- Portugal Dressage Vacations
- Sicily on Horseback- Italy Riding Vacations
- Mexico Ranch Vacation
- Spain El Rocío, Doñana and the Atlantic coast
- Iceland Horse Riding Vacations
- Galway Riding Holidays in Ireland
- Spain Mallorca Island Dressage Training & Trails
- Tuscany Farmhouse, Resort & Spa Riding Holidays
- Spain Dressage Training & Trail Riding in Andalucia
South Africa Horse Safaris South Africa & Botswana, Africa
Enjoy a fifth generation South African ranch that offers diverse riding holidays and safaris, both mobile and stationary in South Africa and Botswana, at an affordable price for a quality African adventure. The South African main lodge is set on a private game reserve alongside a beautiful lake with plains game and hippo. There are no other dangerous game on the reserve, and it's a great option for families with children or beginning riders. There are great opportunities and options for advanced riders too. There are safaris and African equestrian vacations to fit singles, families, experienced, and novice riders.
During your stay, you may have the flexibility to experience a variety of riding adventures: treks through the bush and across vast open plains, cattle mustering, game viewing on horseback, swimming on horseback, polocrosse and Western games. Jumping is also available upon request for experienced riders. During its 17 years in operation, people have arrived as guests and left as friends.
Enjoy classic African big five safaris in Botswana and South Africa. A great option for experienced riders, the pace is fast, exhilarating and fun. View abundant plains game and impressive endangered species as you ride through diverse habitats, and landscapes. Three of the 'big five' game of South Africa may be seen, including white rhino, buffalo and leopard.
Please ask us what to pack for your horseback safari when booking your riding vacation. Winters are normally dry and mile. There are warm to hot in summers with occasional summer storms.
Please also refer to the Equitrekking Travel’s General Packing List.
About the Horses
Responsive horses and ponies (ponies available at the South Africa lodge) for a variety of skill levels and interests. There are some 60 horses - Anglo-Arabs, Thoroughbreds and Boerperds, a hardy South African breed. Rides are taken out in small groups so that experienced riders can enjoy stimulating and faster paced rides, while beginning riders are brought on at a pace comfortable to them.
The lodge based adventures in South Africa are ideal for equestrians who are traveling with non-riding partners and friends.
Below are activities available at the South Africa Lodge
Birding hotspots in the reserve
Fishing in one of the many dams (Bass and Barbel readily caught)
Historical farm tours
Visit to Beadle, a community integrated craft workshop and shop
Evening with Night Star Safaris
Game drives in a Big Five game area (45 mins away)
Visit to Waterberg Welfare Society, a local charity that is address the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS
24 RIvers Church congregation on Sunday morning for a non-denominational service
Visit local art galleries
and more. Ask us!
Beadle Craft Workshop & Shop on Triple B Ranch
Established in 1998, Beadle employs young people from the farm community. Skills’ training in leather and bead work is given in house to an extremely high standard. Items available in the shop include a selection of leather belts and sandals, bags, braided riding chaps, half chaps, beaded dog collars, browbands, keyrings, photo frames and mirrors, a selection of fabric tableware, cushions and jewelry. Lodge staff can take you over any time or please ask for directions as it is a short 10 min walk away.
Lehalbile cultural tour
Visit the village on the host farm Triple B Ranch. Three charismatic ladies, Marty Mosima, Myrium Moabi and Anna Majadibodu will guide you through the village show you the school and creche and take you to their houses. You can even try a traditional Sotho lunch on arrangement.
Entabeni Game Reserve
This private game reserve offers Big 5 Game Drives in an open Landrover. Excellent chance of seeing lion, rhino buffalo and hopefully elephant and leopard. ** Additional Cost. Please inquire.
Dinaka private game reserve
Following our arrangement to offer riding safaris on this private reserve we have also recently been given permission to visit for game drives. Ideal for anyone wanting guaranteed good game viewing with an amazing diversity of species and large numbers of animals. ** Additional Cost. Please inquire.
Guided Bush Walk
For a change of pace and a chance for more in depth information on the flora and fauna in the area, guides would be happy to escort you on a walk through our game reserve. This is also a chance to view some of the stunning birds this area have to offer.
