Safari guide on horseback, in front of an elephant, in Botswana

Across the Okavango

Riding through an exceptional landscape recently declared the 1000th World Heritage Site, you will get to experience a 7 day horseback safari in the south of the Okavango Delta. You will see Botswana as the first explorers mist have done. Depending on the season, water levels and migratory patterns of the local wildlife, your night's camp will be set up in a different spot each night.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Horseback Safari
10 days (7 days riding)
From £3,965

From the horse’s mouth

  • Across the Okavango
    May 2023 CAROLYN aged 56
    The safari we did in Botswana with Ride Botswana was beyond our expectation. We absolutely loved every minute of the experience. We felt safe-as safe as you can feel in a tent in the Okavango Delta. We were well looked after and the horse riding was wonderful. I got to ride a pure bred Arab-how special is that!... Read all
  • Horseback holiday in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
    A fabulous riding holiday in Botswana
  • Safari guide on horseback, in front of an elephant, in Botswana
    This is a Big Game safari, for experienced riders only
  • Group of riders on a sunset ride in the Okavango delta during a horseback safari
    Discover the Okavango Delta on horseback
  • Mokoro canoes in the Okavango delta
    Your belongings are transported by a flotilla of mokoros (traditional dugout canoes)
  • Riders watching zebra during a horseback safari in Botswana
    Zebra spotting on a mobile riding safari in Botswana
  • Family of riders in the floodplains of the Okavango delta
    The seasonal floods are at their highest from June to September in the Okavango
  • Rider and her horse at a sundowners spot in the Okavango
    Sundowners after a day in the saddle in the Okavango Delta
  • Horseback riders in the Okavango Delta near Maun in Botswana
    Horseback safari in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Large elephant seen during a horse safari in the Okavango Delta
    Experience, from the saddle, exceptional wildlife on this riding safari
  • Riders in the plains of the Okavango Delta
    The Okavango Delta is one of Africa's prime wildlife watching locations



- Experience, from the saddle, exceptional wildlife; elephant, giraffe, antelope, buffalo...
- Ride sure and high quality horses and experience breath-taking gallops
- Interact with the local communities throughout the ride
- An eco-friendly safari with little to no environmental impact, especially during the floods when mokoros (canoes) replace jeeps to carry camp/

    You will catch your international overnight flight to Johannesburg (flights are not included, but can be arranged upon request).

    It is important that you book to arrive early the following morning (day 2) in Johannesburg, before 09:00, in order to leave enough time for you to catch your transfer - leaving 2 and a half to 3 hours to change terminal, perhaps collect your baggage and catch your flight for Maun.
  • Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG - MAUN - OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 2 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    You will be met at Maun airport in Botswana (reached by a flight from Johannesburg which we can help you organise if you wish). You will immediately be transferred out by car to the south of the Okavango Delta. After a short transfer by car (30 to 45 minutes), you will meet the horses and your support team. In order to integrate well with the local community and promote tourism in the area, our team uses the services of the local community for the trip's logistics (baggage transfer, camp setup and the cooking). Your baggage will be transported depending on the water level by either by donkeys or by mokoro - a type of traditional canoe.

    You will then start you horseback safari through the delta. The itinerary is not set in stone and will be arranged depending on the season and the level of water found in the different riding locations, this allows for a new discovery of the area on ever safari. The camp is simple yet comfortable - where you will really get to embrace the African bush.

    You will ride out for the first time in the afternoon in order to familiarise yourselves with your horses before a first night in the bush camp out in the delta.
  • Day 3 3 : OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 6 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    The precise itinerary you will follow will be organised depending on the period of the year, the water level and changed expressly to follow the movements of the wildlife; this will ensure that in all seasons you will have the best opportunities to view the native animals on your safari. A typical day will start with a hearty breakfast eaten together around the fire. The day's programme will then be dedicated to the discovery of the delta and the exploration of the stunning landscapes and wildlife. Each morning you will ride for around 4 hours. This morning ride will be the perfect opportunity for gallops along the flooded plains, as well as fording and swimming the delta's deepest outlets.

    At midday, you will return to the camp where each day the support team will have set up your tents in time for lunch in the heart of the bush. You will also have time for a bit of relaxation. In the middle of the afternoon, you will head out for a second ride (around 1h30 - 2 hours) at a gentler pace (no galloping), as this ride will give you the perfect occasion to take breathtaking photos in the last light of the day, and to immerse yourself completely in the sights, sounds and smells of the bush.

    You will return to the camp just before nightfall for an aperitif, dinner under the stars and a night slept falling asleep to the sounds of the local wildlife.

