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Riding holiday in South Africa

Horizon ranch

10 days / 8 riding from £ 1,200

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 hotels, guesthouses, B&B's or homestays. Double or twin rooms with bathrooms.

 

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

Imprimer

SOUTH AFRICA-Horizon ranch

10 days / 8 riding from 1200£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

Family starting from 4 ans

The ultimate riding holiday for those who love horses and riding. Based on one of the oldest family farms in this area of outstanding natural beauty you can join trail rides, horseback safaris or game drives to see the local wildlife, play polocrosse or even swim with your horse. This riding safari is perfect for all ages and abilities and is one of the best family riding holidays in Africa. Shane, Laura, Kirsty and their team will welcome you with open arms and make you feel at home... Welcome to Horizon Ranch!

Strengths

- A horse lover's paradise with over 80 horses suitable for all abilities
- Rides are split into groups so that experienced riders can canter, whilst novice riders can take it slower
- Plenty of flexibility - you can arrive/depart on any day, stay as long as you like and ride as much or as little as you like
- The Waterbeg area is non-malarial and so it is not necessary to take anti-malarial medication
- Off-site visits to Big Five reserves can be arranged (at an extra cost - payable locally)
- Non-riders are welcome and riders of all abilities can be catered for
- Children are welcome and there are suitable ponies available whatever their ability. There are plenty of activities to keep children interested, such as a variety of mounted games and polocrosse
- You can combine your stay at the main lodge with a couple of nights in the tented Camp Davidson which is situated on the farm and only a short ride away
- Some local wildlife make their home on the farm - so you may see hippo, giraffe, zebra and various types of antelope

Itinerary

Day 1 : LONDON - JOHANNESBURG -

International flight overnight to Johannesburg.

If booking your own flight, then you need to leave from London between 19:00 - 21:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg before 09:00 in time to meet the transfer vehicle, leaving from the airport at 10:30.

Day 2 : JOHANNESBURG - WATERBERG -

Accommodation : LODGE

On your arrival, you will be met at Johannesburg airport and transferred to the ranch in the middle of the Waterberg plateau (c. 3.5 hours drive). The transfer vehicle will leave the airport at c. 10:30 so you need to ensure you arrive by 09:00 to allow time for passport control and to collect your luggage.

A private transfer can be arranged at a different time for an extra cost if the above listed flight times wouldn't suit your travel plans.

You should arrive at the ranch in time for lunch and a chance to unpack and relax before your first afternoon ride. You will head out and have your first chance to explore the plains in search of game such as giraffe and zebra. Your evening will end with sundowners and dinner on the verandah.

IMPORTANT : the following itinerary is just an example - the actual itinerary is flexible and will depend on your preferences and those of the group. Every night, your guide will talk you through the following day's programme.

Day 3 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

After breakfast, you will head out on horseback around the ranch, making the most of the long sandy tracks and looking out for zebra, giraffe, antelope and other game.

Other activities included:
- Cross-country course
- Cattle drive
- Swimming with the horses
- Western games
- Visit of a traditional village
- Fishing
- Hike around the farm

In the afternoon, you may choose to join a vehicle safari on a neighbouring reserve (at an extra cost, payable locally) to try to spot some of the 'Big 5' - large cats and elephants.

You will head back to Horizon lodge for dinner in the evening.

Please note: itinerary for the following days is given for indicative purposes only. You can do as much or as little as you like, and you only can decide what your day will look like!

Day 4 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

The group may be split into adults and children, or split according to ability as each group follows a programme of activities suited to their level.

The youngsters can go off to muster cattle and try their hand at cutting whilst the adults ride to the ranch owner's homestead at Boschdraai for a tour of the farm, school and crèche.

After lunch those interested can take the staff on at baseball, basketball or volleyball. Others can simply enjoy the joys of an African siesta. In the afternoon there will be the chance for a jumping lesson (body protectors compulsory) or perhaps a ride around the hippo pools.

Day 5 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

This morning you may opt to take an elephant back ride on a nearby reserve (at extra cost, payable locally) or to take a ride exploring more of the vast ranch lands.

