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HORSEBACK SAFARI

With 275,000 acres of open plains and the dramatic, ancient volcanic soil Chyulu Hills to explore at ol Donyo Lodge this vast region provides a truly unique riding experience. Riding is available all year round at no additional cost.

RIDE OPTIONS

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.

Plains Ride
Amateur riders can enjoy a gentle 60/90 minute ride exploring the open plains.

All 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. Plains riders will be given some instruction, a minimum requirement is a short trot.

RIDING TIMES

Rides take place at 07h30 and 16h30 subject to the availability of guides and horses.

THE HORSES

We have a herd of 18 horses from 15.1hh to 17.1hh

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, Friesians, Percheron crosses, Shire crosses and a small Somali pony, called Orion who has been at the stables for over 20 years; and is our stable’s mascot!

The Tack

  • Our horses are ridden with English bridles and bits;
  • We offer a choice of English, Western or Trail saddles.

Group Size

  • 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 group’s 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.

Riding Equipment

A selection of riding hats, riding boots, breeches and half chaps are available for guests with no additional charge.

Weight Limit

  • 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.

Age Limit

  • 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;
  • We offer arena riding to under 12’s, a 30/45 minute lesson or just a little bit of fun!

Other Activities at ol Donyo Lodge

  • Guided bush walks;
  • Hill hikes and exploration of extinct volcanic 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).

Equestrian Profiles

Born

15 November 2004

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.2 hands high

Colour

Dark Bay

Breed

Boerperd

Sire

Lang Carel Rommel

Dam

Keeversfontein 43

Duma is a registered Boerperd from South Africa.

He was used for cattle work and pleasure riding and had also competed successfully as a show horse in the South Africa Boerperd showing disciplines.

Dumas registered name is Keeversfontein Cheetah and we called him Duma as this is Swahili for Cheetah.

History

Duma is a solid horse with a lovely temperament, very smooth paces and is a popular horse with more experienced riders. He is also a very gentle horse and takes good care of novice riders.

Born

3 December 2003

Sex

Stallion

Height

15.3 hands high

Colour

Black

Breed

Boerperd

Sire

Cloeteggo Klinker 2nd

Dam

Lang Karel Ouma

Empakai is a registered Boerperd from South Africa.

He was used for Stud work, pleasure riding and participated in the registered Boerperd shows.

His registered name is Voorslag Dinamiet, we changed it to Empakai after the beautiful Empakai crater situated near to the active volcano
Ol Donyo Lengai.

History

Empakai arrived in Kenya in early 2016, before arriving in the Chyulu Hills mid-2018. From day one he has taken everything in his stride.

He is a very handsome horse with a fabulous temperament and is a comfortable and safe ride with a very willing attitude to his work.

Born

2004

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.3 hands high

Colour

Dark Bay

Breed

Boerperd / Friesian Cross

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Kimbia is a Boerperd / Friesian cross.

He was called Biggest as he was the biggest horse the farmer had!

We changed his name to Kimbia, which means to run. Shortly after he arrived, he jumped out of the arena with his new friend Kerimasi and they had a wonderful adventure galloping away.

History

Kimbia arrived in Kenya in early 2016 before arriving in the Chyulu Hills in mid-2018.

He has been used for trail riding and cattle work in South Africa.

He is a very obedient, well mannered and is a nicely balanced and willing ride.

Born

8 November 2002

Sex

Gelding

Height

16 hands high

Colour

Bay

Breed

Boerperd / Arab cross

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Kerimasi is a Boerperd / Arab cross from South Africa and was used for cattle work and pleasure riding.

His passport name is Kayser, but we changed it to Kerimasi after one of the mountains in Tanzania.

History

Kerimasi arrived in Kenya in early 2016 before finally arriving in the Chyulu Hills in mid-2018.

He was a bit nervous of people initially but he is now a delightful horse with oodles of character both in the stable and under saddle.

He is a safe but fun ride and it is obvious that he loves his work, he is a very popular ride.

He is the only horse I know that snores at night when he is sleeping… VERY LOUDLY.

Born

2004

Sex

Stallion

Height

15.3 hands high

Colour

Black with white markings

Breed

Shire / Boerperd cross

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Koroya is a very handsome Boerperd cross Shire from South Africa.

He was called Zorro and we changed the name to Koroya which is a hill in the Serengeti.

History

Koroya arrived in Kenya early 2016 before arriving in the Chyulu Hills in mid-2018.

He is a handsome and strikingly marked horse and carries himself well.

He is a bold, forward thinking but sensible ride.

Being a very comfortable ride and a perfect gentleman with a lovable nature he is very popular with experienced riders.

Born

20 January 2010

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.2 hands high

Colour

Bay

Breed

Boerperd

Sire

Mahashi Bastiaan

Dam

Uitblinker Adel

Mahale is a Boerperd from South Africa.

History

Mahale arrived in the Chyulu Hills in mid-2018.

He is a lovely steady ride but can be a little skittish of sudden movements or the sound of velcro or jackets flapping in the wind. 

If it is all done in slow motion he is fine with everything and such a gentleman.

Born

23 September 2005

Sex

Gelding

Height

16.3 hands high

Colour

Chestnut

Breed

Thoroughbred

Sire

Portrush (USA)

Dam

Joyous Dancer

Manchira is a Thoroughbred from South Africa.

His original name was Dance With Me and we changed it to Manchira.

History

Manchira arrived in the Chyulu Hills in mid-2018.

He is a big thoroughbred, a bold and sensible horse.

