Flock of flamingoes taking flight
Tanzania

Lake Natron Ride

A trail ride through the hauntingly beautiful Lake Natron area in Tanzania, famous for its vast breeding colonies of flamingoes. Here it is the landscape which is the attraction rather than large herds of game, although you may see zebra and wildebeest if you are lucky. Ride past traditional Masai villages and their cattle bomas before reaching the wildlife areas.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Horseback Safari
10 days / 8 days riding
From £5,540
  • Group of horseback riders on a trail riding holiday in Tanzania
    Explore Tanzania in the saddle
  • Riders galloping wth wildlife in Tanzania
    Enjoy the occasional gallop
  • Group of riders quietly watching an elephant in Tanzania
    Trail riding in Tanzania with Equus Journeys
  • Horseback riders watching giraffe on safari
    Horseback safari moments, Tanzania
  • Riders riding towards giraffe in Tanzania
    Explore the wide open plains of Tanzania on horseback
  • Riders cantering on an airplane track in Tanzania
    Lake Natron trail ride, Tanzania
  • Riders following Masai farmers on a trail riding holiday
    On this riding holiday, you also get to experience the Masai way of life
  • A mess tent ready for lunch in Tanzania
    Mess tent at camp
  • Riders and horses posing with a tortoise
    Tanzania riding holiday and safari
  • Jo and Kaskazi team in Tanzania
    Your guide Jo and her team will make sure you have an unforgettable holiday
  • Riders cantering on an airplane track in Tanzania
    Lake Natron trail ride, Tanzania
  • Horseback riders watching giraffe on safari
    Horseback safari moments, Tanzania

Itinerary

Highlights

- The hauntingly beautiful landscape of the Lake Natron area, with it's vast numbers of flamingoes
- See the only active volcano in Africa - Oldonyo Lengai
- Ride through Maasai villages
- Opportunities for long canters and gallops across open grasslands, perhaps with zebra and wildebeest alongsides
  • Day 1 1: LONDON - ARUSHA - No riding

    Depart the UK on a day flight to Kilimanjaro airport, aiming to arrive in the late afternoon/early evening. Please note that, depending on flight schedules it may be necessary to depart the UK a day earlier and spend a night either in Kenya or Tanzania.

    You will be met on arrival at Kilimanjaro airport and transferred c. 30 minutes to your accommodation for the night. Depending on your arrival time, you will have the chance to rest before dinner with your group.

    NB. Please note that this itinerary is a guide - the actual route will depend on game movements and local conditions but always with your best interests at heart.
  • Day 2 2: ARUSHA TO KASKAZI - 2 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    After breakfast at your lodge, you are transferred to Kaskazi's fly camp which is situated west of Mt Longido and north of N'garuka village - this is a journey of c. 4.5 hours.

    Upon arrival at camp, you will have the chance to settle into your tent before lunch is served. After a safety briefing it is time for your first afternoon ride - this is a short ride and a chance to get used to your horse before returning to camp for dinner.
  • Day 3 3: MAASAI BOMAS - 5-7 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    After breakfast in camp it is time for your first full day on horseback. Today's ride is both scenic and cultural as you ride through Maasai villages (bomas) and encounter herdsmen out grazing their cattle.

    Around midday, stop for lunch under the shade of a tree - lunch may have been carried in your saddle bags or you may be met by the support vehicle.

    After a siesta you re-mount your horse and up the pace in order to cover enough ground to reach your camp before the sun hits the horizon.
  • Day 4 4: GELAI - 5-7 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    Early wakeup call followed by an English breakfast before joining your mount. Directions are northbound for the day, with Gelai Mountain overlooking you from the East. The day’s ride leaves the Masai villages behind and enters the beautiful, almost dreamlike scenery of the Natron region. If you are lucky then you might encounter big herds of
    zebra and wildebeest roaming the wide-open landscape.

    Lunch is taken out in the bush before riding on to the night’s camp.
  • Day 5 5: OLDONYO L'ENGAI - 4-5 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    After breakfast, mount up to explore the areas around the only active volcano in Africa, Oldonyo L'Engai (Mountain of God).

