Desert & Delta Horse Safari – Ultimate Botswana

8 nights: From USD $7465GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing

DISCOVER BOTSWANA’S DIVERSE LANDSCAPES ON HORSEBACK

Ride across the otherworldly desert landscape of the Kalahari Desert before enjoying splashy canters through the mosaic of waterways and islands of the Delta.

Discover the true magic of these two incredible destinations with thrilling wildlife encounters and exhilarating gallops across the best natural riding surface in the world. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets, diverse and vast landscapes, intriguing and contrasting plants and wildlife, and sleeping under the stars make this an unforgettable horse riding holiday. This horse safari combines the beautiful luxury of two tented base camps with an authentic bush experience.

Enjoy the simplicity of the Okavango Delta on horseback from an intimate camp. Exploring this wilderness on horseback is exhilarating, and your first encounter with a herd of elephants is bound to leave you awe-inspired. Game viewing is exceptional, and being in the saddle offers the perfect vantage point. This is a true wilderness area where lions, wild dogs and hyenas may be encountered – adding a thrill to the ride or game drive. In the wetter months, racing through the floodwaters leaves every rider grinning from ear to ear with sheer elation. In the drier months, the last pools of water become a mecca for wildlife and offer some epic National Geographic moments.

From the Delta to the Desert, ride across the vast open landscapes, taking in the stillness and serene quiet of the untouched and pristine savanna islands that break up the mysterious salt pans. Encounter wide open plains, denser scrub land, stark and barren salt pans and an array of desert-adapted wildlife like wildebeest, zebra, elephant and lion. Mount up and head out onto the pans for some fun! Looking out across the vast, white nothingness, the horse’s ears prick up, and your heart starts to race. You can experience the ultimate sense of freedom as you fly across the perfect natural racetrack.

The desert offers a unique playground for adventure seekers. When not in the saddle, mount a quadbike or game-drive vehicle to get deep into the desert. Or spend a morning with the curious, habituated meerkats and discover the secrets of desert life during a unique afternoon spent with the Kalahari Bushmen.

CURRENCY CONVERTER

At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly

USDGBPEURZARAUD

DATES AND RATES

There are a number of 8-night set date departures throughout the year for a minimum of 2 participants and a maximum of 8 – please enquire about availability.

2024 RATES

04 – 12 December 2024

23 – 31 December 2024

8 nights: USD $7465GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers


01 – 09 November 2024

22 – 30 November 2024

8 nights: USD $8490GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers


18 – 26 July 2024

06 – 14 August 2024

15 – 23 August 2024

8 nights: USD $9475GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers


03 – 11 September 2024

17 – 25 September 2024

01 – 09 October 2024

23 – 31 October 2024

8 nights: USD $9115GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

2025 RATES

5 Nights: Cha Cha Metsi Lodge (Okavango Delta) + 3 Nights: Camp Kalahari (Makgadikgadi Salt Pans)

 

14 – 22 January 2025

17 – 25 February 2025

01 – 09 March 2025

17 – 25 March 2025

8 nights: USD $7535GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

 

05 – 13 November 2025

18 – 26 November 2025

8 nights: USD $7835GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

 

06 – 14 December 2025

8 nights: USD $8195GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

 

29 March – 06 April 2025

8 nights: USD $8265GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

 

16 – 24 April 2025

17 – 25 June 2025

8 nights: USD $8910GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

 

16 – 24 September 2025

04 – 12 October 2025

18 – 26 October 2025

19 – 27 December 2025

8 nights: USD $9585GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

 

01 – 09 July 2025

15 – 23 July 2025

05 – 13 August 2025

19 – 27 August 2025

28 August – 05 September 2025

8 nights: USD $9975GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + Transfers

EXTRAS – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

TRANSFERS (subject to change)

Helicopter & Light Air Charter Flight - Return Helicopter Transfers (20 mins each way) to the Delta + Light Air Charter Flights (50 minutes each way) between Maun and Camp Kalahari)

2024: USD $1425GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person + departure Tax (min of 2 people)

2025: USD $1525GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person + departure Tax (min of 2 people)

OR

Road Transfers: Return Road Transfers (2 hours each way) to the Delta + Return Road Transfers (3 hours) between Maun and Camp Kalahari)

2024: USD $600GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person (min of 2 people)

2025: USD $700GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person (min of 2 people)


SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

If you are travelling solo and either don\'t want to share or there is no one to share with you, you will be charged a single supplement for accommodation and transfers

