Don’t book the Namib Desert Ride because…

Posted on February 20, 2020

Abigail Wood

….although we have places available on the Namib Desert Rides in August and September 2020, this ride won’t suit everyone. Here’s why..

Space, solitude and fast riding

You’ll spend eight days riding along desert tracks, across open plains and through rocky gorges. There’ll be steady sections where you have time to reflect on your remote surroundings, innumerable long canters and lots of gallops. The boundless space is other-worldly, and you won’t see another soul until you reach the civilisation of Swakopmund on the coast.

What’s worse, this ride could spoil you for any other riding trip, because there are very few places you can ride so fast for so long.

Cantering across the namib

You won’t see another soul

No Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Ride, eat, sleep, repeat – that’s all you have to do. Being in the desert means you have no choice but to digitally detox. No emails, no Facebook, no Instagram or Twitter; but also no meetings, no cooking, no housework, no calls to make, no diaries to organise or bills to pay.

You might arrive in Windhoek feeling stressed from work or home life, but the rhythm of camp life soothes the soul and brings a sense of peace. It allows you to live in the moment, let everything go and just ‘be’.  Forget a fancy spa hotel, this is the best kind of retreat from the modern world you could ever hope for.

If you can hold on to what you learn in the desert, this is an experience that will change your life.

namib desert

Escapism at its best

You have to look after your own horse

Using the information we collect when you book, plus a chat with your guide over dinner on the first night, you are matched with a suitable horse. You have to feed your horse, groom him, tack him up each day, and make sure he doesn’t get sore. What’s more, the cheeky monkey might even want to share your breakfast!

In The Saddle Riding Holidays. Horse in Namibia

I’d like toast for my breakfast today please!

You’ll have your heart broken

Your tough little bush horse will carry you over 300km across the oldest desert in the world. When he gallops, he’ll make you laugh out loud with glee. His game, ‘up for it’ attitude won’t falter even when you cover 60km in one day. He’ll willingly tackle sandy plains, steep mountain paths and rocky canyons with you; and when you reach the beach at Swakopmund he’ll try his very best to stretch his neck out and win that last race just for you.

All too soon the adventure is over. Your horse has become more than your mode of transport, he’s been your ally, your companion, your confidante, maybe even your therapist, and it will absolutely break your heart to say goodbye.

In The Saddle Riding Holidays. Namibia. Horses Galloping

Book at your peril

This is a hazardous ride, because once you’ve experienced the magic of Namibia, it won’t be long before the desert calls you back again. Your longed for ‘once in a lifetime trip’ might just turn into another and another and another….

In The Saddle Riding Holidays. Namibia. Elephant and horses on safari

The desert will call you back again

As well as our flagship Namib Desert ride, there are a number of other routes to choose from in different parts of the country. They all feature Andrew Gillies as your fearless leader, the same great horses, camping out under the stars and a good dose of adventure:

Intrepid repeat guests might even strike it lucky and invited back for the annual Exploratory Ride. The route is different each year and goes to parts of Namibia that may never before have been discovered on horseback.

In The Saddle Riding Holidays. Namibia. Elephant and horses on safari

Which route will you choose for your return visit?

If you’re feeling rebellious and decide not to heed our warnings, then we have spaces available on the 14-24 August and 1-11 September Namib Desert rides.

Call Abbie on 01299 272 239, or email abigail@inthesaddle.com, who will do her best to dissuade you (umm we mean persuade you!).

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