South Africa & Botswana African Explorer

7 nights: From USD $GBP £2117EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing


Exploring 2 incredible countries on horseback in one week long adventure, this ride offers a huge variety of wildlife and scenery from the saddle.

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.


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



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

2024 RATES


Low Season: January & February 2024

USD $GBP £2117EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + USD $GBP £520EUR €ZAR RAUD $ transfers

Mid-season: March & April, December 2024

USD $GBP £2424EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + USD $GBP £520EUR €ZAR RAUD $ transfers

High Season: May, June, July, August, September, October & November 2024

USD $GBP £2862EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + USD $GBP £520EUR €ZAR RAUD $ transfers

2025 RATES


Low Season: January & 05 - 12 December 2025

USD $GBP £2513EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + USD $GBP £560EUR €ZAR RAUD $ transfers

High Season: February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November & 01 - 04 December 2025

USD $GBP £3206EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing + USD $GBP £560EUR €ZAR RAUD $ transfers


TRANSFERS (Subject to change)

Road Transfers + Light Air Charter Flights between Johannesburg, Horizon & Limpopo Valley Airstrip

2024: USD $GBP £520EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person

2025: USD $GBP £560EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person

CONSERVATION LEVY (Subject to change)

USD $60GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ conservation levy payable upon your arrival in Botswana



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


  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Transfers
  • Conservation Fee in Botswana
  • Game drive when in Botswana – Subject to availability (Approx, USD $GBP £85EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp)
  • Gratuities for camp staff & guides
  • Items of a personal nature


Location: South Africa & Botswana
Airport: OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport
Month: Runs every Friday to Friday
Duration: 7 Nights
Group Size: Max 8
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus / Advanced
Weight Limit: 85kg / 188lbs
Accommodation: Tented Camp / Sleepout
Solo Traveller Friendly: Yes. No single supplement if happy to share


  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
7 nights: From USD $GBP £2117EUR €ZAR RAUD $ pp sharing


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



  • 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


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


** 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.


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 overlooking the vastness of the Waterberg plateau.

In the afternoon, get introduced to your safari team and guides, both two and four-legged. After a safety briefing, the team will ensure that you are matched to a horse that suits your ability and experience.

Horizon takes great care to match horse to rider based on a guest’s riding experience and professed ability.  The horses are predominantly boerperds, together with a mixture of warmbloods, Appaloosas and Friesians.  They are all well schooled, forward going but calm horses.  While the safari is not an endurance test, it does involve long hours in the saddle. With the possibility of close encounters with elephant and the big cats in Botswana, riders need to be able to gently and confidently control their mounts.

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.


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. The ride this morning is generally quite fast.  The route follows the centre of an open valley which is home to species such as sable, reedbuck, red hartebeest, waterbuck and impala.  The sandy tracks make for excellent going, and the route crosses open grassland and weaves through dense woodland.  After two hours in the saddle the ride pauses at a picturesque dam where riders are given the chance to have a break, a snack and experience the exhilaration of swimming on horseback.

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.

At this time of day there is often much activity on the plains, with the herds mingling in the soft sunlight and different groups coming and going as they prepare for the night.  It is a truly magical experience to be able to ride so close to these wild animals, which have become completely relaxed in the presence of the horses. Back to Camp Davidson for sundowners and dinner under the stars.


Today’s route covers the north eastern areas of the reserve, descending from the camp to cross a stream and open plain and then tracks through untouched bush to the upper reaches of Sunset Lake.  This lake is a favourite haunt of the hippo on the reserve and home to crocodile, otter, fish eagle and other waterfowl, such as the beautiful African jacana.  Guests ride along the water’s edge and must be constantly on the lookout for the hippo.  These animals, while having a reputation for being some of the most dangerous in Africa, are not a threat during the day but will often honk and blow as they observe the riders go by.  The route offers an opportunity for exciting splashy canters, which the likes of Esme and Laura Collett loved doing.  Having left the lake, riders cross open plains with some quick riding back towards Camp Davidson.


