Kujwana is the home of Okavango Horse Safaris, the first riding specialist in the Okavango who offer one of the finest riding safaris in Africa. Set in the beautiful western corner of the Okavango, Kujwana is the largest and most established of their camps, and where all their safaris begin. Days are usually spent exploring on horseback with other activities like game drives and boating offered to enrichen the Okavango safari experience.
Started in 1986 by PJ and Barney Bestelink, who still own and run the company, Okavango Horse Safaris provide an authentic and experienced horse riding safaris into the Okavango Delta in the company of expert guides. Kujwana is where is all begins for your Okavango Horse Safari. All of the riding safari itineraries will begin at this camp – whether it is the 5, 7 or 10 day itinerary. Those on the 5 night itinerary will stay based at Kujwana, while those on the longer itineraries will move further into the concession to Mokolowane and the fly camp.
Each of the eight en-suite tented rooms at Kujwana enjoy fabulous views over the Xudum river. There are two suites, Hippo Cradle and Rocking Horse, which are larger and most spoiling. These are available to pre-book at a supplement.
The main area features a tented mess tent and open deck lounge and the campfire which guests gathering around at the end of every day. The Tree house is an open lounge with lovely views of the river and a popular spot for relaxing between activities.
The sparkling swimming pool with lovely decking area overlooks the Xudum river so swimmers can enjoy peering at hippos wallow in the river as they wallow in the pool.
Set across two private concessions in the west of the Okavango, this is a particularly pretty corner of the Delta and the ideal base for a horse safari. A range of habitats offer the perfect chance to gallop across open plains or swim across the clear waterways. The wildlife is varied and interesting too, and the birding is excellent. These diverse habitats allow for other activities too- game drives and water activities are also offered.
Okavango Horse Safaris operate in true wilderness and as such there is an inherent risk in the activity as guests will be riding in an area with wild and potentially dangerous animals. For this reason only experienced riders will be permitted – at a minimum OHS require a mastery of the basic aids, riders must be comfortable at all paces and to be able to gallop out of trouble. Approximately 4-6 hours are spent in the saddle each day, with breaks for refreshments such as a picnic breakfast or lunch.
Guests can expect a small riding group of up to 8 riders although larger private group bookings can be accommodated on request. Afternoons can also be spent enjoying alternative activities including swimming, game drives, mokoros (traditional dug-out canoe) boating, fishing and walking.
Non-riders are also welcome will be equally busy with a range of safari activities including game drives, walking safaris, boating, mokoro and fishing – all water level dependent. Non-riders’ activities will be schedule to fit in with the riders so friends and family can still share meals together and follow the same daily structure. Riders are also welcome to enjoy the other activities for a chance to safari from a different perspective.
Horses and tack are of the highest standard. Tack is primarily English leather saddles with a seat saver and leather bridles, South African trail saddles are also available although not to fit every horse. Okavango Horse Safaris have a string of 60 horses, mainly thoroughbreds, thoroughbred crosses, Arabians and American Saddle bred crosses and boerperds. More recently Barney and her team have been breeding their own horses too. The horses are between 14hh and 17hh.
There are a number of transfer options to the camp. The best access to Okavango Horse Safaris is by a 25 min helicopter ride which allows for activities the day of arrival. Alternatively a fixed wing flight to Pom Pom airstrip followed by a boat or game drive to camp (water levels permitting) or finally a 4 hour road and boat transfer. It should be noted there is a strict 20 Kgs weight limit for flights. A helicopter flight for at least one way is highly recommended as the delta is truly spectacular from this vantage.
Okavango Horse Safaris is based in a private concession of over 2500 sq kilometres which spreads across three river systems – the Xudum, the Kiri and the Matsibie – providing an excellent insight into the Okavango Delta animals, birds and their habitat.
There is a 90 KG weight limit for riding and a supplement will be charged for those over 90Kgs/200lbs for the use of an extra horse.
At Okavango Delta Explorations we specialise in crafting safaris to this unique ecosystem.
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Set on a private concession in the pretty western corner of the Okavango, Mokolowane Camp lies on the Matsebi River and consists of five tree houses. It is a simple and charming camp reached by a full day ride from Okavango horse Safari’s main camp, Kujwana. The focus is horse riding but other activities are offered.
For the most adventurous travellers the simple fly camp on the longer itineraries with Okavango Horse Safaris provides the ultimate authentic safari experience. Visited for a couple of nights as part of the 10 night riding safari, this is a very rustic but comfortable camp set up especially for your visit. Visited between stops at the permanent camps, this unique experience of sleeping under the stars is sure to leave you with memories for life.
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