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This horseback safari covers approximately 120 miles over the course of the week and is scheduled from February to November. Each riding day ends at beautiful camps with welcoming walk-in tents, full-size beds, fresh cotton linen and hot showers. The safari embraces fine dining in the wilderness and every evening is a delightful mix of good food and good company. Join this safari and experience the best horseback safari!
First and last two nights at the comfortable Two Mashatus camp, one night at Majele River Camp with rustic cabin bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities, two nights at the Kgotla camp “sleeping under the stars”, one night in wilderness fly camp.
Nestled in the shade of a Mashatu tree with two traditionally built Lala palm rondavel dining and lounge areas. Accommodation is in big A-frame walk-in tents pitched on teak platforms with an en-suite bathroom. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree with a small deck area in front on which to relax during the afternoons.
Rustic cabins set atop the Majele River. A beautiful thatched Lapa dining and rest area set in the shade of a thicket old Mashatu trees. Accommodation is made up of two twin room units with each unit sharing a bathroom separate flushing toilet and secluded outdoor showers. As well as a large fixed site tent with adjoining outdoor bathroom.
The “Fly Camp” accommodation is in traditional safari “A” frame tents with comfortable full-size beds, cotton sheets, and duvets. Facilities include hot bucket showers and a “Bush-WC”. Meals are cooked over a camp fire.
The Kgotla is an old tribal court from a nearby community, which was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. The boma is an open-air traditional African enclosure made up of Leadwood logs. Guests sleep on beds around a large log fire which sits on a hearth in the center of the boma.
Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the reception area by the stables. After a light lunch, it’s time to head off to meet your horse for the week. You will embark on a short introductory ride to make sure that you and your horse are well suited and then ride out to your static camp, where supper will be served in the Llala Palm dining room of the Two Mashatus Camp.
The day begins at sunrise with tea or coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount up and head off from the dense woodland along the Limpopo River towards the shallow rocky hills that mark the edges of the great river valley. Your destination for night two is Majele River camp, a rustic series of cabins atop the steep and shady banks of the Majele River. Here in the heart of the Mashatu area, the game is plentiful.
The Tuli area is home to one of the largest herds of free roaming Elephant south of the Zambezi and you are almost assured of great viewing of these incredible creatures. After lunch and a siesta, you will take a gentle guided walk to a nearby lookout spot known as “Majele Koppie”. Dinner is enjoyed in the thatched lapa overlooking the river.
An early wake-up call heralds a new day, today, your journey takes you through the heart of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo valley. Giant Baobabs silently surveying the land as they have for centuries, ancient elephant trails stamped into the soil and wonderfully long canters around the open scrub.
This ride brings you to the banks of the Motloutse River and amongst dense old Mashatu trees a Leadwood Boma that is called “Kgotla” after the old tribal court that was once held in its enclosure. The open-air traditional African enclosure gives perfect security to night is spent under the stars and a unique experience of the African bush up close and personal. The afternoon activity on day three is the choice of a guided walk or ride to the “amphitheater”, an ancient and awesome rock formation.
Your walk concludes with traditional sundowners looking out over the Motloutse River. Back at “The Kgotla” dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent in the comfort of your bed set within the boma but with a ceiling provided by the southern skies, a blanket of stars to send you to sleep, a truly unique experience and just about as far away as you can get from city life and the modern world.
Today, you'll have a choice of either a morning and afternoon ride, exploring the amazing sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Some of the oldest civilizations in southern Africa had their settlements in this valley, their kings safely nestled in royal kraals at the tops of these flat topped hills. The Mapungubwe topography is ancient, timeless, and combined with great wildlife sightings. It is certainly an incredible riding experience.
Or the group may prefer a long morning ride and an afternoon excursion to the nearby village of Lentswe Le Moriti and the basket weavers followed by a trip to the Mmamagwa Hills. At the end of a short easy climb and beneath a beautiful baobab you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Tuli area with South Africa to the South, Zimbabwe to the North and Botswana around you, this is a sundowner drink you will remember for many years to come.
