Delta Trail (Ride Botswana) riding holiday in Botswana - Far and Ride
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Delta Trail (Ride Botswana), Botswana




Programmes


• Delta Trail

• Delta and Desert Ride

 

Reviews



It was an absolute privilege to be the second group out exploring that part of the delta, finding new islands, stumbling across gorgeous rain pans and enjoying the new terrain with the horses. There were excellent canters, both splashy and dry, stunning scenery and some truly special sightings - a glorious lone bull elephant and creeping ever closer to a herd of cape buffalo stand out. The horses were amazing and well matched to riders. David was a great host, incredibly knowledgeable and with so many stories. His staff are also excellent - the food was stupendous. All in all a really great trip and I know it will only get better as David continues to explore the area.

Mirren K.
Great experience! What an amazing week. Impressive landscape. Incredible wildlife. Horses mostly were good to control, sure-footed and seem to be treated very well. The camps were arranged perfectly. Staff was well trained and friendly. Food was outstanding. The groups are small, which makes everything much easier. And being for one week away from streets, cars and cell phone networks was also a good experience.

Thomas S.
EXCELLENT! Guides Gideon and David were fantastic. David, quiet and understated, hugely knowledgeable and great company. Gideon did an excellent job. All staff were amazing. The accommodation was comfortable, lovely hot water. Food was superb. (Favourite memory?) Riding at sunrise.

Tiggy A. (Aug 2018)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mostly crossbreeds including Shire x TB, Boerperd cross and Appaloosa sport horses. Some purebred Appaloosas also.

Nature of horses:

Sure footed and well trained

Height of horses:

14.2 - 17hh

Weight limit:

95kg / 210 lbs

Tack type:

Trail saddles or English Wintec GP's

 

Travel Advice



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

Ride Description

This is a unique trail ride in the Okavango Delta, where you stay in mobile camps and can follow the herds of game as they migrate through this glorious wetland. Guided by David Foot or a member of his team, who also guides our Kalahari ride and has a vast experience, this trail has already become a firm favourite.

Recently declared the 1000th World Heritage Site, the unique Okavango Delta is a horse riders paradise - as the floodwaters spill down into the Kalahari sands from Angola, the herds and birdlife follow. Horseback is the perfect place from which to observe this magical event.

This unique ride does not use a permanent riding camp, but a lightweight mobile camp is transported by a flotilla of mokoros (traditional dugout canoes) which are poled by members of the local community who live on the fringes of the delta and know it intimately. If water levels are low then a herd of pack donkeys will carry belongings instead. With no vehicles involved, this is a genuinely environmentally friendly and low impact safari.

The emphasis is on experiencing the beauty of the Okavango Delta with top-level guiding. This is a big game area and you could be tracking huge herds of buffalo one day or viewing elephants as they bathe in the cool waters another. Follow hippo paths through the reeds and explore the dry islands for antelope, giraffe, zebra and a multitude of animal and birdlife. Lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog are also present in this area but this is a true wilderness safari and so sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Combination Desert and Delta safaris are also possible, which combine the beautiful Okavango Delta with the stunning Kalahari in one epic safari.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in a mobile camp in lightweight tents (with standing room), fully made-up stretcher beds, bucket showers and short-drop toilets.

Camp is transported by either a flotilla of mokoros poled by members of the local community (high water) or by donkeys and their handlers, all of which know the delta intimately. The ability to move camp is a highlight and means you can traverse the delta to find the area with the best wildlife sightings.

All meals will be prepared over an open fire in camp and you will be amazed at the diversity and quality of the meals.

Breakfast is usually light as it's taken before dawn! Lunch will be something like cold meat platters with fresh salads, fruit, cheeses and homemade breads. Dinners will be hearty and three courses with plenty of fresh vegetables.

 

Activities

There are opportunities to explore the Delta on foot and in a mokoro (dug-out canoe) but the emphasis is on riding.

Non-riders can be accommodated provided there are at least two non-riders in the group - an additional walking guide would be provided for the non-riders who could explore the delta on foot or on the mokoro, meeting the riders at lunches and back at camp in the evening.

 

Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: Fit & Healthy

Age limit: 8 years and older but children MUST be experienced riders

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, riding, meals, drinks, transfers

Not included: Flights, insurance.

