West
ellies
canter
campfire
lion
Rascal and tack
food
David
river-bed
riverbed
Frank
ellie in camp
bathroom on lodge ride
escarpment
wild dog
leopard
pool on lodge ride
lodge ride accommodation
kgotla
dinner at two mashatus
elephant
Liana camp
baobab tree
Walking in the river
Braveheart and Cor
The staff at a canter
Camping in comfort
Guide
sunset

A fantastic horseback safari in Botswana with fast and exciting riding in the "Land of the Giants". Here, large herds of elephant roam and the "great, green, grey, greasy Limpopo" (in the words of Rudyard Kipling) meanders, where the mighty baobab stands tall and lions and hyena serenade you under the starry African night sky.

The Tuli Block is found along the banks of the great Limpopo River bordering South Africa and is relatively untouched by man. This is an area of great diversity, magnificent vistas, ancient civilizations and dramatic rock formations. Here you will find large herds of elephant, a variety of wildlife species including lion, cheetah, leopard, and African wild dog, along with a multitude of plains game such as zebra, wildebeest and giraffe, as well as over 350 species of birds. Exciting riding for confident intermediate riders onwards with comfortable overnights in 3 different semi-permanents camps with hot showers.  

 

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 HW of Canterbury on 08/03/2022

Ride Summary
Incredible
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Horses were very safe but also fairly unresponsive.
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
6
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
The riding terrain was fairly easy but need to be riding fit as long canters and saddles can be slightly uncomfortable (legs rubbing on girths)
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

Tuli Safari Itinerary:

DAY 1: First Encounters - Ride into Two Mashatus

Starting in 2023 the Tuli Safari starts on a Saturday, following a flight from OR Tambo Airport in South Africa to Limpopo Valley Airfield in the Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana. Guests are received at the Mashatu stables where they will enjoy a light lunch on the banks of the Limpopo River, receive a safety briefing and meet their horses. 

The host takes great care to match horse to rider based on a guest’s riding experience and professed ability. However, before embarking on the safari, each guest will be given a simple riding test in order to ensure that they are suitably balanced in the saddle and are able to direct their horse in an independent manner. It is crucially important for the safety and enjoyment of the whole group that riders wishing to book the Tuli Safari are at least intermediate riders. While the journey is not an endurance test, it does involve long hours in the saddle and, with the possibility of close encounters with elephant and the big cats, riders need to be able to gently and confidently control their mounts.

If at this point a rider is unsure of the suitability of their selected horse, a horse swap is possible.  At Mashatu, the herd is quite uniform, consisting of well schooled, forward going but calm horses. They are mostly boerperd, a beautiful, gentle natured South African breed particularly suited to this type of work.

The route on this afternoon is from the Stables to Two Mashatus, a distance of 11km. It follows the Limpopo River floodplains, with good opportunities for those first exciting encounters with elephant, giraffe, zebra, ostrich and wilderbeest.  The route crosses close to a large wetland area which acts as a magnet for game and there is even a chance to come across bat eared fox, black backed jackal and spotted hyena.  It then crosses the Majali River close to its confluence with the Limpopo, a favourite haunt of leopards and a resident pride of lion. Across an open plain the famous Two Mashatus Camp awaits.

DAY 2: Into the Central Reserve – Two Mashatus to Tree Camp
The first full day of riding crosses the game rich areas of the central reserve. Following breakfast at dawn, riders set off first along the Majali and then the Mataboli rivers in a north western arc towards the beautifully appointed Tree Camp. The route typically yields rich encounters with elephant, waterbuck, giraffe, impala, wildebeest and zebra. Signs of the many predators that make these rich riverine environments their home are bountiful, and chance encounters possible. The ride typically takes between four and five hours, and riders start to form a true bond with their individual mounts.  The trappings of modern living begin to fall away as the sense of adventure and journey deepens.

