Swazi Culture & Scenery

On this point-to-point horseback holiday, you will be riding on different reserves in which you will witness the richness of Eswatini. The scenery includes vast grasslands and tall mountains which are home to a variety of different species including wildebeest, zebra, impala, and many more! You will be riding through rural Swazi communities and learning about their unique culture along the way. On the last days of this riding adventure, you will swap the horses for vehicles to explore Hlane and the Mkhaya Game Reserve where you can find lion, elephant and both black and white rhino. This riding holiday is ideal for adventurous riders keen to experience a different way of life.
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Horseback Safari
12 days/6 days riding
From £2,000
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- Explore 3 different reserves that will showcase Eswatini’s diverse scenery
- Learn about the Swazi way of life and unique culture
- Join game drives to observe a wide variety of species including lion, elephant and rhino – this holiday offers a great combination of riding and non-riding activities.
  • Day 1 1: Home – Johannesburg

    Overnight flight to Johannesburg. Flights are not included, but can be booked on request
  • Day 2 2: Johannesburg – Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - No riding

    Mlilwane Camp
    Your flight should arrive at Johannesburg airport by 8am. This is so you will be on time to get the scheduled shuttle bus to Eswatini which departs Johannesburg at 9am.

    Note: There is a later shuttle bus departing at 11am, but this would mean that you would miss the afternoon ride and additional transfer costs may apply.

    Upon arrival to Johannesburg you will be transferred to Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary (5 hours).
    Arrive at the sanctuary early in the afternoon, where the local team will be waiting for you. Although there is no riding today, you will have time to meet the horses and, if you wish, you may go on a hiking trail to get acquainted with the surrounding area.
    Today you will be spending the night in traditional grass dome huts built on a frame of bent saplings.
  • Day 3 3: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - 4 – 6 hours riding

    Mlilwane Camp
    Today, you will set off on your first ride on the reserve where you will hopefully have the opportunity to see some game. Along the way you will visit an old tin mine and learn more about the history of the sanctuary.
    After lunch at camp you will have time for a siesta before heading out to explore a different area of the reserve on horseback.
    Return to have dinner at camp and before heading to bed, prepare your overnight bag for the next overnight location.
  • Day 4 4: Mlilwane North - Approx. 5h riding

    Klipspringer camp
    After a hearty breakfast, you will leave camp to initiate your 5-day trail ride. Head over the Nyonyne Mountain and stop for a picnic lunch before crossing the Usushwana river towards the Milwane North Klipspringer camp.
    In the afternoon you will relax at camp and enjoy the bush. Dinner will be held around the campfire.
    This overnight location does not have electricity.

    Note: Your luggage will be transported in a truck to each camp over the next few days.
  • Day 5 5: Forester’s Arms Hotel - 6 – 7 hours riding

    Foresters Arms Country Hotel
    Today you will set off on a full day ride through pine plantations to get to the quaint village of Mhlambanyatsi. You will stop for a picnic lunch along the way before getting back in the saddle, riding towards your overnight location: Forester’s Arms hotel. Here you will find great food and heart-warming hospitality.
  • Day 6 6: Mlilwane North - 6 – 7 hours riding

    EmaSomini camp
    After breakfast, you will continue to ride through pine plantations and private farms. Along the way you will have to dismount for a short scramble before getting back on your horse to continue the ride through rural Swazi communities. You will stop to have a picnic lunch and then ride towards the overnight location: EmaSomini camp.
  • Day 7 7: Mlilwane North - 5 - 6 hours riding

    EmaSomini camp
    Today’s morning will be spent exploring the incredible landscape along the ridges of Milwane North. Return to camp to have lunch and head out for another afternoon ride exploring the mountains.
    Dinner and overnight at EmaSomini camp.
  • Day 8 8: Hlane Royal National Park - 4 – 5 hours riding

