African Horseback Safaris

Established in 1995, African Horseback Safaris are one of the Okavango’s most experienced riding operators. The backdrop to these once in a life time adventures is quite magnificent, their luxurious camp lies in a beautiful and lively corner of the western Okavango with 450,000 acres of pristine wilderness to explore. With a fantastic team of specialist guides and experienced horses, African Horseback Safaris create one of the most amazing horseback adventures in Africa.

As the flood waters cover the plains and the palm islands begin to pop up across this beautiful delta landscape 4x4 vehicles become less effective and the most natural means to explore is on horseback. Splash across the plains, gallop alongside giraffe in the savannah and quietly walk as you watch the bigger animals like elephant and buffalo. African Horseback Safaris bring these once in a life time experiences to life with a highly experienced and knowledgeable team.

African Horseback Safaris offer the most flexible riding safaris in the Okavango, accepting visits of any duration from 3 nights onwards, there are no set arrival or departure dates. All rides begin from the camp, Macatoo, and the team have gathered a huge array of different routes which keep the rides fresh and exciting. Fly camping is not offered here though the comfort of Macatoo camp is so inviting you will be happy to settle in for the duration.

Of all the riding safaris in the Okavango, Macatoo (the home of African Horse Safaris) offers the most luxurious accommodation. There are eight large tented rooms set on raised wooden decks offering lovely open views of the floodplains which can be seen from bed or the private deck. The rooms are spacious and airy and all have en-suite bathrooms. There is a honeymoon suite featuring a double bath tub overlooking the plains. There is a ‘friends and family’ suite which links two tents by a raised walkway, ideal of families.

The swimming pool and surrounding deck is favourite spot for relaxing between activities, soaking up the views of the floodplains which attracts plenty of wildlife during the day. Another favourite spot is the viewing deck built into the trees, a magical spot for lunch or enjoying sunsets. This deck can even be used for sleepouts under the stars for the more adventurous souls.

African Horseback Safaris are based on the beautiful Abu concession in the south-west of the Okavango and area marked by wonderfully varied and pretty landscapes and Delta. The wildlife is as varied as the habitats here, whether open floodplains, palm islands, riverine forest and the wooded Kalahari sandveld. Life is abundant everywhere and every ride is different and interesting.

Elephant roam in large numbers alongside big herds of buffalo. On the grass plains the usual suspects can be found on the sandveld region such as zebra, wildebeest, tsessebe, impala and giraffe. Kudu browse in the denser areas and warthogs travel widely. Hippos languish in the waters while the specially adapted antelope such as red lechwe and reedbuck are never far from the water. Predators are frequently seen too, most commonly lion and spotted hyena. Leopards are also spotted here and the rare African wild dog have regularly made their den near camp.

While riding is at the heart of African Horseback Safaris, they offer a full range of traditional safari activities as well to ensure guests, both riders and non-riders, can enjoy a comprehensive Okavango experience. This is a truly beautiful and rich area and it is best explored in a variety of forms. Game drives, walking, boating and mokoro excursions are also offered here, water levels dependent. This not only allows riders a break from the saddle but also means any non-riding partners who are travelling with them can easily be catered for. To fully appreciate the Okavango guests are encouraged to participate in a range of activities. Game drives for example, offer the opportunity to approach predators much closer than would be possible on horseback, allowing for great photo opportunities. And a sunset enjoyed from the boat, as the incredible fiery skies are reflected onto the Okavango waters is a truly special thing.

The stables are home to 50 horses, all male and all incredibly well looked after much like the guests! Every horse has his own distinct personality and the team will always do their best to make a suitable match with the guest, who will rotate between two or three horses during their stay. A number of breeds feature here, including thoroughbreds, Namibian Hanoverians, Percherons and Kalahari-Arab crossbreeds ranging between 14hh and 18hh (140-180cm).

To ride in the Okavango is to ride in true African wilderness and potentially dangerous situations and as such is not suitable for novice riders. Riders must be capable of riding at all paces, rising to the trot and controlling the horse at a canter and may be required to gallop at out trouble. The rider must be confident of keeping up with the group at all times. Riders must be fit, no more than 95 Kgs and no children under 12 years are accepted. Riders over this weight may be accepted by special arrangements made so please speak to us in advance.

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African Horseback Safaris

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