Horizon Lodge Signature Horse Safari

7 Nights: From GBP £1881 pp sharing

HEAD OUT ON A TRAIL RIDING ADVENTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA

Discover the magic of horse riding in South Africa at Horizon Lodge. Join us for a thrilling equestrian adventure through stunning landscapes of the Waterbeg area.

The new Signature Safari captures all the best elements of a horse riding holiday at Horizon Horseback in a 8 day adventure trail ride. Nestled in the heart of South Africa’s stunning Waterberg region, this horse safari is a remarkable equestrian adventure that caters to groups, families, and solo travelers alike. This captivating 8 journey, spanning over 150 kilometers on horseback, unveils the very best of what this beautiful area has to offer.

The Signature Safari offers an unforgettable horseback adventure. With expert guides, breathtaking landscapes, and a variety of accommodation choices, it’s the perfect equestrian escape to the African bushveld. You can look forward to splashy canters, swimming with horses, lively polocrosse games, and navigating natural jumps while making your way to breathtaking sundowner spots. This is the perfect safari for intermediate to advanced riders because of the varied terrain and distances covered.

The everchanging landscape, with its open plains, savannah, rocky outcrops, wetlands, and lush forests, provides an enchanting backdrop for your adventure. It’s a Noah’s ark of wildlife, where you’ll encounter not only the familiar but also rare species like sable, roan, and nyala. While you won’t come across elephants or lions, you’ll be treated to unique wildlife encounters, including horse riding alongside zebras, giraffes, cape buffalo, and other plains game. You will also get the opportunity to experience a Big 5 game drive, where you may get the chance to see elephants, rhino and even big cats!

Your accommodation is as diverse as the landscapes. From the iconic Horizon Lodge by the tranquil lake to the adventurous glamping experience at Camp Davidson on an isolated ridge, and the unique lodges overlooking Bellevue plains, it will be hard to choose your favourite!

DATES AND RATES

Rides run every Sunday to Sunday. Please enquire about exact dates and availability. The prices are for Garden Chalet on a sharing basis or a Standard room on a single basis.

2024 RATES

Low Season: January, February 2024

From GBP £1881 per person + transfers


Mid Season: March, April, May June 2024

From GBP £2056 per person + transfers


High Season: July, August, September, October, November, December 2024

From GBP £2392 per person + transfers

EXTRAS – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

TRANSFERS

Shared road transfers: £150 per person return

CHECK AVAILABILITYARRANGE A CALL

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Price Includes:

  • All accommodation on a sharing basis
  • All meals & local drinks
  • Personal and expert guidance throughout your trip
  • Riding on well-trained and responsive horses
  • Wine Tasting Evening
  • Horse Swim (weather permitting)

Price Excludes:

  • International flights to Johannesburg Airport
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Transfers
  • Gratuities for camp staff and guides
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Big 5 game drive (paid locally)
  • Other off site activities

QUICK FACTS

Location: Waterberg, South Africa
Airport: OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport
Month: All Year Around
Duration: 7 Nights
Group Size: Min 2 / Max 8
Skill Level: Intermediate & Above
Weight: 85kg / 188lbs
Accommodation: Lodge / Tented Camp
VIEW GALLERY
7 Nights: From GBP £1881 pp sharing

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

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

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Immerse yourself in the magic of riding alongside Africa’s wildlife in their natural habitat
  • The perfect trail riding adventure for intermediate or less confident riders, who want to experience riding amongst wildlife such as zebra, sable, giraffe and other plains game
  • Stay in various accommodations allowing you to experience different areas of the reserve
  • Indulge in some faster paced riding, and long canters across vast open spaces
  • Enjoy trail rides, horseback swims, polo crosse and even some cross country jumping all while being surrounded by the African bush

TOUR REVIEWS

Just got back from my favorite holiday ever hosted by African horse Safaris . From beginning to end it was made so special by the whole team - stunning scenery, great people and fantastic horses. I knew it was set to be a special holiday but never expected to enjoy the whole experience so much - we were treated so well , the most we did all week was make a coffee - everything was organised and sorted for us - food was amazing and all the staff made it so special, especially our guide Simon. The rides were so varied and it was amazing to get so close to the wildlife. Will definitely be back soon!

Rachel Baldwin, Horizon Signature SafariTour, Location
READ MORE REVIEWS

YOUR ITINERARY

** Please be aware that this is a sample itinerary and due to changes in weather and other unforeseen events it may be changed at the last minute. Any changes will always be made in your best interests.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL & INTRODUCTORY RIDE

Arriving at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, all guests receive a warm welcome from one of Horizon’s partners, Saddlebag Shuttles. The scenic drive to Horizon Lodge in the Waterberg Reserve, will take approximately three hours. Following lunch amid the Lodge’s gardens and a luxurious afternoon tea, guests get introduced to the herd of horses on the reserve.

