Experience the magic of the bush on horseback with a Ride Kenya horseback safari.
Ride in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro replacing the grumble of a car engine with the sound of hooves. With Great Plains Ride Kenya, the Chyulu Hills and the exclusive wilderness around ol Donyo Lodge is yours to discover. With low tourist densities you are more likely to come across the paw print of a lion than the footprint of a human! Instead expect to encounter everything from elephant and giraffe, to zebra, gazelle and warthog. Our horses are fun to ride yet well-mannered mounts who love their jobs, striding out each new day with ears pricked, ready to explore. Rides can be enjoyed from ol Donyo Lodge by riders of all levels from intermediate to advanced.
OL DONYO LODGE, CHYULU HILLS, KENYA
The soft volcanic soils and the variety of the terrain make this area a fantastic and very unique riding destination. The stables themselves are set within the beautiful acacia forest at the base of the Chyulu Hills and are easily accessible by all guests residing at ol Donyo Lodge.
THE SOFT VOLCANIC SOILS AND THE VARIETY OF THE TERRAIN MAKE THIS AREA A FANTASTIC AND VERY UNIQUE RIDING DESTINATION. THE STABLES THEMSELVES ARE SET WITHIN THE BEAUTIFUL ACACIA FOREST AT THE BASE OF THE CHYULU HILLS AND ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE BY ALL GUESTS RESIDING AT OL DONYO LODGE.
From here you can ride out along ancient elephant paths, encountering inquisitive Maasai giraffe and antelope such as the eland, impala, fringe-eared oryx and Grant’s gazelle, not to mention the magnificent “big tusker” bull elephants for which this area is renowned. Once through the forest you emerge onto the open grass plains where you can increase the pace and canter through seemingly endless long golden grass plains. Pass by herds of zebra, wildebeest and Thompson’s gazelle. Perhaps a flick of a tail in the long grass, or the twitch of an ear in the shade of a tree, will catch your eye and you may be lucky enough to encounter a cheetah or two.
You can also ride out and explore in the other direction – up into the volcanic Chyulu Hills behind the stables. Climb nearly a thousand feet in a morning, emerging into Wild Olive Tree groves where you could glimpse a shy herd of hartebeest. From the top of the ol Donyo Wuas hill, enjoy a delicious breakfast under the shade of a Red Hot Poker Tree whilst enjoying unending views of mount Kilimanjaro and the surrounding wilderness from horizon to horizon, before descending down the other side of the hills and back to ol Donyo Lodge for a refreshing dip in your private plunge pool.
Not restricted by roads, you are forging your own path through the landscape. Tuned into the rhythm of not only your horse but also the bush around you, it is truly the finest way to experience Kenya’s diverse landscape and its awe-inspiring natural world.
The horses at ol Donyo Lodge are sourced and schooled with the guest’s comfort and enjoyment as our highest priority. The horses are soft, responsive, sensible and enormously fun to ride. Not only are they ridden in the bush but they also live amongst the wildlife during the day – free and unfenced. This makes for horses that are completely at home in their environment and that are an absolute joy to ride. All levels of rider from beginner to advanced can be accommodated.
INTERMEDIATE AND ABOVE
For Intermediate riders and above we offer 2 to 4 hour rides exploring the concession. Enjoy exhilarating medium to fast paced canters and encounters with our famous big Tuskers.
For this riding option, you need to be riding fit, confident and competent, ride with an independent seat and be able to control an easy horse at all paces over uneven terrain.
Riders will need to have a short assessment in our arena prior to setting out to ensure you are comfortable with your horse and equipment.
Riders can enjoy a gentle 90 minute ride exploring the open plains.
No assessment required.
Rides take place at 07h30 and 16h30 subject to availability of guides and horses.
ol Donyo Lodge’s fly camping experience in the Kenyan wilderness is created for riders and non-riders alike.
- 2 guests minimum and 6 guests maximum
- Yurt-style bell tents with bed rolls, full linen, hot showers and inner around the camp fire
- Not available March – May, November and over Christmas and New Year
- No additional charge for this experience
- Available as part of a standard 4-night stay
- Must be booked in advance at the time of reservation
- Itineraries available
We have a herd of 10 horses from 15.1hh to 17hh
Our horses are well schooled and used to the environment we share with the wildlife.
Breeds include the South African Boerperd, which is one of the few recognised native breeds in Africa well known for their superb temperament, endurance and versatility. We also have Thoroughbreds and various cross breeds, a Somali pony not to mention our lovely pure bred Percheron Tembo who is the only French draught horse in Kenya!
- Our horses are ridden in English bridles and bits
- We offer a choice of English, Western or Trail saddles
- All our rides will be a Maximum of 6 guests accompanied by 2 experienced guides
- However, the number of riders will be dependent on the groups ability and riders weight
- We will therefore only confirm a booking on receipt of our riding questionnaire which is available on request from your guide or lodge manager
A selection of Riding hats, riding boots, breeches and half chaps are available for guests with no additional charge.
- We respectfully request no riders over 95Kg
- We do have several big advanced level horses and are happy to advise if we can accommodate experienced riders over our weight limit on receipt of the riding questionnaire
- For safety reasons we have an age limit of 12
- All children between 12 and 15 must be accompanied by a riding parent or guardian
- Regretfully we cannot offer any riding to children under 12 years
- Guided bush walks
- Hill hikes and exploration of extinct volcanoic lava tubes
- Mountain biking
- Game viewing drives
- Night game viewing drives
- Lion tracking
- Cultural villages visits (additional charge)
- Anti-poaching tracker dog experience (additional charge)
- Amboseli day trip (additional charge)
- Scenic Kilimanjaro flight (additional charge)