Namibia

Okapuka safari

A riding safari on beautiful Arabian horses within a private game reserve north of Windhoek. Venture into the mountains or across the savannah searching for rhino, giraffe, zebra or even the rare sable antelope on the back of a beautiful Arabian horse. This riding safari is also ideal for families or non-riding partners who can join any of the normal safari activities on offer at the lodge.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Horseback Safari
10 days / 7 days riding
From £2,060
Family holidays
from 12 y.o
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Good game viewing including rhino, giraffe, eland, kudu and the rare sable antelope.
- No dangerous game such as elephant or lion to restrict your riding
- Small groups of riders (no more than 6 plus guides)
- Comfortable lodge accommodation
- Non-riders are welcome and can join any of the activities offered by the lodge
- Malaria free private game reserve
  • Day 1 1: EUROPE - WINDHOEK - No riding

    Fly from Europe to Windhoek. There are no direct flights from the UK to Namibia and so it is likely that you will fly via Johannesburg.

    Please note flights are not included and can be booked on request.
  • Day 2 2: WINDHOEK - OKAPUKA - 1-2 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    You will be met on arrival at Windhoek airport and transferred to the lodge, about 45 mins north of Windhoek. If you arrive early enough then there is time for a short afternoon ride to get to know your horse and explore the bush. Your first evening at the lodge where you can enjoy an aperitif and a delicious meal, before a restful night in preparation for your first full day in the saddle.

    The following programme is only given for indicative purposes. It may vary depending on weather conditions, seasons, etc.
  • Day 3 3: OKAPUKA - 4 to 5 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    After an early breakfast, head to the stables for your first full morning ride. Head out across the savannah in search of plains game such as giraffe, zebra, various antelope and rhino.

    Return to the lodge for lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing by the swimming pool or perhaps explore the reserve on foot (there are two self-guided hiking trails).

    Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
  • Day 4 4: OKAPUKA - 5 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    Set off on a picnic ride, with c. 3 hours riding in the morning and a further c. 2 hours in the afternoon. Follow game trails and canter along dry riverbeds - you should be feeling quite comfortable on your horse by now and ready for some faster riding.

    After a relaxing picnic lunch in the shade, return to the lodge in the afternoon for dinner.
  • Day 5 5: OKAPUKA - 4-5 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    After breakfast head out for a day of great game viewing where you can see the animals that inhabit the reserve. After a morning in the saddle, return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta. As the sun starts to lower, you will set out into the bush by vehicle and head out to a beautiful spot where, with an aperitif in hand, you can watch the spectacular sun set.
  • Day 6 6: OKAPUKA - 4 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    This morning, you will discover another part of the reserve. Ride on the plains in search of game such as ostrich and eland before heading back to the lodge for lunch.

    The afternoon is free to relax or swim in the pool. If you are feeling active then you could go hiking or request a short afternoon ride.
  • Day 7 7: OKAPUKA - 5 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    A full day ride is on offer today, you will reach the summit of the highest mountain in the reserve. The terrain is rugged and so the riding is slower and it can be harder to spot the game amongst the rocks, but the scenery is spectacular and the views make it all worth it. A beautiful spot for a picnic lunch and a siesta to complete a splendid morning in the saddle.

    Descend through the unexplored valleys and back to the lodge in the afternoon in time for a cool drink before dinner.
  • Day 8 8: OKAPUKA - 5 hours riding

    Okapuka Lodge
    A late breakfast this morning before hopping on board to enjoy your last full day in the saddle. A new area to explore, looking for game and racing along the dried out riverbeds. One last lunch in the bush, before returning back to the lodge where you can make the most of the long, sandy canter tracks.

    A farewell dinner at the lodge.
  • Day 9 9: OKAPUKA - WINDHOEK - 1-2 hours riding

    If your flight departs after midday then there will be time for a short ride this morning. You will then be transferred to the airport in time for your flight home. Please note that if your flight departs in the afternoon then you may need to vacate your room at the lodge, but you can still use the communal facilities.

    Alternatively you may like to extend your stay with a Mountain trail (3 days / 2 nights - on request only)

    International flights are not included but can be booked for you on request.
  • Day 10 10: EUROPE

    Arrive back into Europe in the morning.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights are not included

- Groups are made up of 1 to 6 international riders, plus guides.

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

- There is a single supplement payable for anyone in a single room. This is c. €315/£270 for the week in 2020. If you sign up as a single rider, this will be invoiced and reimbursed as soon as a sharer is found for you.

- Dates are flexible and you can arrive on any day. This holiday will confirm for one person and all departures are guaranteed.

- There is a rider weight limit of 85kgs. It is possible to join the ride if you weigh slightly more than this, but there is a supplement payable of c. €500/£425 for a second horse. Please enquire if you weigh more than 85kgs.

