Covering 17,000 km sq, the Okavango is the largest inland delta in the world, a mix of labyrinth trails, palm fringed islands and fertile floodplains. Trapped in the parched sands of the Kalahari desert, it is a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the delta's life giving waters. More than 400 species of resident and migrant birds, lions, elephant, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a variety of antelope and smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, genets, monkeys and bush babies to name a few. To protect this unique environment the Botswanan government has adopted a policy of minimal infrastructure and limited numbers of visitors. With no roads and lots of water, horses are the ideal way of getting around.
The main attraction of a horse safari is the joy of riding good horses over superb country, with just about every landscape dotted with game. The riding is varied, sometimes quietly walking, stalking big game and admiring the bird life, sometimes cantering through the water-meadows alongside galloping giraffe and lechwe. Permanent water and seasonal floods create large plains made for galloping on!
For non riders accompanying riders there is plenty to enjoy: Fishing, mokoro (dugout canoe) rides, walking and game drives are all possible here.
Macatoo Camp is situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta where founder Sarah Jane has created an oasis of luxury (even by Okavango standards) in the wilderness. The camp features large, walk-in, twin bedded tents, each with their own en-suite shower and toilet. There is coffee in bed in the mornings and a swimming pool to relax by. Another feature of this camp is the superb service and excellent social aspect.
This horse riding holiday is one of our premier rides with exceptional service levels and more than a hint of luxury.
One of the top 15 'World's Greatest Horse Treks' as compiled by CNN International.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from SC of Bourn on 22/02/2020
Please note there is one single tent which is available at no supplement on a first come basis.
After a short game-viewing air-adventure in a Cessna 206, you will be greeted by your guide and whisked off to base camp where the Macatoo Mamas sing their traditional songs of welcome. After a refreshing drink you will be shown to your secluded and very luxurious tents, complete with toilet and washing facilities. Your private verandah overlooks a seasonal floodplain, home to baboon, hyena and elephant. Drinks are on tap, cake and biscuits are there for the taking and we trust you will already feel relaxed and at home.
As well as the horses there are 4x4s which are used for night drives, spotting the nocturnal species and for close up photography of kills and predators and, when the water levels permit, you can also go out in boats to put another perspective on the game.
The safari team is inspired each day by the beautiful surroundings to provide the best safari experience possible for the guests. They are enormously privileged to have a huge unspoilt wilderness in which to run the safaris. The Okavango Delta is an intriguing phenomena, with ever changing landscapes due to the seasonal flood waters coming through from Angola. The movement of the game, the dramatic seasonal changes in the flora and the varying interests of the guests ensures that no two safaris are the same, each one is unique.
Sample 7 night itinerary:
You will be met at Maun airport by a member of our team who will assist you with transferring onto the small plane (either a Cessna 206 or 208) that will fly you into camp. The flight takes around 30 minutes and offers a bird’s eye view of the Okavango Delta –it is amazing how tiny the breeding herds of elephant look from the air. A safari vehicle will be waiting for you at the camp’s airstrip for the 45-minute game drive –or an exciting boat ride (depending on the time of year) -into Macatoo Camp wherestaff will greet you with a welcome drink. After settling into your tent, you will be offered afternoon tea and homemade cake during a briefing from your guide before heading to the barn for a ride. The pace of the evening rides are deliberately slower giving you the time to enjoy the sunsets and make the most of the photo opportunities offered by the birdlife and game. After a hot shower and change, drinks and snacks are served in the comfortable mess tent ahead of a candle-lit dinner by the fire
Macatoo’s cheerful “tent ladies” will provide a gentle wake-up call along with your choice of tea, coffee and rusks that are served to you in bed. A light breakfast is set up around the campfire ahead of the first long ride of the holiday. There is awide selection of horses in our barn and Macatoo’s experienced staff has the knack of putting together great horse and rider partnerships. Depending on the season, the morning ridemay involve some gallopingacross dried flood plains, swimming through flood waters or pushing-on through seas of tall grass to watch giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo -whatever is out there. A hearty lunch is served every day –you will need it after all those miles in the saddle –the chicken pie is a firm favourite and wine is always offered to encourage a little nap before tea and the evening ride. Sundowners are often enjoyed out in the bush before headingback to camp to freshen up. Dinner is always a great occasion at Macatoo, but there is no guarantee that itis always eaten in the same place...
