Horseback riding in the Cairo desert within sight of the Giza Pyramids sounds like an enchanting idea to tourists, expats and Egyptians alike. That is, until potential riders step out of their taxis by the Sphinx only to be overwhelmed by stable-boys jostling for their attention and patronage. Such misfortunate guests eventually find themselves perched on uncomfortable, under-fed bags of bones and holding on for dear life while a screeching stable-boy with a whip follows behind to make the poor animals run. It may be a memorable experience, but more than likely it’s not quite what most visitors have in mind.
However, further down the line of stables visitors can find precisely what they’re looking for in FB Stables. Located near the end of the rows of stables, FB Stables offers guests a breath of fresh air and a gallop through the desert that is pleasurable as well as unforgettable.
Run by Farouk Breesch and his sons, FB Stables provides healthy, well-fed horses for riders of all abilities. Never ridden before? FB has a calm, easy pony for you, and they’ll teach you the basics to ensure that you have a fun ride. Grew up on a horse? Try out Diesel, or one of the other more advanced horses, and enjoy a few nice gallops.
Riders can relax in the shade in front of the stable with a cold soda or cup of tea before and after their ride, or even enjoy lunch with a panoramic view of the Pyramids from one of the terraces upstairs. The boys will be happy to send someone to pick up your meal – shawerma and taameya, perhaps? – and call you a taxi at the end of your ride. Farouk will sit and talk with you while you wait.
One trademark of FB Stables is their tailor-made rides. Instead of simply galloping up and down the same strip of desert that most stables use, FB offers several options. Instructors will take you on an hour-long ride to spots with incredible panoramic views of the Giza Pyramids or farther out into the desert. If you’re up for a longer ride, you can take a half-day ride to the Abu Sir Pyramids and break for lunch at FB’s sister stable, Amina, or even take a day-long trip to Sakkara or Dahshur.
Most rides take place outside the Giza Pyramid complex, but you can ride inside the area as well. Seeing the Giza Pyramids by horseback can be a great idea, as riding definitely beats walking from one to the next! The Pyramids are farther apart than they look. If you prefer, the stable can also arrange camel or carriage rides into the Pyramid complex.
Have you ever wanted to ride at night under the full moon, at sunrise or at sunset? FB can arrange those trips for you as well. Guests can even go for a full moon ride and then come back for a BBQ on the stable’s terrace.
Farouk’s family offers another option for those disenchanted by the constant horse, camel and donkey-cart traffic in Giza. Amina Stable is located next to the Abu Sir Pyramids, about two kilometres away from the Saqqara Country Club. Run by Farouk’s son Karim and British expat Cat Bachelor, Amina offers a calm, private atmosphere free of the haggling, shouting and general noise surrounding the Giza Pyramids.
Amina Stable is smaller than the Giza stable and located on a two-acre lot with plenty of open space. Like the Giza stable, Amina offers horses for riders of all abilities. For example, Princess Fiona is a quiet chestnut pony perfect for children and novice riders. Baraka, on the other hand, only leaves the stable in the hands of an experienced rider.
From Amina Stable, guests can take short rides around the Abu Sir Pyramids and to Sakkara. There is also the option of taking a longer trip through the desert to the pyramids at Dahshur or Giza. Additionally, guests have the option of riding in one of the stable’s three paddocks rather than trekking into the desert.
Amina’s courtyard provides a comfortable place to relax after a long ride, with chairs and tables set up in the grass and floor cushions surrounding a fire pit. There’s even a grill, perfect for an evening BBQ under the stars without Cairo’s typical traffic and noise.FB Stables charges 80LE per hour for horse or camel rides. Amina Stables charges 100LE per hour. For special events such as full-day rides, please inquire about prices when you make your reservations. FB Stables is located at the end of Gamal Abdul Nasser Street, a few blocks from the Sphinx, in Giza.
For rides at either stable, contact Karim on 0165070288. You can also contact the stables by e-mail at email@example.com or check out their new website.