This fabulous riding safari is ideal for any riding enthusiast seeking to experience something special and unique. You’ll be awed by amazing sunsets, incredible scenery, memorable wildlife encounters and above all, superb riding. It’s an exhilarating, pulse-quickening adventure that you won’t want to end, and will leave you with a rich store of memories to cherish.
Day 2 You’ll be up with the dawn for a light breakfast to head off on a long morning ride through the “land of a thousand islands”. The white encrusted pans between the islands provides excellent going for the horses. In the rainy season many of these areas will be full of water attracting several species of migratory water birds. Return to the camp for lunch and to sit out the hottest part of the day. After tea, you’ll set off by vehicle in search of some of the area’s unique wildlife including nocturnal species.
Day 3 Today is a long ride eastwards to Xau Xai Fly Camp, so you’ll need an early start. You’ll be at the fly camp for 2 nights, travelling light with just your essentials. The route leads away from the edge of the pans and through shady mopane and acacia woodlands interspersed with short grasslands, where you can enjoy lovely long, relaxed canters. Take lunch beneath a grove of palm trees before continuing to your fly camp, where you’ll freshen up with a bucket shower and relax by the cosy mess tent. After dinner you’ll retire to your comfy dome tent for a good night’s sleep.
Day 4 You’ll awake to a steaming mug of coffee and a welcome breakfast, before heading off on your horse in search of the Kalahari’s inimitable meerkats. You’ll be able to watch them as they frolic and forage for food, quite unperturbed by your presence. As the day warms up, you’ll make for hidden waterholes, whose fresh water draws herds of zebra and large numbers of ostriches. In the late afternoon take a walk to a nearby permanent waterhole for some bird watching, returning to the fly camp for al fresco dinner.
Day 6 After breakfast you’ll board a light aircraft for the flight to the Okavango Delta, arriving at Shinde Camp (January and February departures use Kwara Camp in the delta) in time for lunch and a chance to rest, enjoying your new surroundings. This afternoon you’ll have a choice of game viewing by land or water for your initial foray into the delta. Your guide will make sure you’re back in plenty of time to shower and change for dinner.
Day 7 & 8 You’ll spend the next 2 days immersed in the natural world of the delta. Activities at Shinde include game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles offering some of the finest dry land game viewing in Botswana with regular sightings of lion and leopard. You’ll also have the chance to exploring the waterways in a mokoro or motor boat, take guided nature walks, night drives and a sunset cruise. It all combines to create a comprehensive safari.
Day 9 After breakfast and a morning activity (time permitting) you will fly to Maun to connect to your onward flight arrangements. Please note – there may be slight variations to the above itinerary depending on local weather conditions.
This trip starts and ends in Maun. From the UK, we recommend getting a flight with a combination of British Airways, Air Botswana and/or South African Airways via Johannesburg. A rough price guide for flights is £1100 per person.
This is a private tailor made fly-in safari which we can arrange for you at any time you like subject to availability.
Tailor make your safari:
We can change this trip in any way, from duration to places and accommodation. This will of course affect the price. This holiday can also run in the reverse direction.
July & September -October
Accommodation on a full board basis, local drinks, road and light aircraft transfers, riding activities and equipment, daily game activities, park and concession fees.
Visas, international flights, vaccinations, premium drinks, optional activities, travel insurance, items of a personal nature.
