Saturday, May 25

Along the Great White Nile – with a horse

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Uganda is offering its latest adventure activity, the Nile Explore on horseback. It’s a fabulous ride along the source of the world’s longest river, the White Nile. A first of its kind in East Africa offering fit and strong thoroughbreds imported from Kenya and trained to be bombproof, so they are not easily alarmed, ensuring a safer ride.

The hack is a leaisurely ride through local villages offering a cultural insight, areas of crops – tea plantations and jungle where a spectacular amount of birdlife can be found along with sightings of monkeys, mongoose and water monikers. There is a sandy bottomed bay along the route that allows you to take your horses for a swim.

As night falls you’ll get to the Haven, where you and your horse will spend the night. Your luggage will have arrived before you. In the afternoon, you’ll be able to go fishing, take a sunset cruise or simply relax with a book, a game and some sundowners overlooking some of the biggest rapids on the Nile. Simply stunning from the bar and restaurant area. The great Nile is 500 metres across here and it is one of the best fishing spots in Uganda. The German owners of the camp are passionate fishermen and have all the equipment and knowledge to help you. If you’re not fishing there are other activities like rafting, quad biking, bungee jumping, kayaking, mountain biking or birding available.

There are other camps along the way, like the Holland Park cottages right by the stables or the eco-camp cabins of the Rainforest Lodge which blend into the jungle.

Plenty of safe drinking is water is provided each day and as Uganda is awash with fresh organic produce there is a healthy variation of fruit and vegetables, fish, herbs and spices. Whilst most safari food is European style, there are opportunities to try out the local cuisine.

All riders have to be comfortable with rising trot and canter. The riding is four to six hours a day and so you need to be a strong and intermediate rider to enjoy it. The pace is often split into faster and more leisurely. With well trained European and Ugandan guides and emergency procedures in place for your piece of mind, you can concentrate on the sheer experience and freedom that riding in the wild for seven nights will give you.

This trip is currently only offered by Nature Trails, a company operated by horse enthusiast naturalists and adventurers. And they say these rides are about galloping on endless beaches, forging rivers, cantering through forests, trotting along age old trails, gazing at beautiful vistas and encountering foreign cultures.

But most of all, these trips are about getting away from too much work and not enough free time. Escape from the rituals that long ago froze our days and nights into little more than routine and away from the worries of our new tense times.

www.hiddentrails.com

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