Five of the best… Horseback Safaris

At In The Saddle we are somewhat well known for our horseback safaris and there really is something for everyone in our selection. We have picked our top five here to help you make the tricky decision of choosing which one to embark on that little bit simpler…

Fun and magic in the Okavango Delta
Being the world’s largest inland delta, the vastness of the Okavango Delta cannot fail to take your breath away. With over 10,000 square miles of palm islands, grassy flood plains and mopane forests, there are a myriad of waterways as this river meets the Kalahari Desert. As one of the only sources of water during the dry period the Delta attracts wildlife in abundance making it one of the most spectacular places to see Africa at its most magical.

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Situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta, Macatoo is a luxury bush camp, recently renovated, which offers riders the experience of a lifetime. Riding beautiful, fit and well cared for horses you will enjoy a variety of riding; from an early morning gallop on the plains alongside giraffe or zebra to splashing your way through waterways and tracking elephant as you explore the palm studded islands. This area is known for the ‘big five’ and you can expect to see plenty of giraffe, elephant, buffalo, many species of antelope and even lion.

Go if… you are an experienced rider wishing to experience the exhilaration of fast riding and viewing wild game in their natural habitat, whilst staying in luxurious accommodation.

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Explore the Tuli Trail
The Tuli Block in the remote eastern corner of Botswana is bordered by the great Limpopo River. The diversity of scenery – from dramatic rock formations, magnificent vistas and baobab studded plains – is little known and relatively untouched by man, and the variety of wildlife is plentiful. Lion, cheetah, leopard, African wild dog, impala, over 350 bird species and plains games such as zebra, wildebeest and giraffe make the Tuli Block their habitat and the area is particularly famous for its great herds of elephant.

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Limpopo Lodge is found in the Mashatu Game Reserve and offers riders the chance to enjoy exceptionally well-schooled horses as you ride across a range of terrains. With six or seven hours in the saddle daily you could find yourself exploring the bush at a leisurely walk, cantering along the plains or jumping ditches, river banks or logs knocked over by elephants. Travelling from camp to camp on this mobile safari, you can expect to watch unforgettable sundowners, go on game walks and a game drive and socialise round the evening camp fire, as well as enjoy fast and fun riding with no two days ever being the same.

Go if… you are an experienced rider with a spirit of adventure and dream of getting up close and personal with some of Botswana’s most beautiful game and wildlife.

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See the Maasai Mara migration
The famous Maasai Mara Migration is one of the world’s greatest spectacles and the exhilaration of experiencing it from horseback will be unforgettable. Wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and eland are the main migrators and cross miles of treacherous terrain to search for food and water. Travelling across the open plains of Kenya on horseback gives you unique access to some of this country’s most spectacular sights – and offers a privileged way of seeing beautiful wildlife in its quest for survival.

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Safaris Unlimited provides a memorable mobile-tented safari enabling riders to journey through some of the most prolific wildlife areas in Africa. Led by experienced guide Gordie – whose father Tony Church pioneered long distance riding safaris in the 1970’s – you can expect to learn about the indigenous local people as you explore hills, valleys, savannas and Masai manyattas (villages). There is a vast range of wildlife and game to view, including lion, leopard, zebra, warthog, giraffe and of course the migrating wildebeest!

Go if… you have always dreamt of galloping head to head with a herd of wildebeest and experiencing, first hand, the way of life for the native tribesmen of Kenya.

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Fun for all the family
South Africa is a dream destination for the adventurous, and horseback riding across this wonderful country offers a rare and extraordinary experience. The Waterberg is a 100-mile arc of mountains in the Limpopo province and plays host to many private game reserves. The scenery in this area is spectacular and varied with an array of different vegetation to explore, from dense woodland to beautiful rolling open grassland.

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Ants Lodges are run by Ant and Tessa Baber and provide beautiful luxury accommodation in their own private game reserve situated in the malaria-free region of the Waterberg. Catering for all levels of rider, non riders and children – this family-friendly safari is personal and tailor made for each visitor to enable you to gain the perfect balance of relaxation and recuperation, along with adventure and of course getting close to some of the country’s most beautiful animals. With no elephant or lion in the reserve, a trip to Ants Lodges means that all levels of rider can safely enjoy a horseback safari, yet still get up close to rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, mongoose, African wild cat and more than 250 species of birds.

Go if… you wish to stay in beautiful accommodation and have varied riding – you have children or are part of a mixed ability – yet still want to experience the thrill of riding with wild game and seeing South Africa in all its beauty.

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Horsey paradise
Moolmanshoek is surrounded by the beautiful Witteberg Mountains, which sit on the border of Lesotho in South Africa. The basin is home to a variety of game, including springbuck, black wildebeest, blesbuck, zebra, eland, and many other indigenous wildlife. The flora and fauna that can be found as you explore the mountain slopes and beautiful wooded ravines will fill you with peace and tranquility, giving you respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This unspoiled mountain environment was declared a Natural Heritage Site in 1994 due to the rare Mountain Bamboo which grows in the area, so you can be sure that this destination will be a feast for all your senses.

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At Moolmanshoek you can explore the reserve on horseback, go walking alongside streams and dams or enjoy fly-fishing in clear spring water, along with many other activities – making it ideal for non-riding guests. As the home of two award-winning studs – South African Boerperd and Arabian Endurance horses – Moolmanshoek has more than 300 equines, from foals and yearlings to established endurance horses, providing a real haven for horse lovers. Enjoy long canters along the open plains amongst wildlife and herds of young horses, or trek up the windy mountain paths to see spectacular vistas and scenery – the riding at Moolmanshoek is varied and challenging, yet caters for a range of riding abilities.

Go if… you are on a budget but still want to enjoy great accommodation, superb quality horses and the chance to get your adrenalin pumping with some exciting riding and remarkable sights.

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Categories: Equestrian Travel, Horses & riding, Riding safaris, Travel advice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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