SOUTH AFRICA & BOTSWANA AFRICAN EXPLORER

7 Nights: From £1 866

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This ride takes you through two of Africa’s stunning destinations – South Africa’s pristine Waterberg region, and Botswana’s famous Tuli Block.

This horse safari adventure takes you through stunning and varied scenery, as you traverse vast landscapes in both South Africa and Botswana, giving you a flavour of two of this wonderful continent’s fabulous countries. Beginning in the beautiful Waterberg region of South Africa, you will ride through the Matlapeng valley, spotting game and taking in the diverse flora and fauna of the land. Enjoy panoramic views of the Waterberg massif from Camp Davidson at Horizon Lodge, a tented camp set high up in the bushveld, and nestled among dramatic sandstone rocks.

You will have 4 days of riding across the beautiful ranch farmlands, encountering giraffe, zebra and many types of antelopes – and if you’re really lucky – the odd hippo. You will stay in a tented camp and dine al fresco each night. This is a nice warm-up to ride in Africa before you head out to the real ‘wild’ of Botswana.

Nip across the border to Botswana and experience the unforgettable horse riding in Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Block of south eastern Botswana.

This area offers some magnificent riding, with a great variety of landscapes; featuring stunning vistas and dramatic rock formations bordered by the great Limpopo River. This “Land of the Giants” lives up to its name, boasting baobab studded plains and large herds of elephant.  The area is home to a variety of wildlife species including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant a multitude of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe, as well as over 350 species of birds. Experience the unparalleled and thrilling feeling of riding alongside Africa’s game, set to the backdrop of some of its most iconic landscapes.

Picture two magnificent countries, stunning vistas, excellent game viewing, fabulous sundowners, unbelievable riding and you’ve got the African Explorer -of-a-lifetime – a horse safari you will never forget.

QUICK FACTS
South Africa & Botswna
OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)
Set Dates
Up to 7 nights,  8 days
Group Size: Max. 8
Intermediate and above
THE DESTINATION

The Waterberg Region

The Waterberg is an exceptional and internationally recognised natural heritage site.  The Waterberg’s iconic beauty and bio diversity has been acknowledged worldwide, being awarded the status of a World Biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

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.

The Tuli Block

The Tuli Block, or ‘Land of Giants’ as it is often known, is located on Botswana’s eastern border. The area is a very protected and conserved nature reserve – known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve.

The beautiful area is famous for its dramatic geographical and geological features, such as Solomon’s Wall by the Motloutse River. Species found here include lion, cheetah, leopard, large herds of elephant, a multitude of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe, as well as over 350 species of birds.

DATES & RATES

Rides run every Friday to Friday. Please enquire for exact dates and availability.

2022 Rates

Low Season: December, January, February
£1 866 per person sharing + £465
return transfers

Mid Season: March, April, June
£2 037 per person sharing + £465
return transfers

High Season: May, July, August, September, October, November
£2 271 per person sharing + £465 return transfers

Included:

  • All accommodation throughout the trip
  • All meals and drinks
  • All activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • 1 Game Drive
  • Expert guiding
  • All horse riding activities

Excluded:

  • International flights
  • Gratuities and any items of a personal nature
  • Shared road transfers & charter flight (£465)
  • Comprehensive travel & medical insurance
  • US$30 conservation fee payable in Botswana
YOUR 8-DAY 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

Meet at the information desk at the international arrivals hall at 11h15. From there you’ll have a 3.5 hour road transfer to Camp Davidson in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon, get introduced to your safari team and guides, both two and four-legged. The team will ensure that you are matched to a horse that suits your ability and experience before heading off on your ride. This first introductory ride is a relaxed affair, giving riders the opportunity to settle into their new surroundings. Crossing the plains, enjoy your first close encounter with wildlife on horseback. A stunning lookout spot for sundowner drinks is a welcome moment to take in your first taste of Africa after a long journey. A three-course supper is served at Camp Davidson that evening.

Day 2

After waking up to a glorious African morning and delicious breakfast, spend the day exploring the reserve, tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. Ride past Sunset Lake where Fish Eagles and Spur-winged goose are often spotted. The shallow banks offer some great splashy canters through the water. Return to camp in time for lunch and a siesta next to the pool. In the afternoon, follow game trails as you weave through the bush and enjoy some long canters across the plains.  NB Those guests not fully vaccinated (including booster if overdue) will be taken for a PCR test during the lunch break (additional cost R1450 pp paid on the ground)

Day 3

This ride heads south to the Game Conservancy which is home to the Bellevue Lodges. The ride traverses a wide wetland, home to reedbuck and grass owls, before entering dense woodland dotted with wild fig trees and large-fruited bushwillows. Here it crosses the watershed and descends through open grasslands with sweeping views to the upper reaches of the Conservancy’s main water system. The route passes the favoured habitat of waterbuck and Cape buffalo. The open plains that follow are aptly known as “Little Serengeti”; large herds of blesbuck, eland, wildebeest and kudu are all on view, as are groups of elegant sable, swift red hartebeest and impressive journeys of giraffe and Cape buffalo. After lunch at the lodge and a rest by the pool, the afternoon ride continues to explore this game-rich area, ending with sundowners overlooking the African plains.

Day 4

This morning, set off on horseback, following the game paths and learning about tracking the wildlife. There are some interesting fallen trees that make the perfect obstacles for those who enjoy jumping. On hot days, the both horses and riders enjoy a swim in one of the many lakes on the reserve before heading back to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll ride back to Horizon Lodge where you’ll say goodbye to the horses before heading up to Camp Davidson for your last night in South Africa.

Day 5

After an early wake-up call, you’ll depart from the lodge once more, heading for Botswana (approximately 5/6 hour drive) with a picnic breakfast enjoyed along the road. The idea is to get you across the border and into Botswana by 9AM. Crossing the Limpopo River into the Tuli block, you will arrive at the stables in time for lunch and an introductory afternoon ride. Once you’ve been paired up with a suitable horse, head out for the second leg of the safari; riding to the incredible Tree Camp where you‘ll spend your first night in Botswana. This camp is built up in the leadwood trees, giving you incredible views over the wilderness beyond.

Day 6

Wake up early with a steaming cup of tea or coffee being brought to your bed followed by breakfast overlooking the valley.  An early start is imperative to capture those fresh African mornings and maximise game-viewing opportunities as you ride through the game-rich Pitsame River area. Here you will likely encounter the large herds of elephants famous in the area, as well as many different species of antelope; also giraffe, zebra, bat-eared fox, jackal, hyena and possibly even lion, leopard, and cheetah if you’re lucky.  Arrive at Two Mashatus Camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon, set off on horseback or enjoy a game drive in the Kgotla area with sundowners on the Mmagwa hills.

Day 7

Early morning trip to the Limpopo valley airport for a PCR test (BWP1850 / +-£115pp) followed by a full morning ride from Two Mashatu. The tempo of the rides is always varied and depending on the terrain there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of the horses at a faster pace before returning to camp to freshen up before lunch. In the afternoon there is a chance to enjoy a Mashatu game drive. Mashatu is famous for its big cat sightings and this is definitely a wonderful opportunity for keen photographers to hopefully capture sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and elephant (additional charge of ($65) and for those who want something more relaxed, you can head out on a guided bush walk before heading back to Two Mashatus for your last night in Africa.

Day 8

Waking up to the dawn chorus, enjoy breakfast, before setting out for a last special ride back to the stables where you will bid a sad farewell to your four-legged companion. There will be time for a quick shower and brunch before boarding your charter flight back to OR Tambo Airport (approx 1,5 hours) Then connect with your flight back home again (we recommend a flight departing after 8 PM to account for any delays) or head off to explore more of Africa!

