The Greater Mara Conservancies are adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve, an extensive area in southwestern Kenya that is continuous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The area is famous for its indescribably wide grasslands and its golden savannah. There is an exceptionally high number of animals here, including Africa’s ‘BIG 5’.
One of the biggest natural spectacles on earth plays out here every year; the great migration in which over 1.5 million wildebeest, accompanied by countless zebra and antelope move through the Mara and the Serengeti. This is a true highlight to witness for most people! The huge mass of animals covers the plains as far as the eye can see, as they make their long circular journey clockwise through the savannah. The wildebeest migration arrives in the Masai Mara region in late July and generally stay until late September, however, each year’s migration is different dependent on that year’s weather patterns.
If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you may have the chance to experience this unique experience up close on horseback; an incredible experience that you will never forget.
The Masai Mara is also home to the Maasai people, a local tribe known for their colourful traditional dress and their nomadic cattle-herding lifestyle. The Maasai are a potent symbol of the region. During your safari here, you will get to learn about their fascinating culture, customs and the skills they have used to survive in the wild for centuries.
During your 9-day safari in the private concessions of the Mara, one adventure after another will await you. Look forward to long gallops next to huge herds of zebra and wildebeest, dramatic sunsets, cosy camps with breathtaking views and pure wilderness as far as the eye can see. You and your horse will become one with nature and wish that this journey would never end!
- Riding in the greater Masai Mara; over 300,000 hectares of pure wilderness and one of Kenya’s most diverse nature reserves.
- With a little luck, you’ll experience the largest wildlife migration in the world as over 1.5 million wildebeests undertake their annual migration through the region.
- Taking breathtaking gallops through the Masai Mara’s seemingly infinite expanses.
- Experiencing very special and intensive animal encounters whilst on horseback.
- Riding in ‘BIG 5’ terrain…
map and overview
You will arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and be taken from there to your hotel.
The following day you will be transferred to Wilson Airport and travel by a light aircraft to:
- 2 nights at Nkilenya Camp, Lemek Conservancy.
- 2 nights at Mara River Camp, Mara North Conservancy.
- 2 nights at Out of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle.
- 2 nights at KO 8 Camp, Mara North Conservancy.
On departure you will take a transfer flight back to Wilson Airport and then transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your onwards connections.
Shorter 6-night safaris are also available.
- As the rides take place in ‘BIG 5’ terrain, only advanced riders can be accepted and unfortunately, beginners cannot participate.
- You must be secure in the saddle at all gaits and able to control your horse at all times.
- You must be able to gallop out of trouble and cover stretches of up to 10 minutes at a time at a trot or canter.
- Good physical fitness and a sense of adventure are advantages.
- There is a maximum rider weight of 90kg.
Your guide is responsible for the whole group. Should he or she feel that a guest does not have the necessary riding skills and represents a risk for themself or the group, they may be asked to continue the safari in a vehicle.
Day 1: Nkilenya, Lemek Conservancy
You will be met at your hotel in the morning and taken to Wilson Airport for a short safari safety briefing. An approximately 1-hour light aircraft flight will take you directly to the Masai Mara at 10.30 am. Here you will be welcomed by the professional guide Gordie Church.
A game drive takes you to the mobile camp, arriving on time for lunch. After lunch, you will have some time to settle in, get comfortable and relax. This afternoon you enjoy a short welcome ride or game drive.
Riding distance: 5-10 km.
Day 2: Nkilenya, Lemek Conservancy
This morning and afternoon, your first longer rides take place. During these, you explore the riverine forests and the open steppes of Lemek. A rich variety of wildlife awaits you, including giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, warthogs, many antelopes and, with a bit of luck, you may even spot a cheetah or leopard.
In the evening, cool gin and tonics await you with a wonderful sunset. All in all, it will be a heavenly first safari day!
Riding distance: 10-15 km.
Day 3: Mara River, Mara North Conservancy
Today you will ride all day through spectacular wilderness areas, populated by impalas, gazelles, elephants, buffalos, ostriches and many other animals.
Your lunch will be a picnic in a peaceful forest called Olomai and after a well-earned lunch break, you will ride down to the banks of the Mara River, a popular spot for hippos and crocodiles. In the evening you will arrive on time for dinner at the new Mara River Camp.
Riding distance: 20-25km.
