African Horseback – Okavango Delta
The flight from Johannesburg to Maun takes two hours and after a short game-viewing air-adventure in a Cessna 206, you will be greeted by your guide and whisked off to base camp where the Macatoo Mamas sing their traditional songs of welcome. After a refreshing drink you will be shown to your secluded and very luxurious tents, complete with toilet and washing facilities. Your private verandah overlooks a seasonal floodplain, home to baboon, hyena and elephant. Drinks are on tap, cake and biscuits are there for the taking and we trust you will already feel relaxed and at home.
The main attraction is the joy of riding good horses over superb country, with just about every landscape dotted with game. The riding is varied, sometimes quietly walking, stalking big game and admiring the bird life, sometimes cantering through the water-meadows alongside galloping giraffe and lechwe. The 4x4s are used for night drives, spotting the nocturnal species and for close up photography of kills and predators. When the water levels permit, we also go out in boats to put another perspective on the game.
Our safari team is inspired each day by the beautiful surroundings to provide the best safari experience possible for our guests. We are enormously privileged to have a huge unspoilt wilderness in which to run our safaris. The Okavango Delta is an intriguing phenomena, with ever changing landscapes due to the seasonal flood waters coming through from Angola . The movement of the game, the dramatic seasonal changes in the flora and the varying interests of our guests ensures that no two safaris are the same, each one is unique.
1. On arrival in Maun, you are met and transferred by plane and a game drive to our camp which overlooks a seasonal flood plain lagoon. After lunch under the trees, there is usually time for a rest before the evening ride where you can get to know your horse. We return to a candle-lit dinner.
2. Awoken by a cup of tea or coffee in bed, followed by a light breakfast we then ride westwards following elephant trails from one palm island to another, through seas of grass, into the backcountry. After lunch and a siesta, we ride out into the plains, later enjoying a refreshing drink while the sun goes down.
3. We leave camp early to investigate fresh game tracks, joining the rare semi-aquatic antelope, the red lechwe, as they thunder through the water meadows. A champagne breakfast is waiting for us under a large baobab tree. The evening ride is spent exploring the lower flood plains where elephant often gather at a pool. As dusk closes in, we have drinks around the fire.
4. We ride through different country, making our way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. We might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mopane woodlands. Our pace increases as we break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons. Returning to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure and later a night drive by spotlight.
5. While staff pack up, we leave for our fly-camp riding deeper into the heart of the delta. On reaching another river system we find our fly camp already set up, looking out over a favourite elephant watering hole. We stay here for a one night bush experience. The afternoon may be spent swimming or walking. Fires are lit at night, creating a strong human presence to keep marauding animals away from the horses. Night watches are fun and guests usually join in.
6. Having kept watch under the stars, the next morning we splash through water on the vast open plains, home to wildebeeste and zebra. The riding may be fast as we approach deep reedy areas full of bird life. After our break, we ride back to Macatoo along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees.
7. Your last full day’s riding in this magical place takes you cantering through the shallow flood plains, admiring the deeper pools of lilies. Here, the buffalo gather in numbers and we have to creep up to them using islands for cover. The evening offers a last quiet ride with memorable smells of sage as the sun goes down with final sundowners in a surprising location.