TRUST HORSEBACK CHALLENGES:
As part of Ampefy region’s fight against
spiralling poverty, we aim to create some trails for equestrian tourism.
Our first few exploratory
patrols involved small groups of riders in challenging week-long forays through
wild mountainous regions, lead by Christina Dodwell who is well known for
pioneering on horseback.
For the first ride in 2006 we
planned to ride north from Antsirabe to Ampefy. Just before departure, we met with
friends from Kew Botanical section and agreed to ride south in search of a new
type of palm tree. It was a thrilling
ride though not easy, more info see: 2006 Horse Safari
In 2010 we tried again from
Antsirabe to reach Ampefy. It was magnificent
but too gruelling to be repeatable.
The third ride was wonderful
in every way, we rode through the mountains and volcanoes around mysterious Lake Itasy, via crater lakes
and geysers. Our goal of sustainable
horse tourism is now in sight; we teamed up with Unicorn Tours in UK who
took part and will continue this ride. The
local team are trained and capable, the horses are excellent.
We have one more exploratory
horse ride ahead, based on a map of
Ampefy which an old-timer once marked with a series of X’s for long forgotten
special sites and sacred places. No
timing yet fixed for this ride.