After lunch there will be an opportunity to have a go at polocrosse - a cross between polo and lacrosse, this fun and addictive game can be enjoyed by riders of all levels and ages. Splitting the group into teams of three, you will be taught the rules and aims of the game before launching right into a match!

This may then be followed by a cooling swim with the horses in the dam before sundowners and dinner on the veranda.

Day 6 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

In the morning, you will head out on a ride exploring a new area of the ranch - perhaps coming across a family of giraffe grazing the acacia trees.

In the afternoon, you may wish to visit the nearest town of Vaalwater to shop for souvenirs before heading back to the lodge in time for a short sunset ride before dinner.

Day 7 : CAMP DAVIDSON -

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

If you have pre-booked it, then this morning you might ride out to Camp Davidson which is situated on a ridge at the edge of Triple B's land.

The camp consists of large tents built onto wooden platforms with spectacular views of Triple B and neighbouring farms. After lunch in the camp, your afternoon ride will take you onto a neighbour's land to search for game before a traditional Braai (barbecue) back at the camp.

Of course, it is also possible to spend the day at the lodge to do other equestrian activities.

Day 8 : CAMP DAVIDSON -

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

As you ride out from Camp Davidson, you will be tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeast, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to venturing off the trails 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 riverbank 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.

Day 9 : WATERBERG - JOHANNESBURG -

Early in the morning, you will have time for a final short ride before saying a fond farewell to your horse and the team.

After lunch, at approx. 14:00 you will be transferred to Johannesburg airport for your flight home, which should be booked to leave after 19:30.

Day 10 : LONDON -

You will arrive in London during the early hours of the morning.


Price details

- The rates above correspond to a 7 night stay (5 nights in the lodge followed by 2 nights in Camp Davidson) per person sharing a standard twin room. Other room options are available and we will provide you with an accurate quote depending on room availability when you enquire.

- It is not necessary to spend 2 nights at Camp Davidson and you can spend all your nights at the lodge if you prefer - please ask for a quote

- If you book Camp Davidson for the middle of your stay rather than at the start/end of your stay then there is a supplement to retain your room at the lodge

- You can arrive and depart on any day and stay for as long as you like. The above dates are a guide only - please enquire for dates which suit you. We recommend a minimum stay of 3 nights, and you can stay up to 10 nights if you wish - you will not be bored!

- Airport transfers are at extra cost and currently £95 per person each way (£98 in 2020). These transfers are available at specific times:
> Departing Johannesburg at 10:30am - you will need a flight arriving by 09:30
> Departing Horizon after lunch, for flights departing Johannesburg after 19:00

If you require transfers outside of these timings, then private transfers are possible at extra cost:
> 60+ transfer: we will combine passengers landing within an hour of each other. £190 per car in 2019, £198 in 2020 (landing between 6:55 am and 10:55 am).
> Private transfers: £250 per car in 2019; £260 in 2020.
If you require a transfer to/from Johannesburg city centre rather than the airport then a supplement is payable.

- Single supplements are payable for those who end up in a single room. Single supplements vary depending on which room type you stay in - please contact us.

- There are discounts for children under 16 years of age if they are sharing a room with their parents

There are a number of alternative activities available which are payable locally. These activities also have a transport charge paid on site, vehicle charge is split between all guests:

Elephant back safari : R1150 pp
Walking with wild dogs : R550 pp
Big five Game drive : R510 pp
Ziplining : R350 pp adults, R175 children
Cycling on Lindane : R250 pp

On site Activities
Night Sky Safari : R300 pp
Onsite Game drives : R200 pp ( min charge R600)
Guided bush walks : no charge
Black Bass Fishing : no charge
Cycling on Lindani : R250 pp


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 assistant horse guide
1 English-speaking tour leader

Logistics

Team at the lodge (around 10 people - including your hosts and cooking staff)

Team at camp (a further 10 people assisting you with the horses and your stay)

Accommodation

single, double or 4 person room in lodge (depending on needs/ availablity) + 2 nights at Camp Davidson

Meals

Full-board from lunch on day 2 to lunch on day 9

Equestrian Activities

Horseback rides on the ranch and neighbouring ranchers' land

Working with cattle (cutting and cattle driving)
Polocrosse (a game combining polo and lacrosse - suitable for all levels)
Swimming with the horses
Riding tuition for beginners (trail riding or dressage)
Introduction to Western riding
Cross Country Jumping

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room supplement (if applicable - depending on the room)

Extras

Trip extensions or additional activities

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transports

International flights
Airport Transfers (see price details for more information)

Extra

Tips to local team

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

Tips are not expected but if you wish to leave a tip then we recommend c. £10 per guest per day for the entire local team - this can be given to your hosts to share out equally. You can tip in any currency (GBP, Euro, USD or Rand).