    Nndluvo camp
    Today you will have an early breakfast and ride back to Mlilwane Rest Camp to arrive in time for lunch. From here you will be transferred to Hlane Royal National Park, home to the only lion and elephant populations in Eswatini.
    Dinner and overnight at Ndluvo Camp. There is no electricity in this camp.
  • Day 9 9: Mkhaya Game Reserve - No riding

    Stone camp
    Today you will be heading out on a game drive in search of lion, giraffe, elephant, and white rhino. There is also a high chance to see vultures.
    Return to camp for lunch before heading out on another game drive while being transferred to your next overnight location: Stone Camp. Mkhaya is Eswatini’s Refuge for Endangered Species which makes it a prime location to observe buffalo, white and black rhinos, sable antelope and many others.
    Note: There is no electricity in this camp.
  • Day 10 10: Mkhaya Game Reserve - No riding

    Stone camp
    Today you will go on a game drive before breakfast and then depart on a game walk through the park. This walk is a great opportunity for you to learn about the signs of the wild. After lunch you will go on another game drive and return to camp in time for dinner.
    Overnight at Stone Camp.
  • Day 11 11: Mkhaya Game Reserve – Johannesburg

    After breakfast you will be transferred to Ezulwini. From there you will be transferred to Johannesburg airport (5 hour drive). Return flights should depart Johannesburg after 20:00 as delays at the border may happen.
  • Day 12 12: Home

    Arrival home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing accommodation.

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

- If you sign up as a solo rider, you will be charged an extra £235/€285/$280, this amount will be reimbursed if we find a sharer. If you are willing to share a room (provided a sharer is found) but would like a single tent for the three nights camping then the supplement is reduced to £105/€125/$120.

- The shuttle bus from Johannesburg to Mlilwane in Swaziland cost approx. £40/€50/$45, each way. This shuttle takes 4 hours and your guides will pick you up from Mlilwane and transfer you to camp which takes an extra hour.

- Accompanied minors are welcome from 16 yo, provided they match the riding requirements.

- There is a rider weight limit of 85kg/ 13.4 stone / 187lbs.
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

Accommodation

Double bedroom/tent with bedding

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 2 to breakfast on day 11
Beverages on camping nights

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Price doesn't include

Meals

Personal extras
Beverages in the different Camps

Transport

International flights
Airport transfers
Airport exit fee (approx. E30)

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
Visas and personal purchase

Optional

Accommodation

Single tent/room supplement
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    13/05/2023 24/05/2023 £2,000 €2,355 $2,340 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/06/2023 30/06/2023 £2,000 €2,355 $2,340 Open Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/07/2023 16/07/2023 £2,000 €2,355 $2,340 Open Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

There is a herd of 50 horses which consists mainly of crossbreeds of Arab, Warmblood, Boerperd and Thoroughbred with some recent additions of Percheron, Friesian, Clydesdale and Shire crosses.

In height they range from 14.2hh to 16hh.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

To participate on this riding holiday, you must be an intermediate rider or above. You must be comfortable riding at all three paces and in open spaces.

There is a rider weight limit of 85kg/ 13.4 stone / 187lbs.

Pace

Due to the steep terrain much of the riding will be slow, but there are also some opportunities for good canters. You might be asked to dismount due to the steepness of the terrain in some areas.

Tacking ability and participation

You are welcome to help with camp chores and looking after the horses, although this is not mandatory.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You must be comfortable riding in open spaces to take part in this holiday and be fit enough to cope with long hours in the saddle

Equestrian equipment

Trail saddles with simple snaffle bridles and rope halters. Helmets are mandatory on this ride, we advise each rider to bring their own to ensure proper fit.
Saddle bags are provided.

Travel info

Comfort

For the first two nights you will stay in Mlilwane Rest Camp, here the rooms are beehive-shaped Swazi huts with en-suit bathrooms.
One night at a lodge with standard, comfortable accommodation.
For the remainder of the days you will be staying in different bush camps. The accommodation consists of two man tents and eco-friendly long-drop toilets and bush showers (warm water is available). There is no electricity at Ndlovu Camp, Stone Camp, or Klipspringer Camp.

