One Week Okavango Horse Safari

Gallop alongside giraffe on the plains and canter through crystal waters on this fantastic five night riding safari. Join the expert team at African Horse Safaris in the beautiful western Okavango for five magical days of riding in game rich wilderness. A full range of activities are also offered from this wonderful little camp ensuring any non-riding companions can enjoy a classic Okavango safari at the same time. And for adventurous souls, there is the chance to sleep beneath the stars in a romantic treehouse.

African Horseback Safaris offer the most flexible riding safaris in the Okavango, there are no set arrival or departure dates. This five night itinerary offers the chance to explore deeper into one of the most beautiful corners of the Okavango and a full range of wonderful riding and traditional safari experiences. There will also be the opportunity to sleep out beneath the stars in their treehouse one night for those interested. A real highlight for many.

African Horseback Safaris have been operated since 1995 and run one of the best riding safaris in the Okavango from their beautiful camp, Macatoo. Set on the scenic Abu concession in the south west of the Okavango, this area offers quintessential Okavango landscapes and good game viewing. 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.

As well as riding the camp also offer game drives, walks, boating and mokoro excursions, depending on the season, allowing guests to experience a full range of safari activities during their stay.

Macatoo is a delightful camp and offered the most luxurious accommodation of all the riding safaris. Spacious tented rooms offer lovely views of the Okavango and the welcoming main area features a nice swimming pool deck which makes a perfect spot to relax between rides and watch the animals pass along the floodplains.

The beautiful Abu concession is 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 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.

As all rides takes place in true wilderness and potentially dangerous situations only experienced riders are accepted, novices will not be able to ride although they will be well catered for with other safari activities. Please speak to us for more information.

Day 1 - Macatoo Camp

On arrival at Maun International Airport you will be met by a representative who will assist you onto your connecting flight to the Okavango. This is a light aircraft flight of about 30 minutes, a beautiful scenic flight and a superb introduction to the Okavango. You guide will be waiting to transfer you to camp. Depending on water levels this will be a 4x4 game drive of about 45 minutes or a boat ride through the channels. This will depend on the flood water levels at the time. Both offer the opportunity to spot wildlife so keep your eyes peeled!

A warm welcome awaits at camp. Having met the team and explored the camp you will have some time to settled into your new Okavango home before meeting your guide for a briefing over some light refreshments.

You will the head to the stables. This is always great fun, this is really the heart of the camp! Having been matched to your horse you will sett off on your first ride. The evening rides are purposefully slower to offer the chance to appreciate the sunset and wildlife and capture the moment on camera if you wish. A gentle and wonderful introduction to the Okavango.

Returning to camp you will freshen up with a hot shower and meet around the camp fire for drinks before dinner. After a candle-lit dinner in the mess tent you will retire to your room for your first night in the Okavango.

Day 2 - Macatoo Camp

Early this morning you wake to the gentle wake-up call of Macatoo’s housekeeping team who will deliver your choice of tea, coffee and rusks. Meeting in the central area you will enjoy light breakfast around the camp fire before setting off on your first long ride.

The stables are home to a good selection of horses and the experienced team have the knack of making great horse and rider partnerships.
Depending on the season, the morning ride may involve some galloping across dried flood plains, swimming through flood waters or pushing on through seas of tall grass to watch giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo - whatever is out there.

Returning to camp a hearty lunch awaits. You will need it after all those miles in the saddle – the chicken pie is a firm favourite and wine is always offered, it certainly helps to encourage a little nap before tea to rejuvenate before the evening ride. The sunsets are always special in the Okavango and often celebrated with sundowner drinks in the bush before heading back to camp to freshen up.

Dinner is always a great occasion at Macatoo, but there is no guarantee that it is always eaten in the same place.......then bed and rest for another adventure the following day.

Day 3 - Macatoo Camp

The morning chorus may wake you before the housekeeping ladies do. You enjoy a hot drink in your tent before meeting the team for breakfast round the camp fire. Emboldened after your riding from the day before you will be keen to return to the saddle and pick up the pace. You set off on a new route today to explore different landscapes, home to different wildlife and the promise of new animal sightings. The pace of ride will be varied as you move through different terrain, at times keeping up with some animals such as giraffe or zebra.

Returning for a well-earned lunch you will then have a few hours to rest before the evening ride. The pool deck is a wonderful spot to relax between rides and stretch out your muscles after your morning ride. Or perhaps take a siesta in your tent or in your hammock. Or simply settle in for a sofa style safari and watch the animals on the plain come and go from your deck.