Personal pilates instruction with a BASI-certified instructor available upon request. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Absolute begginers welcome.
Elephant back Safari
This fascinating experience is a Safari on the back of an African Elephant through a big 5 game reserve. Viewing rhino from the back of an elephant is an experience you will not forget. Each person rides with their own guide who explains the Elephants, their training and the bush. Includes a short game drive and a light finger breakfast. ** Additional Cost. Please inquire.
Sunday service at St John's 24 Rivers
Those interested are very welcome to join the local Church Service (non-denominational) held every Sunday at 9.30am. Dress is very informal, dirty jods and chaps are more than adequate. Should you want to go to the service, an early short ride can be arranged before.
You are welcome to join Charles Baber, The Triple B pioneer rancher for 70 years, who will take you on an informative and insightful tour of the Ranch. You will learn about Bonsmara Cattle, the crop history of the farm, and the Baber family legacy. ** Additional Cost. Please inquire.
Waterberg Welfare Society and Vaalwater visit.
Visit the Waterberg Welfare Society(www.waterbergwelfaresociety.org) in the local town of Vaalwater. This local charity addresess the needs of people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. programmes include, a Wellness clinic, hospice, support groups, youth centre, life skilsls and any more.
You are also welcome to join one of the weekly shopping trips. Vaalwater has all the basic shop - grocery store, chemist, bottle shop and curio shops. Those interested may also enjoy a drive around the local township, or perhaps a visit to one of the other local organizations Horizon likes to be involved with such as the township crèches.
Telekishi Ramasobane Cultural Village
'Telekishi' is a community tourism project situated on communal land adjacent to Masebe Nature Reserve. Nestled at the base of the north-eastern Waterberg escarpment, the site has access to this pristine and inaccessible landscape with breathtaking views & impressive geo-morphological forms. Features include 1.5 & 3 hr hikes up the escarpment to view rock art, 18th and 19th century settlement sites, Middle and Stone Age tools and an initiation site;
** Additional Cost. Please inquire.
Night Sky Safaris
Be amazed by the African night sky with an evening with Night Star Safaris, hosted by British physicist Dr. Philip Calcott.
Local Art galleries
Two resident artists are in the area. Liz Hunters ancestors moved to the area 125 years ago and she resides in one of the old houses nearby. Her work is inspired by the Waterbegr environment and includes cultural scenes.
Clayton Otley, is an Australian painter who lives here for a few months of the year and paints stunning wildlife scenes and portraits in oil.
Massages offered at the main lodge
at an additonal cost
Swedish Massage which is the best-known type of bodywork performed today, one of the primary goals of the Swedish massage technique is to relax the entire body. This is accomplished by rubbing the muscles with long gliding strokes in the direction of blood returning to the heart. But Swedish massage therapy goes beyond relaxation. Swedish massage is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension.
Deep Tissues Massage which is similar to Swedish massage, but the deeper pressure is beneficial in releasing chronic muscle tension. The focus is on the deepest layers of muscle tissue, tendons and fascia (the protective layer surrounding muscles, bones and joints). This is perfect for those Saddle Sore aching limbs.
The Horizon farmstead is a charming old South Africa farm that has been tastefully refurbished. The farm overlooks a beautiful lake with a backdrop of open bushland. A large colonial veranda or stoep overlooks the lake and provides the perfect spot for relaxing with a sundowner, absorbing the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the company of friends, whilst the jetty on the lake provides sunbathers with a private haven. You won't find televisions here, making it a good place to truly get away from it all.
There are double en suite rooms in the main house and hatched rondavels with private bathrooms.
For the African Explorer, enjoy Camp Davidson in South Africa, a base camp nestled in the heart of the wooded mountains of the Waterberg. The Botswana section is based at Two Mashatus Camp, a semi-permanent tented camp. There are five comfortable and roomy tents, each on its own raised teak platform, with en suite ‘enviro’ loo and bucket shower with a view. The century old Mashatu tree provides shade and there is a central dining area built in the traditional Botswana style with lala palm thatch. The lounge area has comfortable sofas and hammocks for relaxing between activities. The camps at Limpopo are not enclosed and a real treat will be to see game in and around camp.
