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8 Days Horseback Safari in Botswana

  • Mashatu Game Reserve, Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana

Private Botswana Safari

Join this seven night mobile safari which covers approximately 120 miles over the course of the week. Each riding day ends at beautiful camps with welcoming walk-in tents, full size beds, fresh cotton linen, and hot showers. The safari embraces fine dining in the wilderness and every evening is a delightful mix of good food and good company.

Highlights

  • Horseback riding
  • Professional guides
  • Game drives and bush walks
  • Daily meals and drinks
  • 7 nights' lodging
  • A massage
  • 8 activity days
  • English
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Two Mashatus Camp

Your first and last two nights will be spent at the comfortable Two Mashatus Camp. Nestled in the shade of a centurion Mashatu tree, two traditionally built Llala palm rondavels serve as dining area and lounge. Accommodation is in big walk-in tents pitched on teak platforms, with en-suite enviro loo and hot water shower. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree with a small deck area on which to relax during the afternoons.

Wilderness campsites

The two wilderness campsites are set up in specific locations on the Mashatu Game Reserve. Accommodation is in tents with comfortable full size beds, cotton sheets, and duvets. Facilities include a bucket shower with hot water and bush-WC. Meals are cooked over a camp fire.

The Kgotla

The Kgotla is an old tribal court from a nearby community which was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. The boma is an open-air traditional African enclosure made up of Leadwood logs. Guests sleep on beds around a large log fire which blazes at the center.

On this horseback safari, guests must be experienced riders. They must ride regularly (at least once or twice a week) and be comfortable at a canter and gallop as well as being able to do small jumps should they have to. The horses are mostly English schooled, so Limpopo Horse Safaris highly recommends that Western riders have a course of lessons in English style prior to arrival.

Non riders are welcome for game drives, cycling, and walking. Children more than 12 years old are also welcome accompanied by parents who are very competent riders. All rides are conducted by two experienced professional guides, the lead guide is armed with a rifle and a bull whip. The lead guide has a local phone and a radio for use in emergencies.

The horses have been individually selected for their temperament and ride-ability. They have been carefully chosen from the various South African breeds, which are well known for being of a tougher nature, able to cope under extreme conditions. These breeds include the Boerperd, Shire Cross Thoroughbreds, Appalosas, and the S.A. Warmblood. They range in size from 14.3 hands to 17 hands. No weight limit but please inquire over 95 kilograms.

Limpopo Horse Safaris prides itself on horses that have been selected with the same stringent criteria as those selected for eventing and other equine competitive sports. Their schooling concentrates on classical English style, although they neck rein when in the bush. The horses are schooled to a very high level and respond easily and lightly to the aids. Limpopo Horse Safaris uses good quality, comfortable English saddles with saddlebags including water bottles and have a few Australian stock saddles available for those who prefer.

Itinerary

Day 1

Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to the reception area by the stables. After a light lunch, it’s time to head off to meet your horse for the week. You will embark on a short introductory ride to make sure that you and your horse are well-suited and then ride out to camp, where supper will be served in the Llala palm dining room of the Two Mashatus Camp.

Day 2

The day begins at sunrise with tea / coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount up and head off in a north-westerly direction to Jwala Camp, a basic and comfortable fly camp which is set up along the banks of the Jwala River. Up to six hours are spent in the saddle traversing the open plains and wooded areas of the Mashatu reserve. Plains game and elephant are abundant throughout, against the backdrop of the magnificent scenery synonymous with the Land of the Giants. After lunch and a siesta at Jwala Camp, your guide will take you on a bush walk in the late afternoon. Dinner is prepared over an open fire. You can enjoy your meal under the stars with your guides entertaining you with their many stories of life in the bush.

Day 3

An early wake up call heralds a new day starting with breakfast served around the log fire. Today the amazingly sure-footed horses take you over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails and onto the open plains yonder for long sustained loping canters. This ride will be about six to seven hours, arriving at The Kgotla for a late lunch. This is an old tribal court from a nearby community, which was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. The open-air traditional African enclosure is made of Leadwood logs in the shade of a century old Mashatu tree.

In the afternoon, you have the option of visiting the local village to buy hand-crafted Llala palm curios, viewing the paintings of the historic San people or you can enjoy a long photographic drive in this area of incredible rock formations followed by sundowners looking out over the Motloutse River. Back at The Kgotla, dinner will be enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent sleeping under the stars, listening to the cacophony of animal cries and calls generated by the African bush orchestra. This is a truly unique experience and just about as far away as you can get from city life and the modern world.

Day 4

A full morning is spent exploring the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Ancient civilisations harboured their wealth among these hills where the two mighty rivers, Limpopo and Motloutse, meet. This striking topography is ancient and timeless, and combined with sitings of African wildlife. This is certainly a beautiful riding experience. In the afternoon, you will head to the archaeologically rich Mmamagwa hills. At the end of a short easy climb, you are rewarded with a breathtaking 360 degree view of the reserve and a sundowner drink you will remember for many years to come.

Day 5

An early rise and hearty breakfast is a good start for what is probably your longest day on horseback. Winding your way through the Mopane bush, with the chance of bumping into elephant, before reaching the open plains leading to Liana Camp. The camp is nestled under the big Mashatu trees that line the Liana River, a tributary to the Limpopo River. To give your bottoms a rest this afternoon, you will further explore the Mashatu reserve from a game drive vehicle, and search for the big cats. The area is renowned for leopard, cheetah, and lion.

Day 6

The day promises exciting riding up and down the Majale and Matabole river banks, through riverine forest. Options this morning include (in the summer months) a chance to canter through pools in the Limpopo River or try a wonderful cross country course in the bush. The ride ends at the luxurious Two Mashatus camp, where you will be welcomed with drinks by the pool. After a couple of hours relaxing, sunbathing, reading, or having a massage, your guide will take you on a sundowner drive for a photographic opportunity in this area which has a high density of elephant.

Day 7

Today’s ride offers rich history and a variety of interesting stories and tales of the past. There are many boer war walls and holdings on the hills to be explore in this area and a lush wetland expanse that the elephant frequent. The ride meanders towards the Limpopo and Majale rivers confluence, followed by the open Pitsani plains, so characteristic of this area, which are perfect for a faster ride hopefully accompanied by zebra or wildebeest.

Back at the Two Mashatus Camp, lunch and a well-earned afternoon rest awaits you. Before dinner is served, your guides will take you on an evening sundowner drive to explore the Mashatu reserve further and photograph the wildlife more easily. As the final day draws to a close, a peaceful and dreamy last night is spent in the heart of the African bush.

Day 8

Your last ride in the bush is a great opportunity for one last picture with elephants and one last long canter with your guides. After about two hours, you will arrive back at the stables with enough time to enjoy a hot shower and a tasty brunch before fond farewells and your onward journey.

  • Lindy Hill

    Lindy Hill has a passion for horses and people, which she has used around the world from Australia to South Africa, Mauritius, and now Botswana. As operations manager, she ensures that the horses you ride will suit you perfectly and that your safari will exceed your expectations.

  • Lloyd Gilespie

    Lloyd Gilespie is a FGASA qualified Big Five lead horse guide with 20 years of experience in the industry in Southern Africa. He has owned and operated Fishriver Horse Safaris, the Haven Horse Safaris, and In the Company of Horses. Lloyd is both a details man and a people person and makes sure everything behind the scenes is running to perfection.

  • West Mmanoko

    West Mmanoko is a rare breed of man, a Motswana with a passion for and love of horses and conservation. West started with LHS in 2003 as a groom. Since 2006, with guidance and assistance from the team of highly experienced equestrians at LHS, West has become a lead guide and an inspiration to all his co-workers.

  • Tapelo

    Tapelo (better known as Tips) is one of our back up guides. A quiet presence at the back of the ride, Tips goes out of his way to ensure that guests are well cared for and comfortable both on the rides and in camp. A gentle soul that loves to share his passion for the bush and the horses he works with.

  • David Cheno

    David Cheno, long time lead guide, has been with LHS since 2004 and started lead guiding in 2009. He has a great sense of humor and responsibility and loves his horses.

  • Mmushi Selomo

    Mmushi worked at LHS from 2004 until 2013 as a back-up guide. He then worked with African Horseback Safaris in the Okavango Delta for three years as a guide and assistant stable manager. Mmushi rejoined the LHS team in February 2016 to be close to his hometown and family. Mmushi is an excellent horseman with a warm and welcoming personality. He makes guests feel instantly at ease and has an incredible knowledge of the bush he gladly shares.

  • Mpho Serumola

    Mpho Serumola has worked at LHS since 2004 and has been a lead guide since 2015. He is a natural talent on a horse and a great help with schooling and keeping them fit. He is a quiet presence and very keen to teach you about the bush.

  • Tsaone Rasedibo

    Tsaone is a long time groom and promoted in 2012 to assistant guide. He is a natural horseman and is a quiet presence at the back of the ride and well known for his excellent spotting talents.

This safari will take you to explore Mashatu Game Reserve in Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana. The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, an area of history and legend, offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa. It is still home to large herds of elephant, prides of lion, cheetah, and wild dogs. Along the river courses, huge riverine trees provide shade for eland, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, and zebra, whilst at night, the bat eared fox, African wildcat, and the magnificent leopard search for prey.

Some 350 species of birds may be seen. The Northern Tuli Game Reserve proudly provides a refuge for one of the largest, single population of elephant on conservation land in Africa. Known as the relic herds of Shashe, these elephants are the last living testament to the great herds that once populated the meandering Limpopo Valley. Today, the population is estimated to number in excess of 1400 animals.

Daily meals will be served for you during your safari. Two highly trained experienced bush chefs will look after your every need. Breakfast is buffet of freshly baked muffins, cereals, toast, and porridge.

Lunch is a buffet usually quiches, salads, and fruit for dessert. Dinner is a 3-course meal served to you at the table, often under the canopy of stars. Vegetarians and other special diets are catered for. Drinks are also inclusive which include a variety of soft drinks, beer, wines, and spirits.

You will be pampered with a massage included on your safari.

  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • A massage
  • Daily meals
  • Drinks and tea or coffee
  • Game drives and bush walks
  • Horseback rides
  • Laundry
  • Professional guides
  • Purchase of curios
  • Tips
  • Transfers

Arrival by airplane

You should book your flight to O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). Limpopo Horse Safaris can arrange transfer for you by Waterberg Transfers and be transferred in comfort to the Pont Drift Border Post, a 5-hour drive, at an extra cost. You will meet a representative and go to Limpopo Horse Safaris camp.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.