Riding with Damaraland's Elephants | Horseback Safari | SafariFRANK
Scheduled safari

In the footsteps of Damaraland’s desert elephants

On this 10 night riding safari, you will go in a search of the rare desert elephants in the impressive wilderness of Damaraland.

Price $5730 USD
Country
Namibia
Duration
10 Nights
Dates
10 Jul 2020 — 20 Jul 2020
28 Jul 2020 — 7 Aug 2020
Safari Type
Camping, Fly camping, Mobile Safari
Location

Namibia is best known for its overwhelmingly beautiful, but also harsh, wild and remote natural environment. From wild coasts to arid deserts, every extreme is represented here.

The Damaraland region, in the northwest of Namibia, is one of these impressive areas. Secluded, impassable and rugged, it is characterised by impressive rock formations and the landscapes beautiful colours.

The country is crossed by countless river beds, which are dry most of the year but which are lined with white acacia trees which offer shade and food for many of the animals living here.

This area offers the best chance to see the famous desert elephants of Damaraland. Although there are regions where it has not rained for many years and the rivers have often been dry for a long time, the elephants undertake long walks through the riverbeds in the hope of finding places where it is worth digging for water.

Despite the region’s harsh conditions, many other species have settled here. Oryx antelope, kudu and springbok are perfectly adapted to the arid environment and are more common than one would expect. Mountain zebra and giraffe are also here and with a bit of luck, you may even get a chance to see the rare desert lions or the shy rhinos.

This riding safari starts inland, in the middle of Damaraland at Twyfelfontein. The daily rides take you past breathtaking rock formations, spectacular views and endless desert landscapes until you finally reach Namibia’s wild coast; the Skeleton Coast.

Here desert and coast meet and offer an unbelievably fascinating picture. The incredibly long beach is lined with ancient shipwrecks that stranded here and the washed-up skeletons of whales, hence why the coast got its name. Enjoy it all as you take a last fast gallop on the beach, with the sea breeze cooling you.

A unique end to a unique riding safari.

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

highlights

  • Ride in the midst of breathtaking scenery and beautiful landscapes
  • Go in search of the rare desert elephants of Damaraland
  • Fall asleep under an unimaginably beautiful starry sky
  • Gallop on the beach of the impressive Skeleton Coast

map and overview

You will arrive at Windhoek International Airport, from there a transfer will take you to Windhoek where you will spend your first night:

  • 1 night at Windhoek.
  • 2 nights in a mobile camp at Twyfelfontein.
  • 3 nights in a mobile camp; The River Camp.
  • 3 nights in a mobile camp; Great Plains Camp.
  • 1 night at Henties Bay.

An early morning transfer will take you back to Windhoek International Airport. You will arrive at 15:00 to catch your onwards connections.

start dates

10 July 2020 - 20 July 2020
28 July 2020 - 7 August 2020

suitable for

  • This safari is only for experienced riders as it leads through very demanding terrain and encounters with lions, elephants and rhinos are possible.
    You should have a balanced and light seat and a light hand to protect the horse’s back and mouth. The ability to trot and gallop over long distances is a basic requirement for this ride.
  • Daily 6-8 hours are spent in the saddle and distances of 20-50 kilometers are covered. Temperatures of up to 40° Celsius may occur.
    A high level of adventure and physical fitness is definitely an advantage in order to enjoy the safari to the fullest.
  • For the best possible connection with your safari horse, you will groom and saddle him yourself.
  • Great importance is paid to the well-being of the horses. Therefore the maximum weight for each rider is 80kg. For those who exceed this weight, an extra horse will be provided for an additional fee.

    detailed itinerary

    Day 1-2: From Windhoek to Twyfelfontein

    You will arrive at Windhoek International Airport and be welcomed by shuttle service that takes you to your first night’s stay in Windhoek. Here you will meet your fellow riders and your guide Andrew Gillies. At your first dinner in Namibia, you will also receive your safety briefing for the upcoming safari.

    The following day starts with an early breakfast, as you will be taken on an approximately 7-hour drive (with lunch break) north to the camp in Twyfelfontein. You will cross spectacular landscapes and visit the cultural World Heritage Site of the rock engravings in Twyfelfontein.

    Day 3 - 6: The Rivers

    Each day begins with the rise of the sun. The riding route takes you west towards the Atlantic coast, which is still far away.

    In the dry riverbeds, the rainfall determines the seasonal movement of the game animals. Although the population is not very dense, there are many different species to be found, such as elephant, rhino, oryx, springbok and other desert-adapted species.

    Enjoy the impressive views over huge, ancient glacial valleys and impressive rocky outcrops.

    Day 7 - 10: The Great Plains

    You leave the river valleys behind and cross wide plains with a dramatic view of the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, in the background. The endless plains offer the perfect conditions for fast rides, while the Messum Caldera, the ruins of an ancient collapsed volcano, comes closer and closer.

    The final ride takes you to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. The Skeleton Coast is a place of extremes where the heat of the desert meets the cold fronts of the Atlantic. Enjoy galloping along the beach.

    You spend your last night in a private house in the small coastal town of Henties Bay. Dine on fresh Atlantic fish for the last dinner together while you reminisce on what is sure to have been an amazing adventure.

    Day 11: Departure

    After breakfast, an early transfer takes you to Windhoek. The journey takes about 6 hours, and you arrive at Windhoek International Airport at 15:00 to get meet your onward flight connection.

    accommodation

    • While you spend your first and last night in modern, standard accommodation, you will leave civilization completely behind you for the remaining 8 nights.
    • The mobile camp, which accompanies the riders, is basic but very comfortable.
    • Spacious dome tents with camp beds and warm sleeping rolls are available at all times. However, most guests prefer to sleep with their camp bed under the glorious starry sky.
    • Each camp has warm bucket showers and toilets.
    • Everyday food is freshly cooked by staff over the fire. Dinner is enjoyed with good company around the campfire while you exchange stories of the day’s adventures.
    • Vegetarian meals can be arranged upon request.

    bed

    price

    • US$  5,730.00 per person sharing.
    • For persons weighing of 85kg or higher an additional fee for an extra horse of US$ 930.00 is required.

     

    Included:

    • Full board accommodation.
    • Safari horse, spare horse tack.
    • Locally sourced beverages.
    • Transfer from and to Windhoek International Airport.

     

    Not included:

    • International flights.
    • Gratuities for the camp team and guides.
    • Any personal purchases.
    • Visas, medical and travel insurance, which must be arranged prior to arrival.

    additional information

    • On this safari a colourful variety of different breeds awaits you. You will find mixtures of Arabian Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, as well as Warmbloods and the local Boerperds. The combinations have resulted in the perfect safari horse for the tough conditions in the Namibian desert.
    • Since the horses live in the wilderness all year round, they are perfectly adapted to their surroundings. They are sure-footed, reliable and even-tempered and will effortlessly carry you over 300 kilometres through the desert.
    • Each safari is accompanied by spare horses so that the horses can be given a break and be changed at any time if needed.
    • The skirted endurance saddles are specially designed and with their heavy padding to offer the best comfort for horse and rider.
    • All horses are ridden with a simple snaffle bit over a halter.

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