Duration: 3 or more days
Community or conservation fees apply for national or private reserves or community-based projects and wil be on extra chargeDepartures:
The scenery alone is worth the visit
Few farms enjoy such a stunning setting – with Kilimanjaro rising majestically to the north and the plains of the Maasai Steppe spreading out to the south. The farm is set on a ridge bordered by two rivers, so spectacular views accompany you throughout your ride. For the most part you will ride through the natural grass and bush land of and around the farm. Birds call as you pass, butterflies float around you, and monkeys play in the trees. We will explore the different areas of the farm and the coffee plantation, riverine forest, thick bush and grassland. You will be amazed by the variety of landscapes you experience during your stay with us.
During a stay with us you will be offered on each day a different itinerary. On horseback trips you will ride through the natural grass and bush land on and around the farm, you may experience the African landscape, from horseback or on foot , even on a mountainbike.
We offer Specials for
- Alternative itineraries for non-riding guests
- Last-Minute bookings
- Honeymooners (within 1 year after the wedding)
- Groups and families
- Waiver of Single Supplement
- Early-Bird rate for bookings with departure dates of more than 9 months.
General Information: We will cater for novice, intermediate and advanced riders. Beginners can join short riding trips inside Makoa-Farm only.
Rides outside Makoa-Farm require prior experience in riding over rough terrain as during the rides we may cross valleys, rivers with seasonally strong current and dry river beds.
Guests who wish to ride should attach their riders details according to the questionnaire in our riding information sheet with the booking. Some of the routes require leading the horses (e.g. steep valleys) so riders should be physically fit.
For experienced riders we offer daily horse riding activities, such as early-morning rides, sunset-rides, half day and full day rides.
For non-riding family members or friends, we offer alternative itineraries. Options include trips by jeep, on foot or mountain bike (prior notice required) to reach the same destinations as the riders and meet for picnic.
For more options please check the list of activities below.
Coffee plantation on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro
The day begins with tea or coffee served on the farmhouse veranda with a breathtaking view of Kilimanjaro. Then we head out for exploration of the area. The 358-acre farm consists of coffee, crops and also natural bush and grasslands. In addition to traditional farm animals, we share the farm with many others: There is small, mostly nocturnal game like duiker, bush pig, jackal, serval, genet and civet cat, even striped and occasionally spotted hyena and leopard. However, these animals are rather shy and very difficult to spot. During the day you have a good chance of seeing Sykes or Vervet monkeys, savannah baboons and a seemingly endless variety of birds.
Makoa-Farm on a half day ride or a walk
You will either ride, or walk, through the beautiful coffee plantation and get explanations how coffee is grown. In the distance we will see small homesteads of the local Chagga people and later we will stop at a scenic spot for some refreshments. From here you can choose to descend on foot to a waterfall and caves that are home to a big colony of mountain fruit bats. Although you might think they should be sleeping, they seem to enjoy frolicking in the spray of the waterfall. If you are lucky we may also catch sight of Freddie, the two meter long monitor lizard.
Makoa-Farm – Experience
We will introduce you to the numerous Makoa-residents: Makoa is heaven for many domesticated and wild animals, some of which where brought to our veterinary clinic when injured or orphaned. Over the past 10 years we have been involved in the care, rehabilitation and housing of orphaned, injured, neglected, abused and abandoned wild animals, including hyena, bush pig, warthog, serval and genet cat, greater galago (bush baby), Sykes and Vervet monkey, jackal, different antelope species and many birds of prey, etc.
Those who could not be re-introduced into the wild, due to injuries, live with us and play an important role of animal ambassadors to enable local children a “hands-on”-experience on animals for a deeper understanding of nature and conservation.
See how animals interact with each other and humans, take the chance to accompany our orphaned monkeys on their daily walk, observe the perfect beauty of a 3-legged serval cat or observe the wild bush babies during their evening meal.