After listening to the dawn chorus over tea, coffee and rusks in bed, you will have shaken off any first day riding nerves and be eager to get back on a horse. Heading off in a new direction, the landscape will be quite different to yesterday offering fresh game viewing possibilities. You will be feeling more confident with the ‘going’ and we can speed up the pace a bit –keeping up with some of the large moving animals, such as giraffe or zebra. After lunch, the camp pool is an ideal place to cool down, or stretch the muscles that are feeling the effects of the time in the saddle. The deck is a great place to soak up some sun, read and doze, but keep your binoculars and cameras handy as zebra, buck and elephant frequently pass in front of camp. The swimming pool is also a popular watering hole for families of baboons, the babies on their mother’s backs are particularly cute. After some lovely homemade cakes or scones, evening rides can be swapped for some sunset fishing from boats, or from the banks of pools where hippos wallow. You will have to be quick about reeling in your bream, before the kingfishers and African Fish Eagles steal your catch from right under your nose. A game drive, accompanied walk or boat rides –depending on the time of year –are also available for those wanting time away from the horsesor for non-riding partners and guests.
We ride through different country, making our way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. We might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mophane woodlands. Our pace increases as we break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons. Return to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure, or the possibility of hiring a helicopter for an hour to gain access to remote and otherwise totally inaccessible parts of the delta with spectacular photographic results.Finish off the day with a night drive by spotlight, where the resident clan of hyena are often spotted. Bushbabies leap from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees –only seen by the brights of their eyes. If lucky, the spotlight will pick up the glint of a leopard’s sultry stare. If we find lion on the drive or know where they are –perhaps we might have seen them earlier from horseback (and avoided them!) –we can spend quite some time watching them from the safety and comfort of the vehicle, over snacks and drinks, as they wake up from their long afternoon rest, groom each other, and prepare for a night of hunting. It is always such a highlight of the holiday to see a big cat –we will have lots to talk about around the dinner table that night.
This morning we ride deeper into the heart of the delta, to corners of the wilderness where vehicles simply cannot reach –horses can get much closer to the big game. We cross high palm islands which offer great sweeping views of the Delta plains –are those anthills or giraffes in the distance? Riders may have joined non-riding friends and family for a walk, drive or boat ride –but all guests will reunite for an unexpected champagne breakfast under a large baobab tree to swap ‘survivor’ stories from the morning. By now, you will have settled into the wonderful rhythm of camp where great adventure, creature comforts and downtime are combined to provide a break. After tea and a gentle sunset ride, you may find yourself at our fabulous tree housewhere you will have the option to spend the night out, sleeping high up in the tree canopy under the African night sky. From there, it is fascinating to watch and listen as the birds and animals prepare for night –by roosting, travelling or preparing to hunt. The barking of baboons and calling lions provide an unforgettable soundtrack to a night out under the stars. Your guides will stay too, providing great company and peace of mind –for many guests, this is a real highlight of a holiday to Macatoo.
After waking up in the treetops, you are whizzed back to camp by vehicle to change before riding off into new terrain. By now, you will have seen most of Africa’s Big Five and riding alongside moving giraffe, antelope and zebras will have become a thrilling, almost daily activity. Make the most of a bush breakfast, or lunch out in the bush and savour the sights and sounds around you. An afternoon by the pool sees many guests desperately trying to even up their ‘farmer’s tans’ –brown arms and face, pale bodies and legs! You may feel torn over how to spend one of your final sunset outings –an evening game drive with a spotlight is often fun, picking up a local clan of hyena, or lions out on the hunt. Above your head Bushbabies leap from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees –only seen by the brights of their eyes. After last night’s treetop sleepover, –a prompt bedtime will most likely to be the most popular after dinner activity, as we save our energy for the last full day and night.
