7 night Masai Mara Riding Safari Itinerary
DAY 1 – Mara River Hippo Camp – You will either be collected from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or if you have arrived earlier, from your Nairobi hotel, and transferred to Wilson Airport for your 10am flight to Mara North in the Masai Mara. Your guides will meet you and drive you to your first camp, set up on the banks of the Mara River adjacent to a teeming hippo pool. Lunch will be served and you will have a little time to relax before meeting your horses and setting off on your first gentle evening ride (about 2 hours).
DAY 2 – Mara River Hippo Camp – We begin the day with an early morning ride, crossing the Mara River for the first time, returning to camp for a light breakfast. After breakfast a game drive will be on offer, driving provides better photographic opportunities than from a horse and exploring more of this Northern part of the Mara has much to offer. We will return in time for lunch and a siesta before setting off on an afternoon ride. We will be back in good time to shower and maybe set off in the vehicles once more for a sun downer and a short night game drive before supper.
DAY 3 – Escarpment Soit Olololo Camp – We leave camp after breakfast at about 9am, heading south towards the park boundary where we meet the river again at one of the famous wildebeest crossings. We cross the river and head southwest across the Mara Triangle, meeting the car with our picnic lunch at around 12:30. After lunch and a siesta we set off at about 16:00 and ascend the Soit Olololol Escarpment. We reach our camp at about 17:30 on the edge of the escarpment and spend the night overlooking the whole Mara ecosystem.
DAY 4 – Olare Orok Camp – We descend the escarpment after breakfast at about 9am and ride across to the same wildebeest crossing on the river. We head in a westerly direction and descend into the enchanting Olare Orok Valley with a picnic lunch and siesta from about 12:30-15:30 on the way. Reaching our camp in time at about 17:00 in time for tea, there should also be time to do an evening game drive and sundowners, before supper under the stars.
DAY 5 – Olare Orok Camp – Here we will have a full day of exploring this glorious area on horseback, car and possibly on foot. You will have excellent photo opportunities, getting close to buffalo, elephant, lion and maybe cheetah or leopard.
DAY 6 – Olare Lamun Camp – Our third moving day and we break camp in good time as it the longest ride of the trip covering nearly 50kms. Setting off at 7.00am, we have a picnic breakfast stopping from about 10-11am. We continue on until 13:30 where we break again for lunch and a siesta after reaching Ol Kinyei Conservancy. At 16:00 we head to our last camp, arriving at Olare Lamun (the rhino salt lick) nestled in a grove of acacia trees by a small stream at the southern edge of the Loita Plains.
DAY 7 – Olare Lamun Camp – After an early wake up we will set off for a morning ride before returning to camp for a light breakfast. We will then set out for a game drive and beautiful walk up the nearby hill called Oloiburmut, returning to camp for a lunch and a siesta. At around 4pm we will drive or ride to visit the local Masai Village.
DAY 8 – Departure Day – Our last morning ride before saying goodbye to our horses. After a final breakfast you will drive to the airstrip and fly back to Nairobi around 11am, landing into Wilson at 12noon. We will organise for a taxi to pick you up and either take you around Nairobi to do some shopping/visits, or to a Hotel day room (included), before taking you on to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your evening flight home, or your onward destination.
We do not operate during the two rainy seasons of April/May and November. We otherwise operate for every other month of the year and enjoy a wonderful climate with fantastic wildlife viewing year round. We ride at an average of 5500ft, which makes for warm days (up to 28°C and cool nights (down to 11°C) and very few mosquitoes. August/September/October are the best months for seeing the wildebeest and zebra migration from the Serengeti, but these animals can be seen in good numbers all year round.
Our mobile tented camp includes a mess tent for meals and spacious 9ft x 10ft sleeping tents with camp beds, mattresses, sheets & blankets. Towels, soap and torches are provided. There is a solar lamp in each tent, with hurricane lamps outside at night time. There is a long drop loo tent for every tent and hot safari bucket showers are always available.
All our food is fresh and we provide English breakfasts, light lunches and 3-course dinners. We often have picnics and eat in the open air if the weather is good. We carry ice cubes and are self sufficient for the whole safari. Bread is baked daily on open fires and our chefs are extremely good. All house wines, beers and spirits are included, except Champagne. Please let ask now if you have any dietary requirements or preferences ahead of time so that we can try to cater for you.