Most of the animals are very close to humans and they believe that all the visitors are here to give them a scratch behind their ears…
Experience Makoa-Farm and surrounding Chagga villages on horseback or by foot
Ride or hike through the smallholder farms of the Chagga tribal people. See people’s daily life, admire their permanent good mood and learn about their interesting farming methods.
For those being more sportive we highly recommend a walk along our 12 km water channel that provides water for our coffee plantation. On the way there will be a visit of a Chagga homestead which will give you good insights into Chagga-lifestyle. Later you will pass by waterfalls, walk through scenic river valleys, banana and coffee plantations to reach a romantic spot on the river’s edge for lunch.
After lunch you will be picked up by vehicle and drive back to Makoa-Farm.
Coffee Plantation and Giant Tortoise
Day trip on horseback over an historic bridge to the Kibo-Kikafu-Coffee Plantation, where we pay a visit to Tom, the 180 year old giant tortoise. We will set a lunch picnic on a dam within the coffee plantation.
Visit Tom and enjoy swimming in Kikafu River
Reaching there will be an exciting hike, crossing the deep gorge of the Kikafu River. Be prepared to get wet feet and there is always lots of enjoyment during the river crossing as there is no bridge! Or you might enjoy swimming in the beautiful river, guarded by huge trees and steep rocks.
Your guide will show you many plants on the way which are used to produce local medicines.
With a moderate pace it will take you about 2 1/2 hours to get to the picnic spot. During lunch we enjoy a breathtaking view of the plains.
After a well-earned picnic and the visit of Tom you may return using the same or an extended route, alternatively you will be transferred back to Makoa-Farm by 4xdrive vehicle.
Ride into Masailand
This trail leads through farmland and bush towards Masasiland. When we reach the Kikafu River Gorge, we’ll dismount and lead the horses into this enchanting area to explore.
Depending on the rider’s abilities and fitness this trail will be arranged as an easier (3 hours) or more challenging route (6 hours). For the long route we will arrange lunch picnic in the river valley, on a half day ride we will return to the farm for lunch and a siesta.
Equally this is a beatiful hike, using a small path along the Kikafu River. The river crossing offers often a colorful scenery with Masai leading their herds down to the water. The river is wide and shallow here, so easy to cross.
Half day ride over farmland and through bush, an exciting river crossing through the Weru-Weru River. On the way back we are passing flower and smallholder farms.
We will choose a shorter route for a hike and if you are interested you can get some insight in flower production in Africa. (For a guided tour of the flower plantation prior notice will be required).
Early Morning or Sunset rides
After an early morning cup of tea or coffee we will start for a farm ride, we will return in time for breakfast. Or enjoy the last sun and the sunset from horseback on an evening ride.
Both, early morning or late afternoon offers the best light for fantastic photos, often with breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro in the North, the Masailand in the South and Mt Meru in the West. Additionally there are good chances to encounter some of the animals that share the farm with us.
This is a good time for some birding, too, for those who like to explore the area by foot and with binoculars in their hand.
Day trip north-east through lush plantations…
… Chagga villages and small coffee farms, passing through scenic river valleys to reach a beautiful spot on a flower farm with an incredible view over the Masaisteppe. Our picnic lunch will be prepared under old trees.
The non-riders will be transferred by vehicle to this spot and have a look around the flower farm until the riders arrive for lunch. They also may choose to do a long hike to reach the flower farm; in this case they will be accompanied by a local guide.
Later in the afternoon we will make our way back, taking a slightly different route. What will not change is the permanent good mood of all local people we meet.
The Arusha-Park offers great scenery and a montane forest completely different from Kilimanjaro forest. For a day ride the horses and riders will be transferred to Ngongongare Gate and you will explore the lower part of the park.The route will take us over the Little Serengeti where usually buffalo, giraffe, zebra and antelope can be seen. We will ride into the forest and will enjoy a saddle snack picnic on a scenic place, thereafter we return on a slightly different route. (Prior booking required, there will be a surcharge and ANAPA fees apply. Also check out our Arusha Park Wilderness Ride for multiple days in Arusha Park).