- Airport transfers:
> €200/£170 from Windhoek Kutako Airport, return per vehicle (4 riders max)
> €110/£95 from Windhoek city, return per vehicle (4 riders max)

- Non-riders are welcome and will be offered the usual safari game drives and walks at a discounted rate of €1813/£1540 in 2020.

- Children discount (children -12 yo sharing with their parents): -15% (sharing room with parents, children menu at dinner time)
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

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle

Accommodation

Double room in lodge based on Stable Room.

Meals

Full board from first dinner to last breakfast

Price doesn't include

Meals

Bar drinks (other than water/wine with meals)
Lunch on D9

Transports

International flights

Extra

Tips to local team

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 room supplement

Transport

Airport transfers from/to Windhoek: per vehicle with 6 passengers maximum

Logistic

Extra horse supplement for anyone weighing over 85 kg
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    29/05/2020 07/06/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    05/06/2020 14/06/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/07/2020 19/07/2020 £2,370
    £2,060
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/07/2020 26/07/2020 £2,370
    £2,060
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/07/2020 02/08/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    31/07/2020 09/08/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    07/08/2020 16/08/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    14/08/2020 23/08/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/08/2020 06/09/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/09/2020 13/09/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/09/2020 20/09/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/09/2020 27/09/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/09/2020 04/10/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    02/10/2020 11/10/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/10/2020 01/11/2020 £2,370 Full
    30/10/2020 08/11/2020 £2,370 Full
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/11/2020 15/11/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/11/2020 22/11/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/11/2020 29/11/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/11/2020 06/12/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    04/12/2020 13/12/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/12/2020 20/12/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/12/2020 27/12/2020 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/12/2020 03/01/2021 £2,370 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

There are 24 pure bred Arabian horses and 4 Arabian crosses. Many are home-bred or have been imported and some compete in endurance competitions.

You ride in lightweight endurance saddles (Leon Liversage) which are comfortable for horse and rider. They have a sheepskin cover and saddle bags. Most horses are ridden in snaffles but some are ridden in a rope halter.

There is a rider weight limit of 85kg.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a capable rider who is confident on a fit and forward going Arabian horse.

There is a rider weight limit of 85kg/13,4 stones for safari rides, 80 kg/12,6 stones for endurance rides. If you weigh more than this please contact us for availability, and please remember there will be a supplement to guarantee another horse.

Pace

The pace is varied to include walk when viewing game as well as some long trots and canters. These are Arabian horses and many are trained for endurance, so the canters can be long.

Tacking ability and participation

You are expected to groom and tack up your own horse, and to help un-tack and wash down after riding.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

The horses are all Arabians and so you need to be a confident and experienced rider, capable of handling a fit horse. The weather can be hot and dry with an intense sun, so you need to be fit for long hours in the saddle.

Equestrian equipment

Saddles bags are provided so that you can carry water bottles and your personal equipment (camera, suncream etc) during the day.
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

You stay at the lodge in either Park or Stable rooms.
The thatched Park rooms overlook the riverbed or have a view over the savannah. They have a fan and there is a supplement to stay in these rooms.
The Stable rooms overlook the sandy paddocks where the horses rest. They have en-suite shower rooms and are spacious but less luxurious than the Park rooms.

Meals

Meals are usually eaten at the lodge, although there are occasional picnics on full day rides. The lodge restaurant specialises in game dishes based on Namibian and European cuisine. There is an extensive wine list which includes many top South African wines. All meals are included but drinks are payable locally so that you can choose from the bar.

Climate

The summer (October - March) can be hot, with temperatures reaching 40c on particularly hot days. The winter (May-Sept) offers pleasant temperatures during the day (15-22c) but the nights can be cool (as low as zero).
Namibia is a dry country so there are few days of rain, but if it does rain then it is usually during the hot, summer months when it is quite welcome!

Guide and local team

You are usually guided by your host Ingeborg or her neice Sacha. Both are experienced endurance riders and guides.

Tips

Tips are welcome but not expected. We recommend c. USD 10 per person per day, but you should give what you feel comfortable with. We recommend giving the tips to your guide who can distribute them amongst all of the staff members.

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

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

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)

Our Recommendations
- 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!
- Evenings are nice and relaxed, and long sleeves and light trousers are recommended to avoid mosquitoes!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance details with you.

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

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.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-updated-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry

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?

It is also possible to join an endurance ride from Okapuka, on board one of their fit endurance horses. There are usually 5 endurance rides each year which are within a four hour drive of the stables and which you can enter. You don't need any previous endurance riding experience, but you do need to be a fit and competent rider.

In the run-up to the race you will receive training from your hosts and will learn how to monitor your horse during the race and what to do at the vet gates etc. On the race day you will be accompanied by one of your hosts throughout and they will set the pace and offer guidance during the competition. The distance that you race over will be decided by your hosts after having monitored your fitness and ability, and it has been known for guests to win their classes!

Dates for the following season are usually set in November so please do contact us for more information. There are limited places on each ride due to the logistics of travelling the horses and assisting you throughout and so early booking is recommended.