Recognized worldwide for its stunning beaches, natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage, the spice islands of Zanzibar make for one of the most unforgettable vacation experiences ever. During your stay, if you start to get tired of relaxing on the beach or have already experienced the amazing tours Zanzibar has to offer, why not explore the rest of the island on horseback? Picture yourself riding down the beach, at sunset or exploring coconut plantations, or even swimming with the horses -- yes, that's a thing!
It is every equestrian’s dream to ride along a pristine beach lined with tropical trees, but even if you are a non-horsey person, you’ll still be blown away by this exhilarating experience. After all, what could be better than the gentle motion of horseback riding across glistening sands and the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean flanking you as you enjoy an elevated view of the stunning scenery? And hey, at the very least, horse riding is an excellent form of exercise with little effort required on your part, even as a casual rider. Some top horseback riding experiences in Zanzibar include:
These rides can take up to five hours so they’re not for the faint of heart or limb. If you’re up for it, however, you can look forward to a thrilling adventure that is sure to be one of the highlights of your Zanzibar trip. You will traverse mountains, pass through forests, plantations, villages, and rice fields, as well as amble along the fine white sands of the beach past coral caves. The average speed is about 6km/h, which is roughly twice the speed you could do on foot. This time, however, you get the added height advantage provided by your mount so the tour experience definitely feels different and more exciting. Halfway through the tour, you get to enjoy an hour’s break while the horses take a breather and you relax and enjoy lunch in your tranquil surroundings.
Full Moon Ride
Picture white powdery sands glimmering and the ocean shimmering in the moonlight and as your ride, the silence of a tropical night is only punctuated by the crashing waves and the sounds of nocturnal animals in the distance. A full moon ride is an extraordinarily romantic and magical experience that words and pictures alone cannot adequately capture.
Swimming on Horseback
You’re already at the beach so why not get a little wet? You and the horse will love this unique experience in the warm shallows of the Indian Ocean. There is no saddle attached on this ride but the horse will be led by an experienced groom to prevent it from swimming out to sea out of sheer enjoyment.
Cultural Village Rides
This ride takes you directly from the stables towards Nungwi village. You’ll see the local Nungwi village school and continue into the village through narrow back streets, passing houses and shops along the way. You can also check out the Nungwi fish market although you might need to dismount and continue on foot as you witness village life and see how the beach is the beating heart of the village and brings everyone together.
Kiwengwa Beach Tour
This ride lasts about two and a half hours over stunning dunes. Some horseback riding companies offer this ride and include a picnic lunch overlooking the sea, as well as a visit to the local Swahili village where you can meet the friendly locals. Swimming with the horses can also be incorporated into this ride, but most beach rides are usually subject to the time of high tides.
Outrides Through the Coconut Plantations
Again, the added height from your mount will prove to be advantageous on this tour. Gallop through the rows and rows of towering coconut trees, as the ocean breeze cools your body. You might spot some of the plantation workers along the way and get to meet them. After your tour, you can lead your horse to the beach to watch the romantic sunset before heading back to the stable yard.
Benefits of a Horseback Ride
Horseback riding In Zanzibar is a truly wonderful experience, one that you’ll definitely be talking about long after you’ve left the majestic island. Make sure you don't miss out on this adventure during your stay.