Five Amazing Riding Adventures


Explore the vast plains of Botswana on a four-day riding safari across the Kalahari, meeting bushmen and learning the techniques of food-gathering, animal tracking and hunting. Rides are accompanied by a “San” bushman who will track wildlife including leopard, springbok, cheetah and wildebeest. Riders should be of good intermediate level.


The best way to tackle the Sahara desert is by camel, just as the Bedouin have been doing for thousands of years. Camel trekking moves at a slow place and is an ideal way to soak up the atmosphere of the desert, with six- or seven-hour treks through dunes and kasbahs and nights spent under canvas. A reasonable level of fitness is needed.


If you’ve always longed to learn to ride, there are options besides a cold muddy field in the UK. Head to the Azores for a learn-to-ride week that combines lessons with dolphin- and whale-watching, alongside other excursions to explore the history and culture of these little-visited Portuguese islands. Accommodation is at a local quinta with riding school attached.


Spend a few days learning to be a “mahout” and you don’t just learn to ride an elephant, but bath and feed it and become generally responsible for its wellbeing. The three-day course takes place at an ecolodge in Luang Prabang in Laos, under the watchful eye of experienced mahouts, and also includes the chance to go kayaking or bamboo rafting in the Nam Khan river.


Riding adventures aren’t just for adults – increasingly companies are offering family-friendly tours, where children can ride out or take part in other organised activities. Costa Rica offers breathtaking riding through cloudforest, savannah and plantation lands, with the chance to stay on a ranch where kids can also try kayaking, snorkelling, canopy tours and wildlife-spotting.