Watching elephants on horseback on a riding safari in Namibia, Damaraland

Damaraland Expedition

This adventurous horse riding trail journeys through the mountainous and mineral landscapes of Damaraland, where oryx, elephant and black rhino still live in their natural habitat. Experience this remote and wild landscape on horseback before finishing your trail with an exhilarating gallop along the spectacular Skeleton Coast.
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Trail Riding
13 days / 8 riding
From £5,800
  • Riders crossing Damaraland on a horseback expedition, Namibia
    Damaraland silhouettes
  • Riding in the Desert with the Namibia Horse Safari Company
    Enjoy unrestricted riding in Namibia
  • Riders crossing a canyon in Damaraland, Namibia
    An adventurous trail ride in Damaraland, Namibia
  • Trail riding on horseback in Damaraland in Namibia
    Journey on horseback through the mountainous and mineral landscapes of Damaraland
  • Namibia horse safari company, camp set up at night on safari
    Camp is set up in magical, remote locations
  • Horse and rider standing in a field of dry grass with mountains in the distance, Namibia
    Discover the ever-changing scenery of Damaraland in the saddle
  • Riding camp set up in Damaraland, Namibia, during a horse safari
    This is a camping trail for adventurous trail riders
  • Watching elephants in the saddle in Namibia
    Discover the endemic flora and fauna of Damaraland, which includes elephant
  • Watching elephant in the saddle during an equestrian holiday in Namibia
    A riding safari in Namibia
  • Group of riders on a sunset ride in Namibia
    Horseback adventures, Namibia
  • View from the lodge on this horseback safari
    The first and last nights are spent at a lodge on this riding holiday



- Discover the endemic flora and fauna of Damaraland, which includes desert adapted oryx, elephant and black rhino
- Dramatic landscapes, geological formations and rock engravings
- Opportunities to gallop on the beaches of the Skeleton Coast
- Occasional flooding of dry riverbeds can add excitement to this itinerary!
- Optional flight over the desert of Namib and dunes of Sossusvlei for unforgettable memories
  • Day 1 1 : LONDON - WINDHOEK

    International flight overnight to Windhoek - it is likely that you have to fly via Johannesburg or a European city as there are no direct flights to Namibia from the UK.

    Flights are not included but we can assist you on request.
  • Day 2 2 : WINDHOEK

    River Crossing lodge
    You will be met on arrival at Windhoek’s International airport and transferred to River Crossing Lodge with its impressive view over Windhoek. Meet the rest of your riding group at dinner where a representative will brief you about what to expect on the adventure ahead.

    Please note that your flight should preferably arrive by 17.00 at the latest for you to be on time for your transfer at 17.30

    Namib camp
    After an early breakfast you journey north (about a 7 hour transfer including lunch stop) through some spectacular Namibian landscapes. You will have the opportunity to visit the Twyfelfontein rock engravings. On arrival at camp you will meet the horses and crew and enjoy a sundowner in this dramatic setting.
  • Day 4 4 : TWYFELFONTEIN - 5-6 hours riding

    Namib camp
    Morning ride in the Aba Huab watershed, where good going invites a few brisk canters, allowing you to get more acquainted with your horse. You ride amongst impressively stacked granite formations reminiscent of some giants’ abandoned Lego game. After lunch you will have the opportunity to finally enjoy sundowners with a panoramic view of this wild magnificence.
  • Day 5 5 : ABA HUAB RIVER - 6-7 hours riding

    Namib camp
    With the rising sun at your backs, you begin your westward journey riding past fascinating rock formations formed by the lava flows of ancient volcanic activity. Here you have a good chance of seeing several desert adapted game such as Springbok, Ostrich and Oryx. Occasionally you follow dry river courses dotted with Mopani trees where you might chance upon the majestic but shy Kudu. After a light lunch under some shady trees, the afternoon ride takes you over undulating terrain to the overnight campsite above the Huab River.
  • Day 6 6 : VIEW POINT - 5-6 hours riding

    Namib camp
    Ride down the dry watercourse of the Ugab river with its enormous and wonderfully shady ‘Ana’ trees, the pods of which are a favorite food of the desert-adapted Elephants. Then ride along gently undulating grassy plains to the lunch spot at a ‘marking tree’ much favored by Cheetah. The afternoon ride offers some exceptional vistas as you climb up towards your overnight camp at the aptly named View Point. From this promontory the dramatically pink hues of the Brandberg (Burning Mountain) Namibia’s highest mountain, stands out in a truly impressive landscape.
  • Day 7 7 : RHINO TRACKERS'CAMP - 6 hours riding

    Namib camp
    Turning south-west now, you ride towards the winding Ugab River system with its impressive remnants of ancient erosion-exposed rock formations. Wide-open spaces allow for some wonderfully long canters before passing through the narrow gorge at Soutfontein (Salt Spring). Finally you arrive at the Save the Rhino Campsite on the west of the Brandberg. This community run campsite collects funds for the benefit of Save the Rhino Project founded to protect Namibia’s Rhinos which are poached for their horn. The information centre is well worth a visit.
  • Day 8 8 : ROCKWALLS CAMP - 6-7 hours riding

