An adventure on horse back in this practically inaccessible area of Namibia with vast landscapes in fascinating colours. Damaraland, the land of the Damara people, retains the prehistoric marks of this hunting community, fascinated by the beauty of the surrounded countryside. The trail ride advances at a steady pace between the bush and mountains, in the land of impressive African elephants, and ends at Skeleton Coast with a superb gallop.
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PRICES WITHOUT FLIGHTS UPON REQUEST
Included in the price:
Not included in the price:
* Prices calculated according to currently known rates, subject to availability of flights departing from Paris, limited places available. For departures outside Paris, we can suggest flights, usually at the same rate. At the time of booking, if there is no flight availability at these prices, we will propose an alternative which may incur an adjustment in prices.
Caval&go/ SARL CHAGRITAS AVENTURES reserves the right to adjust its prices in order to take into account varying transport costs and exchange rates applicable to the trip in question, or increases in price of certain services at the destination (such as the entry price at certain tourist attractions). See general terms and conditions of purchase.
Day 1. Flight to Namibia – Night on the plane
Flight from your nearest airport to Hosea Kutako international airport near to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. From Paris the flight time, with a stopover, is around 14 hours. Direct flights from Frankfurt (flight time of 10 hours). Dinner and night on the flight.
Day 2. Windhoek – Night at Guesthouse
Upon arrival in Namibia, your guide will welcome you at the airport and take you to the Windhoek Guest House where you will meet your fellow riders. In the daytime, we can rest after the journey and visit the capital - a large, cosmopolitan African town that still retains a hint of old Germany.
In the evening, at dinner, the team will brief us on our horse riding itinerary.
Day 3. Windhoek - Twyfelfontein – Night at Camp
After breakfast we will take the road to the departure point for our trail ride in Damaraland, the land inhabited by the Damaras. A hunter-gatherer people, their population was reduced by killing and slavery at the hands of the Herero. Today the Damaras live in a zone bought by the government in 1973 called Damaraland.
Our 7-hour journey will bring us through the varied landscapes of Namibia to the red mountains of Damaraland.
Lunch on route and arrival at camp at the end of the afternoon, where the team and the horses will be waiting for us. Time permitting, we will be able to set off on horse back for a sunset ride. We will then settle in to our tents and have a hot shower before joining the rest of the group around the campfire for our first dinner with the perfumes of the savannah. Night at the camp.
Day 4. Aba Huab - Twyfelfontein - Night at Camp
This morning we will set off on horseback over the dry Aba-Huab riverbed. We will get used to our horses and enjoy some good gallops over some of the sandy paths. Return to camp for lunch and then we will set off in a 4x4 to discover the cave drawings of Twyfelfontein and the Organ Pipes. The day draws to an end with a drink watching the sunset over the mountains. Dinner and night at camp.
Day 5. Aba Huab - De Riet - Night at Bivouac Camp
Today we will set off on horse back to ride towards the west though the desert – where we will have a good chance of spotting animal species that have adapted to the arid climate of the region, like the graceful springbok or superb oryx with their black and white faces that keep their facial temperature at 38°C.
After lunch on the riverbed, where we might be able to spot elephants, we will continue our horse ride over the arid land, rocks and sands. We may see ostriches and koudous on the way to our camp for the evening. We will eat dinner at our camp, with a magnificent view of the De Rite site. Dinner and night at bivouac camp.
Day 6. De Riet - View Point - Night at Bivouac Camp
Today we continue our horse trail ride in Namibia, following the Huab riverbed, lined with immense ana trees, which produce a large grain which is the elephants’ favourite food. Lunch break near to the “Leopard Trees” before setting off on a full afternoon of horse riding on which we will enjoy magnificent views over the mountains. In the evening, from our bivouac camp, our breath will be taken away by the display of colours over the Brandenberg Mountain – the highest peak in Namibia, at an altitude of 2573m. Dinner and night at the bivouac camp.
