The Big Five

10 Days
TYPOLOGIES
DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

USD 5,500

Meadows and rivers are the best scenarios to practice wildlife sighting and go on a real adventure.

The distance between the different campsites allow us to go through meadows, rivers and forests to find elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippopotamus, crocodiles and, maybe, lions and leopards. Comfort and adventure combine themselves in perfect harmony.

Location

South Africa

Duration

10 Days / 9 Nights

Season

January - December

Horses

Thoroughbred and African crosses

The Riding

4 – 7 hours per day

Package specifications

Travel cancellation insurance

Breakfast and dinner included

Health care included

Services NOT included

Lunch not included in the package

Baggage protection insurance

Day by Day

Day 1. Tuning in with the African universe.

We pick you up in the Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa airports -even the Johannesburg airport- with our transfer, or you can choose to hire your own transport, if you prefer it. We head to our refugee, which has a breathtaking view to the Makuthswe River, covered with African ebony trees. We use the first horse ride to explore and get to know our horses. The aim is to get in tune with the African universe. Dinner will include wines especially selected for the occasion. The tents are made of canvas and wicker roofs, equipped with private bathrooms, and external showers.

Day 2. At the mercy of the tracks we find and what the climate.

We wake up to some tea or coffee and have a light breakfast. Weather conditions and the animals we may find govern the itinerary. Generally, horseback riding lasts 3 to 4 hours during the morning, and two hours in the afternoon. Physical activity is crucial on our adventure: we jump logs and avert bushes. Lunch, cooked by our beloved Ana, may include quiche, cheese, pizzas or pancakes. We then take a few hours to rest: we may take a nap, go to the pool, or get to know more about Africa by consulting the books available in our library. In the afternoon, we give ourselves in to a quiet ride until we reach a place where we can behold the sunset while having a drink.

Day 3. Men propose and Africa disposes.

Our journey will be controlled by two factors: environmental conditions and whatever we encounter on our path. Generally, horseback riding lasts 3 to 4 hours during the morning, and two hours in the afternoon. On the least expected moment, we may find zebras, giraffes, lions, rhinos, crocodiles and cheetahs, to mention a few examples. Afterwards, during the afternoon, we look for the perfect place to contemplate the sunset.

Day 4. Makalali game reserve.

We wake up to colors projected by the sunrise and prepare ourselves for a long and beautiful ride. We enter the Makalali Game Reserve, where vast and wide-open plains stand out. Here you may see giraffes, zebras or wildebeests. We enjoy amazing views, the horizon at a distance outlines our path to the Clive Camp, our home for the following two nights. The Clive’s Safari Lodge offers five luxurious private chalets with wicker roofs, private bathrooms, external private showers and AC.

Day 5. Navigation, hippopotamus, crocodiles and nighttime wildlife sighting.

A day to navigate along the Makuthswe River awaits for us. In this scenario we may find hippopotamus and crocodiles. Then, after we have lunch, we get into a pick-up truck to practice wildlife sighting and watch nocturnal animals that are waking up to get ready for the night. We return to the camp after the sun goes down to get to an area known as "boma", where local dishes are served around a bonfire under the open sky, a starry and magnificent sky.

Day 6. XiDulu, a chalet located at the edge of a dam.

We navigate the Makhutswe River once again to reach XiDulu. We go across a meadow where we can speed up with our horses. On the way, we find zebras and giraffes, and if we are lucky, we may see wild dogs. XiDulu is an idyllic place: the chalet has internal and external showers, a pool and terrace. The deck has a view to the dam where hippopotamus and elephants rest. In the afternoon, we go around with our guide, who reveals the secrets of this area to us. Then, at night, we go out to explore again. We can see owls, galagidae, and maybe -who knows- leopards.

Day 7. Horse riding through a dense coppice.

We gallop through the meadow and practice what we call bushwhacking, that is say, we ride our horses through a dense coppice. We jump fallen logs, which elephants may have torn down, or maybe, we encounter antelopes and kudus, that may accompany us on our way. There is a chance to find black rhinos in this zone; our guide knows it and may help us track them down. At nightfall, our hosts receive us with potjiekos, a traditional African dish that we will enjoy under the stars while we chat and share experiences.

Day 8. Who said that returning is not an adventure itself?

Today, we go through the reserve towards the initial refugee. The way back home has begun. Having the Drakensberg Mountains as our background, we go through water wells and dams, following the tracks of lions and hyenas.

Day 9. The last night.

Now that we have reached back to the refugee, a special meal awaits for us. This is our last night submerged in the South African nature, while we close our eyes as we rest on the refugee beds, we understand that this is the last time that we will be able to hear the roar of the animals from afar. This reminds us that the fauna never sleeps.

Day 10. The spell is broken.

Back to the routine. We wake up early to enjoy one last ride with our horses, before we are taken back to the airport. We leave behind colorful sunsets, horse rides in which we are surrounded by animals that not only give life to Africa, but also to the world, and dinners under rounded skies, where stars seem to be closer.

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