Tuli Trail – Ride & Cycle Botswana

7 nights: From GBP £2100

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The Tuli Trail is a great option for non-riders to join an epic adventure into the bush!

This Tuli Safari is a true African adventure. Discover the best of Botswana from the saddle, whether it’s horse or bike, it’s sure to be an exciting ride.

Whether you prefer being on horseback or on a bike, enjoy riding through Tuli’s truly wild landscapes, largely untouched by man. The varied terrain makes excellent going for the horses as well as challenging fun for the cyclists. This is a progressive trail with riders and cyclists sharing meals and accommodations in incredible settings. Enjoy comfortable glamping plus a dreamy treehouse sleepout; true African wilderness at its best. 

Tuli is often known as “The Land of Giants” for its baobab studded plains and large herds of elephant. View these incredible “Trees of Life” and a variety of wildlife species from the saddle. This area is home to lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, a multitude of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe, as well as over 350 species of birds.

Combining both bush camping and permanent tented camps, this 7 night mobile horse and bike safari allows you to soak up the wonderful luxuries of ‘glamping’ while experiencing the true African wilderness. Weather permitting, take the exciting opportunity to sleep outside under the star studded African sky in the Kgotla Boma, an unforgettable experience.

This epic journey, with its brilliant game viewing opportunities, varied and exciting scenery, wonderful accommodation, fabulous sunrises and sunsets, and of course exceptional riding and cycling, covers approximately 120 miles over the course of the week and can be scheduled any time of the year.

QUICK FACTS
Tuli Block, Botswana
Johannesburg International Airport
Open All Year – Sunday Departures 
7 nights
Group Size: Max. 10
Intermediate Plus & Advanced Riders
Moderate Level 2/3 Cyclists
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Experience luxury Africa as well as true bush experiences, including sleeping out under the stars
  • Enjoy the unparalleled thrill of riding and cycling alongside game and becoming part of the herd
  • Indulge in the true joy of riding, feeling the freedom of riding through vast open country without boundaries
  • Feel a sense of achievement as you complete each ride, with at least 3 different base camps
THE DESTINATION

The Tuli Block, or ‘Land of Giants’, is located on Botswana’s eastern border, between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The area is a very protected nature reserve known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve.

Famous for its dramatic geographical and geological features, here you’ll find Solomon’s Wall by the Motloutse River, and the enchanting rock paintings left by the San Bushmen in the Tswapong and Lepokole Hills.

Tuli is also known for its rich wildlife including numerous big cats, large herds of elephant, a multitude of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe, as well as over 350 species of birds.

DATES & RATES

Open all year round, departing every Sunday to Sunday. Please enquire for the exact dates and availability.

 

HORSE RIDERS:

Low Season: December, January, February 2022
GBP £2450 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

Mid Season: March, April and June 2022
GBP £2905 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

High Season: May, July, August, September, October, November 2022
GBP £3437 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

 

CYCLISTS:

Low Season: December, January, February 2022
GBP £2100 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

Mid Season: March, April and June 2022
GBP £2250 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

High Season: May, July, August, September, October, November 2022
GBP £3080 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

Includes

  • All accommodation
  • All meals and drinks
  • Personal and expert guides
  • 1 game drive and bush walks
  • All horse riding activities on well trained and responsive horses
  • All cycling activities on well-maintained mountain bikes

Excludes

  • International flights & visas
  • Transfer by air from Johannesburg to Limpopo: £700 return
  • $70 Conservation Levy paid upon arrival which goes towards anti-poaching and protecting the reserve
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Comprehensive travel & medical insurance
  • Additional game drives and activities not mentioned
YOUR 8-DAY ITINERARY

** This itinerary is subject to change – it is an example and not an exact timetable. The Tented-Camps chosen route may vary from the below example, as if there has been heavy rains recently or unusually hot days, the Kgotla boma will be swapped out for another camp.
** Cyclists and riders follow different trails on the same routes. They’ll meet up for snacks, lunches and sundowners during the day, and all guests share the same accommodation throughout the journey.

DAY 1: TWO MASHATU CAMP

Arrive in Johannesburg in the early morning. You’ll meet the transfer company at the information desk and be escorted to check-in for your light air charter flight to an airstrip in the Tuli Block. Then the adventure begins with a short game drive to the reception area overlooking the Limpopo river, in time for a light lunch. Enjoy an introductory ride to check you are suited to your horse or get to know your bike. This will be your first opportunity to experience the beauty of the Mashatu Game Reserve and view the wildlife from the saddle. Mashatu Game Reserve is home to the largest herd of wild free-roaming elephants on private land in Africa, and, although not a guarantee, it is almost assured that there will be great viewing of these incredible creatures. As evening falls at Two Mashatu Camp, relax in the cool of the thatched rondavel lounge before enjoying your first dinner around the camp fire.

DAY 2: TREE CAMP

Sunrise, the dawn chorus and tea or coffee which is brought to your tent, sounds the start of your first day. After breakfast, it’s time to mount up and depart from the dense woodland that hugs the Limpopo River, and head towards the rocky hills that delineate the edges of the great river valley. As the trails traverse the heartland of Mashatu, you will encounter plentiful game: plains game, many giraffe and herds of elephants. Having meandered across the hills with vast views back towards South Africa, the ride arrives at Tree Camp in time for lunch.
Overlooking the Majale river, it is possible to watch the wildlife from above, coming down to drink at the river. That afternoon it’s your choice whether you want to ride/cycle or enjoy your first bush walk exploring the area along the West of the Matabole River returning to Tree Camp for sundowners and dinner.

DAY 3: KGOTLA

The safari passes through the centre of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo Valley. Giant Baobab trees continue to scatter the landscape as they have for centuries and ancient elephant trails make for wonderful tracks for long canters or faster cycles through open bush veld. Discover the old Leadwood ‘Kgotla’ (or enclosure used for the traditional law court of a Botswana village). This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night.
In the afternoon, we search for the area’s resident lions on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s nighttime melody to sing you to sleep; a veraciously rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.

DAY 4: KGOTLA PART TWO

The sandstone formations, including the famed Solomon’s Wall, one of the numerous dolorite dykes in the area, are explored on horseback. Some of the oldest civilizations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless and combined with marvellous wildlife sightings, it makes for an incredible riding experience.
This afternoon, enjoy a short drive to the Mmamagwa Hills. For the most visually stunning and ethereal sundowner, we visit the Mmamagwa Hills. A short climb up the sandstone ridge brings us to the site of the Mmamagwa Ruins. To date, these ruins have not been excavated and have been left alone. It is conceivable that similar treasures to those found at Mapungubwe (for example the golden rhino) could be buried here. After a short climb, enjoy sundowners beneath a beautiful baobab tree with a breath-taking view of the area – you may even see as far as South Africa or Zimbabwe!

DAY 5: TREE CAMP

Wind up Elephant Valley along ancient trails stamped into the soil by centuries of migrating elephants, before heading north towards the upper reaches of the Majale River. This area is peppered with enormous baobab trees and is one of the more remote areas of the reserve. After an exhilarating ride through this timeless countryside, enjoy a relaxing lunch at Tree Camp. An afternoon ride, cycle or, subject to availability, a game drive with Mashatu Main Camp vehicles may be possible to enjoy the central area of the reserve (additional cost $75pp). This is a great chance to photograph big cats and hyena up close! Fall asleep in the heart of the tree house.

DAY 6: TWO MASHATU CAMP

The trail meanders its way through the beautiful plains between the Majale and Pitsane rivers, with abundant game and spectacular views into the Limpopo River Valley. En-route, explore the remains of an old Boer War fort on a rocky outcrop, followed by a ride down into the cooler wetland area where plentiful game enjoy the lush grasses. In the summer months, rain and water-dependent, it can be possible to enjoy cantering through the shallows of the Limpopo River. There is time to relax in camp, before either an afternoon ride or bush walk for your last African sundowner.

DAY 7: TWO MASHATU CAMP

The trail meanders its way through the beautiful plains between the Majale and Pitsane rivers, with abundant game and spectacular views into the Limpopo River Valley. En route, explore the remains of an old Boer War fort on a rocky outcrop, followed by a ride down into the cooler wetland area where plentiful game enjoy the lush grasses. In the summer months, rain and water-dependent, it can be possible to enjoy cantering through the shallows of the Limpopo River. There is time to relax in camp, before either an afternoon ride or bush walk for your last African sundowner.

