Group of riders on a riding safari in Africa

Entabeni riding safari

In the Entabeni conservancy ("The Place of the Mountain"), embark on an adventurous under-canvas horseback safari. You ride in the upper escarpment, with its craggy rock formations and wide-open grass plains. After a day in the saddle spotting wildlife, you return to your private open-air camps where you stay in mobile tents and enjoy a real authentic African safari experience – including a magical sleep-out on the last night.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Horseback Safari
9 days / 6.5 days riding
From £0
  • Horseback riders watching elephants on a riding safari in South Africa
    Elephants can also be seen on this riding safari
  • Riders on a riding safari in Entabeni conservancy, South Africa
    Horseback safari in South Africa
  • Upper escarpment views, South Africa, Entabeni conservancy
    Enjoy 360° views over the savannah from the upper escarpment
  • Rider in the escarpment in the Entabeni conservancy
    Discover South Africa on a riding safari
  • Riders on a riding safari watching giraffe
    Watching giraffe on horseback
  • Group of riders in the South Africa bush
    Riding in South Africa
  • Cook preparing food over a bonfire on a riding safari
    Cooking over the bonfire at Boukenhout fly camp
  • Riding safari in South Africa, Entabeni conservancy
    Riding safari in South Africa
  • Riding in the Entabeni conservancy in South Africa
    South African riding safari, Entabeni conservancy

Itinerary

Highlights

- This safari offers good wildlife sightings including plains game, elephant, and potentially rhino, but no lions – perfect for those who might feel nervous riding with big cats (they can still be seen on game drives to the lower escarpment).
- This under-canvas safari provides an exclusive and authentic safari experience, including the opportunity to sleep under the stars.
- Ride through this fantastic region in small groups of 8 riders maximum
- Discover a zone unaffected by malaria (no anti-malaria treatment necessary)
- You can combine this relatively shorter safari with a trail ride on the Wild Coast - contact us for details.
  • Day 1 1 : JOHANNESBURG

    Fly to Johannesburg. International flights are not included in the price.

    Flights are usually overnight which is why you are scheduled to land the following morning (D2), however if you can, you may wish to fly during the day and then relax and spend an additional night in Johannesburg before taking the transfer to the lodge the next day.

    IMPORTANT This is a sample itinerary. The actual itinerary will depend on game movements, water levels and weather conditions but always with your best interests at heart.

    PLEASE NOTE Private rides are also bookable for 4 people or more with dates per request. Packages can be tailor made as per your request.
  • Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG - ENTABENI RESERVE - 2.5 hours riding

    You will arrive into Johannesburg in the morning - plan to arrive early, before 10:30. You will be met at the airport by one of the team and driven to the Entabeni Reserve in the Waterberg mountains in time for a late lunch.

    You will arrive to the upper escarpment Entabeni, for your intro brief. You settle in at the lakeside Boma, where you will spend the night. After a light lunch prepared “al fresco”, it is time to meet the horses. Your hosts will have a string of horses ready for you, and you will get ready for a short sunset ride, followed by sundowners by the lake. The night will be spent under the stars, sleeping in army-style beds with white linen, lanterns and a three course bush dinner. There is a thatched boma and flushing bathrooms for your comfort.
  • Day 3 3 : ENTABENI RESERVE - 5 hours riding

    Boukenhout fly camp
    You have the option of an early morning game drive if you would like (optional and payable locally), followed by breakfast served at 9:00 The horses will be ready to start your ride to your fly camp. After about an hour and a half in the saddle, you will reach Fig Tree picnic spot for brunch, before you start your climb up Cycad valley. The ride continues after a short rest and hopefully viewing some game on the plains as you continue to fly camp. On arrival you will have some time to refresh yourself in the natural rock pools (the African summer is a good time for waterfalls, winter is dryer). You arrive on time for high tea and settling into the place you will call home for the next 4 nights. Dinner will be served around the bonfire.
  • Day 4 4 : ENTABENI RESERVE - 6 hours riding

