HORSE SAFARI IN THE HEART OF HWANGE

7 nights: From $3 850

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DISCOVER HWANGE NATIONAL PARK ON HORSEBACK

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a horseback safari in the wilds of Africa? Embark on a riding safari in the heart of Zimbabwe, just a few hours away from the mighty Victoria Falls.

Zimbabwe is re-emerging as one of Africa’s ultimate safari destinations and there is no better way to explore this wilderness than on horseback. Ride in Hwange National Park, an area the size of Belgium and one of the world’s last great elephant sanctuaries, with over 40 000 elephants alone. As you’d expect from a park of this size, the range of wildlife species is astounding! Riding on excellent safari horses, and guided by some of Zimbabwe’s top guides, learn the secrets of the bush and discover life in Africa.

After a warm African greeting, you’ll be transported from the new modern airport, through dusty villages made up of traditional mud huts and colourful but sun faded buildings to the outskirts of the reserve. You may even encounter an African Roadblock, herds of elephants have right of way even on the highways! Here you will find your tented camp, set out on the edge of the reserve and the perfect location to begin your horseback adventure into the wilderness.

There are no set routes, so you get to explore an area seldom marked by anything but animal tracks. The horse safari in Zimbabwe is dictated by the weather, wildlife movements, and the group’s expectations. Enjoy long canters on sure-footed safari horses, perhaps leaping over a natural jump provided by the resident elephants. Take in the sounds of the bush on quieter walks as you approach the water holes, your heart beating in anticipation at what you might find. You might get lucky enough to see herds of elephants drinking and playing in the water, buffalo grazing in the long grass, or rhino wallowing in the grey mud.

Combining the magic of a mobile safari camp, with a more luxury tented lodge, it gives you the best of both worlds. The itinerary is flexible and will very much depend on local conditions and the movements of the wildlife… Adventure awaits at every corner! Not only is this the perfect area to be discovered on horseback, but you can embark on guided walks or exciting game drives. Shorter itineraries can be tailormade for groups with mixed riding ability and non-riders can enjoy a traditional Hwange safari.

If you have some extra time in Africa, how about spending a few days exploring Victoria Falls, flying to Mana Pools for canoeing or walking, or take a chartered flight to the magical Okavango Delta? So many amazing opportunities await on safari!

QUICK FACTS
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls International Airport 
Open March to December
7 nights or tailormade
Group Size: Max. 8
Intermediate Plus and Above
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Discover one of Africa’s best reserves on horseback, riding in areas that are inaccessible to vehicles
  • Ride in an area that has some of Africa’s largest elephant populations, plus have the chance to see over 100 mammal species and 350 bird species all from horseback, foot or game drive vehicle.
  • Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of wild camping, with evenings around the campfire, listening to the sounds of the African bush
  • Ride with guides who have lived in Zimbabwe for years, are passionate about the horses, the wildlife, and the communities that live in this unique part of Africa.
  • Easily combine your horse safari experience with a few days at Victoria Falls, Mana Pools or beyond
THE DESTINATION

Hwange National Park, the largest National Park in Zimbabwe is home to 400 different species of bird and 107 types of mammals including the Big 5. The landscape is predominantly flat with no mountains or kopjes in sight, making for some excellent riding conditions and unimpeded views of the vast amount of wildlife that call this area home. Throughout these pan fringe areas, numerous mammals roam amongst the wonderful woodlands, in particular elephants and giraffe, If that isn’t exciting enough there may also be the opportunity to sail over a natural jump or two!

DATES & RATES

Please enquire for availability. Shorter rides to accommodate non-riding friends or partners can also be arranged and if you have specific dates not seen below, please inquire. 

2020 / 2021 DATES & RATES:

21 Nov – 28 Nov 2020 / 11 – 20 Nov 2020* / 03 – 10 Apr 2021 / 17 – 24 Apr 2021 / 01 – 08 May 2021 / 15 -22 May 2021 / 05 – 12 June 2021 / 19 – 26 June 2021
7 Nights: $3 850 + transfers and conservation fees

03 Jul – 10 July 2021 / 17 Jul – 24 Jul 2021 / 21 Aug – 28 Aug 2021 / 04 Sep – 11 Sep 2021 / 18 – 25 Spe 2021 / 02 Oct – 09 Oct 2021 / 16 Oct -23 Oct 2021 / 06 Nov – 13 Nov 2021 / 20 Nov – 27 Nov 2021
7 Nights: $TBA + transfers and conservation fees

Single supplement of USD150pppn applicable 01 May – 31 October 2021 & 20 December – 05 January 2022

Includes

  • Accommodation – 2 nights at Iganyana and 5 nights mobile camp
  • All meals and drinks including wines, beers, and spirits.
  • Laundry at Iganyana Camp
  • All activities – horse-riding, game drives, safari walks, night drives outside of the National Park.
  • Service of National Parks certified Professional safari guides

Excludes

  • National Parks fees for the 5 nights currently $50 entry and $115pp conservation and camping fee payable to Parks directly. (Subject to change without notice)
  • Return road transfers – $192pp
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature.
  • Premium drinks – if required then need to be ordered well in advance.
  • Visas
  • International Flights
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
YOUR 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.

