Botswana ~ Limpopo Valley, Horizon Horseback Mashatu
7 night mobile safaris in south east Botswana, using comfortable tented camps, available year round. For confident, intermediate riders and above.
Horizon Horseback operate these exciting game viewing safaris in Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve, part of the Tuli block which borders South Africa and the great Limpopo River. Known as the 'Land of Giants' for its large population of elephant as well as giraffe, eland, lion, ostrich, the huge Kori Bustard and massive Baobab tree, the terrain of the Tuli is varied. It ranges from belts of thick thorn scrub and tall mashatu and fever trees that line the Limpopo, to vast semi-arid plains with striking rocky 'kopjes' and sandstone outcrops jutting into the horizon. Cecil Rhodes carved his name on one of Mashatu's large Baobab trees and as well as game, the area's historic interest brings alive those pioneering days.
For experienced riders, 7 night Tuli Safaris follow a route across the Mashatu Reserve and include nights in 3 different camps. Another choice for riders who are at least an intermediate standard, is a 7 night African Explorer Safari which combines 4 nights in South Africa, riding from Horizon's Camp Davidson with 3 nights on Mashatu, riding in the Limpopo valley (for further information on African Explorer Safaris see South Africa - Saddlebag Safaris). For those with more time, a Best of Botswana Safari combines 6 nights in the Limpopo Valley with 3 or more nights in the Okavango Delta, a superb way to experience more of Botswana's stunning wilderness areas
Riding: 4-7 hours a day.
Horses: Boerpede, TB cross, Shire cross, warmbloods.
Pace: moderate, with good chances for long canters.
Riding ability: confident intermediate to experienced riders.
Weight limit: 95kg (15 stone).
Accommodation: 4∆ and 5∆ camps
Group size: camps sleep up to 10, riding groups 8 maximum.
Season: year round.
Horses: All owned by Horizon Horseback, the horses are well cared for, calm and at home in the bush. They include South African Boerperd crosses, Thoroughbred crosses and some Shire crosses. They vary from about 14.2hh to 17hh, are very well-schooled, responsive and forward going to ride. Saddles are Maclellan style, with some Australian stock saddles on request. Grooms are on hand to look after the horses.
Hours: Most safaris include between about 4 and 7 hours riding a day, either riding out from camp or progressing from camp to camp. Riding is broken up with rests, for snacks and game viewing.
Pace and experience required: To join a safari you must be a fairly experienced rider who is confident and comfortable riding at all paces from a walk to fast canter in open country. You will be riding in a varied, open area where there is 'big' game including elephant and lion. The going underfoot varies but it is generally good, there are places for long canters, weaving in and out of scrub, climbing river banks and negotiating obstacles and you are expected to cope and keep up. You will also enjoy the whole experience much more if you are riding fit. If in doubt about ability please contact us.
Accommodation for the first and last two nights of Tuli Safari is at Two Mashatus Camp, a comfortable, semi-permanent base camp at the confluence of the Limpopo and Majale Rivers. This is also base for the Botswana part of African Explorer Safaris. Two Mashatus Camp has 5 walk-in twin / double East African style safari tents, raised on teak decking with their own private bathroom attached, with flush loo and hot and cold running shower. The camp has a small plunge pool and a dining and sitting area, built in local style under a palm thatch roof. Tuli Safaris follow a circular route and the 2nd and 5th nights are spent at the lovely, newly built Tree Camp, where tented rooms, and a dining and living area, are set on a platform in the trees. Nights 3 and 4 of these safaris are in a simpler 'fly' camp, sleeping under the stars on beds under mosquito nets, set up in an old leadwood boma, the 'Kogtla'.
Tuli Safaris 2020
Single supplement charged to guarantee a single tent; if travelling alone but prepared to share with another guest (same sex) if necessary, no supplement is payable.
Itinerary in Brief (7 night Tuli Safari)
|Day 1||You will be met at the Limpopo Valley Airstrip (or South African border post of Ponts Drift) and driven the short way to the stables. Lunch, a short introduction to the horses and a late afternoon ride to Two Mashatus Camp. Dinner and overnight at Two Mashatus.|
||Set off early riding north-west towards Tree Camp, a newly built camp in a lovely spot next to the river. A late lunch on arrival and an then a gentle ride in the afternoon. Dinner and night in Tree Camp.|
||A long morning ride, exploring this area where the two mighty rivers, the Limpopo and the Mocloutse, meet. Arrive at your new camp, which is set up in an old tribal meeting court, the Kgotla, in time for a late lunch. An afternoon game drive returning for dinner and night Kgotla camp.|
|Day 4||Head out early, riding west to an area of golden sandstone rock formations. Return to Kgotla for lunch & a siesta, then in hte late afternoon you might drive to a sundowner spot in the Mmamagwa hills. Dinner and second night at Kgotla.|
||Early wake up when game is most active and set off riding to explore. A long morning ride finally arriving back at Tree Camp for a late lunch and siesta. In the late afternoon you might ride out again, or set off on an optional game drive, returning to camp with spotlight to look out for nocturnal game. Dinner and overnight Tree Camp.|
||Today's route meanders through beautiful plains between the Mojadi and Majele rivers, with views into the Limpopo River Valley. After a long morning you'll return to base camp, Two Mashatus, for lunch by the pool. Enjoy an afternoon walk to a nearby kopje for sundowners. Dinner and night Two Mashatus.|
||Set out on a final full day ride to explore the Pitsane river valley, where regular water holes often draw thirsty herds of game. The open plains are perfect for a gallop, alongside wildebeest or zebra if you're lucky! Arrive back to Two Mashaus in the afternoon. Final dinner and night at Two Mashatus.|
||An early morning ride and after about 2 hours arrive at the stables. Farewell to the horses and after an early lunch at the stables transfer to Mashatu airstrip for the charter to Johannesburg (or Ponts Drift border post for your onward journey).|
|Contact us at email@example.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions|
The safari meeting point is usually Johannesburg airport in South Africa, with transfers arranged from there, either by private charter to Limpopo Valley airstrip in Botswana (about an hours flight), or overland to Ponts Drift border post (about 5 and a half hours drive). The set group rate charter transfer is £420 per person return which is added to the safari cost.
Vehicle transfers can be arranged (cost approx £300 per person return assuming minimum 2 people).
You can also hire a car and drive yourself to Ponts Drift - and easy journey on tar roads.
For an economy return flight from London to Johannesburg, budget around £750 to £1200 (fares vary with seasons).