Bush and Lodge Riding Safari
An incredible horse-riding safari out in the wilderness of Botswana. Ride through this magnificent scenery that is home to elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. Cover around 120 miles by the end of the week, staying in comfortable lodges and a few nights under the stars. Accompanied by experienced rider guides. Itinerary departs on a Sunday. Riders need to be of an experienced standard and there is a maximum of eight guests. Non-riders welcome as there are plenty of activities, game-drives and adventures to be had.
from £3,400 per person
Day 1 - London - Johannesburg - Limpopo Valley
Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to the stables where you will get acquainted with the horse you will be riding for the week. After a light lunch, go on a short introductory ride to make sure that you and your horse are well suited and then ride out to camp, where supper will be served and you will spend the night.
Day 2 -
The day begins at sunrise with tea or coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount up and head off from the dense woodland along the Limpopo River toward the shallow rocky hills that mark the edges of the great river valley. Your destination for night two is Kanda camp, a rustic series of cabins atop the steep banks of the Majala River. Here in the heart of the Mashatu area the game is plentiful. The Tuli area is home to one of the largest herds of free roaming elephant south of the Zambezi and you are almost guaranteed of great viewing of these incredible creatures. After lunch and a siesta you will take a gentle ride in the cool of the afternoon to explore the area. Dinner is prepared over an open fire and enjoyed in the thatched lapa overlooking the river.
Day 3 -
An early wake up call heralds a new day and breakfast is served around the log fire pit. Today, your journey takes you through the heart of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo valley. Giant Baobab trees silently surveying the land as they have for centuries, ancient elephant trails stamped into the soil and wonderfully long canters around the open scrub. This ride brings you to the banks of the Motloutse River and amongst dense old Mashatu trees a Leadwood Boma. The open-air traditional African enclosure gives perfect security to nights spent under the stars and a unique experience of the African bush up close and personal. The afternoon activity on day three is a guided walk to the “Amphitheatre,” an ancient and awesome rock formation. Your walk concludes with traditional sundowners looking out over the Motloutse River. Back at the boma dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent in the comfort of your bed set within the boma but with a ceiling provided by the southern skies, a blanket of stars to send you to sleep, a truly unique experience and just about as far away as you can get from city life and the modern world.
Day 4 -
Today, there is a choice of either a morning or afternoon ride exploring the amazing sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Some of the oldest civilisations in southern Africa had their settlements in this valley, their kings safely nestled in royal kraals at the tops of these flat topped hills. The Mapungubwe topography is ancient and timeless, and combined with great wildlife sightings, it is certainly an incredible riding experience. The group may prefer a long morning ride and an afternoon excursion to the nearby village of Lentswe Le Moriti and the basket weavers followed by a trip to the Mmamagwa hills. At the end of a short easy climb and beneath a beautiful Baobab you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Tuli area with South Africa to the south, Zimbabwe to the north and Botswana all around you, this is a sundowner drink you will remember for many years to come.
Day 5 -
An early rise and hearty breakfast is a good start for the journey winding your way through the Mopane bush, with the chance of sighting elephant, you will make your way back to the center of the reserve where a night of absolute luxury awaits at Mashatu Main Camp. For the client who is accustomed to luxury, this camp will meet every expectation. The suites lie along the camp’s perimeter and are designed to allow absolute privacy and a communion with the bush and its inhabitants. An afternoon of a thrilling game-drive will take you deep into the reserve in search of the big cats the area is renowned for including leopard, cheetah and lion.
Day 6 -
Todays riding promises great game viewing from horseback as you explore the Pitsane river valley. The Pitsane has a spring high in the hills which provides regular drinking holes along its course to draw thirsty herds of game. An area where history has it there was a skirmish during the Boer war and Bryce’s store, an old supply post was destroyed. There was once a stage coach line called Zeederbergs that ran from the cities of the Transvaal in South Africa to the newly forged settlements of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Those coaches crossed the broad Limpopo and followed the Pitsane River crossing into Zimbabwe at the next night’s camp, at the Mashatu Tented Camp. That afternoon ride to a year-round waterhole where there is a good chance of seeing elephants who often come for their afternoon bathing.
Day 7 -
The ride today meanders its way through the beautiful plains between the Mojali and Pitsane Rivers. Abundant with game and with spectacular views into the Limpopo River valley, work your way back to base camp, Two Mashatus. With the feel of a returning traveler you will be greeted with a cool drink around the pool and treated to a homecoming lunch in the Lala palm lapa. That afternoon ride to one of the nearby koppies for a pre sundown drink.
Day 8 - Limpopo Valley - Johannesburg - London
Your last ride in the Limpopo valley is a great opportunity to snap one last picture of elephants and a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides. Arriving back at the stables with plenty time to enjoy a hot shower and a tasty brunch you get to say farewells to safari companions and newfound friends, it’s time for your onward journey. Take a light aircraft back to Johannesburg where you connect with the direct flight to London.
- Internal flights
- Full board
- Private guide
- Game drives
- International flights
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance