Horseback riding in Uganda

Horseback riding in Uganda : Horseback ride experience are an awesome vivid way of seeing observing wildlife and the surrounding communities of a destination. There are basically 2 places in Uganda where horseback riding activity is famous that is in Jinja by the Nile Horseback riding safari and in Lake Mburo national park by Mihingo lodge.

Horseback riding safaris in Jinja

Horseback riding tours in Jinja take you through rural Uganda areas and some stunning areas along the banks of the River Nile which is well believed to start from Uganda, views from the hills overlooking the Nile valley, canter through the stunning plantation vistas and relax in the tranquility of Mabira forest. The horses provided for nature rides are the reputation of the service provider. They have a range of sizes and breeds to suit everyone from beginners to advanced skill levels. These horses are said to come from northern Kenya when they are aged between 1 year and 3 years. The horses are trained for about a year before the guides begin to ride them and at least a year and a half before clients ride them. Horseback riding safaris fly a vet in from South Africa twice yearly, a horse dentist from the UK annually and a master farrier from France to train their staff. Horses are kept in immaculate condition and are trained in competition disciplines as well as being safari horses. They are well behaved, safe and bomb-proof, making them a pleasure to ride. They can accommodate riding groups with mixed levels of experience by allowing the riding groups to temporarily separate at certain points on the safari allowing more competent riders to ride at a more advanced pace and those not so confident to stay within their comfort zone. For those experienced riders looking for a fast-paced safari with plenty of cantering, they do have specific Uganda safaris for advanced riders only. Some of the rides offered in Jinja include;

Intro Pony Rides – these rides are both for kids as well as adults. To ensure these rides are as safe as possible, they have a guide walking and controlling the pony/horse and helping you or your child at all times. There have a 30 minute or 1-hour options at different prices from US $20 per person. These ponies are very safe, and parents are allowed to walk with their children and take photos.

1 hour mixed group ride – this is a one-hour ride aimed at beginners, kids from 6 years, aged riders and those that may be a little nervous. It is an introductory slow paced safari involving walk and trot, with most of the rides in the local village and about 1 kilo meters along the banks of the great River Nile. Really nervous riders can be led along on lead ropes if required. This ride costs from about US $40 per person

1.5 hour mixed group ride – The 1.5-hour ride is a slightly more advanced version of 1-hour ride. There are some opportunities for a short canter if you choose, but this ride is still a slower paced trip, more a sightseeing tour through the village and along the River bank rather than a hard core riding trip. Ideal trip for friends or family that don’t want anything too intense. These rides cost about from US $50 per person

Sunset ride –  This is a late afternoon ride of 1.5 hours during the cooler part of the day. It’s more of a relaxed ride, great for all abilities and takes in the stunning light across the River and the relaxed mood of the village in the late afternoon. Also includes boat transport from Nile River Camp and a few sundowner drinks

2-hours mixed group – This ride suits groups of friends/family with a range of abilities who want to ride together. The ride takes in mostly the rural areas and the section along the Nile. There are options for some short canters on this ride, but no-one is expected to go faster than they feel comfortable.

2-hours advanced ride – This ride is mostly popular for serious riders. Plenty of opportunity for lots of cantering in the hills and plantations but also with the section in the village and along the Nile. If you are a serious horseback rider and you haven’t been riding for a while this is the tour for you. Beginners and children are not allowed, and this ride is a private ride.

3-hours advanced ride – This horseback riders’ safari is a hard-core fast-paced ride, with only yourself or other very experienced riders. You cover a lot of ground and unless you are riding regularly you will be exhausted after 3 hours. Long canters in the plantations, and also our standard sections in the village and along the riverbank.

Overnight Safari rides – A 9 to 10 hour ride over 2 days staying at The Haven river lodge. This is a journey taking in the Nile river, villages, Mabira forest, sugar and tea plantations for a peek into rural Uganda. An awesome experience for confident riders. We require a minimum of 2 riders, and there are various accommodation options available.

