Wild dogs at Macatoo Camp, Botswana

From Hwange to the Okavango Delta

A unique riding safari with four nights in Zimbabwe and three nights in Botswana. You start your adventure in Hwange National Park, the largest reserve in Zimbabwe and one of the country's prime location for wildlife watching. This itinerant safari is your chance to spot all of the Big Five, and especially the large herds of elephants for which Hwange is known. After four nights in comfortable fly camps, you will head to Botswana and the Okavango Delta. You are staying at Macatoo, one of the ultimate horseback safari camps in the Delta, enjoying the quiet luxury of this permanent camp.
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Horseback Safari
10 days (6.5 days riding) -
From £0
  • Riders after elephants in the Okavango, Botswana
    The Okavango is one of Africa's prime safari locations
  • Riding out from camp in Hwange, Zimbabwe
    Enjoy a mobile safari in Zimbabwe
  • Elephant in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
    Discover the wildlife of the Okavango Delta
  • Riding with giraffe in Hwange in Zimbabwe
    Ride with wildlife in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
  • Riders in the floodplains of the Okavango Delta
    Explore the Okavango Delta on horseback
  • Riders in Hwange at sun set
    Enjoy a safari in the purest African tradition
  • Okavango riding safari in Botswana
    An exciting safari from Zimbabwe to Botswana
  • Horseback riding in Hwange, Zimbabwe
    Explore the African bush on horseback
  • Elephants and horseback riders in Hwange, Zimbabwe
    Hwange is known for its big game, including elephants.



- Discover two of Africa's best wildlife watching locations: Hwange national park and the Okavango Delta.
- Experience the only fully mobile safari in a Big Five reserve in Zimbabwe, for a true taste of wilderness, before enjoying the luxury of Macatoo camp.
- An exclusive itinerary specifically designed by Equus Journeys and our partners Cheval d'Aventure in France

    Fly to Victoria Falls (overnight flight from Europe). Flights are not included in our rates but can be booked upon request. You will likely require a connection in Johannesburg: please note that your transfer on Day 2 is scheduled for 14:30. We recommend flights arriving before 13:00.

    Johannesburg is a big, busy airport, and we recommend you allow enough time for your connection to Vic Falls (usually 2h30-3h is recommended).
  • Day 2 2 : VICTORIA FALLS - HWANGE MAIN CAMP - 2 hours riding

    Iganyana camp
    Arrive in Victoria Falls for your transfer scheduled for 14:30, followed by a two to three hour drive to Iganyana Wild. Afternoon tea and briefing, before a short introductory ride. This ride is very important to match you to the correct horse. Back to fabulous tree camp Iganyana Wild camp, sundowners, hot showers, dinner, and peaceful sleep in the spacious ensuite tents.
  • Day 3 3 : HWANGE RIDING SAFARI - 5-6 hours riding

    Iganyana camp
    Rise and shine with early morning tea and coffee and a light breakfast. Today we will explore the Dete Vleiand surrounds on Horseback, giving you more time to adapt to our riding style in the bush, the tack and horses. Any changes required will be done on this day. We may ride for the whole day or we may ride in the morning for 3 to 4 hours and again in the afternoon for a shorter ride. This evening we return to Iganyana Wild for our second night.
  • Day 4 4 : HWANGE RIDING SAFARI - 5-6 hours riding

    Hwange mobile camp
    Guests early morning wake up, tea and coffee around the campfire, pack, breakfast and game drive to Main Camp in Hwange National Park. This is only a short drive of half an hour to perhaps an hour depending on sightings of wildlife - when entering the park, you will be requested to pay the conservation fee. You rejoin the horses and ride into the park (alternatively, or game drive deeper into the Park, meet the horses and ride to the campsite). Overnight with sundowners, hot showers, and dining under the stars.
  • Day 5 5 : HWANGE RIDING SAFARI - 5-6 hours riding

    Hwange mobile camp
    Another early morning start – of which time does vary according to the seasons, mid-year being very cold first thing in the morning and thus starts being a bit later around 07h00; October, November, and December being very hot days and therefore wake up calls at 05h00 sometimes being required. Onto the horses and out to explore the area again. There are no set routes and the ride is conducted according to what sounds were heard during the night, animal tracks, weather conditions, and many other factors. The day may be a half-day or a full day out with a picnic lunch near a waterhole for wildlife viewing. If lunch is at camp, then it is also an opportunity in the afternoon to do a safari walk or drive. There are a few other waterholes that are worth visiting if guests have good cameras and lenses or are interested in birding. Also, the guide may decide that an early morning walk or drive is going to be better and may then switch the order
    of the day to a non-riding activity in the morning and a ride in the afternoon. This also depends on the need for horses to rest before a long day tomorrow. Whatever happens, there will be cold drinks around the campfire and a hearty dinner in camp.
  • Day 6 6 : HWANGE - VIC FALLS - OKAVANGO - 1.5 hours riding

    Macatoo camp
    Morning road transfer to Vic Falls, then Kasane. From Kasane, you will take a charter flight to the Okavango Delta - a fascinating flight of around 45 minutes.

