Namibia Namibia: (IT-NASR01)
A one-hour drive from Windhoek, located in a richly varied landscape with one of the best stocked private game reserves in Namibia, you will ride on endless trails covering an area of 100,000 acres. For many years a German colony, Namibia is now independent, politically stable and reputed as the safest country in Southern Africa. For riding enthusiasts in particular the country is irresistible!
Overnights are at the luxurious Okapuka Lodge, in comfortable thatched bungalows with wonderful views of the Okapuka river bed or in one of the rooms near the stables. The restaurant offers just the right mixture of a tranquil relaxed atmosphere with friendly, high quality service. Just what you'll need after a long day in the saddle. The restaurant is reputed to be one of the best in Namibia and has an extensive à la carte menu which combines fresh, local produce with African and European cuisine.
Okapuka is a malaria-free private game reserve of 14,000
hectares. On the safaris you will be accompanied by an experienced guide
(also successful endurance rider) and you will ride beautiful Arabian
horses through a very varied landscape always on the lookout for game
and enjoying the stunning scenery.
We have riding rights throughout the neighbouring farms which makes the total area 35,000 hectares and the possibilities almost unlimited. You will feel part of this fascinating surrounding; an unforgettable experience! The wildlife is outstanding for its variety and quantity. Great effort is put into maintaining Okapuka as one of the best stocked private game reserves in Namibia. The rides will have you explore the different habitats of the game and the diverse topography. During your stay you are likely to see white rhino, giraffe, eland, blesbok, gemsbok, kudu, black and blueOkapuka Horse Safaris Namibia Homepage wildebeest, red hartebeest, waterbuck, steenbok, duiker, ostrich, impala, springbok, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, mountain and plains zebra and the rare sable antelope. Sightings of cheetah, leopard and brown hyena do happen, but you need to be lucky.
The terrain is a combination of savannah and rocky mountains up to 2,000m. Some of our rides are designed to explore the mountainous trails where the views are stunning yet the game is scarce and difficult to spot. Other rides, mainly along game trails on savannah plains will bring you in close contact with the game.
All trails are designed to provide you with as much variation as possible and are focused on quality riding. During a week’s stay you will ride an average of 4 hours per day. The riding can be fairly intensive and you are welcome to take either a morning, afternoon or day off “out of the saddle” to enjoy the other activities or just recuperate by the pool. It goes without saying that our trails are for experience riders only.
The Stable Rooms (standard option) overlook the sandy horse paddocks where the horses munch their hay and play around. The thatched Park Rooms (upgrade option) overlook the river bed of the Otjihavera or have a view over the savannah. Both Park and Stable Rooms are spacious and have en-suite bathrooms (shower, toilet and wash basin), security safe, coffee and tea making facilities, and a terrace. The Park Rooms are additionally equipped with a mini-bar, fan and telephone.
The restaurant specializes in game dishes based on Namibian and European cuisine. Special diets are available on request. The wine list is extensive boasting top quality South African and Namibia wines. The dining and bar area overlook the lawn and waterhole; this drinking spot for the game is frequented during the late afternoons and evenings by many different species.
Lodge amenities for your enjoyment:
• Swimming pool
• Hiking trails
• Game drives
• Lion feeding
• Tennis court
• Internet facilities
• Souvenir shop
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Riders should be experienced and secure in all gaits! No novice riders are allowed here! They can accept non-riders; jeep game safaris will be substituted for the riding safaris! Riders must not weigh more than 90 kilos / 200 pounds. Maximum number of riders in safari group is 6. Minimum age of 10 years old.
The horses are our greatest and most important assets. They are schooled in all
aspects of trail riding and chosen for their stamina,
endurance, well being and amiable character. There are 25 pure-bred Arabian horses and 5 Arabian crosses. Tough and willing these horses are very rarely sick, sorry or unsound. Some of the horses were bought in Namibia or were born at the lodge, whereas others were imported from South Africa, Europe and the United States. A number of the horses
not only compete successfully in national and international endurance
rides, but also have achieved excellent results in the show ring. At
the stables the horses live in large sandy paddocks. On a regular basis
they go on holiday in a 1,500 hectare camp where they can graze, play
and be 'wild' horses again. This keeps their minds and spirit alive; they are willing to work and a pleasure to ride. All effort is made to ensure the right combination between horse and rider.
The tack is new and hand-made and specially designed for long hours in the saddle. It is based on both the South African and Australian stock saddles. The horses are ridden in snaffle bridles on a loose rein.
Even though the riding style is English some of them are trained in Western Pleasure.