 

Travel Information

Transfers are from Maun. You can fly to Maun on Air Botswana from any of the following airports:

Johannesburg (South Africa)
Gaborone (Botswana)
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)
Windhoek (Namibia)

You can also fly to Maun with South African Airways from Johannesburg. From the UK, the South African Airways flights from London Heathrow via Johannesburg to Maun are usually the cheapest and most reliable.

You are transferred by road from Maun airport to the fringes of the Delta and ride into the Delta from there. These road transfers are included in the seven night safaris.

**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: Maun

 

Programmes


Delta Trail



Exploring the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta is an exhilarating experience and this unique ride allows you to truly explore the area. There is no set itinerary and each nights camp will be situated in a unique location and chosen depending on the water levels at that time and game movements. There are many shady islands to choose from and each are beautifully located. Camp may not move every night, but can be moved to find the best wildlife sightings.

Your holiday starts from Maun airport and there is a short 30 minute transfer to the "buffalo fence" (designed to keep cattle out of the Delta). Your horses will be waiting for you here, along with a team of camp staff who will load your luggage onto mokoros (dug-out canoes). Whilst you head off riding into this pristine wilderness, your luggage and camp equipment is peacefully transported on these mokoros which are poled by members of the local community. If water levels are too low for mokoros then pack donkeys will be used instead. This safari is designed to be low impact on the environment.

A typical day starts with an early wake-up call and a light breakfast around the camp fire as dawn breaks. This is when the game is most active and so the best time to set out on horseback. Follow ancient elephant trails whilst searching for a variety of wildlife and enjoying the prolific birdlife. Canter across the flooded plains and meander through the wooded islands. Herds of buffalo may be in the vicinity, giraffe often saunter by and red lechwe may splash through the water alongside you whilst kudu peer from the thickets.

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta in the shade of a giant jackalberry or leadwood tree. A meditative evening ride is spent listening to the sounds of the bush with the snorting and splashing of the horses, before returning to camp for dinner under the stars.

During the week it is likely you (or the horses!) will want to rest and this offers the perfect opportunity to glide serenely through the lily-lined lagoons in the mokoro. This traditional mode of transport offers a different perspective - be certain to look out for the brightly coloured painted reed frogs hanging to the reeds! There are also chances to venture out on foot with your guides too - to learn some rudimentary tracking skills and discover the smaller creatures which inhabit the bush.

No two days are the same but each day is astonishing and you will discover this unique and unspoilt wilderness in a privileged way.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You need to be a capable and experienced rider. This is a big game area and you should be able to stay on your horse and stay calm and in control in all situations.
Type of ride: Mobile safari
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights / 6 full days riding
Departure dates: 2020: 2-9 January, 20-27 January, 3-10 February, 17-24 February, 3-10 March, 11-18 March, 7-14 April, 26 April-3 May, 4-11 May, 25 May-1 June, 6-13 June (confirmed), 15-22 June, 23-30 June (confirmed), 1-8 July (FULL), 20-27 July (confirmed), 3-10 August, 17-24 August (confirmed), 25 August-1 September, 7-14 September, 14-21 September, 28 September-5 October, 12-19 October, 25 October-1 November, 2-9 November, 19-26 November, 27 November-4 December, 5-12 December, 14-21 December.
 
Pricing: 2020:

Low Season (January-March, 27 November-31 December): 3028 per person sharing

Mid Season (April-June, 1-26 November): 3568 per person sharing

High Season (July-October): 4051 per person sharing

There is no single supplement for the first two singles who are genuinely travelling alone. For additional singles or those who want their own tent despite travelling with others, the supplement is 568

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.



Delta and Desert Ride



Discover two of the most spectacular areas of Botswana as you move between the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert. This itinerary includes 5 nights in the floodplains of the Delta combined with three nights in the dry pans of the Kalahari desert offering two unique experiences in one.

NB. The ride is also available as 5 nights in the pans and 3 nights in the delta - see our Kalahari Ride for more details.

Day One:

On arrival at Maun airport you are met and transferred to the fringes of the Delta where you meet your horses and team. Your luggage is loaded onto pack donkeys or mokoros (depending on water levels) and transported to camp, whilst you venture on horseback into the watery wilderness of the delta. Before the sun sets you will arrive at your first secluded camp.

Days Two - Five:

There is no set itinerary and the location of camp depends on water levels and wildlife movements. Camp is likely to move twice during the five nights so that you can explore different areas of the delta .

