Experience a horseback riding safari over the western game corridor of Mount Kilimanjaro! You can enjoy the diverse scenery with flora and fauna, from the mountain forest of Kilimanjaro, through the western savannah, reaching Mount Meru and Arusha National Park. In this corridor, African animals roam freely as they may have for thousands of years. This safari covers various terrain and offers breathtaking views, exhilarating canters, and close contact with wildlife.
The maximum participants in the group is 8.
You will stay for 2 nights at Makoa Farm and the remaining 5 nights in fly-camp. Makoa Farm, an intimate small lodge, is located on a lovingly restored old coffee estate. Makoa Farm accommodates you in comfortable, spacious rooms. Most of which feature a spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro.
You will arrive at Makoa Farm, your starting point for the safari. This 358-acre coffee and horse farm is nestled into the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. The house and rooms are situated to take in spectacular views of this impressive mountain, the Africa’s highest peak.
In the afternoon, Makoa Farm's team will introduce you to the horses and help you choose one to match your size and skill. Then, you will be taken on a ride, so you can become familiar with your horse.
You will start the day with an early breakfast and be transferred to Arusha National Park. Arusha National Park encompasses Mount Meru, which is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and the third highest free-standing mountain in Africa. There are dramatic variations in the scenery including open savannahs, dense forests, thick bushes, impressive craters, and many lakes. Furthermore, there are 5 distinct vegetation zones which host a wealth of flora and fauna. Arusha National Park is home to some of the most impressive big games such as leopard, elephant, and buffalo.
You will begin the ride and soon reach the area known as “Little Serengeti” which is open pasture, home to plains game. Afterwards, you will continue your way by passing through various glades and forests with breathtaking scenery. Often enough, spoor and fresh smell will remind you of the close proximity of the forest inhabitants.
You will stop at the Park Resthouse, the original home of the famous "White Huntress", Margarete Trappe, and enjoy your meal somewhere near this historic environment. Afterwards, you will continue towards Mount Meru and just before the sunset, you should arrive at the mobile camp in the middle of the fantastic setting of this impressive mountain.
The fly camp usually consists only of a basic, yet comfortable tent under a beautiful Acacia tree, with toilet tent and classic hot bush showers next to your tent. The stars are visible from your pillow and the night noises of Africa are the background to your sleep. Nothing brings the experience of Africa closer.
Waking to the calls of Colobus monkeys, you will start early and ride through a "fairytale forest" with tree ferns and moss. What you really hope for though, is the chance for a peaceful meeting with a herd of magnificent African elephants. There are many paths with tracks and spoor, giving away the presence of hidden eyes watching you. Look out for the colorful Hartlaub's Turaco with deep red wings, their calls echoing far through the forest.
You will reach a well-known landmark of Arusha National Park, the “Fig Tree Arch”, a natural feature created by assorted animals and birds. The brunch is set at a place overlooking plains and lakes with a bird’s eye view ending only at Mount Kilimanjaro.
Next, you will descend to the thundering waterfall at the base of Mount Meru, where you are guaranteed to meet some buffalo on your way back from your grazing areas. These massive animals can be watched excitingly close whilst they are grazing or resting. Lots to do for your cameras!
Back to the camp, you will change the horses for a vehicle, to visit the Momella lakes a bit further away. The lakes are populated by flamingo and lots of other fowl. Hippos may be seen in close, but within a safe distance.There are also good chances to watch other games near the water edge, such as buffalo, giraffe, and smaller species such as antelope and more.
A long ride in the morning leads you through dry forest and savannah where you look forward to seeing giraffe, buffalo, antelope, and other games. Tanzanian National Parks are not fenced and the animals you encounter might have traveled great distances.
In the late morning, you will cross the border of Arusha National Park. All of a sudden, the landscape changes and you are leaving the green meadows and lush acacia forests, which indicate the presence of underground water behind you.
There will be a short lunch break on the way as you will aim to cover a lot of ground through Masailand, giving a good opportunity for canters. Masai herders appear as colorful dots in the afternoon sun as you pass through a mix of plains and their farmlands.
You will find your camp at a romantic place under yellow-barked acacia and next to a trail that is quite regularly used by elephant. You can enjoy a hot shower and delicious meal and go to sleep with the sounds of the wild.
After rising to an African sunrise for an early breakfast, you will mount your horses and head out further north. Your ride on this day starts crossing perfect terrain for long canters through bush and grasslands. Kori bustards and secretary birds are often seen here stalking their prey. Slowly and carefully, you will approach the wildlife you find along the way, such as lesser kudus, antelopes, gazelles, and a lot of other animals. If you feel up to it, you can canter with zebra and wildebeests. This is a safari the way it was meant to be!
After that, you will go to Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, the wildlife corridor connecting Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park. In the late afternoon, you will reach Mgunga Camp. You will be welcomed with a cold gin and tonic at the end of the day. The private fly camp is set in the shade of an ancient African tree, with stunning views of Mount Meru, now in the far distance.
