Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris, Botswana
Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris host excellent riding trails in the Tuli block through its stunning riverine terrain, African mopane bushveld and famous sandstone formations. The wonderful scenery is complemented by frequent sightings of game including antelope, birds, lion, leopard, elephant, wild dog and hyena. Depending on the season, this riding safari can be a mobile camping safari or a static camp, with the added comforts this provides. There is also a more luxury seven-night Limpopo Lodge Ride on offer using a combination of the Two Mashatus Camp and private family-owned lodges. The riding is combined with game walks and game drives, and is suitable for experienced riders only (minimum group size is two, and maximum is eight). A four-night safari in Botswana can be combined with four nights riding in the Limpopo Valley in South Africa. Non-riders are welcome on all safaris and will be offered the opportunity to do other game activities.
The Limpopo Lodge Ride
This seven-night mobile ride combines Two Mashatus Camp with the private family-owned lodges on Mashatu. It offers guests the same benefits of doing a mobile safari but with the added attraction of more luxurious accommodation. The lodges are family-owned, private and exclusive with en-suite bathrooms and swimming pools. If you enjoy the comforts in life, this is the ride for you. Various dates are on offer from February to November.
Arrive Johannesburg Airport, where you will be met and transferred to Two Mashatus Camp (approx 6 hours). After settling in and enjoying a refreshing lunch in the Lala Palm Rondavel, you will meet the horses and go on a short introductory ride. The ride is followed by sundowners at the stable bar before heading back to Two Mashatus Camp. A delicious evening meal follows before retiring to the comfort of your tent where the sounds of the bush will lull you to sleep.
After breakfast, you will go on a six-hour ride to the luxurious Naledi camp. This ride crosses hills and ridges and takes you to the most northern parts of the game reserve. On the open plains there are good opportunities for fast canters, perhaps accompanied by zebra, wildebeest or eland. The lush vegetation close to the Majale River is browsed by a diversity of wildlife, so there is a good chance of excellent game-viewing in this area.Upon arrival at this beautiful private camp, you will have lunch and a siesta or swim with a view over the African bush. If you are feeling energetic, you can take a game walk with your guide in the late afternoon which gives you the opportunity to learn more about the small and fascinating creatures that are an important part of the local ecology. Head back to camp before sunset for traditional sundowners, an excellent dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Today you will have a 4½ hour ride to Kanda Farm, crossing the central game area of the reserve where you may see giraffe, eland or zebra. The ride passes through an area of rocky cliffs, home to a resident leopard. Kanda Farm is a family-owned property in a spectacular location overlooking the Majale River. After lunch and a siesta, you have the option of a game drive which offers the opportunity of viewing predators such as leopard, cheetah, wild dog and lion which Mashatu is famous for. You may also be lucky to spot some of the other interesting nocturnal residents such as hyena, genet or porcupine. You stop for sundowners at a vantage point before returning to camp for dinner.
Today you will explore the surrounding area, tracking wildlife through the bush and enjoying spectacular views across Mashatu. There is a great diversity of game in this area and you may see bat-eared fox, black- backed jackal, eland, kudu and other plains game. The morning ride is about 4 hours followed by lunch back at Kanda Camp. In the afternoon, we follow the course of the Majale River on a bush walk and climb some of the kopjes in the area. Back to camp and dinner under the stars.
After breakfast you head back to Two Mashatus Camp, following the Majale River which always offers up some interesting and close encounters with elephant or other wildlife. After an enjoyable 4 hour ride, you will arrive at camp in time for lunch and a siesta. You can enjoy a pleasant walk to stretch the legs in the evening before a good dinner and bed.
Today you head out to the Pitsani plains. Descending the plains, there is the possibility for an exhilarating gallop where you might be joined by curious herds of zebra, wildebeest or giraffe. You will wind your way through the hills before arriving at the beautiful Senthata Lodge on neighbouring Charter reserve. Usually there is a game drive in the afternoon, and a lazy relaxed evening on the cool lawn overlooking the mighty Limpopo while the cooks rustle up another delicious meal.
