Horses have been brought to the island with just few breeders, but these animals naturally fit in their new environment. Equestrian riding is an original, even unusual way to discover Madagascar. Riding over vast areas of arid land peppered with small bushes under a blue sky, with eroded red earth valleys, lakes, and mud houses with thatched roofs situated on hills: this scene seems straight out of a dream!
Malagasy destinations for equestrian riding
In the mid-western Madagascar, especially in the Itasy region, we will discover the famous lake and rich agricultural land. The high point of the trip is the meeting with the smiling and warm Malagasy people. However, here, we can’t camp anywhere as many sites are sacred and taboo. This superstitious, but also spiritual dimension is part of the destination’s charm. The journey will be all the more authentic!
Riding on white sandy beaches along a tumultuous sea: this is what awaits you during an equestrian riding on Madagascar’s eastern coast. Yet, there are a lot more to discover in the landscapes! The fishing villages, the expanses of coconut palms, palm trees and ravinala between the Indian Ocean and the Pangalanes Channel… This equestrian riding is unlike any other in the world! Fishermen on their unique canoes will catch our attention.
In the south, Isalo National Park offers landscapes approximating those of the American Wild West and the Grand Canyons. We will walk through a maze of sandstone in this immense massif, passing through deep canyons and rivers. In this environment characterized by ochre rocks, pandanus, and cactus forests, we will meet lemurs. The Bara people, the local ethnic group, will also be our hosts!
About the equestrian riding
Our guide, an experienced horseman and breeder, will be accompanied by a team of grooms and attendants. He knows the country very well and will help us experience a pleasant human adventure. He will share with us his knowledge of Malagasy geography and the history of peoples and villages. Your trip to Madagascar will be authentic!
Horses consist of geldings and stallions bred and cared for in a local farm. English saddlery and saddlebags are provided. As the animals are not very load-bearing, although they are large, the maximum load is 90 kg. It is mandatory to wear helmets, but it is up to you to dress for the occasion.
The speed will be the basic pace, but you must master all three speeds to be able to participate in this ride. We will ride for 4 to 6 hours a day, requiring good endurance. Children aged 15 or 16 years old are accepted on condition that they have the required equestrian level and are accompanied by an adult.
Preparing your riding well
Before engaging in this equestrian riding in Madagacar, you must prepare yourself physically and psychologically. Keep in mind that you will be in the saddle for 6 to 10 days, 4 to 6 hours a day. Even if you are a good rider and ride regularly, the weather conditions, the long routes and the nights in bivouacs are exhausting.
You need excellent endurance! It is recommended to intensify your activity one or two months before departure to be in good shape. If you do not regularly ride a horse, we advise you to get in the saddle once or twice a week. It is necessary to ride at least 2 hours in a row, and this, outdoor.
And why not test yourself by leaving for a weekend riding in France, Spain or Switzerland? If you have never been on a one-week riding before, this will allow you to evaluate your endurance after long hours in the saddle. If you have any other tips or advice that would help travelers prepare for our riding, feel free to let us know!