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Horseback Safari in Zimbabwe

Rhino and Plains Game safari

10 days (7 days riding) from £ 2,260

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in luxury camps with proper beds and linen. Toilets and showers are usually provided.

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

ZIMBABWE-Rhino and Plains Game safari

10 days (7 days riding) from 2260£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

Family starting from 12 ans

This horseback safari in Zimbabwe follows in the footsteps of British mining magnate and politician Cecil Rhodes, founder of the southern African territory of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Rhinos are the stars of this riding safari, but you will also have the opportunity to see leopard and plenty of plains game. After 4 nights riding through the game-rich Cawston Reserve, you will continue your safari in Zimbabwe riding in search of the mighty rhinos of the Matobo National Park.

Strengths

- Ride fit and forward going horses with good temperaments in a wonderful location
- Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of wild camping and evenings around the campfire
- Search for rhinos in the Matobo National Park from horseback
- There is no dangerous wildlife such as elephant, buffalo or lion, making this ride safer for families with children aged 12+.
- Learn all about the history of this area from your certified professional guide
- Janine and James Varden firmly believe in the benefit of community involvement. This is one of the most ecologically sustainable camps in Africa.

Itinerary

Day 1 : UK - JOHANNESBURG -

Overnight flight from the UK to Johannesburg and an onward connection to Bulawayo. You should aim to arrive in Bulawayo the following day by midday (SA airlink flies into Bulawayo at 12:05 from Johannesburg).

Day 2 : BULAWAYO - CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 2-3 hours riding

You will be met on arrival at Bulawayo Airport (Joshua Nkomo International Airport) by a member of our local team. The group transfer is scheduled to meet the 12:05 flight from South Africa, but alternative arrangements can be made (at an additional cost).

You will be transferred by road to Cawston Wildlife Estate, where adventure begins! Cawston Estate is an intimate 32,000-acre family run ranch. During the c. 90-minute transfer keep an eye out for wildlife enroute, such as giraffe and warthog.

Once you reach camp, you will have a chance to settle in your spacious Meru tent and grab something to eat before your safety briefing. Later on you will meet the horses. The first introduction ride through the savannah is the most important ride, as it serves to ensure you're matched with your perfect horse and feel comfortable in your saddle. All the horses on this safari have been bred or individually handpicked by our local team especially for the purpose of being a safari horse.

Ride back to the camp at sunset, in time for sundowners followed by dinner around the campfire. The eerie call of the Fiery Necked Nightjar will herald dusk falling, along with the symphony of other wildlife and bird noises, settling for the night.

Day 3: CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 5-6 hours riding

A light breakfast and a good cup of coffee await when you wake up for your first full-day ride. Wake up calls are usually early and your day starts at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. to beat the heat. You will set off riding early and discover different landscapes and habitats where the guides will explain which animals are revealed as you explore. The sweet song of the Turtle Doves will be your soundtrack through the bush, as you ride through various scenery and habitats. The vegetation of the ranch is dominated by thorn scrub and Mopane woodlands with the stunning iconic Acacia and Searsia woodland forming the Northern boundary. Underlying geology is predominantly basalt and Kalahari sand with these terrains supporting Zambezi Teak habitats.

The beauty of the sights you may see whilst out on a ride is sure to overwhelm you, whether you're a first timer, or have had the opportunity to visit Zimbabwe before. Be it the elegant, long-legged grace of the giraffe, the camouflage of the zebra, or the antics of misbehaving monkeys and baboons, something is sure to leave you awestruck.

You return to camp for lunch. There is time for a quick siesta and then it's time for tea before leaving for an afternoon ride, that usually begins between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. This is the opportunity to see the African bush in the beautiful evening light (the "golden hour"), which is the perfect time for pictures.

Drinks and dinner by the camp fire and overnight at camp.

Day 4: CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 5-6 hours riding

An early light breakfast before you mount up to survey the area. The schedule on safari is pretty much the same every day, however we can never predict what awaits on the ride! With the African Sun on your skin and the sounds of the incredible birdlife in your ears, be prepared to take in all the sights of Africa.