HORSES

Good selection of horses, of which approximately 65 are suitable for guests : Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Boerperds, Welsh ponies and various crossbreeds. There is a horse to suit everyone, from calm and sensible to instill confidence in nervous riders up to more spirited mounts for those who prefer it.
All are ridden in McLellan saddles which are South African trail saddles and comfortable for long hours in the saddle.
Hard hats are compulsory and we recommend you take your own to ensure the best fit.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

All abilities can be catered for and groups are usually split according to ability, with experienced riders going on faster rides and novice riders taking it more steadily. However, groups can choose to ride together if they wish but the pace will be set by the weakest rider.

Only those with prior jumping experience (and a body protector) will be permitted on the small cross country course.

Hard hats are compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure the best fit.

Non-riders are welcome but non-riding children under 10 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

PACE

Game viewing is normally at a walk so as not to startle the animals, but there are opportunities for faster riding for those with the experience and desire. Two riding groups can set out each day so that those wishing for faster riding can do so, whilst those wanting a leisurely ride can enjoy the African landscape at their own pace.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

The horses are tacked up for you by the staff but you will be asked to untack and assist with turning your horse into the paddock at the end of the day.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

If you wish to jump then you need to be physically fit enough and have sufficient cover on your insurance. Apart from this there are no special requirements on this ride.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

No special experiences required - suitable for all.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

COMFORT

The lodge overlooks a beautiful lake and the large colonial verandah is the perfect spot to take in the beauty of South Africa.
You can choose between the double/twin ensuite rooms in the main house or upgrade to the luxurious, en-suite thatched rondavels, each set slightly away from the main house offering a private and cosy place to relax in after a long day in the saddle.
A pool enables guests to cool off after a hot African summer day.


If you choose this option, you can also stay in a beautiful Camp made up of several Meru tents. Camp Davidson has recently been built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng valley. It offers the opportunity to explore from a base camp nestled in the heart of the wooded mountains of the Waterberg. The camp commands a wonderful panoramic view of the central highlands of the Waterberg massif, while overlooking the picturesque Sunset Lake at the eastern boundary of Triple B Ranch. All tents are en-suite with running water, hot showers and flush toilets.


CLIMATE

From November to December, the summer months become hotter and more humid with either continual rain or storms in the afternoon, on these days, you will head out to ride once the rains have stopped. At this time of year, mosquitoes and other insects are also more numerous and present in comparison to the winter months.

From January to March, the weather is usually drier and the days are very hot. Your morning rides finish earlier in order to avoid this heat. At this time of year, mosquitoes and other insects are also more present and numerous in comparison to the winter months.

In April, the vegetation starts to change, the green bush becomes brown and sparse throughout this period of autumn. The temperatures will drop during the night, however during the day it will still be hot with the possibility of storms in the afternoon.

In May and June, the winter months, the temperature lowers significantly at night and early in the morning. The vegetation becomes browner still and the tress lose their leaves. Due to the sparseness of the vegetation, visibility through the bush is improved.

From July to September, the weather is extremely dry with very cold nights. The temperature is also quite cool during your morning and end-of-afternoon excursions.

From October to November, the spring is at its peak dryness with hot winds and sparse vegetation. The first rains arrive at the end of October.

Meals

Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, tea and coffee.
Lunch is usually light such as quiche and salad or lasagne or salad.
Afternoon tea with a selection of drinks and freshly baked cakes.
Dinner comprises three courses and there are plenty of vegetables on offer.

Meals are prepared on-site using fresh, local ingredients wherever possible. Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for with advance notice.

Support Team

Guide and local team

There are always at least two guides in each riding group - a lead guide who always speaks English and a back-up guide.