    Boukenhout fly camp
    Starting after breakfast, you will have lunch packed in your saddle bag. The ride will take you along flat rock valley, until you reach a waterfall (flowing in summer only) or alternatively heading towards yellow wood rim and the viewpoint with spectacular views of the lower escarpment. You will stop for lunch and a well deserved rest. Back at fly camp in time for a snack before dinner is served. You can relax in the hammocks or chill out area at fly camp enjoying a drink watching the sun set. A great end to a long day in the saddle!
  • Day 5 5 : ENTABENI RESERVE - 5 hours riding

    Boukenhout fly camp
    Today starts with a later start after a light breakfast. Your guide will point out animals tracks and signs along the way, in hopes of finding some of Africa’s giants. You will arrive back in camp after a two-hour ride, on time for brunch – followed by some time to take a plunge in the river, laze in a shady spot on a picnic blanket or hammock... At 3:00pm your late lunch will be ready, before you mount for your afternoon ride which will take you to a magnificent spot on the plains. You will arrive back into camp to a beautifully set table and roaring fire, listening to the sounds of the bush come to life with a wonderful South African wine to set the scene.
  • Day 6 6 : ENTABENI RESERVE - 5-6 hours riding

    Boukenhout fly camp
    Early breakfast, and on your horse for departure. You will ride west on sandy tracks with some opportunity to pick up speed. We head towards Ingwe valley, with some chances of spotting some more illusive animals in the thicker vegetation and past a lake with some chance of seeing hippos. The ride continues onto the wide open grass plains and back to camp for lunch. After lunch, the ride will set out for another 2 and a half hours, as the day gets cooler to varying the trail to experience different scenery, including a memorial spot in monument valley, and up to high ground with spectacular views.

    Walking can be expected where terrain gets tough. On arrival at the viewpoint, camp site will be lit, fire ready for a romantic dinner and drinks, and a basic wash up area, with hand towels and toiletries ready for your night under the stars. The views and sunrise are spectacular!
  • Day 7 7 : ENTABENI RESERVE - 5 hours riding

    Entabeni Sleep-out Camp
    After a full breakfast at fly camp, your luggage will be ready to move to a new sleep-out spot. You will ride up the mountain, and stop on route for some rest and lunch in the bush, on rocky trails overlooking the far plains of the reserve. You continue to climb up, and traverse ledges and flat rocks, until you reach a magnificent spot, from which the sunsets and sunrises are unbeatable! You will arrive at the sleep-out spot, where the beds and wash up stations will again be prepared for a night under the stars. Fire will be lit, and the dinner table ready for your standard three course meal at the highest point of the reserve. An amazing way to spend your last night on this riding safari in South Africa.
  • Day 8 8 : JOHANNESBURG - 1-2 hours riding

    First thing in the morning, your packed bags will be taken by the team to the meeting spot for your departure.

    After an early breakfast, at around 6:30, you will set off for an 1 to 2 hour ride as you start your descent to the lower escarpment, The ride will take you down yellow wood, where you will partially lead your horses down the steepest man-made road in Southern Africa. Riding through new territory, the sightings of elephant or more rhino can be expected. You will ride out of Entabeni main gate on the lower escarpment, where your vehicle will be ready to take you to the airport. Please make sure to book a flight departing late in the evening to allow enough time for your transfer to the airport.

    There is the possibility of an extension to this trip either to visit Mozambique, the Okavango Delta, the Victoria Falls, Cape Town, the Wild Coast or any other destination in southern Africa - just contact us for more information.
  • Day 9 9 : EUROPE

    You should arrive back into Europe before midday.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (Johannesburg) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.     
- Rates are per person, based on 2 riders sharing a twin or double room/tent during the ride. 

- Groups are made up of 4 - 8 (max.) riders

- No single supplement applicable - this is a sleep-out adventure.

- Transfers from and to Johannesburg airport are not included and are £225 - €250 per person return.

- Minimum riding age is 12 years old. We have set this as a minimum riding age as it reflects a realistic idea of the riding abilities needed to get the most out of this trip, safely. To ride in this wild area of the world, you need to be an accomplished and confident rider.

- Non-riders can be accommodated and will be offered game drives. Please contact us for more information.

