Fish River Canyon Ride
Horse Riding in Namibia
The Fish River Ride is a 6 day safari combining horse riding, camping and dramatic canyon landscapes, vast desert plains and the mighty Orange River. Participants experience real wilderness areas, which are otherwise almost inaccessible, as well as the freedom of riding without restrictions.
The ride is from the northern area of the upper Fish River canyon - across the open Karoo plains to the Orange River about 300 kms away. This ride incorporates an interesting selection of accommodation all but one night are at lodges or tented camps. You need to bring a small overnight bag to pack with your things for 2 nights
You need to be physically fit experienced rider but as this ride is at a slightly slower pace and is therefore suitable for intermediate riders, although you should still be physically fit and experienced at all paces.
The safari is set up so you can fly into Cape Town and then transfer by road to Fish River Canyon for 6 days, 5 nights, 3 and a half days riding. Although it is also possible to self drive (from Windhoek or elsewhere) to the start point of ride at Fish River and meet up with the group at lunch time on day 2.
- Day 1: Cape Town - Springbok
- You will be met at Cape Town International Airport to join up with your riding group. Road transfer leaves at lunch time depending on flight arrival times. Overnight en-route in the Spingbok area at a guest lodge.
- Day 2: Springbok - Fish River Canyon
- A 5-hour road transfer, crossing over the border into Namibia - bring us to Mule Station in the Fish-River-Canyon area. Meet your guides and friendly crew over lunch. Meet the horses, become familiar with tack before the ride starts along a 4x4 track to Horse Shoe Camp on the rim of the Fish River Canyon.
- Day 3: Riding
- Ride from the edge of the canyon down zebra paths, along rocky tributaries down to the Fish River to a lunch spot at Sandy Beach and an opportunity to swim in the Fish River. We make our way up and over the mountain on a steep track, to the unexpected oasis of Canyon Outpost in the Gaap River.
- Day 4: Riding
- A long day’s ride across the black limestone plateau during the morning and then exhilirating canters through endless savannah to arrive at Mountain Camp. Enjoy the sunset with Quiver tree silhouettes and a very special evening at Mountain Camp.
- Day 5: Ride Ends
- The morning ride is through an area strewn with granite boulders and dotted with charismatic Quiver trees, down the Rosyntjiebos River to the Cañon Lodge. In the afternoon we travel by vehicle to the main viewpoint overlooking the Fish River Canyon and return to Canon Lodge for a good night's rest.
- Day 6: Fish River to Cape Town
- Depart for Cape Town after breakfast, a 9 -hour road transfer. Or for self driving guests a road transfer back to the Mule Station to collect your car.
- transfer to and from Cape Town; full board and lodging at homesteads and lodges and good fare while camping on the trail;
- Bottled and canned drinks, souvenirs, tips for local guides and crew
- General info
- HORSES and SADDLES: "One of every breed", i.e. Arab, Haflinger, Lippizzaner, Trakehner, Ranch Horses, even the famous wild horses of the Namib desert; small to middle-sized, swift horses raised on rough terrain, some of them with experience in endurance rides, each one of them a kind, reliable companion deserving the very best treatment and care. Comfortable equitation and Western saddle, which we prefer.
TERRAIN and DISTANCE: Gravel, sometimes hard and difficult, later sand. On average we cover 35km a day, 6 - 10 hours on horseback. Speed depends on terrain and temperatures as well as on fitness and weight of riders; gait, trot and canter. 6 - 15 riders + 1 - 2 riding guides per group.
TENTED CAMP: big igloo-type tents (two people per tent), camp-beds, swags with lambskin, duvet or continental quilt and pillow; folding chairs, hot shower. Luggage is transported on trucks; the riders take short-cuts through the bush or desert and meet the back-up vehicles at camp sites. Camp is erected every sunset; meals are prepared around the open fire, usually "braai" or "potjiekos", typically Namibian and often a surprise.
BRING your sleeping-bag, wide-brimmed hat, windcheater, warm pullover, 2 neckerchiefs, long-sleeved shirts, sun-tan lotion, sun glasses, comfortable riding clothes (well-fitting beloved sportswear rather than fashionable brand-new jeans) - bring at least 3 changes -, riding boots/tekkies/chaps/mini-chaps according to habit, leisure wear, towel, water bottle (2l!), torch, gloves, moon bag, lip salve. We strongly recommend riding caps (not wearing them is at your own risk).
- Fitness, good health, experience in horse riding and dealing with horses is essential. You need not be a professional dressage or show jumping rider, but should really feel very much at ease on the back of a cantering horse, have a tough mind and a sense of humour.
- Weight limit is 85 kg - anyone heavier has to pay additional 30% for an extra horse.
Canned or bottled drinks are supplied by us to your prior instructions and on your account.
Should we get into a sand storm we shall leave the desert immediately either for Swakopmund or our ranch.
As we are not liable for any loss, damage or injury on your side, your travel insurance should include accident, health cover, emergency rescue. Day rides and shorter trails may be arranged by individual enquiry. We also offer to handle or help with other travel arrangements around our country.
Non-riding company is welcome to join the trucks.