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

This may sound strange but if you have any old clothes, shoes, or blankets that you would otherwise throw away and have some room in your luggage please do take it with you. Horizon is involved with local schools and creches and helps where possible with the Waterberg Welfare Society and its aids orphan program. As such they have lots of people who are grateful for any old clothing. Please do not feel you have to now go out and buy something to bring, or have to empty all your cupboards - it is not by any means expected - it is just that over the years so many people have expressed regret at not knowing how useful that item they threw away last week would have been to someone else.

Head
- Hard hats are compulsory and we recommend you 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
- Waterproof jacket - particularly during the summer months (October - April) when there can be rain or thunderstorms
- 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

Our Recommendations
- 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!
- A laundry service is available, which may mean that you can pack light

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for the pool or swimming your horse in the dam
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding

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

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...

Special equipment required
- Body protector if you wish to jump

ENTRY FORMALITIES

To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all UK, Australian, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals.
Passports must have at least two blank facing pages for entry stamps - visitors have been refused entry by airport immigration officials for flouting this regulation.
Yellow fever certificates are required if your journey starts from or passes through a country with yellow fever (such as Zambia/Victoria Falls).Visas for South Africa are not required by UK, Australian, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals for stays of up to 90 days except:
• Nationals of Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, who may stay visa-free for up to 30 days.
• Nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia, who do require a visa.
Other passport holders are advised to contact the embassy/high commission for visa requirements.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION RE: TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
From 1st June 2015, South Africa have introduced tough rulings for anyone travelling with children.
- 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 here: http://www.africa-adventure.net/downloads/SummaryImmigrationMinors.pdf

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

Addresses of consulates

  • South African High Commission
    South Africa House
    Trafalgar Square
    WC2N 5DP London
    Tél. : +44 (0) 20 7451 7299
    Fax : +44 (0) 20 7839 5670
  • Paris | Ambassade d'Afrique du sud
    59, Quai d'Orsay
    75343 Paris Cedex 07
    Tél. : 01.53.59.23.23
    Fax :
    info@afriquesud.net
  • Ambassade de France en Afrique du Sud
    250, Melk street
    New Muckleneuk
    0181 Pretoria
    Tél. : +27 (0) 12 425 1600
    Fax : +27 12 425 1609
    france@ambafrance-rsa.org

HEALTH

We recommend that you talk to your doctor as they have access to the most up-to-date information.
There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to South Africa, however, you need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country where that disease is widely prevalent, such as Zambia/Victoria Falls. So although Yellow Fever is not a problem in South Africa, you will need to carry a certificate of vaccination if you are arriving from an infected country.
Like with most countries, it's advisable to have general injections regarding diseases like Hepatitis A and typhoid. Most travellers are already vaccinated against DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio) and Hepatitis A, especially if you travelled already to countries outside the western world. 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, although not prevalent in most of the country, is a serious disease which must not be underestimated. If you are travelling in the eastern quarter of the country (towards Kruger National Park), take anti-malarial medication such as Malarone, especially when travelling during the warmer and wetter summer season (October to April/May). Also wear long-sleeved shirts and use insect repelling containing DEET.
Very occasionally there are reports of African Tick Bite Fever in guests returning from South Africa. Cover up when riding/walking through the bush and check yourself for ticks. If you experience flu-like symptoms on return to the UK it is worth mentioning to your doctor that you have visited a rural part of Africa. The disease is easily treated with antibiotics.

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 +1
South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls).
Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies and coverage extends to most of the country except the very remote areas. GPRS for data coverage is also widespread. Airport kiosks can sell you a phone or local SIM card if you show some ID.
Internet cafes are common in towns throughout the country and wireless is available at airports and in up-market hotels. Most hotels charge for connectivity and it can be cheaper to find the nearest internet café.

BUDGET AND MONEY

The currency of South Africa is the Rand, often called the 'buck', and it's divided into 100 cents. The sign for it is R and the financial code is ZAR. It was introduced in 1961 to coincide with the establishment of the Republic of South Africa, replacing the South African pound.
Notes come in R10, R20, R50, R100, and R200 denominations. Coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents exist, as well as R1, R2 and R5.

