Kilimanjaro bush ride, Ride Kenya Amboseli

May 2011 Newsletter, Horseback Safaris

Kilimanjaro Campsite sunrise

Hello again, and welcome to my biannual newsletter. As Spring turns to Summer Iíve got three events coming up which provide an opportunity to meet face-to-face, which is always more enjoyable than the usual phone and email.

First is the Suffolk Show at the start of June. I will be on the Safari Consultants Stand: same place as usual, Stand No. 404 alongside the Light Horse Ring. Although this update is peppered with horse-reference, please remember that I donít just sell riding safaris in Africa Ė Iíve also got expertise on photographic trips, walking safaris, birding or a mix of wildlife safari and more general sightseeing or beach relaxation.

Riding with giraffe, Amboseli

I am excited to have my very own stand at Ingatestone Saddlery on 2nd and 3rd July. They are celebrating their 10th Anniversary with a 10% discount weekend and have invited me as part of the special events. You can hear first-hand what itís like to ride in Africa, from both myself and Graham. Their store is one of the biggest saddleries in the South East and with a renown coffee shop, itís worth an excursion. Partly for promotion at Ingatestone, I am organising a special St George Tuli Trail with Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana. We depart the UK on 21st April 2012 and return on the 30th April although extensions are also possible.

Finally, Safari Consultants will have their usual stand at the Bird Fair, Rutland Water, from 19th to 21st August. As with the Suffolk Show, thatís a regular event in the calendar, and is also a good opportunity to catch up with current clients in addition to seeking new ones!

Horses at sunrise, Ride Kenya

I know that Iím meant to be the one doing the selling, but at last yearís Bird Fair I met the folk at Black Forge Art. It was only a few weeks after Iíd lost Volter, and over the next couple of months they worked with me to design a weathervane. It arrived in the New Year and now I wake up every morning to see Volter cantering across the skies. Itís the perfect memento, and I hope that I provide my clients the same level of understanding service, with an equally high level of satisfaction in the final product!

Last week I enjoyed visiting the Royal Windsor Horse Show. I was able to watch the speed and agility of the Skill-at-Arms, including tent pegging and shooting across your horse at balloons whilst jumping! The evening Tattoo was hosted by Martin Bell, the president of the Suffolk Concert Band for whom I play the bassoon. I have to admit that the massed bands did play the marches a bit better than us: and whilst marching and reading their music in the dark! The displays performed by the Kingís Troop, Royal Artillery and the Household Cavalry had to be seen live to be believed. The precision and bravery of horse and rider was breath-taking. As they galloped out of the area at full pelt it appeared as exhilarating as galloping with giraffes. Highly recommended.

Ready to ride, Ride Kenya

I can also recommend a winter safari break. When the arctic conditions here in the UK were refusing to relent, I had many clients who were smugly packing for a fortnight of sunshine and warmth in African. Add to that the thrill of good game sightings including lots of baby animals and itís a good time of year to get away. Although generally less busy than later in the year, now is the time to be booking for winter 2012.

In a spirit of ďpractise what you preachĒ, I returned to Kenya in February for a birthday trip, albeit a few months after the actual event! We rode from Amboseli National Park back to the Chuylus with Ride Kenya, travelling with a friend we made on a Limpopo ride from before I started my safari business. We enjoyed amazing service from the Ride Kenya team, with some of the best food Iíve ever experienced: and in a mobile camp with just a campfire to cook on. The horses were similarly amazing, and still up for a gallop on the final day after well over a hundred miles of fast-paced riding. With the snows of Kilimanjaro as a daily back-drop, the snows of Suffolk seemed a million miles away. The images in this newsletter are all from that trip.

I look forward to hearing from you, and please do let me know if thereís an opportunity to meet at one of the forthcoming events.