One of the world’s biggest musical superstars has just discovered something that Jill and I have known for a long time – that the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert is a great place to go horse riding!
Taylor Swift was there last month to film her latest video, ‘Wildest Dreams’. She did so with the help of David and Robyn Foot, who are good friends of ours through operating the Ride Botswana Kalahari Camp safari horse riding holiday that’s part of our range and that more of our friends have enjoyed. Their daughter Julie had a key role too – as she stood in as Taylor Swift’s double during the actual horse riding scenes themselves!
Robyn was able to tell us all about their special visitor when she joined us at the Blair Castle Horse Trials in Scotland earlier this month. It turns out that Taylor Swift and her team had spent five days filming in Botswana as guests of James Stenner and John Barclay, owners of Barclay Stenner Luxury Safari Expeditions. The video producer said he wanted to finish by getting shots of Taylor Swift on horseback, cantering past giraffe… and John said he knew exactly the right people for that.
And so it was that Taylor Swift arrived at the home of the Foots the following day. One of their best horses, named Dupfrie, was chosen to be the star of the video – and a little later in the day, Julie Foot was invited to take part too, as the double for Taylor Swift in the cantering shots.
Robyn tells us that the day spent with Taylor Swift and her crew was a great experience, and the results are truly spectacular, as you can see by watching the video below. You won’t be first to see those results though – as the video was already viewed an astonishing almost 60 million times in just the first two weeks after going online!
We’re delighted to see that Robyn, David, and the rest were able to play such a central role in the work of such a superstar, as they are lovely people who provide absolutely brilliant safari horse riding holidays in a magical location. But don’t just take our word for it – consider what Paul Ronan, Master of the Tipperary Foxhounds in Ireland, had to say after he enjoyed a holiday there:
‘David is a smashing guy, a good guide, and good fun too. He has made the rides very interesting, with very good horses. As it was the migration season when we there, we were spoilt, and saw thousands of zebras. It was a truly spectacular sight.’
He had this to say about the Kalahari Camp itself:
‘The facilities, staff, food, wine, and everything else were excellent, and Devon and his partner could not have been more hospitable. The flight to camp was a great experience not to be missed, and again, the food was excellent and the staff fantastic.’
We also had some great feedback about horse riding holidays in Botswana from Silvan Potti from Spain, who enjoyed a trip there with her family:
‘The trip was fantastic. Mostwiri is really the best place in the world to spend a magical week, and Kalahari was the perfect complement after Okavango.
I think it’s a very very good idea to propose Okavango and Kalahari together for people interested in Bostwana, because it’s a perfect way to really understand where is Okavango and to really understand how magic it is to find such a big quantiy of water and animals in such a dry and unlimited desert.
All there guides were perfect and very helpful and friendly. Everything was wonderful: the food, horses, rhythm of the journey, and accommodation. The camps were so magic.
I think it would be a pity not to do both trips together: Okavango AND Kalahari. I know it’s expensive, but to go to Bostwana is not something you do every year in your life, so to do both of them is a perfect way to discover this so magical country.’
Maybe you’re inspired to check out Botswana as a Horse Riding Holiday destination for yourself. If so, please browse our range of holidays there, or contact us for further information. We’d love to talk to you about this beautiful country and all it has to offer.
You can read Ride Botswana’s own account of their visit from Taylor Swift by clicking the link below: