Multiple riders crossing a desert in Namibia

Skeleton Damara Safari

This ten-night safari in Namibia is an exploratory-style trail ride. On incredibly fit horses, you will set off from the Skeleton Coast, into remote western Damaraland before you finally make your way back to the Atlantic Coast. This is a riding expedition for fit, experienced riders looking for an adventure off-the-beaten track, with the opportunity for exhilarating gallops along the way.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
12 days / 8 riding
From £5,350

From the horse’s mouth

  • Skeleton Damara Safari
    March 2023 Affrica Blaze aged 29
    my horse 'sahara' was an angel. I lost my stirrups on more than one complex gallop and she was rock solid - responsive if wanted to slow down or otherwise just very reliable... all without being like riding a robot :)
  • Riders galloping in a desert in Namibia
    You'll have the opportunity for fast riding across desert landscapes
  • Multiple riders crossing a desert in Namibia
    This ride is ideal for riders looking for an adventure off-the-beaten track!
  • People setting up camp in a desert in Namibia
    Most nights are spent camping in two man dome tents with camp beds
  • Horses drinking water from a puddle in Namibia
    In this ride, the horses are mostly crossbreeds from a variety of stock
  • Landscape of Namibia
    The immensity of the Namibian deserts
  • Riders walking along the Damaraland
    The unique landscape of Damaraland!
  • Riders on a trail in a Namiobian desert
    Discover the incredible geology of the Skeleton Coast and Damaraland !
  • Riders relishing the view of the setting in Namibia
    The horses are generally small in body size to cope with the dry and mountainous environments
  • Riders on a beautiful desert-like scenery in Namibia
    Enjoy this expedition on horseback in Namibia!
  • A desert in Namibia
    This horse safari in Namibia is suitable for experienced riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Opportunities for fast riding across desert landscapes
- Discover the incredible geology of the Skeleton Coast and Damaraland
- Ride off-the-beaten track across challenging terrain: this is adventure at its finest!
- Enjoy riding fast, forward-going horses that are cared for to exceptional standards
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - WINDHOEK

    International flight overnight to Windhoek (flights are not included but we can assist with this on request). This is usually an overnight flight, and dates are set so you should arrive in Windhoek tomorrow (day 2).
  • Day 2 2 : WINDHOEK

    You will be met at Windhoek International Airport where you will join up with the rest of your riding group. Make sure to book a flight that arrives today in the afternoon or earlier, on time for the pre-dinner briefing.

  • Day 3 3 : WINDHOEK - SKELETON COAST - 2-3 hours riding

    Namib camp
    You will depart Windhoek to your camp on the Skeleton Coast with lunch in Swakopmund en route. On your way to camp, you will stop for a visit to the lichen field and a shipwreck.

    You will meet the horses and logistics team at camp and go on your very first ride this afternoon - a short afternoon ride to get to know the horses and riding style.

  • Day 4 4 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 5 5 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 6 6 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    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 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 8 8 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 9 9 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Namib camp
    This is an "exploratory-like" ride, where the riding is determined by local conditions and the route is not completely set, hence why there is no detailed programme. You can ride for up to 8 hours a day and cover long distances, so you must be fit and prepared for anything!

    There is an easy rhythm to camp life with memorable evenings around the campfire, making new friends, sleeping under the stars. This is a little bit of Heaven on Earth. From the Ugab River to Leeuwkop (lions head) in this landscape of undulating, multicoloured and interesting geology. Some of the best going anywhere on the planet - so expect lots of fast riding! Descent into the lower reaches of the Ugab river before reaching the lichen-covered coastal plains of the Skeleton Coast.
  • Day 10 10 : SKELETON COAST - 6-8 hours riding

    Your last day in the saddle before reaching the luxury beach house where you'll spend the night.
  • Day 11 11 : WINDHOEK & DEPARTURE

    Transfer to Windhoek International Airport for flights after 15:00.
  • Day 12 12 : ARRIVE HOME

    Arrival back home.

Dates & prices

Price details

note- Flights to your destination (Windhoek) 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. Most people however choose to sleep under the stars.

- 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. To guarantee your own room (at the two lodges) 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
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 assistant cook

Inland transports

Airport transfers
12 person minibus

Accommodation

3-man dome tents (2 riders per tent) with camp beds and swags included.
Double room in a guesthouse or lodge on other days

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

Extras

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 at the lodge

Logistics

Additional horse supplement for anyone weighing over 85 kg
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    13/03/2024 24/03/2024 £5,800
    £5,350
    €6,670
    €6,153
    $7,192
    $6,634
    Open
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    15/10/2024 26/10/2024 £5,800 €6,670 $7,192
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    05/11/2024 16/11/2024 £5,800 €6,670 $7,192
    Full
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    19/03/2025 30/03/2025 £6,200 €7,130 $7,688
    Open
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    22/10/2025 02/11/2025 £6,200 €7,130 $7,688
    Open
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    12/11/2025 23/11/2025 £6,200 €7,130 $7,688
    Open
    Book now

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.

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 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 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 must get riding 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 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!

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.

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

Although this is a camping expedition, all bedding and towels are 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).

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 (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

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

Other useful items
- 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.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Affrica Blaze aged 29 LONDON 3 trips
    March 2023
    my horse 'sahara' was an angel. I lost my stirrups on more than one complex gallop and she was rock solid - responsive if wanted to slow down or otherwise just very reliable... all without being like riding a robot :)
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide