Zambezi Horse Trails

Zambezi Horse Trails

Rider Requirements

Weight Limit

This is your weight in your riding clothes and should include anything else you wish to carry. Our guides will carry your water for you.

Short Experienced Rides: 90 kg
Full Day and Multi Day Experienced Rides: 85kg

To avoid embarrassment be warned that you may be required to step on the scales!

Weight Supplement: An extra charge of 50% is required for riders above our weight limit. This is at the discretion of the company and subject to experience and circumstances. Allowances may be made, only for very experienced riders, or for those who are tall and fit. This will be at our discretion.

Insurance

Although we have MARS (Medial Ambulance and Rescue Service) cover, this only deals with evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility. Beyond this you will need to be covered by your own full Medical/Travel Insurance, of which we ask you provide us with details prior to the start of your ride. Please check whether your insurance covers you for riding without a helmet, should you wish to do so.

Indemnity

All clients are required to sign an indemnity form on arrival at the stables.

Guiding

Qualified, licensed guides lead all rides, and are accompanied by a back up rider. Both are dedicated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

Safety

All guides and back up riders are trained in first aid procedures and emergency situations. Each ride starts with a safety talk, and you will be reminded of details should circumstances require.

Tack

We use mainly Australian Stock saddles, and English saddles are available. All horses go in snaffle bridles.

Horses

We are very proud of our horses! Mostly thoroughbred, some mixed, some Anglo Arabs. Between 14 – 16.2hh. They vary from gentle hacks to my top polocrosse ponies. It depends on you!

Equipment

We have a limited range of half chaps, jodhpurs trousers and shirts available for loan for those of you who arrive unprepared, or without luggage. Please note these are available for emergency purposes and you should bring your own.

Helmets

We strongly advise you to wear one. They are obligatory for novice riders and children. We have a limited range at the stables but these are for loan to clients on half day rides only. If you are doing a multiday ride or booking any ride in advance, you must bring your own. It’s safer.

Groups Sizes

Minimum two on longer rides and maximum of six clients. We prefer to split larger groups.

FURTHER NOTES FOR MULTIDAY HORSE SAFARIS ONLY

Accommodation

In fixed, small private safari camps – usually accommodating 8 to 15 clients. Other non-riding clients may be staying there. Old Ursula and Jafuta may be booked as a private camps.

Meals

Three meals a day, including picnic lunches. Lots of fruit, fresh vegetables and salads. Food is simple, but good. Special diets can be catered for by prior warning.

Length of Rides

Between 4-6 hours in the saddle a day. This includes refreshment breaks and a short 10-minute walk for every 2 hours spent in the saddle, (for the horses back, and your own muscles). Full day rides include picnic lunches with siesta time through the heat of the day.

Terrain

Magnificent and varied terrain, from the shady banks of the Zambezi, to rugged mopane woodland and wide ranging Kalahari sand dunes and teak forests. Riding on the banks of the Zambezi at any water level is an experience itself. All rides start here, moving away after the first morning through other varied terrain. Kalahari sand fire breaks are the best places to gallop.

The rural areas up to Gorges offer the most dramatic and beautiful scenery – rugged and starkly beautiful in the dry season, the experience of seeing black eagles soaring in the gorge below you is unforgettable.

Non Riders

We can accommodate non-riders.

Children

We do accept children but they must be strong competent riders. Please check as there are age limits for some camps. There is no adjustment in price for children.

Single Supplement

There is a single supplement of up to 50%.

Drinks

Locally sourced iced drinks are available; these include beers, soft drinks, spirits, mixers and local or South African wines. If you have a particular favourite do bring it with you as not all camps have full bar facilities. Please let us know as well.

Supporting Baggage

Although there is no weight limit on supporting baggage (which we will transport ahead each day to your destination lodge), do try to bring compact luggage. Excess baggage may be left locked up at your hotel for collection on your return.

Laundry

Laundry can be done daily, if you give it to us in the morning we will have it back with you by the afternoon. There is a small charge per load, but is useful if you are going on to ride elsewhere and would like clean riding clothes when you arrive!

Clients undertaking a longer safari should read the separate clothing list and notes carefully.

Note: 'lost' luggage seems to be a regular feature of air travel these days. It usually catches up with you after a day or two, but even so it might be a good idea to check your luggage on and off different flights yourself. A bore, but this is when your luggage can get lost. Find out the maximum size hand luggage you can carry, and pack your essentials in there, including any medication, basic toiletries, a change of clothing and so forth. Be aware of the size limits on liquids etc in hand luggage - many companies now produce airline approved travel sized ranges which will also be perfect whilst on your safari.

General Information

Please ensure you read the sections on clothing, visas and cash! And please fill in the predeparture form which we will send you when booking your safari. It is important we know your age, height, weight and riding experience, as well as your insurance details, any dietary requirements and allergies as well as drinks preferred.

Medical

A basic medical aid kit is kept in camp, but please bring any required medication including malaria prophylaxis with you, in your hand luggage!

Note: Malaria Advice - avoid taking Larium as a prophylaxis. Although widely recommended, in this area, at this altitude, it has adverse side effects on everyone. These are cumulative and get worse through the trip, or on repeat doses. This can ruin your holiday. We have seen this happen often.

Water

Tap water in town is perfectly drinkable, and of course the water in camps is pumped from their own wells. However bottled water is widely available too.

Seasons

Basically we have a hot dry season, a hot wet season and winter. During the rains, any time from mid November –early March, it can still be very hot, with clear skies as well. When it does rain, even when the rain is torrential, it is never cold, and often is hot and dry shortly after, so your rain wear must be good, but lightweight and easy to carry. Bring a fleece for the evenings and early mornings in case it’s cool. February can be very wet indeed. The bush is now thick as well. March is drying off, and although the bush is thick and green it is a lovely time of the year. By April it may be cooling off slightly in the evenings, but still hot during the day – bring layers again. May’s much the same, but can be cooler. One of the nicest months to ride in. June-July should be the coldest months – very cold at night and in the early mornings, on vlei areas there may even be frost in July, but going up to about 26 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit) in the day. So layers you can remove are best. August gets a bit warmer to quite hot but with cool breezes. Weather’s dry. Still cool at night. September-October, early November - hotter still, these are the hot dry months that we have before the rains start. You might need a fleece so bring one, but mostly dress for hot weather, and strong sun. In October the temperatures s can get very high indeed. The bush is starkly beautiful, green only around the banks of rivers, with Brachystegia spp, mahogany and others coming into leaf. This season a favourite time for many, but remember October is very hot and dry.

Sun screen is essential at all times of year - the higher the better.

Interested in riding with us? Contact us for more information.