Ever since first typing the words ‘horse riding safaris in Africa’ into Google, and being met by an image of two horses cantering across the Botswana wetlands with giraffe in the background, I have wanted to ride in the Okavango Delta. The ride joined my bucket list then and there. I am sure it is on many of your bucket lists too? So is it really worthy of such high status?
Time to Investigate
Accompanied by my good friend Liz Sopwith – horse manager at the neighbouring Makgadikgadi Salt Pan safaris – on June 2nd 2016 we went to find out.
Taking off in a tiny aircraft from Maun airport and flying low over the Delta is an experience all in itself. The mesmerising jigsaws of bright blue waters and lush green and yellow islands, dotted with plains game and many elephant, is simply spectacular.
After touching down, we were met by our guide Sekongo and driven to Camp Macatoo – our first ground-level glimpse of this magical landscape. Recognising we were both itching to get up in the saddle and exploring, Sekonga and camp manager Katie, wasted no time in getting us on board.
For my first outing I was given Simba and over the course of my stay, went on to ride Captain and Star. Both Liz and I were hugely impressed with the quality of the horses; brilliantly responsive, fun and full of character, whilst always remaining level-headed.
Poor Sekongo, our guide, was told on ride number one that both Liz and I had a something we wanted to cross off our bucket lists; Liz wanted to see an elephant from horseback and I wanted to canter alongside some game – no pressure!
Well, it’s safe to say our time in the Delta surpassed our expectations, and believe me those were high to begin with. Sekongo not only ticked off our requests but went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for; encountering hippo, hyena and many elephant. With wonderful hosting (a few surprise dining locations thrown in), luxury accommodation and food, fabulous horses, superb and knowledgeable guiding, and of course brilliant game – riding in the Delta really is the stuff of dreams.
I challenge you not to love the wonderful mix of both excitement and tranquility riding in the Okavango Delta evokes. Start planning here…
A video of a few of the highlights