Limpopo Valley Safaris
Big 5 Safari
You will meet at the Intercontinental Hotel at O R Tambo (formerly Johannesburg) International Airport, for a road transfer to Dinaka Lodge in the Waterberg. Dinaka is a charming stone and thatch safari lodge set high above a large hippo dam, offering a sweeping view of the surrounding plains. You arrive in time to relax and explore the beautiful surroundings and to meet with the guides and the rest of the group, before enjoying a late lunch. In the afternoon, you will get to meet your horse, and go on a short ride, and to explore the area. Your day finishes with sun downer drinks and a sumptuous three course evening meal.
Today you ride out to the ‘Small Serengeti Plains’ where you will be able to look and interpret the behaviour of various plains game species. Your guides will have a surprise of bush “games”. On the Dinaka plains riders will encounter the dense game populations this beautiful reserve is renowned for. Sightings of up to 15 rhino, together with 11 other species in your view, are not uncommon. The open plains provide great opportunities for fast riding. Back at the lodge you might want to enjoy some sunbathing. After lunch, there is the chance to go on a little cross country jumping or ride amongst beautiful big trees.
After an early breakfast set out to look for some of the reserve’s more elusive mountain species – leopard, mountain zebra, mountain reedbuck, baboon, rock python, rock dassies, klipspringer and cape vultures. This ride follows a valley that leads deep into the Waterberg escarpment. The path follows a crystal clear stream and passes several picturesque dams along the way. The bush is dense and full of birdcalls. Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the dams along the way, returning to the lodge in the early afternoon in time for a cooling swim and siesta. The afternoon is a gentle pre-sunset ride to one of the larger dams which is home to some of the many hippos on the reserve.
This morning’s ride takes you to the part of the Reserve, where Dinaka runs its highly successful breeding programme for highly valued species, which include white blesbok, sable antelope and bontebok. En route the ride crosses a particularly fertile plain where riders can experience the exhilaration and thrill of cantering amongst herds of game, with many different species galloping together across the plains.
The afternoon proves a welcome break to both horse and rider. A Dinaka guide escorts you on an informative game drive, where you will visit another area inhabited by the buffalo and some unusual red wildebeest. The guide, who is responsible for the feeding and monitoring of the rhino on the reserve, will accompany the guests for a very special opportunity to approach and observe some of the rhino on foot. The last night is the final ‘braai’ (barbecue) evening where guests relax around the fire, enjoy the African night sky and toast their experiences whilst a feast is served.
In the morning there is a last chance to find any species not yet found and one last gallop along these endless sandy lanes. After a hearty brunch, you are transferred to the Botswana border, at Pont Drift. You will depart the lodge at approximately 10.30 to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris – a transfer of approximately 3.5 hours. Upon arrival at camp, enjoy afternoon tea, and the chance to settle in and relax. In the afternoon, you have the introductory ride, in order to meet your horse, and see some of the very different landscape. The ride goes to the Confluence camp, where the Majale and the Limpopo Rivers meet. You follow the course of the Limpopo, which has many majestic Mashatu trees all along its course. Upon arrival at the camp, there is time for a sun downer overlooking the river and a hot shower under the stars.
After an early rise and a light breakfast head out to explore the Limpopo Valley, including a natural marshland called ”Nels Vlei”, and the Majale island which is guaranteed to keep you on your toes, as this is where the Majale Island pride of lions is based. The morning ride is 4-5 hours as you explore the area, with the chance of seeing numerous plains game, while heading in a northerly direction to Zederberg Camp. After arrival at the camp, and a well deserved lunch, you will go on a guided bush walk. Upon return to camp sundowners await you around the campfire and dinner is served. Enjoy the peace and quiet interrupted only by the occasional sounds of lions, hyenas and jackals.
Today’s ride of about 4-5 hours takes you to the Liana camp. You ride down onto the open Pitsani Plains, and includes the opportunity of jumping some of the fallen logs, pushed over by elephants. Lunch awaits you under a splendid Mashatu tree, and then after a lunchtime siesta you head out on a bush walk. Back at the camp, dinner is served under the stars. Enjoy the comfort of sleeping under the baboon vines that the camp is named after, in an old river bed. An unbeatable experience!
Awake to the dawn chorus, and a sumptuous breakfast is prepared over the fire. Today’s ride of about 4-5 hours takes you back to the Two Mashatu’s camp. This ride goes through the central game area and you have good opportunity to look for leopard in the Mashatu trees overlooking the Majale River. Follow the course of the river and enjoy the winding canters through the bush. This afternoon you have the choice of going on a game drive, in search of the cats which you will no doubt prefer to see from the safety of a vehicle! Sundowners are enjoyed in the bush, usually overlooking a Kopje, and you can soak up the atmosphere of a true African experience…
Back at camp another delicious meal, cooked over the fire is served, and as the night draws to a close you can enjoy a night cap around the fire.
After a final breakfast around the fire, set off for a final ride in the direction of Nels Vlei, with a good chance to catch a final glimpse of elephants here, as this is one of their favourite areas. Back at the stables a last pat and a fond farewell to you horse, you have the chance to have a good shower and lunch before heading off for the border and the 5.5 hours drive to O R Tambo (formerly Johannesburg) International Airport.