BOTSWANA & VICTORIA FALLS COMBINATION SAFARI

10 nights: From USD $8025 pp sharing

DESERT, DELTA, WILDLIFE & WATERFALLS – ULTIMATE HORSE SAFARI

We’ve put together a bespoke experience combining three incredible destinations to create the ultimate horse safari – A fusion of unique landscapes, incredible wildlife, and adventure activities.

The below is an idea if you’d like to combine multiple destinations in Africa. Our team of experts can help curate the perfect riding holiday for you, based on your riding level, budget and of course your bucket list.  Here is one of our favourite combinations, with 3 unique landscapes waiting to be discovered!

Begin your adventure on the edge to of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Ride out in search of the unique desert-adapted wildlife such as wildebeest, zebra, black-maned lions and even herds of elephants that appear like mirages out of the desert landscape. Your guide will take you on trail rides following the animal tracks over the grass islands before picking up the pace on one of the best natural race tracks in the world. Here you will have unique activities, with a highlight being a morning spent with the habituated meerkats. This area also offers the opportunity to learn about this intriguing landscape from an afternoon spent with the Kalahari Bushmen.

From the desert, board a light air charter flight to the Okavango Delta. From the air you will get a bird’s-eye view of how this desert is transformed by the Zambezi river into a green oasis. Every year flooding makes huge areas inaccessible to vehicles and thus leaves vast expanses of untouched land calling out to be discovered by horse, by far the most exciting way to explore!

Home to some of Africa’s best game viewing, imagine a horse safari with herds of elephant, towers of giraffe, bellows of buffalo and many species of antelope. Take time out of the saddle for exciting game drives further afield to track lion, leopard and wild dog or take a tranquil ride in a traditional mokoro where you might witness the flight of a fish eagle as you glide through the water lilies. At night, fall asleep to the sound of hippos wallowing in the water nearby your luxury raised tent.

From the Delta, take a flight to Kasane in the north of Botswana where you will be met by a driver who will take you across the border to Zimbabwe. We recommend ending your trip with a stay at the Victoria Falls River Lodge. Take some time out of the saddle and spend an afternoon visiting the Victoria Falls, commonly known as Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘the smoke that thunders’. Included in your stay are also game drives and river cruises along the Zambezi. There are a variety of different activities here, including bungee jumping, ziplining and helicopter flips.

DATES AND RATES

The below are estimated rates, you’ll be given a full quote once we finalise your accommodation and dates. There are various alternatives, should you want a more affordable option or a shorter stay in Victoria Falls. Please get in touch with your estimated dates and our team of safari specialists will create a tailor-made itinerary for you.

2024 RATES

Low Season: Approx. January – March & December 2024

From USD $8025 pps + USD $1550 Transfers

Mid Season: Approx. April – June 2024

From USD $9450 pps + USD $1550 Transfers

High Season: Approx. July & August 2024

From USD $10185 pps + USD $1550 Transfers

High Season: Approx. September – December 2024

From USD $9825 pps + USD $1550 Transfers

EXTRAS – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

TRANSFERS (Subject to Change)

Approx: USD1550

Return Light Air Charter flights between Maun and Camp Kalahari

Helicopter flight from Maun to Cha Cha Metsi

Road Transfer from Cha Cha Metsi to Maun

Light Air Charter Flight from Maun to Victoria Falls

Return road transfers between Victoria Falls Airport and Victoria Falls River Lodge

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Includes

  • Accommodation – 3 nights at Camp Kalahari, 3 nights at Cha Cha Metsi & 3 nights at Victoria Falls River Lodge
  • All Meals and drinks
  • All local drinks (soft drinks, spirits, beers and house wines)
  • Excellent Horse Riding & Guiding throughout
  • Activities at Camp Kalahari, including game drives, guided walks, bushmen experience, meerkat encounter, and quad biking
  • Activities at Cha Cha Metsi, including game drives, guided walks, mokoro trips, fishing and boating (water levels permitting)
  • Activities at Victoria Falls River Lodge, including game drives, guided walks, sunset/sunrise river safaris, tour of Victoria Falls and complimentary transfer to Victoria Falls Town for activities
  • Unique flexibility

Excludes

  • International Flights to Maun and from Victoria Falls
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Park Entry Fee to Victoria Falls (approx. $40)
  • Activities at Victoria Falls
  • Gratuities for camp staff and guides
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Light Air Charter Flights, Helicopter Flights and Road Transfers (see extras

QUICK FACTS

Location: Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Okavango Delta & Victoria Falls
Airport: Arrive Maun International Airport, Depart Victoria Falls International Airport
Month: Open All Year

Duration: 8 - 12 Nights

Tailor-made

Group Size: Max 8
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus & Advanced + Non-riders
Weight Limit: 95kg / 210lbs
Accommodation: Tented Camp / Lodge
VIEW GALLERY
10 nights: From USD $8025 pp sharing

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • A tailor-made riding experience, created specifically for you to experience 3 different amazing destinations
  • The chance to include many other activities in your itinerary such as bush walks, game drives, quad biking and cultural experiences
  • Meeting the meerkats of the Makgadikgadi and the enchanting Kalahari Bushmen
  • Exploring Africa’s ‘Eden’ and its exceptional array of wildlife on horseback, specialized game drive vehicles and traditional mokoro boats
  • Visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the mighty Victoria Falls

TOUR REVIEWS

My friend Faye and I had a fantastic time on our trip organised by Isabel. The trip started with 3 nights in Cape Town, wow, what a place. We both certainly want to spend more time there.bWe had 5 nights at Camp Macatoo in the Okavango Delta. This was our first experience of riding safari, we were both totally blown away. It took us a few days to appreciate what we were seeing. The horses were impeccably trained and were a full credit to Pecks and the grooms. Bongwe and our guide Thabo really made us feel at home. This was followed by 3 nights in Sable Alley, also in the Okavango Delta, on jeep safari, lovely camp and the wildlife did not disappoint, African Wild dogs and a Leopard, both seen on my birthday. Ollie, the camp manager, really went out of the way to make my birthday special. We then transferred to our final destination for 4 nights, Camp Ursula in Zimbabwe. Horseback safari was on the agenda again. Alison, Senior and Reason of Zambezi Horse Trails really made the trip. Olivia at Ursula Homestead was fantastic. Both Faye and I were really impressed at how seamless our transfers were between camps. We are both looking to return in a few years time and will certainly be using African Horse Safari to organise the trip.

Alison BeckHorse Safaris and beyond, Cape Town, Botswana and Victoria Falls
READ MORE REVIEWS

SAMPLE ITINERARY

In the Makgadikgadi Pans the itinerary varies greatly depending on the season as the pans flood during the summer rainy months. The following itinerary is an outline of the activities offered during your stay at Camp Kalahari. The order in which the activities are experienced may vary depending on weather and/or other factors.

At Cha Cha Metsi, the itinerary below gives you an idea on what to expect, but it’s by no means set in stone. You will have the option of a morning and afternoon activity, this can be riding, guided walks, game drives, or mokoro safaris. The morning rides tend to be longer and the afternoon rides shorter but they are extremely flexible in tailoring everything to your needs.

At Victoria Falls River Lodge, the itinerary is an outline of the activities offered during your stay. If you have any special activities at Victoria Falls that you want to tick off your bucket list, let us know and we can help you book those.

DAY 1: KALAHARI - ARRIVAL & INTRODUCTORY RIDE

Arrive at Maun Airport where you will be met by one of the team members and escorted to the light air charter plane or vehicle to take you to camp. On arrival, you will be greeted by your host and guide, before being settled into Camp Kalahari. The camp is nestled among the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans National Park, Botswana.

A thatched central library, living and dining area featuring an eclectic mix of original African furniture and textiles provide the perfect area in which to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area. Cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a siesta in the thatched pavilion!

Head off after tea in the beautiful afternoon light, for an introductory ride – primarily to match horse and rider but also your first opportunity to experience the beauty of this magical area. Return to the camp for sundowners around the fire followed by dinner, before the lions of the Kalahari commence their nightly prowling.