Don’t forget your pocket camera today, but store it carefully because things could get rather wet! We will explore the shallow and deeper flood plains; they look so pretty, scattered with flowering lilies. The reflection of the trees –and your horse –will provide great images to capture. Many of our horses love to eat the lilies as they wade –sometimes swim –through the water. Here, the Cape buffalo can gather in large numbers (anything between a dozen and 2000 at a time). We have to creep up on them using the islands as cover. You will be keen to review your pictures after lunch, but don’t forget to re-charge your cameras in the mess tent! The evening offers the choice of a game drive, fishing or a last quiet evening ride with the by-now familiar smellof wild sage and the warm African dust as the sun goes down, transforming the skyline into a cocktail of oranges and reds. Dinnerwill be a memorable one perhaps with another surprise location in store!
The dawn call of the African Fish Eagle has, by now, become as familiar as the morning alarm at home. The delivery of tea or coffee in bed heralds the start of your last morning in camp and you will be anxious to make the most of your final ride. We stay quite close to home, splashing through water on the vast open plains, home to blue wildebeest and Burchell's zebra. The riding pace will be deliberately quite fast as we cram as much fun as possible into the final hours –be prepared to get wet as we approach deep reedy areas full of bird life including open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets and egyptian geese. You willreturn to Macatoo along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees, before arriving back at the barn where you say a sad farewell to your horse. There will be just enough time to shower, change and pack before the game drive to the airstrip, carrying a picnic lunch to tide you over until your return to the real world. Don’t worry, you can always come back –so many of our guests do!
Please note: This itinerary only serves as a guide; all scenarios are dependent on the season and levels of the Okavango flood. During cooler months one longer ride may replace the normal morning and evening rides. Local weather conditions may also affect game movements.
The base camp at Macatoo runs on solar lights with a generator during the day to charge everything, however there is no electricity in the tents at night. For this reason you are strongly recommended to bring a torch with batteries. The tents are mosquito proof and during the winter months of June to late August there are very few mosquitoes around. The mornings in the month of August can be quite chilly so it is advised that you take a light weight waterproof riding jacket and maybe one pair of long rubber and one pair of short boots. Itineraries are subject to change on this horse riding holiday and are dependent on the amount of water laying and where the game is. You will certainly be going to the fly camp for two of the nights on 7 day or longer itineraries in the dry season (not November to February) and the rest of the time based at the main camp in the western Okavango Delta. Drinks are included in the daily rate and tips are welcome in any currency.
Non-riding partners are welcome to join a safari. Non-riding activities include Game Drives, Boat Trips, Mokoro, Fishing, Bird Watching and Game Walks (all activities are subject to water levels).
The single supplement is only payable if riders are not willing to share, otherwise it is 50%. There is one tent dedicated to single travellers where no single supplement applies, subject to availability. Charter flights if travelling alone may incur 50% but please enquire if applicable.
The weight limit for riders is as follows:
• Under 95kg no supplement
• 95-100kg no extra supplement but subject to availability
• Exceeding 100kg only non-riding activities available
WHEN TO COME
We are always being asked "When is the best time to come?". As this is such a complicated issue with many variables such as weather, water levels and game, we have listed below some guidelines to help you decide what suits you best!
January / February
Weather - Warm / hot during the day with morning rides in a breeze pleasantly warm at night. Small possibility of rain. Bush is green and lush grass tall and green.
Temperature - Day: temps can reach 35° - 45°C in the middle of the day. Night: 10° - 20°C
Water - Rain pools in the Mopane forests and on the open plains but floodwater unlikely at this time.
Game - Cats around and plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, impala and kudu. Nomadic bull elephants and birds in breeding plumage. Clothing- Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.
March / April
Weather - Warm / hot during the day pleasantly warm at night. Small possibility of rain. Bush is green and lush, grass tall and green.
Temperature - Day: 25° - 35°C. Night: 10° - 20°C.
Water - Plenty of rain pools left over from the rainy season but the floodwater is unlikely to be within riding distance of the camp.
Game - Due to the rain and waterholes, the game is dispersed all over the country so not concentrated in herds yet. Possible still to see the plains game: zebra, wildebeest, impala etc as well as elephant, maybe buffalo and cats.
Clothing - Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.
