Rider watching zebra from horseback on safari
Botswana / South Africa

African Explorer Safari

A horseback safari combining 4 days riding 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.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Horseback Safari
10 days / 7 riding
From £1,660

From the horse’s mouth

  • African Explorer Safari
    December 2019 Rudolf Martin aged 45
    Raida in South Africa Marcus in Botswana, they were both very nice and cool
  • African Explorer Safari
    December 2019 Eva Verena aged 38
    Number 13 in South Africa, calm and very fast, sweet and brave, pretty! This horse was simply perfect! Wilson, Memphis and Lightning in Botswana, I got the chance to ride several horses cause they had many of them, I liked them all, Memphis was very comfortable and nice, Lightning kind, a bit anxious and slow in walk,... Read all
  • African Explorer Safari
    December 2018 Kara aged 35
    My friend and I have been on multiple riding treks and this trek exceeded our expectations! It was great to have combination of riding in S. Africa and then heading over to Botswana. Note that b/c our group was so small, we actually had 2 days in S. Africa with the remaining days in Botswana, which suited us just... Read all
  • African Explorer Safari
    December 2018 Lorraine aged 55
    I really enjoyed my trip. The guides and volunteers were excellent and the level of customer care was exceptional. The food was also delicious. Great holiday all round. At Horizon I rode three horses, my favourite being a lovely pony called Cavello. All were forward going and straight forward. On the Tuli Trail I rode... Read all
  • Riding with elephant in Botswana, African Explorer
    Mashatu in Botswana is known for its herds of elephants
  • Hippos on a horseback safari in South Africa
    Horizon is home to a pod of hippos, in South Africa
  • Riders riding into the Horizon lake, South Africa
    An exciting riding holiday for experienced riders
  • Hippo in the Horizon Horseback lake
    Beware of the hippo!
  • Riding into the Limpopo river, Botswana
    The African Explorer safari, South Africa and Botswana
  • Rider jumping a log in Botswana
    The African Explorer is an exciting riding adventure
  • Watching elephant on the African Explorer safari
    Ride with big game in Botswana, Mashatu reserve
  • Riders and giraffe on a horseback safari
    Spotting giraffe on a horseback safari
  • Rider cantering at sunset in Africa
    Enjoy magical sunset rides in Africa

Itinerary

Highlights

- 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.
  • Day 1 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 21:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg before 09:00 in time to meet the transfer vehicle.
  • Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG - CAMP DAVIDSON - 3 hours riding

    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 3 : MATLAPENG RESERVE - 5 hours riding

    Camp Davidson
    Today’s ride sets off from the high country overlooking a beautiful wilderness area to the east, and heads south, winding along the banks of Sunset Lake with its resident pod of hippos and the odd sly crocodile, before trekking upstream to an adjoining reserve. The lake itself is rich in birdlife, including the impressive Fish Eagles, dainty Dabchicks, elegant Jacanas and a variety of geese. Later, riding through the open savannah, wildebeest and zebra can be encountered. The riding is varied, from canters along sandy tracks to winding through rocky outcrops and densely wooded areas. The ride then crosses the reserve and returns to Camp Davidson in time for lunch. You can then relax by the pool, before a shorter afternoon ride.

    In the evening there is the option of a night sky safari with a local astronomer, Dr Calcott, who will guide you through the amazing constellations (subject to weather conditions and availability). Additional cost R300 pp, Min. 4 pax.

    Dinner and night at Camp Davidson.
  • Day 4 4 : MATLAPENG RESERVE - 3-4 hours riding

    Camp Davidson
    Setting off in a westerly direction, this ride tracks past a brown hyena den, skirts past the upper reaches of the Horizon dam before crossing a wide grassy valley. At one point the ride enters into dense woodland, home to shy species such as kudu, bushbuck and Vervet monkeys. Emerging from the woods, the horses have a chance to stretch their legs along open sandy tracks. Finally the ride swings back to the north, through mixed bushveld and fascinating rock formations. Two highlights of this ride are the jumping lanes and the chance for riders to swim their horses bareback in the Horizon dam next to the main lodge. For many guests, this is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience.

    Once dried off and back in the saddle, the ride climb back up to Camp Davidson is particularly intriguing, as it follows a mountain pass cut through boulders and outcrops. After lunch, enjoy a sundowner ride across the plains on the reserve. Horizon are very fortunate to have a large herd zebra. Over the years, the herd has become quite habituated to the horses and it is now possible to ride really close and experience being part of the zebra herd. A wonderful way to watch the foals frollick.
  • Day 5 5 : BELLEVUE PLAINS - 4-5 hours riding

    Savannah 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.

