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Riding Safari in South Africa and Botswana

African Explorer Safari

10 days / 7 riding from £ 1,660

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

BOTSWANA-African Explorer Safari

10 days / 7 riding from 1660£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

A horseback safari combining 4 days riding on Horizon reserve in the Waterberg of South Africa with 3 days riding in the Mashatu reserve of Botswana. A wonderful introduction to Africa, staying in comfortable camps and experiencing two different ecosystems in one holiday. The African Explorer is perfect for confident riders looking for a first safari and the opportunity to explore two countries in one amazing riding trip.

Strengths

- A horseback safari which offers riding in two different countries and environments - the Waterberg in South Africa and the Tuli block in eastern Botswana
- South Africa offers the ideal introduction to Africa with plenty of plains game to view - zebra, giraffe, antelope, hippo
- Botswana offers a vast, unfenced wilderness and the chance to ride with big game such as elephant, lion and leopard
- Exceptional horses selected for their temperament and ridability. Small groups of 8 riders maximum!
- High standard of camping with proper beds and en-suite showers and toilets. Camp Davidson in South Africa has recently been built (2013) and both camps have new pools.

Itinerary

Day 1 : EUROPE - JOHANNESBURG -

International flight overnight to Johannesburg - Flights are not included but we can assist with this on request.

If flying out from the UK, please note that you need to depart from London before c. 21:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg before 09:00 in time to meet the transfer vehicle.

Day 2 : JOHANNESBURG - CAMP DAVIDSON - 3 hours riding

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

On arrival at Johannesburg International Airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to Camp Davidson on the Horizon ranch (c. 3 hour drive). The transfer usually departs at 10:30. (If you book a flight which arrives after 09:00 then you may need to pay extra for a private transfer to the ranch).

You will arrive at Camp Davidson in time for lunch and to meet your guide and the team. In the afternoon you will be matched with a horse suited to your ability and experience before heading off on your first ride through the Matlapeng reserve. You will stop for sundowners at the Red Lake, where you are likely to encounter a pod of resident hippo, before climbing the ridge back to Camp Davidson.

Day 3 : MATLAPENG RESERVE - 5 hours riding

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

For your first full day of horse riding, you will explore the reserve tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to straying off the beaten track as your horse will lead you along game trails and narrow kloofs.

A saddlebag lunch is served at the riverside along a long abandoned wagon route used by the pioneers to congregate for church each Sunday. Riders can rest in the shade of the riverine forest during the heat of the day or take a dip in the clear flowing streams whilst the horses graze, before gradual meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.

Dinner and night at Camp Davidson.

Day 4 : MATLAPENG RESERVE - 3-4 hours riding

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

After an early start from the camp, you will take part in a game drive at a nearby Big Five private game reserve, with a chance to see rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard. On the way back you will visit Beadle, a craft workshop on Triple B Ranch where the artisanal crafters specialise in beautiful handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps.
Lunch will be served by the pool at the Triple B Ranch, after which you will head back to camp by a sunset ride through the game reserve for your last night in South Africa.

Day 5 : BELLEVUE PLAINS - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Bellevue Plains Lodge

Pack up and leave Camp Davidson after breakfast - your bags will go ahead whilst you make your way to Bellevue Plains Lodge on horseback. On arrival you will enjoy lunch on the deck overlooking one of the plains and then have a chance to enjoy the pool whilst watching the antelope interact. In the afternoon, you will explore the reserve further, tracking giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu, impala, hartebeest and ostrich. Sundowners will be poured whilst enjoying the incredible African sunset.

Day 6 : MASHATU RESERVE - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : TWO MASHATU CAMP

Time to leave for Botswana! After a short ride back to the main lodge, you will depart from the lodge at 07:30 and be transferred to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana (c. 3-4 hour drive).
On arrival at Pont Drift you will complete passport formalities before crossing the Limpopo river and entering Botswana. Here you will be met by your new guide and transferred the short distance to the stables.
After a light lunch, the introductory afternoon ride will familiarise you with your horse for this leg of the safari, arriving at the Two Mashatus camp in time to freshen up before supper.