DAY 2: KALAHARI - MEERKAT ENCOUNTER & RIDE / GAME DRIVE

Wake up to a steaming hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast, before heading off on your horses in search of some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats. With our horses tethered we will proceed on foot in to the midst of the group. Due to an ongoing habituation programme by Uncharted Africa Safari co. it’s possible for us to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. Remember, they are not tame – just used to our non-threatening presence. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth. Or, in the absence of a termite mound or tree, using your head as a sentry lookout post. By spending quality time with these incredibly social animals you will be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment. You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat – which, despite the fact that it’s only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana.

As the day warms up, leave the meerkats to continue foraging. Mount up and follow the well- worn trails that lead to the resident herds of zebra and large congregations of ostriches attracted to the area by permanent freshwater in hidden waterholes. Return to Camp Kalahari for lunch, a refreshing shower and a siesta in the shade of the mess tent.

After tea, head off by vehicle to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyaena; these consummate desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. The brown hyaena is a timid nocturnal, solitary forager, rarely seen by humans, but in spite of this are very social animals, living in clans of up to 10-12 hyenas. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp, and with the aid of a spot light, look for nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat-eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black-maned Kalahari lion. Arrive at Camp Kalahari in time for dinner.

DAY 3: KALAHARI - MORNING & AFTERNOON RIDE

Up with the dawn, a light breakfast is followed by a long morning ride through the “land of a thousand islands”. Stranded on the ancient lake-bed, these sand dunes covered in palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of the Botswana wilderness. The white encrusted pans between the islands provides excellent going for the horses, but if there has been a lot of rain then many of these areas will be full of water attracting several species of migratory water birds. Head back to Camp Kalahari in time for a refreshing shower and lunch.

Rest through the heat of the day in the welcome shade of the camel thorn trees or cool off in the camp swimming pool. After tea, head off to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyena; these consummate desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce.

Optional excursion – quad biking experience into the desert and possible sleep out if time allows.

DAY 4: KALAHARI TO OKAVANGO DELTA - BUSHMEN WALK & EVENING RIDE

After breakfast, drive through the bush to the traditionally built Bushmen village; where the community gathers during the day. The huts provide shelter from the harsh Kalahari environment but are not the community’s permanent accommodation. On arrival, the elders of the community will meet you in a traditional manner after which you will walk out into the bush with the men, women and children. The focus of the walk will be to provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and Bushmen way of life. The group will point out the distinct ecological characteristics of this area and its animal and bird species. Spontaneous gathering and discussions about the uses of plants and wildlife by your Bushmen guides provide the link between culture and wild environment that we seek to offer our guests.

Time for one more lunch before you bid farewell in preparation for your onward flight to Macatoo Camp.

The flight is a spectacular experience in itself as it offers an eagle’s eye view of the desert and Okavango Delta. A safari vehicle (or one of the local ‘mokoro’ boats depending on the time of year) will be waiting for you at the airstrip to whisk you away on your first 45-minute game drive back to Macatoo Camp. On arrival, you will be handed an ice-cold drink and introduced to the staff before being shown to your tented accommodation.

After settling in, you will be offered afternoon tea and homemade cake during a briefing from your guide, before heading to the barn for your first chance to mount up (if time allows). Evening rides are shorter and deliberately taken at a slower pace to let you enjoy the sunsets and make the most of those Kodak moments provided by the extensive wildlife. After a hot shower, drinks and snacks are served in the comfortable mess tent before sitting down to a delicious alfresco dinner set by the fire.

DAY 5: OKAVANGO DELTA - MORNING & EVENING RIDE

If you aren’t woken by the dawn chorus then you will receive a gentle wake-up call and a steaming cup of tea or coffee, from the comfort of your room. A light breakfast is served around the cozy campfire to prepare you the day’s adventure.

Your morning ride will vary depending on the season but could involve some long canters across the dried flood plains, swimming through floodwaters or navigating the tall grasses in search of giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo – and any other surprises you can find.

Back at camp a hearty lunch will be served daily. This proves incredibly popular after all those miles in the saddle and is often accompanied by a glass of wine to lead you nicely into an afternoon siesta before tea and the evening ride or evening game drives. The afternoon rides are slower allowing you to take time absorbing the Delta’s magic and listening to the sounds of the bush and the snorting and splashing of the horses. Enjoy Africa’s ‘golden hour’ where the wonderful afternoon light sets the landscape alight with beautiful colours. Sundowners are often enjoyed out in the bush before heading back to camp to freshen up before dinner.