Tree Camp will be reached in time for a refreshing shower and lunch.  After a welcome rest in the comfort of the camp, nestled in the cooling shade of the majestic Mashatu Tree, a hearty tea will be served. This is followed by a guided bush walk up the Majali River in search of crocodile and other game. Kudu, warthog, klipspringer and eland are all present in the area around the camp, as are elephant, lion and hyena. Waterfowl fly low past the camp and birdsong abounds.  This is a truly beautiful place and it is impossible not to immerse oneself in nature and experience the exceptional qualities of Africa’s wilderness areas.

DAY 3: Valley of the Elephants – Tree Camp to Kgotla
Waking in Tree Camp is a magical experience; One feels truly alive, surrounded by birdsong as the early morning light filters through the majestic tree’s leaves. After a quick breakfast, riders set off on the one of the journey’s longest rides – up onto the edge of the mini escarpment and then down, through the Valley of the Elephants and on towards the distant sandstone citadels guarding the Limpopo and Motloutse Rivers. 

The first part of the journey is not to be hurried, as the horses wind along well worn elephant paths, past giant baobabs and the occasional shallow watering pan. Soon, however, the country opens up and the horses can start to stretch their legs along soft ground leading to the headwaters of a stream flowing off the ridge and down towards the Limpopo. This is prime elephant country and the guides are always on the lookout, using all their sharpened senses. Once the path leaves the river, the terrain is once again more open and the pace faster.  A second river is then joined, which leads directly down to the veterinary control gate on the main road through Mashatu Game Reserve. 

The route then follows the road for a short while before heading across flat country towards the intriguing Sacred Rock massif.  Here the mopane vegetation is short and it is safe to ride quite fast across the plain. Large herds of zebra, wildebeest and impala habit this area.  The guides plot their route using individual mashatu, leadwood and apple-leaf trees as their markers.  Soon riders reach the old leadwood enclosure (used in the past as a traditional law court of a Botswana village) known as ‘The Kgotla’. This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night. The camp is not far from the banks of the Motloutse River and, with high concentrations of game living along the river’s fertile floodplain, the area is home to large prides of lion and clans of hyena.  The sounds of these predators at night provide enduring memories!

In the afternoon, we search for the area’s resident lion on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Whilst big cat sightings from horseback occasionally happen, Horizon Horseback follows a ride away policy. The best opportunities to approach lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena occur whilst on game drives where the vehicle acts as a natural hide and is largely ignored by the predators.

Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s night-time melody to sing you to sleep; a veraciously rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.

DAY 4: Sandstone Cathedrals – Exploring the Motloutse
Since a different camp does not need to be reached by nightfall, the riding this day is more relaxed and tailored to the group,   A particularly interesting route to follow is first along the Motloutse River, stopping at well known elephant drinking holes to watch the herds come and go before winding down towards the impressive Solomon’s Wall, a tall dolomite dyke which was breached by the river in ancient times. This is the favourite haunt of troops of baboon, which are always fascinating to watch. The trail then follows the banks of the river, flanked by giant mashatu and leadwood trees, towards the mighty Limpopo. This area is renowned for its dramatic sandstone rock formations, steeped in colour and home to eland, klipspringer and kudu.

Some of the oldest civilizations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless and, combined with marvelous wildlife sightings, makes for an incredible riding experience.

The game drive in the afternoon takes guests to the foot of the impressive Mamagwa massif, a free standing formation which was used by British troops as a defensive position against incursions from the Transvaal Boers at the end of the 19th century.  Sundowners are traditionally taken at the far western edge of the massif, with endless views over the wilderness landscape whilst watching the sun slowly slip over the horizon. The drive back to Kgotla in the dark provides more excellent opportunities to spot lion, leopard and hyena.

