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There is just one place you can experience the African safari on horseback in Zambia and that is in the Kafue National Park which is the largest and oldest national park in Zambia covering an incredible 14,000 square miles. And what better way can you think of to explore this vast and varying terrain, wildlife and birds than on an African riding holiday?
Rides could include the banks of the Kafue River and its many tributaries, lake shores, swamps or through thick and mysterious forests. The main base for the Zambian horse safaris is near the man-made Lake Itezhi-Tezhi which covers an area of 230 square miles. Naturally, exploring the varied shore line of the lake is a must. You will ride along its grassy banks and take in the view that is dotted with hippos, miniature islands and submerged trees – natural and irresistible perches for exotic birds.
Seated on your naturally high perch, from horseback you’ll be able to see far out across the landscape, easily able to spot many of the 500 plus species of birds that have been documented here. Horses are also perfectly suited to riding amongst some of the twenty-three species of herbivores that can be found in Kafue National Park. Unlike zebra, some of the larger herbivores like the dense elephant populations and buffalo will need to be approached more carefully as will the eleven species of carnivores!
The topography is as varied as the range of wildlife. Large teak forests (like the Ngoma Forest), sandy expanses, areas of swamp, never-ending open plains, lake beaches and even regal palm trees are on offer. Horseback is perfect to take in the surroundings of the Kafue National Park through all five senses. You’ll hear the grunts, growls and unique sounds of big game as well melodious birdsong. You’ll see brightly coloured feathers, amazing animals and beautiful plants, trees and shrubs. You’ll smell the wildness of Africa and the fresh breeze it offers. By touch you’ll lead your horse across wild Africa and at the end of an adventurous day you’ll be able to experience the taste of good food amongst great company.
Zambia is often referred to as ‘the real Africa’ for the simple reason that as it still has immense portions of wilderness. It is pristine. Untouched. Unspoiled. Areas like this deserve to be explored with respect and horseback safaris are quiet and non-intrusive, lending themselves marvelously to true adventurers, real game enthusiasts and seekers of Africa’s real charm.
write by brooks