Horseback Safaris

 

General Information

 

Your guide Steven Rufus is an experienced horseman. He has lectured in equine studies, competed in eventing at a top level in South Africa and is a registered farrier. Nine years ago he established Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana which is now one of the leading horse safaris. He has recently moved back to South Africa.

The horses are of various breeds, but mainly thoroughbred/shire cross; Boerperd and Boerperd /Quarter horse cross; Arab/Quarter horse cross; Anglo Arab and Hanoverian /Boerperd cross. They range in height from 15 hands 17 hands. All horses are selected with the same criteria as for a sport horse (pace, temperament, confirmation, ride ability) and are fit and in good condition.

The tack is Australian or South African stock saddles designed for comfort and long hours in the saddle. Pelham bridles are used for control, although you will normally ride on a loose rein.

There is a weight limit of 16 stone and on the Songimvelo Safari, clients over 60 years should have confirmation from their doctor that they are fit for the ride and that there are no medical conditions of which the guide should be aware.

There is a maximum of 8 guests on the Songimvelo Safari or at Dawson’s Lodge Riding. Minimum of 3 guests per ride.

Meals

Breakfast of porridge and bacon and eggs is the norm for a day in the saddle. When on safari, you will make your own saddle bag picnic from bread rolls, ham, cheese etc. In the evening, professional chefs cook delicious meals. Emphasis is placed on good South African cooking. Vegetarians are catered for with prior notice but other stricter diets cannot be accommodated on the safari.

On safari you are provided with fruit cordial, bottled water, tea/ coffee. Beer and house wine is served with dinner, although the amount is necessarily limited by space in the support vehicle. You may bring your own duty free if you wish to have spirits.

At Dawson’s Lodge, all beverages are a personal expense.

At Ebutsini the food is traditional African fare in the evening with a cooked breakfast the following morning. Beer and house wine again will be served limits as per safari.

Children

Competent teenagers aged 16 and over are accepted on the typical Songimvelo Safari. Younger children who are experienced riders may be accepted as part of a family group on a private Songimvelo Safari.

There are special dates each year set aside for children’s safaris, however all participants must be 10 years or older.

Guests of all ages are accepted at Dawson’s Lodge; however children should be aged 10 or over to ride.

All children under the age of 18 years must wear a hard hat when riding.

Weather

Summer months are October to March with the hottest months being October to February when temperatures may rise to mid 30’s C. The rains can start in November with December to February being the wettest months. Winter is May to August. Since you are in the mountains, the evenings can be cold, with temperatures falling to 5C. Rain is unlikely in the winter months, but mist and heavy dew is possible and so you should have good quality raingear at all times to prevent feeling damp.

What to Bring

Songimvelo Safari

You are limited to one medium sized soft sided bag on safari. You are provided with saddle bags and water bottles. It is recommended that you bring clothes which can be layered since the weather can change quickly in the mountains.

Comfortable riding trousers/jodhpurs – half chaps or full chaps (full chaps will provide extra warmth and protection in the event of damp or cold)

Riding boots - with rubber sole, also suitable for walking. Full length riding boots will not be either practical or comfortable. The best would be Jodhpur boots (with rubber sole) or a pair of dual purpose riding/leisure boots, such as Ariat

T-shirts - long sleeved cotton shirts

Towel

Hat - at all times a hat is advisable as protection against the sun. A hard hat is recommended

Riding Gloves - your hands will be particularly exposed to the elements for long periods

Sunglasses- including a lace/cord attached to your sunglasses so that they do not fly off.

Jumper or Fleece - recommended all year

Wind/ water-proof jacket

Warm clothing - particularly recommended in August/September, but it can get cold in the evenings in the mountains at any time

Casual clothes for when not riding, house shoes, including swimsuit, shorts, sandals

Sunscreen, and lip salve and moisturiser. Important at any time – essential between October and April.

Insect repellent

Camera and film – twice what you think you will use!  Spare batteries

Torch (with spare batteries)

Binoculars – if you are particularly keen on game viewing or birding

Wash bag - A nail brush will be particularly useful after a day in the saddle

Bum Bag- you may find that a small bum-bag is useful for keeping a camera or sun-screen readily to hand (saddle bags will be provided for carrying lunch, if necessary).

 

Dawson’s Lodge Safari

Comfortable riding trousers/jodhpurs – half chaps or full chaps (full chaps will provide extra warmth and protection in the event of damp or cold)

Riding boots - with rubber sole, also suitable for walking. Full length riding boots will not be either practical or comfortable. The best would be Jodhpur boots (with rubber sole) or a pair of dual purpose riding/leisure boots, such as Ariat

T-shirts - long sleeved cotton shirts

Hat - at all times a hat is advisable as protection against the sun. A hard hat is recommended

Riding Gloves - your hands will be particularly exposed to the elements for long periods

Sunglasses- including a lace/cord attached to your sunglasses so that they do not fly off.

Wind/ water-proof jacket

Warm clothing - particularly recommended in August/September, but it can get cold in the evenings in the mountains at any time

Casual clothes for when not riding, house shoes, including swimsuit, shorts, sandals

Sunscreen, and lip salve and moisturiser. Important at any time – essential between October and April.

Insect repellent

Camera and film – twice what you think you will use!  Spare batteries

Binoculars – if you are particularly keen on game viewing or birding