Weather - Cooler at night, but still pleasantly warm during the day. Unlikely to rain. Bush still green but grass getting shorter.
Temperature - Day: 20° - 30°C. Night: 5° - 10°C
Water - The Okavango annual floodwaters normally arrive in May or June so are within riding distance for a couple of weeks before they actually reach camp. The floodwaters bring long shallow water canters on the floodplains and deeper channels to cross. As water levels rise, motorboat replaces vehicle game drives and mokoros are also in use into November.
Game - When the water arrives initially the birdlife is great as they feed off the shallow water areas. Game comes to drink from the water, with the buffalo and lechwe moving in as the water levels increase. However, there is a lot of water so much of the game is still dispersed.
Clothing - A splash proof jacket, a fleece/sweater for evenings and swimwear.
June / July / August
Weather - This is our winter and can be chilly / cold in the early morning and evenings but warm in the middle of the day. Bush getting drier except around the edges of the islands where the green shoots start to come through.
Temperature - Day: 20° - 25°C. Night: 3° - 5°C.
Water - The water is at its highest levels, so plenty around to ride through and go boating on either in the motor boat or mokoro (canoe).
Game - Large herds of lechwe forming in the wetlands and perhaps hippo and crocodile in the area. Good potential for buffalo sightings with impala, tsessebe, kudu etc moving inland on islands.
Clothing - Splash proof jacket, a warm fleece/sweater for evenings.
September / October
Weather - Winter is over and it gets progressively hotter building up to the first rains, which clear the hazy days and the skies are big and beautiful. Trees come into flower and then leaves go green and fruits grow. Evenings are warm and the plunge pool gets a lot of use! Bush is dry and grass short.
Temperature - Day: 30 - 45°C. Night: 15° - 25°C
Water - The floodwater normally stays around the camp area until October but this, of course, depends on how big the flood was to start with. As the floodplain water recedes, drinking pools of water remain hopefully until the next rains come!
Game - The game now tends to concentrate as the water sources lessen often big herds of buffalo, elephant and with shorter grass more plains game can be seen. More likely to see wild dog as well as the cats who favour dry savannah such as cheetah. Young giraffe and lechwe; hyenas more evident cooling off in the pools.
Clothing - Lightweight riding gear, a fleece/sweater and swimwear.
November / December
Weather - The rainy season is any time from November but impossible to say exactly when and how much. Normally the rain comes for an hour or so every day and then often goes away for a week or more before it rains again. It is warm to sticky hot before the rain and cooler after each rain. Bush turns green with the rains and many of the trees and flowers come into bloom while the sunsets become increasingly dramatic.
Temperature - Day: 30° - 40°C. Night: 15° - 20°C
Water - Depending on the flood level, there will be some water around with the rain topping up the pools.
Game - Very good until the first rain when it disperses again the young antelope are born at this time and are very entertaining to watch.
Clothing - Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.
Why not spoil yourself with a few days on a tropical beach after your safari? We recommend one of our Mozambiquan Beach Extensions as an ideal way to round off a safari.
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.
Gauchos and the Vanishing Frontier –Richard W Slatta
The Drunken Forest and The Whispering Land - Gerald Durrell
Saddled with Darwin: A Journey Through South America on Horseback - Toby Green
In Patagonia– Bruce Chatwin
No1 Ladies Detective Agency series - Alexander McCall Smith
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
Macatoo’s string of horses are as well looked after as their guests. Each horse – they are all boys – is recognised and appreciated for his unique ability and personality and every effort is made to match him with the most suitable rider. Guests rotate between two or three horses during their time at Macatoo to ensure that each horse is given time to recover between rides. The stable includes Thoroughbreds, Namibian Hanoverian, Percherons and Kalahari-Arab crossbreeds ranging between 14hh and 18 hh (140 -180cm). With nearly 50 horses in camp, all schooled and well mannered, it is ensured that every one is fully fit and rested with downtime out in the paddocks to give guests the best possible ride. One of the most popular spectacles at Macatoo is the sight of the resting horses galloping home from their mobile paddocks each afternoon. The tack consists of good quality English and Western style trail saddles, each with their own water bottle. The riding terrain from camp is scenically varied in all directions and you will rarely ride the same route twice. The riding is varied, sometimes quietly walking, stalking big game and admiring the bird life, sometimes cantering through the water-meadows alongside galloping giraffe and lechwe. The morning rides are around 4 hours long and this is when you can enjoy the faster riding through the flood waters or over the plains. You may also encounter small jumps along the way but you can avoid these if you speak to your guide. The afternoon ride is around 2 hours long and is a relaxing ride to end the day with only walking and perhaps a little trotting. This gives you the opportunity to try out the horse you will be given the next morning for the longer and faster ride.
