Okavango Delta Safari | Horse Riding Holidays in Botswana | Globetrotting

The Okavango Delta Ride, Botswana

5-10 NightsIntermediate to AdvancedFrom £3,400 GBP?Tour costs £3,400 GBP which is approximately $6,540 AUD

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 Okavango Delta is an ‘out-of-this- skin’ experience.

This riding safari has the perfect blend of well-oiled steeds, a Garden of Eden of animalia, luxurious camps, speed that will turn your knuckles white, oodles of water for horseback swimming and just a smidge of adrenaline.

The Okavango Delta is perhaps Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness. It’s been described as a water meadow, with palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests and clear streams. The 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.

If you’re looking for a ride to boast about on your death bed, then this is the one for you.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Thoroughbred and Thoroughbred-cross, Arabian and Arabian-cross, Boerperd.
  • Pace:Medium to fast.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum weight is 90kg/198lbs. Guests may be required to step on the scales. A special program is available for clients over our weight limit, which offers shorter rides, game drives & walks.
  • Type of tack:English all-purpose saddles.
  • Seasons:Low season (January, February, March & December), mid-season (April 1 to May 31 and October 1 to December 1) and high season (June 1 to September 30).
  • Group size:A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:Between 4-6 hours in the saddle a day.
  • Riding Ability:Intermediate to advanced. You must have mastery of the basic aids, be able to post to the trot for stretches of 10 minutes at a time, be comfortable at all paces, and be able to gallop out of trouble. It is a great advantage if you are a fit and a proficient rider. Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:Open air, above ground tree houses with ensuite and fixed safari tents with ensuite.
  • Ride Length:There are 5, 7 and 10 night safaris available throughout the year. 5-night safaris are Sunday to Friday, 7-night safaris are Saturday to Saturday, and 10-night safaris are Tuesday to Friday.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes all accommodation, meals, drinks supplied locally, guiding, riding, game drives, walks, mekoro safaris and concession fees.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), transfers to and from the ride and staff gratuities.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

NEW! Secure your saddle seat NOW with a 10% deposit - as part of our 10x 10% payment plan!
Departing FinishingAvailabilityTotal

Low season – January, February, March, December 2024

5, 7 & 10 night safaris available.

No fly camping in low season.

Prices quoted per night.

Limited
From: £700 GBP ?Tour costs £700 GBP which is approximately $1,347 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £700 GBP ?Tour costs £700 GBP which is approximately $1,347 AUD - Non Rider?To twin-share with a riding guest
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

Mid season – April 1 to May 31 and October 1 to December 1, 2024

5, 7 & 10 night safaris available.

Prices quoted per night.

Limited
From: £840 GBP ?Tour costs £840 GBP which is approximately $1,616 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £840 GBP ?Tour costs £840 GBP which is approximately $1,616 AUD - Non Rider?To twin-share with a riding guest
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

High season – June 1 to September 30, 2024

5, 7 & 10 night safaris available.

Prices quoted per night

Limited
From: £1,030 GBP ?Tour costs £1,030 GBP which is approximately $1,982 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £1,030 GBP ?Tour costs £1,030 GBP which is approximately $1,982 AUD - Non Rider?To twin-share with a riding guest
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

Single supplement is 50% of ride price (only applicable if unwilling to share).

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price includes all accommodation, meals, drinks supplied locally, guiding, riding, game drives, walks, mekoro safaris and concession fees.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
The price does not include flights, travel insurance (compulsory), transfers to and from the ride and staff gratuities.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. Depending on the ride you choose to book and your country of residence, there will be a 1.2% to 2.9% surcharge.

Click HERE to read more about our fees and charges.
Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.
WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN GBP?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested 10-night itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    You’ll be met at Maun Airport by a representative of your hosts, then take a 25 minute transfer by helicopter straight into Kujwana camp, or by light aircraft to the nearest airstrip, which is then roughly an hour’s drive to camp by vehicle or boat.

    Once you arrive in camp you will be given time to settle in before lunch/afternoon tea and an introduction talk with a demonstration on tack and advice on game viewing from horseback. This is followed by a 1-2 hour orientation ride.

  • Day 2

    Wake-up each day is half an hour before dawn to ensure the best game viewing. After breakfast, you’ll take a morning ride in the Xudum area, wading through lush green malapos that lead you from island to island, surprising a timid reedbuck out from his dense cover on a heavily wooded island, or enjoying the herds of lechwe and zebra moving through the open spaces.

    In the afternoon, head out for a peaceful mokoro expedition on the river and soak up the tranquility of the Delta from dug-out canoes. Enjoy the beautiful colours of the Delta as the sun starts to sink behind the horizon.

  • Day 3

    A full day ride heading northwest from Kujwana Camp for approximately 30 kilometres. The route moves through open floodplains and scattered islands towards the Matsebe river system, where you will see a wide variety of game.