The afternoon ride has the option of ending either with sundowners or spotlighting for some of the nocturnal wildlife. Enter another world where the shy prowl of the brown hyena or busy shuffle of the porcupine, the stealth of the leopard or legendary ferociousness of the honey badger are all waiting patiently to be discovered under the cloak of darkness.

Dinner and overnight at Camp.

Day 5: CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 5-6 hours riding

Today heralds your final day of exploration at Cawston Wildlife Estate. Make the most of your last safari through Cawston, riding out in search of the wildlife under the African sun.

The afternoon ride will end at the sundowner site, giving you another wonderful opportunity to see the incredible creatures that come out after dark, maybe you will be lucky and spot an Aardvark on this spotlight safari! A variation of this day is the option to lunch Al Fresco in the Bush, end the ride at a sundowner spot and be driven back to camp.

Day 6 : CAWSTON - MATOBO - 2-3 hours riding

This morning you will enjoy a full English breakfast and a chance to sleep in as the horses are transported to Matobo National Park by lorry ahead of you. You will be driven a scenic two hour drive through to Rowallan Camp, routing through Bulawayo, the second largest city after the capital Harare. Upon arrival, a delicious lunch will be served and then you will reunited with your horse.

The first ride in the reserve begins later in the afternoon, when the temperature begins to fall and you have got used to your new surroundings. Return to the camp in the evening where a delicious dinner awaits you.

Day 7: MATOBO NATIONAL PARK - 5-6 hours riding

The first order of business for the day is the opportunity to track Matobo Park's most famous residents: the Rhinos! The Matobo National Park is defined as an IPZ – intensive protection zone for the rhinos found in this park. Along the way you will likely cross paths with the anti poaching rangers who protect these mighty animals from the threat of poachers. Matobo National Park covers an area of approximately 425 square kilometers, with the actual ‘Matobo' covering 3500 sq. Kilometers. This area is rich in history, both local and worldwide, from the Bushman Rock Art, dating back many thousands of years to the site of one of the first Boy Scout movements. Cecil John Rhodes requested his burial atop one of the most sacred hills in the Matobo, Malindidzimu “dwelling place of the benevolent spirits”, where a grave was dug 1.5 meters into the granite by hand and chisel in 1902, an incredible feat even by today's standards.

As the great African suns rolls high in the sapphire sky it is time to return to camp for a delicious brunch until the temperature cools down later in the afternoon.

Matobo is not only known for its rhinos: it has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the country (5 leopards every 25 kilometers). This elusive species is notoriously difficult to observe, but perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot one of them during the ride.

Back to Camp for drinks, dinner and a good night's sleep.

Day 8: MATOBO NATIONAL PARK - 5-6 hours riding

Once again, you set out through the bush for your morning safari in the eerie early dawn light. Look out for the sable antelope or the impala, or perhaps the eland seeking refuge in the Mopane scrub... And of course, keep an eye out for rhinos! Listen out for the Dassie, a small guinea pig-like animal who lets out a harsh cry to alert others of the danger approaching. Raise your gaze to observe the Black eagles circling above your head who are also on the look out for Dassies. Return to the camp for brunch.

This afternoon brings a break from the saddle as you ascend upon the sacred Ndebele site, the summit of Malindidzimu or “place of benevolent spirits” where you can visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. This “view of the world” offers unparalleled vistas of the Matobo landscape, a unique tapestry stretching as far as the eye can see. The kaleidoscope of colours dancing across the granite at sunset will certainly take your breath away, lichens varying from vivid greens to azure blues to russet oranges illuminated by the far-reaching fingers of the sun. The scurry and scratch of Rainbow Lizards and Elephant Shrews the only sound punctuating the peacefulness and serenity that exists at Malindidzimu.
(Please note: there is a small additional fee to visit the grave and the View of the World.)

Return to Camp for a final farewell dinner.