    Late lunch back in camp with time for a siesta. The afternoon is for everyone to relax, allowing riders and horses muscles to rest.
  • Day 6 6: LAKE NATRON - 6-7 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    Today is going to be a long and tough day, covering about 60 km in close to 40 degrees Celsius temperatures.

    With the volcano behind you, enter a riverbed that offers some shade and thereafter cross the open landscape before arriving to the lunch spot. Rest in the shade of some big acacias close to a riverbed, to gain some more energy for the last stretch of the days ride. The night is spent close to the hot springs, overlooking the lake.
  • Day 7 7: HOT SPRINGS - 2 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    After breakfast, a 45 minute walk takes place heading towards the hot springs, near the eastern shores of the soda lake. After the exhausting heat and dust of yesterdays long ride, a rewarding dip adds to the enjoyment of the days adventures.
    Enjoy lunch in the springs and either walk or drive back to camp.

    A late evening ride takes place, enjoying the cooler hours before darkness with good chances of seeing hyenas and jackals searching for food on the mud flats of the lake.
  • Day 8 8: OLDONYO L'ENGAI - 5-6 hours riding

    SAFARI CAMP TANZANIA
    Early morning departure, leaving the dry, desolate and hauntingly beautiful lake behind you and following the familiar riverbed back to the lush, green grassland at the foot of Oldonyo L’Engai. The night is spent in a place now familiar to everyone.
  • Day 9 9: ARUSHA - 3 hours riding

    It's time to say goodbye to the horses and riding team, pack your bags and depart to civilisation.You will ride to the airstrip where you are then transferred by light aircraft back to Arusha. Lunch at the Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge where a room will be also available for a shower and some rest.

    You can depart this evening, or we can book an additional night for you to rest and recover (at additional cost).
  • Day 10 10: LONDON

    Arrival back to the UK in the morning

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included. The domestic flight from Lake Natron to Arusha is included in the price

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a double or twin tent/room.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room/tent there is a single supplement of $560/€500/£445 for the duration of the safari.  

- Groups consist of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 riders, plus guides

- Wildlife Management Fees are not included but will be invoiced - these are USD 960/GBP 775

- Please note that there is a rider weight limit of 85kgs / 187lb / 13.3st

- If guests are travelling with an extra bag that is not needed on the riding portion of their trip (as space is limited in the tents). Arrangements can be made to store extra bags for a fee of $20 per person.

- For those who are not keen horseriders or not confident enough, options for vehicle safaris and walking safaris can be arranged. Their itinerary will be tailored to individual needs andsample itineraries are available upon request  
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
1 backup guide

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 cook
1 assistant cook
1 support vehicle

Inland transports

Internal flight from Lake Natron to Arusha
Airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro Aiport

Accommodation

7 nights mobile camp, 2 per safari tent with on suit bush toilets and hot bucket showers.
1 night in, a private villa 35' from Airport in double room in full board accommodation

Meals

Full board accomodation and locally sourced beverages during safari

Extra

Flying doctor membership for each client (fly out insurance)

Price doesn't include

Meals

Imported wines and spirits, personal extras

Transports

International flights to Kilimanjaro Airport

Extra

Gratuities for the camp team and guides
Wildlife Department and Management area Fees separately invoiced

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend to take out an insurance policy as soon as your travel is booked in case of cancellation.
Visas and personal purchase

Optional

Accommodation

Single tent supplement
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/04/2021 12/04/2021 £5,540 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

Jo has a good selection of horses and polo ponies, a mixture of Thoroughbreds and local breeds. The horses are all purpose trained safari horses. Close to all of them play polo so are western or neck-rein trained (one hand). This allows you to take photos and dig into your saddlebag while out on safari. Only some of them are ridden English style, if this is the case the guide will tell you before you mount your horse. All horses are given lots of love, care and attention, therefore resulting in their nice characters and strong personalities. They all have their own heads with different temperaments, which allows Jo and her team to find a perfect fit for each rider.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a competent rider, capable of standing to the canter and remaining in control in open spaces. There may be requirements to gallop out of danger and so you need to be secure in the saddle and confident at all paces. There are some obstacles and so some jumping ability is preferable, but all jumps are optional.