You can relax with a cool drink and take in the rich colors of the African sunset. Your dinner is prepared on nothing more than a wood fire, served under the stars.Depending on the weather, there might be a mess tent. The camp chef will impress you with her culinary skills, despite the rustic setting. After dinner, you will retire to the campfire and marvel at the enormous night sky before falling asleep to the sounds of the African night.
You will start the day for a long morning ride of game spotting along the small hills. The route and weather will be mostly dictated by the game movements. You are in the heart of the West Kilimanjaro wilderness and many animals use this corridor on their routes between Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, and Amboseli.
In the right seasons, you may find herds of elephants, buffalos, elands, and other games.You may also expect to spot lesser kudus, waterbucks, many other antelopes, and smaller species like warthogs. Predators are frequently heard although they are quite rare during the day.With some luck, you might encounter such games of striped and spotted hyena, cheetah, and leopard.
On this day, you will leave the West Kilimanjaro wilderness. You will ride through a mixture of open grassland and thorn bush savannahs, and explore the riverine forests, the favorite routes of animals when they wander between Kilimanjaro forest and the savannah.
Later, on the fantastic scenery of the montane forests of the Kilimanjaro National Park to the east, appears a lush world of exotic scenery. You will turn east and ride along the forest. The route provides fantastic scenery with endless forests on the left and at the same time, Enduimet in the west. The terrain varies and so will your pace, from slow riding to spot the shy black and white Colobus monkeys to great canters.
You will leave the horses on a farm next to Kilimanjaro forest and drive back to Makoa Farm. Then, you will enjoy the view of Mount Kilimanjaro in its lush environment and watch the bush babies visiting you while you sit on the veranda with a sunset drink.
After a relaxed breakfast, there may be enough time to have look around the farm and learn more about the educational projects. This farm environment is attached to a veterinary clinic and an uncountable number of animals, pet, and tame wild ones, which have often arrived because they became orphaned, injured, or have unwillingly lost their habitat and found themselves stuck between human population.
Those who will not be able to fend for themselves, often due to injuries, get a new home at Makoa Farm and are ambassadors in education. On a weekly basis, various Tanzanian school children come to see, smell, and touch the animals. For most of them, it's an eye-opening experience which encourages them to become passionate about their environment. All the animals are very friendly and welcome a pat or scratch behind the ear.
Or, if you are still up for an adventure and would like to learn more about the life around Mount Kilimanjaro, you might decide for one, or even two more days' riding while circumventing this impressive mountain. On this route, you will ride through Chagga villages, small holding farmland, banana and coffee plantations, and cross scenic valleys.
This is a day which offers wonderful insights into Chagga lifestyle and culture. The Chagga tribe populates the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and successfully farmed long before any explorers reached this spot. The ride goes along with lots of chatting with the local population who take a real interest in the horses and guests.
Depending on how much time you have available, you might load the horses somewhere en route or ride all the way back to Makoa Farm. Later, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to depart for your home.
This safari will take place in Moshi, Arusha National Park, and Mount Meru in Tanzania.
Daily meals, snacks, tea, coffee, and beverages will be served for you.
Please book your flight and arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Makoa Farm will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.
"This was the best place we stayed at during our 2-week trip to Tanzania, and we stayed at some great places. We were made to be a part of the family from the first hour. It felt like all the activities on the farm were focused on the animals and us. After being shown around and introduced to the rescued animals, we simply participated in what was going on there. The horse riding was lovely, and they took a perfect care of our 9 years old daughter who had never ridden before, she is hooked! There were so many activities to do, and the highlights for us were the bat cave in the canyon and Tom, the tortoise on the neighboring farm, and the hike back. Nothing we asked was too much trouble and the service was perfect. We had all of our meals with our hosts, Eli and Laszlo, and the other guests. The food was magnificent, the best we had anywhere in Tanzania! The meal times were very social with lots of entertaining stories and insights. I cannot recommend Makoa Farm highly enough, it will be the first place we go back to on our next trip to Tanzania."
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"We did the South Amboseli ride about 2 weeks ago. The food was wonderful, the company was good and informative, and the staff were very accommodating. We felt very safe, well fed, and welcomed the whole time. I was under the care of Elisabeth, Laslo, and other staff."
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"Beautiful place, amazing people, incredible work, with the happiest and most gorgeous animals. We went on a riding safari and one thing to note is that the horses are certainly not your average boring plodders, but it increased our excitement. Elisabeth and Laszlo couldn't do enough for us and it really was the trip of a lifetime. The food was wow! We went with the hope of toning up prior to a beach break, but the food was exquisite and it was all worth it. We wish Makoa Farm all the best for the future in their work, and you never know maybe one day we'll be lucky enough to come back."
Tripadvisor website, edited