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Okapuka Horse Safaris is situated on Okapuka game reserve in the high central plateau, about 30 minutes drive north of Windhoek. This is one of the best stocked private game reserves in Namibia. The species found here include white rhino, gemsbok (oryx), blesbok, zebra, giraffe, klipspringer, kudu, baboon, impala, red hartebeest and sable. It's leopard country, although as they are very elusive you are unlikely to see any!
The riding trails are in an area of more than 85,000 acres of savannah and mountains. You sometimes ride through areas of dense bushveld or groves of Acacia trees; at other times along open sandy tracks and dry river beds which are fantastic for faster riding. There are also challenging trail rides in the uplands which offer spectacular views. Over a week as you explore through different parts of the reserve, you are very likely to have sightings of most of the wildlife.
You ride on some of the most beautiful horses in Africa. Ingeborg Hernes owns a fine herd of purebred Arabians which include excellent trail horses, endurance horses, stallions, breeding mares and young stock. The riding group size is a maximum of six guests.
You stay in one of Okapuka's spacious and comfortable rooms with en-suite facilities, therefore this safari is perfect for those who would prefer not to be under canvas or without electricity. The bedrooms are a short walk from the thatched main lodge in which you find the restaurant and bar. The restaurant is well known for its excellent food and specialises in game dishes. Okapuka is also an ideal place for non riding partners, since daily game drives / walks or visits to Windhoek or Okahandja wood carving market can be arranged. There is a sauna and two swimming pools.
You should be a confident, experienced rider capable of handling a responsive, forward going horse in open country and across varied terrain. The pace includes walk, trot, canter and faster riding on tracks and dry rivers beds. You should be able to easily mount from the ground.
The rider weight limit for the safari rides is 85 kg (13 stone 4lbs) in riding clothes and is strictly enforced. The rider weight limit for the mountain ride or for the endurance rides is 80kgs.
This ride has 2 choices of itinerary.
The riding day might be a day ride with a picnic lunch in the bush; or morning and afternoon rides or a long morning ride returning to the lodge for lunch and an afternoon free to relax or do other things. The itinerary each week is flexible depending on the wishes of the group, their riding experience and fitness, the time of year and also if there are new riders arriving on a particular day. Also, during the rainy period it may not be possible to ride out in the afternoon when the rain is typically at its heaviest.
The following is a possible seven night itinerary.
Day One - Introduction
Transfer from Hosea Kutako, Namibia's international airport at Windhoek. After a one hour drive you arrive at Okapuka Horse Safaris and meet the guides. After a shower and lunch walk to the stables to be introduced to the beautiful horses and be given the safety briefing. Depending on your arrival time at Okapuka (i.e. before 12.00 hrs in wintertime and before 14.00 hrs in summertime) a short afternoon ride can be organised. After the ride the bar and restaurant are calling.
Day Two - Morning Ride and Lion Feeding
Today, as on subsequent days, meet at the stables and set off on the ride around 8:30 - 9am. Ride over the savannah tracking game: sable, gemsbok, springbok, black and blue wildebeest, giraffe, white rhino and so much more. Return to the stables between 1 and 2pm. Un-tack your horses and give them a wash down, before heading to the bar for lunch.
The remaining afternoon is free time to relax and enjoy the reserve. Dinner will be served whenever you are ready. Riding time c. 4 hours.
Day Three - Picnic Ride
Today you leave slightly later. The ride will be split into a morning and an afternoon ride with a delicious picnic during the hottest hours of the day. The table will be laid and ice cold drinks ready. After a short siesta saddle up the horses and slowly ride back to the lodge. Quickly to the bar for that well deserved drink. Riding time c. 5 hours.
Day Four - Morning Ride and Sundowner Ride
Today you will be on the lookout for hartebeest, blesbok, giraffe, wildebeest and sable amongst others. Arrive back to the stables before the end of the morning to enjoy a leisurely lunch at the lodge. Later ride out at about 4.30 and have a lovely afternoon ride when the light and colours are so different. Your guide will take you to one of our many beautiful spots where you can enjoy the sunset, the sound of jackal in the background. Riding time c. 4.5 hours.
Day Five - Morning Ride and Afternoon Relaxing
Today you take the horses out for an easy and relaxing ride on the lookout for the impressive Cape eland and many other species of game. After a few hours in the saddle, lunch will be served at the lodge. The afternoon is at your disposal to hike, swim or just relax at the pool. If someone is going to Windhoek, then you may be able to take a lift and spend some time in the city. Or maybe you prefer taking the horses out again for a short afternoon ride instead. Riding time approximately 4 hours.
