Rhino in the reserve
Herd of zebras
Horses and rhino
On the cliff edge
A giraffe on the reserve
Swimming with the horses
Wildebeasts in the reserve
Antelope in the reserve
View from Ravineside lodge
Ravineside lodge
Twin room at the Ravineside lodge
Campfire at Fly Camp
Fly camp views
A double room at the lodge
Dining tent at the lodge
The communal lounge
Swimming pool at Wildside
Fly camp safari tent

Travel to the Entabeni Reserve in South Africa for this 7 night safari. The reserve is situated in the world heritage Waterberg biosphere, where you'll experience 5 different ecosystems while climbing up jagged rock formations and roaming the open plains. The horses are well-adapted to the terrain, responsive and accustomed to wildlife. The reserve spans over 23,000Ha and is home to the Big 5, which you can encounter on horseback or during a game drive.

Approximately a three-hour drive north of Johannesburg, this malaria-free reserve offers an upper escarpment characterized by majestic craggy rock formations and wide-open grass plains. This is separated from the lower plateau by 600m high cliffs. The lower escarpment is approximately three degrees warmer and comprises sandveld vegetation and a series of wetlands. You'll be staying in a luxurious tented chalet for the first night before setting up camp by a stream for the following four nights of the trail and finally spending 2 nights in a purpose-built lodge on the upper escarpment. This destination is for fit, intermediate riders and offers the chance of riding with a huge variety of game on open plains and meandering along mountainous routes as well as enjoying beautiful sundowner spots with breathtaking views.

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Day 1
Arrive in South Africa and transfer to the reserve in time for a late lunch. After meeting your fellow riders and hosts over lunch you will depart for your first game drive at around 15.30. You'll arrive back at camp as the sun sets, hopefully with your first pictures of some magnificent game. Dinner will be served at the lodge at 7:00pm before you settle in for the night in the comfort of your lodge.

Day 2
Today you'll be moving from the lower escarpment to the upper escarpment with brunch en-route. A light breakfast will be served at 7:00am and you will be transferred to the horses at 9:00am to start your ride on the lower escarpment, through big game territory.
After about an hour and a half in the saddle, you will reach the picnic spot in time for brunch at approx. 11:00am. The journey continues after a short rest, to climb the escarpment which is separated from the lower escarpment by 600m high cliffs. You will partly ride and partly lead your horse over one of the steepest roads in South Africa, which has a gradient of 40 degrees at some points. As you reach the top, you will have some time to refresh yourself in the natural rock pool and enjoy the spectacular views and crystal clear water. The ride continues onto the plains – an idyllic scene hopefully spotted with game. You will reach fly camp at Boukenhout at about 3:00pm in time for high tea and settling into fly-camp; the place you will call home for the next 4 nights. Dinner will be served around the glistening fire, at 7:00pm.

Day 3
After an early start, you will have a juice and some fruit in your saddle bag as the ride takes you along flat rock valley, until you reach a waterfall where you can stop for a tea/coffee and a snack. You will return to camp for an opulent brunch to make up for the early start. You can then spend some time relaxing in the hammocks or soaking up some sun on the banks of the stream at camp, until about 3:00pm when high tea is served. You will be back on the horses at about 4:00pm to ride to the Cycad valley and Ubumanzi, returning to camp as the sun sets for your well deserved gin and tonic around the fire, followed by dinner under the stars.

Day 4
Another early start today. After a light breakfast you'll set out on todays ride where your guide will point out animal tracks and signs along the way, in hopes of finding some of Africa’s giants. You will arrive back in camp after a two hour ride, for brunch – followed by some time to take a plunge in the river, laze in a shady spot on a picnic blanket or hammock. At 4:00pm high tea will be ready, before you mount for your afternoon ride which will take you to a magnificent viewpoint for some elaborate sundowners – just like a scene from Out of Africa. You will arrive back into camp for a typical South African braai listening to the sounds of the bush come to life as you sit by the crackling fire with a wonderful South African wine to set the scene.

Day 5
An early breakfast and on your horse at 6:00am. You will ride west today on sandy tracks with the opportunity to pick up some speed. Riding towards the Ingwe valley, with the chance of spotting more illusive animals in the thicker vegetation, you'll pass a lake with the chance of seeing hippos. The ride continues onto the wide open grass plains and back to camp for lunch. In the afternoon, the ride will set out for another 2 and a half hours, as the day gets cooler for some spectacular views of the lower escarpment. On return to camp, there will be drinks set out on the rocks in the river, where you can watch the sun set and set the tone before your candle lit dinner at camp. Your bags will be packed for the following days move to the lodge.

