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8 Days Big Five Horseriding Safari South Africa

8 Days Big Five Horseriding Safari South Africa

  • Karongwe Private Game Reserve - Greater Makalali Game Reserve

Exciting Horseriding Safari in South Africa

Wait A Little's horse safaris is one of the few places in the world where you can see wildlife in its natural environment from the back of a horse! Wait A Little horse safaris are highly personalized and specialized riding safaris for experienced riders in the Karongwe Private Game Reserve close to the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa. This horseriding safari offers you a different experience of safari in South Africa!

Highlights

  • Daily horse riding
  • Beautiful morning rides
  • Sundowner followed by a night drive
  • Ride side-by-side with giraffe or wildebeest
  • Exciting drive to buffalo project
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • 3 daily meals
  • 7 activity days
  • English
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Wait A Little (day 1-3 and 7: 4 nights)

Wait A Little has 4 rooms in total: 3 tented camps on platforms overlooking the Makuthswe River and 1 rondavel in the garden overlooking the horse paddocks.

All rooms are equipped with mosquito netting, insect repellent, adapters (two point to SA and English adapters) and hairdryers. All rooms have electricity with hot and cold water. The water is excellent drinking water.

After an exciting hot day you may enjoy a drink at the bar or relax at the swimming pool. The main area is equipped with a library giving you the chance to read about the wildlife, flora, and fauna of South Africa. For a personal experience, Wait A Little will accompany you throughout your stay and share all the excitements together.

Beacon Rock (day 4: 1 night)

Beacon Rock, Wait A Little’s fly camp, is situated at a giant rock formation from where you can overlook the whole Lowveld escarpment. A quick scramble up to the top rewards you with a spectacular panorama over the whole reserve and the perfect vantage point to witness a blood red sun fall behind the looming Drakensberg Escarpment.

XiDulu (day 5-6: 2 nights)

XiDulu has spectacular views, over big distances show you the way to XiDulu, which will be your camp for the next two nights. XiDulu is located in Greater Makalali Game Reserve and built at the edge of a dam with a resident pod of hippos. Enjoy the game from the deck of your chalet or the viewing platform or even better whilst enjoying the infinity pool.

XiDulu’s rooms are all equipped with inside and outside showers, baths, air conditioner, and a big veranda. Elephants often come for a swim during the day, whilst at night, lions and hyenas are often seen or heard near the camp.

Please note, that this itinerary is an example and not a guarantee, wildlife determines the daily activities. Please help Wait A Little to preserve nature by respecting their guidance throughout your trip. Good riding skills (pro rider) and fitness are essential.

Day 1

You will be picked up at preferably Hoedspruit or possibly Phalaborwa Airport (PHW) by Wait A Little’s transfer service. A direct pick up from Johannesburg or Tambo can also be arranged, note that travelling time is 5 hours.

On arrival at Wait A Little, sandwiches and afternoon tea and coffee await you. The Wait A Little team, including Philip and Gerti, are there to welcome you. Gerti will introduce you to the safety procedures before going on your first riding safari. This orientation ride takes you through the area surrounding the camp as you unwind from your journey and forget yourself in the peace of the African bush.

This is your chance to become accustomed to the horses and riding style. You might even see the first giraffes or zebras or whatever else is in the vicinity. Sundowners, looking out towards the Drakensberg Mountains, are a perfect prelude to the generous 3 course dinner, accompanied by hand-picked South African wines, which awaits you in dining area, furnished with antique African art.

The first night, with all its fantastic sounds and noises, is probably the most exciting one. Accommodation for these first three nights is in old style safari tents with en-suite bathrooms, mounted on platforms above the Makhutswe River at the Wait A Little main camp.

Day 2

Wait A Little will wake you up with tea or coffee in the morning. After a light, continental breakfast, you are ready to mount the horses and go on safari. The weather will create your day. You will ride for 3-4 hours in the morning and approximately 2 hours in the afternoon.

After you return from your morning ride, a big lunch, made by Ana the chef, awaits you with homemade quiches, pizzas or pancakes, freshly homemade bread, different types of salads and greens, meats and cheeses.

After lunch, the hardest time of the day has arrived, siesta. You can spend your well-deserved rest in your room or at the swimming pool or maybe you would like to improve your knowledge about Africa by reading one of the books provided in the library.

Afternoon tea and coffee will strengthen you for your next adventure. Your afternoon ride ends at a beautiful sundowner spot where, drink in hand, you enjoy an often colorful sunset!

Day 3

Another exciting day awaits you. The morning is similar to the one on day 2, but today, you will go on an exciting drive to your buffalo project in the afternoon. Your guide will take you to the furthest northern corner of the reserve, all along the Makuthswe River to hopefully find the beautiful beast.

Here, you will enjoy your sundowner followed by a night drive back home to Wait A Little. Over lunchtime, you are welcome to have a relaxing massage by Wait A Little’s therapist. There is a well prepared massage room where everything is there for your comfort.

Today is also the chance to acquire some of Wait A Little merchandise material. From fleeces, fleecy jackets and sweatshirts to shirts, T-shirts, golf tops, hats, beanies to bath utensils, there is a beautiful and fashionable selection of safari outfits available.

