The Tuli Safari, Botswana - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

The Tuli Safari, Botswana

7 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom £2,622 GBP?Tour costs £2,622 GBP which is approximately $5,031 AUD

The ONLY way to get up close and personal with African wild game is on horseback, and this adventure in the ‘Land of Giants’ combines thrilling experiences in untouched nature with plush safari accommodations and impeccable hospitality.

Set in the easternmost corner of Botswana, the Northern Tuli Game Reserve is right at the heart of an almost 6,000-square kilometre unfenced, trinational conservation zone. It’s home to an abundance of free-roaming wildlife, including around 1200 elephants, all manner of plains game, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, ostrich, African wild dog and hyena. Tuli is a geological and historical hotspot, too, with ruins, fossils, rock formations and legends galore.

The ONLY way to get up close and personal with African wild game is on horseback, taking your place in the animal kingdom rather than observing it as an outsider. You’ll be expertly guided by a team who know this land and its creatures inside-out. Long, windswept canters, spine-tingling encounters and moments of deep serenity abound.

Based at a series of campsites that have to be seen to be believed, this adventure in the ‘Land of Giants’ combines thrilling experiences in untouched nature with plush safari accommodations and impeccable hospitality.

Imagine waking up to the African dawn chorus, mounting up for an extraordinary day’s riding punctuated by a relaxed lunch and perhaps a siesta or a dip in the pool, then heading out on foot in the evening for sundowners overlooking the savannah while a lavish dinner is prepared for you at camp. THIS is The Tuli Safari, and it will set your heart on fire.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:The favoured breed is the South African Boerperd, but the herd also includes pure and crossbred Thoroughbreds, Arabians and warmbloods.
  • Pace:Variable, depending on the terrain. There will be opportunities for faster riding each day with long stretches of fast canter.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 85kg / 187lbs.
  • Type of tack:South African McClellan saddles & English bridles.
  • Seasons:Available year-round.
  • Group size:A minimum of 2 and a maxmum of 8 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:On average, 4 to 5 hours, covering 20-30km / 12-18mi per day.
  • Riding Ability:Strong intermediate to advanced riders only.
    ALL riders must be comfortable at all paces (walk, trot, canter, gallop) and able to get out of trouble calmly and at the necessary speed. You should be balanced, with an independent seat, and fit enough to ride for 4 to 5 hours each day.
    A short ‘test ride’ will need to be completed on day 1 in which you demonstrate you are confident and in control at varying paces, before you’ll be able to continue with the safari.
     Not sure what your riding ability is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:Two Mashatus Camp: Named after the two huge mashatu trees that shelter the camp, here you’ll be accommodated in A-frame walk-in tents set on teak platforms, each with its own ensuite. Two traditionally-built Lala Palm rondavel huts serve as dining and lounge areas, and there is also a pool.

    Tree Camp: Four metres off the ground in the boughs of three ancient trees, Tree Camp boasts an idyllic outlook over the Majale River. The deck hosts airy twin share sleeping pods, a spacious open-air dining area and shared showers and toilets. This truly extraordinary camp is one that will be remembered for years to come.

    Kgotla: Encircled by a wall of leadwood logs, the kgotla is an old, traditional open-air court enclosure from a nearby community. Relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River, the security of the timber perimeter means you can sleep in the open, beneath a canopy of stars. Hot running water, beautiful open-air showers, flushing toilets, comfortable beds and a log fire create the perfect blend of bush camping and comfort.
  • Ride Length:8 days, 7 nights, with 7 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes all riding, bush walks, accommodation, meals, beverages including local beers, wines and a selection of spirits. For your convenience we have also included the mandatory round trip charter flight transfer service to/from Johannesburg International Airport as well.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), staff tips, and an optional full afternoon game drive.

    A USD$70 conservation levy is also payable to Mashatu Game Reserve on arrival in cash. This can be paid in USD or equivalent GBP, EUR or ZAR (South African Rand).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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

Low Season Rate 2024

January & December

Available weekly, beginning on a Saturday.

From: £3,345 GBP ?Tour costs £3,345 GBP which is approximately $6,419 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £4,001 GBP ?Tour costs £4,001 GBP which is approximately $7,677 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

High Season Rate 2024

April to November

Available weekly, beginning on a Saturday.