Host and Guides
The team consists of the grooms Pontianus and Venantius and the guides Sacha and Ingeborg. The love for Arabian horses started when Ingeborg was still a youngster. During one of her dressage competitions as a child she fell in love with a gorgeous white Arabian horse performing some magnificent dressage steps and promised herself “Later, when I’m all grown up I want to have an Arabian horse.” Now, years later she is the proud owner of a herd of 32 Arabian horses! Dreams can come true. Not only does Ingeborg breed her own horses, but she’s also a keen endurance rider taking many of her horses to national and international competitions. Her niece Sacha ‘inherited’ Ingeborg’s passion for Arabian horses and endurance riding and is now riding at international level. Over the years Sacha and Ingeborg have developed customer loyalty with many guests returning year after year.
The safari trails are designed to provide you with as much variation and
choice as possible. The goal is to ensure that you ride in some of the
most spectacular landscape this planet has to offer and come into very
close contact with the game. You can ride more or less anywhere with few
restrictions. Most of the trails follow natural paths created over
hundreds of years by the local wildlife. As such, a trip to this
enchanting country is a unique experience for adventurous visitors.
Endurance Ride Options
A number of the Arabians are competing successfully in endurance in Namibia. The opportunity exists for you to compete in an endurance ride. You will be accompanied throughout the ride by an experienced endurance rider who will set the pace. Your stay will be a combination of game watching from horseback, training and the actual endurance ride. Two horses are assigned to you - one for the endurance ride and the other for safari rides. These rides are open to guests – but the distance entered will be at the discretion of the guide.
• Game drives
• Sunset drives
• Mountain drives
• Lion feeding
• Hiking trails
• Windhoek tour
Your Horseback Safari Package:
Includes: 8 days / 7 nights full board from lunch on the day you arrive to breakfast on the day you depart, accommodation based on a double room sharing, 6 days riding accompanied by an experienced guide, 2 visits to the lions, use of swimming pool, tennis court (bring own racket and balls), sauna and hiking trails. Drinks (fruit juice, still and sparkling water, beer and wine) are included when having a picnic or sundowner.
Excludes: Flight, insurances, game drives (except for non-riders), sunset drive, mountain drive (except for non-rider when staying 7 or more nights), beverages consumed at the bar and restaurant, transport from Windhoek Airport to Okapuka and v.v. and other transports and/or activities (woodcarvers’ market in Okahandja, visiting the Penduka women, etc.), personal expenses and gratuities.
Sample 1 week Itinerary
Day 1 We meet you at Windhoek airport and transport you to the ranch (75 minutes by car). Once you're unpacked and refreshed (possibly with a fine lunch depending on your arrival time) it's time to meet the horses and the rest of our staff. This is followed by a short ride to allow your horse to get to know you and, perhaps, you to get to know your horse! After the ride, over a refreshing drink and an evening barbecue, we explain the itinerary for the week and give you a briefing on riding in the African bush.
Hours ridden: 1-2
Meals: Lunch and a Braai (barbecue) at the Lion Bar
Day 2 Breakfast at 07.00 comprising tea, coffee, fruit juice, fruit, cereal, bread, eggs and bacon. At 08.00 we saddle up and depart for a savannah ride along ancient game trails. During this ride you encounter much of Namibia's abundant wildlife. We return to Okapuka Ranch for a shower, drinks and a relaxing lunch. After lunch and a siesta by the pool we saddle up for our afternoon ride. We arrive back at around 17.00 for a drink at the bar. Dinner is served whenever you are ready.
Hours ridden: 5
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and a 3 course gourmet dinner at the Okapuka Park Restaurant
Day 3 After breakfast we saddle up and depart for a mountain trail ride. We start along the Okapuka riverbed then cross the mountains into Leopard Valley. The valley is protected by the natural mountainous surroundings and, until recently, has been largely unexplored. Our trail takes us through spectacular scenery to Leopard Dam. We stop for a well-earned picnic lunch at a shaded natural spring where those of you who are hardy enough to try the cool water, can take a dip.
After a 2-hour stop we continue our trek, and having passed Crocodile dam, eventually arrive back at Okapuka Ranch (16.00). Then it's time for a shower and a drink before you watch the lions feeding. Dinner is served whenever you are ready.
Hours ridden: 5
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch and a 3 course gourmet dinner
Day 4 Today, after breakfast, we saddle up and depart for a short ride to the baboon infested "little Okapuka" Hill. Having ascended the hill we are rewarded with a spectacular 360° panoramic view of the surrounding hills, river-beds and savannah-lands. We ride down through ancient riverbeds in search of majestic kudu and gemsbok.
If available: After a short siesta we ride out towards Dune Camp where we arrive at around 17.00, to be greeted with a well deserved cold drink, a dip in the small swimming pool, followed by a hot shower in en-suite private tented bathrooms. The evening meal consists of a hearty braai with local beer or wine. Recollections of the day's experiences are exchanged around the fire until the seduction of the soft double bed with fresh linen is no longer resistible. Lights out!