DAY 6: OKAVANGO DELTA - MORNING RIDE & AFTERNOON GAME EXPERIENCE

After waking up to yet another glorious African morning, and sipping on a mug of something hot, you will be impatient to jump on. Taking a new direction, encounter new scenery and the exciting opportunity to see a different combination of game. Enjoy picking up the pace and keep up with some of the larger animals such as giraffe or zebra.

After lunch, if you don’t fancy a siesta, then read, watch the wildlife go by from your tent deck, or enjoy the camp pool – an ideal place to cool down and escape the midday heat. After afternoon treats of homemade cakes or scones, you have the option to swap an evening ride for some sunset fishing off the boat, or from the banks of a pool often home to the odd wallowing hippo (water levels depending). A game drive, accompanied walk or boat rides – depending on the time of year – are also available for those wanting time away from the safari horses or for non-riding partners and guests. No two days are the same and every day is a different adventure out across a new and intriguing landscape.

DAY 7: OKAVANGO DELTA - MORNING RIDE & AFTERNOON GAME EXPERIENCE

Again you will ride through a variety of landscapes, passing clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. You might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mopane woodlands. When you hit the flood plains, your pace can pick up as you embrace that feeling of freedom which can only be felt on the back of a horse.

The afternoon offers the possibility of hiring a helicopter for the flight-of-a-lifetime over the Delta (at an extra cost) or finish off the day with a night game drive to find those glinting eyes with the spotlight and seek out game harder to see in the daylight, such as leopard and hyena. Afternoons are also the perfect opportunity for a tranquil ride in a mekoro, the traditional way of traversing the glittering, lily-lined lagoons and waterways. It is a chance too, to venture out on foot to appreciate the smaller creatures that inhabit the bush – or to learn some rudimentary tracking skills. Enjoy an evening around the fire before dinner under the stars.

DAY 8: OKAVANGO DELTA TO VICTORIA FALLS

One final morning in paradise you will have time for a leisurely breakfast before hopping into the vehicle for a game drive to the airstrip. A picnic lunch will be provided to keep you going before you set foot back into life outside this watery paradise. You will have a road transfer back to Maun, followed by a 90 minute light air charter flight to Kasane Airport.

At Kasane, you will be met for a cross-border road transfer to Zimbabwe – This takes around 1.5 hours plus border crossing. Crossing the border is a true authentic African experience! Your driver will help direct you on where to go and what to do.

On arrival at Victoria Falls River Lodge, enjoy a glass of bubbly as the manager chats you through what to expect during your stay and then shows you to your room. If you can tear yourself away from the views and private pool, enjoy a sunset boat trip on the Zambezi.

Enjoy drinks at the bar, in the lounge or around the fire, before a wonderful dinner overlooking the river.  Fall asleep to the sound of the hippos wallowing down below.

 

DAY 9: VICTORIA FALLS - MORNING GAME DRIVE & AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES

Wake up early for a game drive, or choose to sleep in, it’s up to you! Depending on the season you may see elephant, giraffe, buffalo, kudu, impala, bushbuck, waterbuck, banded mongoose and even lion or leopard. But remember, no game is guaranteed.

Return to camp for brunch. There is a complimentary shuttle into town so that you can take part in any activities you’ve booked in and around Victoria Falls.  There are lots of great adrenaline activities you can do around the Falls, and we highly recommend booking a helicopter flight.  You can also book spa treatments at the lodge, or just spend time in your room. Often some of the best wildlife is spotted from your private deck!

In the evening, head out on a game drive, sunset cruise or just relax at the lodge.

DAY 10: VICTORIA FALLS - VISIT VICTORIA FALLS

This morning, you can enjoy a sunrise boat cruise, a game drive or a sleep in.

After brunch, transfer to Victoria Falls town and explore the rainforests and the wonders of the Falls themselves. A tour of the falls is included in your stay, or you can choose to wander through the rainforest at your own pace. Victoria Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world, and a tourism destination of note. The primary attraction, the Victoria Falls themselves, need little introduction, but you can also book many other activities with paragliding, helicopter flips and ziplining being just a few of the highlights. In the evening, take a game drive in this wonderful private game reserve.

