Namibia

Fish River Canyon Ride

This incredible horseback trail ride takes you through the second largest canyon in the world. Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia offers wide open spaces for long canters, the tempestuous Orange River, dramatic rocky canyons and the opportunity to view herds of wild horses. The terrain dictates a slower start to this riding safari, so this ride is suitable for intermediate and advanced riders.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
13 days / 9 riding
From £4,350
  • Fish River Canyon and horses in Namibia
    Stunning views of the canyon
  • Horseback expedition in Namibia
    Admiring the Fish River Canyon
  • Horseback trail riding in Southern Namibia
    Riding across the harsh desert
  • Horseback expedition in Namibia
    There is always time for a splash around
  • Horse riding in Namibia's Fish River Canyon
    Fish River Canyon Ride
  • Horse riding in Namibia's Fish River Canyon
    A stop to view the canyon
  • Horseback expedition in Namibia
    Great sight seeing in a varied landscape
  • Namibia Fish River Canyon trail ride
    Ride through mountains and canyons
  • Horseride in Fish River Canyon in Namibia
    A fantastic view of Fish River Canyon
  • Horseback riding in Namibia's Fish River Canyon
    Amazing views deep into the canyon

Itinerary

Highlights

- Opportunities for fast riding across desert landscapes
- Possibility to view herds of wild horses
- Game viewing may include desert adapted species such as zebra, oryx or kudu
- Breathtaking scenery of the worlds second largest canyon (after the Grand Canyon in USA)
- Ideal for an extension to Cape Town in South Africa at the end of the ride
  • Day 1 1 : LONDON - CAPE TOWN

    International flight overnight to Cape Town (flights are not included but we can assist with this on request).
  • Day 2 2 : CAPE TOWN - SPRINGBOK

    You will be met at Cape Town’s International Airport where you will join up with the rest of your riding group. Transfer departure times are dependent on flight arrival times but generally departure is by 9:00 a.m, so you need to ensure your flight arrives earlier than this.

    The transfer takes approximately 7 hours and you will spend your first night at Springbok situated on the edge of the Richtersveld Park which forms one of the first historic Transfrontier Parks that now exist across several of Namibia’s borders.
  • Day 3 3 : SPRINGBOK - HOLOOG - 3 hours riding

    Having crossed the border this morning, you travel towards the Fish River Canyon where you will meet the horses crew for lunch at the Cañon Mule Trekking station. You set off on an afternoon ride to the very edge of the Canyon for your first overnight spent under the stars at Horse Shoe Camp.

    Feast your eyes on the glorious desert hues at twilight as you sip your chilled sundowner drink in an atmosphere of utter tranquility.
  • Day 4 4 : HORSE SHOE CAMP - CANYON OUTPOST - 6-8 hours riding

    After breakfast you will ride along Zebra paths which criss-cross the rocky tributaries leading down the steep sides of the Canyon to the river below. Depending on the season, you will ride along the sandy river bed to a delightful lunch spot, Sandy Beach, where you may well be able to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Fish River. After lunch you will wind your way out of the canyon to the unexpected oasis at Cañon Outpost Camp in the mostly dry Gaap River, a tributary of the Fish River.


    Here, you are in the private Gondwana National Park - 120 hectares of extraordinary countryside.
  • Day 5 5 : ROADHOUSE - 6-8 hours riding

    Today’s exhilarating ride begins with a climb up out of the gorge winding between dolomite rocks to the great plateau above the Canyon from which an endless savannah stretches to the distant mountains. The afternoon’s short ride to Cañon Roadhouse leaves enough time to relax and wander around the collection of vintage cars and interesting memorabilia.
  • Day 6 6 : MOUNTAIN CAMP - 4-5 hours riding

    CAMPEMENT
    A fast and thrilling days ride across a dolomite plateau with the possibility of seeing grazing Zebra, Oryx, Springbok and Ostrich. Continue riding onto the boulder-strewn grasslands dotted with the enigmatic Quiver Trees. Tonight you stay at Cañon Mountain Camp and can enjoy the luxury of real beds with linen and en-suite facilities making this a very special evening.
  • Day 7 7 : KANEBIS - 4-5 hours riding

    CAMPEMENT
    In the morning you are transferred a short distance to the main viewpoint overlooking the Fish River Canyon with its astonishing view of this area’s geological past. Like an open book, the water-eroded canyon walls reveal layer upon layer of sedimentary history. After lunch back at Cañon Mountain Camp, you ride through huge milk bushes interspersed with herds of game which inhabit this huge plain, especially in years rain has been abundant. Tonights camp is in a wilderness area.
  • Day 8 8 : FOURIE SE GAT - 6-8 hours riding

