast, with practically no contact with civilization of any kind before reaching the sea.

Participants must be prepared for 9 consecutive days of riding, which will challenge one’s physical strength, stamina and riding ability. In the desert’s constantly changing topography, riders gain a deep appreciation for the remarkable horses, and the fascinating flora and fauna which have adapted to this beautiful, austere environment.

The tents are two-person dome tents. You have the option of sleeping in the tents, or under the stars.

Meals are prepared over the open fire. This braai or potjiekos is typical for Namibia, and often a welcome surprise.

  • Overview:
    The horses are selected for their ability to negotiate the Namib terrain, and for their stamina. Arab cross, Trakehner, and local ranch breeds make up the outfitter’s string. They are small to mid-sized, swift in rough terrain, and with a kind and reliable disposition. Endurance saddles are provided.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arab Cross, Trakehner, Local Ranch Bred
  • Trip Pace:
    moderate to fast
  • Tack:
    Endurance Saddles
  • Weight limit:
    85 kg (187 lb) in riding gear

This is not an option for non-riding companions.

Windhoek

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You will be met at the Windhoek International Airport and transferred to a Lodge with an impressive view over Windhoek. Meet the rest of your riding group for dinner and a representative will brief the group about what to expect on your adventure.

Day 2

After breakfast we depart for about a 4 hour commute, getting the first enticing glimpse of the seemingly endless Namib Desert below. At our first campsite with a spectacular view over the Namib Sand Sea you will meet the horses and crew for lunch. In the pleasant early evening you can go for an excursion where you are welcome to attempt to climb the towering dunes for a spectacularly panoramic view. Return to camp for a traditional Namibian meal cooked over an open fire.

Day 3

The start of our riding adventure takes us up a wide grassy valley flanked on one side by the distant Namib Sand Sea. Lunch is at a surprising desert oasis – famous for its wonderful apple crumble! To reach our evening campsite we enter the undulations that make up the foothills of the rugged Namib Naukluft Mountains. The nearby water trough at our campsite attracts numerous mountain zebra, kudu and oryx during the night.

Day 4

Ride along a long ramp-like dune in the morning, enjoying some unspoiled wilderness that offers some striking scenery. In the afternoon the pace quickens as valley opens into a riverbed before climbing up to our campsite on a hill-with-a-view.

Day 5

Today we cross some red dunes before a rugged descent into a canyon for lunch. Climbing out of the canyon we ride across the wide plains to a cave with a spectacular view of the badlands of the ephemeral river in the distance.

Day 6

Now we negotiate the terraces leading down the to the bizarrely rugged river – with a technical descent into the riverbed before a short lunch break. It is this river which forms a dramatic end to the Namib Sand Sea, flowing just often enough to prevent the dunes from crossing the river. The tracks of mountain zebra criss-cross the steep sides of the canyon all leading to a year-round supply of precious water which is preserved by the high, narrow walls of the canyon.

Day 7

Good going affords some fast-paced riding towards the water-point where mountain zebra, oryx, ostrich, springbok, and if we are lucky, some desert-adapted warthogs come to drink. Here the wide grassy plains are scarred by several watercourses, some only distinguishable by the long lines of trees which mark their course, sometimes giving shelter some desert-adapted giraffe.

Day 8

Another day which affords some fast-paced riding past the water point of across the plains, which become ever less vegetated as we approach the coast. As we approach the mountains, ostriches and mountain zebra often run alongside the horses, curious about the unusual centaurs inhabiting their desert. From now on life-giving evening fog can be expected, producing 5 times as much precipitation than rainfall in this hyper arid area.

Day 9

Now we ride through the hyper aridity of true desertscapes where we encounter the dinosaur-like of plants, the gnarled Welwitschia Mirablis. Strange shapes form and disappear in mirages and fascinating survival devices of desert adapted creatures astound; this is a land of great antiquity and also tremendous solitude. We will pass a spectacular valley on our descent to a wonderfully sheltered campsite on the river.

Day 10

The last ride down the river to the coastal dunes and then, at last, the Atlantic Ocean. Our first glimpse of a town in days! The last stretch of riding is along the soft white beach sand of Swakopmund. Tonight’s accommodation is a comfortable guesthouse while the horses enjoy their well-deserved rest in a large sandy paddock with a wonderful view of the sea. After sundowners, we enjoy our last memorable meal together, reminiscing over an adventure unlikely to be forgotten.

Day 11

We say a fond farewell at breakfast as the transfer to Windhoek (4 hour commute) leaves in time for the late departure flights from Windhoek International Airport for flights departing after 3:00pm

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be modified at the guide's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Apr 3, 2020
Apr 13, 2020
Jun 22, 2020
Jul 2, 2020
Aug 14, 2020
Aug 24, 2020
Sep 1, 2020
Sep 11, 2020

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $6,225
  • Pricing Variation
  • $1,125Extra horse supplement: For riders over 85 kg (187 lb) in riding gear. Cannot accept riders over 93 kg (205 lb).
  • Single Supplement
  • $280

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Apr 2, 2021
Apr 12, 2021
Apr 20, 2021
Apr 30, 2021
Jul 10, 2021
Jul 20, 2021
Sep 26, 2021
Oct 6, 2021

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $6,765

  • Pricing Variation
  • $1,240

    Extra horse supplement: For riders over 85 kg (187 lb) in riding gear. Cannot accept riders over 93 kg (205 lb).

  • Single Supplement
  • $295

Additional Pricing Information:
Prices are based on the dollar/pound exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.


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Contact Megan Barrett

I have nothing but respect and admiration for the horses we rode: tough as nails, impossibly agile and sure-footed, fit and enduring beyond belief, reliable and safe, and with great personalities. As for our guide she proved to be an exceptional woman. Her ferocious love of Namibia, her knowledge of the country's history, culture, flora and fauna, her wonderful sense of humor, her quiet leadership, her politeness and the way she cared for us and her horses made me feel like a friend of the family.

Florence Bautista