Note: In all camps a duvet, a towel, and a pillow are provided.

Meals

On the trail you will be served fresh fruit and vegetables. When possible, meals are all prepared over an open fire. Vegetarian diets can be accommodated as well as certain other special requests, please inform us before booking.

Note: If you have other dietary requirements, please let us know when enquiring.

Climate

In the winter, the days are pleasantly warm, in the range 17 ºC to 25 ºC, ideal for riding. In the summer (November-March), temperature can easily go up to 30 ºC or even 40 ºC. There are high levels of humidity and rain is possible

Nights can be cold and in the mountains temperatures can drop sharply and frosts are not uncommon. Rain is unlikely in June and July, but possible in September.

Guide and local team

This trail is managed by Ann Reilly, she has a immense love for the horses and joins the rides as much as she can.
All trails are led by Liswati Guides, they all have a passion for horses and tourists, and have been trained in field guiding, client care and first aid levels 1&2.

Tips

Tipping in this region is usually around 10%.

Packing list

Please note that bedding is provided though we recommend you to bring your own sleeping bag to help you keep warm in the evenings.

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 May - October
- 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
- Pyjamas
- Sleeping bag (optional)

Other useful items
- 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)

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and you should pack it into two bags if it weighs more than 15kg so it's easier for the team to transport between camps.
- Take a second, smaller bag to pack things you may need during the day such as a book or suncream then you can easily access it during the long lunch break
- 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!

Visa & Health

Formalities

If you are visiting Eswatini, your passport should be valid for 3 months from the date you arrive and have at least 2 blank pages. As an international traveller you are highly likely to pass through South Africa before and/or after travelling to Eswatini, please note that you will need to have an additional 2 blank pages to enter and/or leave South Africa.

For tourists, visas are not required by citizens of most Commonwealth countries, the USA, and most European countries, please click here to check the list of countries that do not require visa. Leisure or business travellers are allowed to visit Eswatini for a period of 30 days. Following this period, you will have to ask for a 30-day extension at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Please note that if you are leaving Eswatini by plane there is a mandatory tax of E30 (local currency).

Source:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/eswatini/entry-requirements

https://www.thekingdomofeswatini.com/visa-guide/

Health

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad.
Travellers should ideally arrange an appointment with their GP around five weeks before travelling. This appointment provides an opportunity to assess health risks taking into account a number of factors including destination, medical history, and planned activities. Your healthcare provider may also give you advice regarding food and water precautions. For those with pre-existing health problems, an earlier appointment is recommended.
Make sure to acquire appropriate travel insurance before you go.

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in your country may be considered controlled substances in Eswatini, if you are travelling with prescription medication make sure to carry a medical certificate from your doctor confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a certain medical condition. You can check for further information here. Check

this link

to know more about good practices when travelling abroad with medication.

The HIV/AIDS infection rate is high so you should exercise normal precautions for avoid exposure.

Basic healthcare is available in Eswatini, but there are shortages of even common medications. Medical evacuation to South Africa is necessary for serious accidents and emergencies. Local private hospitals can arrange evacuation but only if you are fully insured or you can pay in advance. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 933 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/eswatini/health

Voltage

In Eswatini, power sockets provide a standard voltage of 230V with a standard frequency of 50Hz. The usual plug type is M (three round pins) so taking a plug adaptor is advised.

Budget and money

The currency used in Eswatini is the Emalangeni which is fixed to the South African Rand. South African notes (but not coins) are legal tender, as are most major credit cards. ATM machines are readily available.

If you are planning on converting money to the local currency, please keep in mind that Emalangeni are difficult to exchange for other currencies outside Eswatini so you should reconvert before you leave or you can use your last E50 to pay the mandatory departure tax.
Credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops.

Telephone and jetlag

Time zone: GMT +2
Phone code: +268