Please note that there is a rider weight limit of 85kgs.

Pace

There will be long stretches of walk across technical terrain, but there are many opportunities for long trots and canters across the open grasslands, possibly with herds of game. The cooler mornings offer more chances for faster riding, whereas the afternoons are usually shorter and quieter.

Tacking ability and participation

Your horses will be groomed and tacked up for you, but you may be asked to assist with untacking your horse at lunch stops and on arrival in camp in the evenings.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for the long hours in the saddle (up to 7 hours each day) in hot and sometimes humid conditions. This ride is the most challenging of our itineraries in Tanzania and so you should be prepared for the heat and strenuous nature of the ride. The terrain requires your full attention - there may be holes or branches to avoid and you may need to ascend/descend riverbanks or ravines. Sometimes, you may be asked to dismount and lead your horse on foot. 

Riders who do not ride regularly must get riding fit before joining this safari.

You will meet different cultures and mentalities which requires acceptance of these differences and respect for others.

Equestrian equipment

Saddle bags are provided so that you can keep essentials with you during the day.
English or McLellan-like saddles.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit. Helmets are not available to borrow. 

Travel info

Comfort

Permanent Camp/Lodge (1 night): the first night is spent at a lodge situated on a golf, polo and wildlife estate , only 30 minutes drive from the international airport. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom, flush toilet and white fluffy towels. There is WIFI and a swimming pool to be enjoyed and SPA treatments can be organised upon request
 
Mobile camp (7 nights): Each site is carefully chosen. The tents are spacious and each has a bush toilet and a bucket shower. Comfortable bedding and bath towels are provided. 

Meals

Meals are prepared by a professionally trained bush chef.
Breakfast is traditional and includes fresh fruit juice
Lunch is either sandwiches from the saddle bags or a selection of light dishes produced from the support vehicle in a shady spot.
Dinner is three courses and a mixture of local and international dishes with fresh salads and freshly baked bread.

Drinks are included whilst on safari but payable locally at lodges added on at the beginning/end.

Climate

Tanzania has two main seasons - the dry season and the wet season. The dry season is from May to October, when it is unlikely to rain and the daytime temperatures are warm.
There are two rainy seasons: the long rains extend from mid-March to early May, with the majority of the rain in April. Evenings can be cool or even cold.
The short rains are from early November to mid December - during this period the rain is not constant but falls in heavy showers during the day.

The hottest months are December to February.

Around Mount Kilimanjaro there is often snowfall overnight in January and February, and freezing cold nights in July and August.

Guide and local team

All guides are qualified and professionally trained, with good knowledge about Tanzania’s fauna and flora. A keen interest is taken in the smaller creatures as well as bigger game. The cultural visits bring in knowledge of medicinal and traditional beliefs about Tanzania’s trees and plants.

Out on safari the lead guide is either armed or carries a bullwhip and communicate over radios and cellphones, with a mobile station in each vehicle

Tips

Tipping in Tanzania is common and well received when you are happy with the service. We recommend $25-40 per day per day per person (for the whole team), but it is left at your discretion. We suggest tipping your lead guide who can distribute the money amongst all members of the team.

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
- 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 lazy lunchtimes
- 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

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided for easy transportation 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
- Waterbottle to keep in the saddlebags
- Swimsuit - for the Lake Natron ride
- Towel. A camping towel will both dry quicker and pack lighter
- 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

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 (check with your doctor)

Visa & Health

Formalities

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of your visa application.

While still part of Tanzania, Zanzibar and the other islands are administered autonomously; they have their own immigration procedures and you will be asked to show your passport on entry and exit.

All British passport holders and most other nationalities need a tourist or business visa to enter Tanzania. Tanzania has introduced an ‘e-visas’ system through which applications can be submitted and approved online in advance of travel: https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/

It is no longer possible to get a visa from the Tanzanian High Commission in London. American nationals are required to apply for a multiple entry e-visa for all tourism visits to Tanzania; the ordinary single entry e-visa is unavailable for Americans to apply to.

