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Imagine yourself riding a horse on the long grass and reeds watching great herds of wild animals. The breathtaking excitement when your silent progress along game paths only used by animals brings you upon a family group of elephants. This is an experience you will never forget and the only sounds you will hear, as the wind sighs through the grass and rattles the palms, are the wildlife calling your heartbeat to pound.
The maximum participants in the group is 8.
You will stay at Kujwana camp for 5 nights and Mokolowane for 2 nights. Kujwana is the main camp of Okavango Horse Safaris. The camp is facilitated with Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, and en-suite bathrooms. There is also a dining room, bar, fireside, barn, tack room, training area, and lunging ring.
Mokolwane is a camp made up of 5 tree houses, with the accommodation boasting superb views, each with a private bathroom. You can upgrade your accommodation to riverside suites, The Hippo Cradle or The Rocking Horse, for 70 GBP per person per night.
There is a variety of horses use in this program such as Thoroughbred, pure Arab, Anglo Arab, and American Saddlebred. They are well-schooled, responsive, and even temperament. The maximum to ride the horse weight is 90 kilograms.
Safety is the priority of this program. All rides are lead by qualified profession guides. A 0.375 rifle is carried on all the rides for security. All camps and vehicles have radio communication and guides ride with a handheld radio.
A demonstration is given at the beginning of the safari with a talk on how to handle big game situations. If there is an accident happened, all guests will be registered with a helicopter evacuation service which can get you to a hospital within 20 minutes.
You will be met at Maun Airport (MUB) by Mary or KK, Maun office team, before a 25-minute transfer by helicopter straight into Kujwana camp, or by light aircraft to Pompom Airstrip, which is then roughly an hour’s drive to the camp by vehicle or boat. Once you arrive in the camp, you will be given time to settle in before lunch and an introduction talk with a demonstration on a tack and advice on game viewing from horseback. This is followed by an orientation ride for approximately 1-2 hours.
You will wake up each day 1 hour before dawn to ensure the best game viewing. After breakfast, you will go to a morning ride in the Xudum area that leads you from island to island, surprising a timid reedbuck out his dense cover on a heavily wooded island, or enjoy the herds of lechwe and zebra moving through the open spaces. You will then return to the camp for lunch followed by a siesta. You will fill the second day by doing an afternoon game drive with sunset drinks and evening night drive with a spotlight. Then, you will return to the camp for a three-course candlelit meal.
You will ride from Kujwana to Mokolowane camp. This is approximately 30 kilometers ride heading northwest. The route moves through open floodplains and scattered islands towards the Matsebe river system, where you will see a wide variety of game. A picnic lunch is served on a shady island followed by siesta with camp beds, maybe a swim, and then a further 2 hours ride to Mokolowane camp. Arrive at sunset, you will enjoy a refreshing drink as you admire the stunning views over the floodplain. The open skylines of Mokolowane camp are made for a great star gazing.
This day, you will do a morning game drive. This camp is on the Matsebe river system and features wide open floodplains interspersed with Mokolowane palms, favorite food of elephant and baboon. It is also a good area for plains’ game. Alternatively, take a peaceful mokoro trip up the river and enjoy the tranquility of the delta from the dug-out canoes. In the afternoon, you will head out for a 2-3 hours ride and enjoy the beautiful colors of the Okavango Delta as the sun starts to sink behind the horizon.
You will do a full day’s ride from Mokolowane to Kujwana with a picnic lunch along the way. The ride covers around 35 kilometers, with 4 hours ride in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. This ride moves through a variety of game areas fording the Xudum River at numerous hippo channels. You will have an en suite picnic lunch and arrive at Kujwana at sunset.
Yo will do a morning ride around the east of Kujwana camp. Shady rain pans and thick riverine forest make this ride an ideal time to track a breeding herd of elephants. You will take a break for a chocolate bar on the edge of a hippo pool before riding on into more open areas with the chance of picking up a herd of buffalo moving through. You will do an afternoon mokoro for a relaxing trip being poled through the watery wilderness surrounding Kujwana depending on the water conditions.
You will do a full morning ride exploring the western Baobab area. Small islands linked by numerous hippo channels eventually lead you onto Baobab Island. It is a good habitat for cheetah and breeding ground for carmine bee-eaters. Baobab Island has thick riverine forest and is a good area for general game viewing.
You will have an early morning game to the nearest airstrip for transfer by light aircraft into Maun or a 20-minute helicopter ride if flight times permit. You will then leave after breakfast.
Barney learned to ride in Kenya and formally trained with the British Horse Society in England. She has competed internationally including the race of champions in the United States. After accumulating a wealth of equine veterinary knowledge, she now provides the majority of the veterinary care required as well as all the farrier work.
PJ is a Motswana citizen, and over the last 40 years, he has acquired extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Delta region and his bushcraft skills are highly respected in Southern Africa. PJ has been highly involved with the development of camps and staff and is now a registered BOTA assessor.
Rodgers is a lead guide at the Okavango Horse Safaris. He is a passionate and highly knowledgeable guide.
This safari will take place in Okavango Delta. It has been described as a water meadow. It has palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests, and clear streams.
Okavango Horse Safaris cooks will prepare 3 meals a day plus saddlebag picnic breakfasts and vehicle support picnic lunches. Emphasis is made on fresh vegetables and salads. Fresh bread is baked every day. Vegetarians are catered for. Light lunches, cold meats, salads, and 3-course dinners will be served by candlelight at the dining table near the campfire.
"To PJ, Barney, and every single staff member, sadly, I have to leave this wonderful place and its lovely people. Thank you for having me and sharing this beautiful paradise. O love the rides and learned a lot from Rodgers. I felt at home from day one. Mokowane, I would’ve loved to stay there longer and make the journey on horseback next time! I love to see the horses roam free in a herd as nature intended. Happy horses! So much to do so little time. A big thank you fo you guys."
Okavango Horse Safaris website, edited
"There are too many memorable moments to list from the few days I’ve been here. My abs are as sore from laughing as they are from riding and my face hurts from wearing the biggest grin the past three days. I am so grateful for the experience, to have met such wonderful people, to ride such beautiful horses, and to have some epic experiences with the local wildlife. Thanks to everyone for making this an incredible trip. I’ll be bragging about the experience for some time and telling so many people to visit and experience a safari or horseback with Okavango Horse Safaris. Cheers!"
Okavango Horse Safaris website, edited
"Thank you to everyone for creating such a wonderful experience for us. The horses were first class, especially Lima and Dothraki! Kevin particularly enjoyed his encounter with the lion and lioness. Big thanks to Percy for looking after him so well. Caroline was thrilled to canter with giraffe and zebra. David appreciated seeing the leopard. Very best wishes to all staff who made us feel so very special!"
Okavango Horse Safaris website, edited