DAY 8: DAY OF DEPARTURE

The last ride and cycle in the Limpopo Valley is a great opportunity to take one last picture of elephants and enjoy a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides. Arriving back at the stables and reception mid-morning, there is plenty of time for a hot shower and a tasty brunch, before saying farewell to safari companions, newfound friends and Horizon Horseback Mashatu. You will have a flight back to Lanseria and then be transported to OR Tambo International Airport for your flight home or onward journey.

THE ACCOMMODATION

An incredible combination of tented camps, boma sleepouts and treetop “glamping”. Each camp has its own charm and it is often difficult to choose your favourite place to sleep under the stars. Cyclists & Riders share accommodation (Max 10)

Two Mashatus Camp This beautiful camp is gently nestled in the shade of a Mashatu tree. Two traditionally built Lala palm rondavels serve as dining area and lounge. Accommodation is in large A frame tents pitched on teak platforms, with en-suite bathrooms. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree with a small deck area on which to relax during the afternoons. Two Mashatu also has a small swimming pool under a Mashatu tree for guests to enjoy.

The Kgotla Camp This camp is an old tribal court from a nearby community that was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. It is an open-air traditional African enclosure made up of leadwood logs. The highlight of this camp to guests is sleeping in the open under the stars and listening to the resonance of an Africa evening.

The Tree Camp Nestled in the bough of a giant Mashatu tree and two ancient Leadwood trees, the deck, 4 metres off the ground, will be your retreat for the night. Two guests each share an airy and cool sleeping pod. Along a short walkway, shared showers and toilets are under the Leadwood trees. The spacious dining and lounge area flow from the sleeping pods and overlook the Majale River.

QUICK FACTS
Tuli Block, Botswana
Johannesburg International Airport
Open All Year – Sunday Departures
7 nights
Group Size: Max. 10
Intermediate Plus & Advanced Riders
Moderate Level 2/3 Cyclists
View Gallery
7 nights: From GBP £2100 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Experience luxury Africa as well as true bush experiences, including sleeping out under the stars
  • Enjoy the unparalleled thrill of riding and cycling alongside game and becoming part of the herd
  • Indulge in the true joy of riding, feeling the freedom of riding through vast open country without boundaries
  • Feel a sense of achievement as you complete each ride, with at least 3 different base camps
  • Perfect trail for non-riding partners of family members who want to experience the trill of a safari from the saddle.
DATES & RATES

Open all year round, departing every Sunday to Sunday. Please enquire for the exact dates and availability.

 

HORSE RIDERS:

Low Season: December, January, February 2022
GBP £2450 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

Mid Season: March, April and June 2022
GBP £2905 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

High Season: May, July, August, September, October, November 2022
GBP £3437 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

 

CYCLISTS:

Low Season: December, January, February 2022
GBP £2100 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

Mid Season: March, April and June 2022
GBP £2250 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

High Season: May, July, August, September, October, November 2022
GBP £3080 per person sharing + GBP £780 flight transfers from Johannesburg

Includes

  • All accommodation
  • All meals and drinks
  • Personal and expert guides
  • 1 game drive and bush walks
  • All horse riding activities on well trained and responsive horses
  • All cycling activities on well-maintained mountain bikes

Excludes

  • International flights & visas
  • Transfer by air from Johannesburg to Limpopo: £700 return
  • $70 Conservation Levy paid upon arrival which goes towards anti-poaching and protecting the reserve
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Comprehensive travel & medical insurance
  • Additional game drives and activities not mentioned
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

It has been always a dream to come to Africa, and when we have figured out that we can do an active vacation with riding and biking, we immediately knew that this is something we would love to do, as this gives such a unique perspective and an extra spice to the trip. Marcus was really great with his bike, and the guides were really professional and experienced. I have to admit physically the cycle part was much more challenging than riding in my opinion, so I felt a bit bad as the trip has been my idea. We loved the Tree Camp. That is such a unique experience I have never seen before. But the other two camps, The Kgotla, and The Two Mashatus has been really great as well! It has been really fascinating to experience how organized everything have been. The team around us did such a great job to look after us!

Kriszti and MarcuTuli Safari Cycle and Ride, 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 Horizon Horseback 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.
    • When not ridden, the horses are free-roaming in large paddocks during the day. 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.

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