An early start is needed for the long ride from Camp Davidson to either Savannah Lodge in the far south west of the reserve, or Seringa Lodge in the south east.  The first part of the route covers country that riders will now be somewhat familiar with, but soon enters new terrain.  In places the bush is thick but after a while the scenery opens up to grasslands with sweeping views to the south and west.  Riding through this landscape gives riders a sense of the vastness of the African plains.  The area boasts a very high concentration of game with herds of over 300 blesbuck, or 80 eland, often sighted.  Other species which are home to the plains include red hartebeest, tsessebe and ostrich.  There are plentiful zebra, wildebeest, impala and giraffe, and smaller groups of sable, roan and waterbuck.  The final stretch to Savannah Lodge is along a wooded stream where kudu and bushbuck are likely to be seen.

After a relaxing time around the pool and within the sophisticated lodges, it is time to ride to the southern most areas of the reserve in search of Cape buffalo.  These are members of Africa’s famous “big five” and deserve their formidable reputation.  Riders therefore need to be alert and responsive to the guides’ instructions.  This area is known for its spectacular sunsets as the sun sets over the distant headlands of the Waterberg escarpment – a fitting end to an eventful and memorable day in the African wilderness.


After an early wake-up call, you’ll depart from the lodge once more. The route taken is different from that taken on the outward leg, turning this part of the safari into an exciting journey passing through diverse landscapes and ecosystems.  Game species typically prefer different habitats, with nyala and bushbuck for instance occupying dense forest-like sections of the reserve while blesbuck and hartebeest stick to the open plains, and waterbuck and reedbuck, unsurprisingly, are normally seen close to streams and other waterways.  It’s a fast ride as you have a long day ahead.

Then it’s time to head for Botswana (approximately 5/6 hour drive)  Crossing the Limpopo River into the Tuli block, you will arrive at the stables in time for a light 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 Two Mashatus where you‘ll spend your first night in Botswana.

The route crosses close to a large wetland area which acts as a magnet for game and there is even a chance to come across bat eared fox, black backed jackal and spotted hyena.  It then crosses the Majali River close to its confluence with the Limpopo, a favourite haunt of leopards and a resident pride of lion.


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 back at Two Mashatus Camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon, set off on horseback or enjoy a walk in the area with sundowners on the Mmagwa hills.


Following breakfast at dawn, riders set off first along the Majali and then the Mataboli rivers in a north western arc towards the beautifully appointed Tree Camp. The route typically yields rich encounters with elephant, waterbuck, giraffe, impala, wildebeest and zebra.  Signs of the many predators that make these rich riverine environments their home are bountiful, and chance encounters possible.  The ride typically takes between four and five hours, and for riders the sense of adventure is palpable.

Tree Camp will be reached in time for a refreshing shower and lunch.  After a welcome rest in the comfort of the camp, nestled in the cooling shade of the majestic Mashatu Tree, a hearty tea will be served.  This is followed by a guided bush walk up the Majali River in search of crocodile and other game.  Kudu, warthog, klipspringer and eland are all present in the area around the camp, as are elephant, lion and hyena.  Waterfowl fly low past the camp and birdsong abounds.  This is a truly beautiful place and it is impossible not to immerse oneself in nature and experience the exceptional qualities of Africa’s wilderness areas.

An alternative to the bush walk is a game drive with Mashatu Game Reserve, (subject to availability).  The probability of encountering lion and leopard on such a drive is very high, given the guides’ intimate knowledge of the big cats’ ranges and habits.


Waking in Tree Camp is a magical experience.  One feels fully immersed in nature, surrounded by birdsong, and alive to the new day as the early morning light filters through the majestic tree’s leaves.  After a quick breakfast, riders set off on the final ride of the safari.  This ride offers sweeping views to the east and south, bathed in early morning light, as it traverses along the edge of a ridge near the centre of the reserve.  The path then descends to a game rich area along the Majali River.  The deep river pools are the favourite haunt of baboon and impala.  Sooner or later the great herds of elephant come past for their daily drink, to play in the water and enjoy a dust bath.

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 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 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).


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.


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.


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.

Horse riding at Horizon Horseback


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:

  • The string of horses are as well looked after as our guests. Each horse is recognized and appreciated for his unique ability and personality and every effort is made to match him with the most suitable rider
  • 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.
  • They come in twice a day for grooming, checks and feeding, and spend the night in a large secure paddock or stable
  • Tack is checked regularly and cleaned daily
  • The horses get varied training, including jumping, polo-crosse, dressage and western games to keep them fit and responsive
  • Horses have dedicated rest days and are on holiday for a few months each year

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


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

Pack your bags for your adventure!

Get addicted to Africa and use your 5% loyalty discount to book the next one