It is also possible to get a tourist or business visa for a single entry on arrival at main ports of entry to Tanzania, subject to the fulfilment of all immigration requirements. You may be asked to provide proof of your return journey. You will not be able to get a multiple entry visa on arrival. For further information about visas visit the Tanzanian immigration website:
https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/entry-requirements

IMPORTANT:
Tanzania has announced that it will ban single-use polythene bags from June 2019 in the war against plastic pollution.

Travellers bringing plastic bags in the country may face heave fines. Please do not try to bring in any plastic bags (including zip lock bags for liquids under 100ml) into the country.

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade de Tanzanie
    7 ter rue de Leonard de Vinci
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.53.70.63.66
    Fax :
    ambtanzanie@wanadoo.fr
  • Ambassade de France en Tanzanie
    Ali Hassan Mwinyi Road
    PO Box 2349
    Dar es Salaam
    Tél. : +255 22 219 88 00
    Fax :
    contact@ambafrance-tz.org
  • Tanzanian High Commission
    3 Stratford Place
    W1C 1AS London
    Tél. : +44 (0) 207 569 1470
    Fax :
    balozi@tanzania-online.gov.uk

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Tanzania except that you will need to have a cholera stamp (to prove you don't have the disease) if you plan to visit Zanzibar. And you need a Yellow Fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country (7 days or less before entering Tanzania) where that disease is widely prevalent. A yellow fever vaccination is often recommended anyway!
The general vaccinations against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) are recommended, as are both Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a Rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Like most African countries south of the Sahara, Malaria is prevalent in the country. 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

230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are mostly UK-style square three-pin, but round three-pin plugs are also in use. Power cuts are common in the rainy season, though most large hotels have back-up generators.

Budget and money

Tanzanian Shilling (TZS; symbol TSh). Notes are in denominations of TSh10,000, 5000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of TSh200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 but these are worth very little and are rarely used. In Kiswahili, it is shilingi and written prices are often denoted with the symbol /=; i.e. 100/= is the same as TSh100.
Credit cards:
Most top-end hotels, safari lodges, airlines and tour operators accept Visa and MasterCard (American Express and Diners Club less so), though a commission of 2-5% is usually charged. Budget hotels and most restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards, and they are rarely accepted for payment outside the main tourist areas.
ATM:
Cash can easily be withdrawn from ATMs using Visa or MasterCard. Any sizeable town has at least one bank with an ATM, and there are ATMs at the larger airports. ATMs generally only dispense notes in increments of TSh 10,000 and these larger notes are often hard for people to change – hoard smaller change whenever possible to pay for taxi fares, snacks, souvenirs and the like.
The import and export of local currency is prohibited, so use up you Shillings before departing.

Telephone and jetlag

Mobile phone roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Tanzania’s many cellular networks cover almost all towns, the urban sections of the coast, Zanzibar and the tourist areas, but not some of the parks and reserves or the southwest of Tanzania away from the towns and the main road. SIM and top-up cards for the pay-as-you-go mobile providers are available just about everywhere; in the towns and cities they often have their own shops, but you can buy cards from roadside vendors anywhere, even in the smallest of settlements.
GMT + 3 hours
Dialling code +255

Did you know?

Did you know?

Lake Natron is a salt and soda lake in northern Tanzania which is characterized by its rich red colouring. The colour of the lake is created during high levels of evaporation - as the water evaporates it leaves behind natron (sodium carbonate decahydrate) and trona (sodium sesquicarbonate dihydrate) creating a highly alkaline solution in which salt-loving micro-organisms thrive. Some of these oganisms include a cyanobacteria which photosynthesises its own food, similar to plants, but rather than the plant's green colouring, it's photosynthesizing pigment is red. This produces deep reds in the open water of the lake and oranges in the shallower parts of the lake.

This salty, hot environment makes most of the lake inhospitable, however, 2.5 million lesser flamingo depend on it. They feed on Spirulina - a blue-green algae with red pigments - which also thrives in alkaline waters. It's the red pigment in this algae that gives the flamingoes their pink colouring.

Lake Natron hosts the largest single flock of these flamingoes in East Africa and you should be lucky enough to see them on this fantastic horseback trail ride in Tanzania.