Classic Okavango Horse Safari

This is the definitive Okavango horse safari itinerary, where it all began. Operated by the pioneering team behind Okavango Horse Safaris in the stunning western corner of the Okavango. Days are spent exploring this beautiful and lively area on horseback with a number of other activities offered for a complete Okavango safari experience. Safari means journey, and this is a true safari in every sense. Riding between their two camps captures the explorers’ spirit of the safari and allows guests to discover the deeper areas of the concession. Full day rides with picnic lunches in the bush and siestas below the canopy of the trees are highlights of this superb trip.

This itinerary is split between two different camps, with a wonderful 6 hour ride between the camps – with a picnic lunch and rest along the way during the midday heat. Five nights are spent at the main camp of Kujwana and 2 nights at the smaller sister camp Mokolowane with its charming treehouse rooms, allowing guests to explore deeper into the concession. As well as horse riding other activities are offered. Game drives are available as are walking safaris. Boating and mokoro safaris are water level dependent and offered when conditions allow. This area is characterized by open grass plains, papyrus lined waterways, lily peppered rivers and rich woodland allowing for a rich variety of wildlife to inhabit this region.

Established in 1986 and still operated by the redoubtable PJ and Barney Bestelink, Okavango Horse Safaris has a real focus on the equine safari. With equipment and horses of the highest standards, Okavango Horse Safaris’ experienced team provide a remarkable safari experience in this water wonderland. Testament to the quality of the experience, the huge number of repeat guests consider themselves part of the family. With a string of over 60 horses ranging from thoroughbreds to Arabs, Barney matches horses to riders ensuring the perfect fit. Both English and South African trail saddles are available.

This itinerary may vary according to water levels and game movements.

Day 1 - Kujwana Camp

Okavango Horse Safaris will meet you at Maun airport and transfer you into camp. Options on transfers are available; fixed wing and helicopter shuttle both come highly recommended. Flying into the delta is a special experience and the view from the helicopter is the finest way to start your safari. Lunch is served followed by an introductory talk on safety and game viewing from horseback. This is followed by an orientation ride lasting 1-2 hours. (Please note that unless arriving by helicopter there will not be time for a ride on the day of arrival)

Day 2 - Kujwana Camp

An early wake up call before dawn not only brings wonderful views of the sunrise but the best game viewing action as well . After breakfast you set off on a morning ride into the Xudum area. Wade through lush green malapos that lead you from island to island, surprising a timid reedbuck out his dense cover on a heavily wooded island, or enjoy the herds of lechwe and zebra moving through the open spaces. Return to camp for lunch followed by a siesta during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you set off on a game drive with sunset drinks and evening night drive with a spot light to end, returning to camp for a three course candlelit meal.

Day 3 - Mokolowane Camp

Ride from Kujwana to Mokolwane Camp, following a 30-km north-westerly route through open floodplains and scattered islands to the Matsebe River system. A picnic lunch is served on a shady island some two hours from Mokolwane Camp. After a lunch camp beds will be available for a siesta, and once rejuvenated you continue riding towards camp arriving around sunset. Drinks will be waiting and the camp fire roaring. Settle into your new home.

Day 4 - Mokolowane Camp

Another early start today as you head out on a morning 4x4 game drive. This is an opportunity to get closer to predators and offers a different perspective on the wilderness and associated game viewing. This camp lies on the Matsebe river system, the landscape here enjoys large open flood plains peppered with Mokolowane palms, favoured by elephant and baboon while the numerous Buffalo prefer the dense Tsaro Palms. It is great area for plains’ game. Alternatively if water levels allow, take a tranquil mokoro trip up the river and enjoy the peaceful nature of the delta from these traditional dug out canoes. A quintessential Okavango experience. In the afternoon head out for a 2-3 hour ride and enjoy the stunning landscapes of the Delta which constantly change colour with the rise and fall of the sun. Returning to camp for dinner and drinks around the fire.

Day 5 - Kujwana Camp

This is a full day’s ride from Mokolowane back to Kujwana enjoying one of the famous picnic lunches along the way. Six hours in the saddle with a good rest stop along the way. The ride covers around 35 km, with 4 hours ridden in the morning and two hours in the afternoon after lunch. The route covers a range of game areas crossing the Xudum River at numerous hippo channels. Arriving back to Kujwana as the skies are beginning to turn pink we settle back into our original home and a well earned dinner.

Day 6 - Kujwana Camp

After breakfast ride out into the wilderness area located east of the camp - an area marked by rain pans and shady riverine forest. Tracking breeding herds of elephants and other animals we find our way further out into the bush in search of game. Stopping for a rest at Hippo Pool we rejuvenate with some snacks and chocolate before riding on into more open areas with the chance of picking up a herd of buffalo which might be passing through. Return to camp for lunch and a siesta .The afternoon sees you onto a gentle mokoro ride through the beautiful waterways surrounding Kujwana.

Day 7 - Kujwana Camp

The last full day on your horse safari- rising early again to make the most of these precious hours. Setoff after breakfast for a full morning ride to explore the western Baobab area. Small islands linked by numerous hippo channels eventually lead you onto Boabab Island. This is a good habitat for Cheetah and breeding grounds for the stunning Carmine Bee eaters, a regular summer visitor. Boabab Island has thick riverine forest and is a good area for general game viewing (and the unexpected).

Day 8 - End of Safari

Time to bid farewell to Okavango Horse Safaris. An early morning game ride out of Kujwana camp is possible if flight times permit- this may depend on your chosen transport option. Leaving after breakfast. For those on fixed wing flights, a one hour’s game drive takes you to the nearest airstrip for the transfer by light aircraft into Maun or a 20 minute helicopter ride.

Map View

Okavango Horse Safaris – Kujwana Camp

Okavango Horse Safaris – Kujwana Camp

Mokolwane Camp

Mokolwane Camp

Okavango Horse Safaris – Kujwana Camp

Okavango Horse Safaris – Kujwana Camp

Okavango Horse Safaris – Kujwana Camp

Okavango Horse Safaris – Kujwana Camp

Water Level

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