Horizon Horseback Adventures and Safaris riding holiday in South Africa - Far and Ride
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Horizon Horseback Adventures and Safaris, South Africa





Reviews



We had a fantastic honeymoon and would love to go back sometime. I didn't want to come back to England! Thank you for all your help with the honeymoon and the organisation, can't thank you enough.

Phill R.
"Fantastic riding with plenty of variety. Awesome scenery , luxury accommodation. So many beautiful horses, there was a horse for everyone no matter what their ability."

Steve C.
Exceeded my expectations, very natural at Horizon. Saw all big five closely. Favourite memory was first encounter with giraffe - the baby giraffe ran straight across out path from out of trees and then we saw all the others - got very close on our horses (at Camp Davidson). Accommodation very good and Horizon had excellent laundry service at no extra cost.

Susan G. (African Explorer - South Africa & Botswana)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Anglo Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Boerperds and cross breeds

Nature of horses:

Honest forward going and highly responsive

Height of horses:

11.0 - 16.3 h

Weight limit:

110 kg

Tack type:

McClellan saddles, English & Australian Stock saddles also available

 

Weather




Current Conditions:
Fair, 23 C

Forecast:
Fri - Mostly Sunny. High: 29 Low: 13
Sat - Partly Cloudy. High: 27 Low: 13
Sun - Partly Cloudy. High: 28 Low: 15
Mon - Rain. High: 26 Low: 14
Tue - Showers. High: 23 Low: 11

Full Forecast at Yahoo! Weather

(provided by The Weather Channel)
 

Ride Description

Horizon Horseback offers a selection of fabulous based adventures and riding safaris in the Waterberg area of northern South Africa. Just three hours north of Johannesburg, this destination has a choice for everyone from honeymoon couples to adventurous families, single riders to groups of friends (non-riders also welcome). Guests can opt for a mobile safari or an adventure based out of the historic family property, set in a private game reserve alongside a beautiful lake with hippo and surrounding plains game. The holidays here can be tailor made and with a herd of over 60 horses, there is a suitable partner for every level of rider. The choices of riding are almost endless and include outrides through the game reserve, cattle mustering, swimming with the horses in the lake, western games, jumping, cross country or even learning to play polocrosse. Weddings can also be arranged here and you will find it the ideal setting for such special occasions.

It is the perfect destination for families, with children from the age of 8 welcome all year around. However, they do offer certain dates for family holidays when children of all ages are welcome. Children will love the fun of camp outs, treasure hunts, swimming on horseback and much more. Without the distraction of modern technology families can enjoy a bonding experience which will be remembered for ever.

For more experienced riders wanting truly exhilarating riding and to see the bigger game, there is the 'African Explorer' programme (details below).

The focus at Horizon is on the horses and the quality of the riding and service. There is a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with people arriving as guests and leaving as friends. Trips are tailor made to suit your requirements and the destination offers that taste of African luxury and adventure whilst remaining affordable and easygoing.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The Ranch looks over a beautiful lake and consists of a tastefully restored old farmhouse together with a cluster of thatched cottages each with a character of its own. The large colonial verandah is the perfect spot to take in the beauty of the South Africa bush. The bird life is profilic and at dusk guests can listen to the haunting sound of hippo or black backed jackals from the farmhouse.

A jetty extends onto the lake and offers a secluded tanning spot. A plunge pool in the garden enables guests to cool off during hot summer days. With no TV or newspapers, the Lodge is the ideal place to escape from it all and completely relax.

Guests are accommodated in double rooms in the main house or the luxury thatched cottages all with en-suite facilities. Each cottage is set slightly away from the main house offering a private and homely place to relax after an active day in the saddle.

After the horses, food is your hosts' second passion. Before an early morning ride, guests are offered a light breakfast. After working up an appetite on your ride, lunch is served under the giant syringa tree in the garden followed by afternoon tea at about 3 pm.

Dinner is a sociable and sumptuous affair, during which the day's adventures or misadventures are accounted with great delight. The carefully planned three course menus are accompanied by a selection of fine South African wines. Fresh vegetables and home grown herbs are used in all recipes with home made bread and cakes which are baked on a daily basis.