Day 9: MATOBO NATIONAL PARK - Approx. 3 hours riding

Early in the morning, after a hearty breakfast, you go for a last horseback safari through the Zimbabwean bush. When you return back to camp, you will say goodbye to the team and then transfer back to Bulawayo airport for your flight back to the UK.

Why not continue your trip to on to Zimbabwe or Southern Africa, Victoria Falls or Mozambique ... Contact us for further details.

Day 10 : UK -

You should arrive back into the UK before midday.


Price details

Promotional rate for 4 first bookings until 30/11/2019.

- Flights are not included but we can assist with this on request. Rates are per person based on two riders sharing.

- Transfers are not included and will be invoiced separately. They are $450/£335 per person, based on two guests.

- Conservation fees at Matobo Park currently stand at US$15 per person per night (subject to change).

- The usual group size is a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 participants.

- Depending on availability, additional dates can be open for groups of 2+ riders. Please contact us. Please note that December, January and March are very wet with heavy rains - there will be no safaris in February.

- Riders must be 12 year old or older, as long as they are proficient riders.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

1 English-speaking safari guide
Groom(s) to help look after the horses

Logistics

1 cook

Accommodation

Canvas safari tent for 2 people with bedding

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 2 to breakfast on day 9, including beverages

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Transport

Visa fees
Return airport transfers

Extras

Tips to the local team
Conservation fees (see above)

Insurance

Personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

TIPS

These are not compulsory but appreciated. If you wish to give a gratuity please give the total to the senior member of staff in the presence of the other staff members. The staff has its own resolution on gratuity disbursement.

HORSES

A large herd of mostly homebred horses, all accustomed to riding in areas of wild animals and chosen or bred with horseback safaris in mind. Breeds include Boerperd, Shire crosses, TB crosses, and Friesian crosses. They are especially selected for their good temperaments and all are well schooled. They range in height from 15hh to 16,3hh.The team use natural horsemanship methods to start all their horses.

IMPORTANT: Riders over 95kg must contact us before booking.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

Riders must be at ease at all 3 paces - walk, rising trot, gallop in a forward seat - across varied, uneven terrain and be in good physical condition. Riders must have some previous experience of riding outdoors and have a good seat in order to compensate for any sudden movements made by the horses while around the native wildlife.

IMPORTANT : There is a strict weight limit of 95kg/ 209lbs / 14st 9 lbs.

PACE

You will experience all three paces throughout your trip. All observations are done at a walking pace - there will be no galloping around/ with the wildlife. The terrain is varied and you must be prepared to avoid or duck under branches. The overall pace is moderate with some lengthy canters, so a good degree of fitness is recommended.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

An English-speaking staff take care of all of the horses' needs.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

Riders must be in good physical condition and previous experience of a trail ride over several days is a considerable plus. Riders who do not ride regularly should get riding fit before the trip's departure.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Tack is of excellent quality and include a range of saddles from English leather to Australian stock saddles and Leon Liversage Trailmaster. Most horses are ridden in a snaffle.
Riding helmets are mandatory and are not provided.
Small saddlebags are provided.

COMFORT

Accommodation is provided in safari tents. There is everything you need including beds with mosquito nets, dining table, etc.
Sleeping bags are provided but you are welcome to bring your own if you wish - we recommend bringing a sleeping bag liner for your comfort.

Cawston Wildlife Estate: a secluded tented camp under the cover of a lush riverine forest, with views overlooking an active waterhole. Accommodation is provided in Meru style en-suite tents. The plunge pool is a welcome addition!

Matobo National Park: accommodation is provided at the picturesque site of Rowallan Camp. The camp is semi-permanent and offers a comfortable and rustic old-world charm.

CLIMATE

November and December:
The summer months are warmer and wetter with continuous rains or thunderstorms in the afternoon ending before the safari starts. Mosquitoes and other insects are also more present during this time of the year compared to the winter months of June, July and August (seasons are in reverse in the Southern Hemisphere).