Day 6
You will have a later start today (weather depending) at about 9:00am. After a light breakfast at camp, you will ride to Yellow Wood; an idyllic spot with a natural plunge pool and deck with another awe-inspiring view where brunch will be served, after your two hour ride. The ride continues as it gets cooler at approx 3:00pm across open grassland, and to Ravineside lodge where you will be spending the final two nights of your trip. You will arrive at your lodge before sunset to settle in. A three course dinner at the lodge awaits you.

Day 7
An early start after a light breakfast at 6:30am, just in time to catch the stunning morning views and crisp air from the outer rim, overlooking the views of the lower plateau. The ride will take you into different scenery today, riding some rocky ledges, and taking a swim in the dam with the horses, as it gets warmer. You will return to the lodge after a two hour ride for brunch. You'll then have some time to relax at the lodge and maybe make use of the spa (not included). Your afternoon ride will leave the lodge at 3:30pm and you'll ride for another few hours to Hanglip viewpoint which offers a good chance of seeing abundant game on the open areas and Ungululu. You will stop at the viewpoint for some stunning pictures with your horse, before returning to the lodge.
On return to the lodge, your bags will be packed for the following days move to the lower escarpment. Dinner will be served at the lodge.

Day 8
Your bags will be packed for the team to take to the meeting spot for departure. After an early breakfast at around 6:30am you will set off to ride for about 1:30h until you start your descent to the lower escarpment, riding and again partly leading your horses for about 45 minutes, until you reach the lower escarpment and ride to the reserve exit, another spectacular route with a change of scenery. You will ride the horses to the clubhouse on the Legend resort, where the horses are based, by about 11:00am. Lunch is optional (at own expense) at the clubhouse, which overlooks the golf course. You will have the chance to take showers on the resort before your departure to the airport.

 

 

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

There are 24 horses available to chose from at this destination, all of them have been individually selected for their temperament and ride-ability. They have been carefully chosen from the various South African breeds (mainly Boerperd) which are well known for being of a tougher nature - able to cope under extreme conditions. These breeds include the Boerperd cross, Thoroughbred cross and Saddler cross. They range in size from 14.3h.h to 16.2 h.h, and are in an assortment of colours. The saddles utilised on this ride are comfortable trail saddles, similar to the McClellan saddle, and English saddles. Please note that you must bring your own riding hat.



For each safari there are 2-4 spare horses taken along. While tracking game the pace is walking with cantering taking place when the terrain permits. In the summer season you'll be starting the rides at 6/7am in order to avoid the hottest part of the day. In the winter season, riding will start at 9am. There will be rides in the morning and afternoon on 3 of the days and full day rides (with breakfast and lunch served en-route) on four of the days.



There are parts of the itinerary which require riders to dismount from their horse and walk on foot, leading their horse up the escarpment for around 40 minutes. This can get quite steep so requires a reasonable level of fitness. If riders would prefer, there is also an option of riding in a vehicle instead.


Rider requirements

For this safari riders should have a secure and independent seat and be in control of a horse at all paces. In addition riders should be fit enough to ride for up to 5-7 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 and riders should be able to beat a hasty retreat if necessary!

A good level of fitness is also important both for the length of time in the saddle and time spent walking leading your horse up/down hill. Ideally you should have been riding regularly prior to this safari to avoid aching muscles.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 15 st/209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

On this safari, accommodation is at a tented en-suite chalet for the first night, followed by four nights in a fly-camp next to a stream and the final two nights at a lodge.



Your first night will be spent at the Wildside Tented Camp. This is a true African bush experience, where the unspoilt Waterberg wilderness is combined with comfortable tented en-suite accommodation. There is an open lounge/bar area complete with roaring fire which creates the perfect end to a relaxing day in the bush. Traditional South African hospitality and cuisine await you in the camp which offers a total of 20 tented chalets as well as a swimming pool for cooling off. 



The following 4 nights you'll be staying in more basic fly camps which include traditional safari tents which sleep two (single tents are available for those paying the single supplement), a dining tent and shared bathrooms. The tents are furnished with matresses, bed linen and mosquito nets. The beds are army style frames, with mattress, white linen, duvet covers and dawn pillows. In winter, each bed has a hot water bottle inside at night, and there is also a throw on the bed. Towels are provided (hand towel, body towel and face towel). The camp includes wash up stations, flush toilets and hot camping showers.



