Mount Kenya
Riding Safari

EXPLORE
  • 7 Nights
  • Year Round
  • Mount Kenya
  • Authentic

Trip Overview

Mt Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain and its kaleisoscope of landscapes and breathtaking beauty provides an extraordinary backdrop for a unique riding safari. This suggested itinerary can be organised for a minimum of two people and a maximum of six and can range from three to seven nights.  Itineraries are tailored and can include trout fishing in the lakes, scenic helicopter flights and trekking to the summit of Point Lenana.

This exhilarating expedition on horseback is designed to give adventurous, confident and skilled equestians an opportunity to experience the best of the landscapes and features that Mount Kenya has to offer.

The horses are well trained and exceptionally well looked after.  Every horse is a real character, in the best possible sense.  They are beautifully schooled and balanced in walk, trot and canter and are adept at jumping.

 

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Highlights of this itinerary

Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the myriad exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.

Trip Itinerary

Mount Kenya Riding Safari

Marania Farm (1 Night)
1 Night

Marania Farm

All riding safaris starts with a night at Marania Farm.

Kathia Fly Camp (1 Night)
1 Night

Kathia Fly Camp

After an early breakfast we set off across the farm towards the Forest Reserve. After passing through the gate at the top of the farm, a path leads us into the majestic forest which we slowly make our way through, enjoying shade from ancient cedar, podo carpus, olive and rosewood trees. There are often monkeys in the canopy above and if we are lucky, we may see some of the large mammals which are resident in this forest such as elephant, zebra and buffalo.

After a few hours we emerge onto the moorland typical of Mount Kenya’s lower regions, where we are likely to see a variety of birdlife such as francolin, buzzards and eagles. Covered in heather, protea and thick tussock grass, the moorland slopes gently up towards the craggy peaks of Africa’s second highest mountain.

Camp will be set up near to the source of the Marania River, allowing for plenty of water and good grazing for the horses. On today’s ride we have climbed about 800m so it is important to stay hydrated and to allow the horses to rest occasionally on the journey too. 6-7 hours in the saddle.

Accommodation – Alpine expedition tents

The Alpine expedition tents have been designed to keep you as warm and dry as possible at high altitudes. Meals are cooked and served around the campfire, with guests seated on camping chairs. Quality roll mats, mattresses, sleeping bags and pillow are all provided.

Lake Ellis Luxury Camp (2 Nights)
2 Nights

Lake Ellis Luxury Camp

Set out towards Lake Ellis, carefully navigating our way across streams and swampy ground before climbing up onto the shoulder of the Hinde Valley and following one of the game trails that leads down to the lake.

From about two hours in, we enjoy panoramic views of Lake Ellis and the impressive surrounding hills such as Rutundu, Mugi and the Giant’s Billiard Table. The going on the latter half of the ride is rocky and steep, and we may need to lead our horses at times. We arrive into our new camp for a late lunch and a luxurious afternoon relaxing or fly fishing on the lake. Hours in the saddle 4-5

Luxury Tented Camp

This camp consists of large canvas dome tents which are furnished with rugs, lanterns, a bedside table and two camp beds with warm duvets and pillows. There is a large mess tent with a log burner and here supper is served. There is a simple shower tent with hot water.

OPTIONS

Lake Michaelson

Options today are the opportunity to ride right up into the peaks and look down onto spectacular Lake Michaelson and the Vivienne Falls which cascade dramatically through the Gorges Valley.  This is a challenging ride and not for the faint hearted. The going is uneven and rocky as we climb the steep slopes and at times we have to follow narrow paths along the edge of deep ravines. However, the views are breath-taking.  This really is the highlight of the trip and demonstrates the agility and aptitude of our strong and sure-footed horses.

Nithi Falls

For those who prefer a more leisurely day, there is the option to ride or hike to nearby Nithi Falls, passing through a beautiful, scenic valley filled with giant lobelia, giant tree groundsel and protea. There is a steep path that we climb on foot down to the Falls, enjoying the cool mist and dramatic thunder of water. We arrive back in camp for a late lunch and you can spend the afternoon as you please.

Alternatively, you can spend the whole day fishing or relaxing in camp on the tranquil shores of Lake Ellis.

Lenana summit trek

For anyone interested in hiking to the summit of Lenana, Mount Kenya’s third highest peak, or even climbing Batian or Nelion (previous rock-climbing experience essential) you can end your riding trip here at Lake Ellis and join up with a mountain guide.

Helicopter Flight

There is also an option to enjoy a scenic helicopter flight from Lake Ellis, to explore some of the other dramatic features of the peaks. The helicopter can then transfer you to your next safari destination in style.

Rutundu Log Cabins (1 Night)
1 Night

Rutundu Log Cabins

Leave Lake Ellis and start to head towards home, riding north-east towards Lake Alice and Lake Rutundu. This morning’s ride passes through some drier areas than previous days, where giant protea and wild sage abounds. Bush fires are not uncommon in this area, leaving behind some charred plant roots and sharp sticks which requires careful riding to keep your horse safe. We climb the side of Ithangune, the extinct volcano in which Lake Alice nestles. Here we stop on the shores of the lake, rest our horses and enjoy our picnic lunch. The occasional trout has been caught here and people have also been known to venture in for a refreshing swim but beware, it is icy cold!
After lunch we start the descent towards Lake Rutundu. Rutundu provides us with warmth and luxury on our last night: hot baths, comfortable beds and local staff to help us with cooking, lighting fires and of course, fishing. The lake here is brimming with trout and the gillies are excellent. Hours in the saddle 6-7

Kathita Fly Camp (1 Night)
1 Night

Kathita Fly Camp

We leave the open expanse of the moorland and head closer to the impressive collection of peaks, cols and towers that make Mount Kenya so awe-inspiring. Passing through dramatic rock formations, wetlands and alpine tussock grass, the geological history of this ancient volcano seems to play out before our eyes.

We leave the Marania River behind and climb up into the afro-alpine ecosystem of Mount Kenya, where the temperatures can vary widely as the day passes. We hope to see herds of zebra and eland, as well as some of the endemic plant species such as giant lobelia and giant groundsel. A picnic lunch is taken in saddle bags to eat at Fox Tarn, a pretty little glacial lake just below the peaks which has been known to yield the odd trout. We then start to traverse the slopes, crossing several sparkling streams which are important tributaries to many of Kenya’s big rivers, before finally coming to the scenic valley where we are to camp. Hours in the saddle 5-6

Marania Guest Cottage

All Mount Kenya Riding Safaris begin and end with an overnight stay in the guest cottage at Marania Farm.

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Rutundu Log Cabins

Rutundu is a secluded little mountain lodge consisting of two cabins constructed entirely from wooden logs with moss filling the spaces between.

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