Another exciting morning’s ride as you head out along the Limpopo river in search of the abundant wildlife the area has to offer. You may come across some logs knocked over by elephants along the way which the horses love to hop over. Today’s lodge is the elegant Limpopo House, where you can enjoy the stunning pool or sit on the cool veranda with a book while you watch the horses graze nearby. In the late afternoon you can go on a final game drive.
After a final early morning ride of about 2 hours, a quick brunch and a refreshing shower, you head back to the Pontdrift border post and on the 5½ hour drive on to Johannesburg International Airport in time for the evening flight home.
The Tuli Mobile Safari
Experience the breathtaking beauty of this area on horseback, covering up to 120 miles over eight days of riding. The first and last night are at the comfortable Two Mashatus Camp, with the middle nights sleeping under the stars and in different wilderness camps.
You will be met on arrival and transferred by road to Two Mashatus Camp. After a light lunch you will meet the horses and go on a short introductory ride. Sundowners are enjoyed at the Stable Bar whilst watching the horses roll in the setting sun, before heading back to camp for a warm shower and a delicious dinner served under the Llalapalm.
The day begins at sunrise, and after breakfast you will mount up and head off in a north-westerly direction for Jwala Camp on the banks of the Jwala River. Six to seven hours are spent in the saddle enjoying the abundance of game and the magnificent scenery synonymous with the Land of the Giants. After lunch at Jwala Camp, you will go on a guided afternoon walk, learning about the bush around you in detail. Dinner is prepared over an open fire before retiring to bed to the sounds of the bush.
Today you will test the amazingly sure-footed Boerperde as you cross over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails and enjoy long sustained canters to make up for the lost time traversing the ridges. This ride will be about six to seven hours, arriving at Kgotla Camp for a late lunch. This is an old tribal court from a nearby community that was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. The open-air traditional African enclosure is made of leadwood logs in the shade of a century old Mashatu Tree. In the afternoon you have the option of visiting the local village, buying hand crafted Llalapalm curio, viewing Bushmen paintings and then enjoying a sundowner over the majestic Motloutse River. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire after which the night is spent sleeping under the stars while listening in on the cacophony of sounds generated by the African bush orchestra.
You will spend another night at Kgotla Camp, enjoying a full day exploring the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Ancient civilizations harboured their wealth among these hills where two mighty rivers, the Limpopo and the Motloutse, meet. This day’s riding will be about four to five hours, leaving time in the afternoon to head to the archaeologically rich Mmamagwa hills where a 360 degree view of the reserve can be enjoyed as well as another beautiful African sunset.
Today you wind your way through the mopane bush before reaching the more open plains. This will probably be your longest day of riding of about seven hours. On arrival at Liana Camp you will be welcomed by a well-deserved drink and a refreshing lunch, and in the evening you will have the opportunity to explore Mashatu from a game drive vehicle and try to locate the elusive leopard, wild dog, cheetah and lion that the area is well known for.
This morning you will explore the banks of the Mojale and Matabole Rivers, following their courses north towards the Zeederberg site. The day will offer riding up and down river banks, through riverine forest, game sightings and more fabulous photo opportunities. Today’s riding will be about five to six hours. Lunch is under an old Mashatu tree, where a century ago the Zeederberg transport riders had their midday break before finally reaching Fort Tuli. After a siesta, you will go on a guided walk into the bush. The evening is enjoyed with sundowners and dinner around a log fire.
Today’s ride is rich in history and offers a variety of interesting tales of the past. The open Pitsani plains, so characteristic of this area, are perfect for a really good gallop, hopefully with zebra or wildebeest. You will head in the direction of the Mojale and Limpopo confluence where lunch awaits you upon return to the Two Mashatus Camp. This ride is about five to six hours. A relaxing afternoon can be spent on the deck of your tent or in the lounge followed by a sundowner overlooking the Limpopo River. Listen to the elephants playing in the river or the lions roaring in the distance as another sumptuous dinner is served in the Llalapalm rondavel.
Today is your last day in the bush and begins with a two-hour morning ride along the Limpopo River. After brunch you will be transferred back to Johannesburg for your flight home.