Day 7 : MASHATU RESERVE - 6-7 hours riding

Accommodation : TWO MASHATU CAMP

An early wake-up with tea/coffee in your tent. You will have an early start each day to enjoy the freshness of the morning and to maximize game-viewing opportunities when the wildlife is most active. Undoubtedly you will come across the large herds of elephant for which the Tuli is renowned, as well as many different species of antelope; also giraffe, zebra, bat-eared fox, jackal, hyena and possibly even lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah.
In the afternoon, you will ride along the Limpopo River, enjoying the rich birdlife, spotting crocodile in the pools and learning about the magnificent trees lining the banks. Alternatively, you have the option of doing a game drive, game walk or visiting the local village Mothabaneng to see the local ladies make baskets as well as viewing local bushmen's paintings.

Day 8 : MASHATU RESERVE - 6-7 hours riding

Accommodation : TWO MASHATU CAMP

Riding out early, you will follow the movements of wildlife in the area and observe and interact with the world around you. The tempo of the ride will always be varied and dependent on the terrain - there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of your horse at a faster pace, possibly even running alongside zebra or wildebeest.
You will head back to the camp for dinner around a large log fire under beautiful old Mashatu trees.

Day 9 : MASHATU RESERVE - JOHANNESBURG - 2 hours riding

Your final morning will be spent riding in "Nels Vlei". Those who wish may have a go over the rustic cross country fences made out of fallen trees. Once back at the stables, there will be time for a quick shower and brunch at the reception area before saying farewell to your horse and the team.

At c.11.00, you will be transferred back to Johannesburg International via the Pont Drift border post (c. 6.5 hours drive). Your flight back to London should depart in the evening around 20:30 or later, to allow time for this transfer.

If you opt in for the aircraft transfer (2 people min), this transfer will be by plane, allowing you to enjoy one last ride with the horses and your group.

Day 10 : EUROPE -

Arrival back in the Europe.


Price details

- Prices do not include international flights to Johannesburg but we can assist with this on request. Please make sure that you arrive before 09:00 on day 2 (Friday) and depart after 20:30 on the final day of safari (Friday). Flight times outside of these guidelines may require a private transfer at an extra cost.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room.

- Group transfers are an additional £300 per person in 2019 and £312 in 2020 (road transfers from Johannesburg to Camp Davidson; Camp Davidson to Limpopo and Limpopo to Johannesburg). Private transfers are possible if your flight plans do not match the group transfers. It is also possible to organise a flight transfer back to Johannesburg at the end the safari, in which case all transfers (as above and one way flight back from Limpopo to Johannesburg) is £567, based on a minimum of two riders.

- In the high season, and for group bookings, you can also opt for an air transfer back to Johannesburg. This means a road transfer from Johannesburg to Horizon, another from Horizon to the Tuli Block in Botswana, and then air transfer from the Tuli to Johannesburg. Please contact us for a personalised quotation.

- With effect from the 1st of January 2019, all Mashatu visitors will attract a conservation levy of $10 per person per night payable on site. This is $30 per person for the African Explorer as only 3 nights are spent in Botswana.

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

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a tent with another rider of the same sex. To guarantee your own tent there is a single supplement of 50% in 2019. In 2020: £830 in Dec/Jan/Feb, £905 in March/April/June, and £1010 in May/July/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov.
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 INCLUDE

Support Team

2 English-speaking horse guides

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle
A full horse stable team
Lodge team

Accommodation

Camping in 2 man tents with beds, comfortable mattresses and sheets provided

Meals

Full board from lunch on D2 to brunch on D9
Snacks and beverages (including wine and alcoholic beverages)

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room supplement

Transport

Airport transfers at a different arrival and departure time to those stipulated in 'Price Details'

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Transport

Transfer from the airport (return) and transfers from Horizon to Limpopo. See 'Price Details' for more information
International flights

Extra

Tips to local team.

Extras

Conservation fees (see "dates and prices")

Insurance

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

We recommend tipping c. GBP 10-15 per day which can be split between all members of the team. You should tip the South African team separately to the Botswanan team. A separate guide will take you on a game drive and will appreciate a small tip. Tips can be paid in South African Rands, GBP or Euros.

