African Horseback Safari Destination Information - African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris Destination Information

Mashatu Game Reserve

Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block, Botswana (Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris)

In the remote eastern corner of Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, lies an area known as the Tuli enclave - a diverse wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone outcrops. Part of this beautiful and diverse area is known as the Mashatu Game Reserve. It is here that Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris operates.

Mashatu (named for the magnificent, local Mashatu Tree) is home to great herds of elephants, with an estimated 800 individuals in Mashatu. In addition, there are numerous leopards, lion, and cheetah, along with excellent plains game – wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, impala and eland. You will also get to see some incredible Baobab trees, and huge sandstone outcrops – true Safari scenery.

The area is also perfect for riding - good going with natural ditches and logs to jump giving an exhilarating ride. Regular game sightings not only of the elephants and cats but also of antelopes, jackals, bat eared foxes, giraffe and the occasional canter with zebras and wildebeest across the plains leaves you with an unforgettable holiday. For birders, some 366 species have been recognised.

Makalali Private Game Reserve

Limpopo Province, Makalali Private Game Reserve, and Waterberg, South Africa (Wait a Little Horse Safaris, Horizon Horseback Safaris)

Named after the great Limpopo River that flows along its northern border, this province is rich in wildlife, spectacular scenery and a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. This is home to Modjadji, the fabled Rain Queen; Stone Age and Iron Age relics of Makapansgat Valley and the treasures of Mapungubwe that date back hundreds of years.

Straddling the northern Kruger Park, Limpopo province boasts wildlife safaris, nature trails –untamed Africa at its finest. This is the land of wide-open bushveld, big-sky country, the ever-present thorn tree and the mystical baobab tree. The province borders Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

In addition, Limpopo is home to Makalali Private Reserve, with its four exclusive and intimate camps. Makalali prides itself in its achievements of re-introducing wildlife to the area, including lion, cheetah, elephant, and rhino. It is here that you can enjoy a 10 day Horse Safari).

Limpopo is also home to the beautiful Waterberg range. This is an area renowned for its wilderness quality and conservation importance, reflected in its status as a UNESCO recognised biosphere reserve. This area is also only a two and a half hour drive from Johannesburg International Airport. Horizon Horseback offers its adventure rides, and Safaris – which are also offered in combination with Mashatu Game Reserve.

Songimvelo Game Reserve

Songimvelo Game Reserve, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa (South African Horseback Safaris)

Songimvelo game reserve was proclaimed a conservation area in 1983, covering an area of some 500 kilometres square, making it the largest provincial game reserve in South Africa. It is just south of the town of Barberton, and also borders on to the Kingdom of Swaziland. The area is home to some of the world’s oldest rock formation (3.5 billion years), and is also known for its archaeological sites – both stone and iron age.

The Park also protects some 20 game species, all re-introduced to the area, after having been hunted to extinction in previous decades. Here you have the chance of seeing elephant, white rhino, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, eland, zebra, hippo, and sable antelope – to name but a few species.

The park boasts more than 1 400 different species of plant life, including the extremely rare Woolly Cycad, which is the only place in the world this tree can now be found. There are 14 other threatened plant species that survive in this area, and their conservation is a high priority to the park.

To date there is only one carnivore present in the park - the Leopard, which can be very elusive as it hunts mainly at night. Songimvelo is also an important catchment area for a number of streams and rivers where the water is utilized downstream for agricultural areas. These include the Oom Saulu River and the Komati River which flows through Songimvelo and onto Swaziland.

Okavango Delta

Okavango Delta, Botswana (African Horseback Safari, Okavango Horse Safaris)

The Okavango delta is one of the world's largest inland water systems. Its headwaters start in Angola’s western highlands, with numerous tributaries joining to form the Cubango River, which then flows through Namibia (called the Kavango) and finally enters Botswana, where it is then called the Okavango.

The delta's floods are fed from the Angolan rains, which start in October and finish sometime in April. The floods only cross the border between Botswana and Namibia in December and will only reach the bottom end of the delta (Maun) sometime in July, taking almost nine months from the source to the bottom. This slow meandering pace of the flood is due to the lack of drop in elevation, which drops a little more than 60 metres over a distance of 450 kilometres. The delta's water ends in the Kalahari – via the Boteti River, with over 95 per cent of the water eventually evaporating.

The Delta is home to a variety of wildlife, including some 500 species of bird. There are two endemic species of antelope – the red lechwe, and the sitatunga, both adapted to this watery environment. There also good populations of elephant, wild dog, buffalo, lion, leopard, hippo and crocodile.

This is one of the most unique areas in which to enjoy a horseback safari.

Namib Desert

Namib Desert, Namibia (Desert Homestead)

Namibia is known for its contrasting landscapes. The desolate Namib Desert is said to be the oldest in the world, with its high dunes (arguably the world’s highest) and awe-inspiring sense of space. Although the Namib is one of the driest areas, it is still home to a surprising array of plant and animal life – much of which is endemic. The dunes are magnificent, and of an unusually red colour, bordered by rugged mountains, and interspersed with vast, rocky plains.

You will get the chance to see giraffe, oryx, mountain zebra, and ostrich, and even hyena, fox, and jackal.

Mavuradonha Wilderness

Mavuradonha Wilderness, Zimbabwe (Varden Safaris)

Undoubtedly, the Mavuradonha Mountains are one of Zimbabwe’s hidden treasures, and a little known area of pristine bush 180 kilometres due north of Harare.  This stunningly beautiful wilderness area of some 600 kilometres square has never been populated, and is thus entirely pristine.

Geographically, the Mavuradonha Wilderness comprises the Mavuradonha Mountains the Mailngura Hills, the Mvukwes Range and part of the Zambezi Escarpment. Geologically the Wilderness is at the head of the great dyke, which forms the backbone of Zimbabwe running south to Harare.

Due to the ruggedness and remoteness of the Mavuradonhas, there is only one road into the Wilderness, which terminates at Kopje Tops Lodge - the only way to get around is on horse back or foot. No electricity, phones and throbbing generators to disturb the peace, you will feel you are truly away from it all and may never want to return.

Primarily focusing on horse riding safaris there are a multitude of safari options to take depending on your riding ability. All safaris are lead by fully licensed professional guides with many years experience in the area your guide will help you make the most of the safari.