While the majority of our clients are adventurous solo or couples travelling it has to be said we also do fantastic holidays for families at Zara’s Planet as many of you will testify! Fortunately enough I (Zara) have a relatively big enough family with 3 girls and a non-riding husband so this makes my family the perfect footprint to test out family experiences! So where have we been? My girls are lucky to have travelled all over the world but I asked Saoirse and Sadhbh my two eldest daughters in their teens now which riding holiday stands out the most for them;
Saoirse (17) – Botswana – Okavango Delta – Ride and Walk (RAW)
“My best ever holiday is definitely Botswana. I gave up riding when I was 14 as I didn’t particularly enjoy competitive riding and all the time that was required. However I love horses and all animals and I love visiting new places. From the moment we landed in Maun airport and you know you are in Africa it was amazing. I got to drive the private plane sitting beside the pilot and once in camp I loved the luxury of it all. I got used to riding again really quickly and hadn’t forgotten anything as it is easy riding as long as you are fit which I am as I play hockey with school. My horse was brilliant and tracking the game, meandering for hours through the Delta with some mad gallops through water was brilliant. Us kids never took the siesta instead we swam and splashed in the rivers hoping the crocs wouldn’t get us. Real highlights for me were the people; the guides taught me so much about nature and the animals and the local trackers were brilliant and told me all about their village life; so different. I have to mention the food. I love my food and it was amazing especially the afternoon tea every day. I loved Botswana so much I really hope to go and volunteer there when I am in my gap year at college. It’s somewhere everyone should experience, you can’t help but love it!”
Sadhbh (15) – Italy – Ilparetaio – Dressage
“My favourite Zara’s Planet holiday is Italy and Ilparetaio. I love getting lessons and learning and the teachers were brilliant there. When we visited I had not really done any dressage only hunter trials and some working hunter so it was all new to me. I learn’t so much and it wasn’t boring at all. The ponies were so well schooled and at the end of the week we performed a group dressage to music display which was amazing! The lessons inspired me so much that I have now moved to eventing and work very hard on my dressage. I am not sure I’d ever do pure dressage as I do like to jump a lot too. I have to mention the food. I am still dreaming about the food at Ilparetaio, it was totally amazing. One day we asked for a simple lunch and I can’t describe how delicious fresh pasta with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil torn up and olive oil tasted! Oh and the deserts…amazing, you have to go to try them. The adults seemed to enjoy the wine judging by how much they drank and they even went off on horses wine tasting one afternoon while we played at the pool! I keep nagging my mum to go back as I’d love to go and show how much I’ve improved on my dressage and also taste their food once again.”
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This is the very first safari to be available in Zimbabwe, which offers fabulous horse riding holiday, exploring this beautiful untouristy country. Experience Level