Ride the Kalahari & Okavango Delta

botswana horseback safari?
A ONCE IN A LIFE TIME ADVENTURE

An horseback adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Botswana.

The silence. The connection. Really getting in touch with nature. Get closer to yourself, the horse and above all the other beautiful animals of Botswana. And then into a gallop. Through the waters of the Okavango Delta through the Kalahari towards the sunset on the horizon. Adrenaline. Intense enjoyment. Forgetting time. This is your unique Botswana horseback safari.

Day 1 - 2

Welcome to the relaxed safari capital.

There you are, your first steps on Botswana soil! Welcome to Maun! Our local college wishes you a warm welcome. The driver is ready to take you to Thamothele lodge. Here you can rest from the long journey. In the afternoon you will get to know the horses for the first time and take a ride through this private area. The next morning the real deal begins. You will be taken to the starting point of this adventure where the horses are ready to go on an adventure with you!

first Chapter

The delta is a horse rider’s paradise

The emphasis is on the experience, the beauty of the Okavango and top level guiding. The riding and the horses are fabulous, the wildlife is incredible and the food (cooked over a log fire) is fantastic. On arrival by The  camp  is  extremely  comfortable  in lightweight tents with standing room, fully made up stretcher beds, bucket showers and short drop toilets. There are no vehicles involved and this along with working in partnership with the local community offers a genuinely “Green” experience. This is one of the most environmentally friendly safaris around.

Day 1 till 5

Let your adventure begin

From Maun Airport it is only a 30 minute drive to the southern end of the Okavango where the safari begins. The Delta proper is demarcated by the “buffalo fence” and here you find the horses waiting. Your luggage will be loaded onto mekoros or pack donkeys and transported to camp whilst you mount up and venture on horseback into the unknown!

The feeling of exploring this water wilderness on horseback is indescribable, when you come face to face with your first elephants – an experience very different to viewing them from a vehicle! Before the sun sets you will ride into your secluded camp on a beautiful, remote island.

Each location is exquisite with beautiful tree lined islands

The feeling of exploring this water wilderness on horseback is indescribable, when you come face to face with your first elephants – an experience very different to viewing them from a vehicle! Before the sun sets you will ride into your secluded camp on a beautiful, remote island.

There is no set itinerary during your safari with the location of the camp depending on water levels, wildlife movements and the length of your safari. Camp is likely to move twice during the 5 nights. Each location the camp moves to will be exquisite as there is a plentiful choice of beautiful tree lined islands.

Your morning

Herds of giraffe may saunter by, with red lechwe will splash through the water alongside you

A typical day will start with an early wake up call and a light breakfast around the camp fire as the dawn breaks. 

Mount up and spend the morning on horseback following ancient elephant trails, searching for the large variety of wildlife, enjoying the prolific birdlife and cantering through the recently flooded plains. Herds of buffalo may be in the vicinity, giraffe may saunter by and red lechwe will splash through the water alongside you, whilst kudu peer out from the thickets. 

Return to camp for lunch and siesta under the shade of the giant jackalberry or leadwood trees.

your afternoon

Occasionally you can rest or venture out on foot into the bush

In the afternoon enjoy a gentle evening ride, appreciating  the  tranquillity  of  the  Okavango, listening to the sounds of the bush and the snorting and splashing of your horses.  Dinner under the stars. 

Occasionally you (and the horses) may want a rest in which case you can take a tranquil journey in a mokoro, the traditional way of traversing this wondrous water land. Or venture out on foot to look for the smaller creatures that inhabit the bush and to learn some tracking skills before enjoying another fabulous African sunset.

up to camp Kalahari

The adventure continues

A more leisurely start and a ride back to the edge of the Okavango Delta where a safari vehicle awaits to transfer you back to Maun. From Maun you either fly to Camp Kalahari on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans in a light aircraft (50 minutes) or travel by road (3 hours). 

This beautiful camp is owned and managed by Uncharted Africa and is our base for the next three days riding. Camp Kalahari is nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, adjacent to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans National Park, Botswana.

Day 6

Head off in the beautiful afternoon light to experience the beauty of this magical area

A thatched central library, living and dining area featuring a mix of original African furniture and textiles paired with traditional campaign style pieces and colonial antiques provide the perfect area in which to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area. 

Cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a siesta in the thatched pavilion! Head off after tea in the beautiful afternoon light, for an introductory ride – primarily to match horse and rider but also your first opportunity to experience the beauty of this magical area. 

Return to the camp for sundowners followed by dinner and to kraal the horses close by, before the lions of the Kalahari commence they’re nightly prowling.

Day 7

A day out on safari before the ride begins

Up with the dawn, a light breakfast is followed by a long morning ride through the the “land of a thousand islands”. Stranded on the ancient lakebed, these sand dunes covered in palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of the Botswana wilderness. 

At the height of the migration season, the islands and adjoining grasslands are awash with zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest and ostrich – and of course the attendant predators! The white encrusted pans between the islands provides excellent going for the horses. Return to the camp for lunch and rest through the heat of the day in the welcome shade of the camel thorn trees or cool off in the camp swimming pool. 

Day 8

Meet hyena's, foxes, pocupines and... Kalahari lions

After tea, head off to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyaena; these consummate desert specialists survive in arid areas where both food and water are scarce. The brown hyena is a timid nocturnal, solitary forager, rarely seen by humans, but in spite of this, are very social animals, living in clans of up to 10-12 hyaenas. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp, and with the aid of a spot light, look for nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari Lion. Arrive at Camp Kalahari in time for dinner.

Has the travel bug started biting? If you’d like to know more about this horseback riding safari just get in touch. We are horse lovers too and will be happy to tell you more

day 8

Due to an ongoing habituation programme, it’s possible for guests to get up close and personal with the meerkats

Wake up to a steaming hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast, before heading off in search of some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats.With our horses tethered we will proceed on foot into the midst of the group. Due to an ongoing habituation programme it’s possible for us to get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. By spending quality time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals, you will be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment. As the day warms up, leave the meerkats to continue foraging. Mount up and follow the well-worn trails that lead to the resident herds of zebra and large congregations of ostriches attracted to the area by permanent freshwater in hidden waterholes. 

 

Get ready for your quadbike adventure into the ancient lakebed

Return to Camp Kalahari for lunch and a refreshing shower. Set off in the late afternoon by quadbike for one of the greatest adventures imaginable – a ride straight out into the middle of the ancient lakebed (we cannot do this on horseback). Eventually all that can be seen is the vast flatness stretching in every direction. Watch the sun set and the stars rise. This is one of the only places in the world where the silence is so complete you can hear the blood circulating through your ears. There is not one visual landmark to be seen and one swiftly loses one’s sense of perspective – 16,000 square kilometers of baking soda void, are inhabited only by you and a few gazillion invisible brine shrimp!

day 9

Making Friends with the Bushmen

Already the last day of your fantastic horseback riding safari. But don’t worry, we’ll make today a special day too. After your delicious breakfast, we have something exciting planned: a meeting with the local Bushmen. They will explain how they have survived in this area for centuries and tell you all about their special culture and traditions. After this morning, you will enjoy lunch at Camp Kalahari before driving or flying back to Maun. You will never forget the adventures you had during the past few days. We promise you that!.

 

Back with a rucksack full of unforgettable adventures

All good things come to an end. But it is up to you to keep this adventure alive for as long as possible. Tell your stories, show your pictures, and inspire others. Botswana deserves to be seen by friends and family. We are sure that on the flight back you will be eager to share your enthusiasm with the people back home. Of course, we are also curious about your adventures and would love to hear all about your adventures.

The price for this safari in Botswana starts from £7.950,- p.p. Excluding international flights and tips. The price includes all nights, transfers, domestic flights park fees, all mentioned activities and meals and local beverages in the lodges. 

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