HORSEBACK SAFARIS – Lake Mburo
By Michelle Sutton
As an intrepid bush lover and safari enthusiast, the idea of experiencing my passion on horseback was extremely intriguing. Mihingo Lodge is the only place in Uganda that offers horseback safaris in a national park so that is where this first time experience took place.
My husband and I are inexperienced riders and were unsure of how our backsides would fare on a long ride, so we started with a one-hour safari in the late afternoon. The stables are a short distance from Mihingo Lodge where we were spending a couple of nights. When we arrived at the stables for our safari we were met by Joseph the stable manager. Joseph showed us around the stables and he introduced us to all of the horses and ponies. The stables and facilities were clean, organized and had a number of spacious paddocks for the horses to graze.
After we were acquainted with the facilities it was time to visit the tack room and get ready for our ride. Trail saddles, stirrups, chaps and helmets are all provided for your guided safari. Riders should wear long pants, a strong pair of shoes and most importantly bring your sense of adventure. All geared up we were ready to meet our horses. I was riding Summersong and Kevin had his trusty steed Vallas. Joseph gave us a few pointers and instruction about riding our horses and we were all set.
We left the stables and began our safari riding through the savannah. I had been told that game and wildlife is extremely relaxed around horses allowing riders to get very close to them but some things need to be experienced to be fully understood. Not only did we get very close to animals and what surprised me the most was their calmness. We were able to maintain a normal volume of conversation and they didn’t flinch or seem bothered. Our guides Joseph and Charles were very knowledgeable about the wildlife and their habitat. As we rode through the bush and grassland we came across many species including warthogs, zebra, eland, dwarf mongoose, impala and bush buck as well as various birds. Horseback safaris are not ideal for photography as your hands are needed on the reins and the constant movement is not conducive for photos. Small manageable point and shoot cameras are ideal. The whole experience is very relaxing and personal. While sitting on your horse you can enjoy the scenery and make mental memories.
Feeling confident after our first ride, we decided to go for a longer one in the morning. This time we left the stables at 7:30am for a 4-hour ride that took us outside the park towards Lake Kacheera. Animals were plentiful and the landscape and scenery was beautiful. For those that have never been on a horseback safari it is a special experience. Without the confines of a vehicle and a rumbling engine you can take in every sound and every movement. The horses at Mihingo were relaxed and calm so there was never any fear of being taken on a sudden gallop. Having no previous experience, I never felt worried or stressed.
After the rides, Mihingo lodge was a stunning place to have a swim in the infinity pool overlooking a waterhole, have a full body massage, enjoy gourmet food and take in a bit of Mihingo magic. We thoroughly enjoyed our first horseback safari and didn’t suffer from any aches, pains or sore backsides. We left only with plenty of memories and smiles on our faces. It was definitely an adventure that we will never forget.
To enjoy a Mihingo horseback safari, no previous experience with horses is necessary. They are fully equipped for adults and children and offer rides starting from 30 minutes to several hours as well as overnight trips, bush breakfasts and picnic lunches.
- 25 US$ for a ½ hour ride
- 40 US$ for a 1 hour ride
- 70 US$ for a 2 hour ride
- 90 US$ for a 3 hour ride
There are also 2 and 3-day horseback safari options to consider. Please contact Mihingo Lodge for more information
Horseback Safaris (Mihingo Safari Lodge)
Mobile: +256 752 410509.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.mihingolodge.com