The Tuli-Mashatu Horse Riding Safari, Botswana
An expedition observing wild animals in their natural habitat from the Saddle
Good to know before you go
Advanced intermediate to experienced. Must be able to independently control a horse at all paces. Jumping - ability to jump natural obstacle, a benefit, but not essential as can be ridden around. Must be able to take a light seat at cânter. Riding Test: Before each safari, every rider will take a short riding test to ensure they are competent enough for the safari, and fall into the above guideline. The decision of the manager conducting the test is final. This is big game territory and we need to be sure you are a good enough rider. Your safety, as well as that of the other participants and guides come first.
At least 20-30 km a day. None of the routes are direct from camp to camp. Maximum 5 and half hours in the saddle per day.
Riders weight limit: 95 Kg
(contact us for info/admission if your weight is higher)
Minimum age is 14 years, only allowed if accompanied by an adult.
Horses: We have a herd of 50 horses in Botswana. The herd is comprised of S.A. Boerperd, Throroughbred, Warmblood and Arab crosses. Each rider will be matched to a horse, as much as possible.
Saddles: We ride in McClellan trail rider saddles. These are specifically designed for long hours in the saddle. They are comfortable for the horses and rider on long distances.
Guides: Professional and multilingual Safari guides. Simon or Chalas will be the Tripleader. – see the Who is Who on the trail / Guides section) .
Comfort: 3 nights in large A-frame Walk-in tents set on teak platforms each with en-suite bathrooms. 2 nights in a splendid Tree Camp where two guests each share an airy and cool sleeping pod. 2 nights in an open-air traditional African enclosure made up of leadwood logs. - Based on 2 person shared accommodation, hot water showers at all camps.
International Passport: Passport that is valid for at least six months after your return date and has at least 3 blank pages. No visas are necessary for most countries, but we do advise that guests contact their local embassy and make sure they don’t need one. (for South-Africa & Botwana.
Vaccinations & Medication:
Vaccination Certificate with QR CODE or PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving. NB this must be a printed hard copy, they will not accept a copy on your phone. In case you are not allowed to take a covid-19 vaccination for medical reasons, than you will have to prove this via an official doctor's certificate (in English) and also be able to present a covid-19 PCR test.
Although Botswana is officially a Malaria area, Mashatu is considered to be very low malaria risk. However, please ask your doctor for advice on what vaccinations and malaria medication are required before travelling. We do not recommend Larium. Consult your physician.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Botswana, however, there is a certificate requirement. Under International Health Regulations (2005), a certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required from travellers aged 1 year or over arriving from or having transited through countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. (from for example Brazil, Colombia,..)
Flying: Gateway is Johannesburg ORT Airport
Meet & Greet with your tripleader at the Johannesburg ORT international Airport. Place and time will be communicated to you upon reservation.
With your tripleader and fellow travellers you will fly together from Johannesburg S.A. to the Mashatu Airstrip in Botswana by Private Airplane. (ditto for the return)
Visa: You will require a tourist visa for Kenya which must be obtained in advance at http://evisa.go.ke Contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate for further information.
The Night Before / Airport Hotels: Arriving at Johannesburg the day before is a good idea. 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. (ditto for the return). Ask us for info concenring airport hotels.
Are you alone?
Do not worry, you can individually register/book and join a group with other riders. Most participants are people who register individually and may just like you, not know the other riders in your group. Since everyone has the same points of interest (horseback riding, nature, travel, culture) there is always a good atmosphere and understanding among the participants. Participants come from all corners of the world, so you can be part of a group with riders from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, Colombia, and many others countries. Your friends are suddenly so much more international! :) A standard group consists of 6 to 9 riders. (guides excluded) In general, there are as many females as male participants.
In 3 different Camps
1- Two Mashatus Camp
Nestled in the shade of two large Mashatu trees, the heart of the camp has two traditionally built Lala Palm rondavels for dining and lounge areas. Guest accommodation is in large A-frame walkin tents set on teak platforms each with en-suite bathrooms. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree in the bush, not far from the main area. Each tent has a small deck area in front where guests can relax privately during the afternoons. Two Mashatu also has a small swimming pool under a Mashatu tree for guests to enjoy.
2- Tree Camp
This is a very unique camp; any childhood dream of sleeping up in the arms of a tree, will be completely fulfilled here. Nestled in the bough of a giant Mashatu tree and two ancient Leadwood trees, this Seligna deck, 4 metres off the ground, will be your retreat for the night. Two guests each share an airy and cool sleeping pod. Along a short walkway, shared showers and toilets are under the Leadwood trees. The spacious dining and lounge area flow from the sleeping pods and overlook the Majale River. This truly extraordinary camp is one that will be remembered and spoken about for years to come.
3 - Kgotla
The ‘Kgotla’ is an old traditional court enclosure from a nearby community, which was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. This open-air enclosure, made of Leadwood logs, provides a secure location for a camp. The camp has hot running water, beautiful openair showers and flushing toilets: the perfect combination for comfort and an authentic bush experience. Guests sleep on single beds around a large log fire in the centre of the enclosure. The highlight of this camp to guests is sleeping in the open under the stars and listening to the resonance of an Africa Evening
The climate over most of Botswana is mild and pleasant. Rainfall occurs mostly during the summer months (October - March). During the winter months (May to September) warmer clothes including a windbreaker (anorak) are essential for the evenings.
a 20 Kg SOFT BAG (All sides) – luggage/duffel bags with one flat side will be allowed on the Bushwings flight to Botswana + a 5 Kg Hand bag.
