Southern Africa ~ African Explorer Safari with Horizon Horseback
7 night safaris, with 4 nights at a private camp and lodge in South Africa and 3 nights at a private camp in Botswana. Available year round. Suitable for intermediate riders and above.
Where Starting with 4 nights in South Africa's Waterberg, about 3 hours' drive north of Johannesburg and then 3 nights in eastern Botswana's Tuli Block, staying at the comfortable Two Mashatus Camp, just across the Limpopo river.
What is it like The Waterberg is sometimes called South Africa's 'best kept secret'...a high plateau, which means fantastic views, and a huge range of flora and fauna. Camp Davidson is on private land, hidden away on a hillside with views out across thick bush, close to a small game and nature reserve. After 3 nights here, there's a chance to explore a neighbouring private reserve, with a night in a comfortable lodge, before the drive to Botswana, a great way to see the real South Africa. Over the Limpopo River and you head into Mashatu Game Reserve, elephant country with a landscape of dusty plains, rough scrub, sandstone towers and shady Mashatu and Fever trees.
Who does it suit These are ideal as a first proper riding safari for anyone who is a little unsure of what that means! You need to be a fairly experienced rider - you'll be riding with 'big' game so no novices or children under 12 - but being gently broken in, with the first few days in South Africa and flexible riding in an area where there's no 'big' (or potentially dangerous) game is the perfect way to find your feet. Then confidence blooming, the next step is north to Botswana where its open wilderness, elephant country and lots of game viewing thrills. Safaris are great value too, with overland travel keeping down costs for anyone on a budget
Why do we love it Because its a great value safari, a chance to ride in two very different areas and it gives a proper taste of safari life - traditional (but comfortable) tented camps, big game and fantastic, friendly hospitality.
Riding: 3 to 6 hours per day, with a shorter ride on the day 1 and day 5 when you transfer to Botswana
Horses: farm / locally bred, TB, Arab crosses
Riding ability: intermediate and above (minimum age 12 years)
Weight limit: about 95kg (15 stone) but please call us to discuss if your weight is close to this
Accommodation: private game lodge, 4Δ camping
Group size: maximum 8
Season: year round
Price: 7 night safaris from £2052 per person
Horses: The horses include local breeds such as South African Boerperde and Boerperde crosses, Thoroughbreds, part TB and Arab crosses, with some Shire crosses in Botswana. They are between about 14hh and 16.2hh and there is a good selection for the experienced rider as well as horses to suit those with less experience. All are responsive to ride, extremely good natured and well mannered. They are also used to the bush and sure footed, coping easily with varied terrain. Grooms are on hand to look after the horses. Saddles are Maclellan style with a few English saddles available on request. Maximum group size is 8 guests.
Hours: Usually between 3 and 6 hours riding a day, with a shorter ride on day 1 and on day 5 when you travel to Botswana.
Pace and experience required: Riding is at a varied pace according to terrain but is often energetic, with long trots and canters. Safaris are aimed at riders who are at least an 'intermediate' standard and are comfortable on a horse at all paces from walk to fast canter in varies, open country. These are an excellent 'first' safari as the first few days are in an area where there is no 'big' / dangerous game, giving plenty of time to gain confidence, get used to the environment and into safari life, but for the last 3 days in Botswana you'll be riding in an unfenced wilderness area where there are plenty of elephant. You must be confident and secure on a horse at all paces. No children under 12yrs.
The first 3 nights are at Camp Davidson, a small bush camp where accommodation is in spacious walk-in East African style safari tents set on wooden decks with proper beds and shower / loo attached. The 4th night is at a private game lodge in comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The second half of the safari is on the Mashatu Reserve in East Botswana, at Two Mashatus tented camp which has 5 spacious walk in safari tents set on teak decking with attached shower and flush loo. The camp has a central dining / sitting area built in local style with a palm thatch roof and a small plunge pool.
African Explorer Safari
African Explorer Safari
Average temperature guide
|Itinerary in brief - African Explorer Safari|
|Day 1||Arrive Johannesburg and transfer to Camp Davidson, about 3 hours drive north of Johannesburg. Lunch or tea when you arrive, meet the horses and a first ride in the African bush, returning to the camp for dinner and the night.|
||Two full days with morning and evening rides out on the reserve exploring the open grasslands and also the hidden valleys and foothills of the Waterberg escarpment. 2 nights at Camp Davidson.|
|Day 4||Breakfast and pack up then set off riding to Bellevue Lodge on a neighbouring reserve while your luggage is sent ahead by vehicle. Arrive in time for lunch overlooking the plains. After a sesta by to pool you set off riding again, a chance to explore the reserve, tracking a variety of game. Return to the lodge for drinks at sunset. Night at Bellevue Lodge.|
||A final ride on the Bellevue reserve and on to Horizon base for lunch. Say goodbye to the South African horses and transfer by vehicle across the South Africa / Botswana border to Botswana’s Limpopo Valley (about 4 hours). Tea when you arrive at Two Mashatus Camp and then a short drive to meet the horses. Mount up and set off on a short first ride to try the horses and for a first view of the area. Dinner and night Two Mashatus Camp.|
||Two full days in the Mashatu reserve, riding out to explore the Limpopo valley area. The terrain varies from thick riverine forest, a favourite retreat of the many elephant, to rocky hills punctuated by huge baobab trees. There are open plains and sandy river beds for faster riding and there will be chances for game drives to see some of the big cats. Two nights using the comfortable Two Mashatus Camp as base.|
||A final early morning ride, returning to Two Mashatus Camp for brunch. Transfer back to Johannesburg airport (about 5 ½ hour drive) for your flight home.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
The nearest international airport is Johannesburg. British Airways, South Africa Airways and Virgin all have direct overnight flights from London to Johannesburg arriving the next morning. For an economy return flight from London budget about £750 to £950 per person (varies with the season and availability).