The Tuli-Mashatu Horse Riding Safari, Botswana
An expedition observing wild animals in their natural habitat from the Saddle.
Day by day:
* Description below is an example of the program. The itinerary can be different during your travel week.
We will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location, accommodation and difficulty of terrain In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!
3 different camp locations on this Safari
Day 1 : Johannesburg – Tuli Mahatu Game Reserve & Stables To Two Mashatu's Camp
Meet & Greet at the ORTambo Johannesburg international Airport with your Entre Orejas guide and fellow riders. A representative of Bushwings private charter flight company will meet you there at agreed time in the morning . And together with our Entre Orejas tripleader you will fly to Mashatu/Botswana. A flight will be booked on your behalf by us.
Meet your safari guide at the border. Short transfer to the reception area overlooking the Limpopo river, in time for a light lunch. Enjoy an introductory ride to check you are suited to your horse, before embarking on your first ride out to our Two Mashatus Camp. This will be your first opportunity to experience the beauty of the Mashatu Game Reserve and view the wildlife on horseback. Mashatu Game Reserve is home to the largest herd of wild free-roaming elephants on private land in Africa, and, although not a guarantee, it is almost assured that there will be great viewing of these incredible creatures. As evening falls at Two Mashatu Camp, relax in the cool of the thatched rondavel lounge and dining areas, before enjoying a three-course dinner and getting to know your fellow adventurers for the next seven days.
Day 2 : Tree Camp
Sunrise, the dawn chorus and tea or coffee which is brought to your tent, sounds the start of your first day. After breakfast, it’s time to mount and depart from the dense woodland that hugs the Limpopo River, and head towards the rocky hills that delineate the edges of the great river valley. As the ride traverses the heartland of Mashatu, you will encounter plentiful game: plains game, many giraffe and herd of elephants. Having meandered across the hills with vast views back towards South Africa, the ride arrives at Tree Camp in time for lunch. Overlooking the Majale river, it is possible to watch the wildlife from above, coming down to drink at the river. That afternoon choose a ride or enjoy your first bush walk exploring the area along the West of the Matabole River returning to Tree Camp for sundowners.
Day 3 : Kgotla
The safari passes through the centre of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo Valley. Giant Baobab trees continue to scatter the landscape as they have for centuries and ancient elephant trails make for wonderful tracks for long canters through open bush veld. Whilst riding alongside the banks of the Motloutse River, discover the old Leadwood ‘Kgotla’ (or enclosure used for the traditional law court of a Botswana village). This open-air enclosure forms the perfect, secure camp for the night. In the afternoon, we search for the area’s resident lions on a game drive and draw the day’s adventures to a close with sundowners at the ancient “Amphitheatre” rocks. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire. The night is spent with a ceiling of stars and Africa’s nighttime melody to sing you to sleep; a veraciously rare experience which is just about as far away from city life and the modern world as anyone can imagine.
Day 4: Kgotla
The sandstone formations, including the famed Solomon’s Wall, one of the numerous dolorite dykes in the area, are explored on horseback. Some of the oldest civilisations in southern Africa settled in this valley. Archaeological evidence in the area includes middle and late stone age tools, rock art and the legendary Mapungubwe Dynasty. Mapungubwe means “Place of the Jackal” in the Venda language and this dynasty existed around 1220 AD. The Mapungubwe topography itself is ancient and timeless, and combined with marvellous wildlife sightings, it makes for an incredible riding experience. This afternoon enjoy a short drive to the Mmamagwa Hills. For the most visually stunning and ethereal sundowner, we visit the Mmamagwa Hills. A short climb up the sandstone ridge, brings us to the site of the Mmamagwa Ruins, which is of a similar period to Mapungubwe (13 century). To date these ruins have not been excavated and have been left alone. It is conceivable that similar treasures to those found at Mapungubwe (for example the golden rhino) could be buried here. After a short climb, enjoy sundowners beneath a beautiful baobab tree with a breath-taking view of the área.
Day 5 : Tree Camp
Wind up Elephant Valley along ancient trails stamped into the soil by centuries of migrating elephants, before heading north towards upper reaches of the Majale River. This area is peppered with enormous baobab trees and is one of the more remote areas of the reserve. After an exhilarating ride through this timeless countryside, enjoy a relaxing lunch at Tree Camp. An afternoon ride or bush walk or game drive exploring the northern banks of the Majele, Matabole and Jwala rivers.
Day 6 : Two Mashatu's Camp
Today’s riding promises great game viewing from horseback as we explore the Pitsane River Valley. Drinking holes, dug by elephants along the course of the Pitsane, attract thirsty herds of game. An area, where history has it, there was a skirmish during the Boer war which destroyed Bryce’s Store, an old British supply post. There was a stagecoach line, called Zeederberg’s, 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 into Zimbabwe. The ride returns to the Two Mashatu Camp in time for lunch and a cooling swim in the pool. A guided bush walk to one of the nearby koppies for sundowners is the afternoon excursion.
Day 7 : Two Mashatu's Camp
Our ride today meanders its way through the beautiful plains between the Majale and Pitsane rivers, with abundant game and spectacular views into the Limpopo River Valley. En route, we explore the remains of an old Boer War fort on a rocky outcrop, followed by a ride down into the cooler wetland area where plentiful game enjoy the lush grasses. In the summer months, rain and water dependent, it can be possible to enjoy cantering through the shallows of the Limpopo River. There is time to relax in camp, before either an afternoon ride or bush walk for your last African sundowner.
Day 8 : Back to Stables / Reception for departure
The last ride in the Limpopo Valley is a great opportunity to take one last picture of elephants and enjoy a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush with your guides. Arriving back at the stables and reception mid-morning, there is plenty of time for a hot shower and a tasty brunch, before saying farewell to safari companions and new found friends. Private charter flight back to Johannesburg around midday.
Arriving on a Wednesday has a slightly different itinerary; Arrive into Tree camp, then move to the Kgotla for 2 nights, then back to Tree Camp for 2 nights and then end at Two Mashatus for 2 nights. The only real difference is the Sundays safaris start in Mashatus and the Wednesday Safaris start in Tree Camp, other than that it is identical as arriving on a Sunday.
RECOMMENDED to Arrive the Day Before
Arriving at Johannesburg (South-Africa) the day before is recommended. This allows you to travel relaxed the next morning to Botswana. And in case you have delays or problems with your international flight to Johannesburg, you still have time to catch the flight to Mashatu/Botswana.
Missing the flight to Botswana is not a fun experience, so play it safe arrive the day before. Ask us for more info about good airport hotel in Johannesburg that you can book on booking.com.