Hours ridden: 6
Accommodation: Fly Camp in the mountains if available or back at the lodge
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch and a tented camp braai
Day 5 Continental breakfast and around 09.00, having saddled up, we depart once again for a savannah ride. This area is well known for its Burchell's zebra and gemsbok. We return to our base camp at Okapuka Ranch for lunch. After a well-earned siesta we depart in search of white rhinos and white tailed wildebeest, the comics of the savannah. We climb the Hochland trail to watch the magnificent African sunset over the adjacent mountains savoring the majesty of Africa with sundowners. This is followed by a brisk ride in the sunset's afterglow back to Okapuka Ranch where we arrive, hopefully, before dark. Dinner is served whenever you are ready.
Hours ridden: 4
Meals: Continental Breakfast, lunch and a 3-course gourmet dinner.
Day 6 We saddle up at 08.30 hrs for a challenging ride. We start along the Okapuka riverbed towards Crocodile Dam. But instead of dropping down into Leopard Valley we continue to ride higher and higher. Today our goal is the top of the highest mountain on the Okapuka estate. Some of the terrain is so steep that we will have to dismount and lead our horses. However, once you have reached the top the reward is a view of a lifetime; both the cities of Windhoek and Okahandja (30 and 45 km away) lie at your feet. After we have caught our breath, both from the exercise as well as the breathtaking view, we will descend towards Okapuka Park Restaurant for a well-deserved late lunch at around 14.00 hrs. The rest of the afternoon is spend relaxing. And dinner is served whenever you are ready. Hours ridden: 5 to 6
Meals: Breakfast, late lunch and a 3-course gourmet dinner.
Day 7 Breakfast is taken at a leisurely pace and those of you who wish to take advantage of the helicopter tour can do so (weather permitting). The flight is not included in the package price. Those of you who whish can join us for a last ride. Lunch is taken at Okapuka Ranch. Those who prefer to visit the famous wood carving market at Okahandja to purchase those promised presents can do so (not included in the price). In the late afternoon and early evening there is a lion feed. Dinner, as usual, is served at Okapuka Park Restaurant.
Hours ridden: 2-4(optional)
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and a farewell braai at the Lion Bar
Day 8 Breakfast is served until 10.30. After entering your comments in our Guest Book, you can say goodbye to your horse and the rest of our staff and continue your journey within Namibia or begin your return journey home.
Subject to change
Rates and Dates for Sambulenni Safari
Accommodations, all meals, drinks during picnics and sundowners, 7 riding days
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Windhoek per car return (1 - 6 pax)
This is a "Group Rate"
8d / 7n
8 day trip, AP
arrivals can be any day of the week
Rates do not include:
Gratuities. Game drives (except for non riders).
Airport: Windhoek Hosea Kutako
Transfer: Windhoek Hosea Kutako or Windhoek Eros
Most of Namibia enjoys a minimum of 300 days of sunshine a year, but generally, the winter climate is the most pleasant. Namibia has a dry climate. Most days are pleasantly warm (the average temperature is between 20 to 34 C), while the nights are generally cool (in winter temperatures can fall to 0 C.)
There are two relatively short rainy seasons, the shorter occurs between October and December, while the main stormy period occurs between January and April. The storms are brief and spectacular. Forked lightening illuminates the dark thunderclouds while the rain refreshes the air and soaks down the dust.
These charts show the monthly rainfall (in mm) and the monthly minimum and maximum temperatures in Windhoek .
Okapuka enjoys low humidity and gentle breezes, which make for a pleasant and comfortable climate in which to ride. The area averages between 200 to 400 mm of rain per year, all of which falls in the summer.
What To Bring:
Provided when riding: saddle bag, water bottle and waterproof poncho.
Winters are usually mild to warm which calls for light clothing in the middle of the day and a sweater or jacket for evenings and early mornings when it can be quite cold. When riding, it is better to wear riding or walking shoes with chaps because some of the trails involve challenging gradients, which often require leading your horse. Cotton jodhpurs are better than synthetic products.
A light safari jacket with many pockets is ideal for carrying your compact binoculars, penknife, sun-hat, sunglasses, sun block, moisturizer, lip balm with spf, etc. Points for electric shavers (electric current 250VAC) are available. You are advised to bring battery-operated or conventional razors if you choose to stay in the tented camps.)
|This list is only a guideline for you
|Travel documents and Voucher
|Visa (check with your consulate)
|Jodhpurs or cotton slacks
|Footwear that is comfortable for both riding and walking in (long boots are impractical)
|Hard riding hat, preferably light weight with good ventilation
|Wide brimmed hat
|Light weight clothing in neutral colours to blend in with bush
|Jerseys and/or jackets are needed during the cooler winter months
|Underwear and socks
|Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
|ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
|Sore cream (for an emergency)
|Camera and enough extra batteries
|Sun glasses with strap
|Sun tan lotion and lip balm