An African safari by horseback is an unparallel adventure. This progressive mobile camp safari covers approximately 120 miles of the Mashatu Game Reserve. Our days filled with close encounters with the animals that make this land legendary. Ending each riding day in comfortable walk-in tents with beds, cozy duvets, hot showers and fine dining in lovely settings. A highlight of the trail is two nights spent sleeping out under the stars in an old tribal court called the Kgotla; other nights are at various wilderness camps. The safari embraces fine dining in the
wilderness and every evening is a delightful mix of
good food and good company.
We start our morning at the Johannesburg airport (OR Tambo International) for our one hour flight to the Limpopo Valley Airstrip in Botswana. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide
and transferred to our reception area by the stables.
After a light lunch it’s time to head of 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 camp,
where supper will be served in the Llala palm dining
room of the Two Mashatus Camp.
The day begins at sunrise with tea/coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount
up and head of in a north-westerly direction to Jwala Camp, a basic and comfortable fy camp which is set
up along the banks of the Jwala River. Up to six hours are spent in the saddle traversing the open plains,
and wooded areas of the Mashatu reserve. Plains game and elephant are abundant throughout , against
the backdrop of the magnificent scenery synonymous with the Land of the Giants. After lunch and a siesta
at Jwala Camp, your guide will take you on a bush walk in the late afternoon. Dinner is prepared over an
open fire and enjoyed under the stars with your guides entertaining you with their many stories of life in
An early wake up call heralds a new day starting with breakfast served around the log fire. Today
the amazingly sure-footed horses take you over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails and onto
the open plains yonder for long sustained loping canters. This ride will be about six to seven hours, arriving
at “The Kgotla” for a late lunch. This 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 open-air traditional African
enclosure is made of Leadwood logs in the shade of a century old Mashatu tree. In the afternoon you have
the option of visiting the local village to buy hand-crafted Llala palm curios, viewing the paintings of the
historic San people or you can enjoy a long photographic drive in this area of incredible rock formations
followed by sundowners looking out over the Motloutse River. Back at “The Kgotla” dinner is enjoyed
around a large log fire. The night is spent sleeping under the stars, listening to the cacophony of animal
cries and calls generated by the African bush orchestra. A truly unique experience and just about as far
away as you can get from city life and the modern world.
A full morning is spent exploring the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall.
Ancient civilisations harboured their wealth among these hills where the two mighty rivers, Limpopo and
Motloutse, meet. This striking topography is ancient and timeless, and combined with sightings of african
wildlife, it is certainly a beautiful riding experience. In the afternoon you head to the archaeologically rich
Mmamagwa hills, at the end of a short easy climb you are rewarded with a breathtaking 360 degree view
of the reserve and 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 bumping into elephant, before reaching
the open plains leading to Liana Camp. The camp is nestled under the big Mashatu trees that line the
Liana river, a tributary to the Limpopo river. To give your bottoms a rest this afternoon, we further explore
the Mashatu reserve from a game drive vehicle, and search for the big cats the area is renowned for the
including leopard, cheetah and lion.
The day promises exciting riding up and down the Majale and Matabole river banks, through
riverine forest, options this morning include (in the summer months) a chance to canter through pools in
the Limpopo river or try a wonderful cross country course in the bush. The ride ends at the luxurious Two
Mashatus camp, where you will be welcomed with drinks by the pool. After a couple of hours relaxing,
sunbathing, reading or having a massage, your guide will take you on a sundowner drive for a photographic
opportunity in this area which has a high density of elephant.
Today’s ride offers rich history and a variety of interesting stories and tales of the past. There are
many boer war walls and holdings on the hills to be explore in this area and a lush wetland expanse that the
elephant frequent. The ride meanders towards the Limpopo and Majale River confluence, followed by the
open Pitsani plains, so characteristic of this area, which are perfect for a faster ride hopefully accompanied
by zebra or wildebeest. Back at the Two Mashatus camp, lunch and a well earned afternoon rest awaits you.
Before dinner is served, your guides will take you on an evening sundowner drive to explore the Mashatu
reserve further and photograph the wildlife more easily. As the final day draws to a close, a peaceful and
dreamy last night is spent in the heart of the african bush.
Your last ride in the bush is a great opportunity for one last picture with elephants and one last
long canter with your guides. After about two hours, you will arrive back at the stables with enough time
to enjoy a hot shower and a tasty brunch before fond farewells and our return to the airstrip for our flight back to Johannesburg airport .
Optional Kruger Park Pre-Tour
Take advantage of this 4 day optional Kruger National Park tour before our once in a lifetime riding safari. This is a wonderful opportunity to extend your time in Africa and get in just a little bit more animal viewing.
- 3 Nights lodge accommodations
- 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
- 4 X 4 Safari vehicle
- Thornybush Game Reserve - Big 5 game drive
- Kruger National Park - Full day game drive
- Thornybush Game Reserve - Morning nature Walk
- English speaking guide
- Women's Travel Club tour leader
We depart Johannesburg, the 'City of Gold' and head off on an adventure of a lifetime. A truly unique African experience unfolds as we enter the Greater Kruger National Park ecosystem arriving at our Lodge in time for lunch (570 km, approx 8-9 hours travel time including stops along the way).
After some time to settle in, head off on a late afternoon/evening Big Five game drive in open 4x4 vehicles in a private game reserve. Sundowner drinks are enjoyed at one of the waterholes before continuing our game drive into the night.
After an exciting evening, return to the lodge to enjoy a traditional South African meal around a log fire.
Located in the greater Kruger, our accommodation is wonderfully intimate, with just 14 twin-share rooms. Rooms are constructed from local materials and are tastefully decorated and comfortably appointed. The lodge also offers a cozy bar, perfect for chatting with the other guests over a drink or two. There is also a crystal-clear swimming pool for a refreshing post-safari swim. However we think the quality which makes our lodge stand out from the rest is the friendliness and helpfulness of our team. They are committed to making your stay memorable! (L,D)
One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is home to over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog.
An early rise, as we make our way to Kruger National Park
Our wildlife experience begins as soon as we enter the park, heading into prime game viewing areas where we hope to catch a glimpse of some of the amazing animals found inside the park, including the Big Five.
Enjoy breakfast at one of the picnic spots before continuing through the park. Our entire day will be spent game viewing, bird watching and stopping off at the various waterholes en route.
We depart the park in the late afternoon and return to the lodge for an evening of relaxation. (B,D)
Spend the day at the lodge at your leisure, or take part in the various optional activities on offer including another full day game drive in Kruger National Park. (B,D)
Rise early and head out on a morning bush walk. Guided by a qualified nature guide, we learn about nature's finer details like bird, tree and spoor identification.
Transfer back to Johannesburg (600 km, approx 9-10 hrs). Along the way take in amazing views at the viewpoint over the awesome Blyde River Canyon and view the Three Rondavels. (B)