Ride Overview - African Bush Safari
A wonderful horseback riding vacation in Africa which covers two countries! Winner of the Best Riding Safari, 2015 – 2018! This eight-day safari is for those who want a wonderful horseback game viewing experience, combined with an element of cultural history. The safari combines four nights at a Botswana Tuli block and three nights in the Limpopo Valley. This combination provides an exceptionally rich and rewarding experience, not only of the African bush and it’s magnificent wildlife but also the cultural history of the Waterberg. The topography at each destination is different and distinct and will give you a true flavor of Africa. Each area has its own unique and fascinating niche species, resulting in a broad diversity of animals to be seen. This safari is only for experienced riders. A memorable combination of game viewing on horseback and a mix of African culture!
1)The camp has recently 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 Triple B Ranch. Your beautiful decked canvas tents are nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys. Each tent is appointed with classic items that would have been essential to the traveler accustomed to regular nights in the bush.
2) Depending on the season, the Botswana part of the safari can now be done either as a mobile camping safari using both wilderness camps as well as the Two Mashatu camp or as a static camp using just the Two Mashatus camp with the added comforts this provides. The Two Mashatus camps are 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. The wilderness/satellite campsites are set up in specific locations throughout the Mashatu Reserve. Accommodation is in A-frame tents on comfortable beds with sheets and duvets. Facilities include a bucket shower and “bush-WC”. Meals are cooked over a campfire.
“Wow! A holiday of a lifetime. Amazing country to ride in, beautiful and wild wildlife to observe. Each camp was unique and special in its own way. The food was super and the horses and staff are worth their weight in gold and then some. Thank you to all who have made this experience a lifetime memory.” J.F. UK
Ride Itinerary - African Bush Safari
You will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and transferred to Camp Davidson in time for a late lunch. That afternoon you will be introduced to your safari horse. We will ensure that you are matched with a horse to suit your ability and experience before heading off on your ride. On route through the Matlapeng reserve, the ride will pass “Red Dam” where you are likely to encounter our pod of resident hippo, you will then ride to a stunning lookout spot for sundowner drinks before returning to Camp Davidson.
A day of exploration in the reserve, tracking giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. Your trail will pass “Sunset Lake where resident fish eagles and Spur-Winged geese are often spotted and its shallow banks give you a great opportunity for photos. You will return to camp in time for lunch and a chance to relax by the pool. The afternoon ride takes you on a ride with a good chance of more hippo viewings and some nice long canters. In the evening, there is the option for a night sky safari with local astronomer, Dr. Philip Calcott, who will guide you through the constellations. The absence of light pollution enables you an incredible chance to view some of the amazing wonders of the universe.
A morning ride with provide a chance to track game, enjoy some of the jumping lanes and finish off with a swim with the horses in one of many reserve lakes. Afterwards, you will return to camp for a large and lazy lunch. After lunch, you will depart for a game drive in a ‘Big Five’ private game reserve with a chance to see rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard.
A full day ride west of camp takes you to a neighboring game reserve. This ride offers lovely long canters on sandy tracks and great game viewing opportunities on large plains populated by wildebeest, hartebeest, sable, eland and blesbok. Then it’s on to the historic Baber homestead for lunch by the poolside. Next, your group will return to camp via the local Sotho village and a visit to Beadle, a craft workshop on Triple B Ranch, a community upliftment project. The crafters specialize in handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps. Your day ends with sundowners at a favorite lookout spot and return to the tranquility of the Camp Davidson where dinner is served under the stars.
You will mount up early for a final ride through the reserve, soaking up the early morning sights and sounds of the African bush. Your destination is the Horizon Lodge. You will be transferred from the lodge by 9.30 and are transferred to Botswana. Once at the stables, an introductory afternoon ride will familiarize you with your new horse for this leg of the safari. You will arrive at the Two Mashatus camp in time to freshen up before supper.
You will receive an early wake-up call with tea/ coffee brought to your tent, followed by breakfast around the campfire. This is the best time to enjoy the freshness of the morning and to maximize game-viewing opportunities. You will have a choice of a long morning ride and an afternoon guided walk, or two shorter rides. Undoubtedly, the accommodations herds of elephant for which the Tuli is renowned will be encountered, as well as many different species of antelope. Giraffe, zebra, bat-eared fox, jackal, hyena and possibly a lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah can be seen. You will arrive back at Two Mashatus camp in time for lunch and a cooling afternoon in the shady camp or lazing by the pool. That afternoon, your group will have the choice of an afternoon ride or guided walk along the Limpopo River rich with birdlife, crocodiles and magnificent trees that line the banks.
Today you will ride out to follow the movements of the native wildlife. 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. The afternoon brings a chance to enjoy a Mashatu game drive. Mashatu is famous for big cat sightings and this is definitely a wonderful opportunity for keen photographers to capture sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and elephant.
After the last morning ride, there is time for a quick shower and brunch at the reception area before heading back to Johannesburg International.
Ride Details - African Bush Safari
Dates: Sunday – Sunday, weekly departures from January 6th – December 29th
Meeting Place: Arrivals Hall Information Desk at JHB International or Tambo International Airport
Riding days: 8
Maximum Daily Riding Hours: 7
Visas: In South Africa and Botswana, you will be given an entry visa at the border valid for your length of stay at no cost.
Vaccinations: Please consult your doctor as soon as you book your ride for required vaccinations. Anti-malarial precautions should be taken in this area during the summer months of November through March.
Riding ability: ADVANCED: Confident and in control at all paces including posting trots, two point canters and gallops in open spaces. Comfortable in the saddle for 6 hours or longer. Capable of riding across rivers and optional jumping.
Restrictions: Minimum – age 16 years old
Horses: Boerpherds, Shire/Thoroughbred
Group size: 2 – 8
A-frame tents with beds, sheets and duvets this is very comfortable camping. Each tent has an ensuite bathroom with flush toilets and hot water showers (water heated on the fire and placed in a 15 ft. camp shower when you are ready).
Non-riding activities: Game drives, cycling, and walking availablePrice: $4,675.00 per person double occupancy; $975.00 single supplement
**This price will fluctuate with the USD/GBP exchange and will be fixed at your final payment.Includes: accommodations, riding, meals, teas and coffees, drinks, game drives (at least 2), air transfers to and from JHB International to meeting place, bush walks and laundry.
Not Included: airfare, tips and curios. $40.00 tourism levy.ANNUAL RAINFALL AND TEMPERATURE:
African Bush Safari: Gallery
African Bush Safari
Botswana and Limpopo Valley, Africa