Horseback Riding in Botswana

Okavango Safari

Overview

Often referred to as the “Jewel of Africa,” the fact that the this area exists at all is a miracle. The opportunity for horse riding in the Okavango Delta is a bigger privilege still. This enormous river delta in the heart of the Kalahari, the world’s most extreme desert, is an oasis teeming with an astonishing variety of bird, animal and plant life.

On the short charter flight from Maun to the camp, you get a bird’s eye view of the delta’s river channels, scintillating shallow pans, palm-covered islands, open plains and dense thickets. The safari makes use of two main camps which are permanent, with all the amenities and ambiance of a classic safari experience. Tents are spacious and comfortable, each with an attached shower tent, proper beds, mosquito netting, and kerosene lanterns.

The day begins before dawn with a quiet wake-up call to be in the saddle before the sun breaks over the horizon. Each day’s route is different, marked by the delta’s ever-changing panorama of sights and sounds. There may be an hour spent trailing a rare pack of wild dogs, or a carefree gallop through the ankle-deep waters of a pan, or a cautious approach to a herd of buffalo.

The wildlife and birdlife of the Okavango Delta is unmatched. Be prepared to be completely captivated by this untrammeled corner of Africa that only the most discerning and discreet adventure travelers know about.

Stay in comfortable permanent camps, with the option to sleep out for a night on some trips.

Full course meals are prepared by a staff cook. The cuisine is of South African influence with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh bread is baked daily. Light lunches consist of cold meats and salads.

  • Overview:
    This itinerary is subject to change. The water level and game movements fluctuate constantly. These two variables will affect the exact day to day itinerary, as well as the location of the temporary camps. Sometimes other safari camps are used depending on availability. All camps are situated in the big game area, and are selected for variety of terrain and the game species that favor particular areas.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arabs, Thoroughbreds, and Thoroughbred cross
  • Trip Pace:
    Moderate to fast
  • Tack:
    English
  • Weight limit:
    200 lbs. Above may have a special program or pay a 50% supplement.

Maun

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You are met at Maun airport by office staff to guide you through the transfer process. A 25 minute helicopter transfer brings you straight to camp; flying into the delta is a special experience and the view from the helicopter is the finest way to start you safari. Other options on transfers are available, light aircraft brings you to Pompom airstrip, from which it is approximately an hour drive by vehicle or boat to camp. Lunch is served while you are given an introduction talk on safety and game viewing from horseback. This is followed by an orientation ride lasting 1-2 hours.

Day 2

Kujwana Camp: You’re woken up each day an hour before dawn to ensure the best game viewing. After breakfast, take part in a game ride in the Xudum area, wading through lush green malapos that lead you from island to island. Surprise a timid reedbuck out of its dense cover on a heavily wooded island, or enjoy herds of lechwe and giraffes moving through the open spaces. This area forms seasonal marshlands and hosts a variety of exceptional birdlife. Return to camp for lunch and a siesta followed by an afternoon game drive. Enjoy sunset drinks and an evening game drive back to camp for a three course, candlelit meal.

Day 3

Kujwana Camp to Mokolwane Camp: Ride from Kujwana to Mokolwane Camp, following a 30-km north-westerly route through open floodplains and scattered islands to the Matsebe River system. A picnic lunch is served on a shady island followed by siesta with camp bed, maybe a swim, then a further two hour ride to Mokolwane Camp. Arrive at sunset and enjoy a refreshing drink as you admire the stunning views over the floodpain. The open skylines of camp make for great star gazing.

Day 4

Mokolwane Camp: A morning game drive to view the plethora of plains game and baboon and elephant, who thrive on the Mokolwane palms interspersing the open flood plains. Alternatively, experience the delta from a different perspective on a mokoro trip up the river, and enjoy the tranquility of the delta from the dugout canoes. After lunch and a siesta an evening 2-3 hr ride to enjoy the beautiful colors as the sun starts to sink behind the horizon.

Day 5

Mokolwane to Kujwana Camp: A full-day from Mokolwane to Kujwana, covering about 35 km total. The route moves through a variety of game areas, fording the Xudum river at numerous hippo channels. The morning’s ride is about 4 hours until you enjoy a picnic lunch stop and ride another two hrs to arrive at Kujwana at sunset.

Day 6

Kujwana Camp: A morning ride exploring the 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 morning snack on the edge of a hippo pool before riding on into more open areas, with the cnace of picking up a herd of buffalo moving through. In the cool of the afternoon drift on the water in a mokoro past heavily scented water lilies and painted reed frogs.

Day 7

Kujwana Camp: A morning’s ride exploring the western Baobab area. Small islands linked by numerous hippo channels eventually lead you onto Baobab Island. A good habitat for cheetah and breeding grounds for Carmine Bee Eaters, the summer bird visitor. Baobab Island has thick riverine forest and a good area for general game viewing (and the unexpected!).

Day 8

Kujwana, with the option to sleep out: Ride east toward Beacon and Lion Islands – two very large islands in the area, cut off from Kujwana by the Qwaapu River. The area is criss-crossed with game paths.
This is a great contrast to the open flood plains. Mopane forests and acacia woodlands offer a good variety of food for elephant, kudu and giraffe. Breeding herds of elephants 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 what has been gone, or what you might still find.
In the afternoon, go on a bird walk with the opportunity to learn more about the traditional uses of the plans and trees of the areas. There’s the option tonight of ending in afly camp set up under the stars in a true wilderness. Bedrolls with mosquito nets will be ready and set up in individual locations with private wash stands and bush loos. Bucket and pulley showers are serviced by cheerful staff with plenty of hot water. The evening after your three course bush dinner will be spent telling stories around the fire. Then with nothing but the sound of reed frogs, nightjars, crickets, and a blanket of stars overhead, you steal off to bed with the soft glow of the fire lighting your way.

Day 9

Kujwana: Start your day with the sunrise and a game drive back to Kujwana. After a hearty lunch there will be an evening ride followed by sunset drinks on the floodplain. A lovely way to end an active day.

Day 10

Kujwana Camp: A morning ride brings you to the pans, a hotspot for game where you can hope to find elephant, giraffe, and large herds of zebra. Back at camp for lunch and an afternoon powerboat trip up the river to look for the allusive Pels fishing owl, or throw in a line and catch a delicious bream for dinner.

Day 11

Early morning ride out of Kujwana Camp if flight times permit. Guests depart after breakfast. 20 minute helicopter ride or one hour’s game drive to the nearest airstrip for transfer by light aircraft into Maun.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is subject to change. The water level and game movements fluctuate constantly. These two variables will affect the exact day to day itinerary, as well as the location of the temporary camps. Sometimes other safari camps are used depending on availability. All camps are situated in the big game area, and are selected for variety of terrain and the game species that favor particular areas.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

5 night safaris are available Saturday to Thursday or Tuesday to Sunday. 7 night safaris are available Saturday to Saturday or Tuesday to Tuesday. 10 night safaris are available Tuesday to Friday with minimum of 4. Low Season is December through March. Mid Season is April through May and October through November. High Season is June through September.

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $800Per night during Low Season of January, February, March and December.
  • Pricing Variation
  • $955Per night during Mid Season of April through May and October through November
  • $1,160Per night during High Season of June through September
  • $140Additional per night supplement per suite for one of two luxury Riverside Suites with spectacular views built on the river.
  • Transportation
  • $425Per person each way for helicopter transfer between Maun and camp. The 25 min scenic flights is a fantastic opportunity to view the Delta from tree top level and gives you plenty of time of other activities in camp.
  • $155Per person each way for road and boat transfer between Maun and camp. This is a 3-4 hour overland transfer, and does not allow for activities in camp on day of arrival or departure.

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $845

    Per night during low season of December through March

  • Pricing Variation
  • $995

    Per night during mid season of April through May and October through November

  • $1,215

    Per night during high season of June through September

  • $140Additional per night supplement per suite for one of two luxury Riverside Suites with spectacular views built on the river.
  • Transportation
  • $425Per person each way for helicopter transfer between Maun and camp. The 25 min scenic flights is a fantastic opportunity to view the Delta from tree top level and gives you plenty of time of other activities in camp.
  • $155Per person each way for road and boat transfer between Maun and camp. This is a 3-4 hour overland transfer, and does not allow for activities in camp on day of arrival or departure.
Additional Pricing Information:
Insurance Required. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time the deposit is paid.


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Contact Megan Barrett

The Tuli Safari is an incredible adventure enabling equestrian enthusiasts to thoroughly appreciate spectacular landscape and a profusion of wildlife that is unique to the Tuli District of Botswana. Experiencing this majesty in a small group aboard willing horses under the guidance of personable and knowledgeable guides is unrivaled. The magic continues after dismount with evening game drives, spectacular sunsets savored from high vantage points, animated conversation over excellently prepared meals beside the fire, and culminating with the awe of gazing upon the majesty of the Southern Constellation before drifting off to sleep. This is a lifetime experience not to be missed.

Robert Savarese, 2013