Day Six - Mountain Ride and Sundowner Drive
An exciting and tough day for both horse and rider; a spectacular ride into the mountains. You will be on the lookout for kudu, mountain zebra and klipspringer. The game might be more difficult to spot than on the flat, but the scenery is wonderful and absolutely worthwhile. Please note that you do have to get off your horse at times due to the rough terrain. You have a short break during the morning but return to the lodge in the early afternoon for lunch. After a restful afternoon, go by vehicle to a lovely spot on the reserve and watch the sun go down. Riding time c 4.5 hours (although sometimes longer).
Day Seven - Picnic Ride
Today you leave slightly later and have a picnic in between a morning and an afternoon ride, on yet another beautiful spot somewhere in the bush. You will be gone for the biggest part of the day, enjoying the many different species of game you meet on the way and some more long trots and canter along the endless sandy tracks. Riding time c. 5 hours.
Day Eight - A final Goodbye Ride
Depending on your flight departure time, you may have time for a final morning ride (if you are departing after 12.00hrs). You may have to vacate your room but facilities will be made available for you to shower and change before leaving for the airport. Afterwards it is time to say goodbye to the horses and the rest of the family. Your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport.
If you as a non-rider decide to keep your riding partner company, the lodge offers multiple activities such as game drive, mountain drive, sunset drive, swimming and two hiking trails (self-guided) to observe the animals and birds.
You will also join the riders for the picnics and sundowners. The guides will endeavour to make you part of the riding programme so that you can share the holiday as much as possible with your riding partner.
Okapuka has 16 very comfortable Thatched Park rooms, situated a short walk from the restaurant and bar area. The rooms have an en-suite shower rooms and are furnished in tasteful African style. Each has a ceiling fan, fridge and telephone.
The hotel also has a few Stable Rooms, which are modern and very spacious in design. These are en-suite and are a slightly more basic option than the Park rooms. The Stables Rooms are located closest to the horses. NB: The stable rooms are currently being refurbished and will not be available for the duration of 2017.
If you are travelling alone, then you will have your own room. A single supplement is always payable, unless you wish to share and we have found you someone with whom you can share.
The restaurant and bar are in the main lodge, a thatched building overlooking a large lawn. Here you have all your meals and relax and socialise. In the evening the bar provides a perfect setting for watching the Warthog, Springbok and other antelope which often graze on the lawn in front of the lodge.
There are two swimming pools (not heated), perfect for cooling down after a dusty ride.
Accommodation on the three day Mountain Trip is at Leopard Lodge. Here the guest rooms are comfortable, each with its own en-suite facilities, (shower, toilet & wash basin). The lodge has a swimming pool, (not heated) and a tennis court.
You can arrive and depart any day. There is a minimum three night stay and we recommend a stay of at least 7 nights. Between May and August a three day Mountain Trip may be scheduled as part of a seven night stay at Okapuka. This requires a minimum of 2 people. Please enquire for details.
Please select a date on the
calendar to request a booking.
Stays of any length are possible. The following is for 7 nights.
|2017: 1 - 14 January
|2017: 15 - 31 January
|2017: 1 February - 31 May
|2017: 1 - 15 June
|2017: 16 June - 31 December
Mountain Trail Supplement $511 (3 days/2 nights on set dates).
A supplement of $639 (7 nights) applies for anyone weighing more than 85kg.
Introduction to Endurance $511
Child discounts apply (please enquire for details)
INCLUDES Accommodation; full board; riding.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT applies if you are in a single room. If willing to share and we find you a sharer, then no supplement is charged.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; game drives; transfers; tips.
NEAREST AIRPORT Windhoek.
TRANSFERS $296 per vehicle return from Windhoek airport or $148 per vehicle return from Windhoek city (max 6 passengers per vehicle)
In The Saddle Gallery
Half an hour's drive north of Windhoek. Great contrast with lowland plains and mountains to explore. Nearest airport is Windhoek, (c. 1 hour's drive).
Spring and Autumn are mild. Mid summer is hot. Winter will be around 20°C during the day, dropping to near freezing at night.
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Evenings can be chilly especially in winter (June - September) so bring clothes that can be worn in layers.