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Namib Desert Ride

Namib Desert Riding Safari

11 days from £5,800pp (excl. international flights)
Windhoek  → Namib Desert  → 

Riding across the Namib Desert

An incredible riding experience, challenging yourself across 300km of the Namib Desert

Welcome to the oldest, and arguably one of the most scenic deserts on the planet, the Namib. With its iconic ochre dunes, huge plains, and unique desert adaptations, this seemingly inhospitable place will leave you enriched by its extraordinary majesty. This is a trip for true adventure seekers and those looking to challenge themselves and spend time in a place unlike anything else. While it is one of the most thrilling riding safaris it is also very challenging and is not recommended to inexperienced riders.

The Ride

  • These are semi-participatory safaris - you saddle and groom your own horse with help from the guides.
  • Arrive in Windhoek in Namibia on day one, transfer, overnight accommodation, and dinner arranged for you. Meet your guide, Andrew Gillies and fellow adventurers for briefing, sundowners and dinner.
  • Day two transfer day to the desert camp where you meet horses and crew for lunch. Excursion to Sossusvlei to climb Dune 45 for a spectacular view of this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner around the campfire under the magnificent Southern Constellation of stars.
  • The riding adventure begins on day three. Starting slow - to allow you to get used to your horse and unfamiliar terrain - it does NOT stay that way! From the foothills of the Naukluft mountains we cross two significant canyons (Gaub and much larger Kuiseb) before reaching the wide plains of the central Namib.
  • Interspersed with meandering, Camelthorn-lined dry washes, granite inselbergs and a surprising variety of game for so arid an area, this is the most exquisite part of our Namib Desert Safari.
  • Finally, as you approach the Atlantic Ocean, increasing aridity and ancient geology (600 million years) have resulted in a bizarre, moon-like landscape of great allure. Finally the sea, and the end of the physical journey….but the memories will continue, perhaps even for a lifetime.

Safari Life

Camp life has a leisurely pace - days begin at sunrise with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through camp. After an ample breakfast you will start riding around 8 am for 4 - 5 hours. Lunch breaks are 1 - 2 hours, followed by another 2 - 3 hours riding in the afternoon.

You will ride 20 - 50 km per day at all paces over rough desert terrain. This ride has a challenging 27 km crossing of the Namib Dune Sea - of course this is very much part of this safari’s appeal, as is the inspiring landscape.

While camping hot bucket showers are available in the evenings and either chemical or long drop toilets at all campsites.

You sleep in a warm, comfortable bedroll on a stretcher, tents are available if required although then you miss out on the spectacular stars overhead - few places on Earth have zero light pollution…..this is one of those few.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Welcome to Namibia

Andrew Grooming, Namibia, Horses

Your Guide Andrew, by Nick King

A shuttle service will collect you from Windhoek International Airport (Hosea Kutako) to your first overnight in Windhoek (your name will be on a welcome board). Meet your fellow riders and host/riding guide Andrew Gillies for sundowners and dinner. Andrew will give you a briefing about your adventure.

Day 2: To the Desert

Visiting Dune 45

Dune 45, Sossusvlei

Early breakfast and then the exciting journey into the desert (approximately 4,5 hours) with a dramatic drop off the escarpment. You will meet the horses and crew for lunch and will then head on an excursion to Sossusvlei to climb Dune 45 for a spectacular view of this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, enjoy dinner around the campfire under the magnificent southern constellation of stars

Day 3 - 4: The Foothills

Naukluft Mountains, Namibia

Exploring the Naukluft mountains, by Teagan Cuniffe

Our first riding day starts amid the encircling Naukluft (narrow gorge) mountains - a short ride to lunch to get acquainted with your horse, the terrain and the delightful companionship. The landscape changes all the time and the pace quickens as the terrain allows.

As the soft evening light descends we’ll enjoy sundowners as the spectacular Milky Way appears overhead.

The next day will be spent similarly exploring the foothills and grassy plains on the edge of the desert as you get to know your horse and fellow riders.

Day 5 - 6: The Canyons

ND near Kuiseb, Namibia

Riding near Kuiseb Gorge

While Namibia’s westward-flowing rivers rarely flow, they all run through deep valleys etched at a time when Namibia was wetter and sea levels were lower. We cross two river canyons on our way to the Namib plains; the Gaub and the much larger Kuiseb which forms a dramatic end to the 400-km long Namib Sand Sea.