DAY 5: River Trails – Kgotla to Tree Camp
On this day the journey turns northeast and follows a series of river trails on the way back to the centre of the reserve.  Life in this arid environment is always concentrated near water, and the ride promises sightings of elephant, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest. The route crosses the watershed and then winds along ancient paths adjacent to a stream flowing north towards the Majali River. At these elevated heights, the sweeping views to the north reveal the true wilderness character of Mashatu Game Reserve.  Baobab trees scatter the landscape as they have for centuries, and remarkably two of these giants are found growing directly in the stream itself. This provides an excellent spot for both horses and riders to stop for a rest and a drink.

The remainder of the day’s riding is a mixture of elephant trail trekking and canters across relatively open mopane veld. The final stretch is along the Majali River itself, past rocky pools, cliff faces and ribbons of green grass. Encounters with baboon, kudu, klipspringers and crocodile are likely. Tree Camp is finally reached after 4-5 hours of riding.

In the afternoon afternoon guests leave their horses to a well earned rest and will go either on a guided bush walk or, subject to availability, a game drive with Mashatu Main Camp guides. This opportunity, while provided at an extra cost, should not be missed as the near guaranteed sightings of lion and leopard, and sometimes of cheetah, are legendary. The guides are very knowledgeable about the structure and whereabouts of the various prides and individuals, and failure to find them is very rare indeed.

DAY 6: World’s View – Tree Camp to Two Mashatus
With an early departure from Tree Camp, this ride offers sweeping views to the east and south, bathed in early morning light, as it traverses along the edge of a ridge near the centre of the reserve. The path then descends to a game rich area along the Majali River. The deep river pools are the favourite haunt of baboon and impala. Sooner or later the great herds of elephant come past for their daily drink, to play in the water and enjoy a dust bath. 

The final part of the ride is first across open plains with some fast canters, and then through cool riverine vegetation along the approaches to Two Mashatus Camp. This is the original Tuli Trail camp and is beautifully situated nestled amongst giant mashatu and apple leaf trees close to the banks of the Limpopo River. This area typically boasts the highest density of elephants in the reserve, who sometimes roam through the camp in a gentle yet determined way. It is also excellent for lion and leopard as well as baboon, bushbuck and waterbuck. 

Guests sleep in standard safari tents with en suite facilities. After four to five hours in the saddle, this is the perfect place to relax. On hot days the swimming pool at Two Mashatus is particularly welcoming.

DAY 7: Open Plains – Upriver along the Pitsane River
This the last full day on Mashatu Game Reserve and the riding explores the game rich area along the Majali and Pitsani Rivers.  In the north there are open plains . Overall the riding is relaxed, with the guides responding to the herds whilst keeping their eyes peeled for the big cats. In the afternoon there is the option of a bush walk or a shorter ride, maybe to the banks of the Limpopo River where elephants are often seen crossing. 

DAY 8: Limpopo Farewell – Two Mashatus to the Stables
The final ride of the Tuli Safari safari is back to the Stables, following the Limpopo River upstream. The route passes game rich habitat, including a hyena den and a large wetland which can be home to large flocks of waterfowl. Other notable sightings include Kori Bustard, the largest flying birds in Africa, bat eared foxes and ostrich. 

Once at the Stables it time for a shower and meal on the banks of the great river, and then a short journey to the Limpopo Valley Airfield for the flight to Johannesburg in South Africa.

Please follow this link for a map of the start point of this itinerary: Tuli Safari Trail 
 

Tuli 2 Safari Itinerary:

DAY 1: First Encounters - Ride into Tree Camp
The Tuli 2 starts on a Wednesday, following a flight from OR Tambo Airport in South Africa to Limpopo Valley Airfield in the Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana.  Guests are received at the Mashatu stables where they will enjoy a light lunch on the banks of the Limpopo River, receive a safety briefing and meet their horses. 

The host takes great care to match horse to rider based on a guest’s riding experience and professed ability. However, before embarking on the safari, each guest will be given a simple riding test in order to ensure that they are suitably balanced in the saddle and are able to direct their horse in an independent manner.  It is crucially important for the safety and enjoyment of the whole group that riders wishing to book the Tuli 2 are at least intermediate riders. While the journey is not an endurance test, it does involve long hours in the saddle and, with the possibility of close encounters with elephant and the big cats, riders need to be able to gently and confidently control their mounts.

