Our Top 3 Must-Do Horse Riding Safari Destinations for Serious Riders

Unicorn Trails has selection of must-do horse riding safari destinations that have been carefully chosen to represent the best options for serious riders wanting an authentic African experience.

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Our Top 3 Must-Do Horse Riding Safari Destinations for Serious Riders

A horse riding safari is the ultimate bucket-list equestrian adventure for many riders. To view game from horseback instead of in the confines of a game-drive vehicle, while witnessing the sights and sounds of the African bush, is a once-in-a-lifetime privilege that is experienced by very few.  

As experts in the field, and passionate riders ourselves, we’d like to share our 3 must-do horse riding safari  destinations for serious riders. 

Horse Riding Safari Okavango Delta
Elephant sighting Okavango Delta

The Unicorn Horse Trails team has been fortunate enough to visit these destinations personally and have been chosen for their unparalleled opportunities for adventure, unique charm, qualified and attentive staff, and value for money. Without further ado, here are Unicorn Trails Top 3 Must-Do Horse Riding Safari Destinations for Serious Riders.  

The Most Exclusive Riding Safari – Botswana Okavango Delta

As an exclusive horse-riding safari destination, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a phenomenon of nature. The delta has not changed in 400 years and has never seen large-scale human settlement thanks to Tsetse fly (now controlled). The unique climate, and the government’s policy of minimal infrastructure and limited visitors, allow guests a chance to enjoy the beauty of the Okavango Delta without the crowds associated with many other safari destinations, making Botswana a wise choice for the discerning traveller, and a favourite of the European royals.

Horse Riding Safari Okavango Delta
Riding in the Delta

Covering 17,000 square km, the Okavango is the largest inland delta in the world, comprising of a labyrinth of trails, palm-fringed islands and fertile floodplains that attract wildlife, both large and small, along with over 400 species of birds. There are different operators in the Delta offering 4 riding options; 2 single location camps, the luxurious Macatoo and the atmospheric Cha Cha Metsi; Kujwane, a 2 location camp, a year-round favourite offering luxury, and great game orientation; and the Delta Mobile Ride, an unforgettable close-to-nature experience.

Exploring the Okavango Delta:

Macatoo Camp

View of Macatoo tent
View of Macatoo tent

Voted as one of the Top 10 Riding Holidays by CNN International, Macatoo Camp is situated on the Western side of the delta, where owner and host, Sarah Jane, has created an oasis of luxury. Accommodation is in luxury twin and 3-bedded walk-in tents complete with en-suite ablutions. Enjoy being woken with coffee in bed and breakfasting by the pool before setting off on the day’s adventure, sometimes quietly stalking lion or elephant while admiring the birdlife, sometimes cantering through the water meadows alongside galloping giraffe or zebra.

There are also plenty of activities for non-riding companions, making sure that the Macatoo Camp has something for everyone. 

Kujwana Camp

Galloping with antelope
Galloping with antelope

With unparalleled riding and the chance to visit 2 different camps situated in different parts of the delta, Kujwana Camp is the perfect choice for those seeking a more authentic and in-depth view of this outstanding destination. Located in the heart of the delta, the camp consists of 6 spacious, comfortable walk-in A-frame tents, each with twin beds and a viewing deck. En-suite bathrooms have hot water and solar power.  

The social area boasts a spacious dining room, comfy sofas, and a well-stocked bar. Apart from superb hospitality, owners PJ and Barney offer riders a perfectly matched mount from their large stable of horses.  

Okavango Delta Mobile Ride

Floating Camp! Delta Ride
Floating Camp! Delta Ride

This ride is unique in that there is no fixed campsite. Rather, the camp accompanies riders on their journey, carried by a fleet of Merokos (dug-out canoes) that are poled by locals with an intimate knowledge of the delta. When the water levels drop, merokos are replaced by pack donkeys. As the camp moves through the various locations, riders are treated to top-level guiding with a focus on the experience.  

The horses are excellent, the wildlife is plenty, and delicious meals are cooked over a log fire. Despite the rugged surroundings, the camp is extremely comfortable, with lightweight tents, fully made-up beds, and bucket showers. The mobile ride is a must for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and horse enthusiasts alike. 

The Most Underrated Riding Safari – Botswana Tuli Safari 

Wild Dogs Feeding
Wild Dogs Feeding

It isn’t only the Delta that offers visitors a world-class safari experience, labelled an ‘untapped paradise’, Botswana’s Tuli block offers travellers a chance to view a multitude of game and birdlife, including the Big 5, far away from the tourist crowds. The Tuli Block riding safari is Unicorn Trails’ 7-night programme catering to those with a sense of adventure. Explore the shores of the mighty Limpopo River as it slowly winds through the landscape while spotting game and witnessing the prolific birdlife.  

Comfortable tents
Comfortable tents

Ride in the Mashatu Game Reserve, one of the largest private game reserves on the continent, while staying in 3 different semi-permanent camps with comfortable tents and hot showers. Not many riders get the opportunity to view such a diversity of game from the saddle. Be one of the fortunate few! 

 

 

 

The Most Exciting Riding Safari – Kenya Masai Mara  

For those who crave a heart-pounding horseback adventure, Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park is an absolute must-see for thrill-seeking travellers. Named after the famous Masai tribe, and the Mara River that runs through it, the park offers an iconic equestrian safari experience  

Masai Mara Waterhole
Masai Mara Waterhole

Witness the huge array of wildlife from both horseback and gamedrive vehicles. The best time to visit is between July and October when millions of animals cross the Mara River during the annual Great Migration. This is regarded as one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles for good reason.  

Unicorn Trails horse riding safari in the Masai Mara is a luxurious point-to-point classical safari through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Africa. The open plains team with an incredible variety of game and birdlife. At night, relax in large walk-in tents with comfortable beds and shower/toilet facilities. The food is superb, from freshly baked bread to banquet dinners served under the stars.  

Meal with a view
Meal with a view

The majority of the horses are thoroughbred and thoroughbred/Irish Draft cross, strong and sure-footed, allowing riders to take their own line at a gallop while following herds of zebra, wildebeest, or giraffe at will. Riding on the Masai Mara is one of the ultimate adventures for serious riders. 

 

 

 

In Conclusion:
Unicorn Trails’ selection of horse riding safari packages has been carefully chosen to represent the best options for serious riders wanting an authentic African experience. Whether choosing Botswana’s unique Okavango Delta, wild Tuli Block or heading further north to Kenya’s iconic Masai Mara, a lifetime of memories is guaranteed.  

To find out more about these, and other safaris, contact our team. At Unicorn Trails we take pride in providing independent advice to help you find the perfect match for your next horseback adventure. 

Mekoro Ride
Mekoro Ride

 

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