Southern Africa ~ Saddlebag Safaris

Saddlebag Riding Safaris offers an exciting 7 night itinerary which explore one of the Waterberg's private reserves and also take you further afield to ride in the Tuli Block in south eastern Botswana. The African Explorer Safari combines 4 nights at Camp Davidson with 3 nights at Limpopo Horse Safaris in Botswana's Tuli block based at the comfortable Two Mashatus camp. This is a great option for those wishing to ride in two different regions and to see big game.

Saddlebag safaris are run from set dates throughout the year.

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Riding: 4 to 8 hours per day.

Horses: farm / locally bred, TB, Arab crosses.

Pace: moderate.

Riding ability: intermediate and above.

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.


Horses: The horses include local breeds such as South African Boerperde crosses, as well as Thoroughbreds, part Thoroughbreds and Arab crosses - there are also some Shire crosses on the Botswana part of the African Explorer Safari. They are between about 14hh and 16.2hh and there is a good selection for the experienced rider as well as horses to suit someone with less experience. All are responsive to ride, extremely good natured and well mannered. They are also used to the bush and are very sure footed, coping easily with varied terrain. There are grooms on hand to look after the horses. Saddles are Maclellan style with some English saddles available. Maximum group size is 8 guests.

There is usually between 4 and 6 hours a day.

Pace and experience required:The riding is often at a good, energetic and varied pace and these safaris are aimed at riders of an intermediate standard and above who are comfortable on a horse at all paces from a walk to fast canter in open country.


The first 3 nights of the African Explorer Safari are spent at Camp Davidson where accommodation is in big African walk in safari tents set on wooden decks with proper beds and shower / loo attached. One night is spent at Bellvue Lodge in comfortable rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The second half of the safari is on the Mashatu Reserve, at Two Mashatus tented camp. Two Mashatus camp has big walk in safari tents set on teak decking with attached showers and long drop loos for each tent. There is a central dining area built in local style with a palm thatch roof.


Rates 2019-2020

African Explorer Safari
Low season (January to May) £2004 per person;
single supplement £760
High Season (June to December) £2365 per person
single supplement £920

2020 Rates
African Explorer Safari
Low season (January, February & December) £1972 per perosn;
single supplement if requested £830
Mid Season (March, April & June) £2122
single supplement if requested £905

High Season (May, July, August, September, October, November) £2332 per person
single supplement £1010

Rates include - all riding, 7 nights twin accommodation, meals, drinks, and vehicle transfers Johannesburg / Camp Davidson / Limpopo / Johannesburg and laundry service.

Rates exlude - International flights to Johannesburg and taxes, personal medical / travel insurance (which you must have), Mashatu conservation fees ($10 per night), supplements for a single room, any extra night's accommodation before or after the safari, premium spirits and drinks, any visa fees & tourism levies and any tips you may wish to leave staff.

Single supplement are only applied if you want to guarantee a single tent - if you are happy to share with another rider of the same gender you will not be charged.

Dates 2019 / 2020

African Explorer Safari
Friday to Friday, every week

Additional dates can sometimes be arranged on request for groups - please contact us to discuss and for rates.


  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.
Days 2-3
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.
Day 5
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.
Days 6-7
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.
Day 8
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 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).

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