-An intimate safari experience with only 16 guests and a maximum of 8 riders in each riding group, all on a private concession in excess of 200,000 hectares.
-Quality horses and a pacey ride to include a number of long canters and gallops, as well as the possibility to swim across deep channels.
-Light aircraft transfer into camp, with the chance to view game herds from the air (30 mins each way).
-Recently renovated camp (2013) offering luxurious tents on raised platforms, each with a view across the floodplains.
-Accompanying non-riders are welcomed and are offered walking, boat or vehicle safaris (dependent on water levels) and a 10% discount.
-Arrival/departure days are flexible and you can stay for as long as you like (minimum 3 nights).
Day 1 1: LONDON - JOHANNESBURGInternational flight overnight to Johannesburg. If booking your own flight then you need to depart London at c. 19:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg at c. 07:00 in time for your flight to Maun which will depart Johannesburg at c. 11am.
These flights are not included but we can book them for you on request.
Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG - MAUN - CAMP - 2 hours ridingMacatoo campOn arrival in Maun you will be met at the airport by a representative of Macatoo camp holding a sign saying African Horseback Safaris. You will be escorted to your light aircraft for the transfer into camp - a journey of c. 30 minutes and offering a birds eye view of the Okavango Delta. Please note that there is a luggage limit of 20kg on the light aircraft, which includes your hand luggage and must be in soft sided bags.
Important: bookings of seven nights and more receive a 50% discount on aircraft transfers. Bookings of 10 nights and more receive complimentary transfers.
On landing at Cement airstrip it is a short game drive or boat ride (depending on water levels) into camp which is situated on the edge of a seasonal flood plain. After a quick lunch under the trees, there is usually time for a short siesta before the evening ride where you can get to know your horse. You return to camp for a hot shower and candle-lit safari dinner.
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.
Day 3 3 : Okavango Delta - 6 hours ridingMacatoo campYou will be woken before dawn with a cup of tea or coffee in bed. After a light breakfast of toast and muesli you will set out on your first full mornings ride. Depending on the season this may involve some long canters, swimming through the flood waters or pushing-on through seas of tall grass following giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo or whatever's out there. After approximately four hours you head back to camp for lunch with the guides and there's usually some wine to encourage a little siesta through the midday heat. The evening ride is deliberately slower-paced and it's a good opportunity to ask questions and take photographs. Leopard sightings are not infrequent, the bird-life is some of the best in the world and towards sunset there is often elephant or hippo interaction to observe. A sun downer can be enjoyed out in the bush before riding back to camp to freshen up. There's no guarantee that dinner is always eaten in the same place...
Day 4 4 : Okavango Delta - 4-6 hours ridingMacatoo campWake up as normal with freshly-brewed coffee or tea and depending on your wishes, either ride out again, perhaps to find the rare semi-aquatic antelope, the red lechwe, or join one of the guided walks, game drives or perhaps a spot of fishing for bream from the boat? The riders and non-riders will meet up for breakfast under one of the large baobab trees. After lunch take the opportunity to relax and either swim in the pool, read a book or watch the wildlife from your verandah. Homemade tea and cake is followed by the sunset ride, exploring the lower flood plains where elephant often gather at a pool. As dusk closes in, it is fascinating to watch them interact and being on horseback brings you that much closer.
Day 5 5 : Okavango Delta - 4-6 hours ridingMacatoo campTodays ride heads out through different country, making your way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. You might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mopane woodlands. Your pace increases as you break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons.
Return to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure, or the possibility of hiring a helicopter for an hour to gain access to remote and otherwise totally inaccessible parts of the delta with spectacular photographic results (additional cost, payable locally). Finish off the day with a night drive by spotlight, where the resident clan of hyena are often spotted. Bushbabies may leap from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees - only seen by the brights of their eyes. If you are lucky, the spotlight will pick up the glint of a leopard's sultry stare...
Day 6 6 : Okavango Delta - 6 hours ridingTREE HOUSEThis morning ride deeper into the heart of the delta, along some of the high palm islands which offer great sweeping views of the Delta plains. After tea, it's a short drive to Macatoo's magical tree house where you will have the option to spend the night out, sleeping high up in the tree tops under the stars. To be out in the wilderness so freely in the Okavango bush like this is a wonderful opportunity and one that few people experience.
Please note: the Tree House is an option and depends on availability. If you decide to spend a night at the Tree House, it is likely you will miss the afternoon ride and the following day morning ride.
Day 7 7 : Okavango Delta - 4-6 hoursMacatoo campAfter waking amongst the trees to the call of the African Fish Eagle it's a short boat ride back to camp to meet the horses. Splash through water on the vast open plains, home to blue wildebeeste and Burchell's zebra. The riding may be fast as you approach deep reedy areas full of bird life including open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets, egyptian geese and many more. Return to Macatoo camp along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees for a hearty lunch followed by the option of an afternoon ride, night drive, mokoro or boating trip.
Day 8 8 : Okavango Delta - 6 hours ridingMacatoo campYour last full day of riding in this magical place takes you cantering through the shallow flood plains, admiring the deeper pools of lilies. Here, the buffalo can gather in large numbers (anything between a dozen and 2000 individuals) and you can try to creep up on them using the islands as cover. The evening offers a last quiet ride with memorable smells of wild sage and the warm African dust as the sun goes down. Your farewell dinner is sure to be a memorable one with another surprise location in store.
Day 9 9 : MACATOO - MAUN - JOHANNESBURG - 2-3 hoursTime allowing, for your final ride head along some of the high palm islands which offer great sweeping views of the Delta plains. Maybe take a final exhilarating gallop and run with the game before returning to camp for brunch and a quick shower.
You are transferred by light aircraft back to Maun in time for your flight. You will need the afternoon flight from Maun to Johannesburg which departs at c. 2pm. You will then require a flight back to the UK which departs in the evening, at c. 8pm.
Day 10 10: LONDONArrive back into London during the early morning
Dates & prices
- You will also require light aircraft transfers from Maun to camp, which are £205/€240/$290 per person each way in 2021 or £215/€250/$305 in 2022. It is also possible to fly into camp from Kasane (if visiting Victoria Falls) and transfers from Kasane are £300/€350/$425 per person each way (2021/2022). PLEASE NOTE: bookings of seven nights and more receive a 50% discount on transfers. Bookings of 10 nights and more receive complimentary transfers.
- Dates are flexible and you can arrive/depart on any day. We recommend a stay of 7 nights, but it is possible to stay for as little as three nights and as many as ten nights. Please enquire for prices for shorter/longer stays.
- Macatoo camp can accommodate 16 people and there are usually two riding groups with 7/8 riders in each group.
- 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 50%. There is one tent which is available to single travellers with no single supplement and this is allocated on a first come, first served basis.
- Children over the age of 12 years are welcome at Macatoo camp but they must be good riders and accompanied by an adult throughout. Please note that they will be riding in an area of potentially dangerous game and so it is imperative that they can stay on their horse, ride out of danger at speed if required and take commands from the guide. There is no discount for children.
- The usual weight limit is 95kgs. There are one or two horses capable of carrying between 95kgs - 105 kgs but these are subject to availability, so please check with us if you weigh more than 95kgs.
- If you have previously visited Macatoo camp and are re-booking within 12 months then you may be eligible for a 5% discount.
- Accompanying non-riders will be offered non-riding activities to include game walks, game drives, boat trips, mokoros and fishing (dependant on water levels). Non-riders are eligible for a 10% discount on the accommodation rate.
- There is one honeymoon tent, complete with a bath on a raised platform and larger private deck. This tent is available at a surcharge of £150/€185/$215 per night in 2021 and 2022.
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.
1 back-up guide
Snacks and beverages (including wine and alcoholic beverages)
Price doesn't include
International flights to Maun
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Due to the deep water at certain times of year, the saddles are usually synthetic Wintec English style saddles. There are also one or two South African Trail saddles for those that request them.
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
The usual weight limit is 95kgs. There are one or two horses capable of carrying between 95kgs - 105 kgs but these are subject to availability, so please check with us if you weigh more than 95kgs.
The afternoon rides are shorter, c. 2 hours, and slower. You may walk and trot, but not canter. This is the time to take your camera and appreciate the sights and sounds of the bush - the afternoon light is beautiful.
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
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 instead.
Riders are accompanied by a lead guide and back-up guide at all times, one of whom will carry a rifle.
Some of the horses carry saddle bags so that you can take small items (suncream etc) with you during the day.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
There is also a large honeymoon tent with raised bath and extended viewing deck - there is a surcharge to specifically request this tent.
There is no wifi or phone coverage - be prepared to be disconnected from the outside world! There is no electricity in the tents but you can charge batteries inside the main tent.
Lunch is also light and may be quiche and salad or a variety of salads with cold meats.
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.
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.
Guide and local team
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided, particularly for light air transfers. There is usually a luggage limit of 20kgs including hand luggage.
- 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.
- Evenings are nice and relaxed, and long sleeves and light trousers are recommended to avoid mosquitoes!
- 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!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance details with you.
- 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
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and thorns
- 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 - 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 torch for moving around camp at night
- Water bottles are provided at Camp.
- 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. 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
- 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)
Visa & Health
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.
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
Tél. : 01.47.20.08.23
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.
Budget and money
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
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?
Do you know what animals make up the Big five ?
It is the dream of all riders to see the big five during a riding safari in Botswana.
The Big Five was selected by Ernest Hemingway in "The Snows of Kilimandjaro". In the past, these mammals were feared and respected by trophy hunters.
They are the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the rhino and the buffalo.
All of them can be seen from horseback during your riding safari in Africa. Safety is paramount on safari and every precaution is taken when approaching the game: your experienced guides will also be carrying a rifle, whip and bear banger, although they rarely have to make use of them. The horses are all used to the game and are sensible around the animals. In any case, a safari in areas of dangerous game, such as the Okavango delta, is reserved to experienced and confident riders.
Non-riders or inexperienced riders will be offered other activities, such as game drives, walking or mokoro safaris, fishing, etc. There are no excuses not to bring your family with you, even if they do not ride!