When to go
Rollover the months for more details >
|JanuaryPeak of the wet season, though it still doesn’t rain every day. Warm days (average 30°c but can be as hot as 40°c) and nights (20°c). Lush green foliage and flowers and birds in song. Peak breeding time for many migrant birds. Great month for photography, with gorgeous colours and dramatic skies. Predators have an easy time preying on the young plains game. The Kalahari and Salt Pans are now flush with fresh grass attracting lots of wildlife. In the Pans, thousands of zebras and wildebeest have come to graze here from the west. Lions and other predators benefit from this surfeit of game.|
|FebruaryPeak of the wet season, though it still doesn’t rain every day. Still very hot. It can reach up to 40° during the day but the average is still about 30°c. Waterlilies are at their best, as are many of the smaller creatures such as birds, frogs and butterflies. The Kalahari and the Pans are still at their best for wildlife. It’s still a great month for photography.|
|MarchStill hot days and warm nights, but cooling a little, and the rain is dwindling. The Kalahari and the Pans are still generally good for wildlife. Birding is still very good. Nearby Victoria Falls is in full flood. Marula trees are in fruit and elephants go a long way to find these tasty treats.|
|AprilThe rain has stopped. Nights begin to cool off, though days can still be very hot. The impala rutting season is well under way, with males in peak health displaying to females and trying to ward off rivals. In the Salt Pans the herds can begin to move from between about now and May over to the permanent water source of the Boteti River. The aptly named sausage trees are now bearing their pendulous fruit. In Nxai Pan the waterhole is the focus as general groundwater has mostly dried up now. Large numbers of mammals, and especially elephants hog the waterhole for as long as they can.|
|MayTemperatures begin to drop more noticeably, with nights averaging about 15°c and daytime temperatures still around 30° but rarely getting above 35°c. Floodwaters begin to reach the top of the Okavango Delta. Migratory birds begin to depart for winter. The land begins to dry out and animals start moving towards permanent water sources.|
|JuneIt’s getting colder. You’ll need warm clothes for the cold nights, evenings (down to around 5°c, less in the desert) and mornings, but these give way to sunny warm days in the mid-20s. Wild dogs begin to den. For the next 3-4 months the dogs are generally easier to find as they are never too far from the den. All but the largest seasonal waterholes have dried up by now, so the main rivers and lagoons are the focus for wildlife. It’s getting dusty, grasses are dying back and trees are shedding leaves. It’s all turning brown.|
|July This is winter and it can be very cold in mornings and evenings. By now, most areas of the Delta have felt the arrival of the floods. It’s a godsend for an increasingly parched landscape and its inhabitants. Mokoro and boat trips trips are available in many Delta camps near the water now. Game viewing is excellent.|
|August This is winter and it can be very cold in mornings and evenings. Thousands of breeding birds such as storks and herons begin to congregate to nest in heronries such as the one at Godikwe near Kwara in the Delta. It’s dry and dusty away from the water sources, and wildlife is finding itself in smaller areas close to water which can sometimes cause tensions and drama. It’s a good time for bush walks now that the high grasses have died down.|
|September It starts to get hot now and the heat builds up quickly over this month and the next. Temperatures of mid-30s are common and night temperatures are back to around 15°c. The floodwaters start to slowly drop from now on. Carmine bee-eaters and other migratory birds begin to arrive back in good numbers. The Godikwe heronry is jam-packed now. September and October are the peak months for elephants and buffalos by the Delta and rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando. This is a time of plenty for predators as the dry season inevitably takes its toll on some of the plains game. In the Kalahari, solitary black-maned lions begin to call the females to them once more – it’s a great sight (and sounds), but be warned that it is seriously hot.|
|October This is the hottest month in Botswana with daytime temperatures often well over 40°c. If you can stand the heat, this is one of the very best months for game viewing, but you (and the wildlife) definitely need to avoid the midday heat. September and October are the peak months for elephants and buffalos by the Delta and rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando. This is a time of plenty for predators as the dry season inevitably takes its toll on some of the plains game. The heronries are now absolutely full of birds – an awesome sight. The Kalahari is off-limits for most visitors due to the heat often reaching the high 40s.|
|November It’s stiflingly hot until the rains arrive. The first rains come about mid-late November and everyone and everything breathes a sigh of relief. With the rains come the newborns – first the tsessabe, then the impala, red lechwe and more. It is feast time for the predators once more. Herds once again begin to move away from permanent rivers to seasonal grasslands. Life seems to begin again and colour and freshness returns to the landscape. Migrant birds start to arrive later in the month.|
|December Antelope youngsters grow quickly, and the wildebeest begin calving. The first rains hit the desert regions and very quickly the temperature drops and the arid plains become bright green grasslands which attract herds of antelopes and more. The pans such as Nxai and Makgadikgadi once again fill with zebra and wildebeest and other wildlife, to the joy of attendant predators. Thunderstorms come every few days and this is again a dramatic time for photographers. Most of the migrant birds have returned by now.|