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African Horseback Safaris (Macatoo)

Overview

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, …

Highlights

  • Fast, fun riding across the floodplains on great horses
  • Splashy canters through the shallows and deep wades
  • View big game such as elephant & buffalo from horseback
  • Relax in a stunning camp & watch the wildlife from deck
  • Spend a night on the sleep-out platform under the stars

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group (16 in camp)
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg/ 210 lbs / 15 stone.
    more info Riders weighing between 95-100kg may be accepted subject to availability and for advanced riders only. Those exceeding 100kg may be accommodated by special arrangement only

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 eight 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.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Saddles used are a combination of English and western-style trail saddles. The majority of these are synthetic as the man-made material copes better with getting wet during splashy canters in the delta waters. Bridles are English style and horses generally respond to English riding aids as well.

Horses

There is a mixed stable of horses, including some Thoroughbreds, Namibian Hanoverians, Kalahari-Arab crosses, South African Boerperd crosses and some Percherons. The horses have been chosen for their rideability and temperament and are all forward going and responsive. Heights range from c.14.3hh to 17hh and the wide choice means you are certain to find one you bond with.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Macatoo Camp is a based ride

Ages

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

Health

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.

Weight

95kg/ 210 lbs / 15 stone. Riders weighing between 95-100kg may be accepted subject to availability and for advanced riders only. Those exceeding 100kg may be accommodated by special arrangement only

Food & Accommodation

Food

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.

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.

Itineraries

Macatoo Camp Tented / Luxury accommodation.

Other Activities

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.

Travel

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.

Air transfers are an additional cost - please see individual itinerary pricing for details

**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 introduced a Tourism Levy of 30 USD which must be paid in cash on arrival at the airport

Testimonials

Peter H., June 7, 2021

Excellent, even better than hoped for! (Horses were) Perfectly matched, great equipment & lovely horses. (Favourite memory?) Waking up with an elephant bull outside our tent at 5 am!


Anita & Paul H., Dec. 19, 2014

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.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

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

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 7 hours

For your 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

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

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.

Accommodation

Each night is spent in one of 8 spacious and well-appointed tents, each with their own en-suite bathroom.

Experience Experienced

Confident, fit experienced riders. This is big-game country and you should be capable of staying on and in control in all situations across varied terrain. The pace can be fast at times.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 10
Accommodation for up to 16.
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2022 - Dec. 31, 2023  (Dates available to suit with flexible arrival and departure days. 3 night minimum stay, but 5-10 nights recommended.)

Pricing

2022
Green Season (Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec); per person; sharing
£495 $550 €560 per night
2022
Mid Season (Apr, May, 1-14 June, 15 Oct-30 Nov); per person; sharing
£645 $715 €730 per night
2022
Peak Season (15 June-14 Oct); per person; sharing
£790 $880 €895 per night
2023
Green Season (Jan, Feb, Mar, Dec); per person; sharing
£545 $605 €620 per night
2023
Mid Season (Apr, May, 1-14 June, 15 Oct-30 Nov); per person; sharing
£710 $790 €805 per night
2023
Peak Season (15 June-14 Oct); per person; sharing
£870 $970 €990 per night
Included Shared accommodation, all meals and selected local beverages (including beers, wines and spirits), riding and non-riding activities, government taxes.
Not included Flights, air transfers from Maun/Kasane to camp, travel insurance, tips, visas & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022/2023 - Honeymoon Suite Upgrade £150 $167 €171 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Honeymoon Suite supplement, per couple, per night
2023 - Kasane to Camp Light Aircraft Transfer £355 $395 €400
Paid to Far and Ride
Kasane to camp by fixed-wing plane, each way, per person
2022 - Kasane to Camp Light Aircraft Transfer £340 $375 €385
Paid to Far and Ride
Kasane to camp by fixed-wing plane, each way, per person
2023 - Maun to Camp Light Aircraft Transfer £250 $280 €290
Paid to Far and Ride
Maun to camp by fixed-wing plane, each way per person **Special Offer** For stays of 7 nights or more we can offer a 50% discount on return Maun air transfers. For stays of 10 nights or more we can offer FREE air transfers from Maun.
2022 - Maun to Camp Light Aircraft Transfer £245 $270 €275
Paid to Far and Ride
Maun to camp by fixed-wing plane, each way per person **Special Offer** For stays of 7 nights or more we can offer a 50% discount on return Maun air transfers. For stays of 10 nights or more we can offer FREE air transfers from Maun.
2022/2023 - Single Supplement 50.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
There is one tent available for single travellers with no supplement (subject to availability). Other singles must be prepared to share a twin bedded tent or pay a supplement of 50% to guarantee their own tent.
2022/2023 - Non-Riding Children 50% discount for non-riding children (under 12 years)
2022/2023 - Non-Riding Adult 10% discount for non-riding adults
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.