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Namibia from the back of a horse

Namibia from the back of a horse – a unique kind of safari Almost everyone has been on some sort of African safari; few get to do so from the back of a horse in one of the most breath-taking environments on the planet, the Namib Desert. From the dramatic landscapes of Damaraland, the great plains of the central Namib, and the biodiversity of the Fish River Canyon, we are privileged to ride in extraordinarily diverse environments. The Namib has an indescribable yet very tangible appeal to both nature-lover and soul-seeker alike and what better way to explore this wild beauty than on horseback? With over 20 years of experience in perfecting mobile riding safaris, Namibia Horse Safari Company has specialised in extreme but infinitely rewarding riding experiences.



Covering up to 300 km in 8 days over rough desert terrain, these challenging riding safaris are certainly not for the unfit or inexperienced rider. But for those who are confident and fit enough to ride any type of horse, this is possibly the most thrilling riding you will ever experience. Wide open spaces invite long, long canters – sometimes with zebra or ostrich racing alongside the horses. There is enough space to breathe, time to enjoy the natural beauty and the silence…. that is precious. Comments by guests often express the inadequacy of words in describing the sheer majesty of these impressive landscapes – especially the joy of no phones, computers or TV for a whole week. Another frequent comment is that this is the ‘reset button for your soul’ – and guests have been known to make extraordinary changes in their lives after one of these riding safaris. Stripped bare of seemingly unnecessary complexity, these hauntingly beautiful places remind us of how vulnerable we are in such extreme environments and of how supremely adapted the animals and plants are which survive this wild desolation. Long mystified by poets and mystics, deserts often evoke an ineffable feeling that invites a much more broad-minded approach to life. For those brave enough to allow a radical shift in perspective, enlightening experiences have known to happen. Days on safari are leisurely; beginning at sunrise with the comforting aroma of coffee wafting from the kitchen and horses quietly nickering for their nosebags. We keep pace with the westward orientated sun, reaching our overnight camp in time for chilled sundowner drinks. The delight of a hot shower at the end of an exciting days riding is simply heaven.



Nights spent sleeping under the splendid Milky Way with picketed horses quietly eating nearby have an indescribable magic about them. Warm duck down bedrolls keep even the winter chill out and although tents are provided on request, it seems a shame to sleep in a tent when such magnificent night skies are on offer. Campfire camaraderie and the lasting bond between horse and rider often linger long after you have left the desert. So addictive is the appeal of these extraordinary rides that 60 % of our guests are repeats and some have completed up to ten safaris. They almost always ask for the same horse and of course we are happy to oblige. Our plucky horses are wonderfully adapted to life on safari. Bred and raised on rough mountain terrain, they come from mixed stock including German sport horses, quarter horses, Arabs and of course the supremely adapted Boerperd. Calm on a picket-line, yet forward going and willing, they do their job well and always seem to have more to give. For the comfort of both horse and rider we use skirted endurance saddles which are best suited to the challenges of desert terrain. The saddles also provide for the tying-on of shed fleeces as the days warm up, only to be untied again as winter evening temperature rapidly drops Deserts can be unpredictable places and any self-respecting desert rat will know that dressing in layers is the sensible way to survive the Namib’s surprises. To make the most of these unique riding experiences, it is best to come well prepared. Spending up to six hours in the saddle without being riding fit to begin with can be rather a surprise to both horse and rider alike. At times the going gets rough and you will be required to get off and lead your horse through the tricky bits. However, there are always friendly crew on hand to help, including with saddling and the care of your horse while on trail. One crew member who is always fondly remembered by guests is our ever-smiling chef Vincent. Proficient at producing remarkable cuisine over an open campfire, the creations he produces from his three-legged potjie’s will surprise and delight the palate. It is our mission to make these remarkable safaris available to horse lovers from the SADC regions and to this end we are planning a special Namib Desert Safari in October 2017. Aimed at endurance riders, this will be an opportunity to test your and your horse’s metal on these incredible rides.

For enquiries please contact us on


And so another group of picketed horses watch as eager riders, full of expectation, arrives at their first desert campsite. In the hush of evening the sun sinks into the distant sea of sand and a lone jackal calls in the distance. This sublime Namib.


Cavalli Wine Estate and Stud Farm – An Unparalleled Cape Winelands Destination

Opened in 2013, Cavalli Estate has quickly become a recognised and respected South African ‘lifestyle’ experience with the estate’s development on the R44 being widely regarded as a significant event for Stellenbosch and the Cape Winelands. As a ‘destination brand’ for both locals and tourists, the estate is now renowned for its wine, cuisine, design, architecture, indigenous landscaping and art and Cavalli has developed a very loyal following of discerning patrons. The contemporary and distinctive aesthetic of the estate, which is threaded throughout the Cavalli experience, is something that has been widely lauded as a progressive step for a South African wine estate.


Indeed, the restaurant at Cavalli Estate is the first Green Star rated restaurant and exhibition space in the country and was recently awarded its 4-star rating by the GBCSA. Designed by the Architectural Team of Lauren Smith and Bouwer architects, this project was awarded the sought-after Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism award for Architecture and Landscapes in Bilbao. The passively designed building uses a Geo- exchange system incorporating the dam to heat and cool, Solar Energy and a waste water treatment plant to recycle 93% of the estates water along other initiatives to encourage sustainability.