Day 4

It’s another beautiful morning ride followed by Ana’s famous brunch. In the afternoon, you’ll pack your bags, leaving for another camp, staying away for all in all three nights. The luggage will be brought by vehicle, whilst you set off on horseback.

Riding south, you will pass between the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill with baited breath. The gently undulating roads in this area lend themselves to long easy canters. Giraffe, zebras or wildebeest may pick up the pace and run by your side, elegantly maneuvering through the veldt.

Under the stars around a campfire and surrounded by the horses, you’ll spend the night listening to the call of the hyenas or jackals, which might visit you in the night. Steaks or chops, cooked over the open fire with snakebites, baked potatoes and salads are perfect to help you fall into a deep sleep tonight.

Day 5

Waking to the rich colors of the sunrise, you will revive the fire for coffee and breakfast before embarking on your longest ride. Entering the Makalali Private Game Reserve, dominated by huge open plains you might find yourself cantering next to giraffes, zebras or wildebeest.

The afternoon siesta is followed by a game drive. Your guide Patson is a very well-known tracker and guide who knows all the native stories about the bush and the wildlife. In an open top Landrover, he will follow the directions of the signs left by the big cats during the day.

After watching the sunset, the drive continues into the night where, with luck, some of the nocturnal wildlife will show its face. Bushbabies, owls, maybe even a leopard, will complete your day’s excitement. Dinner is served in the dining area or outside around the fire place under the stars at the waters edge. The Wait A Little team in their usual fashion will be responsible for your culinary expereince at XiDulu.

Day 6

Today, you will go exploring, cutting through the veldt at a canter, twisting and turning around the trees - what Philip calls bushwhacking - and your surefooted horse carries you nimbly through the undergrowth, changing direction as you guide his course, having just as much fun as you are. Here and there, a tree felled by an elephant, provides an irresistible jump. Or perhaps the eland, or kudu, seeing you pass, fall in front of you to show you the best path.

At the top of the hill you can pause for thought, as mile after mile of unspoiled Africa stretches away before you. The afternoon is open to either join another one of Patson’s irresistible game drives or to go on another ride.

Day 7

After a light breakfast, you’ll head back to Wait A Little leaving XiDulu behind. What will you see on your way? This is always open to the wildlife and tracks of elephant, lion, rhino, and giraffe determine your path.

Wait A Little the team eagerly awaits your exciting tales whilst you enjoy another one of Ana’s fantastic lunches. The last sundowner on Wait A Little's open plain will be sad, but beautiful, impressive, and absolutely unique.

The African fever might have caught you as well and the good bye can be hard. For your farewell dinner Gerti chooses something special - perhaps game fillets like kudu or eland served on pasta with sherry sauce.

Day 8

An early wake up will get you on the horses quickly, so you can enjoy a short sporty ride. Once back, you can finish your packing and then indulge in Ana’s final breakfast before the transfer service brings you to the airport. Wait A Little trusts that you will have enjoyed your amazing holiday with them and they thank you so much for your visit.

  • Gerti Kusseler

    Gerti’s passion has always been horses, riding and competing in show jumping and dressage back in Germany from a young age. Gerti has continued her riding carrier in South Africa by obtaining an FEI instructors qualification and competing actively with her two dressage horses. Gerti is also a qualified guide. This background helps her to train and educate the trail horses to become the perfect safari companions for the guests. Gerti also oversees all operations, including reservations and catering.

  • Philip Kusseler

    Philip guides the Wait A Little safaris and attained his guiding license as soon as he arrived in South Africa. He remains one of the few field guides to have achieved the highest qualification: level 3, SKS dangerous game. He was just 16 years old when he did his German hunting license and living and working in Africa was a childhood dream for him. With hours of patience and dedication, Philip has managed to find a way to approach wildlife such as elephant and lion close on horseback.

Karongwe Private Game Reserve

This reserve is a 8500-hectare game reserve and has various ecosystems ranging from open plains, woodlands, hills and rock formations, to riverine, and gullies. Many rivers are the lifeline of the region and support an impressive population of flora and fauna. Huge fig trees, Jackal berries and other exotic plants grow along these rivers.

The region is the home to wildlife such as elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, wild dog, hyena, giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest, hippo, crocodile, bushbuck, kudu, nyala, waterbuck, impala, warthog and many different species of birds. Seeing these ancient creatures in their natural environment from the back of a horse, without disturbing the fauna and flora is absolutely unique.

Greater Makalali Game Reserve

This reserve covers 25000-hectare game reserve and is probably one of the biggest private wilderness areas in South Africa. There are only two lodges operating on the whole reserve with an abundance of game including the Big Five. The two reserves are very similar in fauna and flora and have got the same kind of animals.

  • 3 daily meals
  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • All drinks
  • All rides and game drives
  • Gate fee
  • Guides
  • Massages
  • Special wine and champagne
  • Staff gratuities
  • Telephone calls
  • Transfer to / from Wait a little

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at Phalaborwa Airport (PHW) as you will be picked up by Wait A Little. The pickup is included in the price.

  • 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.