Horseback Safari South Africa

10 Days


A horseback safari gives you the unique opportunity to ride with wildlife. You’ll canter over open plains, the African breeze whipping through your hair, stopping every so often to quietly stalk plains game and admire the constantly chattering birds. You’ll get up close to animals such as giraffe, zebra, antelope and hippo, as the presence of the horses allows you to ride alongside the herds without startling them . Most of our horseback safaris are based in areas of reserves where there are no dangerous predators, keeping you and your steed safe.

We have a range of horseback safaris to suit all ages and experience levels. This South African safari itinerary takes place in Limpopo, a province known for its game reserves and contrasting landscapes and which forms part of the Kruger National Park.  It shares a border with Botswana, making it easy to extend your horseback safari to encompass both countries. While this itinerary caters for all levels of riders from experienced to complete novice, if you wish to add Botswana to the mix you will need to be an experienced rider at least 12 years of age.

Horseback safaris usually have two riding activities a day; morning rides last 3-4 hours and afternoon rides in the heat of the day are somewhat shorter. Riding options include outrides through the bush and across vast open plains, cattle mustering, game viewing on horseback, swimming on horseback, polocrosse and Western games. With a herd of over 80 horses, you will be carefully matched to several suitable horses over your holiday and rides will be tailor-made to suit your group.

From O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, you'll be met and transferred to Horizon Signature Safari Lodge (approx. 2.5hrs) in time for lunch. The lodge is located on the Horizon Horseback Adventures reserve in the stunning Waterberg Mountains. On your first afternoon, you'll have time to explore your surroundings and enjoy an introductory ride in the game reserve, with sundowners served at one of beautiful the hippo dams.

In the morning you'll ride out to the original farm homestead and nearby African village where you can see the quaint hand decorated houses. Call in at the historic Baber family homestead for tea and pop into the farm crèche for some delightful entertainment. Back at the lodge, you can go for a cooling swim in the lake with your horse before lunch. You're then free to relax by the pool or have a siesta before your afternoon game ride. You'll ride out into the reserve to encounter game and learn the medicinal values of the native bushes and trees around you.

In the morning you'll go on an outride along the vast network of sandy tracks in the game reserve. After lunch, take a trip to the local town of Vaalwater where you can do a bit of shopping. In the afternoon you'll be introduced to polocrosse, an invigorating game that combines polo and lacrosse and causes much fun and laughter for everyone.

There is plenty of flexibility in your safari experience so that you and your group can decide how you'd like to spend certain parts of the day. Choose another outride into the reserve or ramp up the competition with a more dexterous attempt at polocrosse. In the afternoon you'll set out for Camp Davidson, a tented camp that overlooks the Melk valley. You'll spend two nights here glamping with proper beds, bathrooms with flushing toilets and tables laid with crisp white linen. That evening, sundowners will be held on the camp deck and you'll be treated to dinner under the stars surrounded by the calls of jackals zebra and hippo.

Your morning will be spent riding with herds of giraffe, eland, wildebeest, waterbuck, impala, hartebeest and zebra. You'll have lunch en route at one of the neighbouring dams, where you can also have a refreshing dip with your horse. In the late afternoon you'll head back to camp for sundowners and another romantic starlight dinner.

You'll depart Camp Davidson and head back to the lodge in time for lunch. If you're feeling a little weary by this point, you can skip the gentle outride to find hippo and instead visit the local farm community-linked project and shop where locals hand make exquisite beaded leather products.

After many hours in the saddle, you might decide to take a break from riding and go on game drive at a neighbouring Big 5 reserve. Return to Horizon for lunch and later an indulgent afternoon tea, after which there'll be another relaxing outride of your choice.

This morning you'll learn the art of mustering cattle. The ranch is home to Bonsmara stud cattle, a non-aggressive breed well adapted to local conditions. You'll bring in the herd in from pasture and take turns to move one cow or youngster away from the group. This thrilling activity pits you and your horse against the cattle's natural herding instinct and will test your riding ability to the max. Afterwards enjoy another refreshing swim with your horse before lunch and afternoon tea. The late afternoon presents another new challenge, this time in the form of western games or gymkhana for the adults.

In the morning you'll enjoy an exhilarating fast ride to one of the furthest points of the property, the wind whipping through your hair as your horses' hooves thunder along miles of clear sandy tracks, Back at the lodge there's time for a quick swim before a late lunch. Afternoon tea is followed by one last outride into the game reserve for a final photo opportunity. Your farewell sundowner will be on on a high rock that overlooks the expanse of the tranquil Waterberg landscape.

There's time for one more riding activity of choice before you're transferred back to O.R. Tambo Airport to catch your interantional flgiht home.


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