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The Elephant Ride at the bottom of Mount Kilimanjaro

"Spend 8 days in the wilderness of Tanzania riding with the gentle giants at the bottom of Africa's highest mountain."

Price 5470 EUR
Country
Tanzania
Duration
7 Nights
Safari Type
Camping, Fly camping, Mobile Safari

Your riding safari starts in Arusha National Park in north-eastern Tanzania, near the Kenyan border. Although a relatively small park, Arusha National Park is home to an enormous variety of flora and fauna. Within the park there is a difference in altitude of 4,500 metres, creating 5 different vegetation zones and giving home to a huge variety of birds and wildlife. As such this ride offers greater variety of habitats than any other horseback safari.

The ride begins with flat, dry steppes, continues to lush green grasslands, and then to tropical rainforests with waterfalls. You will have a good chance of viewing buffalo and elephant, as they are attracted to this part of the park’s lush, green grazing.

The second part of the safari takes you eastward, straight towards Mount Kilimanjaro. On a clear day, the view is simply breathtaking. This region is also known as Maasailand. The Maasai tribe has lived here for centuries. Their beautiful and colourful traditional dress and enormous herds of cattle are a symbol of their land that can be recognized from afar.

During the safari, you will get the chance to get to learn about the Maasai’s customs and traditions and gain insight into how they have survived in the wild for so long.
Slowly the landscape changes to denser bushland and acacia forests. This is a wilderness corridor that elephants, nature’s gentle giants, use to travel from Amboseli National Park to Arusha National Park and back. This region is dry and sparsely vegetated, making it ideal for game viewing, as the animals can be seen from afar.

The ever-changing landscapes, from tropical forests to golden-brown steppes with dramatic views of Kilimanjaro, offers you one of the most varied riding safaris in Africa. Relaxing rainforest rides viewing different species of monkeys and fast gallops across flat, endless plains await you.

The mobile safari camp, which will accompany the group, allows you to fall asleep under the starry sky of Tanzania and wake up with the sun in the heart of the wilderness.

One of the trip’s highlights will be the search for elephants. You will be able to observe them more closely with your faithful safari horse than would be possible with an off-road vehicle as the wildlife doesn’t react the same way to other animals as they do to cars.

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

highlights

  • Searching for Africa’s gentle giants, the elephants.
  • Experience relaxed wildlife interactions up-close with your safari horse.
  • Ride through the many varied vegetations of Tanzania.
  • With a clear sky, you will have a breathtaking view of the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro.

map and overview

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, a transfer will bring you to:

  • 1 night in a safari tent at the Polo Safari Club.
  • 6 nights in a comfortable mobile safari camp.

After your last night in the mobile camp, a transfer will take you back to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your connecting flight.

If your flight leaves in the afternoon, a room in the Polo Safari Club Clubhouse will be available for your use during the day.

guides

All safaris are led by professionally trained and qualified guides. The guides have an incredible knowledge of and passion for Tanzania’s flora and fauna.

The lead safari guide always rides armed with a rifle and a mobile radio.

start dates

6 June 2020 - 13 June 2020
25 July 2020 - 1 August 2020
8 August 2020 - 15 August 2020
22 August 2020 - 29 August 2020
5 September 2020 - 12 September 2020
19 September 2020 - 26 September 2020
3 October 2020 - 10 October 2020
17 October 2020 - 24 October 2020
31 October 2020 - 7 November 2020
8 November 2020 - 15 November 2020

suitable for

  • Since the ride takes place in big game terrain, only advanced and strong intermediate riders can participate in this safari.
  • You must be confident trotting and galloping over long distances, feel safe in any terrain and at any pace and must be able to control your horse at all times. You should also be able to gallop out of risky situations.
  • 5-7 hours a day will be spent in the saddle, crossing some rough terrain. Riders may need to dismount and walk their horse through certain sections. Therefore, good physical fitness is a great advantage.
  • Maximum rider weight of 85kg in order to ensure the horse’s well-being.
  • The maximum group size is 10 riders.

detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, a transfer will take you to the Polo Safari Club, 35 minutes away, where you will spend your first night.

Enjoy time to settle in, relaxing and getting to know the other safari participants. After this, sundowners and a delicious dinner await you in the clubhouse. Your guide will also give a safety briefing for the safari.

Day 2: Departure

You will be woken up with fresh coffee and tea while a delicious breakfast is waiting for you. At 11:00 a.m. you will be taken to Arusha National Park, about 20 minutes away, where your safari horses are ready to be mounted.

One of the most beautiful national parks in East Africa awaits you. The vegetation will change dramatically during the ride, from open grasslands to dense rainforests. You will have good chances of seeing elephant, buffalo, many plain’s game species and leopard alongside rare species like the magnificent Hartlaub’s turaco or the red duiker.

It is a magical feeling riding into the dense forests of the national park. Here, in the shade of the forest, there will be time for lunch and a little siesta. After everyone has had a good rest, the route continues through good leopard habitat. With a little luck and open eyes, you may see one of the beautiful cats.

On the way to the first night camp, the path leads past the previous house of Margarete Trappe. The legendary woman, known as the ‘Iron Lady of the First World War’, is remembered for her wondrous stories. “If we had been thrilled as children by Buffalo Bill, we would have been even more enchanted by the adventures of Mrs Trappe. The adventures of the fearless woman with her two legendary horses Comet and Diamond. Like a phantom she suddenly appeared, like a phantom, she suddenly disappeared; so intimate with wild animals as if they were tame.”

You will enjoy hearing some of the fascinating stories about Margarete, whose old paths you will follow on this riding safari through the mysterious forests.

