Botswana ~ Ride Botswana ~ Okavango Mobile Safaris
New for 2017, David Foot of Ride Botswana will be guiding the only fully mobile riding safari in the Okavango Delta. With a new area to explore and a skilled team of local backup staff, this promises to be a unique way to truly immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of the Okavango.
With no set route or itinerary, David will allow the prolific wildlife of the Delta to be his guide. Home to a healthy population of elephant, you may also see large herds of buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra; hippo, many types of plains game from the iconic red lechwe to the impressive kudu; cats including leopard and lion, as well as jackal, hyena and wild dog. That’s not to mention the bird life, ever present in astonishing numbers and variety.
Your safari will leave little imprint on this pristine environment; luggage will be transported by mokoro (traditional canoe) or, when water is low, by donkey cart, with delicious meals cooked over a simple log fire. Camp will be simple yet comfortable, its location depending on water levels, and always set up in an idyllic spot on one of the many sandy, tree shaded islands of the Delta.
Riding: 4-7 hours a day
Horses: Boerperd crosses, TB and Arab crosses.
Pace: moderate and varied with good chances to canter.
Riding ability: confident intermediate to experienced riders
Weight limit: about 95kg (15 stone) but please contact us if your weight is close to this.
Accommodation: 3-4 Δ camps (light weight, completely mobile camp)
Group size: 8 guests
Season: June to December
Horses: The horses are mixed crossbreds, including Boerperd crosses, Shire/TB crosses and others with Arab, Friesian and Appaloosa blood. They range from 14.3hh to 16.2hh and are keen and forward going but sensible to handle, used to game and at home in the bush. Tack is English style, usually Wintec, with some Maclellan saddles also available. Groups are limited to 8 riders.
Hours: Safaris include between 4 to 7 hours riding a day.
Pace and experience required: To join a safari you must be a fairly experienced rider who is 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 on the safaris is good, there are places for long canters and you will enjoy it more if you are riding fit. If in doubt about ability please contact us.
Accommodation will be in a light-weight completely mobile camp, carefully located for views and shade and moved ahead every few days. Camps have lightweight walk-in 2 man tents, with stretcher beds made up with duvets, pillows and blankets, shared ‘short-drop’ loos and shared bucket and pulley showers (usually one shower / loo between 4 guests). They are deliberately simple and all luggage and camp equipment will be moved by mokoro canoe, expertly poled by members of the local community who live on the fringes of the Delta and know the area intimately (or, if the water level is too low for mokoros, camps will be moved by donkey cart). Although simple there will be enough to keep you comfortable - chairs and tables for meals, kerosene lamps for lighting and extras such as torches, soap, towels and ice for drinks. Rates assume two sharing and a single supplement will usually be charged to guarantee a single tent.
Rates 2018 / 2019
Low Season - 1st January to 30th March & 17th November to 31st December
|Rates include - all riding and other safari activities within the itinerary, guiding and equipment, 7 nights twin camping accommodation (single tent only if paying supplement or if otherwise available), meals (dinner first day to breakfast last day) and drinks on safari (a selection of soft drinks, local spirits, beer and house wine), group vehicle transfers between the safari start point and Maun airport at set times on the first and last day and emergency evacuation Okavango Air Rescue cover.
Rates exclude - International flights to Maun and taxes, any special (non-standard) transfers between Maun and the safari start point if required, personal medical / travel insurance (which you must have with cover to ride), any visa fees, premium drinks, any personal extras on safari and any tips you may wish to leave staff.
17th to 24th November
Example Itinerary (7 night safari)
|Day 1||Meet your guide at Maun Airport and after meeting up with other guests, leave the town for a drive of around 30 minutes to the buffalo fence which marks the southern end of the Okavango Delta. Meet the horses and back up team, mount up and set off riding into the Delta. Arrive at the first camp in time for sundowners and a delicious bush dinner, cooked over a log fire.|
|Days 2-7||Six full days to explore the Delta. Each day’s activity and timetable will vary according to the weather, water level, movement of game and also group wishes - but typically days will start with an early wake-up call and light breakfast around the camp fire as day breaks. Then you might mount up for a morning ride, heading along elephant trails to track wildlife, enjoying the prolific bird life and cantering across open floodplains. You may return to camp for lunch and a siesta in the shade during the heat of the day and then, in the evening, ride out again, generally at a gentler pace so you can listen to the sounds of the bush. Or in the afternoon, you might swap horses for mokoros, exploring the waterways in the traditional manner or might head out with your guide on foot, a wonderful way to get to know the bush. Return to camp at sun set for dinner under the stars and the night or on some days, you may ride to a new camp, set up ahead by the back-up team. Nights camping out in lightweight mobile camps.|
|Day 8||An early breakfast before mounting up to ride back to the buffalo fence, where your luggage will meet you. A group transfer back to Maun airport for your onward travel.|
The meeting point is Maun in Botswana. We will arrange private charter transfers from there to the horse safari camp. To fly to Maun from London it is usually easiest to go to Johannesburg and connect from there to Maun. British Airways, South African Airways and Virgin all have direct flights from London to Johannesburg, departing every evening. Air Botswana and South African Airways have daily flights between Johannesburg and Maun. For an economy return flight from London, budget around £800 to £1200 (fares vary with seasons).