You will need to feel competent about keeping up with the group, capable of riding at all paces for between 4 to 6 hours per day; rising to the trot and controlling your horse at the canter. You may be required to gallop out of trouble. If you are not riding regularly we strongly recommend that you get in practice before joining the safari. It will be at the discretion of the company whether you will be permitted to ride, taking into consideration your safety and enjoyment and that of the group as a whole. Riders need to be over 12 years and riders over 60 should be strong and fit.
There is a maximum of 8 people in each group to ensure the best possible standards of safety and enjoyment. This holiday is not suitable for novice or beginner riders.
- Under 95kg no supplement.
- 95-105kg no extra supplement but subject to availability.
- Exceeding 105kg by special arrangement only.
The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
The camp features large beautifully decorated, walk-in, twin bedded tents, each with their own en-suite shower and toilet. Hot water and flush toilets are part of the picture. Your private verandah overlooks a seasonal floodplain, home to baboon, hyena and elephant as well as hippo when the floods are high. Beware of leaving anything out on the verandah (such as clothes drying) as the baboon's are more than happy to help themselves! Your tent will contain fresh drinking water everyday as well as champagne upon arrival. Also provided is insect repellant, bug spray, a torch and soap, body lotion and clothes washing powder in the bathroom. A laundry service is provided in camp on a daily basis although for hygiene purposes they do not wash underwear. The washing powder provided in your tent is for this purpose. The newly built honeymoon tent for couples celebrating any special occasion, has an additional deck for private dining as well as a raised double tub bath offering a view of the floodplain. The ‘family and friends suite' comprises two tents, directly linked by a raised walkway and viewing deck above ground, which provides direct, easy access for parents, children and single travellers who are anxious about sleeping alone. Centrally there is a large mess tent comfortably furnished in a stylish African theme with a large sofa area stocked with interesting guide and coffee table books. There is also a bar area and full-stocked fridge which you can help yourself too; although there is rarely a time when a member of staff are not already there offering you a drink of some kind! Outside the mess tent there is a campfire area where a fire burns whatever the time of year. There breakfast and pre and post lunch and dinner drinks are enjoyed under the stars. Drink fresh coffee and fine wines and swap stories of the day. All meals are taken outside on the beautifully laid table; enjoy the ever-changing table decorations! Tucked away beside the social area there is the swimming pool deck where guests can read, relax and soak up the sun inbetween rides and safari activities. As it also commands a wonderful view of the vast flood plain in front of camp, it is the perfect spot to view birds and game (don’t forget your binoculars). Elephants and giraffe often come very close to the deck and the pool doubles as a popular watering hole for passing families of baboons. Well lit pathways link up the communal mess tent and dining deck, pool and guest accommodation. A short drive away, and at the top of a long, sturdy ladder, is the magical tree platform where you can enjoy lunches, drinks and even the occasional sleepover under the African night sky Drinks: Iced drinks are available at camp as well as beer, bottled water, an assortment of cool soft drinks and the usual choice of spirits (gin/voda/whiskey/rum/Amarula/brandy etc). Cordials, teas and coffee are also freely available and house wine is served with dinner. Breakfast is a relaxed affair with a buffet that may include cereals, yoghurts, toast cooked over the campfire, fruit and freshly made muffins. A variety of tea, coffee and juice is also readily available and you may help yourself or be served by a member of the team. Lunch is set around a dining table under the trees overlooking the beautiful plains. It will consist of a variety of hot and cold dishes such as pasta, a variety of different salads, quiches and freshly baked bread. Lunch is served buffet style but with someone serving you. You are more than welcome to go back for seconds! A cheeseboard is usually offered as dessert along with coffee and tea. Juice, water and wine/beer/something from the bar is also served. Afternoon tea is also served in the camp-fire area at around 3pm and features tea and coffee and freshly made cakes - just right to send you off for your afternoon ride! Dinner is a lavish and delicious affair by candle-light under the stars! After pre-dinner drinks around the camp-fire enjoy 3 (or sometimes 4!) courses; the food is varied and excellent, all home cooked and served to you by the very attentive staff. Round off the evening with a night-cap whilst re-living the day's tales.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
1st OCTOBER 2016 - RULES ON TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN:
Parents will have to provide an unabridged birth certificate for all travelling minors (children under 18yrs).