 

Activities

When out of the saddle, why not take the opportunity to enjoy a guided bush walk with one of the guides.We also encourage guests to meet members of the local community living in one of the villages on the ranch and to visit their children at the farm creche or school. The children love to see foreign faces and are bound to sing a delightful African song for their visitors.

Alternative activities include spending the afternoon relaxing by the plunge pool or fishing. Guests may take a shopping trip to the local town of Vaalwater which will give you an amazing insight into bushveldt retail therapy.

Game drives at local game reserves including the chance to see elephants and lions can also be arranged as can the rare opportunity to go elephant back riding. A visit to the local rhino museum with its orphan black and white rhinos is also highly informative and enjoyable.

 

Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: No specific health requirements

Age limit: Minimum riding age of 8 years except family weeks where any children are accepted.

Tuition: Tuition can be arranged for certain activities

Included: Riding, food, drinks, accommodation and activities

Not included: Transfer & flights to South Africa

 

Travel Information

There are several airlines flying direct to Johannesburg (ORT). Many leave the UK in the evenings and after an overnight flight you will arrive the next morning hopefully without any jet lag! We will arrange your safe transfer. On arrival we ask that clients make their way to the information desk of the arrivals hall to meet their driver who will have a sign with their name on it.

2014:

Group Transfers (Lodge):
Arriving: Daily leaving ORT at approx. 10:30 (arriving at Horizon approx. 13:30): £80 per person each way
Departing: Daily leaving Horizon at approx. 14:00 (arriving at ORT at approx. 17:00): £80 per person each way

Private Transfers:
1 - 3 pax (saloon car): £250 per car each way
4 - 12 pax (mini bus): £300 per car each way

African Explorer Transfer:
Leaving JIA 10:30 to Camp Davidson
5th day transfer at 07:00 from Camp Davidson to LVHS
Departure day transfer at 11:00 from LVHS to JIA (arrival at 17:30): £368 per person.

2015:

Group Transfers:
Arriving: Daily leaving ORT at approx. 10:30 (arriving at Horizon approx. 13:30): £85 per person, each way.
Departing: Daily leaving Horizon at approx. 14:00 (arriving at ORT at approx. 17:00): £85per person, each way.

Private Transfers:
1 - 3 pax (saloon car): £175 per car, each way
4 - 12 pax (mini bus): £275 per car, each way

African Explorer Transfer:
1. Leaving ORT at 10:30am for Camp Davidson.
2. 5th day transfer at 07:00am from Camp Davidson to LVHS.
3. Departure day transfer at 11:00 from LVHS to ORT (arrival at 17:30).
Package price, per person: £290

Private transfers will need to be organised for those whose flights arrive after 09:30am and depart before 07:00pm (please note that an additional cost will be incurred for this service).

Airport: Johannesburg (JNB)

 

Programmes


Signature Safari (Lodge Based Stay)



The riding country on this ranch is superb. The horses run unshod on perfect sandy soil and although the bushveldt is thick in places, most of the countryside is open, flat and perfect for extended canters. There are gently rolling hills leading to picturesque views on all sides. The occasion rocky koppie provides an ideal vantage spot from which to appreciate the vastness of the Waterberg plateau.

Swimming the horses in one of the many dams is an excellent way to cool down after a long morning ride. Outrides within the private game reserve offer the opportunity to ride with species such as giraffe, zebra, impala, red hartebeest, eland and reedbuck as well as many of the smaller mammals such as jackal, baboons, monkeys and warthog. Viewing game on horseback is a deeply enriching experience as the animals seem to have little fear enabling you to get closer then you ever thought possible. Guides will show you how to follow game tracks and learn local bushlore. Leisurely viewing of the energetic resident hippo family always proves to be a popular interlude to a ride.

Experienced riders will enjoy the challenging cross-country course which ranges from log piles to over thirty taxing open jumps. The course was designed by South Africa's top course builder, Johnny Perreira.

Those interested in yet another challenge on horseback can join in the fun of western games. Barrel racing and pole bending are fun ways of schooling yourself in the art of light commands and quick responses.

Polocrosse is an amalgam of polo and lacrosse and is easy to learn. It is one of the most exhilarating sports on horseback. Guests who have never played before are introduced to the game slowly, running through the basic rules and showing the tricks of the trade when it comes to stick work. Then it is 'in at the deep end' with a full game. One chukka is usually all it takes to bring out the competitive spirit. The game is so addictive that many of our previous guests have taken it up upon returning home.

The 1200 cattle herd on the ranch are stud Bonsmaras, a hardy South African breed bred for their quiet temperament, beef production and disease resistance. Guests can join in the daily routine of herding and yard work, checking the progress of calving cows or drive a herd between widely spread pastures. Given its non aggressive nature, these cattle are the ideal animals with which to experience the challenge and excitement of mustering cattle. Herding cattle also stimulates you to work closely with your horse and gives a rewarding purpose to a morning ride.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Riders of all abilities will enjoy this ranch stay
Type of ride: Ranch based activities
Total riding time: Ride time dependent upon chosen activities
Departure dates: Dates to suit.
 
Pricing: 2014:

High Season (21 February-30 April, 1 July-9 November, 11 December-10 January 2015).
Lakeside/Luxury Chalet: 234 (per person, per night)
Standard Room: 197 pppn
Single Supplement: +37 pppn

Low Season (11 January-21 February, 1 May-30 June, 10 November-10 December).
Lakeside/Luxury Chalet: 192 pppn
Standard Room: 156 pppn
Single Supplement: +40 pppn

SET TIME transfers from/to Johannesburg airport: 80 per person each way. Private transfers are also possible at a higher cost.

2015:

High Season: February 15th - April 30th, July 1st - November 9th, December 11th - January 10th 2016.
Luxury Lakeside Chalet (per person, per night): 248
Standard chalet or Lodge room (per person per night): 205
Single occupancy of a standard room or chalet will be charged at +43 per night.

Low Season: January 11th - February 14th, May 1st - June 30th, November 10th - December 10th.
Luxury Lakeside Chalet (per person, per night): 204
Standard chalet or Lodge room (per person per night): 165
Single occupancy of a standard room or chalet will be charged at +39 per night.

SET TIME transfers from and to Johannesberg airport are charged at 85 each way. Private transfers can be arranged on request (please note that these will be carry a higher cost)

Family suites and reduced children's rates are available. Please do not hesitate to contact the office for more information.



African Explorer



This exciting new ride combines four nights at a new camp built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng Valley and three nights at Limpopo Valley in Botswana. A fantastic combination enabling you to explore the central highlands of the Waterberg massif before moving onto the vast Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Block.

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 day's 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 the 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 be in Ted's day with items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush. In the Tuli Block, the area you will be riding is 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. It is an area of great diversity, magnificant vistas, ancient civilisations and dramatic rock formations bordered by the Great Limpopo River in the South.

Suggested Itinerary

Day One: 

Guests will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and be transferred to the Horizon Signature lodge (approximately 3 hours) in time for lunch. In the afternoon you will be introduced to your safari horse. They 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 their pod of resident hippo before climbing the ridge up to Camp Davidson.

Day Two: 

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 along 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 gradually meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.

Day Three: 

A full day's ride west of camp takes you around Bellevue on the southern end of the property and onto the historic Baber homestead for lunch by the poolside. That afternoon riders 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 Camp Davidson where you will dine under the stars.

Day Four: 

You will break camp at about 5.30 and riders mount for a last ride through the reserve, soaking up the early morning sights and sounds of the African bush. Guests depart for 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.

Day Five: 

You depart the Ranch at 7.00 am and are transferred to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana. You will cross the Limpopo river and into the Tuli block before arriving at the camp at around 11 am. An introductory ride will familiarise riders with their horses for this leg of the safari. 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 Six: 

This fascinating ride will  focus on the history of the area with interesting tales about the Anglo-Boer War.  In the afternoon, guests 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 Seven: 

Another long day in the saddle: 4 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. You will pass through a range of vegetation, riverine forests, savannah acacias, terminalia shrubland and areas abundant in shephard's trees. Here, there is a good chance of seeing elephants, many species of birds and a wide range of antelopes. The afternoon ride will head towards the rocky outcrop close to Rock camp where waterbuck, rock daisies, and black eagles can be spotted. 

