Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris summary
Limpopo Horse Safaris are the ultimate in good value safaris. Expect excellent horsemanship on well schooled horses with wonderful, with an extremely varied riding terrain. Limpopo Horse Safaris are based on Mashatu Game reserve well known for its regular leopard sightings as well as huge herds of elephants in the Tuli Block of eastern Botswana. The philosophy is to offer a truly memorable safari, good horses are the focus, with experienced local guides and comfortable, hospitable accommodation and lovely home cooked meals. Owner run and managed this safari is a once in a lifetime experience.
The Tuli Ride Safaris are treks which last seven nights. Based entirely on the Mashatu Game Reserve, this wilderness safari combines a night at the Two Mashatus camp, four nights in luxurious A framed tents at various wilderness camps, and two nights under the stars at the Kgotla (old tribal court – log enclosed boma). These rides meander through a fascinating and diverse territory of rocky outcrops, mopane woodland and scrubby savannah – a landscape favoured by a particularly large elephant population. The Tuli Safari begins and ends on Sundays from April to October.
The African Bush and Lodge Safari is a seven night luxury mobile safari. Using a combination of the TWo Mashatus camp and a selection of private family owned lodges on Mashatu, this is the ride for you to combine comfort and adventure. For advanced, confident capable English style riders only. Fixed dates throught the year February to December. Please contact the office to discuss further. firstname.lastname@example.org
The African Explorer is a seven night safari of which four nights are at Horizons Camp Davidson and 3 nights at LHS’s Two Mashatus camp. Various dates possible from February to December. Please see the tab ‘African Explorer’ above for more detail.
Please click on the play button below to watch a short film clip of Limpopo Valley horse safaris to get a feel for the experience:
Wild and Exotic sample itinerary for Limpopo Valley horse safaris in the Tuli Block in Botswana
Day 1: Upon arrival at the Pont Drift Border Post or Limpopo Valley Airfield, you will be met by your guide, Cor or West, and transferred to Two Mashatus Camp. After a light lunch it is time to get acquainted with your horse. You will then embark on an introductory ride along the banks of the mighty Limpopo River. Your first evening is spent enjoying sundowners at Two Mashatus camp, before a delectable dinner is served in the beautiful Lala Palm Rondavel.
Day 2: The day begins at sunrise with tea/coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount up and head off in a northwesterly direction for Jwala Camp on the banks of the Jwala River. Six to seven hours are spent in the saddle enjoying the abundance of game and the magnificent scenery synonymous with the Land of the Giants. After arriving at Jwala Camp, lunch is the order of the day followed by a guided afternoon walk, examining the bush around you in detail. Dinner is prepared over an open fire by Martha or Grace – our truly brilliant chef whose “bush cuisine” is renowned far and wide. Retire to your spacious tent where you will experience the “music” of the African bush as it gently serenades you to sleep.
Day 3: An early wake up call heralds a new day and tea/coffee and a delicious light breakfast is served around the log fire. Test the amazingly sure footed Boerpherd as we cross over basalt ridges following age-old elephant trails, and enjoy long sustained canters to make up for the lost time traversing the ridges. This ride will be about six to seven hours. Camp is at the Kgotla Camp. This is an old tribal court from a nearby community that was relocated to the banks of the Mocloutse 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. Sundowners are enjoyed from a sandstone kopje overlooking the Mocloutse River as it meanders and disappears into the African landscape. Guests enjoy dinner around a large log fire. The night is spent sleeping under the stars in the cacophony of sound generated by the African bush orchestra.
Day 4: We spend another night at Kgotla Camp, enjoying a full day exploring the sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Ancient civilizations harbored their wealth among these hills, where two mighty rivers meet; the Limpopo and the Mocloutse. This day’s riding will be about four to five hours, leaving time to explore the surroundings on foot in the afternoon.
Day 5: Another early rise and a good breakfast around the log fire will set the morning off to a good start. Today you wind your way through the mopane bush before reaching the more open plains. This will probably be your longest day of riding, about eight hours. On arrival at Liana Camp you will be welcomed by a well-deserved drink and a refreshing lunch. Tonight is your opportunity to explore Mashatu from a game drive vehicle; you will try and locate the elusive leopard, cheetah and lion the area is well known for.
Day 6: This morning will begin a little slower, as this day will be spent exploring the banks of the Mojale and Matabole Rivers, following their courses north towards Zeederburg site. The day will offer riding up and down river banks in riverside forest, game sightings and plenty of opportunities for more fabulous photo footage. Today’s riding will be about five to six hours. Lunch under the bows of an old Mashatu tree, where a century past, Zeederberg transport riders had their midday break before finally reaching Fort Tuli. Spend the afternoon at leisure before you embark on a guided walk into the bush. The evening is enjoyed with sun downers around a log fire and a delicious meal sees the close to another exhilarating and rewarding day.