An early rise and hearty breakfast is a good start for what is probably your longest day on horseback. Winding your way through the Mopane bush, with the chance of sighting elephant, you will make your way to the rich plains area close to the Limpopo River. Liana Camp is snugly nestled amongst giant Mashatu trees that line the Liana lagoon, a tributary to the Limpopo River. To ease your aches, the afternoon will be used for a game drive that takes you deep into the reserve in search of the big cats in the area including leopard, cheetah, and lion.
Your ride today meanders its way through the beautiful plains between the Mojali and Majele rivers, abundant with game and with spectacular views of the Limpopo River valley. You'll work your way back to your base camp, Two Mashatus. With the feel of a returning traveler, you'll end the ride back at Two Mashatus where you will have the opportunity to relax by the pool and enjoy the comfort of the permanent camp with its shady tents and en-suite bathrooms. That afternoon, you'll ride to one of the nearby koppies for a sundown drink.
Today's riding promises great game viewing from horseback as you explore the Pitsane river valley on an all day ride. The Pitsane has a spring high in the hills which provide regular drinking holes along its course to draw thirsty herds of game. An area where history has it that there was a skirmish during the Boer War and Bryce's stored old supply post was destroyed. A Picnic lunch is served in an area of shady Mashatu trees before exploring further in the afternoon.
There was once a stage coach line called Zeederbergs that ran from the towns of the Transvaal in South Africa to the newly forged settlements of Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Those coaches crossed the broad Limpopo and followed the Pitsane river crossing into Zimbabwe. You will return to camp in the afternoon with time for a cooling drink around the pool as the final day draws to a close. You may take to your tent for a peaceful and dreamy last night in the bush.
Your last ride in the Limpopo Valley is a great opportunity to snap one last picture of elephants and a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides. Arriving back at the stables with plenty time to enjoy a hot shower and a tasty brunch you get to say farewells to safari companions and new found friends, it’s time for your onward journey.
Lindy Hill has a passion for horses and people, which she has used around the world from Australia to South Africa, Mauritius, and now Botswana. As operations manager, she ensures that the horses you ride will suit you perfectly and that your safari will exceed your expectations.
Lloyd Gilespie is a FGASA qualified Big Five lead horse guide with 20 years of experience in the industry in Southern Africa. He has owned and operated Fishriver Horse Safaris, the Haven Horse Safaris, and In the Company of Horses. Lloyd is both a details man and a people person and makes sure everything behind the scenes is running to perfection.
West Mmanoko is a rare breed of man, a Motswana with a passion for and love of horses and conservation. West started with LHS in 2003 as a groom. Since 2006, with guidance and assistance from the team of highly experienced equestrians at LHS, West has become a lead guide and an inspiration to all his co-workers.
Tapelo (better known as Tips) is one of our back up guides. A quiet presence at the back of the ride, Tips goes out of his way to ensure that guests are well cared for and comfortable both on the rides and in camp. A gentle soul that loves to share his passion for the bush and the horses he works with.
David Cheno, long time lead guide, has been with LHS since 2004 and started lead guiding in 2009. He has a great sense of humor and responsibility and loves his horses.
Mmushi worked at LHS from 2004 until 2013 as a back-up guide. He then worked with African Horseback Safaris in the Okavango Delta for three years as a guide and assistant stable manager. Mmushi rejoined the LHS team in February 2016 to be close to his hometown and family. Mmushi is an excellent horseman with a warm and welcoming personality. He makes guests feel instantly at ease and has an incredible knowledge of the bush he gladly shares.
Mpho Serumola has worked at LHS since 2004 and has been a lead guide since 2015. He is a natural talent on a horse and a great help with schooling and keeping them fit. He is a quiet presence and very keen to teach you about the bush.
Tsaone is a long time groom and promoted in 2012 to assistant guide. He is a natural horseman and is a quiet presence at the back of the ride and well known for his excellent spotting talents.
This safari will take place in Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
Please book your flight to arrive at O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
Transfers to and from O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) are by plane with Angel Gabriel Air Taxi. Meeting point at counter A54 departures terminal at 10:45.
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