The Ideal Traveler
Families, riders with non-riding companions, beginner or experienced riders can enjoy the stationary lodge adventures. More experienced riders can enjoy the safaris.
The Signature Safari offers an incredibly varied horse riding experience for all levels of rider: outrides, game viewing, cattle mustering, swimming with your horse, polocrosse, Western games and cross country jumping... all from the comfort of a South African lodge.
2017 Dates & Rates
Low Season for 7 nights
Jan 11 – Feb 14, May 1 – June 30, Nov 10 – Dec 10
starts at $1,455 USD* per person
High Season for 7 nights
Feb 15 – April 30, July 1 – Nov 9, Dec 11 – Jan 10
starts at $1,745 per person
* Prices shown are subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Prices do not include airport transfers.
South Africa Riding Safari Description**
With a herd of over 80 horses, we are able to ensure that riders of any ability are well matched and have the chance to ride several suitable horses during their holiday. There are two outrides or riding activities a day. Morning rides last 3-4 hours (or less if requested) and afternoon rides are somewhat shorter. During your stay we try to ensure that you have the opportunity to experience all our riding options: outrides through the bush and across vast open plains, cattle mustering, game viewing on horseback, swimming on horseback, polocrosse and Western games. Jumping is also available on request. Rides are tailormade to suit the needs of our guests and we try to be as flexible as possible.
This safari outfitter is renowned not only for its great horses and riding, but also for its quality service and relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Over 17 years of operation it has developed tremendous customer loyalty with many guests returning time after time. We greatly enjoy sharing this wonderful place and our lives with our guests, so come and be part of it.
DAY 1: Transfer to the Signature Safari lodge (approx. 2.5hrs) for lunch. That afternoon enjoy an introductory ride in the game reserve, with sundowners served at one of our picturesque hippo dams.
DAY 2: Ride to the original farm homestead and main African village, view the quaint hand decorated houses, call in at the historic Baber family homestead for tea, and a visit the farm crèche for some delightful entertainment. Ride back to the lodge for a cooling swim in the lake with your horse before lunch. Later, during the heat of the day, relax by the pool or take a siesta. In the afternoon, ride out into the game area to encounter game on horseback and learn the signs of the wild and medicinal values of the native bushes and trees.
DAY 3: An outride in the game reserve whilst enjoying the excellent going on the vast network of sandy tracks. After lunch, go on a shopping trip to the local town of Vaalwater for some retail therapy bush style. That afternoon enjoy an introduction to polocrosse, an amalgam of polo and lacrosse, an invigorating sport that will soon have you addicted.
DAY 4: We can start the day with an outride, or another polocrosse session, this time hopefully following some of the rules of the game. That afternoon we set off for Camp Davidson, a wonderful tented camp that overlooks the Melk valley. This is camping with a difference, beds with duvets and cotton sheets, bathrooms with flushing toilets and tables laid with crisp white linen. That evening, enjoy sundowners on our camp deck and dinner under the stars with the sound of jackal, zebra, hippo and the neighbouring lions serenading your evening.
DAY 5: Enjoy a full morning of riding in the game reserve with possible encounters with giraffe, eland, wildebeest, waterbuck, impala, hartebeest or zebra. Lunch is taken en route at one of the neighbouring dams, where a cooling swim on the horses can be enjoyed. Return to the camp in the late afternoon for sundowner drinks and another starlight dinner.
DAY 6: Depart for the ride back to the lodge in time for lunch. In the afternoon the saddle weary can visit Beadle, the local farm community-linked project and shop, where locals hand make exquisite beaded leather products, including browbands and made-to-measure riding chaps. Alternatively, go on a gentle outride to discover new parts of this beautiful property or to find the hippo.
DAY 7: After many hours in the saddle you may opt to take a break and enjoy an outing and game drive at a local ‘big five’ reserve with the possibility of close encounters with lion, elephant or buffalo. Return to the lodge for lunch. After another indulgent afternoon tea enjoy an outride or try your skills over the challenging cross-country fences.
