"Horses lend us the wings we lack."*
And sometimes, if we're lucky, those wings have Cupid's bow following in hot pursuit…
Africa's intoxicating atmosphere and spectacular vistas have been the backdrop for the most captivating love stories throughout time - both fictional and real-life romances alike.
This February, with the unmistakable feeling of love lingering in the air, let's take a look back at the love stories that have unfolded within the African Horse Safaris' community.
1. A Four-Legged Love Affair
One of the risks of going on a horse safari is the high chance of falling in love with a new ride. We are pretty sure your horse back home won't approve of this illicit equine affair, but what happens on safari stays on safari...
African Horse Safaris' Founder, Isabel Juby, fell for the charms of a beauty while on safari. In this case, however, it wasn't 'khaki fever,' but rather one of her favourite steeds. Mama Mia captured Isabel's heart from day one. "Athletic, brave, wonderfully cuddly, she kept Isabel grinning throughout her safari, and a lot of fun, magic, and laughter were shared with this special soul. Many teary-eyed guests have been seen struggling to leave after such a profound connection has formed.
2. Out of Africa
Obviously, the African Horse Safaris community couldn't leave out this literary love story; the movie version inspired a generation to flock to the plains of Kenya and witness the magic of this iconic wilderness for themselves (and possibly find a dashing adventurer/bush pilot along the journey).
African Horse Safari guests Susanne and Jim had fallen in love with the movie, having watched it together many times, so for a 60th birthday gift to themselves, they wanted to finally have the adventure they had always spoken of, and do some incredible riding along the way. First, they travelled to Kenya's Laikipia area where they saw incredible wildlife from horseback and game drive vehicles, the tour took them to Angama Mara where they were able to indulge in an unbelievably romantic picnic set up just for them. Together, sitting atop the very same hill Meryl Streep's character knew so well, they overlooked the green valley below - their own movie moment come to life.
3. Khaki Fever
'Khaki Fever' - a phenomenon known only to those who have experienced falling for a safari guide in the African wilderness.
Having met and fallen in love on safari, Offbeat Riding Safaris’ Simon and Rosy Kenyon are incredibly connected to this land. A Kenyan by birth, Simon grew up on a farm in Laikipia near Mount Kenya. With a local's keen understanding of this wilderness and local cultures, he has spent 10 years guiding safaris.
With an enthusiastic nature and palpable passion for the bush, he provides a uniquely special experience for his guests. We can only imagine this sense of fun played a part in Rosy falling for him, breaking many of the guests' hearts in the process. Rosy has now lived and worked in Kenya for over 10 years, managing luxury safari lodges and mobile tented camps. Now married, with a little one, they are inspiring a new generation of conservationists and horse safari lovers.
4. Solo Safari Self Love
Love isn't just for those coupled up - it's about freedom, solitude, soul-searching, finding your spark, and exploring the world. Self-love is high up on the list of priorities at this time of year, and it's always suggested to book some time away just for oneself! There are countless stories of guests who've been out on safaris and loved every moment of the freedom they found in the saddle.
Forgetting everything else, falling back in love with oneself, and remembering exactly why they're on this planet - to ride and ride some more!
Solo Horse Safari adventures are continuing to be increasingly popular, with almost 50% of bookings being made up of solo riders. Booking with African Horse Safaris also ensures the trip is planned to suit the budget, interests, and riding level, and most importantly, is safe.
5. Lifelong Couple Goals
Horse Safari gurus Robyn and David Foot were both born and raised in Africa. With a shared love for exploring Africa's wildest, their love match was fated to be sure. Since 1993, the couple has run their own horse safari operation. They began in the Nyika National Park in Malawi, and from 2008 Botswana became home. Here they offer extraordinary horse safaris in what has become a family love affair with a passion for the wilderness at their core. And don't get us started on their horses - get ready to fall in love!
6. Renewed Love and Sharing Dreams
Lora and Dom had always dreamed of embarking on a horse safari in Africa. Their bucket list adventure finally became a reality when they embarked on the Tuli Horse Safari in Botswana. This 'Land of Giants' is renowned for its large herds of elephants and is also home to various wildlife species, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, and a multitude of plains game - all of which can be seen from the back of a horse.
This adventure was perfectly tailored for nature lovers like Lora and Dom, offering them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the wonderful luxuries of 'glamping' while experiencing true African bush adventures.
7. Unforgettable Proposals in Kenya
Evgeniya Savina and her partner Julius embarked on a trip to Kenya last year, leading to a fairytale proposal under the African skies with the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance.
- Watch the proposal video here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CzDhVBosHDH/
8. A New Start in Africa
Charly meticulously planned an epic two-week adventure in Kenya as a surprise for @kristalspirit! Prior to their trip, he spent a lot of time collaborating with Isabel from African Horse Safaris to create the perfect moment for a proposal, leaving nothing to chance. Recognising what Charly had in mind, Isabel suggested a horse safari at Borana Lodge, an unforgettable combination of incredible scenery, superb game viewing, and luxury accommodation - the ideal setting for Charly's proposal, where only a 'yes' would suffice!
After a day filled with adventure, Charly popped the question while they sipped sparkling wine and watched the sunset paint the sky in shades of red. Returning to the lodge for a private candlelit dinner next to the swimming pool, the evening exceeded all of Charly's expectations and more! Borana epitomises a romantic safari experience and provided the perfect backdrop to celebrate their new beginning.
9. Safari Friendship Love - Isabel & Daisy
Some of the greatest friends are made on safari - both two and four-legged.
Isabel and Daisy embarked on an extraordinary riding journey in Tanzania. They were joined by a brilliant group of riders, and by the end of their adventure, they had all become safari best friends.
The entire team developed a special fondness for Jo, an exceptional horsewoman known for her fearlessness, even in the face of charging elephants! Her influence was evident as she inspired and bonded with fellow riders. Everyone needs a Jo on Safari.
10. Safari Friendship Love - New mates in Namibia
In 2019, a last-minute decision led to two horse lovers from different parts of the planet coming together to fulfil their riding dreams on the Namib Desert Ride.
Anna and Hannah, both solo travellers, spotted a last-minute special offer for this adventure – but there was just one catch - the offer required two participants. Fate intervened as the AHS sales team introduced them to each other, and without hesitation, they seized the opportunity.
When they first met at Windhoek airport, it was a 'friendship at first sight,' and as they say, the rest is history.
In Hannah's own words, "The whole ride had a Mad Max feel to it, and it was absolutely amazing!"
Since that fateful meeting, they have returned together three times, captivated by the irresistible allure of Namibia's spell.
We still believe that the best Valentines have four legs, soft squishy noses, and whinny with joy when they see you.