Okavango Delta, BotswanaGo Back
GLOBETROTTING IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA
Riding in the Okavango Delta may be considered the Holy Grail of horse riding safaris around the world. It’s spoken amongst hunting circles in England, race horse trainers in Ireland, polo players in Australia and endurance riders in America that riding in the delta is an out of this skin experience. It has the perfect blend of well-oiled steads, a Garden of Eden of animalia, luxurious camps, speed that will turn your knuckles white, oodles of water for horse swimming and a smidgen of adrenalin.
Each winter (May – August), waters from the Cubango and Cuito Rivers hundreds of kilometres away in Angola combine with local rainfall to create a floodplain. Ten thousand years ago this whole area was a vast lake, but now the waters peter out in the Kalahari Desert further south.
The Okavango is perhaps Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness. The Okavango Delta has been described as a water meadow. Palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests and clear streams. Highest water is normally between May to September. Many of the flood plains are full at this time and the horses wade through from island to island. The going is normally quite good and firm along the edges of the islands allowing the ride to move on at a trot and canter.
Horses used on these safaris are full and part Thoroughbred, Pure Arab, Anglo Arab, American Saddle Bred. Between 14 and 17 hands. Well-schooled, responsive and even temperament. There is a wide range of horses (over 50) suitable for the competition rider to a steady hack. Every effort is made to match horse and rider.
time in saddle: 4 to 7 hours
breed of horses: TBx, TB, Arab & Anglo Arab
pace: medium to fast riding
ability: Minimum riding ability required in mastery of the basic aids, ability to post to the trot for stretches of 10 minutes at a time, to be comfortable at all paces and to be able to gallop out of trouble. It is a great advantage if you are a fit and a proficient rider.
weight limit: 90kg or 200lbs
accommodation: Open air, above ground tree houses with ensuite and fixed safari tents with ensuite.
seasons: low season (January, February, March & December), mid-season (March 31 to July 17 & November 1 to December 1) and high season (July 18 to October 31).
group size: maximum of 8 adults
duration: There are 5, 7 and 10 night safaris available throughout the year. 5-night safaris are Saturday to Thursday or Tuesday to Sunday, 7-night safaris are Saturday to Saturday or Tuesday to Tuesday, and 10-night safaris are Tuesday to Friday. Please email us here to request the 2018 or 2019 departure date list.
ride prices for 2018:
Low season (January, February, March, December 2018) is £570* per person, per night for a 5, 7 or 10 night safari. **no fly camping in low season
Mid-season (from March 31 to July 17 and November 1 to December 1, 2018) is £660* per person, per night for a 5, 7 or 10 night safari.
High season (July 18 to October 31, 2018) is £750* per person, per night for a 5, 7 or 10 night safari.
*Single supplement: 50% (only applicable if unwilling to share).
*The price includes all accommodation, meals, drinks supplied locally, guiding, riding, game drives, walks and mekoro safaris and concession fees.
*The price does not include flights, travel insurance, transfers to and from the ride and staff gratuities.
*Prices may be subject to change.
Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments. Since you’ll be paying in a foreign currency, in this case GBP, we believe paying via credit card is the most cost effective and easiest option for you.
Why is the price quoted in Great British Pound?
With our overseas riding destinations (rides other than in Australia), the currency is dictated by our partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
We encourage guests to arrive in Johannesburg at least 1-2 days prior to the start of your ride. There are three options to transfer to/from Maun on the first and final day of your ride:
OPTION 1: Helicopter transfer – £260 per person one way
OPTION 2: Fixed wing and boat transfer to/from Maun via Pom Pom (this option is only available seasonally, dependent on water levels) – £200 per person one way
OPTION 3: Road and boat transfer Maun to/from camp – £100 per person one way
OPTION 4: Fixed wing and boat transfer Kasane to/from camp (only available depending on water levels). This option is useful if you would like to visit Victoria Falls – £320 per person one way
*All prices quoted on a minimum of 2 people sharing. There will be a single supplement charge applied if we cannot find another guest to share the cost with you.
**If guests choose option 1 or 2, you will arrive in time to be able to ride during the afternoon on day one and also on the final morning before departing. If guests choose option three you will not arrive in time to ride on day one and won’t be able to ride on the last day.
***All transfers to/from Maun must coordinate with Air Botswana flights BP211 and BP212.
FURTHER READING & VIEWING:
PJ & Barney, our guides in the Okavango Delta, have been running successful horse riding safaris for 26 years. Read this Q & A to find out more. And get to know their head guide Rodgers through our popular Meet Our Guide series.
Read about globetrotter Deb Walker’s experience in the Okavango Delta recently.