    Namib camp
    Threading your way through hummocks of spectacularly green Kori bush (Salvadora) on the banks of the Ugab you reach Brakwasser, yet another of the many brackish springs which sustain life in this hauntingly rugged wilderness. Leaving the watercourse of the Ugab River after lunch you ride up a large gorge formed by impressive ‘folded rock’ formations providing excellent color contrasts. Tonight your spectacular campsite is located in a wonderfully sheltered spot, a good respite from a day of vivid contrasts.
  • Day 9 9 : SKELETON CAMP - 5-6 hours riding

    Namib camp
    Having left the Ugab tributary you now cross the vastness of open plains with striking views of the dramatic backdrop of the Brandberg. The terrain again allows for some marvellous canters to the lunch spot. This afternoons’ ride provides the quintessential image of Namib vastness – wide stony plains gently falling towards the forbidding Skeleton Coast. You overnight in the aptly named Skeleton Camp.
  • Day 10 10 : MESSUM CALDERA - 6 hours riding

    Namib camp
    Today you ride towards the dramatic Messum Caldera, the eroded remains of a massive collapsed volcano rising out of a spectacularly flat surround. This landscape is dominated by many such intrusions which form prominent Inselbergs (island mountains) of which the Brandberg is one. Tonight's camp, which offers a most spectacular panorama, is at the foot of one such intrusion.
  • Day 11 11 : SKELETON COAST - 4 hours riding

    Cape cross lodge
    Your last ride finally takes you to the ocean - the spectacularly formidable Skeleton Coast, apparently so called for the wrecked hulks of stranded ships which dot this coast. The cold, upwelling Benquela Current results in some diverse weather conditions from hot desert easterlies to cold south Atlantic westerlies – this is truly a place of extremes. This afternoon’s excursion is to the Cape Fur Seal colony at Cape Cross and you overnight at the very comfortable Cape Cross Lodge, enjoying your last memorable dinner together.
  • Day 12 12 : WINDHOEK

    After breakfast the transfer departs promptly for Windhoek (a 6 hour drive) in time for flights departing after 15:00.

    If you flight departs earlier than this then you may wish to spend a night in Windhoek or you may choose to extend your stay in the charming coastal town of Swakopmund (at exra cost).
  • Day 13 13 : WINDHOEK - LONDON

    Arrival back in London.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.     

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

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 international riders and a maximum of 12 riders, plus guides. 

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room/tent with another guest of the same sex (guests usually sleep under the stars without requiring a tent). To guarantee your own room at the two lodges on arrival/departure there is a single supplement of £200/€230/$250 in 2024, or £220/€255/$280 in 2025.

- Transfers to and from Windhoek airport are included.

- There is a weight limit of 92kgs and riders who weigh over 85kgs may have to pay a supplement for a second horse of £850/€985/$1075 in 2024 and 2025.
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 cook
1 support vehicle
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland transports

Support vehicule for luggage, horses, camping equipment
Airport transfers from Windhoek


2 dome tents, with camp beds and a canvas bag containing sleeping mat, duvet and pillow


Full board including drinks on the trail

Price doesn't include


Beverages in the lodge and personal extra


International flights


Tips to local team


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



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


Additional horse supplementary charge for riders over 85 kg/ 187lbs / 13st 3lbs
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    23/07/2024 04/08/2024 £5,800 €6,670 $7,192
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    03/09/2024 15/09/2024 £5,800 €6,670 $7,192
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    29/07/2025 10/08/2025 £6,200 €7,130 $7,688
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    09/09/2025 21/09/2025 £6,200 €7,130 $7,688

Equestrian info


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: riders weighting over 85 kilos / 14 stones please are accepted, but will have to pay an additional fee as two horses will be used to keep them in top-notch condition.

Guide & 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.

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


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


Except for the first and last nights (at a lodge), 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 sleeping bag 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!


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.


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.


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

Although this is a camping expedition, all bedding is supplied. If you feel the cold then we recommend taking a sleeping bag liner, as nights in the desert can drop below zero. Please make sure to keep your packing to a minimum (see below).

- 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 (essential)

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

- 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

- 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

Other useful items
- Towel (not provided)
- Swimsuit
- 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

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)

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!

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The black rhino's of Namibia have adapted to survive in the desert and the population are unique for many reasons. Normally rhino drink every day, but the rhino in north-western Namibia can go three or four days without drinking. They are also able to digest highly toxic desert plants, such as the Euphorbia damarana - a succulent plant which is deadly to humans - which means that when there has been no rain for months and all other plant species have died, they are still able to survive. They can tolerate temperatures below zero at night and up to 40c or higher during the day and can cover large distances in search of food and water, having home ranges of up to 500-600km2.

If you are lucky you may see one of these prehistoric looking mammals whilst on a riding safari in the Damaraland.