If you wish to tip your guide in addition then you can do this separately.

HORSES

Good selection of horses (60 in South Africa, 35 in Botswana) : Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Boerperds, Welsh ponies and various crossbreeds. They are forward going, well schooled and acclimatised to the game.
In South Africa you ride on - The usual weight limit is 95 kg although it may be possible to accept one or two heavier riders - please enquire.
Trail saddles which are comfortable for long hours in the saddle, whilst in Botswana you ride on traditional English GP saddles.

There is a maximum weight limit of 90 kgs / 15 stones. Heavier riders please contact us.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

You need to be a competent rider, capable and in control in all paces. You must be able to rise to the trot and gallop in a forward seat. Due to the presence of dangerous game it is important that you can stay on your horse if you need to react quickly and gallop out of danger. You may also be required to jump small obstacles such as branches dislodged by elephants.

The riding in South Africa is very safe, as the Waterberg is home to non-dangerous game such as zebra and giraffe. In Botswana, you are riding in an area of dangerous game (Mashatu is famous for its elephants). It is therefore of utmost importance that you are a confident rider, and secure in the saddle. Please note that there will be a short assessment ride on your arrival at Two Mashatu Camp in Botswana.

PACE

Whilst game viewing you will be walking so as not to startle the animals, but there are plenty of opportunities for long trots and canters. In South Africa these are usually on long sandy tracks, but in Botswana it is likely that you will canter behind your guide on wiggly routes through the bush.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

A team of grooms will feed, care for and saddle your horses. You can help with untacking if you wish, but this is not expected.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

You need to be physically fit for the long hours in the saddle in the African sun. In Botswana you may be riding for up to 6 hours in the morning (with a short break mid morning).
Guests who do not ride regularly are requested to get fit prior to the ride. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces. If the guides feel that you are unsafe on horseback, then you will be offered non-riding activities in Botswana. The riding in South Africa is less strenuous.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Water bottles are provided on all saddles. Some small saddle bags are available for carrying small items such as suncream.

Helmets are compulsory. You should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

COMFORT

South Africa :
- Camp Davidson has recently been built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng valley. The camp commands a wonderful panoramic view of the central highlands of the Waterberg massif, whilst overlooking the picturesque Sunset Lake on the eastern boundary of Horizon's Triple B Ranch. Camp Davidson has the atmosphere of early settlers, with beautiful decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game-filled valleys. Each A-frame tent has proper beds and an en-suite flushing toilet and bucket shower. Meals are taken around the fire or on a beautiful deck overlooking the valley. There is a small refreshing pool.
- The Lodge at Bellevue Plains is a beautiful, intimate lodge at the heart of a private reserve, a full-day ride away from Camp Davidson.

Botswana : Two Mashatus camp is situated close to the Limpopo river. Large walk-in tents are pitched on teak platforms with ensuite flush toilets and hot showers. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree with a small deck area on which to relax during the afternoons. Traditionally built Lala palm rondavels serve as dining area and lounge. There is a newly-built pool in this camp too for guests to enjoy after the ride.

CLIMATE

The seasons are the reverse of the UK, with winter (June - Sept) being dry with no rain and clear skies. Daytime temperatures are pleasant and the nights are cool.
Summer (Nov - March) is hot and there is the chance of dramatic thunderstorms.
It is generally hotter and drier in Botswana than in South Africa, and the altitude in the Waterberg makes the temperatures particularly pleasant, even in summer.

Meals

Breakfast is usually taken very early (before dawn) and is therefore light, consisting of cereals, fruit and rusks with tea or coffee.
Lunch is also light and may be quiche and salad or a variety of salads with cold meats.
Afternoon tea with a selection of drinks and freshly baked cakes.
Dinner is three courses. Wine is served with the meals and a selection of drinks are available.
Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for with advance notice

Support Team

Guide and local team

You will be guided by two guides - a lead guide and a back up guide. In Botswana one guide will carry a rifle, but this isn't necessary in South Africa.

HORSE GUIDE

  • David

    David


    Région d'origine : Botswana

  • West

    West


    Région d'origine : Botswana

LOCAL TEAM

  • Laura

    Laura

    Tombés amoureux de l'Afrique du Sud en 1993, Laura et Shane, tous deux d'origine anglaise, se sont rencontrés en Australie avant de poser leurs valises dans une petite bourgade du Waterberg. Laura vous accueille au lodge comme à la maison, grâce à elle, vous vous sentirez très vite chez vous. Elle a su sublimer les meilleures compétences techniques et humaines de chacun pour composer une équipe talentueuse au lodge comme au ranch. Laura est très impliquée au sein de la communauté locale, particulièrement sur les sujets d'éducation.
    Région d'origine : Bristol, Angleterre

  • Shane

    Shane

    A leur arrivée en Afrique du Sud, Shane et Laura rencontrent la famille de Charles Barber au TripleB ranch. Particulièrement investie dans l'économie locale (un élevage de 1200 têtes de bétail), la famille cherche à ce moment là quelqu'un pour travailler ses chevaux et voit en Shane, spécialiste du comportement équin, l'homme de la situation. C'est le début de l'aventure. Shane a un don avec les chevaux, une abilité naturelle à communiquer avec quiétude. C'est lui qui a formé les guides équestres du ranch et dresse les chevaux.

Packing list

Our Recommendations

If availing of the aircraft transfer, bags have to be soft bags and weight is limited to 15kg per bag plus 6 kg hand luggage. For people travelling on in Africa before or after their safari we can arrange for the storage of luggage with the airline.

- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and we recommend travelling light as your luggage may have to be moved between camps.
- Wherever possible you should wear neutral colours, such as beige, brown or natural bush colours for riding as bright colours, such as red, yellow or white can startle the wildlife and they will see you long before you've seen them
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Head
- You will be required to wear a hard hat when riding and you should take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold, particularly June - August
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Rain is more likely Oct-April
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps to protect against thorns. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for plunge pools
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. Some toiletries are provided by the camp so you can pack lighter.

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Anti malarial tablets and Yellow Fever Certificate if required (check with your doctor)

Please note: in the case of a light aircraft transfer, please note that planes don't necessarily have a separate luggage compartments, and carry-on regulations may apply. Remember that safari camps provide shampoo and soap, as well as alcohol, so make sure to pack accordingly.

Luggage type and weight: strictly 15 kg (33lb) + 6 kg (13lb) carry on, soft bags only!
Liquid Restrictions:
Perfume- 50ml
Eau de Toilette – (250 ml)
Non-flammable and Non-alcoholic liquids – 500ml per container. A combined total of no more than 2l in checked bags.

Pocket knifes/Leatherman's and other sharp objects:
These need to be packed into passengers checked bags and will not be allowed in carry-on bags.

ENTRY FORMALITIES

To enter Botswana, a passport valid for at least six months is required by British, Australian, Canadian, USA and all other EU nationals. Outgoing travel documents and sufficient funds are also required. We recommend having two blank facing visa pages in your passport for the official stamps.

Visas are not required by British, Australian, Canadian, USA or other EU nationals for stays in Botswana of up to 90 days.
Visas are also not required by transit passengers, provided they are continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, and do not leave the airport.
Nationals of countries not listed above are advised to contact the high commission/embassy to check visa requirements.

Visa note:
Those nationals who do require a visa for Botswana must include a copy of their travel itinerary with their application, along with a letter of support from their intended host and return visa or residence permit from his/her country of residence.



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.

Addresses of consulates

  • Botswana High Commission
    6 Stratford Place
    London W1C 1AY
    Tél. : (020) 7499 0031
    Fax : (020) 7647 1000
  • Ambassade du Botswana
    88 Avenue de Iéna
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.47.20.08.23
    Fax :
    bostwana@brutele.be

HEALTH

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Botswana from the UK, however, you need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country (7 days or less before entering Botswana) where that disease is widely prevalent, such as Zambia/Victoria Falls.
You should check with your doctor who has access to the most up-to-date information but the following vaccinations are usually recommended - Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) together with Hepatitis A and typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria is prevalent in the country, but mainly during the warm and wet season and particularly in the northern half of the country. The south is generally considered lower risk. Don't underestimate this tropical disease and take precautions. Buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET) and sleep under a net and speak to your doctor about anti-malarial medication.