VOLTAGE

220/230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs have three fat round pins.

ACTIVITY :Horseback Safari

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

Family starting from 4 Years

The ultimate riding holiday for those who love horses and riding. Based on one of the oldest family farms in this area of outstanding natural beauty you can join trail rides, horseback safaris or game drives to see the local wildlife, play polocrosse or even swim with your horse. This riding safari is perfect for all ages and abilities and is one of the best family riding holidays in Africa. Shane, Laura, Kirsty and their team will welcome you with open arms and make you feel at home... Welcome to Horizon Ranch!

  • Riding with zebra is a thrilling experience!
    Riding safari in South Africa
  • An ideal family holiday in South Africa
    horseback riding in South Africa
  • Swimming with the horses in Horizon Lake
    Rider and horses swimming in the lake
  • Family holiday on horseback in South Africa
    Ranch riding holiday in South Africa
  • Horizon Ranch has horses for all ages and abilities
    Ranch riding holiday in South Africa
  • Riding in the bush in South Africa
    Ranch riding holiday in South Africa
  • Highly addictive - a game of polocrosse
    Horizon Ranch, South Africa
  • Safari wildlife - Hippopotamus
    Hippopotamus in South Africa
  • A riding safari in South Africa
    Riders and zebra in South Africa
  • Experienced riders can try the bush cross-country course
    Cross-country jumping at Horizon Ranch
  • The lodge at Horizon - a little piece of heaven on earth
    Horizon Ranch riding safaris
  • Horizon Ranch at night
    The main lodge at night
  • Beautiful bright rooms and private cottages
    The Garden Chalet at Horizon Ranch
  • Camp Davidson, a tented camp on the escarpment
    Camp Davidson mess tent at Horizon, South Africa

STRENGTHS

- A horse lover's paradise with over 80 horses suitable for all abilities
- Rides are split into groups so that experienced riders can canter, whilst novice riders can take it slower
- Plenty of flexibility - you can arrive/depart on any day, stay as long as you like and ride as much or as little as you like
- The Waterbeg area is non-malarial and so it is not necessary to take anti-malarial medication
- Off-site visits to Big Five reserves can be arranged (at an extra cost - payable locally)
- Non-riders are welcome and riders of all abilities can be catered for
- Children are welcome and there are suitable ponies available whatever their ability. There are plenty of activities to keep children interested, such as a variety of mounted games and polocrosse
- You can combine your stay at the main lodge with a couple of nights in the tented Camp Davidson which is situated on the farm and only a short ride away
- Some local wildlife make their home on the farm - so you may see hippo, giraffe, zebra and various types of antelope

ITINERARY

Day 1 : LONDON - JOHANNESBURG -

International flight overnight to Johannesburg.

If booking your own flight, then you need to leave from London between 19:00 - 21:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg before 09:00 in time to meet the transfer vehicle, leaving from the airport at 10:30.

Day 2 : JOHANNESBURG - WATERBERG -

Accommodation : LODGE

On your arrival, you will be met at Johannesburg airport and transferred to the ranch in the middle of the Waterberg plateau (c. 3.5 hours drive). The transfer vehicle will leave the airport at c. 10:30 so you need to ensure you arrive by 09:00 to allow time for passport control and to collect your luggage.

A private transfer can be arranged at a different time for an extra cost if the above listed flight times wouldn't suit your travel plans.

You should arrive at the ranch in time for lunch and a chance to unpack and relax before your first afternoon ride. You will head out and have your first chance to explore the plains in search of game such as giraffe and zebra. Your evening will end with sundowners and dinner on the verandah.

IMPORTANT : the following itinerary is just an example - the actual itinerary is flexible and will depend on your preferences and those of the group. Every night, your guide will talk you through the following day's programme.

Day 3 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

After breakfast, you will head out on horseback around the ranch, making the most of the long sandy tracks and looking out for zebra, giraffe, antelope and other game.

Other activities included:
- Cross-country course
- Cattle drive
- Swimming with the horses
- Western games
- Visit of a traditional village
- Fishing
- Hike around the farm

In the afternoon, you may choose to join a vehicle safari on a neighbouring reserve (at an extra cost, payable locally) to try to spot some of the 'Big 5' - large cats and elephants.