Horseback riding safari in Lake Mburo national park

Taking a horseback ride in a wild is one of the best ways to explore the wildlife especially a place like a national park. Lake Mburo national park is smallest savannah national park located along the Masaka-Mbarara highway. If you want to the see the wild cats, Lake Mburo national park is not one of the recommended national park but for the antelope species. The Impala can only be seen in Lake Mburo national park. Other animals found include; Giraffes, warthog, Topi, Duiker, Bushbuck, Waterbuck and Zebra. Unlike game drives, with horseback rides in Lake Mburo national park is more enjoyable and interesting without the noise of an engine which you can hear while in the vehicle.

Horseback riding in Uganda
Horseback riding in Lake Mburo national park

Mihingo lodge has been operating horseback safaris since December 2008 outside Lake Mburo National Park. However, in November 2009, received a concession to operate horse safaris inside Lake Mburo national park. Riding a horse in Lake Mburo national park means you often get the chance to see the more animals and on a lucky day, you may see animals such as the Eland and Buffalo, and the leopards on a horse ride! While on a safari, you will always see a mixture of warthog, topi, impala, duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck and zebra. The time of year and the weather does affect the number and variety of animals that you see, as the animals’ graze where the grass is the most delicious. Watching animals from a horse is so peaceful and a totally different experience from being on a game drive; zebras come towards you to check out the strange relative without stripes. Even the eland that are usually very shy, look curiously at the horses without running away, but keep their distance. Book a 3 Days trip to Lake Mburo national park with Achieve Global safaris and enjoy a horseback ride in Uganda Safaris Tours.

Things to know before a horseback ride

Safety during the horseback ride

The responsible horseback riding companies ensure that safety is at its best. They employ trained care takers for both the horses and the travelers. The horses are well fed and perfectly kept so that they are more safe and reliable while on the safaris. All trips are accompanied by two or more guides and visitors are provided with protection gears like helmets. There is a given weight limit of 85 kilograms for a rider weight’s limit. This is for the safety of the client and also for the wellbeing of the horses. The maximum weight that you can be to ride our horses is 100 kg, but most of our horses cannot carry more than 85kg. Please do not be offended if we have to weigh you as we must ensure that our horses are not damaged by carrying people who are too heavy as this can seriously damage their backs.

When to go for horseback riding

Horseback riding safaris can be done at any however, the dry seasons are considered best time of the year to do the horseback rides. Nile Horseback rides run short riding safaris from 1 hour, 1 and a half hours, 2-hour and 3-hour rides – 7 days a week at 10 am in the morning and 2 pm in the afternoon. Bookings are essential given that there are limited horses and guides. For example, overnight horse riding safaris are run on demand with a minimum of 2 riders. Our sunset rides (90 minutes) run from 4-pm on demand with a minimum of 2 riders.

The horseback rides in Lake Mburo national park range from 1 to 5 hour however, the most exhilarating ride recommend for more experienced riders is a 4 to 5 hour ride which takes you onto the grassy Warukiri range of hills that are situated in the middle of the park. From high on the Warukiri ridge there are stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding hills and valleys in the Park. On the furthest hill you will find a waterhole, where you just might see a herd of buffalo enjoying the cool air. There is a magnificent view onto 9 of the 12 lakes surrounding Lake Mburo National Park. This ride changes the whole feeling of Lake Mburo National Park as it is absolutely spectacular.

What to pack for a horseback ride?

Visitors are recommended travel and wear with own closed shoes (boots or trainers), preferably with a heel. For your comfort, you are recommended to wear jeans or trousers that completely cover your legs to stop stirrup leather rubs. All horses are equipped with saddlebags including a raincoat for each client. The other essentials to bring are a small bottle of water, sunscreen, and your camera.  Fully adjusted helmets in all sizes as well as riding chaps are provided by the responsible companies. All our rides are accompanied by at least one experienced horse guide, but in most cases there are 2 guides accompanying each Horseback riding in Uganda.

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