A short ride into the surrounding plains that is ideal for an extended week-end or for those travellers with restricted time available. Even for the few days involved you get to experience the feel of an active horse safari across unfenced wilderness and the evening atmosphere of our camps. The first night is spent at our base, Uto Farm; high up on the slopes of Mt. Meru volcano. From the verandah you have an unhindered view for 50 miles across the savannah below, to distant mountains in the region of Lake Natron. African wildlife follow migration routes across this area in search of fresh grass and water. We predominantly encounter plains and dry land game, such as Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu, Ostrich and a great variety of birds. Our Lion camp is at the far end of the this view, nestled at the margin of one of the extensive valleys formed by the succession of rifts emanating from Meru mountain towards Lake Natron. To clear the farm we ride through the surrounding tribal area, home to the local tribe; the Wa-arush, allies of the Maasai.
The Wa-arush people still live in circular mud huts with thatch roofs and obey a strict set of customs defined by the elders of the tribe. Away from the mountain where water starts to become scarce their settlements wither away and we enter the territory of the Maasai proper. However, the population density along our route is low and the camps are well out of settlement range. Here wild game still roams the plains, adding excitement to your horseback ride.
Ride out from the farm, descending Mt. Meru, enjoying the spectacular views of the savannah plains below and of the far-off volcanic mountains that characterise this area. We ride to our first safari camp, passing traditional settlements of the Wa-Arush tribe along the way. The ride takes us along the top of a great escarpment and allows for truly spectacular views into the valley below and also to all corners of the horizon.
We ride out from our camp toward's our second night's 'Twin Hills' camp about 30km away. Along the way you cross through thorn bush that can host plenty of game - mostly giraffe, zebra, lesser kudu, ostrich and the lesser gazelles. Unique to the area is the long-necked giraffe gazelle also known as the Gerenuk. Lunch is near a low hill and under an acacia tree. Siesta in the shade then ride on to camp. Dinner by the campfire. Overnight in the camp.
A full day's return ride to Uto Farm across the plains at the north-western foot of Mt. Meru. Lunch in the shade of an acacia tree along the banks of one of the dried out riverbeds. Afternoon tea and drinks on the farm verandah or in the garden on arrival. Dinner. Overnight at the farm.
After breakfast, transfer to Arusha.
To Our Safari Family,
Our experience with you has far exceeded all our expectations from the riding to the food to all the great laughs, you are all awesome! We will remember Tanzania and its amazing sunsets as a highlight of our voyage! Thanks for making every detail perfect. We aim to make this a Semester at Sea tradition.
The American Chicks (and Grady). Kim, Courtney, Carlena, Claire, Jenny
Rift Valley Ride October 2004
|Riding expedition||Tanzania||4 Days||All year||Level A||4-12|
|8 riders||7 riders||6 riders||5 riders||4 riders||3 riders||2 riders|