Riding across the open plains on horseback made us lose our hearts to Africa even more. On our yearlong trip we got in the saddle three times, from the desert to the mountains and the savannah grasslands. Each time was completely different and made us feel part of the African landscape like never before.

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Horseback safari in Kenya

Wildlife often run away on walking safaris and in safari cars we always feel slightly removed from nature. Riding horses across the wide-open plains of Lewa, we felt like just another animal on the savannah. Giraffe, zebra and ostrich walked right alongside us and we rode all the way up to a large herd of buffalo.

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Horse sleep-out in Namibia

Namibia is home to the oldest desert in the world and nothing beats galloping across the sandy plains. We set off from the stables and rode through a rock-strewn valley, pulling up at a camp in the middle of the Namib. Sunset lit up the towering dunes that surround Sossusvlei and we slept under a blanket of stars.

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Pony trek in Lesotho 

The kingdom in the sky is crisscrossed with mountain passes that are made for the sturdy Lesotho ponies. Our sure-footed ponies easily traversed the steep paths, although we almost tumbled forward on the rocky slopes. We spent the night in a Basotho hut and swam under a waterfall tumbling down the mountain.

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Africa is so diverse in its natural beauty that each horseback safari captivated us in new ways. Camping under the desert stars, sharing stories with Basotho villagers and watching out for lions in the grass. Riding with wild animals added extra excitement to an experience that got us closer to the African wilderness.

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Words: Kate Westberg

Pictures: Markus Westberg

Marcus and Kate travelled with thanks to Lewa House (www.lewahouse.com), Desert Homestead and Horsetrails (www.deserthomestead-namibia.com) and Malealea Lodge and Ponytrekking (www.malealea.co.ls). 

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We love to travel and everything that goes with it. From wine to a health retreat and all the marvelous things this world has to offer in between.

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