    Certain afternoons, you may if you wish decide not to ride and instead head out in Mokoro, a traditional canoe, to discover the delta. This experience will bring you close to the African flora and fauna, especially the birds.
  • Day 4 4 : OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 6 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    You will ride out for a new day on your horseback safari by following paths trodden by elephants making their way between the islands. Several metres above the waters where your paths weave, the mopane trees grow with their leaves like butterflies and whose canopy offers protection from the strength of the morning sun. The landscape before you will stretch out as either a savannah landscape, forest or groves of fig trees, baobabs, kigelia and ebony trees that are mixed between the elegant palms.

    You will head back to your camp for the night.
  • Day 5 5 : OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 6 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    After an early rise and a full breakfast, you will ride out for 4 hours through the delta. You may see some of the famed Okavango wildlife; lechwe and graceful antelopes that race through the flood pains at a gallop. You as well will enjoy some fantastic gallops across the flooded plains (in season – the Delta is usually flooded from June to September), home to gnus, zebras and a multitude of birds. You will ride along the uncountable streams of water lined with mopane and palm trees. You will have you dinner and spend the night in your camp.
  • Day 6 6 : OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 6 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    On horseback you will ride across the little islands linked one to the other by paths used by hippopotami leading to the main island. These areas are perfect for observing wildlife and are full of surprises. Gazelles, lechwe, hippo, buffalo... A magical environment for unforgettable gallops in the deepest flooded plains of the delta. Here and there the clear and nourishing waters of lagoons dot the landscape full with water-lillies and bulrushes.
  • Day 7 7 : OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 6 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    You will ride out through the bush and the plains covered in fig trees and mopani, or butterfly trees, where you may meet the numerous giraffes and the more timid antelope. Or you may, riding across a flooded plain, come across a family of baboons having fun in the African sun.
  • Day 8 8 : OKAVANGO DELTA - Approx. 6 hours riding

    Mobile delta camp
    Another beautiful day's riding through the heart of the delta. You will once again be able to observe a rich variety of wildlife before stopping for lunch in the shade of the large plain's trees. You will certainly cross herds of elephant and buffalo before riding to the camp for sunset and your last night sleeping out in your incredible itinerant camp.
  • Day 9 9 : OKAVANGO DELTA - MAUN - JOHANNESBURG - Approx. 2 hours riding

    Your last morning of the safari will see have you ride out before leaving your horses, the team and the delta behind. You will be transferred to Maun and take the regular return flight to Johannesburg at 14:00 and then you connection to the UK (not included), or you will start your extension in Africa - safari in the Kalahari, Victoria Falls, Mozambique... Contact us for more information!
  • Day 10 10 : HOME

    Arrive home in the early morning or start your extension to see more of southern Africa.

    Don't hesitate to talk to us about an extension to Victoria Falls or an off-road vehicle safari through central Kalahari, an incredibly special part of the world for observing wildlife and fauna.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (Maun) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.     

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double tent during the ride. 

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 8 international riders, plus guides. 

- Road transfers are included for the seven night riding safari.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a tent with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own tent there is a single supplement of £670/€785/$800 in 2023, and $875/£700/€820 in 2024.

- The minimum age is 12, but young riders must be experienced and willing to spend long hours in the saddle. The guide holds the right to decide whether younger riders may have to travel with an accompanying vehicle should they be unable to keep up with the group during the course of any safari. There are no discounts for children on this ride.

- Non riders can accompany the safari subject to availability and at the discretion of the guides. An itinerary will then be proposed and costed on enquiry.

- IMPORTANT : Riders over 95 kg must contact us before signing up for the ride.

- Shorter safaris are possible on request, however transfers from Maun would then be approx. £60/€70/$70 in 2023 and $90/£75/$80 in 2024 (return rate). The listed dates are for scheduled 7-night safaris - more dates can be open on request, for a minimum of 2 riders.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide specialising in the area
1 backup guide

Logistics Team

1 cook, technician and groom

Inland transport

Airport transfers (included for 7 night safaris only - there is an additional transfer fee for shorter safaris)


7 nights in an itinerant camp in a 2 man tent


Full board from dinner on day 2 to lunch on day 9
Drinks (water, wine, beer, soft drinks)

Price doesn't include


Tips to the local team


Meals on Days 1 and 10, lunch on Days 2 and 9, dinner on Day 9.