The introductory ride serves as a gentle initiation to the reserve, offering encounters with zebra, giraffe, and hippo. From purposeful walks to breezy canters along sandy trails, the day ends with sundowner drinks on the expansive plains.

Horizon takes great care in pairing horses with riders, considering each guest’s riding proficiency and horse preference. During the initial two nights at Horizon Lodge, you will be matched with the perfect companion for the next few days of exciting riding in the bush.

DAY 2: MORNING & AFTERNOON RIDES & HORSE SWIM

In the morning, saddle up for an invigorating ride through the heart of an expansive valley, a haven for incredible wildlife like kudu, sable, reedbuck, red hartebeest, waterbuck, and impala. The sandy tracks make for great ground to ride on, meandering through open grassland and weaving through lush woodland. Along the way, you’re likely to see the red cattle bred on the ranch, grazing alongside the wildlife. Conditions permitting, the final stretch of the ride includes exhilarating canters along the lakeside near the lodge. Brace yourself for a splashy experience – staying dry is not guaranteed! Take the opportunity to cool off with a swim on horseback.

In the afternoon, set your sights eastward as the ride follows the river, passing dams where encounters with hippos are not uncommon. The return ride will take you across the open plains, bathed in the soft glow of the setting sun. The plains come alive with activity, herds mingling in the warm sunlight, preparing for the night ahead. It’s a magical experience as you ride alongside these wild animals, completely at ease in the presence of the horses.

DAY 3: LONG MORNING RIDE & BUFFALO SIGHTSEEING

Embark on an early adventure from Horizon Lodge to either Savannah Lodge in the far southwest or Seringa Lodge in the southeast. The ride, initially through familiar terrain, soon leads to new landscapes, transitioning from thick bush to expansive grasslands with sweeping views. The region boasts a high concentration of game, with herds of over 300 blesbuck or 80 eland commonly spotted, alongside red hartebeest, tsessebe, ostrich, zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, sable, roan, and waterbuck. The final leg to Savannah Lodge winds along a wooded stream, often offering sightings of kudu and bushbuck.

After a relaxing time at the pool, saddle up and venture to the reserve’s southernmost areas in search of Cape buffalo, part of Africa’s famed “Big Five.” Riders must stay alert in this area known for stunning sunsets over the Waterberg escarpment — a fitting end to an unforgettable day in the African wilderness.

DAY 4: MORNING RIDE & GAME DRIVE

Embark on another extensive ride through wildlife-rich landscapes ending at Horizon Lodge. The return route differs from the outbound ride, taking you through different terrain and ecosystems. Each game species favors distinct habitats; nyala and bushbuck thrive in dense forest-like areas, while blesbuck and hartebeest prefer open plains. Waterbuck and reedbuck are commonly spotted near streams. The route offers excellent chances to encounter giraffes, always a safari highlight.

After more than five hours in the saddle, the afternoon offers a game drive in the nearby Entabeni or Welgevonden game reserves. Despite the hour or more of travel to reach these destinations, the opportunity to witness lions, elephants, and rhinos in their natural environments makes this excursion truly worthwhile.

DAY 5: BUSH BREAKFAST & CAMP DAVIDSON

Exploring a game reserve on horseback always promises surprises as you set off for a ride allowing unpredictable encounters with wildlife. This particular route delves deep into the reserve, unveiling true wilderness. After about three hours of riding, riders reach a massive wild fig tree, where a delightful bush breakfast awaits, cooked over an open fire. Following this hearty meal, th ride back to the lodge winds through a dense forest, providing shelter for shyer species.

In the afternoon, guests bid farewell to Horizon Lodge and set out for Camp Davidson, promising an exhilarating night under canvas. Although not a lengthy ride, the route is thrilling, tracing a narrow trail along the ridge’s edge. Wildlife commonly spotted in the area includes baboons, bushpigs, kudu, and klipspringer. Porcupines often visit the camp at night, and leopard tracks outside the tents are not an uncommon sight.

DAY 6: SPLASHY CANTERS, POLOCROSSE & WINETASTING

Today’s route explores the northeastern corners of the reserve, leading riders from the camp across a stream and open plain before meandering through untouched bush to the upper reaches of Sunset Lake. Explore the lake’s edge on a scenic ride, keeping an eye out for resident hippos, crocodiles, otters, fish eagles, and the elegant African jacana, known for their harmless curiosity during daylight hours. The ride offers opportunities for thrilling splashy canters. After leaving the lake, riders explore open plains, enjoying fast canters as they make their way back to the Lodge.

