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Botswana - Okavango Delta & Desert Safari
All riding, full board accommodation, drinks, a limited selection of alcoholic drinks, transfers on ride & other activities.

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from £6,040 or €6,935

Horse Riding Holidays Botswana – Okavango Delta & Desert Safari

PRICES & DATES top

Okavango Delta & Desert Safari: Prices & Dates 2023

Suitable for intermediate plus riders only. We can also tailor make shorter rides for 2 riders or more, please ask for a quote.

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
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  • 7 nights$7,307
    • GBP: 6,040
    • EUR: 7,024
    per person sharing
    23-31 January
    20-28 February
    13-21 March
    11-19 December
  • 7 nights$8,226
    • GBP: 6,800
    • EUR: 7,907
    per person sharing
    29 March – 6 April
    27 April – 5 May
    1-9 June
    14-22 June
    12-20 November
  • 7 nights$9,115
    • GBP: 7,535
    • EUR: 8,762
    per person sharing
    1-9 July
    25 July – 2 August
    8-16 August
    22-30 August
    5-13 September
    23-31 October

Single Supplement – There are 2 single tents available with no single supplement charge. Once these tents are allocated there is a single supplement of US$800 if you don’t wish to share.

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

Included – All riding, full board accommodation, drinks, a limited selection of alcoholic drinks, transfers from Maun & other activities.

Excluded – Flights & tips.

Getting There
International flight to Maun Airport, Botswana.

Transfer
We will meet you at Maun airport and the transfer to the meeting point is about 30 minutes.

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

The ultimate horse safari in Botswana offering an unbeatable combination of the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans in the Kalahari. This safari will consist of 5 Nights Okavango Delta Ride / 3 Nights Kalahari Ride (Camp
Kalahari.

Known by many as the “Jewel of the Kalahari” the Okavango Delta is one of the most extraordinary game areas in the world changing from wetlands with floods to dry land during the course of the year.

Floodwaters from the Angolan highlands flow 1,200 km down the Cuito and Cubango Rivers before joining forces to form the Okavango River. On reaching Botswana the waters fan out covering 15,000 sq./km before disappearing into the Kalahari sands, never to reach the ocean. The flood varies from year to year and can never be quite predicted but normally during the months of July/August you have plenty of water with it receding much of the rest of the year in recent times.

Here you find some of the greatest wildlife concentrations in Africa including at least one third of the continent’s remaining elephants as well as herds of buffalo, zebra, giraffe and a multitude of antelope species. All, of course, followed by the large carnivores – lion, leopard, cheetah and one of Africa’s last remaining healthy populations of the African wild dog.

There is no better way to experience the Okavango Delta than on horseback. With the excitement of big game viewing, combined with ultimate tranquillity, it is one of the most sought-after wilderness destinations of the world.

Days are spent riding from island to island, traversing endless floodplains or exploring the myriad deep-water channels and lagoons.

During the course of the safari the lightweight camp may move to a selection of four different wilderness campsites depending on water levels and wildlife movements.

You will experience wonderful riding (obligatory canters through the water!), incredible wildlife, fabulous bush cuisine cooked on an open fire and top-class professional guiding, but always with a minimal ecological footprint in mind.

Kalahari Camp Safari’ is an exhilarating semi mobile safari in the Makgadikgadi Salt pans, which makes up part of the infamous Kalahari Desert. The ride takes in all the extraordinary attractions of the Makgadikgadi – during the dry season you may ride right out into the middle of the pans, whilst in the wet season there is a chance to ride among Botswana’s largest zebra and wildebeest migration.

THE RIDING top

Horses – Mostly Boerperd and Thoroughbred crosses with some Appaloosas and local bush horses. They range in height from 14.3hh to 16hh.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate plus riders.

Tack – Mostly snaffles bridles and South African trail saddles or McClellan type saddles, but there are some English Wintec synthetic saddles available upon request.

Weight Restriction – 95kg / 209lbs / 14 stone 9 lbs.

Group Size – Maximum of 8.

ACCOMMODATION top

In the Okavango Delta, the camp is made up of comfortable lightweight tents with standing room, stretcher beds and full linen bed rolls. There will be one bucket shower and one short drop toilet per four guests. You are likely to move camp approximately 3 times during the 7-night set date safaris (subject to weather conditions and game movements).
No electricity is available, however solar/battery powered lights are provided in the tents.

For single travellers there are two tents which can be allocated without single supplement, and this is allocated on a strictly first-come, first-served basis (available for those genuinely travelling alone). Once these tents have been allocated you would need to pay the supplement to guarantee a single tent. There is no supplement if you are willing to share.

The Kalahari camp uses walk in Meru tents, with running loos and showers. It sits nestled amongst the acacias and Moklowane palms of Brown Hyena Island on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. It has a traditionally built thatch library, living and dining area and a swimming pool.

MEALS: OKAVANGO DELTA –There is a highly qualified chef s who produces simple yet delicious meals of a very high standard. The dining style is buffet using fresh ingredients and cooked over an open fire. Dinners are 2 courses comprising of a main meal and dessert.

KALAHARI RIDE-The menus that emphasise fresh tastes and originality. The meals at Camp Kalahari are plated, not buffet style, and are comprised of interesting and delicious dishes from all over Africa.

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Please note that the itinerary may change depending on the weather at the time and other local conditions, but always with your best interests at heart. The location of camp will be dependent on water levels, wildlife movements and the length of the safari (the longer the safari the further the camp is likely to move on).

Day 1
From Maun airport you will have a short 30-minute vehicle journey to the southern end of the Okavango where the safari begins at the so-called “buffalo fence”. Here the horses are waiting; luggage is loaded onto mokoros and transported onto camp, whilst you get to mount up and begin your adventure into the Delta. (We therefore suggest that you pack your riding kit at the top of your luggage, so that it is easily accessible upon arrival.) Riding time 1-3 hours.

Days 2 to 5
There is no set itinerary, and the location of camp depends on water levels and wildlife movements. Camp is likely to move twice during the five nights so that you can explore different areas of the delta. A typical day starts with a wake-up call and light breakfast at dawn. Spend the morning following ancient elephant trails searching for the large variety of wildlife, enjoying the prolific birdlife and cantering through the flooded plains. If you are lucky, you will see Giraffe, herds of buffalo, kudu and lechwe. Riding time 4-6 hours.
Lunch is back at camp and rest under the shade of giant jackal berry or leadwood trees.
Enjoy a tranquil evening ride appreciating the Okavango, listening to the sounds of the bush and snorting and splashing of your horses. If you prefer a quieter afternoon, take a sedate journey in a mokoro or perhaps a bush walk to look for the smaller wildlife that inhabit the bush and learn basic tracking skills.
Return to camp for dinner under the stars. Riding time 5-6 hours

Day 6
Today you ride back to the fringes of the delta and the buffalo fence for your transfer to Camp Kalahari in the Makgadikgadi pans. You can either transfer by light aircraft (50mins) or road (3 hours). Camp Kalahari is a lovely static camp nestled amongst acacias and moklowane palms with thatched central areas and a refreshing pool. After afternoon tea, head out on an introductory ride to experience the magical open landscapes of the desert. Return to camp for sundowners so that the horses are safely in the kraal before the lions start prowling! Riding time 3-4 hours.

Day 7
Breakfast at dawn followed by a morning ride through the ‘land of a thousand islands’. The remains of this ancient lakebed are dotted with sand dunes covered in palm trees and is a beautiful and fascinating landscape. During this dry season the white encrusted pans between the island provide excellent going for the horses and there are plenty of opportunities for long gallops. Return to camp for lunch and a rest. In the afternoon head out in the game vehicle to search for the elusive brown hyena. Enjoy a night drive back to camp with the spotlight to look for nocturnal species such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari lion. Riding time 3-4 hours.

Day 8
Head off on horseback to discover some of the Kalahari’s most endearing species – the meerkats. An ongoing habituation programme means you can get up close and personal with these captivating creatures, so you’ll leave the horses with the grooms and approach on foot to sit amongst the family. Watch how they interact with each other, and if you are lucky, become a lookout post! As the day warms up, leave the meerkats to their foraging and ride the well-worn paths to find resident zebra and ostrich gathered around water holes before returning to camp for lunch. Late afternoon head out for an adventure on a quadbike as you ride straight into the middle of the ancient lakebed. Eventually all that can be seen is a vast flatness stretching in every direction as the sun sets and the stars rise.  Return to camp for dinner. Riding time 3-4 hours.

Day 9
Ride through the bush to a traditionally built Bushmen village where the local Zu’hoasi people gather during the day. A two hour walk with these extraordinary people will provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and the bushmen’s way of life. The group will point out distinct ecological characteristics of the area along with its animal and bird species. After your walk, return to camp by horseback in time for a quick refresh before your transfer back to Maun for your flight home. Riding time 3-4 hours.

Please Note: This safari is usually guided by David Foot – although we are unable to guarantee this. On rare occasions an alternative lead guide may be your host.

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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Current Weather Around Botswana
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Botswana Holidays Testimonials

Lucy Higginson on Limpopo Safaris, Botswana

With a 30 plus strong herd of horses, Louise manages and schools them all beautifully. Apart from the odd compulsive water rollers, they were the best mannered horses I have met in a riding safari.

Lucy Higginson Editor, Horse & Hound Magazine