Best of Botswana

Please note that the following itinerary is an example. The day to day riding will be dependent on game movements and local conditions.

Day One

You will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and transferred by road to Limpopo (a journey of c. 6 hours). If arranging your own flights you should arrive in Johannesburg by 08.00 at the latest.

On arrival at the border you will be met by a representative from Limpopo Horse Safaris, who will take you to the stables, where you have a late lunch in the thatched dining room. After lunch it's time to head off to the stables to meet your horse. You will embark on a short introductory ride to make sure that you and your horse are well suited. After a refreshing drink at the stables, head back to camp for a warm shower and a delicious dinner served in the Llala palm dining room of the Two Mashatus camp.

Day Two

The day begins at sunrise with tea/coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount up and head off in a north-westerly direction for Jwala Camp on the banks of the Jwala River. Six to seven hours are spent in the saddle enjoying the abundance of game and the magnificent scenery synonymous with the Land of the Giants. After arriving at Jwala Camp, lunch is the order of the day followed by a guided afternoon walk, examining the bush around you in detail. Enjoy dinner, prepared over an open fire before retiring to your spacious tent.

Day Three

An early wake-up call heralds a new day. Tea or coffee and a delicious light breakfast, is served around the log fire. Test the amazingly sure-footed Boerperds as you cross over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails and enjoy long sustained canters to make up for the lost time traversing the ridge. After six to seven hours of riding, arrive at Kgotla Camp for a late lunch. This 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. The open-air traditional African enclosure is made of leadwood logs in the shade of a century old Mashatu tree. In the afternoon there is the opportunity to visit the local village to buy hand-crafted Llala palm curios, and view Bushmen paintings before enjoying a sundowner looking out over the Motloutse River. Back at the Kgotla, have dinner around a large log fire after which the night is spent sleeping under the stars.

Day Four

Spend another night at Kgotla Camp, enjoying a full day exploring the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon's Wall. Ancient civilizations harboured their wealth among these hills where two mighty rivers, the Limpopo and the Motloutse, meet. Today's riding will be about four to five hours, leaving time in the afternoon to head to the archaeologically rich Mmamagwa hills where a 360 degree view of the reserve can be enjoyed as well as another beautiful African sunset.

Day Five

Another early rise and breakfast around the log fire will set the morning off to a good start. Today you wind your way through the mopane bush before reaching the more open plains. This will probably be your longest day of riding of about seven hours. On arrival at Camp you will be welcomed with a well-deserved drink and a refreshing lunch. Tonight is your opportunity to explore Mashatu from a game drive vehicle and try to locate the elusive leopard, wild dog, cheetah and lion the area is well known for.

Day Six

Today is your last day in the Tuli Block. After a final early morning tea/coffee and breakfast snack over the open fire, the morning is spent riding along the Limpopo River, back to the stables. This is a shorter ride of about two hours, allowing you to get back to the stables in time to enjoy a hearty brunch and to get ready for your light aircraft transfer to the magical Okavango Delta. You will most likely fly in a 14 seater "caravan" for this fascinating journey of about 4 hours across the heart of Botswana and into the Delta.

On arrival at the airstrip, it is a short game drive or (depending on the time of year) an exciting boat ride to Macatoo camp which overlooks a seasonal flood plain lagoon. After settling into your tent there should be time for tea, followed by a short evening ride where you can get to know your new horse. Return to camp for a hot shower and candle-lit safari dinner.

Day Seven

Wake up with a cup of tea or coffee in bed, followed by a light breakfast of homemade toast and muesli, before your morning's ride. Depending on the season this may involve some galloping, swimming through the flood waters or pushing-on through seas of tall grass following giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant or buffalo. Return to camp for an open air lunch with the guides. The evening ride is deliberately slower-paced and it's a good opportunity to ask questions and take photographs. Leopard sightings are not infrequent, the bird-life is some of the best in the world and towards sunset there is often elephant or hippo interaction to observe. A sundowner can be enjoyed out in the bush before riding back to camp to freshen up before dinner.

Day Eight

Wake up with freshly-brewed coffee or tea then either ride out again (perhaps to find the rare semi-aquatic antelope, the red lechwe), or join a guided walk, game drive or perhaps do a spot of fishing for bream from the boat. Riders and those choosing non-riding activities can meet up for a delicious champagne breakfast under one of the large baobab trees. In the afternoon, there is the opportunity to relax and either swim in the pool, read a book or organise your photos. Homemade tea and cake is followed by a sunset ride, exploring the lower flood plains where elephant often gather at a pool. As dusk closes in, it is fascinating to watch them interact in the wild, and being on horseback and being on horseback brings you that much closer.

Day Nine

Today, ride through different terrain, making your way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. You may encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mophane woodlands. The pace increases as you break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons. Return to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure, or the possibility of hiring a helicopter for an hour to gain access to remote and otherwise totally inaccessible parts of the delta. Finish off the day with a night drive by spotlight, where the resident clan of hyena are often spotted. Bushbabies may be seen leaping from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees. If lucky, the spotlight will pick up the glint of a leopard's sultry stare.

Day Ten

This morning's ride takes you deeper into the heart of the delta, along some of the high palm islands which offer great sweeping views of the Delta plains. After tea enjoy a slower ride to the magical tree house where you will have the option to spend the night, sleeping high up in the tree tops under the stars. To be out in the wilderness so freely in the Okavango bush like this is a wonderful experience and one that few people experience.

Day Eleven

If you have stayed at the tree house, you return to Macatoo for breakfast and your final morning ride. Enjoy splashing through water on the vast open plains, home to blue wildebeeste and Burchell's zebra. The riding may be fast as you approach deep reedy areas full of bird life including open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets, egyptian geese and many more. Return to Macatoo along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees. Once back, there will be time to pack and say goodbye before being driven to the airstrip with a picnic lunch.