Horseback Safari In Zimbabwe

Embarking on a horseback safari in Zimbabwe offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature and witness the country’s majestic wildlife up close.

With expert guides leading the way and well-trained horses to carry you through the wilderness, a horseback safari in Zimbabwe is an adventure not to be missed.

Places That We Tailor Make Horseback Safaris For

Cultural excursions at Victoria Falls

Hwange National Park

As the largest national park in Zimbabwe, Hwange is renowned for its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. Horseback safaris here allow you to experience the thrill of riding alongside ‘super herds’ of elephants, which can number over 350 individuals. The park is also home to lions, giraffes, zebras, and buffalo, providing an authentic African safari experience from the saddle.

lion at hwange national park

Mana Pools National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Mana Pools is famous for its picturesque setting along the Zambezi River and its rich biodiversity. Horseback riding through this park offers unique encounters with hippos, crocodiles, and various bird species. The park’s open floodplains make it an ideal spot for wildlife viewing on horseback, and the chance to witness animals congregating around the water sources is truly special.

Lake Kariba

Victoria Falls & Surrounds

recognized for its untouched wilderness and exclusive safari offerings. The reserve serves as a refuge for both black and white rhinos, making it an extraordinary location for sightings of these endangered species. Its diverse landscapes, ranging from plains dotted with baobabs to lush forests, provide a romantic setting for honeymooners.

A Suggested Horseback Safari Itinerary

This is one holiday that we organised for a group from South Africa

Day 1

Touchdown in Zimbabwe

Arrival at Victoria Falls International Airport with a stay at Matetsi Lodge. Time was given to acclimatise to the lodgings and partake in a welcoming feast.

Day 2

Horseback Safari Initiation

Post a substantial breakfast, time was spent at the stables for a safety rundown and introduction to the horses.Kick-off with a brief preliminary ride to get comfortable with the horse and the riding terrain. Indulged in a relaxed lunch at the Matetsi and unwind before an afternoon wildlife drive or guided stroll.

Day 3

Day-Long Safari in Hwange National Par

This began at dawn with a sunrise ride, entering Hwange National Park, renowned for its ‘super herds’ of elephants and varied wildlife. The day was fully utilised to traverse the park’s savannahs and watering holes, with pauses for lunch and relaxation. This ended with a retreat to the lodge for dinner and an evening sharing the day’s wildlife encounters around a bonfire.

Day 4

Wilderness Exploration

After breakfast, there was a ride across diverse areas of the Victoria Falls park, observing wildlife and appreciating the evolving landscapes. Our guests were able to participate in conservation activities on horseback, like teaming up with the anti-poaching patrol

Day 5

Zambezi River Ride

A full-days ride along the riverbanks with an upclose view of the Victoria Falls and spotting wildlife quenching their thirst at the river. Completed with a sunset voyage on the Zambezi River, watching out for hippos and crocodiles.

Day 6

Concluding Safari Ride and Departure

Relished one final sunrise ride, cherishing the serene moments in the bush. Return to the lodge for breakfast and get ready for depart

Highlights of Zimbabwe Horseback safari

Wildlife Encounters

Riding on horseback allows you to silently move alongside zebra herds, giraffes, and even the majestic elephants that inhabit the savannahs. The lack of engine noise allows for tranquil and closer wildlife observations.

Conservation-Focused Riding

Our clients are given the chance to partake in conservation efforts. Visitors can join anti-poaching patrols and aid in protecting the park’s wildlife during their safari.

Cultural Engagement

A horseback safari in Zimbabwe also provides an opportunity to interact with local communities and learn about their rich cultural heritage. Visitors may visit villages, engage with locals, and comprehend the symbiotic relationship between the people and the land.

Skilled Guides

Safari guides in Zimbabwe are recognized for their expertise and knowledge of the bush. They guide you through the wilderness, offering insights about the flora, fauna, and the complex ecosystem of the Zimbabwean savannah. Our clients leave the country having learnt which plants have medicinal properties.

Why Trust Sound Of Safaris With Your Horseback Adventure?

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Responsible Travel

For 5 years, your visits have helped us make a real difference to Zimbabweans. Thank you!

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In our hands

While visiting Hwange, enjoy 24/7 access to our distinctive Global Concierge service.

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Travel Experts

Our Travel Specialists only recommend destinations they have personally visited.

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Finest Guides

Experience the best interpretive adventures with our skilled private and specialist guides.

Frequently Asked Questions

Flight Options Into Zimbabwe & Visas Information for Zimbabwe

Navigating Flight Options for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, a country rich in natural beauty and diverse wildlife, is accessible by air through several international airports. Harare International Airport, Victoria Falls International Airport, and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo are the main entry points for global travelers.

For those traveling from Europe, direct flights to Zimbabwe are scarce. However, connections through prominent African cities such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa are commonplace. Airlines offering these convenient connections include Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and South African Airways.

Travellers originating from the United States or Canada should anticipate connecting flights through European or African cities, as direct flights are not available. It is recommended to consult with airlines for the most current routes, as flight schedules may fluctuate due to factors such as seasonal demand and operational requirements.

