BIG FIVE HORSE SAFARI IN SOUTH AFRICA

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The Big Five Horse Safari in South Africa offers exactly what it says on the tin.

This riding holiday affords some spectacular game viewing from the saddle; become part of a herd of grazing zebra, quietly creep up on a tower of giraffe or tentatively approach and take-in the magnificent size of an African elephant.

Riding through some of Africa’s breathtaking landscapes, fall in love with travelling in the style of Africa’s first pioneers, and enjoy wildlife without the sounds of an engine.

Set to the backdrop of the stunning Drakensberg escarpment, this ride operates across 35000ha of greatly varying terrain. Enjoy thrilling canters and epic wildlife viewing through two reserves which border the Kruger National Park. This ride boasts fantastic accommodation at base camp, 2 stunning nights at a luxurious lodge, complete with infinity pool overlooking a water hole, and one night sleeping out with alfresco dining under the unrivaled African stars. Magical sunsets and of course, superb riding, makes this a riding holiday you will never forget.

This horseback safari promises exciting and thrilling riding in Big Five areas, and is therefore only suitable for advanced and fit riders. There is an 8 day and a 6 day versions of this ride. The 6 day version misses out days 5 and 6 from the itinerary.

QUICK FACTS
South Africa
Hoedspruit Airport 
Open All Year
5 Nights, 6 days
Group Size: Max. 7
Minimum of 2 guests
Intermediate Plus and Advanced
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • The chance to experience the thrilling sensation of riding alongside game
  • A hugely personal and exclusive experience, riding across some of South Africa’s most impressive private reserves
  • Watching the sunset from Beacon Rock Camp, set high up in the dramatic rock formations, and sleeping out under the stars
  • Fast-paced and exhilarating riding across wide open plains – the true essence of freedom
THE DESTINATION

Karongwe Private Game Reserve

8500ha, this stunning reserve is rich in diverse ecosystems and wildlife; ranging from open plains, woodlands, hills, dramatic rock formations and shady gullies. The region is the home to wildlife such as elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, wild dog, hyena, giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest, hippo, crocodile, bushbuck, kudu, nyala, waterbuck, impala, warthog and many different species of birds.

The Greater Makalali Game Reserve 

This equally impressive and neighbouring reserve covers a vast 25000ha, one of the biggest untouched and private areas in South Africa. With only two lodges operating in the whole reserve, the game viewing is both exclusive and exceptional, including the Big Five and many more.

DATES & RATES

Open All Year Round. Runs Saturday to Saturday. Enquire to check availability.

2019 Rates:

6 days
£ 2 100 PP SHARING

8 days
£ 3 150 PP SHARING

Includes

  • Accommodation in three different camps
  • All meals and drinks
  • Gate fees
  • All riding
  • Game drives
  • Guiding
  • Laundry service at Wait A Little camp and VAT.

Excludes

  • Transfer to/from Wait a little
  • Staff gratuities
  • Massages,
  • Special wines, champagne and spirits.
YOUR 8-DAY ITINERARY

**This itinerary is subject to change it is an example and not an exact timetable. Any changes will always be made with your best interests at heart e.g. a alteration due to weather. There is an 8 day and a 6 day versions of this ride. The 6 day version misses out days 5 and 6 from the itinerary.

Day 1

You will be met from Hoedspruit Airport (pick up from Johannesburg O.R Tambo can be arranged – 5 hour transfer time) and transferred to you first lodge. You will be welcomed with sandwiches and afternoon tea or coffee. Once settled, you will be taken through a safety briefing and run through your next 8 days.

Once briefed, mount up and head out for your first ride to get to know your horse, explore the area surrounding camp and unwind from your journey. As you absorb the peace of the African bush, you might even have your first game sightings such as giraffe or zebra. Enjoy your first sundowner of the holiday whilst you look out across the landscape and the distant Drakensberg Mountains, before sitting down to a scrumptious 3 course dinner, accompanied by hand-picked South African wines.

Settle down in your accommodation for the next 3 nights; an old style safari tent with en suite bathrooms, mounted on a platform above the Makhutswe River at the Wait A Little main camp.

Day 2

Wake up on your first glorious African morning to the sound of someone bringing you a hot tea or coffee to your tent. Timings vary as to the time of year but you will usually be in the saddle 3-4 hours in the morning and roughly 2 hours in the afternoon.

Your first thrilling morning ride complete, return for a well-earned lunch of homemade quiches, pizzas or pancakes, freshly homemade bread, different types of salads and greens, meats and cheeses. Beautifully satisfied, find a shady spot for a siesta, relax by the pool or read in the small library.

Refuel with afternoon tea and coffee before setting out for your next adventure. Ride to a wonderful sundowner spot, where you will raise your glass to a glorious African sunset. Return once more to camp for dinner.

Day 3

Jumping out of bed, eager for the days adventures, ride out for another fantastic morning ride exploring the African bush. Return for yet another delicious lunch, and perhaps even a massage (!), before swapping saddle for vehicle in the afternoon and driving out in search of game. Stop for sundowners along the way. Once the sun has sunk, enjoy an exciting night game drive back to camp, keeping your eyes peeled for those animals harder to see by day.

Day 4

Wake to the dawn chorus and a steaming cup of tea, enjoy camp breakfast and another wonderful morning ride. Return once more, for what will now be a greatly anticipated, homemade lunch.

After a siesta, you will pack your bags, which will be transferred by vehicle to the next destination whilst you set out on horseback. As you head south, you will pass the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill keeping keen eyes peeled for any movement! Follow the long sandy roads which invites for some faster riding and long canters, sometimes accompanied by giraffe, zebra or wildebeest who want to join in the fun.

