Botswana is undoubtedly one of Southern Africa’s finest destinations and therefore offers an extra special place to enjoy a riding safari.
You can choose to ride in the Okavango Delta, where Africa's third-largest river fans across desert sands in a myriad of shimmering waterways and lagoons, or in eastern Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve, known as the 'Land of Giants' for its large population of elephant, as well as giraffe, eland, lion, ostrich, the huge Kori Bustard and massive Baobab trees. These very different areas offer a range of providers whose riding safaris are professionally run, located in truly wild country, have good horses and excellent guides.
Non-riding members of your party are now well-catered for too, allowing you to have a guilt free day in the saddle, in the knowledge that they will be having an equally exciting time! DD Kingscote, Travel Africa's Founder & MD, being an experienced rider herself, is perfectly placed to give good, sound advice on riding safaris and excursions and to recommend suitable riding for you, your family or companions. DD can also suggest riding safaris that will best fit in with your holiday itinerary.
Ideal for Experienced & Novice Riders | Ideal for Families
Ride Botswana is ideal for ALL riding abilities and also offers a full range of other safari experiences. The different safari ride options are available individually or can be combined for a tailor-made safari experience. All of the safaris are guided by David Foot who has over 25 years of experience leading safaris throughout southern and central Africa. And if horses are not your thing, then he is just as happy to show you the country by vehicle or more especially on an adventurous foot safari or an adrenalin packed canoe safari along the Selinda Spillway.
Thamalakane River Ride - Based from the intimate, luxurious tented Royal Tree Lodge within a private wildlife reserve, the Thamalakane River Ride is delightful not only for competent riders, but also for those with little or no riding experience, and is a firm favourite with families.
Kalahari Ride - In the heart of Botswana, lies the captivating Makgadikgadi, the largest network of salt pans in the world. In this extraordinary place there is riding for everyone. For the experienced rider the five night safaris are a must. For the less experienced we recommend daily camp based riding (from Jack’s, San or Camp Kalahari).
Saddle & Paddle Safari - This 9 night safari with David Foot is about as adventurous as it gets in Botswana. A minimal time is spent in a safari vehicle but instead you explore some of the wilder areas of Botswana by canoe, on foot and on horseback. You must be a competent horse rider to join in the fun! The safari begins with a 5 day/4 night canoe trail along the Selinda Spillway (one of Botswana's top wildlife areas) followed by 5 nights on horseback in the Makgadikgadi Pans.
This Delta Ride is unlike any other. The emphasis is on the experience, the loveliness of the Okavango, and top- level guiding. Rather than a permanent riding camp, a lightweight mobile camp is transported by a flotilla of mekoros (traditional dugout canoes) poled by members of the local community, who live on the fringes of the Delta and know it intimately. The riding and the horses are unsurpassed, the wildlife is astonishing and the food (cooked over a log fire) is fabulous.
There is no set itinerary, with the location of the camp dependent on water levels, wildlife movements and the length of the safari (the longer the safari the more likely the camp is to move). However every location is exquisite, there being a plentiful choice of shady tree-lined islands.
A typical day starts with an early wake-up call and a light breakfast around the camp fire as dawn breaks. The morning is spent on horseback, following ancient elephant trails, searching for a variety of wildlife, enjoying the prolific birdlife, and cantering through the recently flooded plains.
Please contact us if you would like more information on any of the above riding options.
Limpopo Horse Safaris offer the experience of a lifetime. They operate in The Tuli Block area of Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve which borders South Africa and the great Limpopo River. This is an area with a great diversity of landscape, with magnificent views and ancient geological formations. Massive Baobab trees, striking rocky 'kopjes' and sandstone outcrops, and belts of thick thorn scrub and tall mashatu and fever trees that line the Limpopo all go to creating to this interesting landscape so suited to riding through.
A multitude of wildlife species are found here including cheetah, lion prides and large elephant herds. The river courses are lined with huge riverine trees which provide shade for giraffe, zebra, eland, impala, and wildebeest. A lot of the riding takes place along the banks of the famous Limpopo River and during the dry season along the dry river bed, expanded canters take place.
There is also wide variety of activities for those who prefer not to ride or whose ability will not allow them to ride safely in the Tuli Block. Non-Rider activities include Game Drives, Ivory Drives or Predator Drives (with resident researchers in the area) and bush walks & cycling safaris offered by Mashatu Game Reserve.
For Experienced Riders | Alternative Activities are Ideal for Families
RAW (Ride & Walk) Botswana offers exclusive, personalised Riding and Walking Safaris based in the remote and beautiful Selinda Reserve in Northern Botswana.
Safaris are camp based (with a seasonal fly camping option) at the beautiful Motswiri Camp, which was completely renovated in 2010, and incorporates the latest in comfort and environmental standards. Camp is staffed by a team with more than 50 years' experience of hosting low impact safaris in Botswana.
There are no set departures and arrangements are very flexible, however we recommend a minimum of 3 nights and suggest that the optimum stay is either 5 or 7 nights to include a night out at the fly camp. Up to six hours per day are spent in the saddle - riding fitness is a distinct bonus! You must be able to rise to the trot, and control your horse at all speeds.
The reserve is unusual in its clear definition between floodplains and permanently dry areas, making it uniquely suited to both riding and walking safaris. Whether you wish to spend your whole safari on a horse or on foot, or to mix the two, RAW Botswana offers a unique experience in a majestic part of the country.
For Experienced Riders
Okavango Horse Safaris are highly personalised safaris run by Barney and PJ Bestelink in OHS’s own private concession of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Western region of the Okavango Delta. This is an extremely professional establishment with many years of experience and a personal touch, offering the best in riding safaris today.
The Okavango Delta is made up of palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests and clear streams; the flood plains are often full and the horses wade through from island to island as you search for the big Game that enjoys this watery heaven. Accommodation is in a combination of three camps depending on water levels and time of year and varies from luxury safari tents, exciting fly camping or tree houses on stilts with superb views.
The riding is among all of the big five and covers many different forms of terrain. The quality and fitness of the horses has to be high so the riding is only open to competent riders with some experience. 5, 7 and 10 day safaris are on offer with groups of up to 8 guests at a time. Riders spend between 4-6 hours in the saddle a day, while afternoons can be spent at leisure, swimming, taking game drives or bird walks.
For Experienced Riders
Recently awarded The Good Safari Guide's 'Best Riding Safari', African Horseback Safaris cater for experienced riders only. Macatoo camp is set within a 500,000 acre private concession on the western side of the Okavango Delta. The riding terrain is wonderfully varied and almost always dotted with game.
Sometimes whilst riding one is quietly stalking big game or admiring the birdlife, sometimes galloping with giraffe and lechwe through water meadows and marvelling in the thrill of riding good horses in superb surroundings." - DD Kingscote
Typically safaris are 5, 7 and 10 nights, enabling one to experience the Okavango in depth, staying in a comfortable permanent tented camp or out at the mobile fly-camp (weather permitting.) Riders spend 4 to 6-hours in the saddle each day in small groups of no more than 7 and riders must be able to keep up with the group, capable of riding at all paces; rising to the trot and controlling your horse at the canter.