Following the tracks of Mountain Zebra which crisscross the steep sides of the canyon, a technical descent requires some walking/scrambling into and out of the Canyon. The high, narrow walls of the canyon preserve an almost year-round supply of precious water for the game in this area.

Day 7 - 10: Plains to the Swakop River

ND near Swakop

Nearing Swakop

Good going affords some fast-paced riding on the wide grassy plains on the Namib. Dry watercourses, distinguishable by the long lines of acacia trees marking their courses, are much favoured resting places of Giraffe, Springbok, and Oryx. As the plains become more arid strange shapes form and disappear in mirages and dinosaur-like plants, the gnarled Welwitschia Mirabilis, tell of a land of great antiquity and of tremendous solitude.

The Swakop River basin has eroded a truly ancient geology (600 million years old) exposing a bizarre moon-like landscape. Curious black ridges of dolerite intrusions form whalebacks on the hills surrounding the river basin. And finally to the sea with the last canter along the beach - the end of a truly epic adventure.

Day 11: End of the adventure

Riding, Namibia

The stunning landscape of the trip, by Nick King

Early breakfast and transfer to Windhoek (just over 5-hour commute) arriving around 13:00 - in time for departure flights from Windhoek International Airport after 15:00.


Duration: 11 Days

Location: Namibia Holidays, Africa

Price: £5800pp

The price is based on two people sharing on a set departure trip. There are set departure trips each throughout the year, as well as other rides across Namibia. Please enquire for more information.

Included in the price:

  • All riding, accommodation and meals and drinks while on the ride - excluded are drinks at lodges, restaurants, and petrol stations en-route.
  • Ground transfers from Windhoek International Airport to starting point of ride and return transfer to central Windhoek or Windhoek International Airport on day of departure.
  • A visit to the Namib Dune Sea at Sossuvlei - if you come fit, you can climb to the top for a spectacular view.

Excluded from the price:

  • Extra horse charge for riders 85kg and over in riding gear. For their horses' sake, please be accurate regarding weight and level of fitness. Enquire for further information on the Riding Policy.
  • Single supplement will be waived if prepared to share guesthouse accommodation.
  • Personal drinks and refreshments at all lodges, restaurants, and petrol stations en-route.
  • Accommodation and transfers not listed on the itinerary. Any extra transfers (for any reason including flight delays) other than those included in the itinerary - will be for guest's personal account.
  • Additional activities and packages. We are happy to assist with recommendations.
  • Safari staff gratuities.
Tailor-made holidays.
Make this trip your own.

Tailor this trip around your preferred dates, your budget and your ideas.

Enquire now

or call

01768 603 715

A tailor-made itinerary just for you.

Speak to a Namibia expert to start planning your adventure.

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Namibia Specialist
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Namibia Specialist

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01768 603 715

When to go to Namibia

Find out the best time to visit Namibia with our month by month guide.

  • Best
  • Good
  • Mixed
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

January

Bring your umbrella, it's rainy season. January is mid-summer in Namibia with the possibility of torrential downpours mid afternoon, but with temperatures of 30-35 degrees it tends to be hot and humid.

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February

Similar to January, it is hot and humid with the chance of a downpour in the afternoon.

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March

In March, rainfall starts to decrease and temperatures lower with nights becoming increasingly cool. Although daytime temperatures remain hot reaching up to 30 degrees.

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April

April is predominantly dry and hot, although there can be a couple of sporadic rainy days across the month

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May

Winter is coming. May has little or no rainfall and the humidity is low, in northern regions around Etosha you'll find fresher, greener landscapes with wildlife gathering around depleting watering holes.

  • If you're looking to tackle the Fish River Canyon Hike this is the best time to visit Namibia.
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June

In June the nights are cold and temperatures can drop below 10 degrees, whilst in the Namib desert it can reach below freezing. There is no chance of rain as the dry season is in full flow.

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July

Visitors in July will experience one of Namibia's coldest months, be sure to pack warm clothing as game drives can be chilly.

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August

Like July, visitors in August will experience one of Namibia's coldest months, be sure to pack warm clothing as game drives can be chilly and night time temperatures can drop below freezing both at the coast and inland.

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September

Considered the best month to travel to Namibia, September is temperate with clear dry skies and low humidity levels.

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October

In October game viewing is at its best, the vegetation is fading with temperatures rising up to 29 degrees.

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November

Heat continues to rise, with humidity levels remaining low, however there is a chance of rain in the afternoons.

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December

December brings the first rains of the season, bringing everything to life as animals start to disperse as more water becomes available.

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