    The ride traverses a wide wetland, home to reedbuck and grass owls, before entering dense woodland dotted with wild fig trees and large fruited bushwillows. Here it crosses the watershed and descends through open grasslands with sweeping views to the upper reaches of the Conservancy’s main water system. The route passes the favoured habitat of waterbuck and Cape buffalo. The open plains that follow are aptly known as “Little Serengeti”; large herds of blesbuck, eland, wildebeest and kudu are all on view, as are groups of elegant sable, swift red hartebeest and impressive journeys of giraffe and Cape buffalo. After a lunch at the lodge and a rest by the pool, the afternoon ride continues to explore this game rich area, closing with sundowners overlooking the African plains.
  • Day 6 6 : MASHATU RESERVE - 4-5 hours riding

    Two Mashatu Camp
    We depart the lodge early and enjoy an exhilarating ride back to Horizon Lodge in time to change before departing for Botswana at 09:30 am. You arrive in Botswana in time for a light lunch. Enjoy an introductory ride to check you are suited to your horse and comfortable enough in the saddle to ride in a big game area, before embarking on your first ride out to our Two Mashatus Camp. This will be your first opportunity to experience the beauty of the Mashatu Game Reserve and view the wildlife on horseback. Mashatu Game Reserve is home to the largest herd of wild free-roaming elephants on private land in Africa, and, although not a guarantee, it is almost assured that there will be great viewing of these incredible creatures. As evening falls at Two Mashatus Camp, relax in the cool of the thatched lounge and dining areas, before enjoying a three-course dinner.
  • Day 7 7 : MASHATU RESERVE - 6-7 hours riding

    Two Mashatu Camp
    Sunrise, the dawn chorus and tea or coffee which is brought to your tent, sounds the start of your first day. After breakfast, it’s time to mount and depart from the dense woodland that hugs the Limpopo River and head towards the rocky hills that delineate the edges of the great river valley. As the ride traverses the heartland of Mashatu, you will encounter plentiful game: plains game, many giraffe and herds of elephants. You will arrive back at Two Mashatus Camp in time for lunch and a cooling afternoon rest in the shady camp or lazing by the pool. That afternoon the group has the choice of an afternoon ride or a game drive to the south western side of the reserve. This is an area not reached on horseback during the African Explorer safari. It is rich in game with a resident pride of lion. The highlight of the the drive is a sundowner in the ancient landscape of rock formations or the Mmamagwa hills, which vast vistas into the setting sun.
  • Day 8 8 : MASHATU RESERVE - 6-7 hours riding

    Two Mashatu Camp
    Ride out following the movements of wildlife in the area. The tempo of the rides is always varied and depending on the terrain, there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of the horses. The afternoon brings a chance to again choose between another ride or a bush walk in the northern area of Mashatu Game Reserve and enjoy the rich birdlife, spot crocodile in the pools and learn about the magnificent trees lining the banks.
  • Day 9 9 : MASHATU RESERVE - JOHANNESBURG - 2 hours riding

    The last ride in the Limpopo Valley is a great opportunity to take one last picture of elephants and enjoy a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides. 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 10 : EUROPE

    Arrival back in the Europe.

Dates & prices

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, day 9). 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.

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

- Group transfers are an additional £312 in 2020 and £324 in 2021 (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 £494, based on a minimum of two riders - prices subject to change.

- 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.

- 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 2020 and 2021. In 2020: £830 in Dec/Jan/Feb, £905 in March/April/June, and £1010 in May/July/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov. In 2021: £864 in Dec/Jan/Feb, £942 in March/April/June, and £1052 in May/July/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov.

- For this ride, there is a maximum rider weight of 90kg/ 14st 2lbs/198 lbs. If you weigh more than this and wish to ride, please contact us and we will advise on a case-by-case basis.
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

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)

