Zambezi Horse Trails is a small owner run company which has been conducting safaris on horseback since 1988. The horses are all selected and trained by the owner, Alison Baker, who takes great care in matching horse to rider, whatever your experience level. Zambezi Horse Trails’ highly experienced, licensed guides have extensive knowledge of, and interest in the flora and fauna of the area.
Born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Alison cannot remember a time when she did not ride. She has always produced and schooled her own horses, competing successfully in show jumping, cross country and eventing from the age of 5. Her preferred sport is polocrosse, which she still plays whenever she can.
Alison’s childhood was spent running wild through the African bush both on foot and—mostly—on horseback, either on her own horses or through the Matobo National Park on National Parks ponies. It was on these short rides conducted by the Department of National Parks, and through riding staff horses at National Parks stations when she worked for the Department, that Alison developed her idea of running a commercial horse safari operation.
She first started in 1986, working from Sekumi Tree Lodge, with 6 horses, operating from there, then moved onto Main Camp (Hwange National Park). Zambezi Horse Trails was started by Alison in 1988, operating from the same place it is in today. Alison personally supervises the whole operation—from selecting and schooling horses for any for private owners, to training guides, and monitoring all rides. Her knowledge of this ecosystem is extensive, born of her love of her horses, and daily rides through this area with its diversity of flora and fauna, and fascinating geology, which she can never get tired of seeing and studying.
Josia hails from Tjolotjo, and grew up in Bulawayo. Starting as a child, helping around the yard, Josia worked for well-known horseman and polocrosse player Ted Wilmot, for many years. He was responsible for horses on numerous national and international tours throughout Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Josia joined Zambezi Horse Trails in 1998. Here he is able to develop and further his interest in all species of animals, their behaviour and their relation to their environment. His knowledge and interests are wide ranging and varied.
Josia’s dedication to the animals in his care is proverbial. His ability to read an animals health and mood is invaluable, both in the yard, and out on safari.
Born in Binga, on the banks of Lake Kariba, Joseph has been with us since 1992. He started off as a general hand, then worked in all aspects of the business, as a groom, a scout, and a polocrosse groom.
He then decided he preferred mechanical horses and trained as a driver. A quite and reserved soul, Joseph is nevertheless an invaluable member of the team, working beyond the call of duty.
"Must do activity if you love horses. We had an absolutely fabulous time out with Zambezi Horse Safaris. As others point out, the horses are in top condition - a long way from the pony trek donkeys you can find in so many places. Alison takes time to match horses to rider, and in fact even organised for my partner and I to go out separately from a larger group of novice Italians so that we could have a ride tailored to our experience. This is almost unheard of amongst operators in the region, who will usually bundle everyone together to maximise profits. We saw giraffe, zebra, buffalo, warthogs and a whole host of bucks as well as a myriad of birds in utterly stunning surroundings. Wonder, our guide, was full of information and kept us entertained the whole way." Rah_Rah_Hocke, TripAdvisor, January 2018