    A picnic lunch is served on a shady island, followed by a siesta in the camp beds and maybe a swim, then a further 2 hours’ riding in the afternoon. Arrive back at Kujwana camp at sunset and enjoy a refreshing drink as you admire the stunning views over the floodplain.

  • Day 4

    After breakfast, you’ll have another morning ride between the islands in the Xudum area, returning to camp in time for lunch. In the afternoon, take a powerboat trip up the river to look for the elusive Pels fishing owl, or throw in a line and catch a delicious bream for dinner.

  • Day 5

    Today you’ll spend the morning on horseback, exploring the open plains to the south of the camp. After lunch and a siesta, you’ll game drive northwest to Kujwana’s sister camp, Mokolowane, and stay overnight in its beautiful accommodation, set on 10-foot stilts so as to be above the highest water. The ‘Mok’ experience specialises in predator viewing – lion and leopard are frequently seen, and an afternoon game drive looking for these predators is often rewarded.

  • Day 6

    Rising early, you’ll be back in the game drive vehicle by dawn, looking for lions and leopards in the area surrounding Mok. After the thrill of watching predators in the wild, you’ll head back to Mok for lunch overlooking over the floodplains.

    After lunch, return to Kujwana with a game drive, with time for a short siesta before exploring the immediate area around camp on horseback.

  • Day 7

    A morning ride east towards Beacon and Lion Island, two very large islands cut off from Kujwana by the Qwaapu River. The area is criss-crossed with game paths leading you through a chain of rain pans, a great contrast to the open floodplains. Mopane forests and acacia woodlands offer good pickings for elephant, kudu and giraffe. Breeding herds of elephant enjoy the security of the dense forest and should the pans be holding water, zebra, wildebeest and buffalo can also be found.

    In the afternoon, enjoy a bird walk with the opportunity to learn more about the traditional uses of the plants and trees of the area.

  • Day 8

    A morning ride east of camp. Shady rain pans and thick riverine forest make this ride an ideal time to track a breeding herd of elephants. Break for a snack on the edge of a hippo pool, before riding on into more open areas with the chance of picking up a herd of buffalo moving through.

    In the evening, enjoy an early dinner in camp before heading out on a night drive to the Platforms, where you’ll fall asleep under the stars to the sound of the little pearl spotted owls who share the trees with you.

  • Day 9

    Awake amongst the trees on your platform and enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the Qwaapu area, with game strolling through the floodplain below. After a bush breakfast, you’ll make your way back to Kujwana camp with a game drive and walk.

    At camp you’ll have a hearty lunch, then saddle up for a 2 hour evening ride, followed by sunset drinks on one of the floodplains. A lovely way to end an active day.

  • Day 10

    Today you have the option of another full day ride exploring the Xudum area with a picnic lunch along the way. The ride covers around 35 kilometres, with 4 hours ridden in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. You’ll through a variety of game areas fording the Xudum River through numerous hippo channels.

    Alternatively, off-the-horse adventures can be arranged to complement your experiences in the Delta thus far.

  • Day 11

    Early morning game ride out of Kujwana camp if flight times permit. After breakfast, a 1 hour game drive to the nearest airstrip for transfer by light aircraft to Maun.

  • Transfer Information

    We encourage guests to arrive in Johannesburg at least 1-2 days prior to the start of your ride. There are four options to transfer to/from Maun on the first and final day of your ride:

    OPTION 1: Helicopter transfer – £325 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) – £240 per person one way

    OPTION 3: 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 – £410 per person one way

    *Helicopter 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.

    **All transfers to/from Maun must coordinate with SAAir Link JNB/CPT to Maun & Maun to JNB/CPT Air Botswana’s flight BP211 and BP212.

  • Description of Camps

    KUJWANA CAMP
    Kujwana camp is situated on the Xudum river southwest of Chiefs Island in the Okavango Delta. The camp accommodates a maximum of 8 to 10 guests in spacious safari tents, each with an ensuite bathroom. Safaris from Kujwana offer the opportunity to explore the three main river systems in this area: the Xudum, Matsebi and the Kiri river. An area of over 2500 square kilometres, it is rich in wildlife, with a huge variety of fauna and flora. The areas between the three rivers contrast greatly and support different species of game and birds.

    MOKOLWANE CAMP
    Mokolwane camp (‘Mok’) is northwest of Kujwana camp on the Matsebi river, the main feeder for Lake Ngami. This camp is situated in the open floodplains, which receive flood water 3 weeks earlier than Kujwana camp. The vegetation consists of smaller palm islands and wide open spaces. Mokolwane is also a 10-bedded camp. The tree houses (accommodation) are 10 feet off the ground, boasting superb views, each with a private bathroom.