From January to March:
These months are normally drier with very hot days. Mosquitoes and other insects are more present at this time of the year than in the winter months.

April:
The vegetation begins to change, the green bush becomes sparse and brown during this period of autumn. Temperatures drop during the night but it is still warm during the day with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon.

May to June:
Temperatures are low during the night and early in the morning during the winter months. The vegetation becomes brown and the trees lose their leaves. Visibility is increased by sparse vegetation.

From July to September:
This period is very dry in the bush, with very cold nights, it is also cool during the morning and late afternoon excursions.

From October to November:
Spring is the peak of the dry season with warm winds and sparse vegetation. The first rains arrive at the end of the month

Meals

Breakfast includes eggs, bacon, toast and sausage.
Lunch includes cold meat, salad, tomato, cucumber and cheese.
Dinner will consist of meat, vegetables and rice/potato/pasta.
All drinks are included in your package including soft drinks, gin, vodka, scotch, local beers and South African wines. Premium or imported drinks are not included.

Support Team

Guide and local team

English speaking team.
James Varden has been guiding safaris for over 25 years. James is renowned for his incredible knowledge of Africa (he travelled extensively through the continent) and the local wildlife, with a particular love for birds!

Packing list

When you go on a horseback safari, it is best to wear clothes of a neutral colour (green, brown, beige or grey) that will blend in to the countryside. Please note that this list is a recommendation only and should be adapted depending on the season. If in doubt, please contact your adviser.

Head
- A riding helmet is mandatory you must bring your own. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable. You also have the option of buying protective shells to go under your hats (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western hat helmets (Troxel).
- Sunhat (indispensable) with a cord to go under your chin
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun, wind or rain

Upper body
- Polo shirts or long-sleeved shirts (to protect against the sun)
- 1 or 2 long-sleeved shirts for the evening
- 1 lightweight fleece or jumper (from September to June)
- 1 warm fleece or jumper (from June to September during the winter)
- 1 lightweight or warm waterproof jacket (depending on the season). It is always a good idea to wear a coat with a multitude of pockets to keep your cameras, snacks, other items in.

Legs
- 2 pairs of lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs in cotton with either mini or long chaps in leather or other synthetic materials - this will help to protect you against the long vegetation. We recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half. We don't recommend taking your favourite leather boots in case they get damaged
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera - see below, lip balm etc)
- For your cameras, we strongly recommend keeping them in a dust-proof pouch, that can be attached to you whilst riding. It should be easily accessible and not take more than 2 seconds to take out of the pouch. Keeping your camera in your saddle bag is not ideal as by the time you have extracted the camera, you can be sure that whatever you wanted to take a picture of will have moved away!
- Sunscreen can be carried in saddlebags
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle

Photos & Extras
- We recommend bringing a camera with a zoom capacity of 200 or 300 mm to take the fantastic photos of the animals on the plains and large panorama images of the countryside
- Bring a change of batteries and a charger adapted for a vehicle cigarette lighter. We recommend you bring changes of batteries and multiple memory cards
- A pair of binoculars
- Before taking a photo of a person, you must always ask permission of the people concerned. You must consider the feelings/ opinions/ respect due to the possible subjects of your photos
-Throughout the world, and particulary in Africa, it is forbidden to take photos on or of administative or military installations

Other useful items
- Travel bag 70-100 litres (hold luggage)
- Travel bag 25-30 litres (cabin bag)
- Double saddlebags are available on request
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Toilet paper and a lighter to burn it after use
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- A pair of binoculars

Medical kit
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) and clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Painkillers
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhea medication
- Vitamin C tablets
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Eye drops
- Hydrating/ soothing cream
- Plasters
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc..
- 10cm wide bandage
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel


In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- If you wish to travel 'light' and wash your clothes throughout the ride, please bring with you laundry detergent that is biodegradable
- All waste that could be considered toxic (batteries, aerosols, batteries, empty cream tubes, film) needs to be kept with you and transported back to the UK, where recycling is done well and efficiently. Avoid, wherever possible, to bring with you unnecessary packaging

ENTRY FORMALITIES

You'll need a visa to visit Zimbabwe. You can get a visa from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London or on arrival in Zimbabwe. Most tourists use the visa on arrival service; take enough cash with you in small notes to pay for your visa at the airport. You can also apply for a visa online before travel. Make sure you travel with the correct documentation otherwise you risk arrest and deportation.