International flights to Maun


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



Single tent supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    22/06/2024 01/07/2024 £4,690 €5,394 $5,816
    Contact an advisor
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    06/08/2024 15/08/2024 £5,280 €6,072 $6,547
    Book now
    15/08/2024 24/08/2024 £5,280 €6,072 $6,547
    Book now
    24/08/2024 02/09/2024 £5,280 €6,072 $6,547
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    23/09/2024 02/10/2024 £5,280 €6,072 $6,547
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    08/10/2024 17/10/2024 £5,280 €6,072 $6,547
    Book now
    17/10/2024 26/10/2024 £5,280 €6,072 $6,547
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    09/11/2024 18/11/2024 £4,690 €5,394 $5,816
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    23/12/2024 01/01/2025 £3,965 €4,560 $4,917
    Book now

Equestrian info


You will ride from a stable of Hanoverians, Trakehners, Anglo-Arabs, Arab-barbs, which are all spirited and sure footed. These horses never hesitate to break into a gallop, or take you up close to the will animals you will encounter on your trip. They range in size from 14.1h to 16.2h.

Guide & local team

All rides will be led by a professional experienced guide armed with a rifle. He will be accompanied by an assistant back up guide. Guides will be up to date on their first aid training and will carry a basic first aid kit on all rides. A GPS and a handheld radio or satellite phone are also carried in the event of an emergency.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

To make the most out of this safari, you need to be at ease riding outdoors, keeping your balance over varied and uneven ground and having the reflexes to keep and find your seat again if the horse were to swerve suddenly.

Some of the horses are very docile and will be more suitable for intermediate level riders - ask us for more information.

IMPORTANT : Riders over 95kg most contact us before signing up to this ride. Heavier experienced riders over this limit may be accepted but at our discretion and may be required to pay for a 2nd horse to alternate on for the duration of the safari.


In the morning, you will experience all the paces. Be prepared to get wet! In the afternoons, a more relaxed ride is on the cards.

Between 4-7 hours will be spent in the saddle each day. The longest days will be on the “move” days. This is when the camp is moved to a new location.

Tacking ability and participation

An efficient English-speaking staff assures the care and the preparation of the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

The riding environment doesn't pose any particular challenges with an agreeable climate all year round. The seasons are inverted due to Botswana's location in the southern hemisphere. The Okavango
may well be a wetland but there are hundreds of islands that host a wide variety of wildlife. The islands are generally comprised of floodplains and woodland.

Riders who don't ride regularly must absolutely get back into the saddle before heading out on this safari.

Your baggage will be transported depending on the water level by either by donkeys or by mokoro - a type of traditional canoe.

Riders must also be prepared to meet people whose cultural specificities and differences of approach must be treated with acceptance and respect.

Equestrian equipment

South African trail saddles.
Water bottles holders are provided on each saddle (enough space for two saddles). Saddle bags are available.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info


During the ride, your camp will be made up of simple, yet comfortable freestanding tents for 2 people, raised camp beds and sheets are provided. You will move camp regularly during the week, depending on weather conditions and game movement.

A bathroom tent, a shower tent (bucket shower) and a mess tent are all shared (1 hot bucket shower and 1 bush loo shared between 2 tents). Breakfast and dinner will be had out around the campfire.

The mobile camp is transported by a flotilla of mekoros (traditional dugout canoes) poled by members of the local community, who live on the fringes of the Delta and know it intimately. When the water levels are too low for the mekoros to navigate, a train of pack donkeys takes over.

There are no charging facilities on this ride. We recommend guests bring with them a solar external battery bank to charge all camera equipment etc.

No wifi and little to none mobile coverage. No laundry service.


The dining style is buffet using fresh ingredients and cooked over an open fire. Dinners are 2 courses comprising of a main meal and dessert. As we are very limited for space on these trips, dietary requirements should be confirmed prior to travel so that we may properly plan a specific menu to accommodate those requirements.

Breakfast will be had out in the bush; savoury, sweet, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, eggs and bacon.
Lunch will buffet style with options such as salad, cold meats, fruit and cheese.
Dinner will be served around the mess table and be made up of meat, vegetables, grill and fresh fruit.

Mineral water will be provided. As space is so limited on these safaris it really helps us to properly plan and pack for these trips for our guests to provide us with their specific drinks requests for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and where possible to include daily quantities. Drinking water, teas and coffees are provided.


The months of October to March are the hottest of the year, with temperatures varying between 15 and 37°c.

The Okavango Delta is a seasonal flood plain and so different times of the year offer different experiences - each magical in its own way. The seasons in southern Africa are the reverse of the UK and so December/January is mid-summer with high temperatures and the chance of dramatic thunderstorms, whereas July/August is mid-winter when temperatures are lower and there is little chance of rain. The water level in the Delta depend on the rainfall in Angola and the floods usually arrive around April/May and recede around September/October, but this varies every year and is difficult to predict. The following guide may prove useful when planning the best time for your holiday.