You will head back to Horizon lodge for dinner in the evening.

Please note: itinerary for the following days is given for indicative purposes only. You can do as much or as little as you like, and you only can decide what your day will look like!

Day 4 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

The group may be split into adults and children, or split according to ability as each group follows a programme of activities suited to their level.

The youngsters can go off to muster cattle and try their hand at cutting whilst the adults ride to the ranch owner's homestead at Boschdraai for a tour of the farm, school and crèche.

After lunch those interested can take the staff on at baseball, basketball or volleyball. Others can simply enjoy the joys of an African siesta. In the afternoon there will be the chance for a jumping lesson (body protectors compulsory) or perhaps a ride around the hippo pools.

Day 5 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

This morning you may opt to take an elephant back ride on a nearby reserve (at extra cost, payable locally) or to take a ride exploring more of the vast ranch lands.

After lunch there will be an opportunity to have a go at polocrosse - a cross between polo and lacrosse, this fun and addictive game can be enjoyed by riders of all levels and ages. Splitting the group into teams of three, you will be taught the rules and aims of the game before launching right into a match!

This may then be followed by a cooling swim with the horses in the dam before sundowners and dinner on the veranda.

Day 6 : WATERBERG RANCH -

Accommodation : LODGE

In the morning, you will head out on a ride exploring a new area of the ranch - perhaps coming across a family of giraffe grazing the acacia trees.

In the afternoon, you may wish to visit the nearest town of Vaalwater to shop for souvenirs before heading back to the lodge in time for a short sunset ride before dinner.

Day 7 : CAMP DAVIDSON -

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

If you have pre-booked it, then this morning you might ride out to Camp Davidson which is situated on a ridge at the edge of Triple B's land.

The camp consists of large tents built onto wooden platforms with spectacular views of Triple B and neighbouring farms. After lunch in the camp, your afternoon ride will take you onto a neighbour's land to search for game before a traditional Braai (barbecue) back at the camp.

Of course, it is also possible to spend the day at the lodge to do other equestrian activities.

Day 8 : CAMP DAVIDSON -

Accommodation : CAMP DAVIDSON

As you ride out from Camp Davidson, you will be tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeast, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to venturing off the trails 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 riverbank 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.

Day 9 : WATERBERG - JOHANNESBURG -

Early in the morning, you will have time for a final short ride before saying a fond farewell to your horse and the team.

After lunch, at approx. 14:00 you will be transferred to Johannesburg airport for your flight home, which should be booked to leave after 19:30.

Day 10 : LONDON -

You will arrive in London during the early hours of the morning.

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YOUR ADVISOR

Horizon riding holidays

There are a few different accommodation options when choosing a riding holiday at Horizon in South Africa.

You can either choose to stay at the main lodge, or to stay at their tented Camp Davidson, or to combine both and spend a few nights at each.

Camp Davidson comprises large canvas tents built onto wooden platforms, with private ensuite showers and toilets at the back. The camp is built on an escarpment with beautiful views across the valley. From Camp Davidson you ride out each morning in search of plains game such as antelope, zebra and giraffe. Dine out under the stars and experience the excitement of a bush camp. You ride the horses up to the camp on your first day and then they stay at camp with you each night in a corral.

The main lodge is built besides a dam, and this is where most of the herd live too. There are three accommodation options at the lodge. For couples or friends travelling together there are Rondavels - round cottages with thatched roofs and private bathrooms. At the front of the lodge and overlooking the dam are the two lakeside chalets. At the back of the main lodge are two garden chalets - these have an inter-linking verandah so are ideal for families, or singles. In the main house there are a couple of double rooms with private bathrooms - these rooms are smaller and generally reserved for single travellers as they incur no single supplement.

When staying at the main lodge there are many riding options. You can ride out across the ranch lands in search of game, or just enjoy the wide open spaces; or have a go at playing Polocrosse - fun and highly addictive! There are mounted Western games for adults and children alike or you can swim your horse in the dam, provided the hippo aren't in residence!

Each of the different room options is a different price, so ask us for a quote depending on your preferences and we will tailor-make your riding holiday in South Africa to suit you.