The Maasai Mara national reserve in Kenya provides some of the most unbeatable sightings of wilderness in Africa. The reserve’s game drives are some of the most popular and unique worldwide.
The wildebeest migration and Big cats can be seen from open jeeps but locals at Masaai Mara have changed the game. Instead of embarking on a safari using the traditional 4WDs, horse safaris are now becoming more and more famous among tourists.
A Horseback Safari in Masai Mara is one of the best ways to feel the true African wilderness on your game drive. Horseback was usually done by explorers a long time back, but presently, the Mara reserve is one of the few parks in Africa that provides horseback safaris to tourists.
Why should you go for a horse riding safari in Maasai Mara?
These offbeat Horse safaris in Maasai Mara offer more than just an ordinary ride in the reserve: Here are the reasons why you should choose horse safaris for an unforgettable and exhilarating journey:
1. An authentic experience
The Maasai Mara is one of the few reserves in Africa that provides horse safaris. These safaris offer an authentic experience and make you feel one with nature. The endless plains and savannah sightings allow for an unparalleled experience of game drives.
You will find yourself trailing behind elephants and zebras, making it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This proves to be much more intimate than sitting in a jeep and observing the animals from a distance.
2. Maasai Mara horses and stables
The horse stables are situated along the border of Olare Motorogi Conservancy at the Maasai Mara reserve. The breeds are regarded as the finest horses including Thoroughbreds and Boerperds.
Horses in their stable
Boerperds are known for their intelligence, bravery, and being gentle-tempered. This is what makes them stand out from other horse breeds.
The stables are also equipped with saddles including English-style, Western, and South African. The full-service stables also have safety stirrups, hats, riding boots, gloves, and many such items in case the tourists need them.
3. Expert guides for horse safaris
During horse safaris, the accompanying guide is very knowledgeable about the area. They provide tourists with minute details about every plant and insect in the surroundings. This is what makes horse safaris more appealing as these details can be missed during a normal jeep safari.
A Maasai Mara expert sharing his knowledge with a tourist.
The guides also help tourists to get closer to the animals while also maintaining a safe distance. If you opt for a multi-day horse safari tour, there is a whole team including a park ranger that helps you move from one camp to the next. On many tours, your mobile camp comes along with you.
4. Sense of achievement
Riding through the thickest forests and cruising the deep rivers, there is nothing but a sense of achievement that can be felt after completing a horse safari.
A beautiful Maasai Mara sunset
The beautiful sunsets and encountering the animals leave you feeling exhilarated and alive after a good horseback safari.
Horse back safaris in Maasai Mara
Many tours specialize in authentic horse safaris in the Maasai Mara Reserve. These safaris occur in certain conservancies of the Mara which offer stunning views and guaranteed sightings of various animals.
During your ride in the Mara you cannot miss out on these three highlights:
- Big cats – The big cats like lions, leopards, and cheetahs are often observed in many conservancies and you get a chance to watch them from a closer distance.
A lion resting with his cub in Maasai Mara
- Wild migration – In June and July you will get to ride alongside the most spectacular migration of millions of wildebeest, zebras, impalas, and gazelles coming into the Mara from Serengeti, Tanzania.
A sight of wildebeest migration crossing the Mara river
- Crossing the river- River crossing is a delightful venture when you and your four-legged companion swim to reach the other side of the river, especially when walking safaris and 4WDs cannot achieve this.
Horses crossing the river
Best places to go for horse safaris in Maasai Mara
Olare Motorogi Conservancy
This conservancy is situated along the northern edge of the Maasai Reserve. Olare Motorogi Conservancy has valuable habitats like the lower section of the Olare Orok River and the riverine forests.
Wildebeests in Olare Motorogi Conservancy
In the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, the wild population is abundant. Along with predators and herbivores striking a good balance, there are also sightings of the rare African wild dogs and rhinos.
The conservancy has 52 rooms and luxurious camps including the Mara expedition camps, Mara plains camp, and Porini Lion Camp.
2. Naboisho Conservancy
Mara Naboisho Conservancy provides an iconic wilderness experience of Africa which borders the northeastern part of the reserve. It is also the second-largest Conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem.
A giraffe looking ahead in Naboisho Conservancy
During the horse safaris, tourists have the opportunity to see elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, and other animals. They may also have a chance to spot endangered species such as aardvarks, honey badgers, and serval cats.
The conservancy has 50 rooms between various camps such as the Kicheche Valley Camp, Nabiosho Camp, and Ol Seki Mara Camp.
3. Mara North Conservancy
Mara North Conservancy is known for protecting and preserving the flora, fauna, and wilderness of the northwestern zone. The conservancy is located at the Northern edge of Maasai Mara, which safeguards migratory species that take part in the Great Migration.
Wildebeests huddled together in the Mara North Conservancy
The ecology of the conservancy supports a large number of predators and herbivore animals, including the big cats and critically endangered species.
The Mara North Conservancy has 100 rooms in between camps such as Offbeat Mara Camp, Mara Rianta Camp, and Royal Mara Safari lodge.
Horse safaris in Kenya can be a successful experience in the Maasai Mara reserve. Do give this unique and energetic activity a try the next time you book a safari in Kenya!
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