Botswana, Okavango Delta ~ African Horseback Safaris

Private safari camp in the Okavango Delta, year round, flexible length of stay. For confident intermediate riders and above, with non-riders welcome.

African Horseback Safaris operate safaris from their lovely Macatoo tented camp, a luxurious base, wonderfully situated on a palm island overlooking the Delta's grassy floodplain and secluded from all but the colourful birds and game that wanders freely all around.

Days on safari explore palm islands, floodplain and mopane forest, cantering across open grassland and splashing through shallow waters, an experience of indescribable exhilaration little can match. During any safari at Macatoo, you can usually expect to see elephant, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, many species of antelope such as impala, kudu, roan, reedbuck, lechwe and tsessebe, giraffe and also crocodiles, monkeys, baboons and warthogs. If you are lucky you may also see, hyena, lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog.

Exciting rides exploring different areas combine perfectly with relaxing afternoons fishing for Okavango bream from a mokoro canoe, bird watching from your private veranda or an evening game drive, taking a spotlight to search for hyena, lion, leopard and other nocturnal game.

Safaris are possible for 3 to 10 nights with 7 nights recommended to fully enjoy the area. Macatoo is open year round.

Non-riders are very welcome at Macatoo, with game viewing by vehicle, on foot and (water level allowing) by mokoro canoe all available. If you are planing to travel as a non-rider, particularly in peak season, please discuss with us so we can advise on activity options and guide availability. 

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Riding: around 6 hours a day, usually 3-4 hours in the morning, broken up with refreshment stops, and 1 ½ - 2 hours in the late afternoon.

Horses: South African Boerperd cross, Namibian Hanovarians, Arabs, TBs and Arab crosses as well as one or two weight carrying Percheron crosses.

Pace: moderate, with good chances for long canters.

Riding ability: confident intermediate to experienced riders.

Weight limit: 95kgs (15 stone) although experienced heavier riders of up to 105kgs may be taken if suitable horses are available.

Accommodation: 5∆+ camping.

Group size: max 16 in camp (normally limited to 12 at any one time), rides are limited to a maximum of 8 guests .

Season: year round


Horses: There are around 50 horses at Macatoo, all between about 14hh and 17.2hh. They include South African Boerperd crosses, Namibian Hanovarians, Arabs, TBs and Arab crosses as well as one or two weight carrying Percheron crosses. They are well mannered, responsive and forward going to ride, Grooms are on hand at all times, looking after the horses at camp. Saddles are English GP Wintecs, with a few (limited) 'Maclellans' available on request. Rides are limited to a maximum of 8 guests - when there are more guests in camp, riding is in two groups (and if there are less, riders may still be split according to wishes and ability).

Hours: Up to 6 hours a day, usually around 4 hours in the morning, broken up with refreshment stops and 1 ½ to 2 hours in the late afternoon. 

Pace and experience required: Riders must be fairly experienced, comfortable and secure on a well schooled horse at all paces from walk to fast canter in open country. Riding is in a varied, open area where there is 'big' game including elephant and lion. The going underfoot is usually good, there are places for long, energetic canters and you will enjoy it all much more if you are riding fit. If in doubt about ability please contact us.


Accommodation is in spacious, walk-in twin or double bedded safari tents, each with attached shower room with hot shower and flush loo. Tents are raised on teak decking and each has its own private veranda. They have proper beds with comfortable mattresses, cotton sheets, duvets, and solar powered electric lights. There is a honeymoon tent, complete with bath on larger private veranda, where couples can also have a special private dinner and a ‘family & friends suite’, two tents linked by a walkway above ground for direct, easy access between parents and children. The camp has a spacious central mess tent with sofas to relax on, a small plunge pool with sun beds, dinner is served at a candelit table under the stars, the atmosphere is convivial and service excellent and always welcoming. 


Rates 2020-2021

£485 per person per night sharing Standard Season 
(standard season is January, February, March and December)
£625 per person per night sharing Mid Season
(mid season is April, May, June and November)
£760 per person per night sharing Peak season 
(peak season is July, August, September and October)

10% discount for non-riders

ADD cost of return air charter Maun to camp, £410 per person return
(NB 50% discount on air charter for a stay of 7 nights or more; FREE charter for a stay of 10 nights)

NOTE 2021 prices will remain the same but high season will be 15th June to 15th October

Best of Botswana Safari 2020 (minimum 9 nights)
(6 nights Limpopo Valley, minimum 3 nights Okavango Delta -
includes air charter Johannesburg (Lanseria) - Limpopo-Macatoo- Maun.
Onward flight from Maun NOT included
January, February & December - £5635 per person
March - £5935 per person
April & June - £5355 per person
May - £5775 per person
July, August, September & October - £6180 per person
November - £6775 per person


Rates include - all riding and other activities such as bird walks and game drives, accommodation in twin bedded safari tents, all meals, house drinks (including alcohol except premium wines & champagnes), Concession fees, government taxes, emergency medical evacuation, laundry and ironing service 

Rates exclude
- international flights to Maun and taxes (return transfer from Maun excluded on Best of Botswana safari), personal medical insurance (compulsory), single supplements, visa fees and personal items such as tips.

Macatoo camp has one tent available for single travellers at no extra charge, booked on a 'first come first served' basis. If not available, a 50% single supplement is charged to guarantee single occupancy if you are not prepared to share a twin tent with another (same sex) guest if necessary.

Dates 2020

On request throughout the season for 3 to 10 nights; 7 nights is generally recommended

Best of Botswana Safari 2020
Starting Sundays between February and end November (6 nights Limpopo / minimum 3 nights Macatoo).  



Example Itinerary (7 night safari)

Day 1 Met in Maun and shown to the charter flight that will fly you 25 minutes or so into the Delta. Collected at the airstrip and a game drive of about 45 minutes to camp, fording seasonal waters and looking for game as you go. Late lunch or tea in camp, meet the horses and a late afternoon ride to try them. Dinner and night in camp.
Days 2-7 Six days to explore the floodplain, palm islands and lagoons of the Okavango Delta by horse. There will be early morning, full day and evening rides, stopping along the way to watch the abundant game and birds, for picnic lunches or return to camp for lunch, a game drive or to try a mokoro canoe.
Day 8 Early morning game ride, return to camp to freshen up before transferring to the airstrip for onward charter to Maun. Own arrangements to fly on from Maun.
  For more detailed itinerary and avaiability contact / tel (+44) (0)1837 82544 / 825440

Safari meeting point is Maun in Botswana. Transfers from Maun are by air charter (about 25 minutes, subject to stops en-route) to the airstrip closest to camp followed by a game drive (or depending on water level, boat trip). The best way to travel from London is generally via Johannesburg in South Africa - there are no direct flights London to Maun. Travelling from London, you should plan to take an overnight flight to Johannesburg. Once in Johannesburg, you take an Air Botswana or South African Airways flight onto Maun. On the return, daily flights from Maun to Johannesburg connect with overnight return flights to London. Please call us for more flight information, a quote for a flight inclusive holiday or if you would like us to book your flights. Our ATOL number for flight bookings is 6213. 

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