South Africa & Botswana
African Explorer safari riding in 2 countries


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 £2,035 or €2,310

Horse Riding Holidays South Africa & Botswana – African Explorer Safari

Here is a lovely video of the African Explorer ride to give you a feel of what to expect. Enjoy!


African Explorer – South Africa and Botswana: Prices 2024

Suitable for intermediate plus riders. During the Botswana section of the ride you are riding with big dangerous game and must be secure and confident in the saddle at all paces. Rates are quoted per person sharing.

(combining 3 nights at Camp Davidson, 1 Night Savannah Lodge (South Africa) and 3 nights in Botswana)

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
Choose your currency

  • High Season (May, June, July, August, September, October, November)
    7 nights – $3,613
    • GBP: 2,860
    • EUR: 3,334
  • Mid Season (March, April, December)
    7 nights – $3,064
    • GBP: 2,425
    • EUR: 2,827
  • Low Season (January, February)
    7 nights – $2,678
    • GBP: 2,120
    • EUR: 2,471

Single Supplement
There is no Single Supplement if willing to share, otherwise it is a 50% supplement.

African Explorer – South Africa and Botswana: Dates 2024

This safari runs Friday-Friday all year round.

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

Includes – All the riding, accommodation, meals, drinks & alcohol.

Excludes – Flights, transfers, $60 to enter Botswana game park, $75 optional game drive in Botswana & tips.

Getting There
International flight to Johannesburg.

A 3-4 hour transfer from Johannesburg airport to your initial camp in South Africa. It is then a 4-5 hour private road transfer to Botswana on day 5. On your final day we organise a flight out of Botswana back to Johannesburg airport.

Shared road transfers from Johannesburg to Camp Davidson, Camp Davidson to Limpopo and a charter flight from Botswana to Johannesburg are £520 per person. To avail of shared transfers you must arrive into Johannesburg before 9.30am and depart after 8pm. Prebooked private transfers cost £250 for 1 pax for the car,  £175 between 2 for the car, £100 between 3 pax for the car.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We do recommend flying in the night before to avoid any stress of delayed flights. If you miss your transfer we will organise a private one at the ADDITIONAL cost of £324 and note there may be a waiting time.

If you would like to avoid the flight transfer from Limpopo back to Johannesburg you can take a road transfer, please ask us for a quote.

We can arrange also arrange private transfers for some parts if you wish.

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.


This is a very exciting and we think affordable safari ride. It combines four nights in South Africa, the first three you will be at Camp Davidson luxury bushcamp built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng Valley or depending on the season Horizon luxury lodge is sometimes used and then you spend a night at Savannah lodge, a stunning lodge surrounded with game. The final three nights  you’ll be in the Limpopo Valley in Botswana where you’ll encounter loads of big game. This fantastic combination enabling you to explore the central highlands of the Waterberg massif before moving onto the vast Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Block.

You should be a fit adventurous rider for this safari as there is plenty of long canters and long days in the saddle. You must be a good intermediate rider for the Botswana section as you are riding with big game.

In South Africa you will encounter plains game plus hopefully some hippo and then moving on to Botswana you are in big game country and with any luck it will be teeming with herds of elephant as well as lion, cheetah, leopard, African wild dog, a multitude of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe as well as over 350 species of birds. It is an area of great diversity, magnificent vistas, ancient civilisations and dramatic rock formations bordered by the Great Limpopo River in the South.

Camp Davidson has been built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng valley. It offers the opportunity to explore from a base camp nestled in the heart of the wooded mountains of the Waterberg. The camp commands a wonderful panoramic view of the central highlands of the Waterberg massif, while overlooking the picturesque Sunset Lake at the eastern boundary of Horizons Safari Ranch.

In the late 19th century, Ted Davidson, one of the first members of the Baber family (owners of Triple B Ranch) to settle in the Waterberg, was a young man trading with an ox wagon to remote cattle outposts of a young ranching area. A good day’s 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 the early camp atmosphere through beautiful decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys. Each tent is appointed as it would be in Ted’s day with items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush.

Savannah Lodge is a beautiful lodge on it’s own game reserve and is a wonderful mid safari stop with fabulous game viewing and good riding.

When you move to Botswana, the Tuli Block, the area you will be riding in is named the “Land of the Giants” for its baobab studded plains and large herds of elephant. Here you stay at the Two Mashatus camp, a semi permanent camp with A frame tents, long drop loos and bucket showers.


Horses – Anglo-Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Boerperds and cross breeds

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced.

Tack – South African McClellan saddles.

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

Group Size – Maximum 10


Camp Davidson (1st camp on African Explorer Safari)
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  tents have beds, sheets and duvets. Each tent also has an en-suite bathroom area with bucket showers. There are jug and basin hand wash facilities and flushing toilets.

There is a nice small pool to cool off in after a days riding.

The food in both accommodations is wonderful, beautifully home cooked, locally sourced and using fresh ingredients – expect good quality meat and fresh salads, with afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes. Vegetarians and people with dietary requirements are easily catered for here due to their high personal care.

