MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS

Botswana - Tuli Safaris
Tuli Safaris

BOOK HOLIDAYS

We GUARANTEE you won't find the same horse riding holiday at a lower price through any other source... and if you do, we promise to refund the difference!

from £2,625 or €3,050

Horse Riding Holidays Botswana – Tuli Safaris – 2 Itineraries

DATES & PRICES top

Tuli Safaris: Prices 2024

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

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
Choose your currency
Rates are quoted per person sharing.

  • Low Season (December, January)
    7 nights – $3,350
    • GBP: 2,625
    • EUR: 3,084
  • Mid Season (February, March)
    7 nights – $3,969
    • GBP: 3,110
    • EUR: 3,653
  • High Season (April, May June, July, August, September, October, November)
    7 nights – $4,697
    • GBP: 3,680
    • EUR: 4,324

Single Supplement - if you are willing to share with same sex, there is no single supplement, otherwise 25% applies in low season and 35% applies for other seasons.

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.

Excludes – $140 conservation levy payable on site, an optional game drive $75, Flights, transfers and tips.

Tuli Safaris: Dates 2024

There is a Tuli safari running every week Saturday – Saturday as well as regularly from a Monday – Monday (this one runs backwards and they don’t cross over)

How To Get There
International flight to Johannesburg.

Transfer

A charter plane from Johannesburg airport is available for the Tuli safaris. The charge is £720 return or £360 one-way.

Road transfers take 6 hours and are also an option, the cost is £600 for a saloon car (1-3 people) and £725 minibus (4-8 people) each way.

You flight should arrive no later than 9.30am at Johannesburg airport and leave after 8pm on day of departure. To be safe we recommend arriving one day early and overnight in Johannesburg. If you do miss your charter flight we will arrange a private vehicle transfer but it is costly and you will miss the 1st day of your safari.

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.

Tuli Safaris: Prices 2025

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

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
Choose your currency
Rates are quoted per person sharing.

  • Low Season (December, January)
    7 nights – $3,618
    • GBP: 2,835
    • EUR: 3,330
  • Mid Season (February, March)
    7 nights – $4,289
    • GBP: 3,360
    • EUR: 3,948
  • High Season (April, May June, July, August, September, October, November)
    7 nights – $5,080
    • GBP: 3,980
    • EUR: 4,676

Single Supplement - if you are willing to share with same sex, there is no single supplement, otherwise 25% applies in low season and 35% applies for other seasons.

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.

Excludes – $140 conservation levy payable on site, an optional game drive $75, Flights, transfers and tips.

Tuli Safaris: Dates 2025

There is a Tuli safari running every week Saturday – Saturday as well as regularly from a Monday – Monday (this one runs backwards and they don’t cross over)

How To Get There
International flight to Johannesburg.

Transfer

A charter plane from Johannesburg airport is available for the Tuli safaris. The charge is £800 return or £400 one-way.

Road transfers take 6 hours and are also an option, the cost is £600 for a saloon car (1-3 people) and £725 minibus (4-8 people) each way.

You flight should arrive no later than 9.30am at Johannesburg airport and leave after 8pm on day of departure. To be safe we recommend arriving one day early and overnight in Johannesburg. If you do miss your charter flight we will arrange a private vehicle transfer but it is costly and you will miss the 1st day of your safari.

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 with lots of big game and herds 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’.

Tuli Safaris are a fantastic wilderness riding safari destination in Botswana, owned by long time safari operators Laura and Shane Dowinton. The safari operation is managed by a fantastic long serving team of guides and camp crew who go out of their way to ensure clients have the very best time. These safaris offer fantastic horses, a top class riding experience on well 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.

Tuli 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.

Tuli Safaris are tented and partially mobile, giving you a proper bush experience.

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 – South African stock saddles similar to endurance saddles.

