An exhilarating horse safari in the heart of the Okavango Delta
"A 6-day riding safari in the heart of the true African wilderness."
"A 6-day riding safari in the heart of the true African wilderness."
The Okavango Delta lies in the northwest of Botswana in the midst of the Kalahari desert that surrounds it. A breathtaking river delta landscape of unimaginable dimensions, consisting of a huge swamp system interspersed with large islands, open seasonally flooded grasslands and rivers that support a great variety of life.
From April to November there is a long dry season, followed by a short but intense rainy season. The Okavango fills up and expands as the water levels rise slowly with floodwaters from Angola, upstream makes it way down the river system each year. The waters start to rise in March and generally continue to rise until June. Shallow floodplains fill and small channels start to run again. Nature sprouts explosively and the Okavango Delta comes to life.
Due to this availability of water, this special part of Botswana offers a habitat for an unimaginable density and variety of wild animals. Even the species that are desert-adapted feel at home in this watery wilderness. The species richness that the Delta is home to is unimaginable. To date, more than 700 different animal species have been counted, although the number is probably even higher.
Hippos, crocodiles, lions, leopards, giraffes, rhinos, Cape buffaloes and countless other game species live here in high densities.
More than 100,000 elephants roam Botswana and most of them are in the Okavango Delta. As there are vast tracts of protected land here including the Moremi Game Reserve and several private concessions here they are safe in this refuge. This is one of the few areas in Africa where they are not hunted, they feel safe and huge herds settle here.
Many areas of the Delta are almost impassable with off-road vehicles, especially in the high water season which makes crossing the plains by boat or on horseback great ways to explore and there is no question which is the more exciting option!
Being on horseback allows you to move in the wilderness as flexibly and inconspicuously as the animals. And thanks to your quiet companions you can follow the wildlife and get extremely close to it without disturbing it. As such you will experience breathtaking animal encounters.
Enjoying exciting and refreshing gallops through the knee-deep water, seeing spectacular sunrises and sunsets and riding in pure wilderness as far as the eye can see are just some of the highlights awaiting you on a horse safari in the Okavango Delta.
Arrival at Maun Airport and collection by the Maun office team for your transfer by plane or helicopter and off-road vehicle / boat for:
Transfer by light aircraft/helicopter back to Maun airport for your onward flights.
Longer and shorter safaris are available on request as well as additional staring dates every Tuesday and Saturday.
Since the safaris take place in ‘BIG 5’ terrain, you must be an advanced rider to be able to go on these rides. You must feel comfortable at all paces, be able to trot or canter for at least 10 minutes and gallop out of risky situations. You should also be able to control your horse at any time and pace. It is a great advantage to be a physically fit and experienced rider.
You will be met at Maun airport by Mary or someone from the Maun office team. From there, a helicopter or light aircraft will take you to the Pom Pom runway a mere 25-minute flight. An off-road vehicle or boat will be waiting for you, dependant on the seasonal water level. A one hour transfer to Kujwana main camp follows.
Once you have arrived, you have some time to settle in, make yourself comfortable and have a look around. You will be briefed on the equipment, riding and how to behave in the bush, before an introductory ride which will last 1-2 hours.
To ensure the best conditions for game viewing, each day will begin 1 hour before sunrise. After a delicious breakfast, you will start your first, morning ride. This will lead you through the area of Xudum. Wading from island to island, you will already discover your first wild animals here. Whether it will be jumpy reedbucks or large herds of lechwe and zebra that pass through the open spaces, you will experience a wonderful first safari day.
You will return to the camp in time for lunch. There will be time for a siesta to gather energy for the afternoon game drive. Sundowners await you at a beautiful vantage point on the drive. When the sun has set, you will return to the camp with a night drive, while the spotlights search for rare nocturnal animals.
Back at camp, a delicious 3-course menu awaits you under the impressive starry sky of Botswana.
Today’s morning ride takes you over 30 kilometres in a northwesterly direction from Kujwana Camp to Mokolowane Camp. The route traverses open flood plains and isolated islands and goes on to the Matsebe River system, where wildlife is plentiful. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a shady island, followed by a siesta on comfortable camping beds. There is even time for a refreshing swim before the horses are mounted again and ridden to the next camp.
As you arrive at sunset, ice-cold drinks await you. The open plains of Mokolowane Camp offer a panoramic view of the sky and great stargazing.
The morning begins with a game drive. The camp is located on the Matsebe River, in an area known for its wide flood plains. Mokolowane palm trees whose fruits are the favourite food of elephants and baboons grow here in large numbers. With a little luck, you will find some of them here. Alternatively, you can explore the area on a leisurely mokoro (dugout canoe) trip and simply enjoy the peaceful silence of the delta.
In the afternoon a 2-3 hour ride awaits you, on which you can admire the beautiful colours of the delta as the sun slowly disappears behind the horizon.
Today, a whole day in the saddle awaits you. You return to the comfortable Kujwana Camp, with a picnic break half way. About 35 kilometres are covered today and you will spend about 4 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon riding. The route passes through a variety of wildlife areas as it follows the Xudum River, a popular home for hippos.
You will reach the camp at sunset and a final sumptuous 3-course meal.
If departure times allow, you will have the chance for a last horse ride before breakfast. Afterwards, you will take a 1-hour vehicle ride to the airstrip and transfer from there by light aircraft or helicopter to Maun Airport.
Kujwana Camp is the main camp and where you will spend most nights. The large walk-in ‘Meru’ safari tents are set up on permanent deck with verandahs and are lovingly and luxuriously furnished. Large, comfortable twin beds are provided in each tent, as well as a small, cosy living area and an adjoining bathroom. Each tent has a beautiful view directly over the surrounding delta. For an even better view, you have a central tree house at your disposal, which provides maximum relaxation. There is also a pool overlooking the Xudum River and a lounge with dining room, campfire and bar.
Mokolowane Camp is smaller and more discreet, but no less charming. It consists of 5 high tree houses in a small forest in the middle of the wilderness. They have views to the open floodplain surrounds, where every now and then elephants pass by. Each room has comfortable beds and a private bathroom.
As previously mentioned as the safaris take place in ‘BIG 5’ terrain, you must be an advanced rider to go on these rides.
A choice of more than 50 thoroughbreds, Arabians, Friesian crossbreeds and Boerperd horses with heights from 1.44m to 1.72m await you.
The horses are perfectly trained, experienced and have a balanced temperament. The perfect safari horses for this environment. Great importance is attached to each rider finding a suitable horse and forming a good bond with it.
Riding is done in the English style, with a choice of English eventing saddles and South African trail saddles. Each saddle is equipped with a seat saver for additional comfort. Most horses are ridden with a simple snaffled bit.
To ensure the well-being of the horses, the maximum rider weight is 90kg. Please stick to this limit, riders may be asked to step on a scale.
The groups usually consist of a maximum of 6 riders to ensure the optimal safari experience for each guest.
Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!