The restaurant at Cavalli, which over looks a serene dam set against the backdrop of the magnificent Helderberg mountain range, has become a favourite among discerning foodies and is now firmly established as a premier dining destination in the Western Cape.

Headed​ by Calum Anderson, Cavalli describes its approach to cuisine as ‘modern​, ​global cuisine’, inspired by a focus on heritage​ as it draws upon​ the fresh produce of Southern Africa. Their menu ​really does take one on a ​gastronomic ​journey, ​touching on points of nostalgia and it’s inspiring to see Calum and his team forage daily​ in the heirloom vegetable garden,​ ​which they believe translates to superior flavour. Cavalli offers its guests the opportunity to experience a delicious relaxed winelands lunch or a fine dining dinner – there are few views like it – paired with an expertly crafted wine list​, craft beers and an impressive​ select​ion of​ whiskeys.

The restaurant at Cavalli has also set a new benchmark for stylish winelands dining, and was the proud recipient of the coveted 2014 Style Award at the Eat Out Mercedes Benz Restaurant Awards.



Located in the foothills of the Helderberg region of Stellenbosch, cooled by summer breezes off False Bay and combining with the other terroir elements, this region known as the Golden Triangle is where Cavalli’s renowned winemaker Craig Barnard produces Cavalli wines and brings a fresh outlook to the brand along with an innovative approach with regards to style. He believes firmly that picking fruit early produces wines that are fresher and fruitier with strong ageing potential.

Craig strongly upholds the concept of sustainable viticultural practices, integral to the Cavalli ethos, and as such manages and oversees the development of the vineyards in such a way that only the best quality fruit is produced. “Great fruit can only produce great wine if nurtured and cared for meticulously”. 100% Vititech motherblock plant material is used on the farm – resulting in virus free vineyards and optimal growth, producing outstanding wines. Extreme attention to detail from soil preparation to bottling, through a hands-on approach secures grapes of the highest quality.

The premium range includes the 2016 Peoples choice Award winner for Best Label in the country: ‘Warlord’ a blend of Cabernet Sauvigon/Shiraz along with ‘Cremello’, a blend of Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay/Verdelho, ‘Vendetta’ Viognier/Verdelho, ‘Valkyrie’ Malbec/Petit Verdot and ‘Nightmare’ Shiraz/Grenache with ‘Capriole’ a Blanc de Blanc MCC in the pipeline.

The ‘Passions’ Range portfolio includes ‘Black Beauty’ Shiraz, award winning ‘White Knight’ Chenin Blanc and ‘Pink Pony’ Grenache Rose’ which are sure to be formidable contenders in the entry-level market, bringing a modern product and a high level of quality to the table at a price any top-end, boutique producer would struggle to beat.



Cavalli Equine at its foundation is centered on a respect and admiration for the “exquisite beauty, power and harmony harnessed by our enduring companion, the horse” says Smith. The private stud accordingly aspires to breed and train the finest Saddlebred horses; horses that singularly embody these qualities of Beauty, Power and Harmony.

Due to the incredible public interested in the horses and stables, Cavalli now organizes stable tours on Saturdays at 11am where guests can witness these magnificent animals in the context of this world class facility. Wine-Tasting on horseback is now also available to experienced riders – something not to be missed.



Cavalli’s environmental agenda is to conserve the endangered ecological zones of the Cape Floral Kingdom-A Unesco World Heritage site and home to 90% of South Africa’s Wine industry. Our love for the environment motivates our drive to rehabilitate the footprint of the land by planting thousands of plants and hundreds of mature trees with a focus on indigenous species in a bid to encourage the return of birds, insects and other wildlife to the farm and in so doing contributing to the botanic Biosphere of the Cape floral kingdom.

Currently the count of bird species stands at 60 spotted on the estate including the national bird the Blue Crane, to which the estate is home to several breeding pairs. Cavalli are also proud ambassadors of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and sponsors of the International Crane Foundation. The landscaping of the gardens was undertaken by Keith Kirsten and Ray Hudson as the clients directive was that the gardens should become an ‘evolving tapestry’ of colour throughout the year.

Cavalli is contributing substantially toward the Botanic Biosphere of the Cape by literally planting thousands of species which will attract and feed more birds, butterflies, chameleons and other wildlife species endemic to the Cape Region and Floral Kingdom.



Cavalli estate aims to encourage the local arts through its platforms of public sculpture spaces and a public art gallery. Their themed contemporary exhibitions are presented at regular intervals in the 600sq m main gallery space allocated on the below ground level. An innovative stretched translucent ceiling backlit with LEDs illuminate the impressive space to simulate daylight. The Cavalli Private Collection of South African Masters is frequently rotated in the portico situated within the main gallery and two memorabilia rooms allocated in close proximity showcase a remarkable collection of rugby and sports memorabilia.



Cavalli’s boutique has also proven incredibly popular, showcasing a range of South African designers, curated for the collection for their synchronicity in design ideals and the pursuit of quality through passion for their particular craft including Henriette Botha Jewellery; Trebene Cashmere Scarves; Tammy Frazer Bespoke Parfum and Yswara Luxury Tea to name but a few.


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