Tonight, your fly camp is set high on Beacon Rock – a dramatic rock formation which boasts spectacular views of the Lowveld escarpment. Scramble to the top and enjoy the 360 vista over the whole reserve, whilst the sinking sun sets the sky alight with colours and dips behind the Drakensberg Escarpment.

Spend a night to remember around the campfire, surrounded by your horses and listening to the night calls of the hyena or jackals, as you sit under the stars. Delicious steak or chops will be cooked in true African style, over the open fire, giving it that wonderful braai flavour.

Day 5

Stepping out of your tent as the sunrise lights the sky, the fire will be revived and you will have steaming coffee or tea to accompany your bush breakfast. Once satisfied, set out for the longest ride of the trip, entering the Makalali Private Game Reserve which is dominated by vast plains calling out to be cantered across – sometimes accompanied by game!

As you feast your eyes on these large chunks of Africa, make your way to XiDulu camp, where you will spend your next two nights. XiDulu is nestled on the edge of a picturesque dam which is home to a resident pod of hippos. The lake-side deck and the viewing platform are great places to relax and watch game. Although if you are feeling particularly indulgent then why not game view whilst wallowing in the infinity pool.

That afternoon set off for a game drive with Philip, who is a fountain of knowledge about the bush and wildlife, and who will help track any signs left by big cats that day. Stop for a G&T at sunset, before the drive continues into the night and hopefully some of the nocturnal wildlife shows its face – such as bushbabies, owls, maybe even a leopard!

Dinner will be served at the water’s edge, in the glow of the fire place, and under those spectacular stars.

Day 6

This morning enjoy some speedy riding cutting through the veldt at a canter, twisting and turning around the trees and marveling as your surefooted horse carries you nimbly through the undergrowth. Catch your breath at the top of the hill and absorb the miles and miles of unspoiled Africa that stretch out before you.

The afternoon is filled by another brilliant game drive in that wonderful afternoon light.

Day 7

After a light breakfast you will head back to the Wait A Little camp from day 1. Along the way, keep your now well trained eyes, peeled for elephant, lion, rhino, giraffe and anything else you might come across. Over lunch reminisce about stories from the week, and that evening, enjoy a final sundowner out on the open plains. The last night’s supper never disappoints; it will always be something scrumptious and special, such as game fillets like kudu or eland served on pasta with a sherry sauce.

Day 8

Mount up for one final and thrilling ride, often picking up the pace to cover some ground before returning. After bidding a sad farewell to your trusted steed, indulge in one final delicious breakfast, before the transfer service whisks you away to the Airport.

THE ACCOMMODATION
Big 5 Horse Safari - Wait A Little Camp Accommodation

Wait A Little Camp

The main camp is made-up of a series of double-bedded and twin tents. These tents are beautifully secluded for privacy and built on platforms on the banks of the Makhutswe River. Each tent is complete with flushing loo en-suite – most tents have baths and a hot outdoor shower! For a single traveller,  there is also a separate rondavel in the gardens.

There is a pool, bar and library for relaxing at after an exciting day in the saddle. Laundry is available.

Big 5 Horse Safari - Wait A Little Accommodation

XiDulu Camp (only included on the 8 day ride)

XiDulu camp nestled in the heart of the Greater Makalali Game Reserve, an area reserved exclusively for riding in, has 5 rooms, a main area, an infinity pool. The camp boasts a peaceful viewing platform overlooking a big dam which is home to a large pod of hippos.

All rooms a beautifully finished with all the luxuries you could expect from a top-star lodge.

Big Five Horse Safari18

Beacon Rock Camp

Beacon Rock marks the highest point on the reserve and is where you will spend a night ‘sleeping out’. The old hunting camp has spectacular views and breathtaking sunsets. This is true Africa at its best; spend a night sleeping under the stars and having a real Braai (the Afrikaans word for barbecue).  A delicious dinner will be cooked over the open fire, excellent wine will be drunk, and a memorable night will be had round the campfire.

QUICK FACTS
South Africa
Hoedspruit Airport 
Open All Year
5 Nights, 6 days
Group Size: Max. 7
Minimum of 2 guests
Intermediate Plus and Advanced
View Gallery
From £ 2100 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • The chance to experience the thrilling sensation of riding alongside game
  • A hugely personal and exclusive experience, riding across some of South Africa’s most impressive private reserves
  • Watching the sunset from Beacon Rock Camp from up high, and then sleeping out under the stars
  • Fast-paced and exhilarating riding with a good chance of seeing many of the Big 5
DATES & RATES

Open All Year Round. Runs most Saturday to Saturdays. Enquire to check availability.

2019 Rates:

5 nights/6 days
£ 2 100 PP SHARING

7 nights/8 days
£ 3 150 PP SHARING

Includes

  • Accommodation in three different camps
  • All meals and drinks
  • Gate fees
  • All riding
  • Game drives
  • Guiding
  • Laundry service at Wait A Little camp and VAT.

Excludes

  • Transfer to/from Wait a little = GBP£90pp return
  • Staff gratuities
  • Massages
  • Special wines, champagne and spirits.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

It was a great, amazing, cool, top experience to ride the Tuliblock in Botswana. 8 day's on a back of a horse and view a lot of game. The guides and staff were great. So I will come back!

Nicole PlasTuli Safari, Botswana
READ MORE REVIEWS

How we care for our horses

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses on the Big 5 Horse Safari are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • Saddles are checked regularly and tack cleaned daily
  • Horses have dedicated rest days each week and days off after long rides.
  • Our horses live out in a herd environment, allowing them to live as naturally as possible.

Please let us know if you have any more questions around this.

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