Day 7: This ride is rich in history and offers a variety of interesting tales of the past. The open Pitsani plains so characteristic of this area are perfect for a really good gallop, hopefully with zebras and wildebeests! You head in the direction of the Mojale and Limpopo confluence where lunch awaits you upon return to the Two Mashatus camp. This ride is about five to six hours. Dinner is in the Lala palm Rondavel. A dreamless sleep no doubt awaits you as the final day draws to a close.
Day 8: Today is your last day in the bush and begins with your final early morning tea/coffee and breakfast snack over the open fire. The morning is spent riding along the Limpopo River. We head back to Two Mashatus, a shorter ride about two hours giving you some time to get ready for departure. After a fond farewell to your horse, you head back to Two Mashatus for a quick brunch and then it’s off to Pontdrift in time for your return transfer.
This itinerary should be taken as a guide only. The itinerary described above is an example of an eight-day safari. We also offer bespoke trips, where the itinerary is designed according to the special requirements of an individual group on an exclusive basis; please contact Wild and Exotic for details.
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on this website under the general info tab.
Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris fact sheet
Accommodation: Safaris begin from the comfort of the Two Mashatus camp. The camp comprises of A frame tents on a wooden platform, with each tent comes a loo, shower al fresco and washing facilities. The central area is built in traditional Botswana style with mud walls and a lala palm thatch. Thereafter nights will be spent in wilderness safari camps comprising walk in tents, made up beds, camp fires, paraffin lanterns, bucket showers and flushing loos at most campsites. Our bush cuisine enjoyed around a roaring log fire beneath a million stars, serenaded by the sounds of the night is an unforgettable experience.
Activities: Guests do afternoon game walks and once a week night game drives are also offered. In additional to the game experience, Mashatu offers notable archaeological sites including the Mmagua Ruins.
Children: We can take children from 12 year old upwards, however this is at our discretion if under the age of 16.
Clothing: All guests will be sent a clothing list prior to departure. Riding hats are compulsory for all riders
Drinks: Drinks are inclusive of the price, LVHS provides a variety of soft drinks, beer and wine as well as after drinks for around the fire night caps!
How to Get There: We recommend a plane transfer with Angel Gabriel’s weekly Air Taxi from South Africa’s Johannesburg airport (OR Tambo International) to the Limpopo Valley Airstrip in Botswana, a one hour trip each way. On arrival a representative from Limpopo Horse Safaris will transfer you overland to your camp.
Game Viewing: The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, an area of history and legend, offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa. It is still home to large herds of elephant, prides of lion and cheetah. Along the river courses, huge riverine trees provide shade for eland, impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra, whilst at night, the bat eared fox, African wildcat and the magnificent leopard search for prey. Some 350 species of birds may be seen. The Northern Tuli Game Reserve proudly provides a refuge for one of the largest, single population of elephant on conservation land in Africa. Known as the relic herds of Shashe, these elephants are the last living testament to the great herds that once populated the meandering Limpopo Valley. Today, the population is estimated to number in excess of 1200 animals.
Insurance: Whilst we carry public liability insurance and take all possible care, it is essential that you have full medical and holiday insurance. Wild & Exotic Ltd can arrange this if instructed. Guests will also be asked to sign an indemnity in camp before they ride. Riding hats are compulsory for all riders.
Length of the Ride: Up to six hours in the saddle per day, broken by refreshment stops.
Meals: Martha and Grace, who are highly qualified and experienced cordon-bleu chefs, prepare delicious food over an open fire. Their breakfast treats are a culinary feature of our safaris.
Medical and safety: A medical kit is provided. This is a low risk malaria area and there should be no need to take malaria tablets. Rides are conducted by 2 experienced professional guides. The lead guide is armed with a gun. Riding hats are compulsory for all riders.
Size of the Rides: Maximum of 8 guests. Minimum of two guests.
Tack: We use mainly English saddles plus some Australian stock saddles and South African Trail saddles. There are a few seat savers available however we recommend you bring your own.
Terrain: The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, an area of history and legend, offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa, and is located in the remote north eastern corner of Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, an area known historically as the Tuli enclave, a diverse wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone outcrops. The terrain comprises a network of dry riverbeds, rocky sandstone outcrops and high ridges with views that stretch for endless miles across Africa’s interminable game rich plains. It is a place of exceptional beauty, and one ideally suited for exploration from the back of a horse.