From: £4,402 GBP ?Tour costs £4,402 GBP which is approximately $8,447 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £5,691 GBP ?Tour costs £5,691 GBP which is approximately $10,920 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

Low Season Rate 2025

1-31 Jan & 3-31 Dec

Available weekly, beginning on a Saturday.

From: £3,635 GBP ?Tour costs £3,635 GBP which is approximately $6,975 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £4,344 GBP ?Tour costs £4,344 GBP which is approximately $8,335 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

Mid Season Rate 2025

1 Feb – 28 Mar

Available weekly, beginning on a Saturday.

From: £4,160 GBP ?Tour costs £4,160 GBP which is approximately $7,982 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £5,336 GBP ?Tour costs £5,336 GBP which is approximately $10,239 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

High Season Rate 2025

29 Mar – Dec 2

Available weekly, beginning on a Saturday.

From: £4,776 GBP ?Tour costs £4,776 GBP which is approximately $9,164 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

From: £6,168 GBP ?Tour costs £6,168 GBP which is approximately $11,835 AUD - Single Rider?Happy to pay a booking supplement for own room
Booking Request

2.5% credit card surcharge

PLEASE NOTE: For your convenience, we have included the mandatory round-trip charter flight transfer rate (£720 GBP in 2024 and £800 GBP in 2025) in the ride price.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price includes all riding, bush walks, accommodation, meals, beverages including local beers, wines and a selection of spirits. For your convenience we have also included the mandatory round trip charter flight transfer service to/from Johannesburg International Airport as well.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price does not include international flights, travel insurance (compulsory), staff tips, and an optional full afternoon game drive.

A USD$70 conservation levy is also payable to Mashatu Game Reserve on arrival in cash. This can be paid in USD or equivalent GBP, EUR or ZAR (South African Rand).

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 itinerary only and subject to change due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Hooray, your safari begins today! You’ll be met by representatives from our ride partners at Johannesburg Airport, South Africa, and chaperoned onto your charter flight to Limpopo Valley Airfield in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana. Arriving at the stables in time for a light lunch, you’ll then have a short introductory ride to get to know your new equine partner. Once everyone is comfortable in the saddle, the journey to Two Mashatus Camp begins. On the way, it’s highly likely that you’ll be graced by the presence of Africa’s largest herd of wild, free-roaming elephants on private land!

    Two Mashatus Camp is named for the two big, beautiful mashatu trees that shade it. It consists of a pair of traditionally built Lala Palm rondavel huts for relaxing and dining, and large A-frame tents set on teak platforms, each with its own ensuite. There’s also a pool beneath one of the mashatu trees, a welcome sight at the end of a big day! A three-course dinner will be served in the cool of evening, then you’ll fall asleep to the primal melody of the forest.

  • Day 2

    Waking up to birdsong in the surrounding canopy and tea or coffee delivered to your tent (heaven!), you’ll fuel up on breakfast and hit the saddle.You’re moving camp today, and it’s a half day’s ride through the wilderness to reach the aptly named Tree Camp. This truly extraordinary camp is one you’ll remember for years to come. Nestled four metres above the ground in the bough of a giant mashatu tree and two ancient leadwood trees, your childhood dreams of sleeping up in the arms of a tree will be completely fulfilled!

    After lunch on the deck watching all manner of creatures coming to drink from the Majale River, you’ll have the choice of an afternoon ride or a bushwalk along the Matabole River. Sundowners and dinner will be served al fresco, overlooking the river once more.

  • Day 3

    Another half day’s ride brings you to your next campsite, the old ‘kgotla’ on the banks of the Motloutse River. Bordered by a ring of upright leadwood logs, the kgotla is a traditional open-air court enclosure from a nearby community.

    After lunch, the horses will have a rest while you and your fellow globetrotters jump into the safari vehicles for a game drive to see the local pride of lions. Capped off with sundowners at the ancient ‘Ampitheatre’ rocks, the drive is a great chance to get some blur-free photos.

    Back at the kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around the central log fire. The security of the kgotla means that for the next two nights you can sleep in the open, beneath a canopy of stars.

  • Day 4

    Without the need to move camp, this morning is more relaxed, offering a chance to sit back and truly absorb the magic of an African dawn. The day’s trail passes stunning rock formations, including Solomon’s Wall, a remarkable 30 metre (100ft) dolerite dyke that once formed part of a natural, steep-sided reservoir wall across a narrow gorge in the Motlouse River. The valley surrounding this river was once home to some of southern Africa’s oldest civilisations, with archaeological evidence dating as far back as the stone age. Artefacts from the legendary medieval Kingdom of Mapungubwe have also been uncovered here. Combined with extraordinary wildlife sightings, all of this makes for a rich and rewarding ride.

    Lunch is once again enjoyed back at the kgotla, then later in the afternoon you’ll take a short drive to Mmamagwa Hill. A quick climb up the sandstone ridge brings you to the Mmamagwa Ruins, which are unexcavated, but are thought to hold the remains of a Mapungubwe city. Crowning this hill is an ancient, solitary baobab, a sentinel watching over the vast wilderness below. Standing in its shadow as the sun sinks towards the horizon, you’ll be overcome by a sense of awe: people have stood in this exact spot, looking at the same remarkable view, since time immemorial.

  • Day 5

    This morning your guides will lead the way back to Tree Camp via the aptly named Elephant Valley.  This remote area lives up to Mashuta’s nickname, ‘Land of the Giants’, peppered with big grey elephants and big grey baobabs.

    Reaching the haven of Tree Camp in time for lunch and a siesta, in the afternoon you’ll have the choice of a ride, bushwalk or game drive exploring the banks of the Majele, Matabole and Jwala rivers. This is your last night at Tree Camp, so be sure to savour it!

  • Day 6

    Today’s ride promises great game viewing in the Pitsane River Valley, where drinking holes dug by elephants along the river bed attract thirsty herds of game. Your guides will also tell you about the human history of the valley, which has certainly seen some action in recent centuries.

    By lunchtime, you’ll find yourself back at Two Mashatus Camp, where you’ll no doubt be tempted to cool off in the pool after lunch.

    Later on, your guides will take you on a bushwalk to one of the nearby koppies (a hill jutting out from the plains) for sundowners with another stunning sunset view.

  • Day 7

    Another beautiful morning in Mashatu brings you through the beautiful plains between the Majale and Pitsane rivers, with spectacular views into the Limpopo River Valley. You’ll explore the remains of an old Boer War fort perched on a rocky outcrop before riding down into the cooler wetland area, where abundant game nibble the lush grasses everywhere you look. In the summer months, depending on the weather and rain, it might be possible to enjoy a canter through the shallows of the Limpopo River.

    Returning once again to Two Mashatus camp for lunch, the afternoon brings a choice of more riding or bushwalking, followed by your last African sundowner (sob!). Come evening, you’ll gather together over yet another fabulous feast to swap stories, laugh and reminisce about your extraordinary week on safari.

  • Day 8

    Your final ride is one to remember, with a glorious long canter through the savannah and an elephant sighting capping off this incredible adventure. Arriving back at the stables mid-morning, there’s time for a shower and a tasty brunch before saying your farewells and catching a charter flight back to Johannesburg for your onward travels.

  • Additional Activities

    You will have the opportunity to participate in a game drive in Mashatu Game Reserve for an additional cost of approximately $75 USD per person (price is subject to change) which can be paid onsite with cash or card.

  • Riding Ability

    The Tuli Safari requires guests to be at least strong intermediate riders. You can check your ability here.

    On day 1, there will be a short, simple riding test out in the bush. Guests will take part in a single file group canter, then they will individually ride their horse away from the group between three points, varying the pace between a collected and an extended canter.

    These exercises demonstrate that the rider can control their horse at an even pace within a group canter, without overtaking or allowing large gaps to develop within the group, and that the rider can control their horse independently from the group.

    Guests who fail this test will not be allowed to ride, so it is vital to be honest about your ability.

  • Transfer Information

    Charter flights between Johannesburg Airport and Limpopo Valley Airfield (just a few minutes’ drive from the stables) will be organised by your hosts. The price for these flights are £720 GBP round trip and for your convenience we have included this cost in the ride price.

    We strongly recommend flying into Johannesburg the day before your ride begins and spending the night at an airport hotel (we recommend the Southern Sun), to ensure you’re on time for the charter flight the next morning.

    On the final day of your ride, please book departing flights from Johannesburg for after 8pm.

    NB: There are strict luggage allowances on the transfer charter flights. Please refer to your pdf packing list you’ll receive (once booked) for further details on these restrictions.

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