Weight Restriction – 13.4 Stone / 85 kg / 220 lbs. (If you are a very tall advanced rider we can be flexible so please get in touch)

Group Size – Maximum 8

ACCOMMODATION top

TWO MASHATUS

Nestled in the shade of two large Mashatu trees, the heart of the camp has two traditionally built Lala Palm rondavels for dining and lounge areas.

Guest accommodation is in large A-frame walk-in tents set on teak platforms each with en-suite bathrooms. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree in the bush, not far from the main area. Each tent has a small deck area in front where guests can relax privately during the afternoons.

Two Mashatu also has a small swimming pool under a Mashatu tree for guests to enjoy.

TREE CAMP

This is a very unique camp; any childhood dream of sleeping up in the arms of a tree, will be completely fulfilled here. Nestled in the bough of a giant Mashatu tree and two ancient Leadwood trees, this Seligna deck, 4 metres off the ground, will be your retreat for the night.

Two guests each share an airy and cool sleeping pod. Along a short walkway, shared showers and toilets are under the Leadwood trees.

The spacious dining and lounge area flow from the sleeping pods and overlook the Majale River. This truly extraordinary camp is one that will be remembered and spoken about for years to come.

KGOTLA

The ‘Kgotla’ is an old traditional court enclosure from a nearby community, which was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. This open-air enclosure, made of Leadwood logs, provides a secure location for a camp.

The camp has hot running water, beautiful open-air showers and flushing toilets: the perfect combination for comfort and an authentic bush experience. Guests sleep on single beds around a large log fire in the centre of the enclosure.

The highlight of this camp to guests is sleeping in the open under the stars and listening to the resonance of an Africa evening.

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Tulis Safari – Saturday to Saturday

Day 1
Meet your guide at the border. Short transfer to the reception area overlooking the Limpopo river, in time for a light lunch.
Enjoy an introductory ride to check you are suited to your horse, before embarking on your first ride out to our Two Mashatus Camp. This will be your first opportunity to experience the beauty of the Mashatu Game Reserve and view the wildlife on horseback. Mashatu Game Reserve is home to the largest herd of wild free-roaming elephants on private land in Africa, and, although not a guarantee, it is almost assured that there will be great viewing of these incredible creatures.
As evening falls at Two Mashatu Camp, relax in the cool of the thatched rondavel lounge and dining areas, before enjoying a three-course dinner and getting to know your fellow adventurers for the next seven days.

Day 2
Sunrise, the dawn chorus and tea or coffee which is brought to your tent, sounds the start of your first day. After breakfast, it’s time to mount and depart from the dense woodland that hugs the Limpopo River, and head towards the rocky hills that delineate the edges of the great river valley. As the ride traverses the heartland of Mashatu, you will encounter plentiful game: plains game, many giraffe and herd of elephants.

Having meandered across the hills with vast views back towards South Africa, the ride arrives at Tree Camp in time for lunch. Overlooking the Majale river, it is possible to watch the wildlife from above, coming down to drink at the river.

That afternoon choose a ride or enjoy your first bush walk exploring the area along the West of the Matabole River returning to Tree Camp for sundowners.

Day 3
The safari passes through the centre of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo Valley. Giant Baobab trees continue to scatter the landscape as they have for centuries and ancient elephant trails make for wonderful tracks for long canters through open bush veld. Whilst riding alongside the banks of the Motloutse River, discover the old Leadwood ‘Kgotla’ (or enclosure used for the traditional law court of a Botswana village). This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night.

In the afternoon, we search for the area’s resident lions on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s night-time melody to sing you to sleep; a veraciously rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.”]

Day 4
The sandstone formations, including the famed Solomon’s Wall, one of the numerous dolorite dykes in the area, are explored on horseback. Some of the oldest civilisations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless, and combined with marvellous wildlife sightings, it makes for an incredible riding experience. This afternoon enjoy a short drive to the Mmamagwa Hills.