Savannah Lodge (2nd camp on African Explorer Safari)
This lodge is stunning lodge and a real treat mid safari for guests. As well as enjoying the views and creature comforts, guests will see lots of game and enjoy some good riding.

Two Mashatu – Botswana (3rd camp on African Explorer 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. A new pool has recently been added, perfect for cooling off in after a hard days riding!

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 the African Explorer are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays South Africa.

Please Ask About

  • Cape Town add-on – it’s easy to fly down from Johannesburg to spend a few days sight seeing, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, Robyn Island and staying in a wonderful hotel or driving along the wine route staying at some glorious wineries, before taking a direct flight home
  • Victoria Falls add-on – again, very easy to fly to Victoria Falls and visit for a day or two, take a boat or helicopter trip and afterwards head into Botswana and the Okavango Delta, time permitting or travel home. We work with some fantastic lodges here.
  • Mozambique – Only a short flight from Johannesburg, Mozambique is an incredible untouched beach destination with fantastic horses and hosts. Have a look on our Mozambique page.


Example African Explorer 7 night Safari Itinerary

DAY 1: You will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and transferred to Camp Davidson, 3 hours. If arranging your own flights you should arrive in Johannesburg by 09:00 at the latest. Arrive at Camp Davidson in time to explore the beautiful surroundings and to meet your guides and the rest of your group before enjoying a late lunch. That afternoon you will be introduced to your safari horse. You are matched with a horse to suit your ability and experience before heading off on your first ride. On route through the Matlapeng reserve, the ride will take a sundowner break at the Red Lake, where you are likely to encounter the pod of resident hippo, before climbing the ridge back to Camp Davidson.”]

DAY 2: A day of exploration in the reserve spent tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to straying off the trails as your horse leads you along game trails and narrow kloofs. A saddlebag lunch is served at the riverside along a long abandoned wagon route used by the pioneers to congregate for church each Sunday. Rest in the shade of the riverine forest during the heat of the day or take a dip in the clear flowing streams whilst the horses graze, before gradually meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.”]

DAY 3: A full day’s ride west of camp takes you around Bellevue on the southern end of the reserve and on to the historic Baber homestead for lunch by the poolside. This afternoon, visit the local Sotho village and perhaps have a tour of some of the traditional houses. Meet with the local characters like Martha Mosima and a group of village lady elders for afternoon tea, accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. After a day of riding, culture and history you return to the tranquillity of the Camp Davidson where dinner is served under the stars.”]

DAY 4: Leave Camp Davidson behind and ride south to the neighbouring reserve which is home to Savannah Lodge. The ride traverses a wide wetland, home to reedbuck and grass owls, before entering dense woodland dotted with wild fig trees and large fruited bushwillows. Cross the watershed and descend through open grasslands with sweeping views to the upper reaches of the conservancy’s main water system.

Your route passes the favoured habitat of waterbuck and cape buffalo before entering the open plains which are aptly known as ‘little Serengeti’ – large herds of blesbok, eland, wildebeest and kudu are on view, as are groups of elegant sable, swift red hartebeest and impressive journeys of giraffe.

After lunch at the lodge and some time to relax and enjoy the pool, your afternoon ride continues to explore this game rich area, closing with sundowners overlooking the African plains.”]

DAY 5: The guests will have breakfast and have a great ride before heading back to the Horizon lodge where they will meet their transfer to Botswana. Guests are then transferred to Limpopo Horse Safaris in the remote north eastern corner of Botswana (a journey of c.4 – 4 ½ hours). Cross the Limpopo River and into the Tuli block, before arriving at the stables. An introductory afternoon ride will familiarize riders with their horses for this leg of the safari. Arrive at Two Mashatus camp in time to freshen up before supper.”]

DAY 6: An early wake-up call with tea or coffee brought to your tent, followed by breakfast around the campfire. Make an early start each day to enjoy the freshness of the morning and maximise game-viewing opportunities in the hours when 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. If you are lucky, you may even spot lion, leopard, wild dog or cheetah. Later ride along the Limpopo River, enjoy the rich birdlife, look for crocodile in the pools and learn about the magnificent trees lining the banks. Alternatively, you have the option of a game drive, game walk or visiting the local village. In the village of Mothabaneng, see the ladies make baskets and visit some bushman paintings.”]

DAY 7: Ride out today 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.”]

DAY 8: The last day of your African Explorer adventure begins early with a final morning ride before arriving back at the stables in time for brunch. After saying farewell to your horses there is time for a refreshing shower and change before brunch. You will then begin the transfer back to Johannesburg International via Pontdrift border post, 5 hours.”]


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.


    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.

    Current Weather Around Botswana
    clear sky
    humidity: 13%
    wind: 3m/s N
    H 39 • L 38
    Weather from OpenWeatherMap

    Botswana Holidays Testimonials

    Current Weather Around South Africa
    broken clouds
    humidity: 28%
    wind: 2m/s WNW
    H 35 • L 32
    Weather from OpenWeatherMap

    South Africa Holidays Testimonials