How good a rider do I need to be?
The minimum riding ability required is mastery of the basic aids, ability to post to the trot for stretches of 10 minutes at a time, to be comfortable at all paces and to be able to gallop out of trouble. It is a great advantage if you are a fit and a proficient rider. If you do have members of your group that do not meet these requirements we have a fantastic non-riding itinerary available.
If I cant ride can I still come?
We can accommodate non-riders but they must be booked in as such. Non-Riders have their own guide and enjoy game drives, powerboats, fishing, walks and Mokoros. They move with the riding guests to the various fly camps and join non-riding activities and picnics.
What other activities are there other than riding?
Although our priority is riding, we offer alternative activities during the afternoons that are not day rides. A 6 hour morning can be tiring so some afternoons are spent at leisure with evening bird/game walks, mokoro expeditions (water levels permitting), power boats and fishing if season allows. Afternoon game drives and night spotting are also offered.
What kind of horses will I be riding?
Within our heard of 60 plus horses we have full and part Thoroughbred, Pure Arab, Anglo Arab, American Saddle Bred. Between 14 and 17 hands. They are well-schooled, responsive and even temperament. There is a wide range of horses (over 60 ) suitable for the competition rider to a steady hack. Every effort is made to match horse and rider.
What is the weight limit?
The maximum weight is 200 lbs (14 ½ stone or 90 kg). Guests may be required to step on the scales. A special program is available for clients over our weight limit, which offers shorter rides, game drives & walks. Weight Supplement: Over 200 lbs. (14 ½ stone, or 90kg) a supplement of 50% will be charged for an extra horse.
Will I be safe?
We have an exceptional safety record, and safety is our priority. All rides are lead by qualified profession guides. A .375 rifle is carried on all the rides for added security. All camps and vehicles have radio communication and guides ride with a hand held radios. A demonstration is given at the beginning of the safari with a talk on how to handle big game situations. Should an accident happen all guests are registered with a helicopter evacuation service which can get you to a hospital within 20 minutes.
What tack do you use?
We have two different types of saddle; English Style with seat saver for comfort or South African trail saddles. The tack is of high quality and kept in good condition. Saddles are well known makes such as Ideals, Barnsby, and Symonds. Most horses are in snaffle bridles.
What is the food like?
Safari cooks prepare 3 meals a day plus saddlebag picnic breakfasts and vehicle support picnic lunches. Emphasis is made on fresh vegetables and salads. Fresh bread is baked every day. Vegetarians are catered for. Light lunches, cold meats, salads and 3 course dinners served by candle light at the dining table near the campfire.
How long are the rides?
Between 4-6 hours in the saddle a day. This is broken by refreshment stops – picnic breakfast or lunch and a 10-minute walk for every two hours spent in the saddle. (This eases up the rider using different muscles, and helps the horse from constant pressure of the rider’s weight).
What is the terrain like?
The Okavango Delta has been described as a water meadow. Palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests and clear streams. Highest water is normally between May to September. Many of the flood plains are full at this time and the horses wade through from island to island. The going is normally quite good and firm along the edges of the islands allowing the ride to move on at a trot and canter.
What is the age limit?
We do accept children but they must be strong competent riders. They should have a certificate from a pony club or qualified teacher to attest this. No adjustment in price of children. Our minimum recommended age is 12 years old.
What drinks are available?
Iced soft drinks are available as well as local beers, bottled water, an assortment of cool drinks and limited choice of spirits. Special requests can be catered for. Cordials, tea and coffee are freely available and house wine is served with dinner. Special requests can be catered for with advance warning and billed out accordingly.
What should I bring?
Please see our clothing list for a detailed break down on what to bring. Laundry can be done in camp. Soap, shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion is provided in Kujwana camp. Light Aircraft and helicopter transfers have a weight restriction of 15kg. Any extra luggage can be left with our office in Maun. Luggage for light Aircraft should be soft holdall type. Riding clothes should be in neutral, khaki of bush colours, no red or white if possible. We recommend all riding equipment/clothing be carried hand (cabin) luggage in case of lost luggage.
Do I need insurance?
We cover all guests for Emergency Medical Evacuation. However guests must have adequate medical and travel Insurance. Guests must check that there travel insurance covers horse riding. This is often an extra that must be added on.
What can I expect to see?
Game is plentiful, including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, lechwe, reedbuck, bushbuck, steenbok, impala, roan antelope, duiker, waterbuck, tsesebe, bat-eared fox, sidestriped and blackbacked jackal, African wildcat, baboon, vervet monkey, honey badger, spotted hyena, mongoose, meerkat, warthog, tortoise and ostrich; special nocturnal creatures – porcupine, aardwolf, aardvark, civet, genet, serval, spring hare; water species – hippo, crocodile, cape clawless and spotted necked otter; predators – leopard, lion, cheetah, wild dog. Safety precautions are taken when viewing any dangerous game.
Where are you based?
Okavango Horse Safaris operate in a private concession 2,500 sq. km situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta bordering on Moremi Game reserve. The area includes three major river systems of the Okavango Delta, the Xudum, the Matsibie and the Kiri. Click here to view the map on our contact page, which shows exactly where we are.
How do you get there? And what are the best options?
Most flights to Maun connect via Johannesburg South Africa with SA Air Link or Air Botswana to Maun in Botswana. We will meet you at the airport and offer several options Maun into camp, the helicopter shuttle being the recommended option. The transfers section on our rates page will tell you more.
What is the weather like?
Summer months are September to April. October, November and February are the hottest months, with temperatures varying from 12 degrees C and peaking to 38 degrees C at midday. The rains can start in October, with the occasional thundershower. December to February are the wettest months. Winter is May to the end of August with no rain. Evening and early mornings are cold. Temperature varies from 8 degrees C to 24 degrees C at midday.
Can I borrow riding equipment?
A limited assortment of half chaps and riding gloves are kept in the camp for loan. Guests must bring there own helmets and are encouraged to bring there own riding kit for comfort.
When’s the best time of year to visit?
The high season in Delta is from June through to the end of October. The water, although difficult to predict, tends to arrive April / May and will remain until late September, early October. The temperature is very cool in the mornings but warms up around mid day and although the wildlife is generally good all year around in the Delta, by July the long grass has died off which makes it easier to game view.
Can you cater for a 2 or 3 night safari?
We recommend our 5, 7 or 10 night packages in order to make the most of you stay however we can put together a special itinerary on request for those who can not stay for longer.
What’s the maximum number of people allowed on one ride?
We like to keep rides to a maximum of 8 people however we can provide larger rides on request.
Do you take single riders?
Absolutely, and we don’t charge a single supplement for accommodation. However if there are no other riders on the safari you would have to pay a single supplement on certain transfer options.
Should we take malaria tablets?
It is best to ask your doctor, but we are a low risk area in the Delta. We do recommend lots of insect repellent and to cover up after sunset.
What clothing should we bring?
Neutral colours (khaki, beige, green or brown) are required for riding and walking to ensure you blend in with the bush. We always supply a clothing list for you but just remember the time of year you’re travelling and pack accordingly. Click here for the full clothing list in PDF format.