For the most visually stunning and ethereal sundowner, we visit the Mmamagwa Hills. A short climb up the sandstone ridge, brings us to the site of the Mmamagwa Ruins, which is of a similar period to Mapungubwe (13 century). To date these ruins have not been excavated and have been left alone. It is conceivable that similar treasures to those found at Mapungubwe (for example the golden rhino) could be buried here. After a short climb, enjoy sundowners beneath a beautiful baobab tree with a breath-taking view of the area.

Day 5
Wind up Elephant Valley along ancient trails stamped into the soil by centuries of migrating elephants, before heading north towards upper reaches of the Majale River.

This area is peppered with enormous baobab trees and is one of the more remote areas of the reserve.

After an exhilarating ride through this timeless countryside, enjoy a relaxing lunch at Tree Camp.

An afternoon ride or, subject to availability, a game drive with Mashatu Main Camp vehicles may be possible to enjoy the central area of the reserve (additional cost $75 pp). This is a great chance to photograph big cats and hyena up close.

Day 6
Today’s riding promises great game viewing from horseback as we explore the Pitsane River Valley. Drinking holes, dug by elephants along the course of the Pitsane, attract thirsty herds of game. An area, where history has it, there was a skirmish during the Boer war which destroyed Bryce’s Store, an old British supply post.

There was a stagecoach line, called Zeederberg’s, that ran from the towns of the Transvaal in South Africa to the newly forged settlements of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Those coaches crossed the broad Limpopo and followed the Pitsane River into Zimbabwe.

The ride returns to the Two Mashatu Camp in time for lunch and a cooling swim in the pool. A guided bush walk to one of the nearby koppies for sundowners is the afternoon excursion.

Day 7
Our ride today meanders its way through the beautiful plains between the Majale and Pitsane rivers, with abundant game and spectacular views into the Limpopo River Valley.

En route, we explore the remains of an old Boer War fort on a rocky outcrop, followed by a ride down into the cooler wetland area where plentiful game enjoy the lush grasses.

In the summer months, rain and water dependent, it can be possible to enjoy cantering through the shallows of the Limpopo River. There is time to relax in camp, before either an afternoon ride or bush walk for your last African sundowner.

Day 8
The last ride in the Limpopo Valley is a great opportunity to take one last picture of elephants and enjoy a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides.

Arriving back at the stables and reception mid-morning, there is plenty of time for a hot shower and a tasty brunch, before saying farewell to safari companions, new found friends and Horizon Horseback Mashatu.

Tuli Safari – Monday to Monday

Day 1
Following a flight from OR Tambo Airport in South Africa to Limpopo Valley Airfield in the Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana, guests are received at the Horizon Horseback Mashatu stables where they will enjoy a light lunch on the banks of the Limpopo River, receive a safety briefing and meet their horses.
Horizon takes great care to match horse to rider based on a guest’s riding experience and professed ability. However, before embarking on the safari, each guest will be given a simple riding test in order to ensure that they are suitably balanced in the saddle and are able to direct their horse in an independent manner. While the journey is not an endurance test, it does involve long hours in the saddle and, with the possibility of close encounters with elephant and the big cats, riders need to be able to control their mounts gently and confidently.
If at this point a rider is unsure of the suitability of their selected horse, a horse swap is possible. At Horizon Horseback Mashatu, the herd is quite uniform, consisting of well schooled, forward going but calm horses. They are mostly boerperd, a South African breed particularly suited to this type of work.
The route on this afternoon is from the Stables to Two Mashatus, 11km. It follows the Limpopo River floodplains, with good opportunities for those first exciting encounters with elephant, giraffe, zebra, ostrich and wilderbeest. The route crosses close to a large wetland area which acts as a magnet for game and there is even a chance to come across bat eared fox, black backed jackal and spotted hyena. It then crosses the Majali River close to its confluence with the Limpopo, a favourite haunt of leopards and a resident pride of lion. Across an open plain the famous Two Mashatus Camp awaits.