For travelers within Africa, regional airlines including Air Zimbabwe, Fastjet, and Airlink offer flights to Zimbabwe from neighboring countries. These regional connections facilitate combining a Zimbabwe visit with exploration of other African destinations.

Understanding Visa Requirements for Zimbabwe

The visa process for Zimbabwe hinges on nationality. Some travelers qualify for visas on arrival, while others must apply beforehand. It is crucial to review the most recent visa requirements prior to trip planning.

  • Visas on Arrival: Numerous nationalities, such as those from the EU, the UK, the USA, Canada, and Australia, have the option to secure a visa upon arrival at the airport or border post. This process involves a completed application form, a valid passport, and the visa fee, payable in cash with USD being widely accepted.
  • e-Visas: Zimbabwe provides an e-Visa platform, enabling eligible travelers to apply for and receive their visas online prior to departure. This method can expedite the entry process upon arrival.
  • KAZA UNIVISA: For travelers intending to visit both Zimbabwe and Zambia, the KAZA UNIVISA is a joint visa that allows travel between the two countries and day trips into Botswana via the Kazungula borders. This is a cost-effective and convenient choice for visitors keen on exploring the Victoria Falls region in both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • Visa Exemptions: Some countries, primarily those within the SADC region (Southern African Development Community), are exempt from visa requirements for short stays. It is important to confirm if one’s country is on the exemption list.
  • Visa Fees: Visa fees are variable and depend on the type of visa (single or multiple entry) and the nationality of the traveler. As fees may alter, it is recommended to obtain the most current information from the Zimbabwean immigration authorities or the closest Zimbabwean embassy or consulate.

It should be noted that visa regulations are subject to change, and obtaining the most current information is crucial. Travellers should also ensure their passport has a minimum of six months of validity remaining from their planned departure date from Zimbabwe and at least two blank pages for stamps.

Do I need to bring my own Riding Gear?

Riding gear (saddle, saddle pad, girth, bridle, reins, bit, etc) will be provided by us

What to Pack for a Horseback Safari?

  1. Luggage Choice: For those looking to embark on a safari honeymoon, the choice of luggage can make or break the trip. Opt for soft bags, as they are ideal for light aircraft transfers. Hard-cased suitcases, on the other hand, are not recommended as they may not fit in small compartments. A daypack is also essential for carrying daily necessities, and a money belt is perfect for securing cash and cards.
  2. Clothing: Considering the varying temperatures, especially during winter (June and July), it is advisable to pack layered clothing. This should include a good jacket, scarf, gloves, and a woolen hat for cold mornings. On warmer days, breathable fabrics like cotton shirts and shorts are ideal. Earth-toned clothing is recommended for safaris, but bright colors are acceptable in town. A windbreaker, a bandana or buff for cooling, and a swimsuit should also be on the packing list.
  3. Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes are a necessity for safari activities, while flip-flops or sandals are suitable for relaxation. Socks are also essential to protect against mosquitoes.
  4. Riding boots: We would suggest bringing your own riding boots, if you have your own.
  5. Accessories: A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and a sarong are useful for sun protection. Insect repellent and sunscreen are must-haves to guard against bugs and sunburn.
  6. Medication: All necessary medication, including malaria prophylactics, should be packed. It’s not wise to rely on purchasing essentials in Victoria Falls as options can be limited.
  7. Electronics: A power pack for charging devices, a small torch for nighttime, and a universal plug adapter are practical items. For capturing memories, a camera or a high-quality smartphone with extra batteries and memory cards is recommended.
  8. Hydration: A reusable water bottle is eco-friendly and can be refilled at water stations. Rehydrates or electrolyte supplements are helpful during hot months.
  9. Binoculars: For a clearer view of distant wildlife, a good pair of binoculars like Nikon Monarch HD 10 x 40’s is recommended.
  10. Documents: Ensure all necessary documents such as passport, visas, travel insurance, credit cards, cash, and any required health certificates such as Yellow Fever or COVID-19 regulations are packed.
  11. Things Not to Pack: High heels, skirts, camouflage clothing (prohibited in Zimbabwe), drones (illegal in Zimbabwe), and valuable jewelry should be avoided.
  12. **Prohibited Items**: Avoid packing camouflage/military clothing as these are only allowed to be worn by the Zimbabwean military.
  13. Community Gifts: If you wish to donate, consider bringing school supplies or medical equipment, adhering to the guidelines of charitable organizations like Pack for a Purpose.

When is the Best Time to Go on a Safari Horseback in Zimbabwe?

Optimal timing is crucial to maximize the benefits of a horseback safari in Zimbabwe, and the dry season, which spans from June to October, is typically the most advantageous period.

The dry season’s less dense vegetation enhances visibility and amplifies the probability of wildlife sightings. As water becomes a scarce commodity, animals gravitate towards the remaining waterholes, creating prime game viewing opportunities. This allows horseback safari participants to observe a diverse range of wildlife, including the renowned “Big Five” – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo.

Additionally, the weather during these months is generally more conducive for riding. Sunny, warm days with reduced humidity, coupled with cool nights, create ideal conditions for both horses and riders. The absence of rain results in drier, firmer trails, contributing to a safer and more enjoyable riding environment.