A typical day starts with an early wake-up call and a light breakfast as dawn breaks. Mount up and spend the morning following ancient elephant trails searching for the large variety of wildlife, enjoying the prolific birdlife and cantering through the flooded plains. Herds of buffalo may be in the vicinity, giraffe may saunter by and lechwe may splash through the water alongside you whilst kudu peer out from the thickets. 

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta under the shade of giant jackalberry or leadwood trees. 

In the afternoon enjoy a gentle evening ride appreciating the tranquility of the Okavango, listening to the sounds of the bush and snorting and splashing of your horses. Return to camp for dinner under the stars. 

Occasionally you (and the horses) may prefer a rest in which case you can take a sedate journey in a mokoro or perhaps a bush walk to look for the smaller creatures that inhabit the bush and learn some tracking skills. 

Day Six:

A more leisurely start as you ride back to the fringes of the delta and the buffalo fence (which protects the wildlife from the domesticated cattle) for your transfer to Camp Kalahari in the Makgadikgadi pans. You can either transfer by light aircraft (50mins) or road (3 hours). Camp Kalahari is a lovely static camp nestled amongst acacias and moklowane palms with thatched central areas and a refreshing pool.

After afternoon tea, head out on an introductory ride to experience the magical open landscapes of the desert. Return to camp for sundowners so that the horses are safely in the kraal before the lions start prowling! 

Day Seven:

Ride at dawn for a light breakfast followed by a morning ride through the 'land of a thousand islands'. The remains of this ancient lakebed is dotted with sand dunes covered in palm trees and is a beautiful and fascinating landscape. During this dry season the white encrusted pans between the island provide excellent going for the horses and there are plenty of opportunities for fast canters! 

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon head out in the game vehicle to search for the elusive brown hyena - these consummate desert specialists survive in arid areas where both water and food are scarce. Enjoy a night drive back to camp with the spot light to look for nocturnal species such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari lion.

Day Eight:

A highlight for many, today you head off on horseback to discover some of the Kalahari's most endearing species - the meerkats. An ongoing habituation programme means you can get up close and personal with these captivating creatures, so you'll leave the horses with the grooms and approach on foot to sit amongst the family. Watch how they interact with each other, and if you are lucky, become a lookout post! As the day warms up, leave the meerkats to their foraging and ride the well-worn paths to find resident zebra and ostrich gathered around water holes before returning to camp for lunch.

In the late afternoon head out for an adventure on a quadbike as you ride straight into the middle of the ancient lakebed. Eventually all that can be seen is a vast flatness stretching in every direction as the sun sets and the stars rise. The silence is so complete you can hear your own blood circulating through your ears and there is not a single landmark - it's easy to lose your perspective. Return to camp for dinner.

Day Nine:

After breakfast ride through the bush to a traditionally built Bushmen village where the local Zu'hoasi people gather during the day. Your guides are privileged to work with these families who share their knowledge with each other and their guests. A two hour walk with these extraordinary people will provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and the bushmen's way of life. The group will point out distinct ecological characteristics of the area along with its animal and bird species. After your walk, return to camp by horseback in time for a quick refresh before your transfer back to Maun for your flight home. 



Accommodation: 5 nights in a mobile camp in the Okavango Delta and 3 nights in the static Camp Kalahari in the pans.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Strong Intermediate to experienced riders only.
Type of ride: Semi-mobile Safari
Total riding time: 9 days/8 nights/ 7 days of riding with short rides on arrival/departure days
Departure dates: 2020:
31 March-8 April, 19-27 April, 12-20 May, 19-27 May, 2-10 June, 9-17 July, 14-22 July, 28 July-5 August, 11-19 August, 1-9 September (Escorted ride), 22-30 September (confirmed), 6-14 October, 19-27 October, 10-18 November
(For dates Jan-Mar please see our Desert and Delta itinerary on our Kalahari ride page).
 
Pricing: 2020:

Low Season (March-June, November): 4717 per person sharing

Mid Season (September-October): 5062 per person sharing

High Season (July-August): 5305 per person sharing

There is no single supplement if you are willing to share and end up on your own, but to request single tents throughout the supplements are as follows:

March-June, 22 September-November: 1098
July-9 September: 1176

Transfers from Maun to the Kalahari are an additional cost of 602 per person return for air transfers or 284 per person return for road transfers. Please note that a minimum of 2 pax are required for road transfers or you have to pay for two pax.

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.