Day 1: Iganyana Tented Camp

You will be met at the airport for a 2-hour shared road transfer from Victoria Falls Airport to Iganyana Camp. After meeting the rest of the team and settling in, enjoy a delicious afternoon tea overlooking the waterhole and woodlands. After an important safety briefing, walk to the stables to meet your equestrian partner. This introductory ride will get you acquainted with your steed and ensure you are comfortable with the tack used.

Arrive back in camp for your first sundowner drinks before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner cooked by the talented safari chef. At dinner, you’ll discover the sounds of the African wilderness – the distant howl of the Jackal, perhaps the rasping grunt of a Leopard stealthily walking by, the deep roar of the African Lion or the flutter of owl wings overhead. Enjoy your first night in camp, snuggled up in your luxury tent.

Day 2: Mobile Safari

Wake up with a soft knock on the door and then a hot drink around the campfire whilst recounting stories of sounds heard during the night. A light breakfast awaits you in the dining tent and you may even see wildlife moving through the acacia woodlands. After the quick breakfast, pack your bags and then you’ll either hop onto the game drive vehicle or mount your horses to get to the Hwange National Park entrance. Here you’ll pay your entry and conservation fees, have the chance for a toilet stop and then mount up onto the horses again. Set off on horseback, following the animal trails into the National Park.  There are no set routes, so you get to explore an area seldom marked by anything but animal tracks. The ride is dictated by the weather, wildlife movements, and the group’s expectations.

After about 3-4 hours in the saddle, enjoy a picnic lunch and an afternoon siesta in the bush. Treats will be available to revive you after your nap before you head out again. Riding for a couple of hours towards the new camp, your guide will tell you about the intricacies of the bush and unique wildlife.  Cold drinks and hot showers await after a long day in the saddle. Savour your drink as you watch a glorious sunset with the horses contently munching nearby. Enjoy dinner around the campfire talking about the day’s events before settling in for the night.

Day 3 - 6: Mobile Tented Camp

Each morning in camp follows the same rhythm; a gentle knock on your tent and hot water in your basin to rub the sleep from your eyes. You’ll be drawn to the campfire by the smell of coffee and home-baked muffins or fresh bread. In winter, enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before mounting up for a morning in the saddle. In Summer, head out early to make the most of the cooler mornings, then enjoy a well-deserved brunch after your morning ride.

Distances ridden each day are very much dependent on where wildlife is and the abilities of the whole group, but you may ride up to 40kms a day. Wherever possible there will be canters through the famous teak woodlands following ancient elephant paths that wind from pan to pan. These are sacred places – areas only accessible by horseback and where very few people have ever ventured.

Head back to camp for a refreshing lunch and a siesta, compulsory after your early start! Tea, coffee and a yummy treat will get you ready for your afternoon ride. Riding along the elephant trails and antelope paths, you never know what wildlife you might encounter! As the savanna opens up, enjoy a thrilling canter across the plains.  Plenty of game can be seen from horseback including elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and possibly even lion or leopard.  Return to camp for a cold sundowner drink, or refreshingly hot cup of tea, and another night around the campfire with much telling of tall horse tales.

On one of the days, you’ll have a full day of riding with a picnic lunch en-route to your new campsite. Camp is set up near waterhole zones, the site depending upon time of year and animal sightings. In the dark of night in the African bush we often here the trumpet of elephants coming down to drink. The mobile camps offer you the chance to see more of this extraordinary reserve. Possibly see big herds of elephants and buffalo drawn to the waterholes, towers of giraffe eating from the tall Camelthorn trees or dazzles of zebra and antelope grazing in the long grass.

Depending on wildlife sightings, you might head out for a guided nature walk or game drive into the bush. Walking in Hwange provides unparalleled game viewing and the opportunity to gain a vast knowledge of animal behaviour, tracking and the uses of plants in natural medicine. Game drives provide the opportunity to get closer to any big cats in the area or explore further afield.

Day 7: Iganyana Tented Camp

Today is your last day of riding in the National Park, enjoy a last exhilarating canter as you make your way back to Iganyana camp. This will require riding several kilometers to a meeting point where the horse truck will be waiting. The horses are unsaddled and rubbed down before being loaded up into the truck. You will continue to Iganyana on a game drive, enjoying some more wildlife viewing on the way. After seeing the horses settled back into their stables and finding your luxury tent, recharge with high tea or a dip in the pool. Perhaps there is time for a short nature walk around the camp, or an evening game drive before a last dinner.

