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Namibia has a unique and spectacular landscape. Riding here means experiencing infinite space and solitude under endless open skies.
On this expedition-style ride, set off from the infamous Skeleton Coast, head out into remote western Damaraland and then journey back towards the wild Atlantic Coast.
Accompanied by experienced guides, ride far off the beaten track and journey through places which may never before have been explored on horseback.
This part of the country boasts incredible geology and is almost other-worldly. There will be challenging terrain to cross and a good dose of adventure along the way.
The ‘Little Skeleton Damara‘ is a shorter six night version of the main ride. It features four days of riding and camping out in the desert, with the first and last nights spent in guesthouse accommodation.
For this trip, you should be riding fit, in good health and an experienced rider. You must be balanced in the saddle at all paces and fit enough to ride up to 20-50 km each day.
This will be a challenging ride in a very tough environment, so you need to have a strong personality and a sense of humour, with the ability to see the funny side, even at times of adversity.
The pace is dictated by the terrain - steady riding over rocky surfaces with countless long canters and gallops out on the plains.
The horses are fit and tough. They range in height from 14.2hh to around 16hh. Selected for their attributes rather than their breeding, they are a mixture of Arab crosses, Namibian warmbloods, Trakehners and Boerperds.
You ride English style in South African trail saddles, with simple bridles. Each rider is expected to prepare their own horse throughout the expedition.
There may be stretches where you need to lead your horse over rocky ground, so your boots must have sturdy soles.
The weight limit is 85 kg in riding gear. It may be possible to accommodate riders up to 93 kg subject to payment of an additional horse supplement. Please enquire for availability.
The first and last nights are spent in lodges, but the nights in between are basic camping.
You are provided with camp beds and swags (a canvas bag containing sleeping mat, duvet and pillows). Tents are available, but most guests make the most of the opportunity to sleep out under the stars.
Luggage is transported by vehicle, which meets you at the overnight camps and at most of the lunch spots. Bucket showers are set up in the evening so that you can wash off the dust.
The scheduled dates are set out below for the ten night Skeleton Damara Ride. Additional dates may be possible for private groups of at least ten riders, between April and November. Please enquire for details.
|Holiday||Experience LevelExp Lvl||Arrive - DepartArr - Dep||Price||Itinerary||Availability|
|Skeleton Damara Ride||7 Nov 2023 - 16 Nov 2023||9 nights 9 ngts||$6,735.74||Book|
|Skeleton Damara Ride||14 Mar 2024 - 23 Mar 2024||9 nights 9 ngts||$7,302.30||Book|
|Skeleton Damara Ride||16 Oct 2024 - 25 Oct 2024||9 nights 9 ngts||$7,302.30||Book|
|Skeleton Damara Ride||6 Nov 2024 - 15 Nov 2024||9 nights 9 ngts||$7,302.30||Book|
INCLUDES Accommodation; all meals; drinks when on the trail; tent; swag; horses; guide; backup vehicle.
The weight limit is 85 kg in riding gear. Riders up to 93 kg may be accommodated subject to availability and payment of an extra horse supplement $1,007.21 ($1,070.17 in 2024).
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT No single supplement if you are prepared to share, otherwise $239.21 ($251.80 in 2024) to guarantee your own room in lodges (2 nights)
PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks at lodges; tips.
NEAREST AIRPORT Windhoek
TRANSFERS from Windhoek airport on the first day, to the start of the ride on the second day and back to Windhoek on last day are included in the ride price. These are non-optional transfers and are not refundable.
The meeting point is Windhoek and we will arrange transfers for you.
On the first day of the ride your flight can arrive at Windhoek International Airport at any time. You will then be transferred to a Windhoek guesthouse, where you spend the first night. Check-in at the guesthouse is usually from 13:00. If you arrive before this you can make use of the main facilities until your room is ready.
On departure day the journey back to Windhoek by road usually takes around 6.5 hours. Flights should depart Windhoek after 15:00.
The ride takes place north west of Windhoek over a combination of rocky desert and open plains.
During the months in which the ride runs, days tend to be hot, with temperatures dropping to a few degrees overnight. As you near the coast, dense fog and cold sea breezes can occur.
The riding was often thrillingy fast and we had regular canters. We went up and down steep rocky slopes often and along ridges. On the flats there was SO much room in many places for us all to spread out that it often felt like you had the desert to yourself. My horse was amazingly fit for the job and made the riding easier for me.
Susan ,NorwichOverall rating: 5/5