DAY 11: DEPARTURE

This morning, you can enjoy a sunrise boat cruise, a game drive or a sleep in. After brunch, you’ll be transferred back to the airport for your flight out. Safe travels!

THE ACCOMMODATION

CAMP KALAHARI

This traditional bush camp has spacious Meru tents, comprising of twin tents, double tents and one family unit which has two adjacent tents, accommodating two guests in each with an inter-leading bathroom. All guest tents have en-suite covered bathrooms, hot and cold running water and flush loos. They boast four poster beds, cotton sheets, rich textiles, Moroccan kilims and hot water bottles in winter. There is a thatched central library, living and dining area, featuring an eclectic mix of original African furniture and textiles paired with traditional campaign style pieces and colonial antiques. It provides the perfect area in which to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area. Cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a siesta in the thatched pavilion.

CHA CHA METSI

Cha Cha Metsi is a beautiful tented camp situated in the idyllic setting overlooking the permanent waters of the stunning Gama Tau Lagoon. This permanent water is a draw for the wildlife and means you’ll always experience the magic of the Delta and are not as reliant on the arrival of the annual floods as in some other camps. Each spacious safari tent is equipped with proper beds, an en-suite shower with hot and cold water and a flush loo. All tents have a deck out front which provides the perfect place to relax, read, and watch the wildlife go by or simply soak up the sun. There are 2 family tents, and 4 Meru tents at this intimate camp.  The main areas are beautifully furnished with comfy softas, antique furniture and family heirlooms.

VICTORIA FALLS RIVER LODGE

Victoria Falls River Lodge offers tented luxury in the heart of the African bush, just minutes from one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls. The lodge, located on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, is in the first private game lodge within the Zambezi National Park. A selection of luxury tented accommodation is on offer, including Luxury Tents and Family Tents. Each is tastefully decorated and has an extra-length, king-size bed, freestanding bath, comfortable sitting area, indoor and outdoor shower, and a private viewing deck with plunge pool. The main area has a wonderful lounge, dining room and bar, all with views of the river beyond.

THE DESTINATION

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans is in north-eastern Botswana and one of the largest salt flats in the world. It is all that remains of the former Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are not a single pan but a jigsaw of white salt flats with several sandy islands in between; creating the perfect playground for your horseback adventure.

The Okavango Delta

One of Africa’s unique treasures and most important and beautiful wildlife sanctuaries on the continent; the Delta is often referred to as Africa’s ‘Eden’. Experiencing seasonal flooding with an influx of water from Angola, the floods reach the Delta between March and June, peaking in July. The peak flooding coincides with Botswana’s dry season creating a safe haven and acting as a magnet for a huge variety of birds and mammals that migrate from the dry outskirts. A constant and reliable source of water makes the Okavango Delta an ideal safari destination at any time of the year.

The Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, discovered by David Livingstone, is the world’s largest waterfall by volume and is located on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Commonly known as Mosi-oa-Tunya – ‘the smoke that thunders’, the spectacular waterfall boasts the largest sheet of free-falling water with a 108m drop to the gorge floor. The areas that you will ride across include a private game reserve, the Victoria Falls National Park and Zambezi National Park, filled with free-roaming wildlife. There are also a wide range of adventure activities for every traveler such as bungee jumping, zip-lining and sunset boat trips around Victoria Falls.

HOW WE CARE FOR OUR HORSES

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the safari horses are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. The horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:

  • The horses live in a herd, allowing them to live naturally
  • They are bought in twice a day to be feed, checked, groomed and temperatures taken by our devoted guides
  • The guides and grooms have general veterinary experience and are able to treat any minor wounds or injuries, and there is always a vet on call for anything more serious.
  • The farrier comes every 6 weeks to shoe, and check the horse which are barefoot
  • Our saddles are specially designed for trails which mean they are comfortable for the horse, distributing the riders weight evenly, preventing any back issues. Our tack is checked and cleaned regularly to ensure it is kept to the best possible standards.
  • A careful record is kept of how much work each horse does to ensure they have rest days and holidays

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

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A HORSE SAFARI

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