If at this point a rider is unsure of the suitability of their selected horse, a horse swap is possible. At Mashatu, the herd is quite uniform, consisting of well schooled, forward going but calm horses. They are mostly boerperd, a South African breed particularly suited to this type of work.

The route on this afternoon is from the Stables to Tree Camp, a distance of 14km. It rises from the Limpopo River floodplains, with good opportunities for those first exciting encounters with elephant, giraffe, zebra and wilderbeest. The route, following ancient elephant paths, winds upwards towards the centre of the Reserve and the upper reaches of the Majali River where the extraordinary Tree Camp awaits.

DAY 2: Valley of the Elephants – Tree Camp to Kgotla
Waking in Tree Camp is a magical experience. One feels fully immersed in nature, surrounded by birdsong, and alive to the new day as the early morning light filters through the majestic tree’s leaves. After a quick breakfast, riders set off on the journey’s first long ride – up onto the edge of the mini escarpment and then down, through the Valley of the Elephants and on towards the distant sandstone citadels guarding the Limpopo and Motloutse Rivers. 

The first part of the journey is not to be hurried, as the horses wind along well worn elephant paths, past giant baobabs and the occasional shallow watering pan. Soon, however, the country opens up and the horses can start to stretch their legs along soft ground leading to the headwaters of a stream flowing off the ridge and down towards the Limpopo. This is prime elephant country and the guides are always on the lookout, using all their sharpened senses. Once the path leaves the river, the terrain is once again more open and the pace faster. A second river is then joined, which leads directly down to the veterinary control gate on the main road through Mashatu Game Reserve. 

The route then follows the road for a short while before heading across flat country towards the intriguing Sacred Rock massif.  Here the mopane vegetation is short and it is safe to ride quite fast across the plain. Large herds of zebra, wildebeest and impala habit this area. The guides plot their route using individual mashatu, leadwood and apple-leaf trees as their markers.  Soon riders reach the old leadwood enclosure (used in the past as a traditional law court of a Botswana village) known as  ‘The Kgotla’. This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night.  The camp is not far from the banks of the Motloutse River and, with high concentrations of game living along the river’s fertile floodplain, the area is home to large prides of lion and clans of hyena. The sounds of these predators at night provide enduring memories! 

In the afternoon, we search for the area’s resident lion on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Whilst big cat sightings from horseback occasionally happen, Horizon Horseback follows a ride away policy. The best opportunities to approach lion, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena occur whilst on game drives where the vehicle acts as a natural hide and is largely ignored by the predators.

Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s night-time melody to sing you to sleep; a veraciously rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.

DAY 3: Sandstone Cathedrals – Exploring the Motloutse
The riding this day is more relaxed and tailored to the group, since a different camp does not need to be reached by nightfall.  A particularly interesting route to follow is first along the Motloutse River, stopping at well known elephant drinking holes to watch the herds come and go before winding down towards the impressive Solomon’s Wall, a tall dolomite dyke which was breached by the river in ancient times. This is the favourite haunt of troops of baboon, which are always fascinating to watch. The trail then follows the banks of the river, flanked by giant mashatu and leadwood trees, towards the mighty Limpopo. This area is renowned for its dramatic sandstone rock formations, steeped in colour and home to eland, klipspringer and kudu.  

Some of the oldest civilizations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless and, combined with marvelous wildlife sightings, makes for an incredible riding experience.

The game drive in the afternoon takes guests to the foot of the impressive Mamagwa massif, a free standing formation which was used by British troops as a defensive position against incursions from the Transvaal Boers at the end of the 19th century.  Sundowners are traditionally taken at the far western edge of the massif, with endless views over the wilderness landscape whilst watching the sun slowly slip over the horizon.  The drive back to Kgotla in the dark provides more excellent opportunities to spot lion, leopard and hyena.

