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The Big Five Safari

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Suitable for: non-riders families

The Big Five Safari

horse riding in botswanaA 9 day, 8 night riding safari in two different countries; South Africa & Botswana. Ride the first 4 days on the Dinaka reserve in the Waterberg Mountains of South Africa with a chance of seeing rhinoceros and buffalo from horseback. The next 4 days ride and complete your "big five" game viewing with potential sightings of elephant, lion and leopard. This safari is offered on fixed dates throughout the year from February to November.

Dinaka is in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, and the safari is based in a private reserve in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains in a UNESCO biosphere reserve, one of the last true wilderness areas of South Africa. Species to be seen include rhino, hippo, buffalo, black impala, giraffe, ostrich and zebra. Riders may also encounter a wide variety of antelope, including the impressive eland and sable as well as the exquisite steenbuck.

The riding trails are diverse, following the movements of wildlife in the area and observing and interpreting the world around us. The tempo of the rides is always varied and depending on the terrain, there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of the horses at a faster pace. The richness of this experience is complemented by the prevalence of regularly sighted species such as lion, leopard, elephant, wild dog and hyaena. 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 Mashatus camp or as a static camp using just the Two Mashatus camp with the added comforts this provides.horse riding holiday botswana

Day 1

Transfer from the airport to to Dinaka, a stunning stone and thatch safari lodge set high above a large hippo dam, offering a sweeping view of the surrounding plains.  A late lunch will be served once you have relaxed, explored and met your guides.  You will acquaint yourself with your selected horse in the late afternoon and will go in search of game in the soft afternoon light. This ride will give you your first taste of the stunning variety of game on Dinaka. The day will finish with sundowner drinks and a sumptuous three course evening meal.

Day 2

A ride to the “Small Serengeti Plains”, where you will be able to observe and interpret the behaviour of various game species. Your guides will have various bush “games” up their sleeves. On the Dinaka plains you will encounter the dense game population this beautiful reserve is renowned for, together with some spectacular canters alongside herds of antelope. Back at the lodge you can sunbathe above the hippo dam and watch these family-orientated creatures interact and play in the heat of the day. In the afternoon you may be able to go on a little cross country jumping or ride amongst beautiful big trees.

Day 3

After an early breakfast you will set out on a hunt for some of the reserves more elusive mountain species - leopard, mountain zebra, mountain reedbuck, baboon, African rock python, rock dassie, klipspringer and Cape vulture. This ride ascends a valley that leads deep into the Waterberg escarpment, following a crystal clear stream and passing several picturesque dams along the way. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed at one of the dams along the way and you will return 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 hosting some of the many hippos on the reserve.

Day 4

A ride to another area of the reserve, where Dinaka runs its highly successful breeding programme for highly valued species, which include white blesbuck, sable antelope and bontebok. En route, the ride crosses a particularly fertile plain where you 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 for you and your horse. A Dinaka guide will escort you on an informative game drive, where you will visit another area inhabited by buffalo and some unusual red wildebeest. The guide, who is responsible for the feeding and monitoring of the rhino on the reserve, will accompany you to observe some of the rhino on foot. The last night is the final ‘braai’ evening where you will relax around the fire, enjoy the African night sky and toast their experiences whilst a feast is served.

Day 5

A last chance to find any species not yet seen and enjoy one final gallop along the endless sandy lanes. After brunch you will be transferred to your next destination - on the other side of the Botswana border! You will depart the lodge at approximately 10.30am to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris (about 4 hours) and the Two Mashutus camp. Your accommodation are A-frame walk-in tents with comfortable beds and en-suite loos and showers. An introductory ride in the afternoon to familiarize yourself with your horses will finish your day.

Day 6

After an early rise and a light breakfast, you will head out on a 4-5 hour ride to explore the Limpopo Valley,  The ride offers lots of possible game sightings such as giraffe, eland, kudu and zebra as well as the abundant elephant!  A well-deserved lunch awaits you at Zeederberg Wilderness Camp. After a relaxing afternoon you can join your guide for a bushwalk and on return to camp, sundowners await you around the campfire and dinner is served. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the African bush, interrupted only by the occasional calls of lion, hyaena and jackal.

Day 7

Today’s ride of about 4-5 hours takes you to Liana camp, descending from the Zeederberg Hills and on to the open Pitsani plains with the possibility of a fast canter with zebra, wildebeest or giraffe. After lunch and a siesta you will head out on a game drive with a Mashatu ranger, in the hope of seeing some of the big cats or African wild dogs. Enjoy the special situation of this campsite set in an old river bed overhung by the twisted Liana vines.

Day 8 The dawn chorus will wake you to a light breakfast. Today's ride of about 4-5 hours will take you back to Two Mashatus camp.  Follow the course of the river and enjoy the winding canters through the bush. This afternoon you have the choice of going to the local village on a game drive or enjoying a relaxing sundowner along the Limpopo. Back at camp another delicious meal cooked over the fire is served, and as the night draws to a close, enjoy a night cap around the fire.

Day 9 After breakfast around the fire, you will head off in the direction of Nels Vlei with a good chance of catching a final glimpse of the elephants as this is one of their favourite areas. Back at the stables, after a last pat and a fond farewell to your horse, you can shower and enjoy lunch before heading off for the border and the drive to JHB airport.

Due to changes in weather and other unforeseen events the itinerary may change though you will be kept informed all of changes.

Please note that during the months of February, March and November the Botswana part of the ride will be based at Two Mashatus camp. You will be able to enjoy 4-5 hours a morning on horseback and leisurely game drives or walks in the afternoons as per the above itinerary.

2012 prices:

8 nights, full board, £2,360.00pp

2012 dates:

Year round

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: 20% at Dinaka and £500 at Limpopo

Includes: camps & tents, meals, drinks, game drives

Not Included: Flights and Travel Insurance

Meeting Point: Johannesburg International Airport

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

Transfers: £320pp return

No of hours in the saddle: 4/6 per day

Max Weight: 95kg

Group Size: 2-8

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