Okavango and Kalahari

DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

USD 6,976

The plans of the Delta, the meadows and the unfathomable dunes of Kalahari, a challenge for a good rider.

The Delta has its own life, an area as fickle as a Greek God. The water rises and falls at its own whim, the weather can vary so much that it is difficult to set an itinerary: everything depends. Afterwards, the meadows of Kalahari provide a great opportunity to look for wildlife, especially the famous meerkat.

Location

Botswana

Duration

9 Days / 8 Nights

Season

March - October

Horses

Cross breeds which include Shire/TB, Boerperd/TB, Friesian/BP, Arab crosses, Quarter horse 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. Welcome

From the airport of Maun, we are only 30 minutes away by car to the South side of Okavango, where the safari begins in a place known “buffalos’ area”. Here, the horses are waiting; the luggage is loaded in mekoro canoes and is transported to the camp while the guest ride and venture on their horse in the Delta.

Day 2. First encounter with elephants.

To explore this water desert on a horse is, no doubt, unforgettable, especially the first encounter with elephants, an experience that would not be remotely the same if we did it from a car. Before the sun sets, we ride to an isolated camp in a beautiful remote island.

Day 3. It depends.

What we do that day depends on water levels, the moves of the wild fauna and the duration of the safari. Nevertheless, each place is exquisite since there is a great variety of islands covered by the shades projected by the trees.

Day 4. Ancient elephant paths.

We wake up early in the morning and have a light breakfast around the bonfire, at dawn. We spend the morning over the horse, following old elephant paths looking for a variety of wildlife, enjoying the prolific life of the birds and going around the plains recently flooded.

Day 5. Giraffes, buffaloes and antelopes lurk around.

Pack of buffaloes may be close to us, the giraffes lurk around and the Lechwe antelopes splash water over us, while the kudu watches us from the bushes. We head back to the camp to have lunch and take a nap under the shade of big dense trees. We take a night tour to think, listening to the sounds of bushes, and the wheeze and splashing of the horses. Afterwards, we get back to the camp and have dinner under the stars.

Day 6. Heading towards the salt pans.

We start relaxed, either on foot or by a short sailing trip, we then travel by plane to the Makgadikgadi salt pans. The new camp is simple but comfortable: it has a straw-bale library, a living room and a pool to freshen up. In the afternoon, we go to an introductory ride to get in tune with our horses and take a look around the area. We then have dinner and put aside our horses, in a safe place, before lions get out to make their night round.

Day 7. Dunes and salt pans, ideal to go around on a horse and spot fauna.

At dawn, we have a light breakfast and have a long stroll over the morning through the “Land of the Thousand Island”. Stranded in the bed of the old lake, the sand dunes covered by palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating places in the Botswana desert. The island and pastures nearby are loaded with zebras, wildebeest, hares and ostriches, and, of course, predators accompanying them. The mountains of salt among the island make it a great place to go around with our horses. In the afternoon, we return and find refuge under the shade to avoid the sun. We can use the pool. We then get out to spot the species typical from this arid area, such as gazelles and hyenas. At night, we get back in pickups in the middle of the night. The lanterns light the animals that cross over the road and that we cannot spot during daylight.

Day 8. Baobabs and the millenary origin.

Today we travel East, to the Xau Xai camp. We leave the salt pans and penetrate the mopan and acacia woods, next to the vast meadows that allow us to speed up and gallop towards the horizon. It is possible that we see Kudu along the way, and maybe some elephants. At lunch time, we reach the Baobab wood, called like that for its millenary and magnificent baobabs trees. We have lunch. If we really pay attention, we will find objects from the Stone age. This is not weird: after all, we are where humankind originated, the beginning of everything. We then continue our journey until we reach the camp, we rest there, lying on the floor, connecting with the star and nature.

Day 9. Searching for meerkats.

We get up to a steaming cup of coffee and prepare ourselves to go out in the search of meerkats. We go on foot given that this is a protected species. Meerkats are not docile by nature, but they got used to human contact. For instance, it is possible that on a cold day, one of them curl up against our body. We watch them interact between them, moving, controlling the environment. It is one of the most extraordinary experiences in Botswana. Then, it’s time to head back home.

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