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
McClellan saddles, English & Australian Stock saddles also available
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Group Transfers (prices on individual programmes below):
Arriving: Daily leaving ORT at approx. 10:30 (arriving at Horizon approx. 13:30): you must arrive before 09:30.
Departing: Daily leaving Horizon at approx. 14:00 (arriving at ORT at approx. 17:00): you must book flights departing 20:00 or later.
If your flights do not fit these timings, then private transfers can be arranged at extra cost - please ask us.
African Explorer Transfer:
1. Leaving ORT at 10:30am for Camp Davidson. Your flight MUST arrive before 09:30.
2. 5th day transfer at 09:30am from Camp Davidson to LVHS.
3. Departure day transfer at 11:00 from LVHS to ORT (arrival at 17:30). You MUST book flights departing 20:00 or later.
See individual programme for prices.
Private transfers will need to be organised for those whose flights arrive after 09:30am and depart before 20:00 (please note that an additional cost will be incurred for this service and you may miss out on the first/last ride).
Airport: Johannesburg (JNB)
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 occasional 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.|
Prices are per person per night (Adult)
High Season: 15 February-30 April, 1 July-9 November,11 December-10 January 2018
Luxury Lakeside Chalet (sharing): £241
Luxury Lakeside Chalet (single):£361
Garden Chalet (sharing): £225
Garden Chalet (single): £241
Standard room (sharing): £192
Standard room (single): £225
Third person in any room :£187
Low Season: 11 January-14 February,1 May-30 June, 10 November-10 December
Luxury Lakeside Chalet (sharing): £201
Luxury Lakeside Chalet (single):£301
Garden Chalet (sharing): £187
Garden Chalet (single): £201
Standard room (sharing): £160
Standard room (single): £170
Third person in any room :£156
There are discounts for children under 16 - please enquire for a quote.
SET TIME transfers from and to Johannesberg airport are charged at £88 each way. Private transfers can be arranged on request (please note that these will be at a higher cost)
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 with an 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 in 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.
Guests will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and be transferred to Camp Davidson (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 you head off on your first ride. 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 back to Camp Davidson.
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 gradually meandering back through the plains in the fading afternoon light.
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. In the 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.
An early departure from camp for a game drive at a nearby Big Five private game reserve with a chance to see rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard. On the way back you will visit Beadle, a craft workshop on Triple B ranch which has been a community upliftment project since 1998. They specialise in beautiful handmade beadwork and leather products including riding chaps. Lunch will be served by the pool at the Horizon lodge before heading back to the camp for a sundowner ride in the game reserve.
You will break camp early today and you will mount for a last ride through the reserve soaking up the early morning sights and sounds of the African bush making your way to the Lodge. You will leave the lodge at 7.30 and will be transferred to Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris in Botswana. You will cross the Limpopo river and into the Tuli block before arriving at the stables. An introductory afternoon ride will familiarise riders with their horses for this leg of the safari arriving at the Two Mashatus camp in time to freshen up before supper.
An early wake up call with tea/coffee brought to your tent followed by breakfast around the camp fire. You will make an early start each day to enjoy the freshness of the morning and to maximise game viewing opportunities in the hours the wildlife are most active. Undoubtedly you will come across the large herd of elephant for which the Tuli is renowned as well as many different species of antelope, giraffe, zebra, bat eared fox, jackal, hyena and possibly even lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. Later you will ride along the Limpopo River enjoying the rich birdlife, spotting crocodile in the pools an learning about the magnificent trees lining the banks. Alternatively you have the option of taking a game drive, a game walk or visiting the local village Mothabaneng to see the local ladies make baskets as well as have a look at some some bushman paintings.
You will ride out today following the movements of wildlife in the area and observing and interpreting everything around you. The tempo of the rides is always varied and depending on the terrain, there are opportunities to enjoy the spirit and fitness of the horses at a faster pace.
You will enjoy a last morning early ride and you will get back to the stables to bid the horses farewell and in time for a quick shower and brunch before heading back to the airport.
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:||2017: 20-27 January; 27 Jan-3 Feb; 3-10 February (NEW DATE), 10-17(FULL), 17-24 February (FULL); 24 Feb-3 Mar; 3-10, 10-17, 17-24, 24-31 March; 31 Mar-7 Apr; 7-14, 14-21, 21-28 April; 28 Apr-5 May; 5-12, 12-19, 19-26 May; 26 May-2 June; 2-9, 9-16, 16-23, 23-30 June; 30 June-7 July (FULL); 7-14, 14-21, 21-28 July; 28 Jul-4 Aug; 4-11, 11-18, 18-25 August; 25 Aug-1 Sep; 1-8, 8-15, 15-22, 22-29 September; 29 Sep-6 Oct; 6-13, 13-20, 20-27 October; 27 Oct-3 Nov; 3-10 (FULL), 10-17, 17-24 November; 24 Nov-1 Dec; 28 Nov-5 Dec; 15-22, 19-26, 23-30 December|
Price per person (8days/7 nights): £1793
50% Single supplement if not willing to share: £896
Transfers £288 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.
Camp Davidson is set in a private game reserve which forms part of this historic family estate. It has 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 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 Ted's day with items that would have been essential to the traveller accustomed to regular nights in the bush.
Ted would be very surprised to see that the camp has a lovely swimming pool, and an outside area which is just perfect to enjoy your sundowner. The tent where you enjoy most meals is most definitely far more luxurious than in Ted's day with the table set for fine dining.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 comfortable luxurious 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.|
2017: (11 January 2017 - 10 January 2018)
Price per person, per night.
£182 Shared tent (adult)
+£91 single tent supplement (adult)
£150 shared tent (child <16)
+£75 single tent supplement (child <16)
£102 child sharing in tent with two parents
Please note that if you wish to add a Camp Davidson stay in the middle of a Signature Safari stay (rather than at the beginning/end) then there is a supplement of £37 per person for a one night stay or £60 per person for a two night stay. This supplement does not apply if you add your Camp Davidson stay to the start or end of a Signature Safari.
Transfers are at the same cost as the Signature Safari: £88 per person each way from Johannesburg airport if arriving/departing at set times.