Botswana is widely regarded as the premier safari destination in the world. With high cost/low impact tourism initiatives, Botswana is a more expensive destination, but well worth it for the elite experience it offers. You, your horse, your group, your guide and the wildlife. No road, no fences, no traffic and no separation from the natural wilderness. Whilst mainly catering to the experienced rider there are options for those not as advanced and even specifically for families or novice riders. Horseback destinations include the Okavango Delta, Makgadikgadi Pans (once Super Lakes) of the Kalahari, Maun and Mashatu Game Reserve.
Riding in the Okavango Delta is thrilling. Encounters on horseback with Elephant, Buffalo, Kudu, Impala and all manner of Plains Game in this authentic wilderness is humbling. Becoming a participator in the environment, rather than just an observer is a tremendous privilege. Undoubtedly, a highlight is to run alongside herds of animals: Giraffe, Zebra or perhaps the semi-aquatic Red Lechwe on seasonally flooded plains!
Horses are widely used by the local people for cattle-herding and transportation. They are not used for pleasure, as such, though with the increasing opportunity to work with horses in the safari industry, more Batswana (local people of Botswana) are becoming increasingly aware of the versatility of their horses. All of the rides featured own locally produced horses in addition to imports and classic purebreds.
Where game-viewing is not the only focus, such as on the Salt Pans ride, spending time with the San Bushmen and a morning with the endearing and charismatic Meerkats gives a completely different perspective. Thundering across the dry pan beds or camping out under the canopy of Kalahari stars make this a proper safari adventure.
Broadly there are 3 seasons in Botswana:
Peak/High Season – cooler winter months with highest flood levels and highest cost– generally considered to be July-Sept. Daytime temps 25-30 degrees. Nights can be very chilly (frosts!), especially in arid areas and the Pans.
Low/Green Season – the hotter summer months with lower flood levels and lowest cost – generally considered to be Dec-March. Daytime temps 30-40 degrees. Nights are balmy but cool down when it rains.
Mid Season – moderate in all respects from temperatures to water levels. Generally considered to be Nov, April-June. Daytime temps 25-35 degrees. Nights are cool.
Different safari operators categorise their seasons as they feel best suits them. In Maun and in the Makgadikgadi Pans and Mashatu Game Reserve, flood levels are not relevant, though in Maun our rivers swell when the flood water comes through.
For more detailed info on weather, what to wear and so on, please contact us!
Air Botswana & SAA Airlink offer direct daily flights from Johannesburg to Maun and Kasane
Air Namibia – Direct daily flights from Windhoek to Gaborone
By Road Main roads in Botswana are in good condition and a sedan car will cope easily and is cost-effective. However, when taking to the Parks, Reserves and other destinations off the beaten track a 4×4 is essential. For more info on these self-drive safaris, please contact us.
Please note that if travelling with children unabridged birth certificates are required
Top Tip: We recommend you booking your flights in and out of Botswana as part of your international flight from home to protect you in the event of missed connections caused by delays!
Victoria Falls –Road transfers from Kasane to both towns are easy and visas may generally be obtained at the borders. (Please note that if visiting Zambia, Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required when flying out of South Africa afterwards). Direct flights to Victoria Falls Town or Livingstone from Johannesburg.
South Africa – for wine tasting, Robben Island, Table Mountain, Cape Point, penguins and more – there is Cape Town. Whilst Johannesburg offers cultural tours of Soweto, some great shopping and the Cradle of Humankind. Wonderful riding available (see South Africa Rides for more info). Please note that if travelling with children unabridged birth certificates are required
Mozambique – for a relaxing, luxurious, beach side holiday where diving is simply extraordinary. Visas are required for Mozambique by most nationals and may usually be obtained at the border. There are also riding opportunities on the mainland and on some of the beautiful islands (contact us for more info)
Namibia – there are direct flights from Windhoek to Gaborone with Air Namibia – home to the largest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei, incredible long distance and experiential rides (contact us) as well as the infamous Skeleton Coast. Distances are great in Namibia, however, so it is not recommended to try to fit too much into a limited timeframe!
Remember – most riding destinations in Botswana offer safari activities for anyone not wanting to ride!
Most rides waive single supplements if you are prepared to share accommodation with another rider of the same gender, but please enquire for single supplement rates if you would like to guarantee your own tent.