Visitors are currently being given entry permission for anything up to 90 days but you should check that the number of days given at the port of entry covers your intended period of stay. You can apply to have this period renewed and extended if required. It's illegal to give a false statement in support of a visa.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months and have three blank pages left in it to enable you to enter Zimbabwe and exit via one of the neighbouring countries, if leaving at short notice becomes necessary.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION RE: TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
From 1st June 2015, South Africa have introduced tough rulings for anyone travelling with children, including passengers transitting South Africa to another destination.
- Two parents travelling with children will need to show the childs Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC)
- One parent travelling with a child will need to show the UBC plus either: a Parental Consent Affidavit (PAC) from the parent not travelling OR a letter of special circumstance.
- Widowed parents will need to show the UBC and a death certificate for the deceased parent
- Children travelling with family friends will need a UBC, PCA, copies of the parents passports and contact details for the parents.
For more information click this link: http://www.africa-adventure.net/downloads/SummaryImmigrationMinors.pdf

Contact South African Immigration for what is required for other circumstances.

Source and more information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zimbabwe/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade du Zimbabwe en France
    10 Rue Jacques Bingen
    75017 Paris
    Tél. : 01 56 88 16 00
    Fax :

HEALTH

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

- Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus.
- Other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid.
- Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera.
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Malaria is present throughout the country. You should consider anti-malarial medication, especially if travelling through humid regions (Lake Kariba, Zambeze valley including Victoria Falls).
Schistosomiasis is another health risk in Zimbabwe. It is a parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. Avoid walking barefoot and do not drink tap water.
Following an outbreak first reported in October 2017, there are continuing reports of typhoid fever in a number of areas. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre

Source and for more information: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/zimbabwe

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

TELEPHONE AND JET LAG

GMT/UTC + 2h
Phone code: + 263

BUDGET AND MONEY

Financial transactions are mainly conducted in US dollars. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a severe shortage of cash. It's not currently possible to make cash withdrawals with an international bank card. Credit and debit cards are increasingly being used for transactions, although a growing number of imported items such as fuel will require US dollars in cash. Notes of $100 are rarely accepted and you should make sure to bring to bring small notes.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zimbabwe/money

VOLTAGE

In Zimbabwe the standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz.

ACTIVITY :Horseback Safari

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

Family starting from 12 Years

This horseback safari in Zimbabwe follows in the footsteps of British mining magnate and politician Cecil Rhodes, founder of the southern African territory of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Rhinos are the stars of this riding safari, but you will also have the opportunity to see leopard and plenty of plains game. After 4 nights riding through the game-rich Cawston Reserve, you will continue your safari in Zimbabwe riding in search of the mighty rhinos of the Matobo National Park.

  • Riding safari in Zimbabwe
    Horseback safari with Ride Zimbabwe
  • Get close to the rhinos in Matobo National Park
    Horseback safari and rhinos in Zimbabwe
  • The game-rich Cawston Wildlife Conservancy area
    Horses and giraffes in Zimbabwe
  • Sable antelope in Zimbabwe
    Horseback safari in Zimbabwe with Ride Zimbabwe
  • The beautiful sunsets of Zimbabwe
    Horse and sunset in Zimbabwe
  • Riding across the Zimbabwean bush
    Horse and rider in Zimbabwe
  • Splashy canters on your horseback safari
    Horseback safari in Zimbabwe
  • Game watching from horseback
    Riders watching sable antelopes in Zimbabwe
  • Photographic opportunities on safari!
    Watching rhinos in the wild
  • Take the time to relax on your riding safari
    Riders admiring the Zimbabwean landscape
  • Bush camp on your horseback safari
    Bush tent and camp with Ride Zimbabwe
  • Not a bad picnic spot!
    Picnic in Zimbabwe on your horseback safari