Post-morning adventures, guests can unwind by the pool. The afternoon brings the excitement of polocrosse, a dynamic fusion of polo and lacrosse. No prior polocrosse experience is necessary, and the game, played with horses familiar with it, guarantees both fun and a hint of friendly competition. The day concludes with a dinner featuring a wine tasting, each wine thoughtfully paired with complimentary snacks.

DAY 7: TRAIL RIDE TO SUNDOWNER SPOT

The path winds its way through the valley, hugging the eastern edge of the reserve and then ascending towards the highlands near Camp Davidson. Following game trails, riders are guided back to the lodge. Along the journey, there are opportunities for exhilarating canters in picturesque locations across the Waterberg highlands, complemented by awe-inspiring views. In the afternoon, the route includes optional cross-country jumps before reaching a breathtaking spot for sundowners with expansive views over the rolling hills. A leisurely ride back to the lodge at dusk concludes the day’s adventure, making it a memorable and fulfilling experience.

DAY 8: FINAL RIDE & TRANSFER TO AIRPORT

As it’s your last day, riders get to choose which routes they’d like to take for their final ride, usually heading out to find the herds of giraffe for one more memorable moment in the saddle. It will be the last chance to explore the stunning landscape on exceptional horses, surrounded by Africa’s extraordinary wildlife species. After a delightful lunch in the garden, it’s time for the road transfer back to Johannesburg airport.

THE ACCOMMODATION

HORIZON LODGE

Every lodge room is equipped with en-suite facilities, featuring either a shower, bath, or both. Seven double rooms stand independently from the main lodge, including three suites with a scenic lake view and a small verandah. The rondavels, traditional African dwellings, are located adjacent to the lodge. Additionally, two double rooms are situated within the main lodge. The lodge offers a spacious living area, a dining room, and a large stoep (verandah) for guests to relax. Guests can indulge in three delicious meals daily, accompanied by afternoon tea before the ride. All beverages are complimentary, and special dietary requirements can be accommodated. The lodge also boasts a swimming pool alongside the lake for guests to enjoy.

CAMP DAVIDSON

Modelled after the old ‘outspan’ camps of E.A. Davidson, the great grandfather to one of the founding partners of Horizon Horseback, who traded goods from his wagon across the area in the early 1900s – Camp Davidson captures the nostalgic atmosphere of those early camps. Nestled among the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game-filled valleys, beautiful decked canvas tents offer a luxurious stay. Each tent comes with an en-suite bathroom featuring a shower. The camp operates entirely on solar energy and includes a small swimming pool. Wifi is available at an additional cost: £43 per person for one night, £68 per person for two nights, with a minimum of two guests.

SAVANNAH LODGE

Situated on the southwestern side of the conservancy, this lodge allows more time to thoroughly explore the conservancy area. The tastefully decorated lodge features five en-suite double rooms, providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. The lodge boasts a spacious living area and dining spaces both indoors and outdoors. A small pool and deck offer a picturesque view of a plain and a nearby watering hole frequented by wildlife.

THE DESTINATION

WATERBERG

The untamed Waterberg is rich in cultural, archaeological and biological diversity. The area’s iconic beauty and bio-diversity has been awarded the status of a World Biosphere reserve by UNESCO. This is a wildlife Eden and set in the middle of its vast wilderness and the safari possibilities seem as endless as the horizon itself.

Horizon Lodge is based on a small working ranch in the depths of the Waterberg. The ranch itself and neighbouring reserves are home to giraffe, hippo, jackal, hartebeest, impala, kuda, zebra and baboon. Camp Davidson is a half days ride away and set up high in the bushveld, above the Matlapeng Valley.

Horses galloping in dawn light
woman brushing bay horse

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:

  • Each horse has its own fitted tack. Saddles are checked regularly and all tack is cleaned after every ride
  • Horses at Horizon live out in the reserve and will often see animals such as zebra, wildebeest and antelope while out in the veldt. This gets them acquainted with the wildlife before they are taken on trail with experienced staff and seasoned trail horses
  • Horses have dedicated rest days each week and a varied routine, including schooling, lounging, jumping, mounted games and trail rides
  • Our horses live out in a herd environment, allowing them to live as naturally as possible once they have carried you home safely. Living out in huge open spaces allows the horses freedom to graze naturally, but they come in at least once a day for hard feed and to be checked over

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

A Horse Safari Specialists will get in touch to help you plan the perfect escape

Confirm your ride and dates by paying your deposit

We’ll send you a reminder for your balance payment + travel advice

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