Minors travelling through Botswana's borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports. In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent's affidavit consenting to such travel should be presented.
Unabridged birth certificate applications can take up to eight weeks to complete. Airlines will be forced to refuse travel to families not in possession of these documents.
At the time of going to print visas are not required for UK passport holders and citizens of the Irish Republic, but please check before you depart.
In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0230/ 0233 or www.fco.gov.uk
In Botswana the UK High commission is at Queens Rd, The Mall, Gabarone Private Bag 0023 (tel 352841).
The Botswana High Commission in the U.K can be found at 6 Stratford Place, London W1C 1AY. Telephone: (020) 7499 0031.
Climate: The flood waters normally arrive in May or June and recede in early October. See When to Come under our itinerary for a more detailed breakdown of what to expect in the various seasons.
Malaria exists in the northern parts of Botswana including the Okavango Delta. Southern Botswana has a low risk Malaria and mosquitoes are prevalent. Anyone intending to camp or walk in the bush should be cautious of tick bites.
Health care in Botswana is good but medical facilities and communications are limited outside urban areas. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation to the UK or South Africa may be necessary. Private hospitals will not treat patients unless you can pay and health care may be expensive. Outpatients must pay cash before receiving treatment. Emergency patients will only be accepted if you have full insurance cover.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org. Or contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis.
You should commence anti - malarial precautions before arrival in the Delta, please see your doctor for details. Please also consult your doctor regarding the appropriate inoculations.
The electricity supply is the same as in Euope - 220 volt and most appliances can be plugged in with appropriate adaptors which are widely available for purchase at airports.
There is a generator in camp which is switched on for a few hours while the guests are riding. You may be able to leave your camera equipment to charge in that time. There is a selection of adapters in camp for guests to use (UK, European and South African) Otherwise please take all batteries and and film you may need with you.
There is no mobile phone reception in the Okavango Delta.
A light-weight riding hat.
A shade hat with strap.
Two pairs of light-weight riding shoes or 1 pair and 1 pair of long rubber boots for the flood season (May to end of August).
Sunglasses on string, riding gloves and bandana.
Bush colour riding clothes (not white):
* 2 pairs of cotton riding trousers.
* 2 long sleeved shirts.
* 1 jersey, fleece or multi- pocketed waistcoat.
* 1 light weight waterproof windbreaker jacket.
Shorts, T shirts, bathing costume and sandals.
Sun block, lip salve, insect repellant, talcum powder and malaria pills (consult your doctor).
Film and a camera on a strong shoulder strap, preferably in a waterproof pouch to be secured to your belt. Otherwise a strong zip lock plastic bag.
All clothing should be neutral colored to blend in with the bush (Preferably shades of khaki, brown, beige or green) Lightweight cottons are advisable. Please take into consideration when you are coming as the weather does vary.
We recommend that you wear your riding clothes and boots on the plane to Maun and bring your hat and wash bag as hand luggage as luggage sometimes gets delayed. They can lend you half chaps – long leather boots are impractical. They do not have riding hats to lend to riders so you must bring your own.
Your riding gear will get wet if you are riding through the flood waters; if you do not have long rubber boots then if possible you may want to take 2 pairs of riding boots to avoid wearing wet boots. Clothes dry very quickly under the hot sun. Please be aware that the water may be deep enough to go over long riding boots too!
