Experience the exhilarating freedom of watching wildlife on horseback

Virginia Woolfe once said: “Blame it or praise it, there’s no denying the wild horse in us.” Every human longs for freedom. To feel unrestrained and to experience the world as it should be. Every person should experience a ride in the wild at least once in their life time. Okavango Horse Safaris is the original horse riding safari in southern Africa. It’s repeatedly been nominated for best horse safari in Botswana, and in Africa too. It’s scooped the titles and been runner-up to these prestigious award too often to even mention. There’s no one better in Africa to ride in the wild with.

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With Okavango Horse Safaris, you’ll experience breathtaking wildlife and scenery, extremely knowledgeable guides and staff, the most comfortable bush accommodation, all backed up by an exceptional safety record.
Experienced riders can traverse the exhilarating plains over a number of days in groups no bigger than 8 people. Rides are interspersed with boat safaris, mokoro excursions, vehicle and walking safaris to keep the experience diverse and stimulating. There is never a dull moment on these iconic days which guests will remember for the rest of their lives.
For other guests only wanting to tick a horse ride in the wild off their bucket list, a gentle afternoon ride on the waterlogged plains, is equally possible.
Everything is customizable to guests needs.

BEST LODGES FOR SAFARI HORSE RIDING

Okavango Horse Safaris

Experience horse safaris with the globally renown and multiple award winning Okavango Horse Safaris. The leaders of horse safari on the continent. Guests staying at Mokolwane wanting to ride should inquire about this experience as we are sometimes able to facilitate these requests.

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The Horses

The care and dedication that goes into the string of over 60 horses is a credit to Barney and her team. The horses of Okavango Horse Safaris are chosen with temperament and suitability at the forefront. Many of the horses have either been sourced through close friends in Harare, Zimbabwe or are selected from well-known breeders in South Africa.

The string is made up of thoroughbreds and thoroughbred crosses, Arabians and
Arabian crosses and Boerperds. In recent years the Bestelink’s have carefully selected mares to join the team and using Lamu, an American Saddlebred, they are breeding more of their own horses now.

When not on safari the horses freely graze the grassy molapos of the delta through the day. They graze loose and this truly is one of the amazing sights you will see while on safari with Okavango Horse Safaris.

How good a rider do I need to be?

The minimum riding ability required is mastery of the basic aids, ability to post to the trot for stretches of 10 minutes at a time, to be comfortable at all paces and to be able to gallop out of trouble. It is a great advantage if you are a fit and a proficient rider. If you do have members of your group that do not meet these requirements we have a fantastic non-riding itinerary available.

If I can’t ride can I still come?

We can accommodate non-riders but they must be booked in as such. Non-riders have their own guide and enjoy game drives, powerboats, fishing, walks and mokoros. They move with the riding guests to the various fly camps and join non-riding activities and picnics.

What other activities are there other than riding?

Although our priority is riding, we offer alternative activities during the afternoons that are not day rides. A 6 hour morning can be tiring so some afternoons are spent at leisure with evening bird / game walks, mokoro expeditions (water levels permitting), power boats and fishing if the season allows. Afternoon game drives and night spotting are also offered.

What is the weight limit?

Maximum weight is 200 lbs (14.7 stone or 90 kg). Guests may be required to step on the scales.

Will I be safe?

We have an exceptional safety record, and safety is our priority. All rides are led by qualified profession guides. A .375 rifle is carried on all the rides for added security. All camps and vehicles have radio communication and guides ride with a hand held radios.
A demonstration is given at the beginning of the safari with a talk on how to handle big game situations. Should an accident happen all guests are registered with a helicopter evacuation service which can get you to a hospital within 20 minutes.

What tack do you use?

We have two different types of saddle; English style with seat saver for comfort or South African trail saddles. The tack is of high quality and kept in good condition. Saddles are well known makes such as Ideals, Barnsby, and Symonds. Most horses are in snaffle bridles.

How long are the rides?

Between 4-6 hours in the saddle a day. This is broken by refreshment stops – picnic breakfast or lunch and a 10-minute walk for every two hours spent in the saddle. (This eases up the rider using different muscles, and helps the horse from constant pressure of the rider’s weight).

What is the terrain like?
The Okavango Delta has been described as a water meadow. Palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests and clear streams. Highest water is normally between May to 8 September. Many of the flood plains are full at this time and the horses wade through from island to island. The going is normally quite good and firm along the edges of the islands allowing the ride to move on at a trot and canter.
What is the age limit?

We do accept children but they must be strong competent riders. They should have a certificate from a pony club or qualified teacher to attest this. No adjustment in price of children. Our minimum recommended age is 12 years old.

What can I expect to see?

Game is plentiful, including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, lechwe, reedbuck, bushbuck, steenbok, impala, roan antelope, duiker, waterbuck, tsesebe, bat-eared fox, sidestriped and blackbacked jackal, African wildcat, baboon, vervet monkey, honey badger, spotted hyena, mongoose, meerkat, warthog, tortoise and ostrich; special nocturnal creatures – porcupine, aardwolf, aardvark, civet, genet, serval, spring hare; water species – hippo, crocodile, cape clawless and spotted necked otter; predators – leopard, lion, cheetah, wild dog. Safety precautions are taken when viewing any dangerous game.

What’s the maximum number of people allowed on one ride?

We like to keep rides to a maximum of 8 people however we can provide larger rides on request.

Do you take single riders?

Absolutely, and we don’t charge a single supplement for accommodation. However if there are no other riders on the safari you would have to pay a single supplement on certain transfer options.

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