Botswana is one of the most stable countries in Africa and on the top 10 safest countries to visit in the world. Tourism is well developed in Botswana, as a contrast to its neighbouring countries, and is somewhat distanced from crime across Africa.
English and Tswana are the official languages of Botswana and spoken by the safari guides. Your tripleader speaks English & Spanish.
travel gear... Packing List
** Strickt 20 Kg luggage allowance on flight to Botswana + 5K g hand luggage **
* Passport that is valid for at least six months after your return date and has at least 3 blank pages. No visas are necessary for most countries, but we do advise that guests contact their local embassy and make sure they don’t need one. (for South-Africa & Botwana)
Valid international passport.
Your own well-fitting hard hat - Hard hats are mandatory (we can supply if needed)
Comfortable riding clothes this is not the place to test out brand new boots, wear everything a couple of times before bringing it on safari.
Short boots and half chaps, ride/walk book are perfect. Long leather boots are also good but long rubber boots are not advised.
Lipsalve, handcream, and moisturiser (it s dry here!)
Sun protection cream factor Min 30 or higher,
Light weight long sleeved shirts.
Camera / Charger
Spare Camera batteries.
If you ever suffer from regular bouts of illness e.g. cystitis, sinusitis, eczema, asthma, allergies etc please bring your preferred medication its best to have whatever you may need with you.
Ibuprofen and deep heat are also useful items, especially if you aren’t used to long hours in the saddle
In our Winter mornings can be chilly and days hot so bring layers, a vest, shirt fleece and body warmer are ideal winter wear.
In summer pack a lightweight rain coat
Books for when you are relaxing between rides
we also recommend a power bank and high lumen torch
Provided by us:
All linen and towels
Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner
First Aid Kit
Aluminium 1 litre water bottles for you to keep, which fits in your saddle bag
Laundry: Free laundry is possible every 2 days.
Mandatory !Don't want to ride with a helmet? Then know that nowadays there very nice combinations of a hat and a helmet in one piece exist. The Resistol RideSafe Hats are a good example of this. See: https://resistol.com/pages/resistol-ridesafe
The safari guide carries a satellite phone and mobile phone at all times.
TRAVEL insurance MANDATORY:
We request you take a travel Insurance. Ask your local insurance company or travel agent about it. You will not be allowed to participate at the “Entre Orejas” riding holiday program without having a Personal Travel & Medical Insurance. Your insurance details will be requested on arrival.
Trip Cancellation Insurance MANDATORY:
In order to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances interfering with your “Entre Orejas” vacation, we demand that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You can use any travel insurance company you are comfortable with.
The “Entre Orejas” guests are required to sign a release agreement at the time of check-in. This is mandatory and guests cannot participate in the tour without signing the release agreement (all moneys paid are non-refundable). Please feel free to read the release agreement prior to your arrival: please download the form here. Parents or legal guardians of minor children are required to sign the release agreement on their children’s behalf. Please direct all questions to the office.
Food & Drinks: Our meals are fresh dishes made at each camp by our kitchen princesses. An international cuisine with an African touch. 3 course meals from salads, BBQ's to more sophisticated dishes and freshly baked bread daily.South African wines, beers and spirits are included. Please let ask now if you have any dietary requirements or preferences ahead of time so that we can try to cater for you.
Whilst on safari generally we take you out for 3 sundowner game drives in custom designed 4x4 safari vehicles so that guests can also view game from vehicle, sometimes getting closer than we do from the horses and also allowing better photographic opportunities.
Walking: As well as riding and game drives, our guides all hold gun licenses and can take our guests out to stretch their legs and see the smaller details of the bush from foot. Generally there will be 1 later afternoon bushwalk, where your safari guide can provide detailed explanations about the fauna and flora of the region.
Communication: There is no wifi available on safari, however there is intermitente 3G signal across the park.
Money: We suggest you don’t change too much money into the local currency as your holiday is fully inclusive. Gratuities are at your discretion. DO NOT FORGET that all Mashatu visitors will attract a conservation levy of USD 10 per person per night. Payable on site.
INTERNET & PHONE COVERAGE DURING SAFARI: If you are on roaming there are times you will get reception, but there is NO Wi-Fi.(a blessing 😊). So make sure you make your last calls, send messages or e-mails from Johannesburg, as you might not be able to do this during the Safari.
Plugs: small round pin like European plugs and 3 fat round pin plugs
At the Camps:
Tree Camp has a solar system with a charging station.
2 Mashatus has a gennie,
The Kgotla has no energy.
* A good power bank is the best way to charge up your phone or other.
Rules: We are not so much into rules, but we reserve the right to refuse service to any individual who jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of any of our guests, staff, family & community members, animals & livestock, or who refuses to follow the rules we have established for your safety and welfare during your visit with us.
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 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!