    Important: lunch this day is not included and to your own account.

    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. There should be time for a quick safari a sunset. You return to camp for a hot shower and candle-lit safari dinner.
  • Day 7 7 : OKAVANGO - 5-6 hours riding

    Macatoo camp
    You 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 8 8 : OKAVANGO DELTA - 5-6 hours riding

    Macatoo camp
    Last full safari day.

    Wake 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 a champagne 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.


    Time 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 which departs in the evening, at c. 8pm.
  • Day 10 10 : Europe

    You should arrive back home in Europe before midday.

Dates & prices

Price details

No departure for this destination. Please contact our travel advisers for more information.
- Flights are not included but we can assist with this on request. You need a flight arriving and departing Victoria Falls

- Rates are per person based on two riders sharing a tent. The single supplement on this exclusive riding safari is 50% of the nightly rate - not invoiced if you are willing to share.

- Transfers from Vic Falls to Hwange, and from Macatoo to Vic Falls, are included.

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

- Extra fees payable locally in Zimbabwe, in cash: $40 park fees and $60 camping fees (subject to change without notice)

- Riders must be 14 year old or older, as long as they are proficient riders.

- Rider weight limit: 90 kg. Heavier riders please contact us.
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 safari guide and back up guide
Groom(s) to help look after the horses


1 cook

Inland transport

Airport transfers from Victoria Falls airport and Cement strip as per the itinerary
Light aircraft transfer from Kasane to Cement strip and Cement strip to Victoria Falls


4 nights mobile camp (Hwange)
3 nights luxury camp at Macatoo


Full board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on last day, including beverages. Meals on travel days are not included.

Price doesn't include


Meals during your travelling days (also during transfer between camps)


Visa fees in Zimbabwe
International flights


Tips to the local team
Camping and park fees - see dates and prices


Personal purchase
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
We are currently updating our dates and prices they will be online soon. If you want details of this holiday, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Equestrian info


In Hwange: A large herd of mostly homebred horses, all accustomed to riding in areas of wild animals and chosen or bred with horseback safaris in mind. Breeds include Boerperd, Shire crosses, TB crosses, and Friesian crosses. They are especially selected for their good temperaments and all are well schooled. They range in height from 15hh to 16,3hh. The team use natural horsemanship methods to start all their horses.

In Botswana: There is a stable of 50-60 horses available, ranging from Thoroughbreds, Namibian Warmbloods, Arabs and Kalahari-Arab crosses to include even a couple of Percheron. The horses are on average 14 - 16.2 hands (140 - 165cm) and all are forward going and sensible around the game. There is a horse to suit everyone, with gentle mounts for those who wish to relax and more spirited horses for guests who prefer a more exciting ride.

IMPORTANT: Riders over 90kg must contact us before booking.

Guide & local team

Zimbabwe - James Varden has been guiding safaris for over 25 years. James is renowned for his incredible knowledge of Africa (he travelled extensively through the continent) and the local wildlife, with a particular love for birds! Each safari is led of James and supported by a back-up guide. First aid kit and satellite phones are carried at all times.

Macatoo - Your horse guide will be either Bongwe, Thabo, John or Bernard. All are experienced guides and riders. There will always be at least one back-up rider with the group and at least one guide will carry a rifle.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be a competent rider, capable and in control in all paces. Due to the presence of dangerous game it is important that you can stay on your horse if you need to react quickly and gallop out of danger. You may also be required to jump small obstacles such as branches dislodged by elephants (although it is often possible to go around these).


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 wildlife. The terrain is flat and open, ideally suited for a riding safari.

At Macatoo, the day is divided into two rides out. The morning rides can be fast and exhilarating. You usually ride out at dawn when the game is most active, riding for c. 4 hours before returning to camp for lunch. There are plenty of opportunities for long canters on the dry islands or across the flood plains. When water levels are deep it may also be possible to swim the horses across some channels.
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

An English-speaking staff take care of all of the horses' and camp needs.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Riders must be in good physical condition and previous experience of a trail ride over several days is a considerable plus. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces. Riders who do not ride regularly should get riding fit before the trip departure.

Riders are accompanied by a lead guide and back-up guide at all times, one of whom will carry a rifle.

Equestrian equipment

Tack in Zimbabwe is of excellent quality and include a range of saddles from English leather to Australian stock saddles and Leon Liversage Trailmaster. Most horses are ridden in a snaffle.