You arrive at your camp at the foot of Mount Meru in time for sunset. Enjoy sundowner drinks, a refreshing shower and a delicious dinner under the stars.

Day 3: the ‘Hatari’-Region

This morning you may be woken by the very talkative yet shy colobus monkeys.

Shortly after breakfast, you’ll ride towards an area where the film ‘Hatari’ was filmed. From here the ascent on horseback to the fig tree arch begins. This is a huge fig tree with an arch so big that 5 horses can ride through it abreast and offers a fascinating and mystical scene.

The route then leads to a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the forest, where you will enjoy a break and your lunch. You are now about 2,000 meters above sea level. After lunch, you return to the camp, passing another 30-meter high waterfall en-route.

Back at the camp, you can take a safari drive and visit the Momella lakes with the aim of spotting some hippos. Enjoy the sunset and some cool drinks overlooking the lake before heading back to camp for a hot shower and a delicious dinner.

Day 4: off to Kilimanjaro

Today begins with sunrise and a big breakfast. You mount your horses and ride out of Arusha National Park, heading east, directly towards Kilimanjaro and leaving Mount Meru behind.

This long day’s ride will take you through typical Tanzanian farmlands and the Maasai steppe. The scenery is picturesque and many cultural interactions await you.

Thanks to the cool hours of the morning, a lot of distance is covered before lunchtime. Enjoy a well-deserved 3-hour lunch break in a scenic spot, perhaps under a large acacia tree or even next to a dam where the Maasai water their cattle.

Once everyone is well-rested, the route takes you back to wildlife areas in the afternoon. The open grasslands invite you to ride fast so that the camp is reached in time for sunset and your evening ritual of a sundowner.

Day 5: Elephant search

You will be woken with fresh coffee and tea before a bush breakfast is served. Directly after breakfast, it is time for the first ride.

Today is entirely dedicated to the search for the largest land animals in Africa, the elephants. The landscape you will travel through is mainly composed of dense bush and acacia forests.

You return to camp for lunch and then a second ride awaits you, where again the search for elephants is at the fore.
Another beautiful night under the starry sky of Tanzania, in the remote and wild bush awaits you.

Day 6: Seven Hills

After a hearty English breakfast, the horses are mounted to set off in the direction of the ‘Seven Hills’. After crossing the hills, you continue towards Sinya Village. Here a shady tree awaits you for a relaxing lunch break.

The landscape consists mainly of open grasslands and idyllic woods, with good chances to spot zebra, gnu, giraffe and rare species like the gerenuk.

Tonight is spent in an impressively scenic place. Hopefully, the night is clear so you will have a view of the 4 breathtaking mountains that surround you. Mount Meru, Mount Namanga, Mount Longido and the most legendary of them all, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Day 7: the Kenyan border

The day starts at sunrise because today your long route will take you north towards the Kenyan border. This terrain is also very popular with elephants and again you may get to have close encounters with these peaceful giants.

Tonight’s camp is set up in the middle of wide-open pans with a fascinating view of the surrounding mountains and the breathtaking night sky, which is even more impressive in this area as there is little light pollution.

Day 8: Depature

The last day has begun and your safari is coming to an end. Enjoy a last big breakfast in camp before heading back to civilization. Depending on the road conditions, the drive to the airport takes about 3 hours.

For those who have a late afternoon flight, a room in the Polo Safari Club’s Clubhouse is available for the day before your transfer to the airport.

accommodation

You will spend your first night in a permanent camp at the Polo Safari Club. You will stay in spacious, traditional safari tents with access to the cosy ambience of the colonial-style clubhouse and its facilities.

The camp is in the middle of a wildlife estate overlooking Mount Meru, and on clear days you can even admire Mount Kilimanjaro. The clubhouse has Wi-Fi, a gym, a spa and a swimming pool for ultimate relaxation. Two large polo fields spread out in front of the clubhouse, and it is common for zebras and wildebeests to use these enticing, green areas for grazing.
The 10 safari tents are fully equipped with private bathrooms, toilets, fluffy towels and warm, comfortable beds.

Your remaining 6 nights will be spent amid the wilderness in a mobile safari camp. Comfortable and spacious 3-meter x 3-meter tents with mosquito protection will be your home for the next 6 nights.

The tent’s lower walls are removable, allowing you 360-degree views while drifting to sleep. Each is equipped with folding beds, cuddly blankets and solar lights, as well as an en-suite toilet and bucket shower, which is traditionally hung on a tree under the open sky in the shower tent.

Kilimanjaro Elephant ride 29 MGF 1 8

price

  • US$ 6,050.00 per person sharing.
  • US$ 6,400.00 per person in a single tent.
  • No single supplement is charged in a SGL tent.

Included:

  • Full board accommodation.
  • Locally sourced beverages (other requirements can be arranged prior to arrival and will then be charged at cost price).
  • Return airport transfers.
  • Flying doctor membership.
  • National Park fees.
  • Wildlife Department fees.
  • Village fees.

Excluded:

  • 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

All of the horses waiting for you at the Polo Safari Club have been specially trained as safari horses with a lot of love and patience. Most are a mixture of a native breed and thoroughbreds.

Riding is done in the Western-style, so you can control your horse with one hand whilst taking pictures or using your saddlebag. A few are trained in the English style. You should indicate your preference so that the right horse can be found for you.

Each horse is given a lot of love, attention and care. They are reliable safari horses each with individual characters and the perfect companion is available for every rider.

Each horse has its own saddle, either an Australian Stock saddle, a Wintec or an English eventing saddle and they are ridden with a simple snaffle bit. Saddlebags for vital elements on safari such as water, sunscreen and cameras are attached for each guest.

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