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Join an extraordinary adventure with Lifetime Experience in magnificent Botswana! In this holiday, you will experience horseback riding safari to explore the exquisite African's flora and fauna while enjoying the sound of nature. Lifetime Experience is sure that you will never forget the true sense of freedom which you will experience on your horse in the Okavango Delta in Africa.
You will stay at the gorgeous Macatoo Camp.
You will be met at Maun Airport (MUB) by a member of Lifetime Experience team who will assist you with transferring onto the small plane (either a Cessna 206 or 208) that will fly you into the camp. The flight will take around 30 minutes and offers a bird’s eye view of the Okavango Delta. It is amazing how tiny the breeding herds of elephants look from the air. A safari vehicle will be waiting for you at the camp’s airstrip for a 45 minutes game drive or for an exciting boat ride (depending on the time of year).
Into Macatoo Camp, the staff 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 is 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 Camp’s cheerful “tent ladies” will provide a gentle wake-up call along with your choice of tea, coffee, and rusks, which will be served to you in your bed. A light breakfast is set up around the campfire ahead of the first long ride of the holiday. There is a wide selection of horses in the barn and Macatoo Camp's experienced staff have the knack of putting together great horse and rider partnerships.
Depending on the season, the morning ride may involve some galloping across dried floodplains, 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 favorite 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 heading back to camp to freshen up. Dinner is always a great occasion at Macatoo, but there is no guarantee that it is 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 from yesterday, offering fresh game viewing possibilities and a varied pace of the ride. The guides are always hoping to see the rare semi-aquatic antelope, the red lechwe.
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 also a great place to soak up some sun, read, and doze. But keep your binoculars and cameras handy as zebra, buck, and elephant are frequently pass in front of the 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. Game drives, walks, or boat rides (depending on the time of year) are also available for those wanting time away from the horses or for non-riding partners and guests.
This morning, you will ride deeper into the heart of the delta, to corners of the wilderness where vehicles simply cannot reach because the horses can get much closer to the big game. You will cross high palm islands, which offer great sweeping views of the delta plains, and you may see 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 the 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 the fabulous tree house where 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 to the birds and animals prepare for the 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 be very ‘riding fit’ and eager to pick up the pace. You will canter through clouds of bushman hair grass, onto vast plains dotted with fig trees. You will pass giraffe along the way or shyer antelope who disappear into the depths of the mopane woodlands. By the time you reach the expansive floodplains, you will be riding quite fast because you will know your horse well by now and both of you relish a quicker pace and the sense of exhilaration.
For the last afternoon in camp, some guests choose to take a helicopter ride to reach even further into the delta and take some great pictures. You may feel torn over how to spend your final sunset outing – an evening game drive with a spotlight is often fun, picking up a local clan of hyena or lions out in 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.
The dawn call of the African fish eagle has, by now, become as familiar as the morning alarm at home. The delivery of hot drinks in bed heralds the start of your last morning in the camp and you will be anxious to make the most of your final ride. You will stay quite close to the camp, 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 you will cram as much fun as possible into the final hours. So, be prepared to get wet as you will approach deep reedy areas full of bird life including open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets, and Egyptian geese. Later, you will return 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 because many of the guests do!
This horseback safari is exciting but not strenuous. This itinerary only serves as a guide; all scenarios are dependent on the season and levels of the Okavango Delta flood. During cooler months, one longer ride may replace the normal morning and evening rides. African Horseback Safaris reserves the right to alter the itinerary in any way and leaves this to the discretion of the guides. Local weather conditions may also affect game movements.
Also, please note that depending on individual itineraries, some guest might miss their ride on the day of departure or arrival specifically when flying to or from Kasane.
Andrew Gillies is a guide.
Pat is one of the hosts and guides for the week. He will lead each ride where plenty of time is spent together on horseback.
Mandy is one of the hosts and guides for the week. She will lead each ride where plenty of time is spent together on horseback.
This safari holiday will take place in Okavango Delta, Botswana.
You can book a helicopter for a ride in this vacation.
Transfer available for additional US$0 per person
Transfer available for additional US$0 per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Maun Airport (MUB) or Kasane Airport (BBK). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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