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 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.
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.
- Horse Breed:Thoroughbred-cross, Thoroughbred, Arabian and Anglo Arab.
- 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:The minimum riding ability required is 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.
- 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 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.
- 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
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. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments.
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.
ItineraryExpand AllCollapse All
*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.
You are met at Maun Airport by our representative & transferred by light aircraft to Xudum airstrip, a 25 minute flight. You are then transferred into the camp by vehicle which takes approximately 1 hour. (Game viewing). Alternatively you would be transferred by light aircraft to Xaxacaba Airstrip where you would be met by the helicopter, a 12 minute scenic flights would bring you directly into camp. Lunch and an introduction talk with demo on tack advice on game viewing from horseback. This is followed by an orientation ride for approximately 1 – 2 hours.
Morning game ride in the Xudum area. Wake up is 1 hour before dawn to ensure best game viewing. Wade through lush green malapos that lead you from island to island. Surprise a timid bushbuck out his dense cover on a heavily wooded island, or enjoy the herds of Lechwe & Zebra moving through the open spaces. Return to camp for lunch. Siesta. Afternoon game drive with sunset drinks & evening night drive with a spot light.
Ride east towards Beacon and Lion Island. These are two very large islands in the area which are cut off from Kujwana by the Xwaapu river. The area is criss-crossed with game paths leading you through a chain of rain pans. This is a great contrast to the open flood plains. Mapane forests and Acacia woodlands offer a good variety of food for 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 will also be found. Animal tracks abound telling you of what has been and gone – or what you might still find. Afternoon bird walk.
Ride north east towards Moremi game reserve. This area forms seasonal marsh land and hosts a variety of exceptional bird life. Wildlife moves freely to and from the national park. Good Buffalo and Elephant country. Afternoon game drive with sunset drinks & evening night drive with a spot light.
A full days ride moving from Kiri/Xwaapu to Kujwana camp. This area is on the edge of the permanent water with papyrus beds & deep lagoons. Good area for hippo & lechwe. A picnic lunch is set up on a shady island. Return to Kujwana camp in the cool of the late afternoon.
A rest day for the guests riding for 10 days. There is the option to game drive, walk, mokoro or view a water hole from the hide. Afternoon ride. Dawn game ride 2 hours for the guests riding for 5 days. Return to camp for breakfast. Guests joining the safari do an orientation ride in the cool of the afternoon as the wildlife stirs from the heat of the day. 2 hours ride.
A full morning ride exploring the western Baobab area. Small islands linked by numerous hippo channels eventually lead you onto Boabab Island. A good habitat for Cheetah and breeding grounds for Carmine Bee eaters, our Summer visitor. Boabab Island has thick riverine forest and is a good area for elephant and buffalo (and the unexpected). Afternoon game/night drive.
Move from Kujwana to Mokolwane camp. This is approximately 30km ride heading north west. The route moves through open floodplains and scattered islands towards the Matsebe river system. A picnic lunch is served on a shady island 2 hours ride from Mokolwane camp. Arrive sunset. Guests on a 7-night itinerary would ride for 2 hours, returning to camp for a cooked breakfast, flight times permitting.
Morning game ride. This camp is on the Matsebe river system and features wide open flood plains interspersed with Mokolwane palms – favourite food of Elephant & Baboon. Good area for plains game. Afternoon: 1 – 2 hours mokoro experience (traditional dug out canoe).
A full days ride from Mokolwane to Kujwana with a picnic lunch along away. A 40km ride with 4 hours ridden in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. This ride moves through a variety of game areas fording the Xudum river at numerous hippo channels. Arrive at Kujwana on sunset.
Early morning game ride out of Kujwana camp if flight times permit. Guests leave after breakfast. One hour’s game drive to the nearest airstrip for transfer by light aircraft into Maun.
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 – £275 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) – £210 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 – £340 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.
Description of Camps
Kujwana camp is situated on the Xudum river south west of Chiefs Island in the Okavango Delta. The camp accommodates a maximum of 8 to 10 guests in spacious safari tent each with bathrooms en-suite. Fixed departure dates are published with a 5 and 10 night safari offering the opportunity to explore the three main river systems in this area, the Xudum, Matsebi and the Kiri river. An area of over 2500 sq. km it is rich in wildlife and variety of fauna and flora. The areas between the three rivers contrast greatly and support different species of game and birds.
Mokolwane camp is north west of Kujwana on the Matsebi river. This camp is situated in the open flood plains which receive flood water 3 weeks earlier than Kujwana camp. The vegetation consists of smaller palm island 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 private bathroom. The Matsibe river is your main feeder for Lake Ngami.
Kiri/Xwaapu Fly Camp is north east of Kujwana camp in the permanent water line of the delta. This camp is temporary and the site moves according to access with water levels. Deep lagoons and papyrus beds this is a good area for hippo and lechwe, as well as buffalo and other big game. The camp consists of walk in meru tents. The term Fly camp means temporary camp easily moved (from the days when you moved your fly sheet rather than your whole tent).
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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!’
“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!”
‘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!’
‘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!!’