    BIVOUAC
    Today the ever-changing scenery is dominated by bizarre geological formations providing niches for a high diversity of range-restricted flora. Being both a winter and summer rainfall area this area is usually home to large herds of plains game. Tonight’s campsite affords you the opportunity to experience one of those magical sunsets that the Namib is known for.
  • Day 9 9 : GAMKAB - 6-8 hours riding

    BIVOUAC
    Transfer by vehicle to Ais-Ais hot springs to spend the morning relaxing in the deliciously warm spring water whilst the horses, unburdened, run free to your lunch spot at Mount Elena. Now the topography unfolds onto even wider plains and the afternoon ride crosses some of the best riding terrain in the world. This evening you camp near one of the many saline springs that predominate in this arid region.
  • Day 10 10 : BOULDERS CAMP - 6-8 hours riding

    BIVOUAC
    Entering the expansive Aussenkehr Natural Park you encounter some isolated sand dunes and canyons surrounded by stacked boulders which could only have been the work of some industrious giant. Since riding is not limited to any specific route, you are free to roam where you want in this endless vastness.
  • Day 11 11 : BOULDERS CAMP - ORANGE RIVER - 6-8 hours riding

    Your last ride is one of dazzling contrasts. From the wide plains you enter the narrow Kings Throne Canyon coming upon a viewpoint revealing a rather surprising vineyard in the middle of an otherwise barren landscape. Descending into this verdant oasis you ride amongst the trellised vines to the bank of the Orange River at the oasis of Norotshama River Resort.
  • Day 12 12 : ORANGE RIVER - CAPE TOWN

    After breakfast you say your farewells and depart on the 9 ½ hour road transfer back to Cape Town, arriving about 18:00.

    If you wish to fly home tonight then you need a flight which departs after 20:30, but you may wish to extend your holiday to visit the sights of Cape Town for a few nights.
  • Day 13 13 : CAPE TOWN - LONDON

    Arrival back in London.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Groups are made up of a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 12 riders, plus guides

- Transfers are not included from/to Cape Town airport, and are £365 (£390 in 2020) payable upon booking

- There is no single supplement if you are prepared to share, but to guarantee your own tent/room throughout there is a single supplement of c. £180 (£190 in 2020).

- Rates are without flight, however we are happy to book these for you upon request

IMPORTANT : Riders weighing over 85kg must contact us before booking this ride. As this ride is particularly demanding for the horses, riders over 85kg will alternate between 2 horses and will need to pay a supplementary charge of approx. £750 (£770 in 2020). This will allow for the horses to recover and maintain the excellent standard of the horses available to you to ride.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide
2 - 3 assistant guides and grooms, riding with every group of 12

Logistics

4-5 people in charge of the logistics for a group of 12
1 support vehicle and driver
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 assistant cook

Inland transports

12 person minibus

Accommodation

3-man dome tents (2 riders per tent) with either camp beds or a sleeping mat, duvet and pillow.
Double room in a guesthouse or lodge on days 2, 3, 6 & 11

Meals

Full board and drinks on the trail from dinner on day 2 to lunch on day 12

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages at the lodges and personal extra

Transport

International flights to Cape Town that we can book for you upon request
Return airport transfers

Extras

Small group supplementary charge
Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room/tent supplement if you do not wish to share

Logistics

Additional horse supplement for anyone weighing over 85 kg
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    17/09/2020 29/09/2020 £4,350 Full

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses are mostly crossbreeds from a variety of stock that found their way into the Namibian equine mix during the last century. These include Trahkener, Hanovarian, Shagya Arabs, Boerperd and more recently, Arabians and Quarter Horse crosses and even the odd Haflinger. The horses are generally small in body size to cope with the dry and mountainous environments where they are bred and raised. They are sure footed, nimble, well mannered and energetic plus calm or fast according to your preference.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a weight limit of 92kgs and riders who weigh over 85kgs may have to pay a supplement for a second horse.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a very competent rider with plenty of experience riding outdoors across varied terrains and at all paces. The horses are well-behaved but there are some long hours in the saddle and a fast pace can be sustained for long periods where the terrain allows.

PLEASE NOTE: There is a weight limit of 92kgs and riders who weigh over 85kgs may have to pay a supplement for a second horse

Pace

There are lots of opportunities for fast riding. You must be capable of rising to the trot and maintaining a forward seat in canter and gallop.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist with grooming, tacking up and untacking your horse each day whilst out on the trail. It would also be appreciated if you could help with camp tasks such as putting up tents or watering and feeding the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for long hours in the saddle in the African sun. This is a challenging ride and can be tough at times. Climate is usually warm and dry during the day, but the nights can be very cold (zero or below) and there can be strong winds.

Guests who do not ride regularly need to get fit prior to the ride.

Equestrian equipment

Special water bottle holders are supplied on the saddles (the water bottles are also provided).
Saddles are endurance-type trail saddles. If you want to bring your own seat saver then you will need a western shaped one.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

Most nights are spent camping in two man dome tents with camp beds and sleeping bags/swags. However, most people opt to sleep out under the stars which is a magical experience. If you feel the cold then we recommend taking a second sleeping bag or liner, as nights in the desert can drop below zero.

Showers are available every night (hot water). It is however not possible to wash your belongings during the ride.

Small batteries can be charged in the back up vehicles if necessary. Phone signal is very limited and there is, of course, no wifi!

On other nights you stay in a comfortable lodge with twin rooms.

Meals

Whilst on the trail, meals are cooked over an open fire and are of excellent quality.

Breakfast usually consists of porridge or cereal with tea and coffee.
Lunch: proper meals cook by the local team.
Dinner will be meat (beef or lamb usually) with vegetables and a dessert.

Drinks are included throughout the trail except on the first and last night when you are in a lodge.
Vegetarians and special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.

Climate

The seasons in Namibia are the reverse of the UK and so October - March is hot and dry. The early summer is a very dry heat, but some rain can occur around December - January when the climate can be more humid. The rides do not run during these months as it is too hot.

From April to September, the winter months, the weather is usually cool and dry. The nights can be cold, dropping to zero or below, but the days are sunny with a beautiful blue sky. Daytime temperatures are usually 15-22c. Mid-winter (June-August) is cooler than the spring/autumn months of April/May and September.

Guide and local team

You will likely be guided by Andrew or Telane, with at least one back-up guide and a host of camp support staff.

Tips

Tips are welcome and we recommend c. £10 per person per day and you should give this to your guide who will distribute it amongst all the staff. If possible, euro, USD or even better African Rands are preferred since pounds sterling are difficult to exchange in Namibia.

Packing list

Head
-Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
-Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Layering is key to cope with the fluctuations in temperature between day and night
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for non-riding trips
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- Thermals are a good option for sleeping in, or tracksuits
- A woolly hat when camping
- Warm and comfortable sleeping sacks are provided, but if you feel the cold you may wish to bring a fleece liner as an extra layer

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and you should pack it into two bags if it weighs more than 15kg so it's easier for the team to transport between camps
- Wherever possible you should wear neutral colours, such as beige, brown or natural bush colours for riding as bright colours, such as red, yellow or white can startle the wildlife and they will see you long before you've seen them
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Swimsuit
- Towel. Camping towels will pack lighter and dry more easily
- Sarong (for going to/from showers)
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. Some toiletries are provided by the camps so you can pack lighter.

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper
- Anti malarial tablets and Yellow Fever Certificate if required (check with your doctor)


Visa & Health

Formalities

Entry requirements
To enter Namibia, a passport valid for six months from date of entry with one blank page is required by all nationals of Australia, USA, Canada, the UK and other EU countries. If you require a visa, you must have at least three blank pages in your passport.
Visas
Visas for Namibia are not required by nationals referred to above for stays of up to three months if visiting Namibia on holiday except:
Nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, who do require a visa.
Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the high commission/embassy for visa requirements for Namibia.
Single-entry visas: £30 (three-day processing) or £50 (same-day processing); multiple-entry visa: £60 (three-day processing) or £80 (same-day processing).
Validity:
Valid for up to three months, for stays of up to three months from the date of entry.

Embassies
Namibian High Commission in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7636 6244. Website: http://www.namibiahc.org.uk Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

IMPORTANT - TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

Visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/namibia/entry-requirements for up-to-date information.
Namibia introduced new immigration rules in 2016 relating to travel with children. In addition to valid passports, parents travelling with children (under 18) should at all times carry the original or certified copy of the unabridged birth certificate. The full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars won’t be accepted by the Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration.

Adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel. If a child is travelling with only one parent, the other parent should give consent for travel in the form of an affidavit.

Unaccompanied children may be required to provide in addition to a valid passport:

Proof of consent from one or both parents/legal guardians in the form of an affidavit.
A letter from the person receiving the child including their residential address where the child will be staying.
Contact your nearest Namibian High Commission if you have any specific questions about your trip.

If your child was born in the UK, you can order a full unabridged birth certificate online via GOV.UK

IF TRAVELLING THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA:
From 1st June 2015, South Africa have introduced tough rulings for anyone travelling with children, including passengers transitting South Africa to another destination.
- Two parents travelling with children will need to show the childs Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC)
- One parent travelling with a child will need to show the UBC plus either: a Parental Consent Affidavit (PAC) from the parent not travelling OR a letter of special circumstance.
- Widowed parents will need to show the UBC and a death certificate for the deceased parent
- Children travelling with family friends will need a UBC, PCA, copies of the parents passports and contact details for the parents.

For more information click here: http://www.africa-adventure.net/downloads/SummaryImmigrationMinors.pdf

Contact South African Immigration for what is required for other circumstances.

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade de Namibie
    80, avenue Foch
    75016 Paris
    Tél. : 01.44.17.32.65
    Fax :
    info@embassyofnamibia.fr
  • Ambassade de France en Namibie
    1, Goethe Street PO Box 20484
    9000 Windhoek
    Tél. : +264 61 27 67 00
    Fax :
    cad.windhoek-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr
  • Namibian High commission
    6 Chandos Street
    W1G 9LU London
    Tél. : +44 (0) 20 7636 6244
    Fax : +44 (0) 20 7637 5694
    info@namibiahc.org.uk

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Namibia except that you need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country (7 days or less before entering Namibia) where that disease is widely prevalent, such as Zambia.
Like with most countries, it's advisable to have general injections regarding diseases like Hepatitis A and typhoid. Most travellers are already vaccinated against DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio) and Hepatitis A, especially if you travelled already to countries outside the western world. If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria is usually only a risk in the northern part of Namibia, and in some areas only during the wet season (October to April). The central and southern parts of the country, including Fish River Canyon and Sossuvlei are considered malaria free. Don't underestimate this tropical disease and take precautions. Buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the South African three-pin type (two small round pins over one larger round pin).

Budget and money

The Namibian Dollar (NAD; symbol N$) is in note denominations of N$200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of N$5, N$1, 50 cents, 10 cents and 5 cents. It is linked to the South African Rand (R) on a 1:1 basis and the South African Rand is also acceptable as currency in Namibia.
Credit cards:
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Credit cards are not usually accepted at petrol stations, so bear this in mind when you visit the ATM. Setting aside an emergency petrol cash fund is a good idea if you’re planning to drive.
ATM:
Although ATMs can be found in most towns, it’s worth making sure that you’ve got enough cash handy at all times, as towns can be few and far between. Make sure you notify your bank of your travel plans before you go: Namibia is among the countries that trigger an automatic account freeze (fraud protection) if you fail to tell your bank beforehand.

Telephone and jetlag

Namibia has an excellent fixed-line telephone network run by Telecom Namibia:
http://www.telecom.na

Domestic calls are reasonably priced, although international calls can cost upwards of N$20 (£1.40) per minute.
Mobile phone:
MTC is Namibia’s mobile service provider but has roaming arrangements with international providers. However, it operates on GSM 900/1800, which is compatible with European and Australian networks but not with those from North America or Japan. Check with your mobile provider whether they will be able to provide coverage through the MTC network during your stay. MTC does offer a prepaid service called Tango, which involves a one-off purchase of a sim card and pay-as-you-go thereafter. Although coverage is generally good, it can be sporadic outside urban areas.
Dialling code is +264
GMT + 1hr

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Fish River is the longest river in Namibia - starting in the Naukluft mountains it flows 650km into the Oranje. 161km of the river runs through an enormous gorge, which starts at Seeheim and ends at Ais-Ai. With a depth of 550m, the Fish River canyon is the second largest canyon in the world.

The Fish river itself, is now almost completely dry during the winter months, or limited to small sections of water here and there, due to being dammed in Hardap near Mariental, however, it can become a raging torrent after summer rains.

This remote corner of the Namib-Naukluft national park is also home to the Namibian wild horses which you may be lucky enough to see on a horseback trail through the stunning Fish River canyon.