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Includes

  • Accommodation
  • All meals and drinks
  • Road transfer between Maun and the Okavango Delta
  • A personal and expert guide throughout your trip
  • All the riding throughout your stay on well-trained and responsive horses
  • Selected additional activities such as game drives, guided walks, meerkat encounters
  • Well-trained and responsive horses to ride

Excludes

  • International flights to Maun
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive full travel and medical insurance – which is essential
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
CHECK AVAILABILITYARRANGE A CALL

QUICK FACTS

Location: Botswana
Airport: Maun International Airport
Month: Open All Year
Duration: 8 Nights
Group Size: Max 8
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus / Advanced
Weight Limit: 95kg / 210lbs
Accommodation: Tented Camp / Mobile Safari
Solo Traveller Friendly: Yes, but single supplement applies
VIEW GALLERY

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
8 nights: From USD $7465GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing

CURRENCY CONVERTER

At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly

USDGBPEURZARAUD

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore two of Botswana’s unique and very different landscapes
  • Viewing abundant and varied wildlife adapted to these very different areas
  • Being able to really absorb Africa’s wilderness through the private and exclusive set-up of fly-camping and sleeping under the stars
  • Enjoy meeting the meerkats of the Makgadikgadi and the enchanting Kalahari Bushmen
  • Thrilling canters and gallops across the best natural riding surface in the world

TOUR REVIEWS

Nothing feels more like home or more authentic than free time in the wilderness. There’s a special excitement in the morning, mounting these wonderful horses, and heading out in no particular direction other than adventure. The wildlife of the Okavango Delta exhibits all of the storylines and plot twists you might find in a Hollywood blockbuster; difference being that on horseback and in this environment, we are not casual bystanders of the drama that plays out, we have active roles and parts to play.

Following the Delta I headed to the Magkadikadi Salt Pans, which shattered my perceptions of natural beauty. The surface of the pans is soft but sturdy, just perfect for long, swift cantors across the landscape. We enjoyed classic views over the pans….of water vapor rising to blur the backdrop of palms and wildlife…of herds of zebra and wildabeast grabbing a drink at the salt lakes while another gorgeous sunset played tricks on the eyes…and most spectacular of all, the night skies so heavy with stars it felt that they’d surely all come crashing down before long.

Nathan LindenTuli Safari, Botswana
READ MORE REVIEWS

SAMPLE ITINERARY

** Please note this is a sample itinerary; weather conditions and game movement patterns may cause the route and plan to vary but this will always be to ensure the best possible horse safari experience. The day and time of the activities might differ, depending on the other guests in camp at the same time, so for instance, you might see the Meerkats on Day 7 or 8, and walk with the bushmen on day 8 or 9. The lodge manager and your guide will make sure you get to tick off all the bucket list items from your list!

Guests will have the choice of either road transfers, or a combination of helicopter and light air charter flights between destinations.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL

You’ll be met in at the airport in Maun and taken to the lodge either by road, or by helicopter –  a thrilling way to start your adventure!

With only 6 en suite tents sleeping 12 guests the camp is small and intimate and has been personally decorated by the owners with a collection of their family’s antique furniture. You will feel like you are being welcomed warmly into their own home and will become part of the family. After you’ve settled into your home, you’ll have a safari briefing and then get taken down to the stables.

You’ll be introduced to your new four legged friend and have an introductory ride. This is generally a steady ride to allow you to get used to the different saddle and style of riding. Head off following ancient elephant trails, searching for the large variety of wildlife, enjoying the prolific birdlife and riding through the open plains. Herds of buffalo may be in the vicinity, giraffe may saunter by and red lechwe will splash through the water alongside you, whilst kudu peer out from the thickets.

Get back to camp in time for sundowners

DAY 1 - 5: CHA CHA METSI, OKAVANGO DELTA

Wake up on a beautiful African morning, to the sound of the dawn chorus. Enjoy a light breakfast around the campfire as dawn breaks.

The morning will be spent on horseback, following ancient elephant trails, searching for a variety of wildlife. Spotting for the prolific birdlife, and depending on the time of year, cantering through the recently flooded plains. Herds of buffalo might be found grazing, lone male elephants browsing, giraffes sauntering by and red lechwe splash through the water.

Return to camp for lunch and siesta in the dense shade of the giant jackalberry or leadwood trees.