Day 2
The first full day of riding crosses the game rich areas of the central reserve. Following breakfast at dawn, riders set off first along the Majali and then the Mataboli rivers in a north western arc towards the beautifully appointed Tree Camp. The route typically yields rich encounters with elephant, waterbuck, giraffe, impala, wildebeest and zebra. Signs of the many predators that make these rich riverine environments their home are bountiful, and chance encounters possible. The ride typically takes between four and five hours, and riders start to form a true bond with their individual mounts. The trappings of modern living begin to fall away as the sense of adventure and journey deepens.
Tree Camp will be reached in time for a refreshing shower and lunch. After a welcome rest in the comfort of the camp, nestled in the cooling shade of the majestic Mashatu Tree, a hearty tea will be served. This is followed by a guided bush walk up the Majali River in search of crocodile and other game. Kudu, warthog, klipspringer and eland are all present in the area around the camp, as are elephant, lion and hyena. Waterfowl fly low past the camp and birdsong abounds. This is a truly beautiful place and it is impossible not to immerse oneself in nature and experience the exceptional qualities of Africa’s wilderness areas.

Day 3
Waking in Tree Camp is a magical experience. One feels fully immersed in nature, surrounded by birdsong, and alive to the new day as the early morning light filters through the majestic tree’s leaves. After a quick breakfast, riders set off on the journey’s first long ride – up onto the edge of the mini escarpment and then down, through the Valley of the Elephants and on towards the distant sandstone citadels guarding the Limpopo and Motloutse Rivers.
The first part of the journey is not to be hurried, as the horses wind along well-worn elephant paths, past giant baobabs and the occasional shallow watering pan. Soon, however, the country opens up and the horses can start to stretch their legs along soft ground leading to the headwaters of a stream flowing off the ridge and down towards the Limpopo. This is prime elephant country and the guides are always on the lookout, using all their sharpened senses. Once the path leaves the river, the terrain is once again more open and the pace faster. A second river is then joined, which leads directly down to the veterinary control gate on the main road through Mashatu Game Reserve.
The route then follows the road for a short while before heading across flat country towards the intriguing Sacred Rock massif. Here the mopane vegetation is short and it is safe to ride quite fast across the plain. Large herds of zebra, wildebeest and impala habit this area. The guides plot their route using individual mashatu, leadwood and apple-leaf trees as their markers. Soon riders reach the old leadwood enclosure (used in the past as a traditional law court of a Botswana village) known as the ‘Kgotla’. This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night. The camp is not far from the banks of the Motloutse River and, with high concentrations of game living along the river’s fertile floodplain, the area is home to large prides of lion and clans of hyena. The sounds of these predators at night provide enduring memories!
In the afternoon, we search for the area’s resident lion on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Whilst big cat sightings from horseback occasionally happen, Horizon Horseback follows a ride away policy. The best opportunities to approach lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena occur whilst on game drives where the vehicle acts as a natural hide and is largely ignored by the predators.
Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s night-time melody to sing you to sleep; a rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.

Day 4
The riding this day is more relaxed and tailored to the group, since a different camp does not need to be reached by nightfall. A particularly interesting route to follow is first along the Motloutse River, stopping at well known elephant drinking holes to watch the herds come and go before winding down towards the impressive Solomon’s Wall, a tall dolomite dyke which was breached by the river in ancient times. This is the favourite haunt of troops of baboon, which are always fascinating to watch. The trail then follows the banks of the river, flanked by giant mashatu and leadwood trees, towards the mighty Limpopo. This area is renowned for its dramatic sandstone rock formations, steeped in colour and home to eland, klipspringer and kudu. Awaiting you in the deep riverside shade of the mighty Limpopo River is a breakfast you will never forget. After breakfast and a chance to water the horses, you will follow a spectacular route over the rock massif that dissects this area of the reserve. This mountain pass will include a short stretch of the legs where we lead the horses through the rocks. Once over the top it’s a short ride down to an open plain where we can enjoy another canter until you reach the Kgotla.
Some of the oldest civilizations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless and, combined with marvelous wildlife sightings, makes for an incredible riding experience.
The game drive in the afternoon takes guests to the foot of the impressive Mamagwa massif, a free-standing formation which was used by British troops as a defensive position against incursions from the Transvaal Boers at the end of the 19th century. Sundowners are traditionally taken at the far western edge of the massif, with endless views over the wilderness landscape whilst watching the sun slowly slip over the horizon. The drive back to Kgotla in the dark provides more excellent opportunities to spot lion, leopard and hyena.