DAY 4: River Trails – Kgotla to Tree Camp
On this day the journey turns northeast and follows a series of river trails on the way back to the centre of the reserve. Life in this arid environment is always concentrated near water, and the ride promises sightings of elephant, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest. The route crosses the watershed  and then winds along ancient paths adjacent to a stream flowing north towards the Majali River. At these elevated heights, the sweeping views to the north reveal the true wilderness character of Mashatu Game Reserve. Baobab trees scatter the landscape as they have for centuries, and remarkably two of these giants are found growing directly in the stream itself. This provides an excellent spot for both horses and riders to stop for a rest and a drink.
The remainder of the day’s riding is a mixture of elephant trail trekking and canters across relatively open mopane veld. The final stretch is along the Majali River itself, past rocky pools, cliff faces and ribbons of green grass. Encounters with baboon, kudu, klipspringers and crocodile are likely. Tree Camp is finally reached after 4-5 hours of riding.

That afternoon guests leave their horses to a well earned rest and will go either on a guided bush walk or, subject to availability, a game drive with Mashatu Main Camp guides. This opportunity, while provided at an extra cost, should not be missed as the near guaranteed sightings of lion and leopard, and sometimes of cheetah, are legendary. The guides are very knowledgeable about the structure and whereabouts of the various prides and individuals, and failure to find them is very rare indeed.

DAY 5: Deep into the Wilderness – Upriver along the Majali
The day’s riding explores an area of the Northern Tuli which is hardly visited by humans. The route at first follows a stream to its source before arcing to the west on high ground and then descending to the upper reaches of the Majali River. It then follows the river all the way back to Tree Camp. This is a relaxed ride during which guests become immersed in the wilderness. There are good opportunities to see elephant, giraffe, zebra, eland and kudu, but it is the sense of being completely away from manmade features that is so compelling on this ride.

In the afternoon, there will either be a bush walk or, if it did not happen the previous day, a possible game drive with Mashatu Game Reserve (once again subject to availability).

DAY 6: World’s View – Tree Camp to Two Mashatus
With an early departure from Tree Camp, this ride offers sweeping views to the east and south, bathed in early morning light, as it traverses along the edge of a ridge near the centre of the reserve. The path then descends to a game rich area along the Majali River. The deep river pools are the favourite haunt of baboon and impala. Sooner or later the great herds of elephant come past for their daily drink, to play in the water and enjoy a dust bath.

The final part of the ride is first across open plains with some fast canters, and then through cool riverine vegetation along the approaches to Two Mashatus Camp. This is the original Tuli Trail camp and is beautifully situated nestled amongst giant mashatu and apple leaf trees close to the banks of the Limpopo River. This area typically boasts the highest density of elephants in the reserve, who sometimes roam through the camp in a gentle yet determined way. It is also excellent for lion and leopard as well as baboon, bushbuck and waterbuck. 

Guests sleep in standard safari tents with en suite facilities. After four to five hours in the saddle, this is the perfect place to relax. On hot days the swimming pool at Two Mashatus is particularly welcoming.

DAY 7: Open Plains – Upriver along the Pitsane River
This the last full day on Mashatu Game Reserve and the riding explores the game rich area along the Majali and Pitsani Rivers.  In the north there are open plains .  Overall the riding is relaxed, with the guides responding to the herds whilst keeping their eyes peeled for the big cats.  In the afternoon there is the option of a bush walk or a shorter ride, maybe to the banks of the Limpopo River where elephants are often seen crossing. 

DAY 8: Limpopo Farewell – Two Mashatus to the Stables
The final ride of the Tuli 2 safari is back to the Stables, following the Limpopo River upstream. The route passes game rich habitat, including a hyena den and a large wetland which can be home to large flocks of waterfowl. Other notable sightings include Kori Bustard, the largest flying birds in Africa, bat eared foxes and ostrich. 