Day 8: Departure

Wake up to another wonderful day in Africa. If time allows, there might be time for an early morning game drive or ride before a scrumptious breakfast. After a leisurely breakfast, it is time to say a sad goodbye to the horses and your new-found friends. You’ll be transferred back to Victoria Falls Airport for your flight home. If you have some extra time in Africa, how about spending a few days exploring Victoria Falls, flying to Mana Pools National Park for canoeing or walking, or take a chartered flight to the magical Okavango Delta? So many amazing opportunities await on safari!

THE ACCOMMODATION

IGANYANA TENTED CAMP From the spray of the mighty Victoria Falls, it’s an easy two-hour drive, or a quick 30-minute charter flight, to the seclusion of Iganyana Tented Camp. This Luxury Tented Camp is situated on a private concession just minutes from Hwange National Park. In the shade of the trees there is a dining and living area, leading to a raised wooden deck overlooking the waterhole. The large 15 tents are furnished with lovingly restored antiques and locally crafted wooden furniture. En-suite bathrooms are equipped with flush toilets, double vanities, and indoor showers with solar-powered hot water. There is a newly built swimming pool for a refreshing swim and the coolest elephant viewing spot in camp.

MOBILE CAMP The mobile camp is made up of Meru Style tents with en-suite long-drop loos and hot bucket showers. Each tent has comfortable beds, luxury linen, and a covered porch with chairs to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.   Food is prepared on the fire and eaten under the stars. Guests fall asleep to the sound of the night and their horses safely tucked away in their boma nearby. The camp is surrounded by an electric fence and moved once during the ride.

QUICK FACTS
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls International Airport
Open March to December
7 nights or tailormade
Group Size: Max. 8
Intermediate Plus and Above
View Gallery
7 Nights: from $3 850 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Discover one of Africa’s best reserves on horseback, riding in areas that are inaccessible to vehicles
  • Ride in an area that has some of Africa’s largest elephant populations, plus have the chance to see over 100 mammal species and 350 bird species
  • Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of wild camping, with evenings around the campfire, listening to the sounds of the African bush
  • Ride with guides who have lived in Zimbabwe for years, are passionate about the horses, the wildlife, and the communities that live in this unique part of Africa
  • Easily combine your horse safari experience with a few days at Victoria Falls, Mana Pools or beyond
DATES & RATES

Please enquire for availability. Shorter rides to accommodate non-riding friends or partners can also be arranged and if you have specific dates not seen below, please inquire. 

2020 / 2021 DATES & RATES:

21 Nov – 28 Nov 2020 / 11 – 20 Nov 2020* / 03 – 10 Apr 2021 / 17 – 24 Apr 2021 / 01 – 08 May 2021 / 15 -22 May 2021 / 05 – 12 June 2021 / 19 – 26 June 2021
7 Nights: $3 850 + transfers and conservation fees

03 Jul – 10 July 2021 / 17 Jul – 24 Jul 2021 / 21 Aug – 28 Aug 2021 / 04 Sep – 11 Sep 2021 / 18 – 25 Spe 2021 / 02 Oct – 09 Oct 2021 / 16 Oct -23 Oct 2021 / 06 Nov – 13 Nov 2021 / 20 Nov – 27 Nov 2021
7 Nights: $TBA + transfers and conservation fees

Single supplement of USD150pppn applicable 01 May – 31 October 2021 & 20 December – 05 January 2022

Includes

  • Accommodation – 2 nights at Iganyana and 5 nights mobile camp
  • All meals and drinks including wines, beers, and spirits.
  • Laundry at Iganyana Camp
  • All activities – horse-riding, game drives, safari walks, night drives outside of the National Park.
  • Service of National Parks certified Professional safari guides

Excludes

  • National Parks fees for the 5 nights currently $50 entry and $115pp conservation and camping fee payable to Parks directly. (Subject to change without notice)
  • Return road transfers – $192pp
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature.
  • Premium drinks – if required then need to be ordered well in advance.
  • Visas
  • International Flights
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
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 at are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • There are 26 safari horses which are all very much part of the family.
  • Each horse has its own fitted tack which is inspected and cleaned after every ride.
  • Horses sleep in stables at the permanent camps or in a high boma while on mobile safari. During the day they are out in large paddocks or on picket lines when not being ridden.
  • They are bought in twice a day to be feed, checked, and brushed by the devoted grooms. They have plenty of natural grazing during the day as well as hay to eat during the night.
  • The team is all trained in natural horsemanship. They subscribe to the barefoot trimming principles and use natural horsemanship ideology when starting all the horses.
  • Often they take on some problem horses and have good success rate in getting them to have a productive and happy life as a safari horse

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

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