Day 5
This morning’s ride starts by taking advantage of the wonderfully sandy soil in the west of the reserve with some long and open canters. The route typically then cuts through sandstone formations before reaching a hidden canyon near the banks of the Limpopo River. The Kgotla area is particularly rich in game, with large herds of elephants, eland, zebra, and impala often sited. Upon returning to Kgotla there is time for a luxurious siesta before the afternoon game drive to the Amphitheatre, where yet another incredible vista into the west provides us with the perfect sundowner spot.

Day 6
On this day the journey turns northeast and follows a series of river trails on the way back to the centre of the reserve. Life in this arid environment is always concentrated near water, and the ride promises sightings of elephant, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest. The route crosses the watershed and then winds along ancient paths adjacent to a stream flowing north towards the Majali River. At these elevated heights, the sweeping views to the north reveal the true wilderness character of Mashatu Game Reserve. Baobab trees scatter the landscape as they have for centuries, and remarkably two of these giants are found growing directly in the stream itself. This provides an excellent spot for both horses and riders to stop for a rest and a drink.
The remainder of the day’s riding is a mixture of elephant trail trekking and canters across relatively open mopane veld. The final stretch is along the Majali River itself, past rocky pools, cliff faces and ribbons of green grass. Encounters with baboon, kudu, klipspringers and crocodile are likely. Tree Camp is finally reached after 4-5 hours of riding.
That afternoon guests leave their horses to a well-earned rest and will go either on a guided bush walk or, if chosen, a game drive with Mashatu Main Camp guides. This opportunity, while provided at an extra cost, should not be missed as the near guaranteed sightings of lion and leopard, and sometimes of cheetah, are legendary. The guides are very knowledgeable about the structure and whereabouts of the various prides and individuals, and failure to find them is very rare indeed.

Day 7
With an early departure from Tree Camp, this ride offers sweeping views to the east and south, bathed in early morning light, as it traverses along the edge of a ridge near the centre of the reserve. The path then descends to a game rich area along the Majali River. The deep river pools are the favourite haunt of baboon and impala. Sooner or later the great herds of elephant come past for their daily drink, to play in the water and enjoy a dust bath
The final part of the ride is first across open plains with some fast canters, and then through cool riverine vegetation along the approaches to Two Mashatus Camp. This is the original Tuli Trail camp and is beautifully situated nestled amongst giant mashatu and apple leaf trees close to the banks of the Limpopo River. This area typically boasts the highest density of elephants in the reserve, who sometimes roam through the camp in a gentle yet determined way. It is also excellent for lion and leopard as well as baboon, bushbuck, and waterbuck.
Guests sleep in standard safari tents with en suite facilities. After four to five hours in the saddle, this is the perfect place to relax. On hot days the swimming pool at Two Mashatus is particularly welcoming.

Day 8
The final ride is back to the Stables, following the Limpopo River upstream. The route passes game rich habitat, including a hyena den and a large wetland which can be home to large flocks of waterfowl. Other notable sightings include Kori Bustard, the largest flying birds in Africa, bat eared foxes and ostrich.
Once at the Stables it time for a shower and meal on the banks of the great river, and then a short journey to the Limpopo Valley Airfield for the flight to Johannesburg in South Africa.

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.

CHECK AVAILABILITY top

    Please use the message box below to provide additional and any other relevant information like your riding experience and for how many people.

    Also, if the above Holiday describes few different options for your Horse Riding Holiday in the area - please add a note on which choice you are referring to. Thank you.