South Africa’s iSimangaliso Wetland park is one of South Africa’s largest protected areas and spans over 2000 square miles of habitat, with everything from pristine coastline to game areas. Although you may be thinking of taking a traditional safari, complete with jeeps, binoculars and plenty of adventure, some people opt for a quieter option: horseback riding.
A horse safari in iSimangaliso park will allow you to take in the beauty of the natural landscape in a relaxed setting. Although traditional automobile safaris are great, and we totally recommend checking them out, having the option to quietly explore South Africa’s scenery on horseback is a breathtaking experience. If you’re interested, we’d definitely recommend looking into it more. Here are a few things we think you should know:
How long are the safaris?
It differs, but generally they’re somewhere between one and three hours. In that time you can typically see either the game reserve areas or the beach areas. Longer safaris typically give you time to see a little of both.
One great thing about these safaris is that they still give you plenty of time to do other things. It’s very doable to wake up, have a great breakfast at your hotel, go explore the Wetlands on horseback, go back to your hotel to get ready and then have a great night on the town. Longer safaris are awesome too, but people looking to cram a lot of fun into their stay in South Africa are usually excited about the shorter options.
What will you see?
This definitely depends on the version of the safari you do. If you end up on the game version of the safari, you’ll most likely see some of South Africa’s bigger fauna, including wildebeests, impalas and zebras. Some lucky tourists have even seen rhinos, but that’s a little less common.
If you decide to partake in the beach version you’ll spend your time on white sandy beaches, and see humpback whales, turtles or dolphins, depending on the season. Of course, the beach safaris are also accompanied by the sound of gently crashing waves, which is very relaxing.
If you do a longer, combined safari, you’ll have the best of both worlds, but be spending a bit more time out. There are plenty of options, and lots of great things to see!
When’s the best time to go?
This definitely depends on what you plan to see while you’re there. If you’re taking the game version of the safari, the season is a little less important, and you’ll see plenty of large game any time of the year. The beach versions are usually best between June and February, as those are the months you’re most likely to encounter whales and turtles.
If your travel plans are outside of those months, though, not to worry. South Africa has enough beauty to go around, and you’ll encounter some of it any time of the year.
We hope you check out horse safaris if you’re going to South Africa. They’re a great way to experience the environment, and not many people have the luck of seeing a humpback whale from the back of a horse, while on a beautiful beach.