He comes from an Eventing and Hunting background and was used to drag the scent for the drag hunts and even had a part in several movies.

The people we bought him from do a lot of film and stunt work with their horses and due to his good temperament he was often taken along to play a role.

He is a survivor of a buffalo attack in May 2018 and still has the scars to prove it!

Born

16 November 2003

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.2 hands high

Colour

Chestnut

Breed

Boerperd

Sire

Paardekop Lekker

Dam

Frederick Gina

Narok is a Boerperd from South Africa.

He was called George Frederick Pronk and we changed his name to Narok after the Narok mountain in Tanzania.

History

Narok arrived in the Chyulu Hills in mid-2018

Narok is a film star and has been used in several movies and advertisements, one of the better know is the movie “The Salvation” which won many awards.

He has also been used for trail riding in South Africa.

He is a very pretty horse with a lovely honest head and eye and is a fun ride with comfortable paces.

Born

1 October 2010

Sex

Stallion

Height

16 hands high

Colour

Black

Breed

Thoroughbred cross Shire

Sire

Greystoke

Dam

Grace the Turf

Rokare is a very handsome Thoroughbred cross Shire from South Africa.

History

After spending the first 2 and a half years of his life on an idyllic farm in the Underberg South Africa with lots of other youngsters, Rokare suddenly found himself in a whirlwind of trucks, vets, planes and more trucks to finally reach his new home in the Chyulu Hills in 2018.

What a life changing experience!

Amusingly, Rokare was supposed to have been gelded on the farm but the farmer forgot and so he arrived with us a colt. As he has a very good temperament we decided not to geld him and he has fitted in well with our other 3 stallions.

Born

12 June 2001

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.1 hands high

Colour

Grey

Breed

Crabbet Arabian

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Samanche is a Crabbet Arabian from South Africa.

History

Samanche was an Endurance horse in his previous life, competing in 160km races in South Africa and Namibia.

He is a lovely ride, sensible and forward going but definitely needs a small intermediate rider.

Born

18 November 2002

Sex

Gelding

Height

17 hands high

Colour

Black

Breed

Friesian cross

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Selous is a gorgeous big Friesian cross.

Friesians are Flemish carriage horses that have become very popular over the years as riding horses. They have excellent temperaments for trail riding and are a very smart looking horse with a lot of presence and comfortable gaits.

History

Selous arrived in East Africa in January 2006 and was virtually unschooled. Despite his young age we decided that he should join us based on his easy temperament, good looks and comfort.

He has matured considerably since his arrival into a huge, striking black horse. He loves people and is very gentle.

He started working with guests on horse safaris in 2008 and is a very popular and reliable safari horse.

Born

2002

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.1 hands high

Colour

White

Breed

Boerperd

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Zulu is a Boerperd from South Africa.

History

Zulu arrived in the Chylu Hills from SA in 2006. He has good manners, forward and has a lovely soft mouth therefore must be ridden with very sympathetic contact. He has a very active and bouncy trot so suits young and fit riders who will treat him gently and kindly.

He is a also a good jumper.

Born

2006

Sex

Gelding

Height

17 hands high

Colour

Bay

Breed

Thoroughbred cross Shire

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Kalahari is a Thoroughbred cross Shire from South Africa.

History

He is a big horse so can carry the taller and heavier guests. 

He has a huge movement so good for someone used to a larger stride. 

He is a good jumper and has an easy temperament – he is also forward going.

Born

2002

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.1 hands high

Colour

White

Breed

Boerperd

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Mwezi is a Boerperd from South Africa.

History

Mwezi is a super easy ride for intermediate riders and older riders. He also has a soft mouth so ideally should be ridden from voice and seat rather than hand.

He is the hardest working horse in the stable as he suits everyone.

Born

2006

Sex

Gelding

Height

17.1 hands high

Colour

Grey

Breed

Thoroughbred cross Percheron cross Shire

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Sabre is a Thoroughbred cross Percheron cross Shire.

History

Sabre is our weight carrier and mostly takes out novice riders although he can be cheeky with them. 

He is not very athletic but is a safe ride.

Born

2011

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.3 hands high

Colour

Bay

Breed

Thoroughbred

Sire

Sound whisper

Dam

Sarafina by Rana Pratap

Kalacha is the only Kenyan bred thoroughbred on the yard.

History

Kalacha arrived in the Chyuly Hills from north Kenya in 2017.

He is an intermediate ride because of his career as a racehorse. 

He needs a light sympathetic rider and then he is very forward going and brave. He often leads rides as he will march out of the stables with no hesitation to face what may be in the bush. 

He has lovely smooth paces and a soft mouth.

Born

2010

Sex

Gelding

Height

15.2 hands high

Colour

Bay

Breed

Anglo Arab

Sire

Congo

Dam

Zelda by a Zim polo mare

Xango is an Anglo Arab from Zimbabwe.

History

Xango arrived in the Chyulu Hills from north Kenya in 2017.

Most intermediate riders enjoy Xango as he is a big character – he loves cantering but shies at most things such as butterflies and white stones. 

He is very light on his feet and has a lovely canter.

Born

1994

Sex

Gelding

Height

13.2 hands high

Colour

Bay

Breed

Kenyan bred Somali Pony

Sire

Unknown

Dam

Unknown

Orion is a Kenyan bred Somali Pony.

History

Orion is now retired and is our stable’s mascot!

Orion does exactly what he pleases whenever it suits him. He is a real character and has great confidence in himself.

Our Horseback Safari Camps

ol Donyo Lodge