STRENGTHS

- Ride fit and forward going horses with good temperaments in a wonderful location
- Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of wild camping and evenings around the campfire
- Search for rhinos in the Matobo National Park from horseback
- There is no dangerous wildlife such as elephant, buffalo or lion, making this ride safer for families with children aged 12+.
- Learn all about the history of this area from your certified professional guide
- Janine and James Varden firmly believe in the benefit of community involvement. This is one of the most ecologically sustainable camps in Africa.

ITINERARY

Day 1 : UK - JOHANNESBURG -

Overnight flight from the UK to Johannesburg and an onward connection to Bulawayo. You should aim to arrive in Bulawayo the following day by midday (SA airlink flies into Bulawayo at 12:05 from Johannesburg).

Day 2 : BULAWAYO - CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 2-3 hours riding

You will be met on arrival at Bulawayo Airport (Joshua Nkomo International Airport) by a member of our local team. The group transfer is scheduled to meet the 12:05 flight from South Africa, but alternative arrangements can be made (at an additional cost).

You will be transferred by road to Cawston Wildlife Estate, where adventure begins! Cawston Estate is an intimate 32,000-acre family run ranch. During the c. 90-minute transfer keep an eye out for wildlife enroute, such as giraffe and warthog.

Once you reach camp, you will have a chance to settle in your spacious Meru tent and grab something to eat before your safety briefing. Later on you will meet the horses. The first introduction ride through the savannah is the most important ride, as it serves to ensure you're matched with your perfect horse and feel comfortable in your saddle. All the horses on this safari have been bred or individually handpicked by our local team especially for the purpose of being a safari horse.

Ride back to the camp at sunset, in time for sundowners followed by dinner around the campfire. The eerie call of the Fiery Necked Nightjar will herald dusk falling, along with the symphony of other wildlife and bird noises, settling for the night.

Day 3: CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 5-6 hours riding

A light breakfast and a good cup of coffee await when you wake up for your first full-day ride. Wake up calls are usually early and your day starts at 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. to beat the heat. You will set off riding early and discover different landscapes and habitats where the guides will explain which animals are revealed as you explore. The sweet song of the Turtle Doves will be your soundtrack through the bush, as you ride through various scenery and habitats. The vegetation of the ranch is dominated by thorn scrub and Mopane woodlands with the stunning iconic Acacia and Searsia woodland forming the Northern boundary. Underlying geology is predominantly basalt and Kalahari sand with these terrains supporting Zambezi Teak habitats.

The beauty of the sights you may see whilst out on a ride is sure to overwhelm you, whether you're a first timer, or have had the opportunity to visit Zimbabwe before. Be it the elegant, long-legged grace of the giraffe, the camouflage of the zebra, or the antics of misbehaving monkeys and baboons, something is sure to leave you awestruck.

You return to camp for lunch. There is time for a quick siesta and then it's time for tea before leaving for an afternoon ride, that usually begins between 3:00 and 4:00 pm. This is the opportunity to see the African bush in the beautiful evening light (the "golden hour"), which is the perfect time for pictures.

Drinks and dinner by the camp fire and overnight at camp.

Day 4: CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 5-6 hours riding

An early light breakfast before you mount up to survey the area. The schedule on safari is pretty much the same every day, however we can never predict what awaits on the ride! With the African Sun on your skin and the sounds of the incredible birdlife in your ears, be prepared to take in all the sights of Africa.

The afternoon ride has the option of ending either with sundowners or spotlighting for some of the nocturnal wildlife. Enter another world where the shy prowl of the brown hyena or busy shuffle of the porcupine, the stealth of the leopard or legendary ferociousness of the honey badger are all waiting patiently to be discovered under the cloak of darkness.

Dinner and overnight at Camp.

