Ride with the Big Five in Zimbabwe’s largest National Park
„A riding safari through Zimbabwe the way anyone would dream of“
„A riding safari through Zimbabwe the way anyone would dream of“
Hwange National Park is the largest natural reserve in Zimbabwe. Bordering Botswana’s Kalahari, it is home to an enormous range of wildlife and an even greater variety of birds and plants. The abundance of this vast, wonderful wilderness makes it one of the most important protected areas in Africa. Exploring it upon horseback as you traverse across varied terrain in search of wildlife and game, make this the dream safari for those looking for an action- packed adventure.
Boasting landscapes of wide yellow-green steppes and grasslands crossed by sporadic hills, conditions are perfect for safari as game can easily be spotted from afar.
As you traverse the large open landscapes you’ll also move through huge watercourse systems. The open spaces and water of these areas attract many animals who seek somewhere to bask and bathe. It is a magical sight as you can see large herds of giraffes, zebras and wildebeests roaming the landscape in addition to high numbers of elephants. In fact, Hwange National Park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. With a bit of luck, the other members of the Big Five of Africa can also be found here, which makes this riding safari a real adventure.
Dotting the landscape are also acacia forests, typical for southern Africa. Watchful riding is advisable here, as prides of lions can be found basking in the shade as they seek shelter from the sweltering sun. The denser vegetation of these idyllic spots provides a home for the smaller, no less interesting inhabitants of this area and it also hosts a lush bird population with over 400 different species.
Guests fly into Victoria Falls International Airport and then transfer to:
2 nights at Hwange Main Camp
3 nights at a Bush Camp in Somalisa’s private concessions
2 nights at Somalisa Expedition Camp
At the conclusion of the trip, guests private transfer to Victoria Falls International Airport for onward connections.
It is a requirement to be an experienced horse rider to join this safari.
As we will be moving through Big Five terrain there is a chance we will meet lions meaning you must be confident to safely manage and control your horse at all times. Up to six hours each day are spent in the saddle and on occasion long distances are covered by fast and long gallops. Small jumps should not be a problem for you and you must be able to confidently gallop out of risky situations.
The minimum age is 14.
Once all formalities have been completed upon arrival the adventure begins – you will be taken on the first game drive as we travel to the evening’s accommodation at our mobile camp.
After you have settled in and enjoyed your first cup of tea, the group will be taken through a safety briefing and outline of what to expect from the upcoming safari. It is then time to meet our horses for your first ride – a leisurely session for you to become acquainted with both your horse and the rest of the group.
Following this you will return to camp in time for a sundowner and hot shower before a delicious, freshly cooked three-course meal is served. As the evening ends it’s time to get comfortable in your warm bed and drift off to sleep listening to the fascinating sounds of the African bush coming to life outside your tent.
The day starts early with freshly brewed coffee and tea around the campfire to warm up and wake up – as the Hwange National Park is an offshoot of the Kalahari, temperatures can drop a bit during the night between May and August. After a light breakfast, it is time to mount our horses for the first exploratory ride in the surrounding wilderness of the Caterpillar Pans.
There are no permanent paths here meaning we have no fixed route to travel. Instead, your experienced guide will follow the fresh tracks of the wild animals and lead you into the depths of untouched nature.
While the horses wind their way through the wilderness, your guide will immerse you in the experience by teaching you about the surrounding nature and wildlife, explaining fresh traces of animals that have just passed by.
After a three to four hour ride you will return to camp for a delicious lunch and well deserved rest. Following afternoon tea or coffee, an afternoon ride (approximately two hours) waits for you. The bush will decide what this will look like.
Upon returning guests will be welcomed with a cold drinks followed by the chance to enjoy a warm shower. Once again we end the day around the campfire under the stars, whilst sharing the day’s adventures and a delicious meal.
From now on your days will follow a similar rhythm. You will be awakened by the smell of brewing coffee and tea and a gentle knock on your door – time to get up and warm up for a day of discovery and adventure.
Today you will be on the road all day and get to enjoy your lunch in the bush. The activities and movements of the day will be dictated by the bush and wildlife meaning each day is exciting and largely unknown.
While you’re busy having fun our team will pack up the mobile camp, move and rebuild it at another beautiful setting, ready to welcome you as soon as you arrive. Easy! On arrival at the new camp there will be just enough time to take care of the horses and take a refreshing shower. Another lavish three-course menu is already waiting for you under the magnificent starry sky.
After the daily morning routine, it is time to extensively explore our new surroundings. The Private Concessions of Somalisa offer wonderful landscapes, traversed by many waterholes and acacia forests – the perfect conditions for exciting game viewing. The Kennedy Pans are wide plains with many waterholes. If you are lucky, you will see large herds of elephants and buffalos coming by for a little refreshment.
Today the ride leads to the Somalisa Expedition Camp – a location which will offer you more comfort and luxury for the next two days. The beauty of this idyllic bush camp is legendary and it is famous for a particularly high number of elephants.
After our horses have been tended to, you will move into your spacious tent where you’ll have some time to settle in and enjoy the beautiful view over a cup of tea or coffee, walk around the camp or have a rest by the pool. Hopefully you don’t want to swim – the elephants like to stop by for a little refreshment!
Look forward to a comfortable night in the beautiful Somalisa Expedition Camp.
Since you will certainly welcome a little change after spending many days in the saddle, today you have the option to explore the area during a game drive – an experience which will allow you to cover more distance while giving the horses a well-deserved day off.
Another night will be spent at the Somalisa Expedition Camp.
The first five nights of the safari will be spent in mobile bush camps in the wilderness, changing location once. There are spacious, walk-in dome tents available each with warm and comfortable beds. You can shower under warm bucket showers and a bush toilet will be available at every camp. As you will be in Big Five terrain, the camp will be secured with an electric fence every evening to ensure your safety.
The last two nights will be spent at the legendary Somalisa Expedition Camp. There you will find much more luxury and plenty of time to relax.
Every evening you can expect a delicious three-course menu under the open sky.
US $5,432 per person, sharing
US $7,374 per person, single occupancy
Since we are exclusively in Big Five terrain and it is quite possible to meet lions, you must be an experienced rider to participate in the safari.
You need to be confident in all paces and able to control your horse at all times. Up to six hours a day are spent in the saddle and sometimes very fast and long gallops are made. Small jumps should not be a problem for you and you must be able to confidently gallop out of risky situations.
A team of 23 horses await you. Most of them are thoroughbred and Boerperd crosses with a height of 1.5m to 1.6m. Shire and Frisen crosses can also be found.
All horses were started with the horsemanship method and are now reliable, well trained, sensitive and sure-footed safari horses.
The equipment is in excellent condition and a selection of Leon Liversage Trail saddles, Australia Stock saddles and English Wintec saddles are available for maximum comfort. Most horses are ridden with a single snaffle bit.
The safari groups consist of a maximum of eight and a minimum of two riders to ensure an unforgettable experience for each guest.
The minimum age is 14 years. The maximum weight is 90kg.
Contact safariFRANK to get started on your safari of a lifetime!