Type of Horse: Among the breeds represented in our group of horses include the Boerperd and South African warm bloods and Shire Thoroughbred crosses ranging from 15hh to 17hh. The horses are exceptionally well schooled and very responsive to the aids!
Visas: Please note that Non-UK residents do require a South African transit visa to travel to Botswana.
Weight Limit: Please check with Wild and Exotic if you weigh more than 100kgs.
Weather Conditions: Summer months are September to April, with October, November and February being the hottest months, with temperatures varying from 12 degrees C to 38 degrees C at midday. The rainy season falls between December and February. Winter is from May until the end of August, a period of little rain, and delightful temperatures by day and refreshingly cool at night. Temperature during winter months varies from 8 degrees C to 24 degrees C at midday.
Limpopo Valley lodge based ride sample itinerary
Wild and Exotic sample itinerary for the Limpopo Lodge Ride Tuli Block, Botswana
A new and exciting seven night mobile ride using Two Mashatus camp as well as private family-owned lodges on Mashatu. If you enjoy more luxurious accommodation on a mobile safari, this is the ride for you. Various dates are on offer from February to November.
This 7 night ride offers guests the same benefits of doing a mobile safari but with the added attraction of more luxurious accommodation. The lodges are family-owned, private and exclusive with en-suite bathrooms and swimming pools.
As we traverse the greater expanse of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, guests have the opportunity to enjoy sightings of animals such as elephant, leopard, lion, wild dog, hyaena and cheetah as well as a huge range of bird species, antelope and smaller game. With no fences within the reserve, this is truly one of the wildest places in Africa! Currently we have two lodges which we use for this ride as well as our very own ‘Out of Africa’ base camp: Two Mashatus.
Day 1: On arrival into Johannesburg international airport you will be met and transferred by Waterberg Transfers for approximately 5.5 hours to Pontdrift border post where your guide will meet you. After the formalities of crossing the border you will be escorted in an open game drive vehicle to Two Mashatus Camp a short drive away. After settling in and enjoying a refreshing lunch in the Lala Palm Rondavel, you’re off to meet the most important members of the team: the horses! You will then embark on a short introductory ride in the afternoon to make sure that you and your mount are perfectly suited. The ride is followed by sundowners at the stable bar before heading back to our Two Mashatus Camp. A delicious evening meal follows before retiring to the comfort of your tent. Then allow the sounds of the bush serenade you to sleep!
Day 2: After breakfast, we mount up and head off on the long ride of 6 hours to the luxurious Naledi camp. This ride traverses hills and ridges and takes you to the most northern parts of the game reserve. On the open plains there are good opportunities for fast canters, perhaps accompanied by zebra, wildebeest or eland. The lush vegetation close to the Majale River is browsed by a diversity of wildlife, so there is a good chance of excellent game-viewing in this area.
Upon arrival at this beautiful private camp, you are welcomed by cold beverages and a good lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy the very comfortable rooms or lounge around the swimming pool with a view over the African bush. If feeling energetic, take a game walk with your guide in the late afternoon. This gives you the opportunity to learn more about the small and fascinating creatures that are an important part of the local ecology. Head back to camp before sunset for traditional sundowners, an excellent dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Day 3: Today we make a leisurely start on the 4.5 hour ride to Kanda Farm, traversing the central game area of the reserve where you may see giraffe, eland or zebra. The ride passes through an area of rocky cliffs, home to a resident leopard. Kanda Farm is a family-owned property in a spectacular location overlooking the Majale River. After lunch and a siesta, you have the option of a game drive which offers the opportunity of viewing predators such as leopard, cheetah, wild dog and lion that Mashatu is famous for. You may also be lucky to spot some of the other interesting nocturnal residents such as hyaena, genet or porcupine. You stop for sundowners at a vantage point before returning to camp for dinner.
Day 4: Today we explore the surrounding area, tracking wildlife through the bush and enjoying spectacular views across Mashatu. There is a great diversity of game in this area and you may see bat-eared fox, black- backed jackal, eland, kudu and other plains game. The morning ride is about 4 hours followed by lunch back at Kanda camp. In the afternoon, we follow the course of the Majale River on a bush walk and climb some of the kopjes in the area. Back to camp and a dinner under the stars!
Day 5: After breakfast you head back to Two Mashatus camp, following the Majale River which always offers up some interesting and close encounters with elephant or other wildlife. After an enjoyable 4 hour ride, we arrive at camp in time for lunch and a traditional African siesta in comfortable surroundings. A pleasant walk to stretch the legs in the evening before you retire for a good dinner and bed.
