An amazing experience. So close to nature on horseback. The Walk with Lions, everyone needs to do this. Connie, Craig, Robyn. All the cooks even in the middle of a storm and flooded out dining area, which resulted in a candle lit dinner in a swimming pool all good. Thank you.
I stayed at Horseback Africa over night last week and enjoyed an unforgettable experience. The property, and all contained within, is in excellent condition. The lodge ( I stayed in the Zebra Room), is well maintained, very comfortable and has a wonderful ambiance. The lodge is designed with tree trunks set inside to appear as if the ceilings are supported by them...pretty cool. The parklands surrounding the lodge and pool area are lush and green with many penned animals to visit and observe within (lions, lion cubs, tortoise, meerkats, guinea pig, talking parrot....) so that, whilst you are not on the safari activities you can relax and enjoy the surrounds. There are two delightfully playful dogs who followed me on my walks. I did the Walking with Lions Tour which I enjoyed very much. I even saw a lion and lioness mating, which was a pretty interesting first for me, and then to be walking with, and holding, lion cubs shortly after was a thrill. Next morning I did The Horse Back Safari. I really enjoyed this activity. I have been on safari many times but never on horse back and I am not a rider at all but Connie and Mavis chose a most beautiful horse for me, called Divide, and their instructions and adherence to safety gave me the freedom to truly relax and enjoy the surrounds. We saw wildebeest, impala, Zebra and Giraffe and really did get up close to each on our horses. A number of things really stand out with these experiences at Horseback Africa; the fact that horse back Africa is not just a tourist attraction but is a working conservation project and the fact that it is obvious to see the genuine happiness of all of the staff. I really did enjoy my experience of a couple of days and recommend a day trip or two day stay at Horse back Africa.
From the moment you arrive, you are warmly welcomed by one or more of the MacRae family members. I did a full day there (from 8am- 3.30pm). First up was a horseback ride on one of the many trails around the property. Brandon was an excellent tour guide for our small group of 5- he was so encouraging and knowledgable! You have a very unique introduction to your horse that is carefully recommended to you based on your experience and riding confidence. Then you're off! We were very lucky to see giraffe, zebra and antelope on our ride. For the slightly more experienced riders there are few opportunities for a canter as well!
Lunch was homemade, wood fire pizza made on an organic base- yum! Where else would you try ostrich or kudu pizza?
They can make vegetarian options as well.
There are meerkats, snakes, cats, dogs and a very chatty bird also around the property. And a pool! So don't forget your swimming costume!
The lion walk was my favourite. Colin feels like your long lost relative as he takes you on a walk with the lion cubs. He explains what they are doing for the African lion population and how they are going about it. His passion is quite contagious!
We met other bigger lions at the park and watched on as they ripped apart their lunches. Colin shares every one of their stories like a proud Dad.
Last, but certainly not the least, was a hands on introduction to the smallest lion cub resident (but not for long we are told, as two lioness are expected to give birth in just a few weeks)! There are really no words when you are sitting there cuddling a lion cub in Africa. It's a pretty amazing feeling.
The whole day was incredible. Such a warm and friendly environment for both the animals and visitors. If you're looking for a hands on animal experience- done the right way, with conservation and animal wellbeing in mind- then this is it! A big thank you to Colin, Theony, Megan and Brandon for making not just my day but my whole year! Xx
We were fortunate to be able to spend 2 nights at Horseback Africa. The property which is located about 40 minutes drive from Pretoria is certainly rural with beautiful views across the countryside. If you are looking for glitz and glamour this is not the place for you, on the other hand if you want to experience family hospitality and enthusiasm, open countryside and the opportunity to interact with the wildlife you will be hard pressed to find a better location. The family and staff are all committed to helping Africa to protect its lion population through a dedicated breeding programme designed to increase the gene pool throughout Africa. It is a small programme but is undertaken with great care and compassion for the animals. The plus side is this allows visitors to get first hand experience with the younger lions. we also spent half day on horseback safari where we saw various wildlife including, zebras and giraffes. We were also privileged to be able to watch a polo match being played by the club which is also located here. It was a thoroughly exciting yet peaceful experience which I would recommend, even if you don't feel confident to undertake a horse ride (which you can do even with little or no previous experience) you can still enjoy the lodge and surrounding area and take a walk with the lions, truly exceptional experience.
What an incredible experience!!!
Took the gautrain from Sandton to get there and Colin picked us up at the station. The place is beautiful. Colin's son Brendan gave us very useful tips about riding and the horses, some of our party didn't have much experience, and were a bit nervous. And at ease we set off for an amazing tour, with Brendan and sweet Mavis. We saw kudus, wildbeast, cebras... so close we could almost touch them. It was fantastic!!! They love what they do and make sure their horses are well looked after!!
After lunch, which was quite basic, I relaxed by the pool while the others went on to another tour, walk with lions, before Theony took us back to the station. Lovely family, thank you for an incredible experience!!!!