Excursions to the Hot Springs
After breakfast depart by 4xvehicle to the Hot Springs to see more of this unusual ecosystem. After arrival a guided walking tour will lead us through the numerous springs and small streams. As we retrace the footsteps of Dr. Livingstone, keep watch for colorful birds, various of monkeys, Nile monitors and for crocodiles!
We return to the springs for lunch and for a refreshing plunge into the water, followed by an afternoon for leisure. Late afternoon we drive back to Makoa-Farm, arriving there just after sunset.
The Hot Springs visit can also be done as a half day trip, to allow time for a ride in the evening.
* Community Fees apply
Masai or Cattle Market
Late morning you have the chance to visit a local Masai market. You will be surprised what items Masai trade in and what they will take home, often multiple day-journeys away, carried on their donkeys back.
Maybe you want to pass by a cattle market – one of the places where the different tribes mix. Prominent there will be Masai trading their cattle. Their main customers are Chaggas, whose main diet consists of meat, bananas and maize.
*Prior notice required – not every day is market day
Makoa offers various options of introducing the life of the Chagga, which is the tribe that populates Mt. Kilimanjaro.
E.g. learn how to build the oldest Chagga traditional house, afterwards a briefing about stingless bee keeping. Or visit a Women’s milk purification centre and women will explain how the dairy co-operative empowers women of the area and stimulates local economic growth. Meet the Kalali women group, specialists for Cheese production near Kalali market. Markets themselves are colorful, also worth a visit. Or, tour a medicinal garden, carve a bowl, meet a midwife, hike to a waterfall…
For interest might be the visit at the Machare Tea- and Coffee Plantation where you will learn more about coffee production and can smell the aromas of different coffee types (prior notice required).
The Arusha-Park offers great scenery and a montane forest completely different from Kilimanjaro forest. Expect to see giraffe and buffalo, many other game, lakes with pink flocks of flamingos and a wide variety of birds.
There are canoe trip on the Momella lakes (Prior booking required, there will be a surcharge and ANAPA fees apply). Game viewing from canoe is very exciting and you will often get very close to animals.
Also mountain-biking is available in Arusha Park (Prior booking required, there will be a surcharge and ANAPA fees apply).
*ANAPA Conservation and Activity Fees apply
West Kilimanjaro Wildlife Corridor
A 1 ½ hours drive will bring you to the corridor where animals still roam freely between Mt. Meru, Mt. Kilimanjaro and Amboseli Park in Kenya. This is typical savannah with umbrella acacia dotted between the numerous hills. The area is all year round populated by the plain species such as zebra, wildebeest, antelope, giraffe, sometimes buffalo and elephant.
Options include game-viewing from the vehicle or on foot, accompanied by a Masai warrier or armed ranger. Also horseriding is available (please check out our West Kilimanjaro Wilderness Ride).
*CITES Fees apply
Visit Moshi or Arusha town
After a relaxed breakfast we will visit the old German town of Moshi. Here you have the chance to purchase souveniers, observe the local markets and drink a cup of coffee at a Coffee-Shop where many residents will pass by during their shopping tours.
The drive itself will give you a good insight on ideas for different means of transports used in this area…
If you like to experience some more Tanzanian life you should join us for a visit in Arusha town. Arusha is the northern center , in terms of business, and home of the East-African Union and the Rwanda Tribunal of the United Nations.
If you were not successful to aquire suitable gifts by now then this will be the day where you will find a wide variety to choose from: many local artists offer handcrafted items.
A day trip to Lake Challa, located on the eastern slope of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This is a deep crater lake with the border line to Kenya passing through the lake. After driving through small villages, coffee and banana plantations you are all of a sudden in middle of deep bush again. The last kilometers are a real Off-Road experience with the jeep and a fantastic picnic spot with an unforgettable view over the lake, weather permitting even many kilometers further to the Pare and Usambara mountains to our south is the reward.
If you are fit then we recommend to descend to the lake. More hiking possibilities are available around the bush and savannah around the lake. There are canoes available (prior booking requried)
*CITES Fees and entry fee (private reserve) apply.