Day 5: CAWSTON WILDLIFE ESTATE - 5-6 hours riding

Today heralds your final day of exploration at Cawston Wildlife Estate. Make the most of your last safari through Cawston, riding out in search of the wildlife under the African sun.

The afternoon ride will end at the sundowner site, giving you another wonderful opportunity to see the incredible creatures that come out after dark, maybe you will be lucky and spot an Aardvark on this spotlight safari! A variation of this day is the option to lunch Al Fresco in the Bush, end the ride at a sundowner spot and be driven back to camp.

Day 6 : CAWSTON - MATOBO - 2-3 hours riding

This morning you will enjoy a full English breakfast and a chance to sleep in as the horses are transported to Matobo National Park by lorry ahead of you. You will be driven a scenic two hour drive through to Rowallan Camp, routing through Bulawayo, the second largest city after the capital Harare. Upon arrival, a delicious lunch will be served and then you will reunited with your horse.

The first ride in the reserve begins later in the afternoon, when the temperature begins to fall and you have got used to your new surroundings. Return to the camp in the evening where a delicious dinner awaits you.

Day 7: MATOBO NATIONAL PARK - 5-6 hours riding

The first order of business for the day is the opportunity to track Matobo Park's most famous residents: the Rhinos! The Matobo National Park is defined as an IPZ – intensive protection zone for the rhinos found in this park. Along the way you will likely cross paths with the anti poaching rangers who protect these mighty animals from the threat of poachers. Matobo National Park covers an area of approximately 425 square kilometers, with the actual ‘Matobo' covering 3500 sq. Kilometers. This area is rich in history, both local and worldwide, from the Bushman Rock Art, dating back many thousands of years to the site of one of the first Boy Scout movements. Cecil John Rhodes requested his burial atop one of the most sacred hills in the Matobo, Malindidzimu “dwelling place of the benevolent spirits”, where a grave was dug 1.5 meters into the granite by hand and chisel in 1902, an incredible feat even by today's standards.

As the great African suns rolls high in the sapphire sky it is time to return to camp for a delicious brunch until the temperature cools down later in the afternoon.

Matobo is not only known for its rhinos: it has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the country (5 leopards every 25 kilometers). This elusive species is notoriously difficult to observe, but perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot one of them during the ride.

Back to Camp for drinks, dinner and a good night's sleep.

Day 8: MATOBO NATIONAL PARK - 5-6 hours riding

Once again, you set out through the bush for your morning safari in the eerie early dawn light. Look out for the sable antelope or the impala, or perhaps the eland seeking refuge in the Mopane scrub... And of course, keep an eye out for rhinos! Listen out for the Dassie, a small guinea pig-like animal who lets out a harsh cry to alert others of the danger approaching. Raise your gaze to observe the Black eagles circling above your head who are also on the look out for Dassies. Return to the camp for brunch.

This afternoon brings a break from the saddle as you ascend upon the sacred Ndebele site, the summit of Malindidzimu or “place of benevolent spirits” where you can visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes. This “view of the world” offers unparalleled vistas of the Matobo landscape, a unique tapestry stretching as far as the eye can see. The kaleidoscope of colours dancing across the granite at sunset will certainly take your breath away, lichens varying from vivid greens to azure blues to russet oranges illuminated by the far-reaching fingers of the sun. The scurry and scratch of Rainbow Lizards and Elephant Shrews the only sound punctuating the peacefulness and serenity that exists at Malindidzimu.
(Please note: there is a small additional fee to visit the grave and the View of the World.)

Return to Camp for a final farewell dinner.

Day 9: MATOBO NATIONAL PARK - Approx. 3 hours riding

Early in the morning, after a hearty breakfast, you go for a last horseback safari through the Zimbabwean bush. When you return back to camp, you will say goodbye to the team and then transfer back to Bulawayo airport for your flight back to the UK.

Why not continue your trip to on to Zimbabwe or Southern Africa, Victoria Falls or Mozambique ... Contact us for further details.

Day 10 : UK -

You should arrive back into the UK before midday.

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