In the afternoons, you have the freedom to choose any activity you like. Head out on a gentle evening ride, absorbing the Delta’s magic and listening to the sounds of the bush and the snorting and splashing of the horses. If you want to stretch your legs, head out on a guided walk to see some of the lesser creatures, learn the art of tracking wildlife or  the uses of all the local plants. And for those who want to venture further, hop aboard a game drive vehicle to get closer to any big cats you might find along the way.

Enjoy Africa’s ‘golden hour’ where the wonderful afternoon light sets the landscape alight with beautiful colours. Enjoy sundowners out in the bush and then return to camp for a delicious alfresco dinner under the stars.

Occasionally guests (and horses) may need to rest, which is 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.

No two days are the same and every day is a different adventure out across a new and intriguing landscape.

DAY 6: OFF TO THE KALAHARI

A last ride in the Okavango and then it is time to move onto the Kalahari either by air or by road. Air is quicker but by road you will start to comprehend the vastness of Botswana’s wilderness areas. On arrival you will be greeted by your host and settled into Camp Kalahari. The camp is nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.

A thatched central library, living and dining area featuring an eclectic mix of original African furniture , traditional campaign style pieces and colonial antiques. This 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 and to kraal the horses close by, before the lions of the Kalahari commence their nightly prowling.

DAY 7: RIDING IN THE KALAHARI

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 lakebed, these sand dunes covered in palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of the Botswana wilderness. At the height of the migration season, the islands and adjoining grasslands are awash with zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest and ostrich – and of course the attendant predators!

The white encrusted pans between the islands provides excellent going for the horses, but if there has been a lot of rain, many of these areas may be full of water attracting several species of migratory water birds. Return to the camp for lunch and 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 by vehicle to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyaena; these desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp, ht, looking 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 8: RIDING, MEERKATS & MORE

Wake up to a steaming hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast. Ride offin 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 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, superbly adapted 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 for lunch, a refreshing shower and a siesta.

In the late afternoon take a walk to a nearby permanent waterhole to look for many of the Kalahari’s special bird species and, as the sun sets, watch the hundreds of sand grouse fly in for a drink. Return to camp for another beautiful evening under a Kalahari sky with a delicious dinner around the campfire.

DAY 4 IN THE KALAHARI - DEPARTURE

Uncharted Africa has pioneered and passionately supported cultural tourism in Botswana since the company’s inception in 1993. It has long been our belief that it is a vitally important tool in terms of preserving this unique, but sadly fast-vanishing, culture. The Zu/’hoasi lead a semi-traditional lifestyle, and share their traditional hunting and food-gathering skills as well as how they make jewellery and hunting equipment, it is a glimpse into their traditional way of life.

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 to Camp Kalahari in preparation for your onward journey back to Maun, either by road or by air.

THE ACCOMMODATION

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.

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, crunchy 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.

THE DESTINATION

Okavango Delta

Considered one of Nature’s masterpieces, the Okavango Delta offers adventurists the chance to explore one of Africa’s truly great wildernesses. A World Heritage Site, this vast and virtually untouched wetland lies at the heart of Botswana’s arid Kalahari Desert yet supports an abundance of wildlife in what is often referred to as Africa’s ‘Eden’. This is the classic horse-riding safari many envision, cantering alongside giraffe and zebra, encountering bathing elephants and being the only humans for miles around. Offering a maze of sparkling pools in winter and savannas teeming with wildlife in summer, this is an exceptional place for a horse-riding holiday.

Makgadikgadi

The shimmering salt pans of Makgadikgadi along with the Nxai Pans are believed to be the largest in the world. Situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana it is all that remains of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi, The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are not a single pan but a jigsaw of pans with several sandy desert lands in between spotted with tall makalani palms, making for varied and ever-changing terrain to ride through.

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 are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:

  • The herd of 41 horses are fit, responsive and reliable, and adapted to the African environment
  • Under the guidance of our permanent and qualified Equestrian Stable Manager, our team of 15 guides and grooms take pride in the wellbeing of each horse, ensuring that they are well schooled, (but not over-worked) and well-rested between the trips, hence each guest will have the opportunity of riding several different horses during their stay
  • Great care is taken in matching horse to rider. We ask our guests to respect each of our horses and treat them as they would their own: they are an integral part of the Foot Family

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

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A HORSE SAFARI

Fill in the form on our website/social media describing your dream African Horse Safari

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Confirm your ride and dates by paying your deposit

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