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African Explorer

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Suitable for: non-riders families

African Explorer

The African Explorer Safari is amazing value: riding in two countries over 8 days, seeing plains game speices on horseback and possibly elephant and lion. We put the horses first and as a result this is a wonderful riding experience in Africa. 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 three nights at Horizon Horseback’s Camp Davidson with four nights at Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana’s Tuli Block. This combination provides an exceptionally rich and rewarding experience, not only of the African bush and it’s magnificent wildlife but also 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 and offers a wonderful combination of game viewing on horseback and a mix of African culture.

Horse riding holiday in AfricasCamp Davidson 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.

In the late 19th century, Ted Davidson, one of the first members of the Baber family (owners of Triple B Ranch) to settle in the Waterberg, was a young man trading by ox wagon to remote cattle outposts of a young ranching area. A good days travelling may have been only five miles or so by rugged track, and so an itinerant life in the Waterberg meant a life by the campfire. Horizon has captured that early camp atmosphere in Camp Davidson, with beautiful decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys. Each tent is appointed as it would have been in Ted’s day with classic items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush.

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 camp sites 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 camp fire.



DAY 1: 

Guests will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and transferred to the Horizon Signature lodge (approx. 3 hours) in time for 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 to Camp Davidson. On route through the Matlapeng reserve, the ride will take a sundowner break at the Red Lake, where you are likely to encounter our pod of resident hippo, before climbing the ridge up to Camp Davidson.

DAY 2:

A day of exploration in the reserve, tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to straying off the trails as your horse leads you along game trails and narrow kloofs. A saddlebag lunch is served at the riverside along a long abandoned wagon route used by the pioneers to congregate for church each Sunday. Riders can rest in the shade of the riverine forest during the heat of the day or take a dip in the clear flowing streams whilst the horses graze, before gradual meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.

DAY 3: 

A full days ride west of camp takes you around Bellevue on the southern end of the property and on to the historic Baber homestead for lunch by the poolside. That afternoon riders visit the local Sotho village and have a tour of some of the traditional houses with the local characters Martha Mosima and the group of village lady elders for afternoon tea accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. After a day of long riding, culture and history you will return to the peace of the Camp Davidson where dinner is served under the stars.

 DAY 4:

We break camp at about 5.30 and riders mount for a last ride through the reserve, soaking up the early morning sights and sounds of the African bush. Guests depart from Beadle, a craft workshop on Triple B Ranch which has served as a community upliftment and job creation project since 1998. The crafters specialise in beautiful handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps. We depart the Ranch at 7.30 and are transferred to yoru stay in Botswana. Cross the Limpopo river and into the Tuli block, before arriving at the camp. An introductory afternoon ride will familiarize riders with their horses for this leg of the safari.

 DAY 5:

After an early rise and a light breakfast, ride out into the Limpopo Valley, which includes a natural marshland called “Nels Vlei”. Whilst exploring this beautiful wilderness area, there may be a close encounter with an elephant or lion, or some of the many plains game in this area. After 4-5 hours the ride heads in a northern direction to Zederburg camp, where a well deserved lunch will be served. A guided bush walk in the afternoon will enlighten you to the wonder of following tracks and understanding the signs of the bush.

DAY 6: 

This ride journeys through the reserve to Liana camp with the opportunity of fast canters alongside game or jumping logs pushed over by elephant. Luncheon is served under a This ride journeys through the reserve to Liana camp with the opportunity of fast canters alongside game or jumping logs pushed over by elephant. Luncheon is served under a magnificent Mashatu tree, followed by a well earned siesta and option of an afternoon bush walk.

DAY 7: 

Todays ride traverses the central part of the game area and along the Majale river, where there is a good chance of seeing leopard in the mashatu trees. After a possible fast canter with zebra and plains game, arrive at the Liana camp for a sumptuous breakfast, prepared over the fire. In afternoon a game drive takes guests in search of the cats, which you will no doubt prefer to see from the safety of a vehicle!

 DAY 8:

The last ride of the safari treks in the direction of Nels Vlei, where there is a good chance of a final glimpse of elephants, as this is one of their favorite habitats. Back at the stables to bid the horses farewell and to freshen up. After lunch, the transfer leaves for the border and the 5.5 hours drive to Oliver Tambo International airport, Johannesburg.



Please be aware that due to changes in weather and other unforeseen events the itinerary may be changed at the last minute. We will endeavour to keep everyone informed of any changes and the reason for them.


2012 dates:

February to November

2012 prices:

8 days, full board - £1730pp

Spring/Summer is Sept-March with the rainy season from Nov-March. Nov & Feb are the hottest months. 

Autumn/Winter is May-Aug with little rain

Single Supplement: Camp Davidson is £225 and the Botswana accommodation is £640pp

Includes: accomodation, all riding activities, meals & drinks including wine & selection of spirits, laundry service

Not Included: Flights and Travel Insurance

Meeting Point: Johannesburg Airport

Indicative flight price: London to Johannesburg £800 - £1500pp return depending on time of year

Transfer: £320pp - pick up 10am from ORT to Dinaka (approx 3 hours). Departure day transfer at 11am to ORT arriving approx 5.30pm. Please book flights that arrive no later than 9am & depart no earlier than 7.30pm.

No of hours in the saddle: 4 - 7

Max Weight: 95kg

Group Size:  2 - 8. Private groups can be up to 12 (group leaders of 8-12 get a free place!)

Suitable for non-riders: no

Call us on +44 (0)1225 000000 or email contact@redlandsequestrian.com to check the ride availability and dates, once we have confirmed availability you can download and fill in a booking form:

Each rider in the party must also complete a riding ability questionnaire before we can complete the final confirmation of your holiday booking.

Accepted Payment Types