Day 6: Today you head out to the Pitsani plains. Descending to the plains, there is the possibility for an exhilarating gallop where you might be joined by curious herds of zebra, wildebeest or giraffe. You will wind your way through the hills before arriving at the beautiful Senthata Lodge on neighbouring Charter reserve. Usually there is a game drive in the afternoon, and a lazy relaxed evening on the cool lawn overlooking the mighty Limpopo while the cooks rustle up another delicious meal.
Day 7: Another exciting morning’s ride as we head out along the Limpopo river in search of the abundant wildlife the area has to offer. Hopefully we will come across some logs knocked over by elephants along the way which the horses love to hop over. Today’s lodge is the elegant Limpopo House. Here you can enjoy the stunning pool or sit on the cool veranda with a book while you watch the horses graze nearby. And the afternoon will bring a final game drive and hopefully some cats along the way too.
Day 8: After a final early morning ride of about 2 hours, its time to pat your trusty steed goodbye. A quick brunch and a refreshing shower and you head back to the Pontdrift border post and a sad farewell to your guides after an exhilarating week of fun, adventure and multiple wildlife sightings. A 5.5 hour drive gets you to Johannesburg International airport in time for the evening flight home.
•Transfers to and from JHB International at GB Pounds £225 per person
•Meeting point at Arrivals Hall at the Information Desk at OR Tambo International Airport
•Maximum of 8 guests and minimum of 2 guests
•Rate is inclusive of accommodation, riding, meals, teas and coffees, drinks, game drives (at least 2), bush walks and laundry. Only transfers, tips and curios payable locally in cash.
•Four nights at the comfortable Two Mashatus camp
•One night at Naledi
•Two nights at Kanda camp
•Elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah & wild dog country
•Starts and finishes on a Sunday
•Non riders welcome (game drives, cycling and walking available)
•For experienced riders only
•Children under 16 not permitted
This itinerary should be taken as a guide only. Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which will be sent with all booking forms.
Please contact Wild and Exotic for the latest prices and availability on the Lodge ride by email to email@example.com or by telephone to 01439 748401
Wild and Exotic sample itinerary for the African Explorer ride
Combine 4 nights of Horizon Horseback’s new ‘Camp Davidson’ in South Africa, with 3 nights at Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris, in Botswana.
Camp Davidson has recently been built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng valley. It offers the opportunity to explore from a base camp nestled in the heart of the wooded mountains of the Waterberg. The camp commands a wonderful panoramic view of the central highlands of the Waterberg massif, while overlooking the picturesque Sunset Lake at the eastern boundary of Triple B Ranch.
In the late 19th century, Ted Davidson, one of the first members of the Baber family (owners of Triple B Ranch) to settle in the Waterberg, was a young man trading by ox wagon to remote cattle outposts of a young ranching area. A good days travelling may have been only five miles or so by rugged track, and so an itinerant life in the Waterberg meant a life by the campfire. Horizon has captured that early camp atmosphere through beautiful decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys. Each tent is appointed as it would have been in Teds day with items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush.
Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris operates riding safaris in the vast Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Block of south eastern Botswana. This is an area of great diversity, magnificent vistas, ancient civilizations and dramatic rock formations bordered by the great Limpopo River in the south. Aptly named the “Land of the Giants” for its baobab studded plains and large herds of elephant, the land remains largely untouched by man and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species including lion, cheetah, leopard, African wild dog, a multitude of plains game like zebra, wildebeest and giraffe, as well as over 350 species of birds.
Day 1: On arrival into Johannesburg International Airport you will be met and transferred to the Horizon Signature lodge (approx. 3 hours) in time for lunch. This afternoon you will be introduced to your horse. We will ensure that you are matched with a horse to suit your ability and experience before heading off on your ride to Camp Davidson. On route through the Matlapeng reserve the ride will take a sundowner break at the Red Lake, where you are likely to encounter our pod of resident hippo, before climbing the ridge up to Camp Davidson.
Day 2: A day of exploration in the reserve, tracking herds of giraffe, zebra, eland, wildebeest, kudu and impala. The terrain lends itself to straying off the trails as your horse leads you along game trails and narrow kloofs. A saddlebag lunch is served at the riverside on a long abandoned wagon route used by the pioneers to congregate for church each Sunday. Riders can rest in the shade of the riverine forest during the heat of the day or take a dip in the clear flowing streams whilst the horses graze, before gradual meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.