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

There are very few public phone boxes. The country calling code to Botswana is 267. To make an international call from Botswana, the code is 00.
Mobile phone roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage is average in the major towns but you are unlikely to get any signal at all when in remote camps.
Time zone: GMT + 2hr

BUDGET AND MONEY

Pula (BWP; symbol P) = 100 thebe.
Notes in denominations of P100, 50, 20 and 10.
Coins in denominations of P5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, 10 and 5 thebe.
It is not necessary to change money into local currency for any of our Botswana rides - they accept GB Pounds, Euro, US Dollars and South African Rand.

VOLTAGE

220-240 volts AC, 50Hz. 15- and 13-amp plug sockets are in use. Plugs used are British-style with two flat blades and one flat grounding blade, or South African style with two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin.

ACTIVITY :Horseback Safari

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

A horseback safari combining 4 days riding on Horizon reserve in the Waterberg of South Africa with 3 days riding in the Mashatu reserve of Botswana. A wonderful introduction to Africa, staying in comfortable camps and experiencing two different ecosystems in one holiday. The African Explorer is perfect for confident riders looking for a first safari and the opportunity to explore two countries in one amazing riding trip.

  • African Explorer safari
    Giraffe and Horses in Botswana
  • Watching the hippos on horseback in South Africa
    Horse and Hippopotamus in botswana
  • A riding safari between South Africa and Botswana
    Riding in Botswana
  • Hippo - Horseback safari in Botswana
    Horseback safari in Botswana
  • Discover Africa on horseback
    African Horseback safari
  • Meeting elephants in Mashatu Game Reserve
    rides with elephants in Africa
  • The Baobab trees of Mashatu
    Africa horseback safari
  • Getting close to the game on horseback in Mashatu
    Riding safari in the Mashatu Reserve in Botswana
  • Glorious sunset rides - with elands for good measure!
    Riders in the Tuli block
  • Herds of impala in Botswana
    Horse riding in Safari in eastern Botswana

STRENGTHS

- A horseback safari which offers riding in two different countries and environments - the Waterberg in South Africa and the Tuli block in eastern Botswana
- South Africa offers the ideal introduction to Africa with plenty of plains game to view - zebra, giraffe, antelope, hippo
- Botswana offers a vast, unfenced wilderness and the chance to ride with big game such as elephant, lion and leopard
- Exceptional horses selected for their temperament and ridability. Small groups of 8 riders maximum!
- High standard of camping with proper beds and en-suite showers and toilets. Camp Davidson in South Africa has recently been built (2013) and both camps have new pools.

ITINERARY

Day 1 : EUROPE - JOHANNESBURG -

International flight overnight to Johannesburg - Flights are not included but we can assist with this on request.

If flying out from the UK, please note that you need to depart from London before c. 21:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg before 09:00 in time to meet the transfer vehicle.

Day 2 : JOHANNESBURG - CAMP DAVIDSON - 3 hours riding

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

On arrival at Johannesburg International Airport, you will be met by your driver and transferred to Camp Davidson on the Horizon ranch (c. 3 hour drive). The transfer usually departs at 10:30. (If you book a flight which arrives after 09:00 then you may need to pay extra for a private transfer to the ranch).

You will arrive at Camp Davidson in time for lunch and to meet your guide and the team. In the afternoon you will be matched with a horse suited to your ability and experience before heading off on your first ride through the Matlapeng reserve. You will stop for sundowners at the Red Lake, where you are likely to encounter a pod of resident hippo, before climbing the ridge back to Camp Davidson.

Day 3 : MATLAPENG RESERVE - 5 hours riding

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

For your first full day of horse riding, you will explore the reserve tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to straying off the beaten track as your horse will lead you along game trails and narrow kloofs.

A saddlebag lunch is served at the riverside along a long abandoned wagon route used by the pioneers to congregate for church each Sunday. Riders can rest in the shade of the riverine forest during the heat of the day or take a dip in the clear flowing streams whilst the horses graze, before gradual meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.