THE ACCOMMODATION

Camp Davidson:  3 Nights

The camp is made up of canvas tents set on a wooden deck and nestled in the sandstone ridges overlooking the valley. Each tent has comfortable beds and an en-suite bathroom area with the traditional bucket showers. There are jug and basin hand wash facilities and flushing toilets. Camp Davidson is even complete with a small pool in which to cool off after a morning in the saddle.

Savannah Lodge:  1 Night

Savannah Lodge is on a game farm that borders Horizon Lodge/Triple B Ranch. This is a beautiful lodge which offers plenty of game viewing opportunities. There are five guest rooms each with its own en-suite bathroom. The veranda and plunge pool overlooks a watering hole on the plains which is a wonderful place to relax in the afternoon sun. There is also a wonderful lounge area with comfy sofas and a log burning fire for you to relax in during the cooler winter evenings. (If not available, it may be substituted with another lodge on the same reserve)

Tree Camp: 1 night

The camp is located on a raised wooden platform, and all of the tents are in a semi-circle on the decking with the dining area in the centre. They are shaded by a beautiful canopy of the neighbouring woodland. This camp has shared (but wonderfully private and secluded) outdoor shower and separate toilet facilities.

Two Mashatus Camp: 2 Nights

This beautiful camp is built in the shade of a centurion Mashatu tree. The camp is made up of two traditionally built Lala palm rondavels, which make up with dining and lounge areas, and a series of A-frame walk-in tents. These large and spacious tents are situated on teak platforms, with en-suite enviro loos and hot water showers. Each tent has an air of privacy and is positioned to make use of the shade from nearby trees, each come with a small deck area on which to relax during the peaceful afternoons.

QUICK FACTS
South Africa & Botswna
OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)
Runs every Friday to Friday
7 Nights
Group Size: Max. 8 
Intermediate Plus and Advanced
View Gallery
7 Nights: From £1 866pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • The chance to experience not just one, but two of Africa’s fabulous countries
  • Enjoy the unparalleled thrill of riding alongside game 
  • A true bush experience, spending several nights under canvas, in the depths of  African wilderness
  • Being able to experience two very contrasting landscapes
DATES & RATES

Rides run every Friday to Friday. Please enquire for exact dates and availability.

2022 Rates

Low Season: December, January, February
£1 866 per person sharing + £465
return transfers

Mid Season: March, April, June
£2 037 per person sharing + £465
return transfers

High Season: May, July, August, September, October, November
£2 271 per person sharing + £465 return transfers

Included:

  • All accommodation throughout the trip
  • All meals and drinks
  • All activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • 1 Game Drive
  • Expert guiding
  • All horse riding activities

Excluded:

  • International flights
  • Gratuities and any items of a personal nature
  • Shared road transfers & charter flight (£465)
  • Comprehensive travel & medical insurance
  • US$30 conservation fee payable in Botswana
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

The trip was everything I dreamed of and more. All of the staff including the managers, guides, chefs, stable hands and drivers were absolutely fantastic, knowledgeable and just great fun. We saw lots of big game including Elephants, Rhinos, Hippos, Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards throughout the trip. I had two beautifully turned out horses (Magnum and Rodeo) who were brilliantly schooled, forward going and safe. The food was incredible and there was just so much, I think I was full my entire trip and never wanted for anything. If you are in any doubt about the African Explorer adventure, don’t be, just go. My highlight was probably galloping with the Zebras and being joined for lunch by a huge bull elephant. Big thank you to Isabel from African Horse Safaris who made the booking experience very easy and smooth.

Leann GravesSouth Africa and Botswana Combination Horse Safari
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 Horizon are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • For nearly 25 years, our philosophy has entailed managing our horses as a free-roaming herd within large tracts of natural pasture, rather than in stables or paddocks.
  • Horses come in for daily checks, grooming, and feeding
  • Saddles are checked regularly and tack cleaned daily
  • Horses have dedicated rest days and time off when not on safari to roam freely

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

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