Meeting for tea and cake in the mean area you then return to the stables for your evening ride. For those interested there is the option to enjoy another activities – game drives, walking or boating and fishing is also an option, depending on the season.

Day 4 - Macatoo Camp

Another early start and quick breakfast and then you’re off again. This morning we set off in a new direction, cantering through wide open plains of bushman grass, perhaps passing giraffe along the way or zebra. Shyer antelope duck into the woodlands but often return quickly, curious. By now you are quite familiar with your horse and will delight in the faster pace and thrill of galloping through the Okavango landscapes.

Returning to camp for lunch and an afternoon at your leisure. Relax in your room, by the pool or main areas. The day ends with an evening game drive. We head off to an area where a resident clan of hyena are often seen, and with a spotlight we can watch the nocturnal animals go about their business. Everybody’s favourite, the big eyed bushbabies are often seen jumping between the branches. Leopards are elusive but sometimes seen. We may track lion seen earlier to come across them as they begin to stir after the rest during the day. Enjoying drinks and pre-dinner snacks as we watch these animals we then return to camp for dinner and swapping stories around the camp fire.

Day 5 - Treehouse sleepout

This morning you set off on a new route and venture further into the heart of the Delta, deeper into the more remote areas which the 4x4 cannot reach. We pass tall palm islands and soak up the expansive views of the Okavango plains, often dotted with zebra and wildebeest and impala. In the late morning we settle down to a wonderful champagne breakfast under the shade a baobab tree in the middle of this superb wilderness.

Returning to camp in the afternoon you will have some time to relax before setting off to the wonderful treehouse for sunset drinks from the deck in the high canopy of the tree. You will have the chance to stay the night under the stars….listening to the sound of the birds roosting in the trees, the barking baboons weary of predators and perhaps the roar of lions as they call to each other in the night. You guide will stay with you too, for peace of mind. A once in a life time experience and often a high point for many adventurous travellers.

Day 6 - Macatoo Camp

The sound of the African bush waking up with the dawn chorus and creeping light wakes you in the canopy of the trees. Your guide returns you to camp in the 4x4 to freshen up and change for your morning ride. Setting off for your ride we will then enjoy a wonderful bush breakfast savouring the wilderness around you. By now, you will have made great progress through your wildlife checklist, most of the Big Five will have been spotted but we work to find those missing species and simply enjoy the wonderment of the wilderness.

The afternoon is spent at your leisure in camp, resting up from the ride and enjoying the peaceful setting overlooking the floodplains. In the late afternoon you set off on a game drive or boat ride, or perhaps you prefer to do a bush walk with your guide or enjoy a peaceful mokoro ride. These other activities provide a more comprehensive Okavango experience and are encouraged to provide a more complete safari experience.

After last night’s treetop sleepover you will be keen to head for bed to recharge for your last full day tomorrow.

Day 7 - Macatoo Camp

Your last full day in the Okavango, so make sure your camera is fully charged and packed! You’ll need your waterproof covering today as we venture into the floodplains, through the shallow waters and the deeper channels. These are beautiful areas, peppered with pretty water lilies which many of the horses like to snack on as we wade through. Sometimes we swim though the waters with our horses too. Buffalo often form in big numbers around the waters (up to two thousand at a time!) so we quietly slink up past them using the palm islands as cover.

Returning to camp for lunch and a siesta. You will be eager to look through your pictures after the events of the day, make sure you remember to charge them up again, the safari is not yet over!

Your final afternoon in camp is always full of emotion- wanting to make the most of every opportunity. Perhaps take the chance to enjoy a helicopter ride further into the Okavango for spectacular views and amazing photo opportunities. Or perhaps a 4x4 game drive to search for predators staying out after dark with a spot light as the action picks up. Or if the waters are high why not take a peaceful ride out into the channels and enjoy the stunning sunset from there, with the light reflecting off the waters rippling with the movements of hippos?

Your last dinner will be a special one, perhaps set up in a surprise location…..!

Day 8 - End of Safari

Your last morning begins early as before. No doubt you are keen to make the most of your last morning in the Okavango with one last ride. On this last ride you stay quite close to camp, splashing through water on the vast open plains, home to blue wildebeest and Burchell's zebra. The riding pace will be deliberately quite fast to cram as much fun as possible into the final hours – be prepared to get wet as we approach deep reedy areas full of bird life.

You will return to Macatoo along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees, before arriving back at the barn where you say a sad farewell to your horse. There will be just enough time to shower, change and pack before the game drive to the airstrip, carrying a picnic lunch to tide you over until your return to the real world.

Your guide will return you to the airstrip for your flight to Maun.

Map View

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris

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