You'll spent your final two nights at the Ravineside Lodge which is on the upper escarpment and located under the shadow of Entabeni Mountain. This thatched wooden lodge, built on stilts and hugging the cliff edge, offers spectacular views of unspoilt ravines and wooded hillsides. The Lodge offers double/twin chalets equipped with a tea/coffee station, ceiling fan and hairdryer. A minibar fridge is available in the communal lounge areas (stocked on request). From the open sundecks, guests can indulge in bird and game watching and experience the beauty of the ravine while listening to the rippling sound of water from below in the valley. There are 22 rooms available in this lodge and a swimming pool for guests use.



This destination offers full board accommodation and meals will be freshly prepared each day. A sample menu could be a light breakfast first thing such as bran flakes, muesli, rusks, yoghurt, fruit, tea/coffee followed by a brunch around 10:30 consisting of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, toast, fruit platter, muffins and porridge.

After your morning ride you'll be served a light lunch at around 14:30 which could be avocado cream soup, butternut salad with feta cheese, roast butternut, cherry tomato and pumpkin seeds served with bruschetta with cream cheese and herbs.

After the afternoon ride, dinner will usually be served at around 19:00 and might be a starter of hummus with chips to dip, served around the fire, a main of pasta or gnocchi with basil, cherry tomatoes, brinjals, olive oil, tomato and onion and finally a dessert of pineapple carpaccio with mint and ginger.



At fly camp (Day 2-5) unlimited drinks are included although alcoholic drinks can only be consumed after riding (Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta, juices, beer, Savanna cider, red wine, white wine and water are all available). At the lodge (Day 1 and final two nights), all beverages are charged for (water is provided). Drinks range from R25 to higher depending on the beverage.


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. You must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your return date and has at least 3 blank pages. 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.

NEW RULES ON TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN - DEC 2019:
Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are required will no longer have to carry supporting documents. This is because they would have been required to provide these during the visa application process.
Children who are foreign nationals from countries where visas are not required may be asked to produce supporting documents upon entry. Even though producing supporting documents is no longer compulsory, travellers are strongly advised to carry the supporting documents.
In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be sufficient to establish the identity of the parents of the travelling minor.

General Entry Requirement Information:

A valid passport is required for travel to South Africa for U.K. or most other European nationals. Visas are issued on arrival to South Africa, please check there are two clear blank pages in your passport and it is valid for at least six months. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0230/0233.

In South Africa the UK High Commission is at No.19 Parliament Street, Cape Town, 8001, Tel +27 21461 7220.

The High Commission for the Republic of South Africa in the U.K is at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DP. Telephone: (020) 7451 7299. Email: general@southafricahouse.com.

Climate Summary

Summer in Entabeni is from November to March with temperatures between 15 and 40 °C (59 and 104 °F). Winter temperatures vary from −5 to 25 °C (23 to 77 °F) (April-October).

Climate Chart

Health

Awareness of Malaria risk and bite avoidance is recommended and if travelling to an area of Malaria risk in season we recommend speaking to your doctor about antimalarial medication. Current Malaria areas are; North-eastern Kwazulu-Natal, low altitude areas of Mpumalanga and low altitude areas of Limpopo. Malaria season is in the summer or rainy season. All travellers should avoid insect and tick bites day and night by using insect repellent and should wear adequate sun protection during the day.

According to the 2018 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.1 million people living with HIV. HIV prevalence is high among the general population at 18.9%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS; avoid contact with bodily fluids and keep any cuts or wounds properly clean and covered.

We advise speaking to your doctor at least 8 weeks before your trip, to check the latest country-specific health advice and to see if you need any additional vaccinations or precautions while travelling. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. There is no reciprocal health care agreement between the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Health and medical facilities are generally of a good standard and readily available near larger centres. If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 10177 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/ medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Electricity

The electricity supply requires a 3-holed, round pinned adapter. If you have a European two pinned adapter you can buy an adapter at Johannesburg Airport.

Film and Camera Equipment

There is electricity at the lodges on Day 1 and Day 6 and 7, so equipment can be recharged there with appropriate adaptors. There is no electricity available when at the fly camp (Days 2-5).

