There is NO better way to celebrate a big birthday than a horse riding holiday, and Allison Goldberg started planning hers three years in advance! Little did she know she would be celebrating two years late thanks to COVID – but Botswana’s Okavango Delta was worth the wait a thousand times over.
Check out Allison’s feedback below, and make sure you read to the end – her testimonial is extraordinary!
Which horse(s) did you ride? And would you mind elaborating as to why you were happy/unhappy with them?
I rode Daenerys and Song of Ice (see a theme there?) and they were both lovely, well-behaved yet enthusiastic mares.
Please tell us how happy you were with the standard of accommodation on this ride.
Very happy. The staff at the camp could not have been more gracious and accommodating to our every need.
In respect to your guides, please elaborate as to their level of service, knowledge of the environment and hospitality.
The level of expertise that our guides displayed was stellar.
Did you have a favourite day or experience while on your Globetrotting holiday?
While it is hard to pick a stand-out, I would have to say sleeping in the fly camp for one night was a thrill! I think it was the best sleep of the trip!
In terms of value-for-money, how would you rate this particular ride?
Do you have any further comments or suggestions?
I mentioned to the camp some suggestions to add a large map so we could see the whole area, and a wildlife camera so we could see the animals we were hearing all night! But with regards to Globetrotting and your trip administration, you are spot on. Just keep up the good work!
Are there any other services or inclusions you would like to see added to this itinerary?
Everything was exquisite.
We would LOVE a testimonial about your Globetrotting experience to share on our social media channels.
Five years ago, I began planning my celebration for my next big birthday that ended in a zero, which was in 2020. I decided that I wanted to do an African horseback safari and I started looking for the right company to book my trip. I discovered Globetrotting and called and talked to Laura. I was sold on the company, but I needed to wait a couple of years before booking my ride.
Since I had three years before my planned trip, I started intense riding lessons to build up my somewhat neglected riding skills, which soon resulted in buying my own horse! I found a great instructor who pledged to “build skills the first year, build competence the second year and build confidence the third year”! So by 2020, I was ready. However, we all know what 2020 was like, and my dream was postponed for a year. No worries, I just continued to ride and dream. But then 2021 proved no better and I was delayed again. But finally, 2022 rolled around and off I went on my belated birthday trip!
I flew into Johannesburg for a few days with my non-riding sister to recover from the jet lag and enjoy some pre-trip pampering at the lovely Four Seasons hotel, which was well worth the indulgence. Then we headed to Maun and caught our helicopter ride to the camp. That afternoon, after getting settled in our gorgeous tents and having a late afternoon tea, we were introduced to our horses and the camp staff and went for our first ride in the Delta. It was magnificent. We saw elephants and hippos and antelope right off the bat! And we had our first water canter of the trip. I fell in love with my mare Daenerys and would have put her in my pocket and taken her home if I could. That night we had a fabulous dinner and the staff even serenaded my sister, whose birthday was that day (yes, we both celebrated our 60th birthdays together in Botswana. Mine was just a little past due!).
After that, each day was just one more adventure after another. I rode two beautiful mares that week who took great care of me. And even better I met some wonderful people from all over – two New Zealanders, a Canadian from London, a mother and daughter from Northern Ireland, and a lovely woman from the San Francisco area. We all had a blast together. But best of all were our staff and guides. Because my sister is a non-rider, she had jeep safaris every day with one of the guides, Rodgers, who was a savant at finding animals. Want to see a leopard? Ask Rodgers! Want to see wild dogs? Ask Rodgers! He was fabulous, as were Mmushi and Boi, who guided us on horseback. Boi never took his eyes off the horizon, scanning for animals or potential threats. I have to say I never felt unsafe or threatened in any way, even when our horses sensed a lion one day. We just calmly mounted up and headed in the other direction.
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.
Big thanks to Allison for sharing her experience of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
Keen to see this incredible, wild kingdom for yourself? Click here to learn more!