In the Delta, 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.

Riding helmets are mandatory in Zimbabwe. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Small saddlebags are provided.

Travel info


Accommodation in Hwange is provided in traditional safari tents. The first four nights of this riding safari are spent in a fully mobile camp, moved according to the game movement. Safari tents with camp beds and mattresses, all en-suite. Full bedding is provided. There is no electricity at camp, please make sure to bring spare batteries or portable solar charger. As Hwange is home to a healthy lion population, security is provided by a working electric fence surrounding camp at night.

Macatoo camp features large, walk-in, twin bedded tents, each with their own en-suite shower and loo. Centrally there is a large furnished mess tent and a plunge pool. There is a daily laundry service although for hygiene reasons they do not wash underwear - washing powder will be provided in your room for this purpose.

Wi-Fi is not available and mobile coverage is more than limited throughout the ride.


Breakfast includes eggs, bacon, toast and sausage.
Lunch includes cold meat, salad, tomato, cucumber and cheese.
Dinner will consist of meat, vegetables and rice/potato/pasta. Three course meal in Botswana.

All drinks are included in your package including soft drinks, gin, vodka, scotch, local beers and South African wines. Premium or imported drinks are not included.

Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for with advance notice.


November and December:
The summer months are warmer and wetter with continuous rains or thunderstorms in the afternoon ending before the safari starts. Mosquitoes and other insects are also more present during this time of the year compared to the winter months of June, July and August (seasons are in reverse in the Southern Hemisphere).

From January to March:
These months are normally drier with very hot days. Mosquitoes and other insects are more present at this time of the year than in the winter months.

The vegetation begins to change, the green bush becomes sparse and brown during this period of autumn. Temperatures drop during the night but it is still warm during the day with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon.

May to June:
Temperatures are low during the night and early in the morning during the winter months. The vegetation becomes brown and the trees lose their leaves. Visibility is increased by sparse vegetation.

From July to September:
This period is very dry in the bush, with very cold nights, it is also cool during the morning and late afternoon excursions.

From October to November:
Spring is the peak of the dry season with warm winds and sparse vegetation. The first rains arrive at the end of the month


We recommend tipping c. 10-15 USD per day which will be split between all of the camp staff. If you wish to tip your guide seperately then you may do so.

Packing list

When you go 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. Please note that this list is a recommendation only and should be adapted depending on the season. If in doubt, please contact your adviser.

PLEASE NOTE: there is a luggage limit of 20kg on the light aircraft which includes your hand luggage. Your luggage MUST be in soft-sided bags which will squash into the small compartments on the plane. Macatoo do laundry and supply some toiletries so this should enable you to pack light. Additional bags can be stored, by arrangement, at the office in Maun.

- A riding helmet is mandatory and you must take your own. 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 for lunch break and game drives
- 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 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 May 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.

- 2 pairs of lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs in cotton with either mini or long chaps in leather or other synthetic materials - this will help to protect you against the long vegetation. 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)
- Non-irritant cotton or synthetic underwear

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half. 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

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 - see below, lip balm etc)
- For your cameras, we strongly recommend keeping them in a dust-proof pouch, that can be attached to you whilst riding. It should be easily accessible and not take more than 2 seconds to take out of the pouch. Keeping your camera in your saddle bag is not ideal as by the time you have extracted the camera, you can be sure that whatever you wanted to take a picture of will have moved away!
- Sunscreen can be carried in saddlebags
- A soothing cream may be useful to treat areas irritated by long hours in the saddle

Photos & Extras
- We recommend bringing a camera with a zoom capacity of 200 or 300 mm to take photos of the animals on the plains and large panorama images of the countryside
- Bring a change of batteries. We recommend you bring a change of batteries and multiple memory cards
- A pair of binoculars can come in handy
- Before taking a photo of a person, you must always ask permission of the people concerned. You must consider the feelings/ opinions/ respect due to the possible subjects of your photos
- Throughout the world, and particularly in Africa, it is forbidden to take photos on or of administrative or military installations

Other useful items
- Travel bag 70-100 litres (hold luggage)
- Travel bag 25-30 litres (cabin bag)
- Water bottle (1.5 litres or 2 equivalent)
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Toiletries
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in checked-in luggage!!)
- Small plastic bags for your rubbish
- Ear plugs (may be useful)

Medical kit
Make sure any allergies (to medication or otherwise) and clearly stated in your medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Anti-malaria pills
- 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

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- If you wish to travel 'light' and wash your clothes throughout the ride, please bring with you laundry detergent that is biodegradable
- All waste that could be considered toxic (batteries, aerosols, batteries, empty cream tubes, film) needs to be kept with you and transported back to the UK, where recycling is done well and efficiently. Avoid, wherever possible, to bring with you unnecessary packaging

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.