Packing List

Your own riding hat
Riding shoes and chaps
Sunglasses
Neutral coloured riding clothes
Warm jacket in the winter months (end of May through August), as the evenings/night temperature can drop to 2 degrees, warming up in the daytime.
Jodhpurs
Long sleeved cotton shirts
Jersey or fleece
Waterproof jacket if visiting in summer months
Shorts
T-shirts
Swimwear
Sandals
Sun block
Insect repellant
Torch
Binoculars are optional
Camera

Programmes

This is a 7 night programme available on set dates from January to December.

Departure Dates

2019: 20 Jul; 4 Aug; 7, 21 Sep; 2, 16 Nov; 28 Dec
2020: 5, 19 Jan; 8, 22 Feb; 7, 21 Mar; 4, 18 Apr; 2, 16 May; 6, 20 Jun; 4, 18 Jul; 8, 22 Aug; 5, 19 Sep; 3, 17 Oct; 6, 20 Nov; 5, 19 Dec

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.

Payable if booking alone. Will be refunded if a sharer can be found.

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7double pp2,589
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7single supplement389
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7double pp2,749
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7single supplement409
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7double pp3,259
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7single supplement489
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7double pp30,309
2019/20 - 7 nights8d/7n7single supplement4,519
Recommended Reading

‘Land Mammals of Southern Africa’ – Smithers; ‘Birds of Southern Africa’ – Ken Newman; ‘Memories of a Game Ranger’ – Harry Wolhunter; ‘Cry, The Beloved Country’ – Alan Paton, ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ – Fitzpatrick, ‘A Chain of Voices’ – Andre Brink, ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ – Nelson Mandela. 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

Four game drives are included with this ride; on Day 1 (and early morning Day 2 before riding, time permitting), on Day 7 in the afternoon and an optional game drive on Day 8 before riding (time permitting). Other activities not included in the price include helicopter flights over the reserve, the world famous golf course and Extreme 19th hole and Spa. This can be booked and paid for on-site.

Wildlife

The Entabeni Game Reserve is a private reserve situated in the Waterberg in Limpopo Province in northern South Africa. The Entabeni Reserve offers the opportunity to see big game and a variety of birds and antelope species, as well as stunning scenery. The reserve is home to lion, African bush elephant, South African giraffe, African leopard, South African cheetah, warthog, African buffalo, hippopotamus and other safari animals in a variety of habitats.

Other Information

The South African Boerperd originated from horses that survived the Anglo Boer war in 1899. Other bloodlines, like Arabs and later even Thoroughbreds were introduced to the breed for extra size and speed. In the beginning of the 20th century, the Namib desert horse was included as the 7th bloodline to the Boerperd. Today the breed is strong, forward going and agile with a good resistance to the African diseases. It is well mannered and suited to the climate.

Other Country Information

South Africa's land area is 1,228,376 km.2 (larger than The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy & Germany combined). It borders Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland & Zimbabwe to the north, and entirely surrounds Lesotho (a total land border of 4,750 km.) It has a coastline of 2,954 km, with few natural harbours.

The average day in South Africa starts early so the main work of the day is complete before the sun starts to really burn. Shops are open from around 07.30am and it is also acceptable to call people at that time.

South Africa is an exhilarating, spectacular and complex country. With its post-apartheid identity still in the process of definition, there is undoubtedly an abundance of energy and sense of progress about the place. The infrastructure is constantly improving, the climate is kind and there are few better places to see Africa's wildlife.

The international dialing code for South Africa is +27 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 time zone is GMT plus two hours.

Always collect your luggage on arrival at any local airport and take it through customs. Most of the South African smaller airports don’t have customs clearance. Even if the airline tells you that your luggage can be checked through, it is not true.

At local airports there are a lot of porters who can be of great help if you are in a hurry to find your check in counter or your gate. However they sometimes ask for a lot of money. R 50,00 is more then enough to give them when they have been of great help, if they have only pushed the trolley, R 20,00 should be enough.

If you travel by car and police stop you for speeding or something else you might have done wrong, don’t give them any cash money, always ask for a ticket. If they persist, ask to speak to their supervisor. Also the toll gates don’t take international credit cards.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Johannesburg Airport (JNB), South Africa.
Transfer:
2019/20: €250 return per person from/to Johannesburg. Payable by cash or card (in Euros) on-site upon arrival at the lodge.
Flight Guide:
London - Johannesburg return £500 - £750
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