Luggage is limited to 20kgs (26lbs) per person in soft bags on the light aircraft into the Delta. Extra luggage can be stored in their Maun office. There is a daily laundry service in the camp although for hygiene reasons they do not wash underwear. Washing powder will be provided in your tent for this purpose. Towels and amenities are provided.
A basic first aid kit is available in camp but please make sure to bring any prescription medication with you.
Saddlebags and water bottles are provided.
The recommended length of stay is 7 to 10 nights to allow you to acclimatise and explore the area. Stays of this length enable you to experience the Okavango in depth by staying out at one of the mobile fly-camps - weather permitting. Shorter stays are possible, there is a minimum of 3 or 4 nights depending on your arrival day.
Year round arrivals and departures
2021 Low Season: Jan 1 - Mar 31; 1 - 31 Dec
2021 Mid Season: Apr 1 - Jun 14; Oct 15 - Nov 30
2021 Peak Season: Jun 15 - Oct 14
From:No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.
Please note there is one single tent which is available at no supplement on a first come basis.
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||double pp||495|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||249|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||445|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||249|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||149|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||double pp||645|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||325|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||579|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||325|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||149|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||double pp||789|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||395|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||715|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||395|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||149|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||double pp||545|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||275|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||495|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||275|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||165|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||double pp||709|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||355|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||639|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||355|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||165|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||double pp||869|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||435|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||785|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||435|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||165|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||double pp||695|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||349|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||625|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||349|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||205|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||double pp||905|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||455|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||815|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||455|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||205|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||double pp||1,109|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||555|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||999|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||555|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||205|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||double pp||5,529|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||2,765|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||4,975|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||2,765|
|2021 Low Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||1,675|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||double pp||7,205|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||3,605|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||6,485|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||3,605|
|2021 Mid Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||1,675|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||double pp||8,825|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||single supplement||4,415|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider adult||7,945|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||non rider under 12||4,415|
|2021 Peak Season per night||per night||1||upgrade to honeymoon suite per couple||1,675|
‘Land Mammals of Southern Africa’ – Smithers; ‘Okavango – Sea of Land of Water’ – Anthony Bannister; ‘Birds of Southern Africa’ – Ken Newman; ‘Kalahari – Life’s Variety in Dune and Delta’ – Michael Main. A range of interesting and inspiring equestrian travel books can be purchased from www.horsetravelbooks.com (part of the Long Rider’s Guild).
Other activities available on site include: game drives by foot, 4X4 or power boat, bird walks, night drives, seasonal boating, canoeing and fishing. The 4x4s are used for night drives, spotting the nocturnal species and for close up photography of kills and predators. When the water levels permit, you can also go out in power boats to put another perspective on the game. Mokoro's (traditional dug-out canoes) are another fun way to glide through the flood waters.
The safari camp is situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta, Botswana in a private concession spanning 500,000 acres. The riding terrain from camp is scenically varied in all directions.
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.
Covering 17,000 km sq, the Okavango is the largest inland delta in the world, a mix of labyrinth channels, palm fringed islands and fertile floodplains. Trapped in the parched sands of the Kalahari desert, it is a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the delta's life giving waters.
Established by Sarah Jane Gullick in 1995, African Horseback Safaris set up Macatoo camp in 1999, which is now run by John Sobey within a 500,000 acre private concession
On arrival in camp an introductory talk will be given on all aspects of the safari. Two guides will accompany each safari and will be equipped with a first aid kit, rifle and radio. You will be required to sign a liability waiver in camp before riding.
The luggage limit is 26lbs (13kg) per person for the light aircraft transfer. Extra baggage can be stored at the Maun office.
Botswana is a landlocked country situated in southern Africa. The climate ranges from semi-arid to sub-tropical. The Kalahari Desert dominates southern and western Botswana; the extreme south-west experiences near desert conditions, while eastern Botswana, though prone to drought, has adequate rainfall to support arable farming.
Beyond the narrow eastern corridor where the majority of the population is concentrated, Botswana is a largely roadless wilderness of savannas, deserts, wetlands and salt pans. Wildlife and livestock can make driving hazardous so driving at night should be avioded.
Botswana is two hours ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code for Botswana is +267.