Once at the Stables it time for a shower and meal on the banks of the great river, and then a short journey to the Limpopo Valley Airfield for the flight to Johannesburg in South Africa.

 

 

Transfers
The meeting point is at the info desk in the ORT international arrivals hall. If you are staying at a hotel or in JHB, you need to make your own way to ORTAambo Airport on the morning of the safari.

Transfers to and from Limpopo are from Johannesburg OR Tambo airport. From Johannesburg airport you first have a road transfer to Lanseria Airport (c.45minutes) and then travel by light aircraft (1.5 hours flight) from Lanseria Airport to Limpopo.

The meeting point is at the information desk in the international arrivals hall at 11h00 and the transfer vehicle will depart at 11h15 sharp.

The return flight from Limpopo will arrive back at Lanseria airport by 16:00. You then have a road transfer back to Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport arriving around 17:00. Onward flights should depart after 20:00.

The current timings on this will be as follows:

Arrival day

Land by 9h30 latest at ORT

Meet info desk arrival hall at ORT and depart by 11h15

Depart Lanseria 12h30

Arrive LVA 14h05

Departure day

Depart LVA 14h30

Arrive Lanseria 16h05

Arrive ORT by 16h50 

Please book flights departing after 20h00 to allow for 2 hours check in and give 45 mins of what if time.

The rate on this flight will be approximately £340 each way.

Please note

  • If you have not found the Bushwing Rep by 11h15 – please to contact Sam from Bushwing/keetso on +27 (0)82 904 5216,
  • If you have not reported to the Rep by 11h30, you will be considered a “No-show” and the flight will leave without you.
  • Should this be the case there will be cost implications for you as follows:

** Accommodation overnight of your choice would range from £40 pp for a guest house to £150 pp for a nice hotel. To be arranged by yourself.

  • Please download Whatsapp. We will set up a group chat for your safari and this will be used for group communication, in-case of changes or delays.

i.e.. 2 Bags == 1 for Checked luggage and 1 carry-on – Both must be soft bags.
Helmets they can be carried on as a separate item to the carry-on bag… Clients can also have their small handbags with them - but please to limit the size of them and not try to squash extra clothing/equipment inside them. The charter planes are much smaller than normal planes and thus have limited space.

COVID ENTRY: South Africa: no Covid protocols in place at moment. Botswana: require PRINTED proof of Vaccination – Certificates must have a QR code If not vaccinated, guest must have printed proof of a PCR test done within 72 hrs of landing in SA and in Botswana. 

VISA: Please remember to check if you need a visa for South Africa, as you will be moving from an International flight to a Charter flight, so will clear customs/immigration at ORTambo on arrival in South Africa. It should be a multiple entry visa, as you will need to do the same on the way back. Also if a visa is required by Botswana for their country of residence.

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.

Horses & Riding

The horses have been individually selected for their temperament and ride-ability. They have been carefully chosen from the various South African breeds which are well known for being of a tougher nature - able to cope under extreme conditions. These breeds include the Boerperd, the Basuto, Shire Cross Thoroughbreds, Appalosas, and the S.A. Warmblood. They range in size from 15h.h to 17 h.h, and are in an assortment of colours.



The schooling concentrates on classical English style, although they neck rein when in the bush. They are schooled to very high level and respond easily and lightly to the aids. Australian stock saddles, South African Mcllelans are used. In addition a selection of English saddles are available for those who prefer.



The riding is fast and exciting and at all paces, including a good fast gallop along sandy riverbeds, some jumps over fallen logs and steep descents. The terrain varies from sandy riverbeds, thick bush and rocky outcrops to vast open plains. Ideal for great riding!


Rider requirements

For the Big Game safari riders should have a secure and independent seat and be in control of a horse at a walk, trot and canter. In addition riders should be fit enough to ride for 6 hours in a day and be able to trot and canter for 15 minute stretches. On this safari you will come face to face with Big Game such as elephant and buffalo which are present and riders should be able to beat a hasty retreat if necessary!