Day 7. View Point - Lion Head – Night at Rhino Camp
Our horse riding trail in Namibia will take us to the south west today, in the direction of the Ugab River, to Lion Head where we will stop for lunch. After lunch break, we will set off for a good, long gallop! We will then cross the narrow gorges near to Soutfontein (The Salt Fountain) and then we will arrive at the rhino camp to the west of Brandenberg. This camp belongs to an association that collects money for the “Save the Rhino” project. The information centre is particularly interesting. Dinner and night at camp.
Day 8. Rhino Camp - Brakwasser - Night at Rockwalls Camp
We continue our horse ride along the Ugab River, through bushes and reeds, to the Brakwasser watering hole where the elephants of the desert often come to drink – allowing us to have a fascinating and impressive moment with these majestic animals. Your guides will give you safety advice to follow near to these huge animals that can run up to 60km/hour! We will then leave the river and head toward a gorge made up of spectacular rock formations. A unique place for our camp for tonight. Dinner and night at camp.
Day 9. Rockwalls camp - Messum Crater - Night at Bivouac Camp
Today the horse riding trail continues, going beyond the Ugab territory to very different surroundings of immense plains that are perfect for galloping over. Lunch at Quarry and then we will set off for a long horse ride to the Atlantic coast. Dinner and night at bivouac camp.
Day 10. Messum River - Night at Cross Roads Camp
Our horse trail ride continues at a good pace today towards the Messum crater and river. This very old crater of almost 15km in diameter, in the middle of the desert, is home to a vast quantity of Welvitchia Mirabilis – a native plant to Namibia, which can live for more than 1500 years in the hostile conditions of the desert. The desert plains are an ideal place for galloping. Dinner and night at the camp with a superb view.
Day 11. Cross Roads - Skeleton Coast - Cape Cross - Henties Bay - Night at Bungalow
The last leg of our trail ride ends with a superb gallop over the beach at Skeleton Coast. Weather permitting, we will be able to enjoy a swim in the ocean. Lunch on the beach with the team before saying goodbye to them and our horses. We will take the road to Cape Cross and its large colony of sea lions and then we will arrive at Henties Bay for a pleasant evening by the sea. Night at a comfortable bungalow on the beach.
Day 12. Henties Bay - Windhoek – Return Flight – Night on Plane
After breakfast, we will take the road to the International Airport at Windhoek (around 5-6 hours journey time). Arrival at the airport at around 1pm for a flight at 3pm at the earliest. If your flight is later, you can enjoy free time in the afternoon at Windhoek to go shopping.
Day 13. Arrival in Europe.
The horses you will ride during your trail ride in Namibia live outdoors all year round on an immense terrain near the ranch. They are cared for and fed everyday and are ridden regularly in order to ensure your safety during the trail ride. They are of various breeds (Haflinger, Arab, Trakehner) and of average height (1m50/1m60), steady and full of stamina. Used to galloping freely over all terrains, they are sure footed, strong minded and have plenty of stamina for the trail ride. They are trusty and gentle companions who deserve the best care and respect.
Maximum weight of rider: 85kg.
For riders over this weight, a second horse will follow the trail ride to take over from the first horse in order to share the work throughout the trail ride. (Supplement applies – contact us.)
Comfortable leather saddles made especially for this type of trail ride. Water bottle holders provided. Some horses have bridles without bits.
RIDING ABILITY & PACE
This trail ride in Namibia is recommended for experienced riders with a good level of physical fitness. Riders should have a good seat, be comfortable riding at a gallop and capable of spending a long time in the saddle.
The trail ride advances at a steady pace with some great gallops as soon as the terrain allows. Horses and riders will cover 20-50km per day over varied terrains, which is the equivalent of around 6-8 hours in the saddle.
If, during the ride, your guide, who is responsible for your safety, judges your level of ability to be insufficient, you may be asked to leave the trail ride and to follow the rest of the trip in the support vehicle.