What our valued Globetrotters say about the Okavango Delta Ride

Okavango Delta Safari, Botswana, Globetrotting Horse Riding Holidays

Emilie Paiement

‘This trip had been in the works for a long time, and I had very high expectations, and they were all exceeded. This was by far the best trip I’ve ever had! Everything was perfect, from my trusted horses Moumo and Waterford, who made the experience so much better (Waterford is the prettiest horse and made all the pictures look amazing!), to the amazing, knowledgeable guides who kept me safe and fulfilled my dreams with a canter through the water and exciting canters with giraffes and zebras. The game viewing was incredible, and I got to see pretty much all the animals I wanted. The team was very hospitable and friendly, making me feel right at home. The accommodations were excellent and comfortable, and the pool was a great relief from the high heat of October. Sleeping under the stars at night was magical, and I can’t help but want to go back; it made all of my wildest horsegirl dreams come true, and I want to do it all over again!’

Okavango Delta safari, Botswana - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Allison Goldberg

‘The Okavango Delta was magnificent. We saw elephants and hippos and antelope right off the bat! Each day was just one more adventure after another. I rode two beautiful mares who took great care of me. I met some wonderful people from all over the world and we all had a blast. But best of all were our staff and guides. Because my sister is a non-rider, she had jeep safaris every day with Rodgers, who was a savant at finding animals. He was fabulous, as were Mmushi and Boi, who guided us on horseback. I never felt unsafe or threatened in any way. All in all, I could not have wished for a better birthday present. It was a life-changing experience and one I will never forget.’

Okavango Delta, Botswana - Globetrotting horse riding holidays and safaris

Natalie and Johan Wolfert

‘As the the last ride we did was in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, this Okavango Delta ride lived up to our expectations (and above in regards to luxury). The sleep out that was organised for our 30 year wedding anniversary was very intimate and special. Swimming with the horses was an amazing experience, too. All in all it was very worth every cent and I would give it a top rating, as I cannot see how this could be done any better. To me it is a very special and thrilling experience to be able to ride a horse in between the game in Africa and not feel scared because the guides you are with know what they are doing. They all knew their stuff, took very good care of us and had a good sense of humour. Africa on horseback can become a serious addiction!’

Saddle Up: Erin Harriott's Okavango Delta Ride - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Erin Harriott

‘An adventure like no other. Within the first hour on the horses we had seen elephant, hippo, impala, kudu, zebra, wildebeest and buffalo. It took three days to see giraffe, and then we found four of them hanging out with a big herd of zebra. It wasn’t long before we were cantering beside them!!
There were so many magical moments on the ride. Our horses were beautiful, and perfectly matched. The staff permanently smile, and no request is to hard for them. The food was delicious and the tents well cared for. We especially loved our night spent literally under the stars on a platform set in the trees. It was a magical evening, topped with lion sightings and a leopard curiously stalking the camp. The morning that ensued saw us encounter four lioness on the hunt!
The only thing that trumped guest satisfaction was guest safety. I can firmly say the experience and knowledge of the guides, camp managers and horse grooms meant we were never in harm’s way.’

Wendy Macken

‘This would have to be the best riding adventure in the world. It has been the most exciting experience of my life. The balance of physical challenges and luxury living makes this ride a standout and is without doubt a ‘must do’ trip for the experienced rider. The accommodation and food was first class. The permanent tents could feature in ‘Home Beautiful’ and were set in idyllic locations. The wildlife in the delta ensures excitement around every bend, but the guides are always there to help and assist… I never felt unsafe. Images of Jurassic Park kept coming to mind as we quietly backed away from a herd of buffalo or a bull elephant, but it was this thrilling experience that made this ride so unforgettable. Africa is truly a magical place and I suspect Botswana is the jewel in the crown.’

Rachel & Bob Bridger

‘Get up close and personal with wildlife on horseback, with the opportunity to track herds to places where jeeps can’t go and plenty of time to sit and appreciate the sights. The mix of guides was perfect and the support team were fantastic. And for all those magical photo opportunities, there are plenty of chances to view game by jeep, boat, horse and on foot. A real sense of being in the animals’ world rather than on the edge of it. Just magical!’

Michelle Huber

“Our ride in Botswana was amazing and the accommodation was top notch. The riding was intense from the get go, with long hours in the saddle but plenty of time left to enjoy non-riding activities. Cantering through the water was fantastic!”

Margot Alston & John Riordan

‘What a beautiful place the Okavanga Delta is!  We loved our time there, and as usual wished we could have stayed much longer. The lushness, the water, the plentiful animals, the beautiful natured, happy horses, terrific guides – they were really outstanding – accommodation, food… so glad we made the trip. We loved cantering through all that water, getting totally drenched, then drying out within minutes!  The weather was perfect and we are missing the sounds of the lions, hyenas and hippos at night – and the visits by the elephants walking right past our tent almost every night night, seeing their huge footprints near our steps as we came out in the morning to go to breakfast!’

Suzy Werry

‘The Okavango horse safari experience was just amazing. The organisation was perfect, the team very friendly and knowledgeable and the horses lovely. It was the adventure of a lifetime and I will do it again – this lifetime!!’

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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