Children under the age of 16 years old are not permitted, unless they are experienced and competent riders, and the party they are with have reserved the safari exclusively. The children must be accompanied by a parent/adult with whom the responsibility for the child lies.

There is a weight limit of 15 stone / 95kg on this ride, exceptions may be made for experienced riders over 100kg, please enquire.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Two Mashatus Camp. Nestled in the shade of two large Mashatu trees, the heart of the camp has two traditionally built Lala Palm rondavels for dining and lounge areas. Guest accommodation is in large A-frame walkin tents set on teak platforms each with en-suite bathrooms. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree in the bush, not far from the main area. Each tent has a small deck area in front where guests can relax privately during the afternoons. Two Mashatu also has a small swimming pool under a Mashatu tree for guests to enjoy.



Tree Camp. This is a very unique camp; any childhood dream of sleeping up in the arms of a tree, will be completely fulfilled here. Nestled in the bough of a giant Mashatu tree and two ancient Leadwood trees, this Seligna deck, 4 metres off the ground, will be your retreat for the night. Two guests each share an airy and cool sleeping pod. Along a short walkway, shared showers and toilets are under the Leadwood trees. The spacious dining and lounge area flow from the sleeping pods and overlook the Majale River. This truly extraordinary camp is one that will be remembered and spoken about for years to come.



The ‘Kgotla’ is an old traditional court enclosure from a nearby community, which was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. This open-air enclosure, made of Leadwood logs, provides a secure location for a camp. The camp has hot running water, beautiful openair showers and flushing toilets: the perfect combination for comfort and an authentic bush experience. Guests sleep on single beds around a large log fire in the centre of the enclosure. The highlight of this camp to guests is sleeping in the open under the stars and listening to the resonance of an Africa evening.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.

If travelling with children under 18-years-old be sure to check if an unabridged birth certificate is required.

Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Botswana.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/botswana

Climate Summary

The best time to visit Botswana is from April to October generally when the days are sunny and warm (25 celsius). Evening temperatures however drop sharply. Game viewing is good all year round. Temperatures begin to climb mid to late September. The rainy season begins in November, peaks in January and ends in March/April. Summer months are September to April. The rains can start in October, with the occasional thunder shower. December to February are the wettest months.
Winter is May to the end of August, it does not rain at all in winter although evening and early mornings are cold. Temperature varies from 8 degrees C to 24 degrees C at midday.


Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

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.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Botswana and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Health (ride specific)

Anti-malaria precautions are recommended for this ride although the risk in the area is classified as 'low'. If you do choose to take them they should be commenced prior to arrival in Botswana, for further details please see your local doctor or pharmacist. There may be other health risks, please contact your doctor regarding up to date vaccination advice prior to leaving. Full information for health requirements for visitors is also available from the Medical Advisory Service for Travelers Abroad who can be reached on 0113 238 7575 or at www.masta.org

Electricity

In Botswana the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Botswana, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 - 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa).

Film and Camera Equipment

There is electricity at the base camp of Two Mashatus, as well as WiFi and a USB camera recharging point is available. On the intervening nights there is no electricity, so bring any spare batteries you may need.

Packing List

Khaki, green and bush colours; please avoid wearing white as this scares wild life or black as it tends to attract insects.

Advised things to bring:
• Your own well-fitting hard hat - Hard hats are mandatory (we can supply if needed)
• Comfortable riding clothes, this is not the place to test out brand new boots, wear everything a couple of times before bringing it on safari. Neutral colours such as khaki, brown, navy, and green are preferable. Light-coloured garments such as whites and creams should be avoided
• Short boots and half chaps, ride/walk book are perfect. Long leather boots are also good but long rubber boots are not advised.
• Bum bag
• Lip salve, hand cream, and moisturiser (it’s dry here!)
• Strong sun protection cream factor 30 or higher
• Mosquito repellent
• Hiking boots or sneakers
• Swimming costume.
• Light weight long sleeved shirts.
• Camera, memory cards and spare camera batteries
• If you ever suffer from regular bouts of illness e.g. cystitis, sinusitis, eczema, asthma, allergies etc please bring your preferred medication its best to have whatever you may need with you.
• Ibuprofen and deep heat are also useful items, especially if you aren’t used to long hours in the saddle
• In our Winter, mornings can be chilly and days hot so bring layers, a vest, shirt fleece and body warmer are ideal winter wear.
• In summer pack a lightweight rain coat
• Books for when you are relaxing between rides
• For Botswana we also recommend a power bank and high lumen torch or head torch