We will accept teenagers of age 14yrs and above on set departure safaris if they are competent riders and prepared to join in with other adults. Teenagers 14-17yrs pay 75% of the adult rate on a set departure. Teenagers and Children are welcome on private tailor made safaris, but are charged full adult rates.
Type of Riding
We ride in big game country, on open plains interspersed with bush. The short grass plains are ideal for riding (although you must look out for holes) and long canters are taken. We ride for 4 – 7 hours per day with 1 ½ – 2 hours lunch stops, and on our longest moving day we stop for breakfast on route. Walking on foot is sometimes necessary over rough terrain.
Riding Ability Required of guests
In order to enjoy the safari and for the safety of all the riders and horses, guests should be experienced riders, comfortable at all paces (walk, trot, canter, gallop) and able to get out of trouble calmly and at the necessary speed. You should be balanced with an independent seat and fit enough to ride 4 – 7 hours per day. We have a strict maximum weight limit of 210lbs/15 stone/95kg, due to our orses in Kenya simply not being very big and carrying the rider for 40+km per day. On booking, we will require details of your riding experience, plus your age, weight and height,so that we can match you to suitable horses.
Our horses are based at Deloraine House, and are trucked to each safari destination ahead of our guests. All our horses are thoroughbred and thoroughbred cross and have excellent stamina as a result. They are well schooled and some play polo and event. They are therefore responsive, though and fit. You will be pleasantly surprised.
We ride in English General Purpose Wintec saddles and leather saddles. Some Australian stock saddles are available on request. Seat savers are available. We mainly use snaffle bridles.
We often have non-riders join our safaris, when their spouse or friends are riders but they are not. We can cater very well for anyone who does not wish to ride and have an excellent team of guides and spotters who take them out by vehicle, meeting up with the rest of the group for meals, picnics and sundowners. All our guests enjoy game drives, night drives and walking, as well as riding, so the non-riders are still very much part of the group. Game drives are always available, even for the riders, if they prefer a break from the saddle every so often.
Insurance is compulsory. Whilst we carry public liability insurance and take all reasonable care, we insist that you travel with full travel and medical insurance for the duration of the holiday, including coverage of cancellation and curtailment, missed departure or delays, stolen, lost or damaged luggage, medical expenses, personal liability, extreme sports and activities (safari driving, camping, bush walking and horse riding).These are adventure safaris and Offbeat Safaris Ltd accepts no liability for accidents on safari – riders ride at their own risk.
Amref Flying Doctors
We provide every guest 30 day membership to Amref Flying Doctors https://flydoc.org/airambulance-services/ This includes air evacuation from the Mara to Nairobi in the case of a medical emergency and an ambulance to a Nairobi hospital. Any further medical insurance is required from the guest.
It is strongly recommended that you wear a hard riding hat on safari. Offbeat Safaris do not provide hard hats or chaps. If you wish to wear a riding hat, please bring your own.If you choose not to wear a hard riding hat this is at your own risk. Please check your holiday/medical insurance covers you in an accident if you are not wearing a riding hat.
The safari guide carries a satellite phone and mobile phone at all times.
We have a medical kit for people and horses in the game drive cars at all times and an emergency medical kit in the guide’s saddle bags.
Vaccinations & Medication
There are no compulsory vaccinations for entering Kenya. However, please ask your doctor for advice on what vaccinations and malaria medication are required before travelling. We do not recommend Larium.
Passports are required and must have validity for at least six months after travelling to Kenya. Those requiring a visa are now advised to have at least two blank pages available in their passport upon arrival.
You will require a tourist visa for Kenya. Visas can be obtained in advance at https://www.kenyavisagov.com although airport visas are available as well. There is a fee for the visa (approx $50 per person), whether obtained in advance or at the airport and you are required to pay in cash USD. Contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate for information.
There is no wifi available, however there is intermittent ‘Safaricom’ 3G signal across the Masai Mara. Nairobi hotels mostly have wifi and signal.
Shopping – Masai goods can be paid for in US Dollars or Kenyan shillings (small denominations are advisable). Most shops in Nairobi will take a credit card.
If you wish to leave a tip at the end of your stay this is at your own discretion. Tips are accepted in any denomination and collected by the guide to be distributed among the staff. The recommended amount for safari staff is $10-20 per day from each guest. The suggested gratuity for the guide and assistant guide is $20 per client, and should be handed directly to him.
NB. Domestic flights have a weight allowance of maximum 15 kilos including hand luggage. A soft bag is preferable to a hard case on safari.
Laundry will be washed by hand on non-moving days whilst you are on safari and dried in the sun. Ladies are asked to hand wash your own underwear for cultural reasons and we provide laundry powder for hand washing.
The itinerary goes in both directions (Mara River to Olare Lamun or Olare Lamun to Mara River).
Camps & Conservancies
1. Mara River Hippo Camp, Mara North Conservancy
2. Soit Olololo Escarpment Camp, Siria Escarpment
3. Olare Orok Camp, Mara North Conservancy
4. Olare Lamun Camp, Ol Kinyei & Naibosho Conservancies
Moving Days, Hours in the saddle
Day 3 – River Camp to Escarpment Camp: 5 Hours Riding (Breakfast at Camp, Ride 9am-12:30, picnic lunch + siesta, Ride 16:00 – 17:30)
Day 4 – Escarpment Camp to Olare Orok Camp: 5 Hours Riding (Breakfast at Camp, Ride 9am-12:30, picnic lunch + siesta, Ride 15:30 – 17:00)
Day 6 – Olare Lamun Camp, Ol Kinyei & Naibosho Conservancies 7 – 8 Hours Riding (Small Breakfast at Camp, Ride 7am – 10am, Picnic Breakfast, Ride 11am – 13:30, Picnic lunch + siesta, Ride 16:00 – 17:30)
Flying to the Mara
If the ride begins at the River Camp you will land into Mara North Airstrip and drive 30 minutes to camp. If the ride begins at the Olare Lamun Camp you will land into Naibosho Ol Seki Airstrip and drive 30 minutes to camp.
Flights from Wilson to the Masai Mara are 1 hour. You must be at Wilson at least 1 hour before your flight to check in. Flights from Masai Mara to Deloraine (Gogar Airstrip) are 40 minutes.
To watch our riding safari videos, please visit the below links:
Video 1: Deloraine Rift Valley and Offbeat Riding Safari Masai Mara
Video 2: Offbeat Riding Safari Masai Mara.
Layers are recommended due to varying weather and temperatures
Soft suitcase is preferable
Long sleeved cotton shirt x 3
Long sleeved shirt for evening x 2
T-shirts x 2
Lightweight trousers x 2
Skirt/Trousers for evening x 1
Shorts x 2
Warm jersey / Fleece x 1
Lightweight waterproof jacket
Riding Hat, Chaps, riding trousers and footwear
Comfortable Walking Shoes/
Rafting shoes/ flip-flops
Sun hat / Baseball cap
Camera and charger
Pen Knife and Head Torch
Passport, Wallet, Cash for
Emergency essentials in your hand
luggage, especially medication.
All linen and towels
Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner
First Aid Kit
Aluminium 1 litre water bottles for you to keep, which fit in your saddle bag.
BESPOKE TAILOR MADE RIDING SAFARIS: Minimum 2 and maximum 12 riders.
* Minimum 5 Nights
* Closed Seasons: April, May & November
Included in tailor made Riding Safaris:
All conservation & park fees
Full board accommodation
All drinks (except Champagne)
Game drives (day & night)
Local airstrip transfers
Amref Flying Doctors Membership (Air Evacuation to Nairobi)
Excluded from tailor made Riding Safaris:
International / domestic flights
Single Supplement: $150 per night (if not willing to share)
Internal flights & transfers
Returning to Deloraine or Sosian after a safari can be organised on request
Nakuru Park trip while at Deloraine:
Each of 2 riders Rack $330 Nett $280
Each of 3 riders Rack $280 Nett $240
Each of 4 riders Rack $260 Nett $225
Each of 5+ riders Rack $230 Nett $200
Loldia transfers: $300 per vehicle one way