DAY 8: Experience a morning of mustering and cutting some of the ranch’s magnificent Bonsmara stud cattle, a non-aggressive breed adapted to local conditions. After bringing a herd in from pasture, take turns to move one cow or youngster away from the group. This activity pits you and your mount against the animal’s herding instinct and will test your riding ability to the full. Follow the action with a refreshing swim with your horse. That afternoon tea is followed by yet another new challenge in the form of western games (gymkhana for adults) where your riding skills and competitive edge can once again be pushed to the limits.
DAY 9: In the morning enjoy an exhilarating fast ride to one of the furthest points of the property, utilizing literally kilometres of clear sandy tracks. Back at the lodge enjoy a quick swim and a late lunch. Afternoon tea is followed by an outride in the game reserve for one last photo opportunity with game followed by a final sundowner on a high rock overlooking the tranquil Waterberg landscape.
**Please note that the following itinerary may be subject to change due to local conditions.
Related Travel ArticlesRead more »
Most people ask, "Where is it?" - that's the point: a century ago and still today, the Waterberg is South Africa's last great wilderness.
--David Bristow, Getaway Magazine.
Swimming a horse in a lake in the middle of the African bush, less than 20 hours after stepping off the Picadilly Line, is a remarkable and moving experience.
--Unlimited Magazine, U.K.
The rhino spotted us just as we saw him. Conversation ceased abruptly and all our eyes were fixed on the huge grey bulk of wild animal just a few yards away.
--Lesley Bayley, NFU Countryside.
The hair rose on the back of my neck as we edged forward. I had seen a giraffe from the confines of a jeep, but this was a completely different experience.
--Wanderlust Magazine, U.K.
There are co-workers, cooks, stable hands and an office, but it takes time to distinguish guests from staff. Obviously the staff do less lazing around but the atmosphere is inclusive, sociable and open.
Our stay was awesome and we appreciated all the personal touches for our aniversary! The food was top notch and all the bits of advice were much appreciated and helped us find our seats real quick. I know you guys really did a great job in boosting Chantell's confidence and she will be a better horsewoman after her stay. She has learnt a great deal in a very short time. Experiencing the day to day life was great and also very interesting and eye opening at the same time. For me it was nice to spend some quality time in the saddle as it has been a while, hope you didn't notice !! I couldn't have wished for a better start to the weekend than being chucked straight into a game of polocrosse as it was top of my agenda for the weekend although I never mentioned it .Also a note of thanks for the use of the guide's personal mounts ( thanks Kirst ) , we both really enjoyed our horses and couldn't wait to see who we had been partnered with for the next ride! You guys have a great team at Horizon and the horses are stunning ( I did have my favourite though ), so this is cheers till next time cause we will be back so Kirst look after MY horse and don't teach him any bad manners !! Thanks once again.
--Charl & Chantell
I was worried about returning to somewhere I had been before, as I had such a fantastic time previously. I should never have been concerned. The staff may have changed, but the 'formula' is still the same.
--Mandy from Co Antrim
Far exceeded my expectations. Absolutely fantastic. Good selection of horses to ride. Never laughed so much playing polocrosse. The swimming is the best riding experience I have ever had.....Chocolate Brownies to die for.
--Emma from South Yorkshire
The horsemanship was fantastic, as were the horses. Far outweighed my expectations.
--G.R., London, UK.
I had never been abroad on my own but with your welcome I was never alone.
--Angie, Glous., UK.
Frommer's South Africa (Frommer's Complete) by Pippa de Bruyn
Completely updated every 2 years, Frommer's South Africa features gorgeous color photos of the sights and experiences that await you and a brand new history and culture chapter. The author, a lifelong resident of South Africa, hits all the highlights-including safaris in South Africa and Botswana, side trips to Victoria Falls, and vineyard tours outside Cape Town. She's checked out all the region's best game lodges, hotels, and restaurants in person; and she offers authoritative, candid reviews that will help you find the choices that suit your tastes and budget. You'll also get up-to-the-minute coverage of World Cup 2010; the South African political dynamic and its effects on travel in the region; active travel advice in nearly every destination chapter; in-depth coverage of dining, shopping, and nightlife in Cape Town; detailed driving tours; dozens of maps; and side trips to Botswana, Victoria Falls, and Zambia.