Day Eight: 

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 get back to the stables to bid the horses farewell and to freshen up. After lunch, the transfer leaves for the border and 5.5 hours drive to the airport in Johannesburg.

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.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Experienced riders only
Type of ride: Safari
Total riding time: 4-7 hours a day
Departure dates: 2014: 30 August-6 September,12-19 September, 19-26 September, 17-24 October, 8-15 November, 15-22 November.

2015: 13-20 February, 6-13, 13-20 March, 10-17, 17-24 April, 8-15, 22-29 May, 5-12, 19-26 June, 10-17, 24-31 July, 7-14, 21-28 August, 4-11, 18-25 September, 2-9, 16-23 October, 13-20, 20-27 November.
 
Pricing: 2014:

High season (April, May, July, August, September, October, November, December) : 1629
Low season (January, February, March, June): 1569

Single supplements : +50% (for those not willing to share)

Transfers 275 per person includes arrival day transfer before 9:30am from ORT airport to Camp Davidson and Departure day transfer after 7pm from LVHS to ORT.

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2015:

Price per person (8days/7 nights): 1780

Single supplements:
Camp Davidson (4nights): 350
Limpopo Valley Camp (3 nights): 450

Transfers 290 per person includes arrival day transfer before 9:30am from ORT airport to Camp Davidson, Day 5 transfers from Camp Davidson to LVHS and Departure day transfer after 7pm from LVHS to ORT.

Private transfers can be arranged for those arriving or departing outside of the set times, at additional cost.



Camp Davidson



Camp Davidson is set in a private game reserve which forms part of this historic family estate. It  has recently been built high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng valley. It offers the opportunity to explore from the 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 theWaterberg 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 Ted's day with items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush.

This riding holiday is fully flexible and offers the opportunity to explore the reserve, visit the historic homestead and Sotho village on the estate. There are two out rides or riding activities a day. Morning rides last 3-4 hours (or less if requested) and afternoon rides are somewhat shorter. Rides are tailormade to suit the needs of our guests and they try to be as flexible as possible.

Suggested Itinerary

Day One: 

Guests will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and be transferred to the lodge (approximately 3 hours) in time for lunch. In the afternoon you will be introduced to your safari horse. They 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 their pod of resident hippo before climbing the ridge up to Camp Davidson.

Day Two: 

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 along 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 gradually meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.

Day Three: 

A full day's ride west of camp takes you around Bellevue on the southern end of the property and onto the historic Baber homestead for lunch by the poolside. That afternoon, riders 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 Camp Davidson where you will dine under the stars.

Day Four:

After breakfast you may ride through the game reserve to the lodge in time for lunch in the shaded garden. You can relax by the pool and watch the birdlife on the dam prior to your onward journey. Guests can also visit Beadle, a craft workshop on the ranch which is a community upliftment project. The crafters specialise in beautiful handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps.

The itinerary can be tailored to suit you and you can spend as many days as you wish at this relaxing camp or you can combine this stay with another at the ranch itself or a safari.



Accommodation: Tents are large, walk-in ‘A’ frame safari tents set up on teak decking, with proper beds made up with sheets and duvets, and each with a bathroom attached (bucket shower / basin, flush loo). There is a mess tent for meals. Each tent is appointed as it would be in Ted's day with items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: All abilities
Type of ride: Trail based from camp
Total riding time: 4-6 hours a day
Departure dates: All year around
 
Pricing: 2014:

High Season (April 12- April 26,December 20- January 3 2015)

Adult 234 pppn
Single Supplement +104 pppn
Child 225 pppn
Child sharing with parents +175 pppn

Low Season (January 1-March 21, April 6-December 19)

Adult 156 pppn
Single Supplement +78 pppn
Child 120 pppn
Child sharing with parents +60 pppn

2015:

All year prices (January 4th 2015 - January 3rd 2016)

Adult (per person, per night): 175
Single Supplement (per night): +88
Child <16 (per child, per night) 140
Child (<16) sharing with parents (per night): +95

NB Camp Davidson can be requested on an exclusive basis for 4 guests or more, at no extra cost.

SET TIME transfers from and to Johannesberg airport are charged at 85 each way. Private transfers can be arranged on request, but will incur an additional charge.