June and July are typically the coolest months in this window, with average daytime temperatures around 26°C (79°F) and nighttime temperatures dropping to roughly 8°C (46°F). As the season advances, temperatures slowly increase, with October often being the warmest month, where daytime temperatures can surpass 40°C (104°F). Hence, for those with heat sensitivity, it’s recommended to schedule the safari in the earlier part of the dry season.

Another factor to consider is the wildlife birthing season, which generally commences at the onset of the wet season around November. If the safari overlaps with this period, there’s a chance to witness the birth of new animals, adding a unique aspect to the adventure.

While the dry season generally provides optimal conditions for a horseback safari, the precise timing may fluctuate based on the region of Zimbabwe being visited and the specific wildlife one wishes to observe. For example, Hwange National Park is famous for its large elephant population, and the prime time to observe these majestic animals is between June and August when they congregate around waterholes.

Currency & Using Credit Cards in Zimbabwe

When traveling to Zimbabwe, particularly for a visit to Victoria Falls, it is crucial to understand the currency situation and the use of credit cards to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Zimbabwe has undergone significant economic changes, and this has impacted the use of currency within the country.

As of the latest information available, Zimbabwe uses its own currency, the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWL), but also widely accepts the United States dollar (USD) for transactions, especially in tourist areas like Victoria Falls. It is advisable to carry small denominations of USD for everyday purchases such as souvenirs, tips, and meals. However, be aware that receiving change for large bills can be challenging, and it’s often given in the local currency at a less favorable exchange rate.

Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and larger shops, but it’s essential to have cash for purchases from smaller vendors, markets, and in remote areas where electronic transactions may not be possible. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted credit cards, while American Express and Discover may have limited acceptance. It’s always a good idea to inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any blocks on your cards due to unusual foreign transactions.

When using credit cards, be prepared for occasional issues with card machines due to connectivity problems. It’s also important to check your statements as credit card fraud can occur, though it’s not widespread. To minimize risk, keep your card in sight during transactions and consider using cash whenever possible.

ATMs are available in major cities and tourist areas, but they can be unreliable, often running out of cash or being out of service. If you need to withdraw cash, do so during the day and in a safe location, preferably inside a bank or a hotel. Additionally, there may be withdrawal limits and transaction fees, so it’s best to withdraw larger amounts less frequently.

Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted, and where they are, they often attract high commission fees and poor exchange rates. Therefore, they are not recommended as a primary source of funds.

For the best exchange rates, consider exchanging your currency at official bureaus or banks rather than at the airport or hotels. Keep in mind that the informal currency market can offer more favorable rates, but it comes with risks and is illegal.

Lastly, it’s wise to have a money belt or a secure way to carry your cash and cards. Be discreet when handling money in public and use hotel safes to store valuables. As with travel to any destination, it’s important to stay informed of current economic conditions and to plan accordingly for your financial needs while in Zimbabwe.

Essential Travel Information to Zimbabwe

Health Precautions:
A consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended for advice on necessary vaccinations, including Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and routine immunizations. Malaria prevention is advised in certain areas, particularly during the rainy season (November to April). Travelers should carry adequate supplies of prescription medication due to potential local shortages.

Financial Information:
Zimbabwe’s main currency is the RTGS (basically the Zimbabwe Dollar but mainly in a digital state), although US dollars are the de facto currency. While the use of credit and debit cards is on the rise, cash transactions remain common. Travelers should be prepared for possible cash shortages and ensure they have access to enough funds. Taking out more than USD $2,000 in cash from Zimbabwe without declaration upon arrival is illegal.

Zimbabwe operates on Central Africa Time (GMT+2). The international dialing code is +263. Mobile internet and broadband services are available, but connectivity may be limited in remote areas. Intermittent access to communication services should be anticipated.

Power Supply:
Zimbabwe utilizes type D and G electrical plugs, with a supply voltage of 220V. Travelers should carry a universal travel adapter for device compatibility.

Safety and Legalities:
Travelers should stay alert and secure personal belongings. Compliance with local laws and customs, dress codes, and photography restrictions, especially near government buildings, is important.

Emergency Assistance:
Dial 999 for emergency medical services. Comprehensive travel insurance, inclusive of medical evacuation coverage, is highly recommended.

Tourist Attractions:
Zimbabwe boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, Khami Ruins, Matobo Hills, Mana Pools National Park, and the iconic Victoria Falls. These sites should be included in travel plans.

Cultural Courtesies:
Zimbabweans are recognized for their friendliness and hospitality. Travelers should respect local customs and traditions, observe etiquette such as greeting elders first, and dress modestly. Interaction with locals can provide valuable insights into their rich cultural heritage.

Conservation Support:
Zimbabwe is committed to wildlife conservation. Travelers are urged to support local initiatives and follow guidelines that safeguard the environment and wildlife. Volunteering or donating to conservation projects is an option.

Thorough preparation and respect for local customs and laws can lead to a rewarding and responsible visit to Zimbabwe, a country of natural beauty, cultural richness, and adventure.