Extras

Game drives

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

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement

Transport

Airport transfers at a different arrival and departure time to those stipulated in 'Price Details'
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    11/06/2020 20/06/2020 £1,810 Open Book now
    18/06/2020 27/06/2020 £1,810 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/06/2020 04/07/2020 £1,810 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/07/2020 11/07/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    09/07/2020 18/07/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    16/07/2020 25/07/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/07/2020 01/08/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    30/07/2020 08/08/2020 £2,020 Full
    06/08/2020 15/08/2020 £2,020 Full
    13/08/2020 22/08/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    20/08/2020 29/08/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/08/2020 05/09/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/09/2020 12/09/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/09/2020 19/09/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/09/2020 26/09/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/09/2020 03/10/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    01/10/2020 10/10/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    08/10/2020 17/10/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    15/10/2020 24/10/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    22/10/2020 31/10/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    29/10/2020 07/11/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/11/2020 14/11/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    12/11/2020 21/11/2020 £2,020 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/11/2020 28/11/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    26/11/2020 05/12/2020 £2,020 Open Book now
    03/12/2020 12/12/2020 £1,660 Open Book now
    10/12/2020 19/12/2020 £1,660 Open Book now
    17/12/2020 26/12/2020 £1,660 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/12/2020 02/01/2021 £1,660 Open Book now
    31/12/2020 09/01/2021 £1,660 Open Book now
  • January - February 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    07/01/2021 16/01/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    14/01/2021 23/01/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    21/01/2021 30/01/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    28/01/2021 06/02/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    04/02/2021 13/02/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    11/02/2021 20/02/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    18/02/2021 27/02/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    25/02/2021 06/03/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/03/2021 13/03/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
    11/03/2021 20/03/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
    18/03/2021 27/03/2021 £1,884 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/03/2021 03/04/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
    01/04/2021 10/04/2021 £1,884 Guaranteed departure Book now
    08/04/2021 17/04/2021 £1,884 Guaranteed departure Book now
    15/04/2021 24/04/2021 £1,884 Full
    22/04/2021 01/05/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
    29/04/2021 08/05/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/05/2021 15/05/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    13/05/2021 22/05/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    20/05/2021 29/05/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    27/05/2021 05/06/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    03/06/2021 12/06/2021 £1,884 Full
    10/06/2021 19/06/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
    17/06/2021 26/06/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
    24/06/2021 03/07/2021 £1,884 Open Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    01/07/2021 10/07/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    08/07/2021 17/07/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    15/07/2021 24/07/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    22/07/2021 31/07/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    29/07/2021 07/08/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    05/08/2021 14/08/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    12/08/2021 21/08/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    19/08/2021 28/08/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    26/08/2021 04/09/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/09/2021 11/09/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    09/09/2021 18/09/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    16/09/2021 25/09/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    23/09/2021 02/10/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    30/09/2021 09/10/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    07/10/2021 16/10/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    14/10/2021 23/10/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    21/10/2021 30/10/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    28/10/2021 06/11/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
  • November - December 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/11/2021 13/11/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    11/11/2021 20/11/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    18/11/2021 27/11/2021 £2,103 Open Book now
    25/11/2021 04/12/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    02/12/2021 11/12/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    09/12/2021 18/12/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    16/12/2021 25/12/2021 £1,728 Open Book now
    23/12/2021 01/01/2022 £1,728 Open Book now
    30/12/2021 08/01/2022 £1,728 Open Book now

Equestrian info

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

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.

For this ride, there is a maximum rider weight of 90kg/ 14st 2lbs/198 lbs. If you weigh more than this and wish to ride, please contact us and we will advise on a case-by-case basis.

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.

Travel info

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 Savannah Lodge is a beautiful, intimate lodge at the heart of a private reserve, a full-day ride away from Camp Davidson. No Wifi.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Visa & Health

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.

Travel to or from South Africa
If you are planning to enter South Africa before or after you visit Botswana, you should refer to the travel advice for South Africa.

Travelling with children
The Botswana government has introduced new immigration rules from 1 October 2016. Children (under 18 years of age) who are travelling into or through Botswana must provide a certified copy of their full unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport (an abridged (short) birth certificate won’t be accepted).

If the child is travelling with one parent, with another adult or unaccompanied, the parent or parents who aren’t present will need to provide an affidavit giving their consent for the child to travel. For more information please contact the Botswana Embassy.

Travelling with children via South Africa
If you’re transiting through South Africa with children, see our South Africa travel advice page for information and advice about the documents you’ll need to carry.

More information: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana/entry-requirements

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.

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.

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.

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.

Telephone and jetlag

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

Did you know?

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 .

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Rudolf Martin aged 45 Mannheim 1 trip
    December 2019
    Raida in South Africa Marcus in Botswana, they were both very nice and cool
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide

    Equus Journeys' reply

    Thank you for filling out your satisfaction form. I'm very sorry you weren't made aware this was the rainy season - this was outlined on the website in the climate section, but I thought we had mentioned it. We normally do, so I'm sorry we didn't make this clearer. I hope this didn't dampen your spirits (!) and I'm glad to see you had an overall enjoyable holiday.

  • Eva Verena aged 38 MANNHEIM 1 trip
    December 2019
    Number 13 in South Africa, calm and very fast, sweet and brave, pretty! This horse was simply perfect! Wilson, Memphis and Lightning in Botswana, I got the chance to ride several horses cause they had many of them, I liked them all, Memphis was very comfortable and nice, Lightning kind, a bit anxious and slow in walk,... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide

    Equus Journeys' reply

    Thank you for filling out your satisfaction form. I'm very sorry you weren't made aware this was the rainy season - this was outlined on the website in the climate section, but I thought we had mentioned it. We normally do, so I'm sorry we didn't make this clearer. I hope this didn't dampen your spirits (!) and I'm glad to see you had an overall enjoyable holiday.

  • Kara aged 35 DENVER 2 trips
    December 2018
    My friend and I have been on multiple riding treks and this trek exceeded our expectations! It was great to have combination of riding in S. Africa and then heading over to Botswana. Note that b/c our group was so small, we actually had 2 days in S. Africa with the remaining days in Botswana, which suited us just... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Lorraine aged 55 Dublin 6W 2 trips
    December 2018
    I really enjoyed my trip. The guides and volunteers were excellent and the level of customer care was exceptional. The food was also delicious. Great holiday all round. At Horizon I rode three horses, my favourite being a lovely pony called Cavello. All were forward going and straight forward. On the Tuli Trail I rode... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide