African Horseback Safaris (Macatoo) riding holiday in Botswana - Far and Ride
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African Horseback Safaris (Macatoo), Botswana


• Macatoo Camp

• Best of Botswana Safari



The best holiday/adventure ever. Horses were excellent, sure-footed, fit and very well looked after. Guide Gareth was excellent - his knowledge was outstanding and he made every ride fun and challenging. Outstanding!

Lisa B.
Amazing, fantastic, one of the best. The 'posh tents' were great, food and drink and hospitality were of the highest order. The horses are of the highest quality. Sekongo our guide and his 'back man' knew their stuff - it appeared to me they 'sensed' the wild animals - we never felt in danger, just sat back and enjoyed it.

Anita & Paul


Type of horses:

Thoroughbreds, Namibian Hanoverians, Kalahari-Arab crosses, South African Boerperd crosses and some Percherons.

Nature of horses:

A range of horses to suit different preferences, all well-schooled, brave and fun to ride.

Height of horses:

14hh - 18hh

Weight limit:

95kg/ 15 stone
95-100kg subject to availability and for advanced riders only.
Exceeding 100kg by special arrangement only

Tack type:

English and western style trail saddles.


Travel Advice

Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.

Ride Description

Macatoo Camp is situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. This area is a lure for a variety of magnificent wildlife who depend upon the delta's waters in order to survive and these include lions, hyenas, buffalo, wild dog, elephant, antelope, hippo, crocodiles, warthog, mongoose, genets, monkeys, bush babies and over 400 species of birds (resident and migrant). Guests are invited to join these magnificent safaris, cantering through the Okavango Delta, listening to the calls of the wildlife or riding with a herd of zebra or giraffe across the plains. One of the resident elephants may even join you in camp!

For the keen rider the main attraction here is of course the selection of great horses and the spectacular riding country. The landscapes offer a variety of riding opportunities from peaceful walks, stalking some of the bigger game and wildlife, to cantering through the water-meadows or galloping alongside lechwe. Qualified and knowledgeable guides are delighted to share their knowledge of the area with you and can use the horses to get you as close as possible to the exciting wildlife for optimum viewing. Non-riders are also welcome to come and enjoy some of the other activities which include seasonal boating, mokoro canoe rides, fishing and game drives.

The camp comprises of seven comfortable tents, each with an en-suite shower and toilet, and a large communal mess tent. A private pool is available for guests to enjoy. There is also the opportunity to spend a night sleeping out under the stars on the treehouse platform (weather dependent). The majority of guests reach camp by flying to Maun via Johannesburg. They are then met by a staff member in Maun and introduced to their pilot who will fly them into the camp airstrip.

The company was set up in 1995 (Macatoo Camp being established in 1999) and is designed to offer you an exciting but not strenuous riding safari. Within a 500,000 acre private concession the camp is ideally placed for guests to explore the fertile floodplains whilst enjoying extremely comfortable tented accommodation, excellent food and the company of experienced but warm and friendly guides. The camp is also visited regularly by eventing legends such as Mark Todd and Lucinda Green MBE!

Cathy from Far and Ride has been lucky enough to ride here and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

See Programmes.


Food & Accommodation

Macatoo Camp features eight spacious and well-appointed tents, each of which have their own en-suite shower and loo. Each tent is situated on its own raised platform which offers wonderful views across the surrounding flood plain. Amongst these eight tents are the 'family and friends suite' which are two tents linked together by a walkway, ideal to provide easy access for parents and children. There is also the honeymoon tent - a lovely couples' tent complete with additional deck to allow for private dining experiences and a raised double bath tub with fantastic views.

Centrally there is a large, furnished 'mess tent' with dining deck, plus a swimming pool deck with plunge pool and sun beds. This is a wonderful place to relax, read a book or simply to enjoy your surroundings when not in the saddle. You might also like to bring your binoculars here for some game and bird-spotting!

Communal areas are linked together via a chain of well-lit pathways whilst a warming fire burns in front of the mess tent at all times of year. This provides a great social spot for guests to gather at.

Longer rides may include a stay at the magical 'tree house' - a platform suitable for lunches, drinks or even an overnighter if you feel adventurous! This lies a short drive away from the main camp and is accessible via a ladder.

There is a daily laundry service. The tents are mosquito proof, although there are few mosquitos around between June and late August. There is a generator at the camp and solar lights but there is no electricity in the tents at night.

Food served in camp is to a very high standard, well-cooked by a professional team. Meals are accompanied by quality wines and dinner is generally a candle-lit affair with several courses.

Breakfast is usually light and served at dawn or just before.
Lunch is late morning and usually comprises a main dish such as lasagne or quiche together with salads and freshly baked breads.
Dinner usually comprises three courses with plenty of vegetables and a dessert. Mains are generally European with roasted meats or occasionally fish.

Vegetarian and some special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.



In addition to riding, guests can enjoy game drives, bird walks, night drives, seasonal boating, canoeing and fishing. Most riders opt to do a non-riding activity on at least one afternoon to experience the bush in a more sedate fashion.

Non-riders can be accommodated and will have their own guide. They are offered boating or vehicle safaris depending on water levels as well as walking, fishing or mokoro excursions. Non-riders are eligible for a 10% discount on the rate.


Further Details

Languages: English.

Health requirements: None specific but those with severe heart or respiratory or any other physical limitation must consult a doctor before travelling. Clients are asked to sign a medical indemnity form on arrival.

Age limit: 16 years and over for riding. Younger children can be accepted as non-riders. Anyone over 60 needs to be riding fit and strong.

Tuition: No.

Included: Accommodation in camp on a sharing basis, all meals and selected local beverages, riding and non-riding activities, 12% government VAT.

Not included: Flights, Charter flight from Maun/Kasane, visas, transfers, travel & medical insurance, camp staff tips and gratuities.


Travel Information

We can arrange charter flight transfers from Maun (the most popular option) or Kasane into Macatoo Camp. The majority of customers fly from Johannesburg into Maun and then we organise the flight transfer from there.

The light aircraft takes approximately 30 minutes to transport you from Maun to Macatoo or 1.5 hours from Kasane. This is followed by a game drive / boat trip depending on water levels. As the Kasane flights are longer, it's not possible to ride on your departure day should you be flying there.

Costs are per person, one way, and include government and airline taxes which are subject to change:

Maun - Macatoo Camp: £205 per person each way

Kasane - Macatoo Camp: £300 per person each way

**Special Offer** For stays of 7 nights or more we can offer a 50% discount on return Maun flights. For stays of 10 nights or more we can offer FREE return flights from Maun.

Please note that from 1st June 2017, Botswana have introduced a Tourism Levy of 30 USD which must be paid in cash on arrival at the airport

Airport: Johannesburg (JNB)

Alternative Airport: Maun



Macatoo Camp

Please note this horseback safari is exciting but not strenuous. This itinerary only serves as a guide; all scenarios are dependent on the season and levels of the Okavango flood. At times it may not be possible to go on fly camps and during cooler months one longer ride may replace the normal morning and evening rides. Your host reserves the right to alter the itinerary in any way and leaves this to the discretion of the guides. Local weather conditions may also affect game movements.

Day 1:

On arrival in Maun you are met and transferred by plane and a game drive to the camp which overlooks a seasonal flood plain lagoon. After lunch under the trees, there is time for a rest before the evening ride where you can get to know your horse. You return, as every evening, to a candle-lit dinner.

Day 2:

Awoken by a cup of tea or coffee in bed, followed by a light breakfast you then ride westwards following elephant trails from one palm island to another through seas of grass into the back country. After lunch and a siesta you ride out into the plains, later enjoying a drink while the sun goes down.

Day 3:

You leave camp early to investigate fresh game tracks, joining semi-aquatic red lechwe as they thunder through the water meadows. A champagne breakfast is waiting for you under a large baobab tree. The evening ride is spent exploring the lower flood plains where elephant often gather at a pool. As dusk closes in you have drinks around the fire.

Day 4:

You ride through different country, making your way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains with fig trees.You might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mopane woodlands. Your pace increases as you break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons. Return to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure and later a night drive by spotlight.

Day 5:

Today's ride heads deeper into the heart of the delta, to reach another river system and a hippo pool. Return to camp by a different route. In the afternoon you may prefer to take a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) to drift gently through the reeds, searching for the pretty little painted reed frogs; or perhaps try your hand at fishing from the steel boat whilst listening to the haunting cries of the African Fish Eagle. After dinner you may choose to spend the night on the Treehouse platform - sleep under a mosquito net high in the trees and listen to the sounds of the bush around you.

Day 6:

Having slept under the stars, the next morning you splash through water on the vast open plains, home to wildebeeste and zebra. The riding may be fast as you approach deep reedy areas full of bird life – heading back to main camp for a hearty lunch followed by another afternoon activity.

Day 7:

For our last full day you ride through the shallow flood plains admiring the deeper pools of lilies. Here the buffalo gather in numbers and you have to creep up to them using islands for cover. The evening offers a last quiet ride with memorable smells of sage as the sun goes down.

Day 8:

For your final ride you will go along some of the high palm islands which offer great vistas. You'll maybe take a final exhilarating gallop and run with the game before returning to camp to prepare for your onward journey.

We are sure you will never forget the true sense of freedom which you will experience on your horse with in the Okavango Delta in Africa.

Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Confident, fit intermediate and experienced riders.
Type of ride: Stationary safari.
Total riding time: 4-6 hours per day on average.
Departure dates: All year round with a 3 night minimum stay. Flexible arrival/departure dates
Pricing: Prices are PER PERSON, PER NIGHT on a shared tent basis.


Green Season (January, February, March, December): £485 per person sharing, per night.

Mid Season (April, May, June, November): £610 per person sharing, per night.

Peak Season (July, August, September, October): £725 per person sharing, per night.

Single supplement of 50% if not prepared to share twin-bedded accommodation. There is one tent dedicated to single travellers and to which no supplement applies, subject to availability.

NB. 3-night minimum stay but 5 - 10 nights recommended.

Honeymoon suite: this is available at a surcharge of £150 per couple, per night.

Non-riding Adults are eligible for a 10% discount on the above rates. Non-riding Children (under 12 years) are eligible for a 50% discount.

Best of Botswana Safari

Experience the best of Botswana on horseback by joining this combination ride - six nights with Limpopo Horse Safaris and at least three nights at African Horseback Safaris! This is the ultimate Botswana safari and guests will ride most of the popular Tuli Trail before enjoying a stay at Macatoo Camp in the Okavango Delta. Ride with a herd of giraffe or zebra across the plains and track elephant or buffalo from island to island. Cantering your way through the lagoons of the Okavango Delta, perhaps accompanied by some lechwe, is a breathtaking experience. Watch the spectacular African sunsets whilst listening to the calls of lion and hyena.

Sample Itinerary (serves as a guide: scenarios are dependent on weather, water levels etc. The organisers reserve the right to alter the itinerary as necessary and at the discretion of the guides):

Day 1: You will be met at Johannesburg International Airport at 11 am for the flight which will depart at around 12.00 (one hour flight) to Limpopo airstrip where you will be met by a representative from Limpopo Horse Safaris and transferred to the reception area by the stables. Following a light lunch, you will be taken to the stables to meet your assigned horse and to set out on a short introductory ride, a chance to make sure that you are well matched. If there is time then you will ride directly to Two Mashatus Camp or otherwise back to the stables again. After dismounting it's time for a refreshing drink before heading to camp for a warm shower and a delicious dinner, served in the Llala palm dining room at the Two Mashatus camp. 

Day 2: The day begins at sunrise with tea/coffee brought to your tent, followed by a light breakfast. Mount up and head away from the dense woodland along the Limpopo river towards the shallow rocky hills that mark the edges of this great river valley. Your destination is Majele River Camp - a rustic series of cabins atop the steep banks of the Majele river. Here, in the heart of the Mashatu area, the game is plentiful. The Tuli area is home to one of the largest herds of free-roaming elephants south of the Zambezi and you are almost assured of great viewings of these magnificent creatures. After lunch and a siesta you will take a gentle guided walk to a nearby lookout spot known as 'Majele Koppie'. Dinner is prepared over an open fire and enjoyed in the thatched lapa overlooking the river.

Day 3: An early wake up call heralds a new day and tea/coffee and breakfast is served around the log fire pit. Today your journey takes you through the heart of Mashatu to the ancient rock formations synonymous with the Limpopo valley. Giant baobabs silently survey the land as they have for centuries, ancient elephant trails are stamped into the soil and there are wonderfully long canters on offer through the open scrub. This ride brings you to the banks of the Motloutse river, and nestled amongst the dense Mashatu trees sits a leadwood boma or "Kgotla". This is an old tribal court from a nearby community that was relocated to the banks of the Motloutse River on the western periphery of Mashatu. The open-air traditional African enclosure is offers perfect security for spending a night under the stars and a unique experience in the African bush. In the afternoon you are taken on a guided walk to the "Ampitheatre", an ancient rock formation, before ending your walk with sundowners overlooking the river. Back at the Kgotla, dinner is enjoyed around a large log fire after which the night is spent sleeping under the stars while listening to the cacophony of sounds generated by the African bush orchestra.

Day 4: You spend another night at Kgotla Camp tonight and so you have the choice of doing a morning and afternoon ride, or of doing a longer morning ride with an afternoon excursion. Rides will explore the amazing sandstone formations including the famed Solomon’s Wall. Some of the oldest civilizations in southern Africa had their settlements in this valley, with their kings safely nestled in royal kraals on top of these flat-topped hills.  The Mapungubwe topography is ancient and timeless, and combined with the great wildlife sightings, makes for an incredible riding day. If you opt to do one longer ride in the morning then rather than an afternoon ride you will visit the nearby village of Lentswe Le Moriti and the basket weavers, followed by a trip to the Mmamagwa Hills. After a short, easy climb you can sit beneath a beautiful baobab and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Tuli area, with South Africa to the south, Zimbabwe to the north and Botswana surrounding you.

Day 5: Another early rise and a good breakfast will set you up for probably your longest day on horseback. Wind your way through the mopane bush, with the chance of sighting elephant, before reaching the more open plains close to the Limpopo river. Liana Camp is snugly nestled amongst giant Mashatu trees that line the Liana lagoon, a tributary of the Limpopo river. To ease your aching muscles, this afternoon is your opportunity to explore Mashatu from a game drive vehicle and try to locate the elusive leopard, cheetah and lion the area is renowned for.

Day 6: Today's ride meanders through the beautiful plains between the Mojali and Majele rivers. Abundant with game and with spectacular views of the Limpopo river valley, you make your way back towards your base camp, Two Mashatus. Feeling like a returning traveller, you can relax in the comfort of this permanent camp with its pool, shady tents and ensuite bathrooms. In the afternoon, ride to a nearby koppie for sundowners before returning to camp for dinner.

Day 7: This is your last day in the Tuli and begins with early morning tea, coffee and a breakfast snack over the open fire. You will ride along the Limpopo River, enjoying the last few hours with your steed, before heading back to the stables where you will bid them a fond farewell. This shorter ride of about two hours means that you have time for a hearty brunch before getting ready to depart. You board the light aircraft for your flight onwards to the Okavango Delta - you will enjoy a bird eye view as you approach! Macatoo Camp, overlooking a seasonal flood plain lagoon, lies just a short game drive or (depending on the time of year) an exciting boat ride from the airstrip. Guests enjoy a quick look around camp and lunch under the trees before relaxing or taking a siesta until it's time for tea. Then you can mount up for an evening ride and a chance to get to know your horse, returning to camp for a hot shower and a candle-lit safari dinner. 

Day 8: This morning you will wake up with a cup of tea or coffee brought to you in bed. This is followed by a light breakfast of homemade toast and muesli and then a ride out from camp to explore. Depending on the season this may involve galloping, swimming through the flood waters of pushing on through the seas of tall grass, following giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo or whatever else is out there! After the morning's excitement you ride back to camp to enjoy an outdoor lunch with the guides... if you're lucky then it will be their famous chicken pie and some good wine to encourage a little nap before tea. The evening ride is of a slower-pace and is a good time to ask questions and take photos. Leopard sightings are not unusual and the bird life is considered some of the best in the world. As sunset approaches you may also get to interact with some elephant or hippo! A sundowner is enjoyed out in the bush before you ride back to camp to fresh up. Dinner is not always eaten in the same place...

Day 9: Wake up as normal with freshly-brewed coffee or tea and then, depending on your wishes, you can choose between another ride out (maybe to find the rare semi-aquatic antelope or the red lechwe) or perhaps a guided walk, game drive or a spot of bream fishing from the boat. Riders and non-riders can meet for a spectacular champagne breakfast under one of the impressive baobab trees. After lunch you can relax, swim in the pool or maybe read a book. Homemade tea and cake is followed by a sunset ride, exploring the lower flood plains where elephants often gather at a pool. As dusk approaches it is fascinating to watch them interact in the wild and being on horseback allows you to get that much closer.

Day 10: After waking up amongst the trees, listening to the call of the African Fish Eagle, you are ready to ride again! You will splash through the water covering the vast plains, home to blue wildebeeste and Burchell's zebra. This ride may well be fast as you reach the deep and reedy areas which are full of bird life such as open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets, egyptian geese and more. The path back to Macatoo is along the myriad of waterways which are lined with large trees. On arrival back at camp it is time to pack your things and say goodbye before you are driven to the airstrip with a picnic lunch. Your hosts are sure that you will never forget the true sense of freedom you have experienced on your horse in the African Bush. 

Accommodation: Six nights at luxury camps on the Tuli Safari (Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris) followed by at least three nights at Macatoo Camp, Okavango Delta (African Horseback Safaris).

Tuli: Wilderness/Satellite Camps - set up in specific locations throughout the Mashatu Reserve. Accommodation is in A-frame tents on comfortable beds with sheets and duvets. Facilities include a bucket shower and "bush-WC". Meals are cooked over an open campfire.

Tuli: The Kgotla - An old tribal court (leadwood enclosure) as described in the itinerary. Guests sleep on beds around a large log fire which blazes at the centre.

Tuli: Two Mashatus - Nestled in the shade of a centurion Mashatu tree, two traditionally built Llala palm rondavels serve as the dining area and lounge. Accommodation is in big A-frame, walk-in tents which are pitched on teak platforms. They have en-suite enviro loos and hot water showers. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree with a small deck area on which to relax in the afternoons.

Okavango: Macatoo Camp - This camp is situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta. Covering 17,000km sq, this is the largest inland delta in the world and offers a mix of labyrinth channels, palm fringed islands and fertile floodplains. The beautiful camp features eight large, luxury, en-suite safari tents on raised wooden platforms. These overlook the floodplains where elephant, zebra, buck and the birdlife can be seen by visitors from their private verandahs or even bed! Centrally there is a large, well-appointed mess tent and a private pool lies tucked away.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Experienced riders who must be riding regularly (at least once or twice a week) and who are comfortable at all paces, including gallop, as well as managing small jumps should you have to. Riders must be 16 or older.
Type of ride: Trail and Based Combination.
Total riding time: Flexible - six days riding on the Tuli Trail and then optional daily riding at Macatoo Camp (you may choose to enjoy other activities instead).
Departure dates: 2019: Safaris available for a min of 2 pax. Safaris start on a Sunday with 6 nights at Tuli followed by a min of 3 nights at Macatoo camp.
Pricing: 2019:

Jan-March: £5735 per person sharing (6 nights Tuli; 3 nights Macatoo)

April 1-27: £5110 per person sharing (6 nights Tuli; 3 nights Macatoo)

April 27 - 30 June: £5770 per person sharing (6 nights Tuli; 3 nights Macatoo)

July - October: £6115 per person sharing (6 nights Tuli; 3 nights Macatoo)

November: £6770 per person sharing (6 nights Tuli; 3 nights Macatoo)

December: £6395 per person sharing (6 nights Tuli; 3 nights Macatoo)

Price includes shared accommodation (6 nights on the Tuli Safari, 3 nights at Macatoo Camp), all riding and activities, all meals, selected local beverages and laundry service, all internal transfers, charter flights and VAT.

Extra nights are Macatoo are possible - please enquire for prices.

Price does not include international flights (UK to Johannesburg; Maun to Johannesburg; Johannesburg to UK), travel insurance, tips and extras not mentioned.

You MUST book flights at the following times to meet these air transfers:

Arrival: Your flight MUST land before 09:30 to allow time to collect your luggage, clear passport control and make it to the gate. If you arrive later than this then you will have to pay extra for a Menzies transit service or a private road transfer.

Departure: You flight MUST depart Maun in the afternoon, and then depart Johannesburg late in the evening (we recommend later than 20:00).

There are luggage restrictions on the light aircraft which will be detailed in full after you have booked.

**From 1st January 2019, a conservation fee of USD 10 per person per night will need to be paid locally for the nights in Mashatu**