- Optional game drives can be added to the ride for those who would enjoy a jeep safari - potentially down the escarpment for those who would like to see big cats. These are not included and payable locally.

- For riders over 95kg/ 209lbs / 14st 9 lbs, please contact us before booking so we can organise a suitable mount
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 guide will lead each excursion

Logistics

In the stables - grooms and assistant guides

Accommodation

Camping accommodation throughout the ride

Meals

Full board from brunch on day 2 to breakfast on day 8
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

Price doesn't include

Transports

Return airport transfers invoiced separately - see dates and prices
International flights to/from Johannesburg. We can book these for you upon request

Extra

Tips to the local team - we recommend a tip of £7-12 per day/ per rider

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

Extras

Trip extensions or additional activities
Game drives
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    10/07/2021 18/07/2021 £1,350 €1,590 $1,850 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/09/2021 12/09/2021 £1,350 €1,590 $1,850 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The stables are home to an excellent selectionof Boerperd crosses. The horses are even tempered, docile and sure footed. You will be riding with English tack and wearing a helmet is obligatory.

For riders over 95kg/ 209lbs / 14st 9 lbs, please contact us before booking so we can organise a suitable mount.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

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

For riders over 95kg/ 209lbs / 14st 9 lbs, please contact us before booking so we can organise a suitable mount

Pace

You will experience all three paces throughout your trip. All observations are done at a walking pace - there will be no galloping around/ with the wild animals.

Tacking ability and participation

An English-speaking staff take care of all of the horses' needs, as well as tacking and untacking your horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Riders must be in good physical condition and previous experience of a horse-riding trip over several days is a considerable plus. Riders who do not mount regularly should get riding fit before the trip's departure. You may be required to dismount and lead your horse on foot on a few occasions where the terrain is particularly difficult to navigate.

Equestrian equipment

English saddles.
Small saddlebags are provided.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit. Helmets are mandatory and not provided.

Travel info

Comfort

First night at the Lakeside boma, 4 nights fly camping, and last night sleeping out under the stars.

Lakeside boma: You sleep in a boma on made-up beds with mosquito nets. Please remember to bring spare batteries and solar chargers. You can plug your appliances to the cigarette lighter in the assistance vehicle if you have the correct adapter.

Fly camp: this mobile camp offers simple 2-man tents with flush toilets. You will be provided with camp beds and linen. Staying in the fly camp gives you a chance to experience nights on the savannah and feel one with nature and the bush. A mess tent where meals will be had around a table looking out over the savannah. The fly camp has flush toilets, but showers are taken under the stars, with a scenic view. There is hot water for showering.

Sleep-out: sleeping under the stars in camp beds with wash-up stations. There are pop-up tents in the event of bad weather.

Meals

Breakfast is served in the form of a buffet with both sweet and savoury options - eggs, bacon, tea, coffee, hot chocolate. Lunch is also served as a buffet or picnic lunch.
Dinner is served at the table and will be a hearty meal of grilled meat, vegetables and fresh fruit.

Drinks and mineral water are included.

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.

Guide and local team

Your team are all English speakers.

Tips

A customary tip would be around £7-12, per person per day which is then split between the team.

Packing list

When on a horseback safari, it is best to wear clothes of a neutral colour (green, brown, beige or grey) that will blend in to the countryside. For the evenings, bring clothes that are simple yet a little bit elegant!

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

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

Legs
- 1 pair of lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- A swimming costume
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear

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

Other useful items
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Protein or cereal bars for the longer stretches of riding
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checking-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for you rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- A pair of binoculars

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

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- 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!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals

Visa & Health

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
South Africa has relaxed its requirements for travelling with children under the age of 18. Visa exempt children (including UK Nationals visiting for tourism purposes) entering South Africa accompanied by an adult are required to present only a valid passport on arrival, regardless of whether the child is travelling with both parents, one parent, or an adult who is not a biological parent (for more information, please see the Immigration Act in conjunction with the advisory from the South African Department of Home Affairs). This includes children travelling as part of school groups.

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.

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

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

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.

Telephone and jetlag

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.