Horseback Riding

For accomplished riders there are several adventure options, including the Namib Desert Ride of about 400 km starting in the Khomas Hochland and leading through the Kuiseb Canyon, Tinkas, Tumas and Welwitschia Plains, Moon Valley, the seasonal Swakop River and coastal dunes to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Greater Fish River Canyon Ride traverses three private parks: Fish River Canyon Park, Gondwana Park and Aussenkehr Park, combining dramatic canyon landscapes, spacious desert plains and the mighty Orange River, covering between 2050 km per day over eight and a half days. The Fish River Canyon Ride takes three and a half days of riding through the second biggest canyon in the world where zebra paths, steep tracks, savannah grasslands and rocky tributaries form part of the path.

The Desert Horse Ride is a more relaxed ride, guided by Dr Telan Greyling, a botanist and world authority on the wild horses of Namibia. The 4-day circular ride traverses Sperrgebiet Rand Park, a private reserve adjoining the Sperrgebiet National Park, and habitat of the wild horses.

On the Damara Elephant Ride, which takes six and a half days through vast open spaces on horseback, riders can expect to see elephant, giraffe and rhino in a desert habitat, ancient craters and remnants from prehistoric times, not to mention the forbidding Skeleton Coast. These trails are all offered by the Namibia Horse Safari Company.

The Desert Homestead 35 kilometres from Sossusvlei, offers accommodation in rock chalets with views across the Nubib Mountains. Under the trade name Desert Homestead & Horse Trails, the enterprise offers horse trails into the surrounding plains and watercourses, including breakfast rides, sunset rides, a 4x4 Sossusvlei excursion, an introductory ride, sleeping in the desert, and an optional sun downer ride. Packages that include the Skeleton Coast, Swakopmund and Grootberg are also available.

Grootberg Lodge also offers additional morning and afternoon rides. The horses at Grootberg hail from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, are tough as nails and totally unfazed by the sudden appearance of elephants. Most of them are Arab barbs bred in the area and bought from the donkey carts. River Crossing, 3 km outside of Windhoek en route to the international airport offers morning and afternoon rides, as well as full day rides, which include lunch at the foot of a cliff. The pace is varied and suited to the weakest rider in the group.

Horse trails at BaellsPort are geared to experienced riders as well as beginners, and include tailor-made overnight trails into the Naukluft with participants sleeping under the stars.

From just outside of Swakopmund, Okakambe Trails offers tailor-made overnight trails into desert terrains varying from sand dunes and rocky plains to mountains and dry riverbeds. The daily distance covered is approximately 30 to 40 km, depending on the experience of the riders and the weather conditions.

Okapuka Horse Safaris offers rides in close proximity to Windhoek. Riders can expect to be on horseback for between 4 to 5 hours per day on willing, forward going, responsive Arabian horses. Depending on time of arrival, it usually comprises of seven days of riding.

The Namibia Endurance Ride Association (NERA) holds regular endurance competitions throughout the country, and show jumping is also popular and is organized by the Namibian Equestrian Federation. Dressage and horse racing are more horse sports to choose from.