Day 4: Mara River, Mara North Conservancy
Today a breathtaking area awaits you which you will explore either on horseback or by vehicle. Depending on the water level, you can even cross the Mara River. The density of the animals here is overwhelming. Thanks to the area’s elephants, numerous trees they have pushed over can be used as jumps when riding.
Waterbuck, eland antelopes, jackals, hyenas and lions all feel at home here.
You will spend another comfortable night at Mara River Camp.
Day 5: Out of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle
After a hearty breakfast, you head south on horseback over the ‘maternity plains’. Once again the route leads through the Mara River and directly into the heart of the famous Mara Triangle.
During your lunch break, you will enjoy a delicious picnic in a dense forest area, which is often traversed by elephants.
After lunch, a short ride to a steep slope follows. Here you will leave your horses at the base, in order to climb it on foot and reach the new Out In Africa Camp with a breathtaking view.
Day 6: Out of Africa Camp, Mara Triangle
Today you can choose between a ride or a game drive in the magical Mara Triangle overlooking the distant Serengeti. This corner of the ecosystem is dotted with thickets, forests and large expanses of grassland; the perfect environment for rhinos, elephants, buffalos and lions.
In the late afternoon, you can choose to visit a traditional Maasai village.
Riding distance: 10-15 km.
Day 7: KO 8, Mara North Conservancy
Today you descend the escarpment on foot. After descending you head east on horseback, back across the Mara River and enjoy a delicious picnic under scattered acacia trees.
After a long lunch break, you ride across the Koiyaki plains to KO 8, a new camp on the Olare Orok River. The river is used by the Maasai to water their cattle.
Riding distance: 20-25 km.
Day 8: KO 8, Mara North Conservancy
Morning and afternoon rides are planned today. Alternatively, you can opt for a game drive or a bush walk. This is an exceptional riding area as 2 large lion prides call this area home. With a little luck, sensational big cat experiences await you!
After dinner, you can join a night game drive to spot nocturnal African animals by spotlight.
Riding distance: 15-20 km.
Day 9: Departure
Enjoy a last morning ride in this beautiful area. After a hearty breakfast, it is time to say a bittersweet goodbye to the horses and the camp.
The afternoon flight back to Nairobi departs at 14:45 pm. You will arrive around 16:15 pm and a transfer will take you to your hotel in Nairobi or directly to the international airport.
Riding distance: 10-15 km.
Your mobile camp traditionally consists of simple, but very comfortable large, walk-in ‘Meru’ tents with mosquito protection. They are furnished in the typical safari style, with single or double beds, cosy bed linen, a carpet and bedside tables. Hot water bottles are available every night. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with warm bucket showers on request and a toilet.
Camp life centres around a dining tent with tables and chairs that invite you to sit together until deep in the night exchanging stories and sightings from your day.
Each evening the camp chef prepares delicious fresh meals over an open fire that is served by waiters. The bush bar is stocked with imported wines and spirits, as well as a selection of local beer, soda and water.
The entire camp is broken down and set up again every second day in a new breathtaking setting. A great emphasis is placed on environmentally friendly behaviour in the bush. When the camp is dismantled no trace of human presence is left behind. The camp is usually sheltered by a small forest or alongside a stream.
USD$ 9,495 per person for 8 nights sharing.
Single room supplement: USD$ 2,250.00
- All accommodation and meals
- All drinks in the camp
- Professional guides
- Safari camp assistants and crew
- Horses and tack
- Flying doctor membership
- Return flights from Nairobi to the Masai Mara
- Airport transfers
- Laundry in the camp
- Government taxes
- International flights and visas
- Champagne, premium spirits and cellar wines
- Accommodation and meals not described in the safari itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Over 25 Somali-Arab crosses and thoroughbreds await you. They have great stamina, are well schooled, even-tempered and responsive. Most were born and raised in Kenya and all live in the middle of the nature reserve, so they are used to being surrounded by big game.
- Riding is done in the English style with comfortable French cavalry saddles and English general-purpose saddles.
- Each ride is accompanied by a professionally trained guide and a back-up guide.
- Between 4 and 8 hours are spent in the saddle each day and up to 40 kilometres are covered per day.
- Full days of riding alternate with less intensive riding days, dependant on whether camp moves that day, or if you return to camp for lunch and a break.
- Group sizes vary between 2 and 12 guests.
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