A riding safari across the magical Kalahari | SafariFRANK
Scheduled safari

A riding safari across the magical Kalahari

"An inspiring 8-day mobile horse safari across the Kalahari"

Price $3150 USD
Country
Botswana
Duration
7 Nights
Dates
14 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
31 Aug 2019 - 7 Sep 2019
Safari Type
Camping, Mobile Safari
Location

At over 1.2 million square kilometres in size the Kalahari it is the largest desert-like region in the world. However, the Kalahari has much more to offer than just sand dunes. Here the endless horizons of the savannah merge seamlessly into the sky and create a very special feeling of freedom. A breathtaking natural spectacle happens each day in the sky at sunrise and sunset.

Exploring the Kalahari on a horseback safari gives you a feeling of freedom that you won’t experience anywhere else on earth.
Far from civilization, you can leave everyday life completely behind, concentrate only on your horse and lose yourself in the beauty of the silver-grassed savannah.

Although you might not expect it, the Kalahari is home to a great variety of wild animals, with the presence of white rhino being one of the highlights. Big cats, especially lions, feel at home here and elephants like to roam the country from time to time. Several rare desert-adapted species such as the honey badger or the brown hyaena can be seen with a little luck and an open eye.

The mobile camp consists of up to 8 comfortable, walk-in Meru tents, all equipped with an en-suite toilet and warm bucket showers. Each tent is furnished with comfortable single beds and cosy linen. The heart of the camp is the dining tent with an open bar for daily meals. Each evening a 3-course menu will take place under the open sky with a view of the stars unless weather disallows.  As on any mobile safari, the motto here is simple but very comfortable. The camp can be set up daily against new scenery.

During this 8 day safari, you will get to know the unique beauty of the Kalahari in a way that is only possible on horseback. Look forward to thrilling gallops, infinite horizons, beautiful natural spectacles and an unexpected abundance of wildlife and breathtaking views.

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

highlights

  • The simple, back to earth lifestyle allows you to be really close to the African wilderness and to escape everyday life completely.
  • Get to know the unique beauty of the Kalahari in a way that is only possible on horseback.
  • Gain rare insight into the incredible lifestyles of these Kalahari San Bushmen peoples and how they and their ancestors have survived in this wild environment for thousands of years.
  •  The Kalahari is home to a great variety of wild animals, including the white rhino and other rare desert adapted species.

map and overview

Guests fly to Maun Airport – transport by a 45-minute light aircraft flight to:

2 Nights Grasland Safari Lodge
1 Night Rooibraak Camp
1 Night Albertus Hill Camp
3 Nights Tsau Hill Camp

Private transfer to Maun Airport for onwards connections.

start dates

14 August 2019 - 20 August 2019
31 August 2019 - 7 September 2019

suitable for

These rides are only suitable for intermediate or above level riders. Since riding takes place in areas where there are big cats, elephants and rhinos, you have to be safe in all paces, be able to control your horse at all times, master small jumps and even gallop out of risky situations.

detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

You arrive at Maun International Airport around noon, where you will be escorted to a 45-minute light aircraft flight to Grasslands Safari Lodge in the Central Kalahari region. A light lunch is provided.

Your guide will collect you upon arrival and a short 4×4 safari will take you to the luxury mobile camp. Here you meet the team of horses and staff who will accompany you on your unforgettable safari through the Kalahari.

You will be guided through the camp and have time to refresh yourself and settle down in your tent. After a high tea, the first-afternoon ride is a perfect opportunity to meet your horse and get a taste of the extraordinary landscape you will cross on safari. Sundowners followed by a 3-course meal await you back at camp. Overnight at Grasslands Safari Lodge Game Farm in our mobile safari camp.

Day 2: Grasland Safari Lodge

The early morning in the Kalahari is beautiful as the sunlight spreads over the savannah. An early start allows you to go riding in the bush and look for the local white rhinos.

Most animals are active early in the day and late in the afternoon in search of food and water. The daily rides are adapted to this behaviour in order to have the best chances to observe exciting animal interactions. We may view a wide variety of game including giraffe, zebra, white rhino, wildebeest, springbok, impala, eland, kudu, jackal, cheetah, leopard, lion, brown hyaena, porcupine, honey badger and many other smaller inhabitants of the Kalahari.

The morning ride takes about 4 hours, with a short break for a high energy snack such as apples, chocolate, local biltong and homemade oat bars. The first-morning ride is a good opportunity for horse and rider to get to know each other before the full day rides ahead.

Lunch is served in the camp, followed by a siesta or time spent realxing. Spend the afternoon walking and interacting with some of the Kalahari San Bushmen of the region. Gain a rare insight into the incredible lifestyles of these great nomadic peoples and learn how they and their ancestors have survived in this wild environment for thousands of years. The walk includes lessons in the traditional methods of finding food and water, hunting and fire making.

Afterwards, we proceed to a special vantage point in the bush for  a sundowner followed by a short night drive to spot elusive nocturnal animals with spotlights on our way back to camp. We stay overnight at Grasslands Safari Lodge Game Farm in a mobile safari camp.

Day 3: Rooibraak Bushman Camp

Today is the first day that we move camp. After an early start and a quick breakfast, the horses are mounted for the next part of the trip. The camp is dismantled and put up again in its next location by a team of staff and a vehicle and will be ready for you when we arrive this evening after a day of riding.

Saddlebags are available to transport necessities like sun cream, water and cameras on the horse. The distance between the camps is about 35 km. This means we will be moving quickly and may even cover part of the distance at a gallop. On our way, we will break for a hearty picnic lunch and rest in the shade. The horses will also get a short break and have time to graze.

We arrive at the camp at about 16:30 and have a quick shower and tea before heading to the Kalahari Bushmen village not far from the camp. We have the honour of meeting the San Bushmen who live in one of the few traditional villages of the entire Kalahari.

