Amboseli Ride - 10 nights
$9600 per person sharing
This ride begins close to the border town of Namanga, and crosses through Amboseli National Park en route to the Chyulu Hills away to the east. Africa’s highest mountain, the snow capped Kilimanjaro, is a constant backdrop to your adventures. The distance in a straight line is some 90 miles, however you will cover a much greater distance exploring the bush.
You will be collected from Nairobi international airport and driven to the first campsite at Lalahroi – meaning swamp of the buffaloes – near Namanga, stopping en route for a picnic lunch. There should be time for an evening ride before dinner. Overnight Namanga.
Today you begin the ride towards Amboseli, heading eastwards parallel to the Tanzanian border. You are likely to see game such as giraffe, zebra, eland, gerenuk, a glimpse of a lesser kudu, impala, wildebeest, Grants and Thompson's Gazelle on your way to the Ngorambuni rocks, where a huge boulder on top of a rocky kopje provides a cool and shaded picnic spot with panoramic views towards Amboseli. After lunch you ride across the dried up lake bed to a campsite at Soit Nado (red rocks), where your tents are pitched beneath a grove of lovely fever trees, some 200 yards from the Tanzanian border, and home for the next three nights. Overnight Soit Nado camp.
From this base you are able to ride and drive out from camp in any direction, exploring the defunct Meerschaum mines, the extraordinary landscape of Lake Amboseli Lake, and the surrounding marshes. These provide shelter to thousands of head of game, including large herds of buffalo and the famed herds of Amboseli elephant who spend hours of their day like dinosaurs in the swamp before wandering out onto the desert like features of the lake bed with its shimmering mirage of heat haze. Overnight Soit Nado camp.
Another morning exploring the area on horseback, perhaps crossing the border to explore the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro. We will take a day drive into Amboseli with a barbeque lunch, so will be able to get some close up shots of big game from the Land Rovers. Approaching large and peaceable bull elephants of 70+lb tusk size per side, by horse and Land Rover is one of the most exciting prospects from the Soit Nado area. Overnight Soit Nado camp.
Today we move camp from Soit Nado, heading northeast across the National Park, skirting the green swamps and passing large amounts of game as you canter across the lake bed, which provides near perfect going for horses, without any of the dreaded aardvark holes to trap the unwary. You will break for lunch on the far side of the lake bed, and a welcome siesta beneath the shade of an Acacia before riding a further 10 miles to camp at Risa, on the plains between Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills.
The ride continues towards the Chyulu Hills, which rise from the plains to a height of 7000ft. These hills are recent volcanoes only 500,000 years old and some of the craters and lava flows are only 200 years old. This evening you will camp at the foot of a small hill, amongst beautiful groves of Balanites and Acacia Tortilis trees, with craters rearing up at intervals as if the ride were passing through some kind of magical theme park. Overnight Millennium campsite.
DAYS 7 & 8
We will spend two full days at the Millennium Camp from where we will do an early morning walk, accompanied by game scouts, to find fresh signs of the small but closely guarded black rhino population that live in the Lava flows of the Chyulus. We shall also do some game drives and take an energetic walk up Ol Donyo Sambu, one of the conical craters found towards the western end of the range. There will also of course be the opportunity for some early morning and evening rides in this stunning scenery with soft volcanic ash as great going for the horses. Overnight Millennium campsite.
After breakfast you will fly direct to Deloraine for your final two nights in Africa. Deloraine is a fabulous colonial mansion built by Lord Francis Scott, a prominent settler in Kenya, and the headquarters for Offbeat Riding Safaris. Here you can choose between walking, riding, tennis or croquet - or relaxing beside the swimming pool with a cold drink! Dinner and overnight Deloraine.
Enjoy an early morning ride into the hills behind Deloraine, and then visit Lake Nakuru or Bogoria with a picnic lunch. The journey to Nakuru takes less than an hour, and is broken by a visit to the market place where there is the chance to bargain for souvenirs, or just watch the bustle of this busy African town. Lake Nakuru is famous for its healthy flamingo population, as well as an abundance of other game including black and white rhino, leopard and buffalo. You will return to Deloraine for a three-course dinner in the evening.
After an early last ride and breakfast we can relax in the comfortable surroundings of Deloraine, enjoying the swimming pool and gardens. We will leave for Nairobi after lunch by the pool, by vehicle, for an approx 3 hours on a good tarmac road, arriving in time for your onward transfers as necessary.