Full laundry service is included when packing do bear in mind the fact that you host offer a free of charge laundry service. They can normally turn laundry around within 24 – 48 hours.

This may sound strange but if you would like to purchase a spare pack of sanitary items to donate, please do, we donate them to local schools, many girls cannot afford them and have to miss school and exams also if you have any old clothes, shoes, blankets, books or stationary that you would otherwise throw away and have some room in your luggage please do bring it with you. Horizon is involved with local schools and creches and helps where possible with a local outreach project working with the very poor. As such we have lots of people who are grateful for any old clothing. Please do not feel you have to now go out and buy items to bring, - it is not by any means expected - it is just that over the years so many people have expressed regret at not knowing how useful that item they threw away last week would have been to someone here.

Programmes

This programme is available all year around.

Departure Dates

2022 Tuli Safari Low Season: Saturday to Saturday in Dec.
High Season: Sunday to Sunday in Jul, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov.
2022 Tuli 2 Safari Low Season: Wednesday to Wednesday in Dec.
High Season: Wednesday to Wednesday in Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov.
2023 Tuli Safari Low Season: Saturday to Saturday in Jan, Dec.
Mid Season: Saturday to Saturday in Feb, Mar.
High Season: Saturday to Saturday in Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov.
2023 Tuli 2 Safari Low Season: Monday to Monday in Dec.
High Season: Monday to Monday in Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov.

Pricing
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.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,355
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement589
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,299
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,155
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,299
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,155
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,449
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement615
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8double pp2,905
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,019
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,439
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,205
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,439
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,205
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,449
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement615
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,735
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement685
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,835
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,339
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,839
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,345
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,849
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement715
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8double pp3,379
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,185
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,995
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,399
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,995
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,399
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,849
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement715
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,855
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement715
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,995
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,399
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp3,995
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,399
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,965
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement745
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8double pp3,519
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,229
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp4,159
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,459
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8double pp4,159
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement1,459
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp2,965
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement745
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp29,719
2022 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement7,435
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp41,619
2022 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement14,565
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp41,619
2022 - Tuli 2 Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement14,565
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp30,865
2023 - Tuli Safari (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement7,725
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8double pp36,595
2023 - Tuli Safari (Mid Season)8d/7n8single supplement12,815
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8double pp43,295
2023 - Tuli Safari (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement15,155
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8double pp43,295
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (High Season)8d/7n8single supplement15,155
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8double pp30,865
2023 - Tuli Safari 2 (Low Season)8d/7n8single supplement7,725
Recommended Reading

‘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

Guided walks and/or game drives are also done every afternoon from the camps. This ride is not suitable for non-riders.

Wildlife

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 black backed 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 and spring hare. Water species – hippo, crocodile, cape clawless and spotted necked otter. Predators – leopard, lion, cheetah and wild dog. Full safety instructions will be given and followed whilst viewing game.

Other Information

Curios like T-shirts and caps small wooden animals etc are available to buy. Euros, pounds, USD or Rands are accepted. No credit cards - sorry!
Drinking Water - All water in the camps is filtered to the highest standards and is guaranteed perfectly safe for drinking

Other Country Information

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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg (JNB)
Transfer:
2022/23: Return charter flight approx £680 per person.
Flight Guide:
London - Johannesburg return £500 - £750. Please see "getting there" for flight information
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