HORSE RIDING GUIDE & SUPERVISION
The trail ride is supervised by 2 or 3 experienced horse riding guides (depending on the size of the group). They know the horses and the desert perfectly and will be able to share a multitude of information with you on the desert and its wild flora and fauna.
A support vehicle will transport your luggage and our material everyday between each leg of the journey. This long and steady-paced trail ride requires the rider to be very respectful towards their horse. The riders will be in charge of taking care of their horse and equipment, but the team is on hand to help if needed.
13 days, 12 nights (2 of which are on flights), 8 ½ days horse riding
For French citizens: passport valid for 6 months after the return date. For other nationalities, consult your embassy for more information.
Children under 18 travelling with their parents, no matter how old they are, must travel with their own individual passport, except for children under 15 on a passport issued before 12th June 2006 and valid 6 months after the return date.
Important! It is obligatory for those travelling via South Africa to have a blank page in their passport. No visa is required for French, Belgian or Swiss citizens for a stay of less than 90 days.
No vaccines are necessary for travellers arriving directly from Europe. A Yellow Fever vaccine certificate might be asked for from those who have recently travelled to a sub-Saharan African country or South America.
As with all travelling, it is important to be up to date with your vaccines such as DTP and TB. Vaccines against hepatitis A and B, whooping cough, typhoid and rabies are advised. For more information, consult your local health care provider.
Malaria is only a concern in the northern part of the country, in the border zone between Angola and the Caprivi Strip during the humid seasons in Etosha Park. For a stay outside of these regions, preventative measures of protection are a sufficient (effective insect repellents, clothes that cover your skin at sun rise and sunset, impregnated mosquito nets).
3 - 10 riders
Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport
MEALS & ACCOMMODATION
For your first night in Namibia you will stay at a double room in a guesthouse in Windhoek. At the end of the trip, at Henties Bay, you will stay at a comfortable bungalow on the beach. Bedrooms will be shared between two people (a supplement applies for a single room).
During the horse trail ride, nights will be spent at a bivouac camp or a camp with hot showers. All camping material is provided: folding chairs for dinner around the camp fire, large, comfortable tents shared between two, camp beds, sleeping material with a warm bivouac sack, small sheepskin to keep your back warm, and pillow. You just need to bring a sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner.
Breakfasts are full and include cereals, bread, butter, ham or bacon, eggs and cheese. Lunches, depending on the day, are made up of sandwiches or, during the longer lunch breaks, salads and simple cooked dishes.
Dinners will allow you to discover Namibian cuisine, notably stews cooked in earthenware pots with meat and vegetables. Vegetarian meals can be prepared upon special request (to be indicated at the time of booking).
During the trail ride, you can have unlimited cold drinks (soft drinks, fruit juices), tea and coffee and beer and wine in the evening.
Summer and winter are at opposite times of year to Europe. Partially covered by the Namib Desert, one of the most arid deserts, Namibia’s climate is generally very dry.
There are however three distinct seasons:
From December to April it is summer, and also the rainy season. Temperatures are hot: from 16°C to 34°C and they can reach up to 45°C in the desert zones.
From May to September it is winter and the dry season. Temperatures vary between 4°C and 22°C with a wide range of temperatures in the desert between the afternoon and the night.
From October to December the temperatures rise, but the rainy season doesn’t yet begin, making this a dry and hot period.
Weather in Namibia now: Local Weather
The trail ride is supervised by 2 or 3 experienced horse riding guides (depending on the size of the group). The guides will carry first aid kits and a satellite telephone in case of emergency. Before you set off on the horse ride, your guide will give you instructions on looking after your horse and for your safety during the ride. The support team will take care of setting up the camp, preparing meals and will help you look after your horse. Luggage is transported by van every day. Bring a supple and light bag (maximum weight 20kg). It is a good idea to bring 2 bags, one smaller than the other to hold things for one day in case the large van is unable to access any of the legs of the journey and only the small vehicle can join the team in the evening.