Dinner and night at Camp Davidson.

Day 4 : MATLAPENG RESERVE - 3-4 hours riding

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

After an early start from the camp, you will take part in a game drive at a nearby Big Five private game reserve, with a chance to see rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard. On the way back you will visit Beadle, a craft workshop on Triple B Ranch where the artisanal crafters specialise in beautiful handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps.
Lunch will be served by the pool at the Triple B Ranch, after which you will head back to camp by a sunset ride through the game reserve for your last night in South Africa.

Day 5 : BELLEVUE PLAINS - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Bellevue Plains Lodge

Pack up and leave Camp Davidson after breakfast - your bags will go ahead whilst you make your way to Bellevue Plains Lodge on horseback. On arrival you will enjoy lunch on the deck overlooking one of the plains and then have a chance to enjoy the pool whilst watching the antelope interact. In the afternoon, you will explore the reserve further, tracking giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu, impala, hartebeest and ostrich. Sundowners will be poured whilst enjoying the incredible African sunset.

Day 6 : MASHATU RESERVE - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : TWO MASHATU CAMP

Time to leave for Botswana! After a short ride back to the main lodge, you will depart from the lodge at 07:30 and be transferred to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana (c. 3-4 hour drive).
On arrival at Pont Drift you will complete passport formalities before crossing the Limpopo river and entering Botswana. Here you will be met by your new guide and transferred the short distance to the stables.
After a light lunch, the introductory afternoon ride will familiarise you with your horse for this leg of the safari, arriving at the Two Mashatus camp in time to freshen up before supper.

Day 7 : MASHATU RESERVE - 6-7 hours riding

Accommodation : TWO MASHATU CAMP

An early wake-up with tea/coffee in your tent. You will have an early start each day to enjoy the freshness of the morning and to maximize game-viewing opportunities when the wildlife is most active. Undoubtedly you will come across the large herds of elephant for which the Tuli is renowned, as well as many different species of antelope; also giraffe, zebra, bat-eared fox, jackal, hyena and possibly even lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah.
In the afternoon, you will ride along the Limpopo River, enjoying the rich birdlife, spotting crocodile in the pools and learning about the magnificent trees lining the banks. Alternatively, you have the option of doing a game drive, game walk or visiting the local village Mothabaneng to see the local ladies make baskets as well as viewing local bushmen's paintings.

Day 8 : MASHATU RESERVE - 6-7 hours riding

Accommodation : TWO MASHATU CAMP

Riding out early, you will follow the movements of wildlife in the area and observe and interact with the world around you. The tempo of the ride will always be varied and dependent on the terrain - there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of your horse at a faster pace, possibly even running alongside zebra or wildebeest.
You will head back to the camp for dinner around a large log fire under beautiful old Mashatu trees.

Day 9 : MASHATU RESERVE - JOHANNESBURG - 2 hours riding

Your final morning will be spent riding in "Nels Vlei". Those who wish may have a go over the rustic cross country fences made out of fallen trees. Once back at the stables, there will be time for a quick shower and brunch at the reception area before saying farewell to your horse and the team.

At c.11.00, you will be transferred back to Johannesburg International via the Pont Drift border post (c. 6.5 hours drive). Your flight back to London should depart in the evening around 20:30 or later, to allow time for this transfer.

If you opt in for the aircraft transfer (2 people min), this transfer will be by plane, allowing you to enjoy one last ride with the horses and your group.

Day 10 : EUROPE -

Arrival back in the Europe.

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YOUR ADVISOR

Did you know ? 

The "Small Five"

Now this is a challenge when you are on your horse safari in South Africa. Few people have heard of the " Little Five".

These five small animals are a must to add to your list for a successful safari. They are difficult to find due to their minimal size.

Look out for the elephant mouse, the leopard tortoise , rhinoceros beetle, the ant lion and buffalo weaver bird .

Early bird discounts
Get 3% off all trips booked before 31/12/2019 for a departure in 2020.
Terms and conditions:
  • This 3% early bird discount applies to the cost of the trip, and excludes transfers & supplements, international or domestic flights, and any additional services.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other current discount.