March/April : Daytime temperatures are warm/hot (25-35c) and will drop to 10-20c at night. There is a small chance of rain and the bush is green and lush. There will be waterholes left over from the rainy season but the flood may not have arrived yet. Because of the rain, lush grazing and plentiful waterholes the game is dispersed and not gathered in big herd but will look fat and healthy.

May : Daytime temperatures are falling (20-30c) and it is starting to feel cooler at night (5-10c). The floods normally arrive in May which brings high levels of bird life. The large herds of lechwe antelope and buffalo will start to move into the area, but game is still dispersed as there is plenty to eat and drink.

June-August : Daytime temperatures are still pleasant (20-25c) but night are cold (3-5c) and so the early morning and late evenings are chilly. The floods are at their highest and so there is plenty of wading from island to island and boat activities. Hippo and crocodile may move into the area as well as large buffalo and antelope herds.

September/October : Spring arrives and temperatures start to climb with daytime temperatures of 30-45c, dropping to 15-25c at night. The floods are starting to recede, the islands are dry as there has not been rain for months and so the game starts to concentrate around the water holes.

November - February : The rain can arrive anytime in November. Daytime temperatures are high before the rains (30-40c) but drop after each shower. It is unlikely to rain persistently, but usually for a few hours. Nights are still warm (15-20c). The bush turns green after the rains and the grass starts to grow again. Once the waterholes start to fill again the game will disperse. The antelope will give birth during this time of plenty.


Tips are usually between 20-25 USD per rider/ per day for the whole local team which will then be shared equally.

- Guide: US$ 10 per day per guest
- Camp Staff (including back up rider): US$ 10 per day per guest
- Community Staff (Delta only): US$ 2 per day per guest

Packing list

Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided. The luggage limit is 15kgs, including hand luggage, not exceeding the following dimensions: 55cm (L) x 30 (W) x 30 (D). This must be in soft bags. We recommend the bags are waterproof. In the wet season your belongings are transported by a flotilla of mekoros (traditional dugout canoes) - please make sure to adhere to the weight limit of 15kgs and all bags MUST be soft with no wheels in order to fit comfortably into the boats. You should try and pack your belongings in waterproof bags to make sure they stay dry during your safari.

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!
- You must bring a headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night.
- There is no electricity at Camp, a solar charging bank could be a useful item to charge camera batteries

- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that 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, 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, but in the Delta you may appreciate a waterproof jacket for splashy canters May-September
- Casual clothes for the evening

- 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. During the flood season you may wish to take a second pair so that you aren't putting wet boots on
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the lodge and camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding


Other useful items
- Swimsuit
- Binoculars for viewing game
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Waterproof pouches if you want to bring your camera or phone with you 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. 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)
A first aid kit is available in camp but please make sure to bring any prescription medication with you.

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

A vast inland river delta in northern Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a huge oasis has a with one of Africa's richest eco-system - but one which is also very fragile at the same time. The Delta is home to an abundance of African wildlife and it is the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. The whole area is affected by annual floods which originate in Angola, arriving sometime in May to fill up waterways and lagoons before being soaked up by the floodplains and the sands of the Kalahari over the passing months. These floods are the lifeblood of this area, making these arid plains a lush animal habitat.

Our mobile horseback safari in the Okavango Delta is a safari unlike no other. No vehicles are used during the safari and a partnership with the local community guarantees this as a genuinely environmentally friendly safari.

There is no permanent riding camp, instead a lightweight mobile camp is transported into place by a flotilla of poled mokoros (traditional dugout canoes) which are steered by members of the local community. When the water levels are too low then pack donkeys belonging to the local community are used to carry everything into place.

Led by David Foot, who has a wealth of over 25 years of experience guiding throughout Africa, this safari emphasises the reality of the Delta away from the glamping permanent camps, living basically and at one with the African nature. As you ride through the Delta on horseback, from camp to camp you will have the knowledge that your carbon footprint on this amazing area, is very minimal.

All of the Big Five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) are present and an abundance of plains game – but this is a vast area and you never know what you may see!

On the blog

A riding safari in the Okavango Delta is one of the ultimate horseback experiences and is on many a rider's bucket list. There are quite a few options available and many riders do not really know where to start! We hope that this little guide will help you understand how each of our horseback safaris in the Okavango is unique and special in its own way. Of course, if you are still not sure which is the right option for you, then best give us a call - our advisors are always happy to help. See more on the blog. 

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.
  • CAROLYN aged 56 AUCKLAND 1 trip
    May 2023
    The safari we did in Botswana with Ride Botswana was beyond our expectation. We absolutely loved every minute of the experience. We felt safe-as safe as you can feel in a tent in the Okavango Delta. We were well looked after and the horse riding was wonderful. I got to ride a pure bred Arab-how special is that!... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide