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Botswana - Limpopo Safaris
Tuli, Two Mashatu & Lodge to Lodge Safaris

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from £2,321 or €3,210

Horse Riding Holidays Botswana – Limpopo Safaris

Limpopo Safaris has been personally vetted by Zara and Jill (as have all our Horse Riding Holidays Botswana). We do this to ensure that the quality of the horse riding, accommodation, food and scenery combine to provide only the best Horse Riding Holidays in Botswana for our clients.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

DATES & PRICES top

Limpopo Safaris

PRICES 2017

Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders who are confident and secure in the saddle as you are riding in areas of big dangerous game.

Rates are quoted per person sharing. Limpopo Safaris are set date departures.

Open most of year.

High Season (March 1- April 30 & July 1-Jan 5)

Tuli Safari 7 nights – £2,730/€2,730/$2,850

Deluxe Tuli 7 nights (Bush & Lodge Ride) – £3,212/€3,775/$3,945

Low Season (May 1 – June 1 & Jan 6 – Feb 29)

Tuli Safari 7 nights – £2,321/€3,210/$3,355

Deluxe Tuli 7 nights (Bush & Lodge Ride) – £2,799/€3,290/$3,440

Single Supplement - An additional 50% charge but if you are willing to share with same sex, we are able to drop the charge.

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our Terms & Conditions for full details.

Includes – All the riding, full board including drinks & alcohol, plus other activities like bush walks & drives.

Excludes – Flights, transfers and tips.

DATES 2017

Tuli Safari (7 nights)

12-19 Feb, 5-12 Mar, 12-19 Mar, 19-26 Mar, 26 Mar-2 Apr, 2-9 Apr, 9-16 Apr, 16-23 Apr, 23-30 Apr, 30 Apr-7 May, 14-21 May, 21-28 May, 28 May-4 Jun, 11-18 Jun, 2-9 Jul, 9-16 Jul, 16-23 Jul, 23-30 Jul, 30 Jul-6 Aug, 20-27 Aug, 3-10 Sep, 10-17 Sep, 17-24 Sep, 24 Sep-1 Oct, 1-8 Oct, 8-15 Oct, 15-22 Oct, 22-29 Oct, 29 Oct – 5 Nov, 5-12 Nov, 12-19 Nov, 19-26 Nov

Deluxe Tuli African Bush and Lodge (7 nights)

29 Jan-5 Feb, 4-11 Jun, 25 Jun-2 Jul

How To Get There
International flight to Johannesburg.

Transfer
A charter plane from Johannesburg airport is standard for the Tuli safaris. The charge is £420 round trip per person.

You flight should arrive no later than 8am at Johannesburg airport and leave after 7pm on day of departure.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

An exciting safari on well-schooled horses makes this a riding holiday of a lifetime. Former Horse & Hound Editor, Lucy Higginson says ‘best mannered horses I’ve met on a riding safari’.

Limpopo Safaris are a fantastic wilderness riding safari destination in Botswana, recently taken over by long time safari owners Laura and Shane Dowinton. The safaris headed up by the fantastic Lindy Hill with her long serving team of fabulous back up staff and guides. These safaris offer fantastic horses (a legacy of previous owners Cor and Louise Carleson), a top class riding experience on the most beautifully schooled horses. The riding safari operates from the Mashatu Game Reserve which is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve on the eastern tip of Botswana. Mashatu is 30,000 hectares within a greater area of 70,000 hectares.

Limpopo Safaris are well known for great herds of elephants, 800 just on Mashatu, as well as numerous cats, including leopards, lions, cheetahs, African wild cat and some cerval.

The Tuli block itself is known as ‘The Land of the Giants’, because of the magnificent Baobab tree, huge sandstone outcrops, and magnificent plains and of course the Mashatus trees, prevalent along the great Limpopo River.

This area is perfect for exciting horse riding, good going with natural ditches and logs to jump, regular game sightings not only of the elephants and cats but also of antelopes, wild dogs, jackals, bat eared foxes, giraffe and the thrill of fast canters with herds of zebra and wildebeest across the plains.

Most Limpopo Safaris are tented and mostly mobile, and the most popular one is the traditional 7 night ‘Tuli Safari’.

In addition, there are 3 other options for Limpopo Safaris as part of our Horse Riding Holidays Botswana experience, which are also detailed below and include the ‘Two Mashatu’, ‘Lodge to Lodge’ and the ‘African Explorer’.

THE RIDING top

Horses – A good mix including Boerperd, Basuto, S.A.Warmbloods, Shire x Thoroughbreds, Friesan & Appaloosa Crosses.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced. Guests are riding in wild game country and need to be able to sit tight.

Tack – English style with Australian stock saddles & some English saddles.

Weight Restriction – 16 Stone / 102 kg / 224 lbs.

Group Size – Maximum 8.

ACCOMMODATION top

Limpopo Safaris : Two Mashatu Camp – Base Camp of Tuli & the 2nd part of accommodation on the African Exporer Big 5 Safari. Nestled in the shade of a centurion Mashatu tree, two traditionally built Lala palm rondavels serve as dining area and lounge. Accommodation is in big, ‘A’ frame 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.

Limpopo Safaris : Wilderness camps on Tuli – Satellite campsites are set up in specific locations throughout the Mashatu Reserve. Accommodation is in ‘A’ frame tents with comfortable beds, sheets and duvets. Facilities include a bucket shower and ‘bush-WC’. Meals are cooked over a camp fire.

Limpopo Safaris : Limpopo Lodge Ride – This 7 night safari offers guests the same benefits of doing a mobile safari but with the added attraction of more luxurious accommodation. The lodges are family-owned, private and exclusive with en-suite bathrooms and swimming pools.

Limpopo Safaris : African Explorer – At Camp Davidson in South Africa, where the first 4 nights of this safari is spent, you will stay in decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy valleys. Each tent is appointed as it would have been in Ted’s day with classic items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush. The A-frame tents have beds, sheets and duvets. Each tent also has an ensuite bathroom area with bucket showers. There are jug and basin hand wash facilities and flushing toilets. The 2nd part of the safari is based at Mashatu camp.

We have travelled the world testing a huge variety of horse riding holidays to make sure we offer you, our client, the best horse riding holiday experience possible.

Our horse riding holidays are thoroughly researched – we consider all the elements that go towards making our horse riding holidays collection the best in the world. We check the quality of the horses, if they are fit for the job, well produced and looked after. We make sure the riding terrain is good going, the countryside is interesting and, for example, on Classic Dressage horse riding holidays, the arenas are in good condition. We make sure the accommodation, whether it’s a five star hotel, a farmhouse or camping, is clean and comfortable, and offers a great night’s sleep. The food is all important too – we take the time to make sure we tell you if it’s cordon bleu, home cooked, or regional and locally sourced – above all it has to be delicious, plentiful and nourishing. Last but not least, we choose the horse riding holidays that have the best hosts, who are friendly, warm and welcoming.

It’s only when all these elements come together that we add a horse riding holiday into our hand-picked collection of horse riding holidays.

Horse Riding Holidays at Limpopo Safaris are part of the Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Botswana collection.

Limpopo Safaris – Please Ask About

  • Two Mashatu Ride – This is a 7 nights static safari, based at the bush camp Mashatu. It can also be booked on a per night basis.
  • Lodge to Lodge Safari – A 7 night safari aimed at guests who are looking for a bit more comfort.
  • Accommodation is at the static bush camp, and privately owned lodges.
  • African Explorer – A combination safari in 2 countries, starting in South Africa. In the late 19th century Ted Davidson, one of the first members of the Baber family to settle in the Waterberg, was a young man trading by ox wagon to remote cattle outposts of a young ranching area. A good day of travelling may have been only five miles or so by rugged track, and so an itinerant life in the Waterberg meant a life by the campfire. Horizon has captured this early camp atmosphere in creating Camp Davidson, where your African adventure begins with the second 3 nights being spent in Limpopo at either the Wilderness camps or Two Mashatu, depending on the time of year.
  • Add-ons
    • The ‘Blue Train’ from Johannesburg to Cape Town
    • Wine tours
    • Victoria Falls
    • Beach add-ons – Mozambique & Mauritius

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Tulis Safari

DAY 1

Upon arrival at the Pont Drift Border Post or Limpopo Valley Airfield, you will be met by your guide and transferred to our Reception area by the Stables. After a light lunch it’s time to head off to the stables 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 (If time permits we will ride directly to Two Mashatus Camp otherwise back to the stables again). A refreshing drink at the stables, then you will head back to camp for a warm shower and a delicious dinner 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 for Jwala Camp on the banks of the Jwala River. Six to seven hours are spent in the saddle enjoying the abundance of game and the magnificent scenery synonymous with the Land of the Giants. After arriving at Jwala Camp, lunch is the order of the day followed by a guided afternoon walk, examining the bush around you in detail. Dinner is prepared over an open fire by Martha or Grace - our truly brilliant chefs whose 'bush cuisine' is renowned far and wide. Retire to your spacious tent where you will experience the 'music' of the African bush as it gently serenades you to sleep.

DAY 3

An early wake up call heralds a new day and tea/coffee and a delicious light breakfast is served around the log fire. Test the amazingly sure-footed Boerperd as we cross over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails and enjoy long sustained canters to make up for the lost time traversing the ridges. This ride will be about six to seven hours, arriving at Kgotla Camp for a late lunch. This is an old tribal court from a nearby community that 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 we have the option of visiting the local village to buy hand-crafted Llala palm curios, viewing Bushmen paintings and then enjoying a sundowner looking out over the Motloutse River. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire after which the night is spent sleeping under the stars while listening in on the cacophony of sounds generated by the African bush orchestra.

DAY 4

We spend another night at Kgotla Camp, enjoying a full day exploring the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Ancient civilizations harbored their wealth among these hills where two mighty rivers, the Limpopo and the Motloutse, meet. This days riding will be about four to five hours, leaving time in the afternoon to head to the archaeologically rich Mmamagwa hills where a 360 degree view of the reserve can be enjoyed as well as another beautiful African sunset.

DAY 5

Another early rise and a good breakfast around the log fire will set the morning off to a good start. Today you wind your way through the mopane bush before reaching the more open plains. This will probably be your longest day of riding of about seven hours. On arrival at Limpopo Camp you will be welcomed by a well-deserved drink and a refreshing lunch on the banks of the Limpopo river. Tonight is your opportunity to explore Mashatu from a game drive vehicle and try to locate the elusive leopard, wild dog, cheetah and lion the area is well known for.

DAY 6

This morning will begin a little slower as this day will be spent exploring the banks of the Mojale and Matabole Rivers, following their courses north towards the Zeederberg site before returning to Two Mashatus Camp. The day will offer riding up and down river banks, through riverine forest, game sightings and more fabulous photo opportunities. Today’s riding will be about five to six hours. Todays break is under the bows of an old Mashatu tree, where a century ago the Zeederberg transport riders had their midday break before finally reaching Fort Tuli. Spend the afternoon at leisure before you embark on a guided walk into the bush. The evening is enjoyed with sundowners around a log fire and a delicious meal to end another exhilarating and rewarding day.

DAY 7

Today’s ride is rich in history and offers a variety of interesting tales of the past. The open Pitsani plains, so characteristic of this area, are perfect for a faster ride, hopefully with zebra or wildebeest! You head in the direction of the Majale and Limpopo confluence where lunch awaits you upon return to the Two Mashatus camp. This ride is about five to six hours. Dinner is in the Llala palm rondavel. A dreamless sleep no doubt awaits you as the final day draws to a close.

DAY 8

Today is your last day in the bush and begins with your final early morning tea/coffee and breakfast snack over the open fire. The morning is spent riding along the Limpopo River. We head back to the stables where fond farewells are made to your steed. This is a shorter ride of about two hours, allowing you to get back to Two Mashatus with enough time to enjoy a hearty brunch and to get ready for departure. Then it’s off to Pont Drift in time for your return transfer to Johannesburg.

Two Mashatu Safari

This is a fabulous based ride where you can explore the area around where the Limpopo and Majale rivers meet. The Two Mashatus camp is nestled in the shade of a centurion Mashatu tree and the surrounding area is rich with birds and wildlife. Enjoy the wonders of this exceptional habitat before relaxing in your private luxury tent. These tents are positioned in the shade, on teak platforms, with a small decking area for your enjoyment and they each feature an ensuite enviro loo and hot water shower.

In 2013 a small swimming pool was built on site too. After an exciting day on safari you can enjoy a refreshing dip and think about your day in the saddle!

DAY 1

Upon arrival at Johannesburg International airport, you will be met by your Waterberg Transfers driver at the information desk in the arrivals hall and transferred by road to Pontdrift border post, a drive of about 5.5 hours. At Pontdrift, your horse safari guide will meet you and transfer you to Two Mashatus camp. The transfer is in an open vehicle and lasts about half an hour, providing a good opportunity to spot some game along the way. After a welcome lunch and tour of the simple but very comfortable camp at Two Mashatus, you will be taken to meet the horses. An introductory ride in the open area around Nels Vlei will allow you time to get acquainted with your horse. As the sun sets, enjoy welcome drinks at the Stable Bar before heading back to Two Mashatus camp for a delicious dinner in the Lala Palm Rondavel.

DAY 2

An early wake-up call with tea/coffee brought to your tent, followed by breakfast around the campfire. You will make an early start each day to enjoy the freshness of the morning and to maximise game-viewing opportunities in the hours that the wildlife is most active. Undoubtedly you will come across the large herds of elephant for which the Tuli is renowned, as well as many different species of antelope; also giraffe, zebra, bat-eared fox, jackal, hyena and possibly even lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. The terrain is varied, with mopane bushveld, open plains for fast riding, steep river banks and riverine forests along the mighty Limpopo River. After an exhilarating morning, ride back to Two Mashatus camp for lunch, followed by a siesta in the comfort of your tent. After late afternoon tea, you can opt for another ride along the Limpopo River, enjoying the rich birdlife around you, spotting crocodile in the pools and learning about the magnificent trees lining the banks. Alternatively, you have the option of doing a game drive, game walk or visiting the local village Mothabaneng to see the local ladies make baskets as well as have a look at some bushman paintings. After a full and active day of riding and wildlife sightings, enjoy sundowners and a three course meal prepared by bush cooks on the open fire, before turning in for the night.

From DAY 3 Onwards

Each day you will ride out in a different direction, following the movements of wildlife in the area and observing and interpreting the world around us. The tempo of the rides is always varied and depending on the terrain, there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of the horses at a faster pace.

Final DAY

After a last morning ride, you will be back at the stables for a final pat and fond farewell to your horse. A quick shower and brunch at Two Mashatus camp before heading back to Johannesburg International via Pontdrift border post.

The Lodge to Lodge Safari

An exciting seven night mobile ride using our Two Mashatus camp as well as private family-owned lodges on Mashatu, as well as neighbouring Charter. If you enjoy more luxurious accommodation on a mobile safari, this is the ride for you.

This 7 night ride offers guests the same benefits of doing a mobile safari but with the added attraction of more luxurious accommodation. The lodges are family-owned, private and exclusive with en-suite bathrooms and most have swimming pools.

As we traverse the greater expanse of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, guests have the opportunity to enjoy sightings of animals such as elephant, leopard, lion, wild dog, hyaena and cheetah as well as a huge range of bird species, antelope and smaller game. With no fences within the reserve, this is truly one of the wildest places in Africa! Currently we have four lodges which we use for this ride as well as our very own ‘Out of Africa’ base camp – Two Mashatus.

DAY 1

Collection on arrival at the Information desk at JHB International airport by Waterberg Transfers. A drive of 5.5 hours takes you to Pontdrift border post where your horse safari guide will meet you. After the formalities of crossing the border you will be escorted in an open game drive vehicle to our reception area by the stables. After settling in and enjoying a refreshing lunch in the Lala Palm Rondavel, you’re off to meet the most important members of the team: the horses! You will then embark on a short introductory ride in the afternoon to make sure that you and your mount are perfectly suited. The ride is followed by sundowners at the stable bar before heading to our Two Mashatus Camp. A delicious evening meal follows before retiring to the comfort of your tent. Then allow the sounds of the bush serenade you to sleep!

DAY 2

After breakfast, we mount up and head off on the long ride of 6 hours to the luxurious Naledi camp. This ride traverses hills and ridges and takes you to the most northern parts of the game reserve. On the open plains there are good opportunities for fast canters, perhaps accompanied by zebra, wildebeest or eland. The lush vegetation close to the Majale River is browsed by a diversity of wildlife, so there is a good chance of excellent game-viewing in this area. Upon arrival at this beautiful private camp, you are welcomed by cold beverages and a good lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy the very comfortable rooms or lounge around the swimming pool with a view over the African bush. If feeling energetic, take a game walk with your guide in the late afternoon. This gives you the opportunity to learn more about the small and fascinating creatures that are an important part of the local ecology. Head back to camp before sunset for traditional sundowners, an excellent dinner and a good night’s sleep.

DAY 3

Today we make a leisurely start on the 4.5 hour ride to Kanda Farm, traversing the central game area of the reserve where you may see giraffe, eland or zebra. The ride passes through an area of rocky cliffs, home to a resident leopard. Kanda Farm is a family-owned property in a spectacular location overlooking the Majale River. After lunch and a siesta, you have the option of a game drive which offers the opportunity of viewing predators such as leopard, cheetah, wild dog and lion that Mashatu is famous for. You may also be lucky to spot some of the other interesting nocturnal residents such as hyaena, genet or porcupine. You stop for sundowners at a vantage point before returning to camp for dinner.

DAY 4

Today we explore the surrounding area, tracking wildlife through the bush and enjoying spectacular views across Mashatu. There is a great diversity of game in this area and you may see bat-eared fox, black- backed jackal, eland, kudu and other plains game. The morning ride is about 4 hours followed by lunch back at Kanda camp. In the afternoon, we follow the course of the Majale River on a bush walk and climb some of the kopjes in the area. Back to camp and a dinner under the stars!

DAY 5

Today you head out to the Pitsani plains. Descending to the plains, there is the possibility for an exhilarating gallop where you might be joined by curious herds of zebra, wildebeest or giraffe. You will wind your way through the hills before arriving at the beautiful Senthata Lodge on neighbouring Charter reserve. Usually there is a game drive in the afternoon, and a lazy relaxed evening on the cool lawn overlooking the mighty Limpopo while the cooks rustle up another delicious meal.

DAY 6

Another exciting morning’s ride as we head out along the Limpopo river in search of the abundant wildlife the area has to offer. Hopefully we will come across some logs knocked over by elephants along the way which the horses love to hop over. Today’s Lodge is the elegant Limpopo House. Enjoy the stunning pool or sit on the cool veranda with a book while you watch the horses graze nearby. And the afternoon will bring a final game drive and hopefully some cats along the way too.

DAY 7

After breakfast you head back to Two Mashatus camp, following the Limpopo River which always offers up some interesting and close encounters with elephant or other wildlife After an enjoyable 4 hour ride, we arrive at camp in time for lunch and a traditional African siesta in comfortable surroundings. You may go for a pleasant walk to stretch the legs in the evening before you retire for a good dinner and bed.

DAY 8

After a final early morning ride of about 2 hours, its time to pat your trusty steed goodbye. A quick brunch and a refreshing shower and you head back to the Pontdrift border post and a sad farewell to your guides after an exhilarating week of fun, adventure and multiple wildlife sightings. A 5.5 hour drive gets you to Johannesburg International airport in time for the evening flight home.

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

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Botswana Holidays Testimonials

Silvana Pitti on RAW & Kalahari Safaris

The trip was fantastic, R&W is really the best place in the world to spend a magical week, and Kalahari was the perfect complement after the Okavango. I think it's a very very good idea to propose Okavango and Kalahari together for people interested in Botswana because it's a perfect way to really understand where

Silvana Pitti & Family from Spain