Day 3: Today will be spent riding west of camp around Bellevue on the southern end of the property and then on to the historic Baber homestead for lunch by the poolside. This afternoon you will visit the local Sotho village and have a tour of some of the traditional houses with the local characters Martha Mosima and the group of village lady elders for afternoon tea accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. After a day of long riding, culture and history you will return to the peace of the Camp Davidson where you will dine under the stars.
Day 4: You will break camp at about 05:30hrs and you will mount for a last ride through the reserve, soaking up the early morning sights and sounds of the African bush. Guests depart from Beadle, a craft workshop on Triple B Ranch which has served as a community upliftment and job creation project since 1998. The crafters specialise in beautiful handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps. We depart the Ranch at 07:30hrs and are transferred to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana. Cross the Limpopo river and into the Tuli block, before arriving at the camp. This afternoon will be spent familiarising yourself with your horses for the remaining part of the safari.
Day 5: After an early rise and a light breakfast you will ride out into the Limpopo Valley, which includes a natural marshland called Nels Vlei. Whilst exploring this beautiful wilderness area, there may be a close encounter with an elephant or lion, or some of the many plains game in this area. Lunch will be enjoyed under the Mashatu tree back at the Confluence camp. In the afternoon, you will enjoy the thrill of a natural cross-country course or a leisurely ride along the Limpopo.
Day 6: Today’s fascinating ride will focus on the history of the area with interesting tales about the Anglo-Boer War. In the afternoon you can choose to go on either a game drive or another leisurely ride. A game drive will include an early evening hunt for the beautiful and awesome cats which are so much a part of the Mashatu experience.
Day 7: Another long day in the saddle; 4 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Pass through a range of vegetation types: riverine forests, savannah acacias, terminalia shrubland and areas abundant in shepard’s trees. Here there is a good chance of seeing elephants, many species of birds and a wide range of antelopes. This afternoon’s ride will head towards the rocky outcrop close to Rock camp where waterbuck, rock dassies, and black eagles can to be spotted.
Day 8: The last ride of the safari treks in the direction of Nels Vlei, where there is a good chance of a final glimpse of elephants, as this is one of their favourite habitats. You will then head back to the stables to bid the horses farewell and freshen up before you begin your journey home. The transfer back to Johannesburg airport leaves after lunch and will take approximately 5 ½ hours.
Please be aware that due to changes in weather and other unforeseen events the itinerary may be changed at the last minute. We will endeavour to keep everyone informed of any changes and the reason for them.
Accommodation throughout is in comfortable tents with en suite facilities
The price is inclusive of all activities described, together with meals as shown on the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch and D = Dinner).
The price does not include international airfares, items of a personal nature, gratuities, etc.
As ATOL license holders (#6445) we can book seats on most major airlines at competitive prices. We are able to make the booking (and fix the best price, less taxes and fuel charges) up to a year in advance with payment not normally due until 8 weeks before departure – this means that we can release your seats at anytime up until payment is due without penalty.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the client to ensure they obtain the correct visa prior to travel. Wild and Exotic will assist with visa applications if instructed but cannot be held responsible for a client’s failure to obtain a visa for whatever reason.
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is enclosed with your booking form.
Botswana general information and map
Getting there: Visitors to Botswana usually fly into Maun (for the Okavango Delta) via Johannesburg in South Africa, or Kasane via Livingstone in Zambia. The flying time to Johannesburg is approximately 11 hours from London and from Johannesburg to Maun is approximately 1 hour 40 minutes.
Time: GMT plus two hours
Try not to miss: Chobe National Park for huge herds of elephant, the Okavango Delta for diverse wildlife and unique 17,000 square km ecosystem, the Selinda Reserve for hippo eating lions, the Kalahari Desert for interaction with the San bush people and the Makgadikgadi salt pans for rare desert wildlife, quad biking and sleeping beneath the stars.
Visas: No visa is required for UK citizens visiting for up to 90 days. Non-UK residents do require a South African transit visas to travel to Botswana.
“Had a wonderful time, everything ran smoothly and to plan, marvellous experience! Riding was fantastic – actually rode with a herd of zebra and wildebeest – at quite a fast pace! Everybody, without exception, were very helpful and welcoming- highly organised – marvellous food considering the facilities…..Each day seemed to get better. Abundant varied game – every day.”
“It was absolutely great thank you!! Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris is a really well run company with a great team/guides, their horses were as well looked after as the guests. The itinerary was a varied and interesting one. The weather was nicely planned and the wild animals weren’t bad either!! Thanks for giving us a great time it was good VFM and the champagne and birthday cake were not forgotten!!”
“It was just great.”