They will show you some of their traditional games, followed by a trance dance around the fire. This is an incredible ritual that allows shamans to communicate with their ancestors and you are free to participate or just observe.

Afterwards, we return to the camp by vehicle, where cool drinks and a 3-course menu await you. Overnight at Rooibraak Camp.

Day 4: Albertus Hill

Today we enjoy another exciting full day of riding of about 40 kilometres as we make our way from Rooibraak Pan to Albertus Camp.

Today’s scenery is spectacular and we depart early to enjoy a leisurely pace. The horses will be tied up for a picnic and nap around noon before we head to the next camp in time to take a shower and enjoy a delicious dinner.

This area was a cattle farm that has now been converted into a nature reserve. As this is one of the few places in the area with fresh water, elephant and other game animals love it and often pass through, making it an amazing area for game viewing. Albertus Camp is on the edge of a wide pan with views of beautiful sunsets. Here we overlook our ultimate destination of the Tsau hills. You cannot help but feel the sense of inspiration that the Kalahari wilderness evokes. Overnight at Albertus Hill Camp.

Day 5: Tsau Hills

30 kilometres are covered today as we move to the Tsau Hills. These are 2  impressive and unusual hills in the Kalahari desert. The Tsau Hills are considered sacred by the Kalahari San people (known as Bushmen). The hills offer an incredibly majestic atmosphere to the region and our nearby camp.

The route follows the movements of animals crossing the savannah in search of water, grazing between springs and waterholes. We keep our eyes open as we seek out elephants and giraffes that frequently visit the area, as well as looking for African wild dog and cheetah. A delicious feast awaits your arrival at the last camp, hidden in a small acacia forest not far from the Tsau Hills. Overnight at the Tsau Hills Camp.

Day 6: Bokamoso

A relaxed morning will give you the opportunity to choose between sleeping in or taking an early morning game drive before returning to camp for breakfast.

After breakfast, a short ride will take you to a point where you can climb the Tsau Hills, which offer the most spectacular views of the Kalahari. The hills are only 30 metres high however as there are no other elevations in the Kalahari, you can actually see the curvature of the earth from here.

Afterwards, you will return to the camp for lunch and relaxation. There is an opportunity for an afternoon ride through the hills. This offers a good chance to search for brown hyaena burrows and elephants. You overnight at our camp at Tsau Hills.

Day 7: Tsau Hills

Get up early for another fantastic opportunity to climb one of the Tsau hills and watch the incomparable African sunrise with a cup of tea in your hand. The natural beauty is breathtaking as you watch the sunlight spread in front of you, throwing dark, wide silhouettes over pink and orange grasslands. Return to camp for a cooked breakfast and after breakfast, enjoy a morning ride.

Lunch is served in camp and your last afternoon ride of the trip takes you through the surrounding area. Stop for a sundowner in the bush at a secret vantage point before returning to camp for a festive farewell dinner. Overnight at Tsau Hills.

Day 8: Maun Transfer

After you have packed up and said goodbye to your reliable horse and the safari team, you are collected by vehicle and transferred to Maun airport for your international return flight or your next safari camp. The journey takes about 3-4 hours, depending on the game viewing on the way.

The roads are in excellent condition and the ride is comfortable.

accommodation

The mobile camp consists of up to 8 comfortable, walk-in Meru tents, all equipped with an en-suite toilet and warm bucket showers. Each tent is furnished with comfortable single beds and cosy linen. The heart of the camp is the dining tent with an open bar for daily meals. Each evening a 3-course menu will take place under the open sky with a view of the stars unless weather disallows.  As on any mobile safari, the motto here is simple but very comfortable. The camp can be set up daily against new scenery.

Kalahari Horse Safari camp 2Kalahari Horse Safari camp tableKalahari Horse Safari campHorse Safari Camp Kalahari 5

price

US$ 3,150 per person for 7 nights/ 8 days.

There is no single supplement charge.
Single travellers will stay in a smaller dome tent (3 metres by 3 metres) with private bathroom.

 

Price includes:

  • Comfortable, walk-in and waterproof  Meru style tented accommodation with mosquito protection at the windows and at the entrance.
  • Bed linen and towels.
  • En-suite bathrooms with bucket shower and bush toilet.
  • All activities listed in the itinerary.
  • Transfers from Maun airport and back, including a charter flight to the Kalahari.
  • Conservation surcharges.
  • Okavango Air Rescue: This insurance service provides an emergency return transport to Maun from the bush.
  • All meals and selected drinks (water, soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits from the region).
  • Licensed and experienced guide and camp staff throughout your safari.
  • Well trained and experienced safari horses.

 

Price excludes:

  • International and national flights.
  • Airport charges.
  • Visa.
  • Travel, cancellation and medical insurance (essential on all safaris).
  • Optional safari extensions.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Tips/gratuities.
  • Special drinks not available locally.

additional information

There are 20 very robust and well trained purebred thoroughbreds and Namibian warmbloods waiting for you. They are well adapted to the local climate and environmental conditions and can easily cover long distances every day. 4-6 hours are spent in the saddle each day, depending on whether it is a moving day.

The first rides are to make sure that you are comfortable with your horse and that you form a good team. If this is not the case, there are spare horses that will accompany the safari so that the horses can be changed at any time.

Since long distances are covered every day and the well-being of the horses is the main focus, these rides are only suitable for intermediate or above level riders. Riding takes place in areas where big cats, elephants and rhinos also feel at home, so you have to be safe in all paces, be able to control your horse at all times, master small jumps and even gallop out of risky situations.

It is ridden in English style and English general-purpose saddles are used. Trail or cavalry saddles are also available. These are designed for long distance riding and therefore offer more comfort.

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