A History of South Africa, Third Edition by Leonard Thompson
This magisterial history throws a floodlight on South Africa's current crisis by examining the past. The absurdity of the apartheid philosophy of racial separatism is underscored by the author's argument (backed with convincing research material) that the genes of the nation's first hunter-gatherers are inextricably mixed with those of modern blacks and whites. The Dutch colonial invaders felt no sense of kinship with the original inhabitants, however: their arrival brought slavery and disease, pulverizing chiefdoms and pastoral communities. From the outset, white settler society was dependent on the labor of slaves and indigenous peoples. Thompson, a specialist in South African history, expertly relates how the Afrikaners--still poor, scattered and disunited in 1854--threw off Dutch and British hegemony to forge their own national identity, forcibly uprooting and relocating millions of blacks. Although the author deems president Frederik W. de Klerk "like his predecessors . . . wedded to fixed racial categories," he sees signs of hope in blacks' increasing economic power and the student revolt against pedagogical brainwashing in the state-controlled schools.
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela
The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself in Long Walk to Freedom. A good deal of this autobiography was written secretly while Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime. Among the book's interesting revelations is Mandela's ambivalence toward his lifetime of devotion to public works. It cost him two marriages and kept him distant from a family life he might otherwise have cherished. Long Walk to Freedom also discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most trying circumstances--a spirit in which just about everybody can find something to admire.
Equitrekking Coffee Table Companion Book & DVD
Equitrekking Travel Adventures on Horseback by Darley Newman with Photographs by Chip Ward available at Amazon.com
This companion to the PBS TV series, Equitrekking, proves that the world's most beautiful views are often best seen from atop a horse. This gorgeous book features dozens of scenic rides in the U.S. and around the globe. Denver Post review: For horse folk and dreamers, as well as fans of the show, it's a beautiful trip through stunning equestrian-friendly possibilities.
Equitrekking DVD's featuring Emmy winning PBS episodes, available in the Shop section of Equitrekking.com
Get off the beaten path to see some of the world's most beautiful horses and classic riding destinations with host and equestrian travel expert Darley Newman with Emmy Award-winning Equitrekking, the horseback riding travel series on PBS.
Season One: Vermont, the Carolinas, Georgia Coast, Wyoming, Colorado and Spain.
Season Two: Iceland, Coastal Ireland, Hawaii's Big Island, Irish Countryside, Maui, Virginia Hunt Country and California Wine Country.
Season Three: Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Quebec, Texas and Utah.
Season Three: Arizona, Belize, Costa Rica, Kentucky, Quebec, Texas and Utah.
Season Four: Southern Spain, Alaska, Central Turkey, Quebec City and Beyond, Scotland and Wales.
Good Books for Horse Lovers and Equestrians
Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (Paperback) by Temple Grandin
Philosophers and scientists have long wondered what goes on in the minds of animals, and this fascinating study gives a wealth of illuminating insights into that mystery. ---Publishers Weekly
The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge (Hardcover) by Julie Whitaker with Ian Whitelaw
The Horse is an informative gallop through everything to do with the horse: evolution, history, biology, breeds, behavior, training, competition, health, and care—all gathered into an accessible gallery of solid information, essential facts, and fascinating trivia.
Hunter Seat Equitation (Hardcover) by George H. Morris
A classic by a world-renowned teacher and master equestrian--the definitive work on the art of teaching and riding the hunter seat, now updated to include refinements in Morris's insightful program of riding instruction.
The New Encyclopedia of the Horse (Hardcover) by Elwyn Hartley Edwards
Chronicling the history of the horse, this guide encompasses the early domestication of the horse, classical riding styles, as well as a survey of the great stud farms and current international sporting events.
Usual Max is 8
Beginner to Advanced for Lodge
Itineraries, Dates & Rates
South Africa Horse Safaris Lodge Stay - Beginner to Experienced (4 to 6 hours in the saddle)
Best Months to Visit
The South Africa Lodge is open year round