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Delta Trail (Ride Botswana)

Overview

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 …

Highlights

  • Wade through lily-filled waterways on horseback
  • Ride alongside buffalo, elephant and towering giraffe
  • Camp in different locations for best game viewing
  • Dine under the stars and marvel at the milky way
  • Donkeys or mokoros move your belongings - no vehicles

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

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.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Trail saddles or English Wintec GP's

Horses

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

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Delta Trail is a trail ride
  • Delta and Desert Ride is a trail ride

Ages

8 years and older but children MUST be experienced riders

Health

Fit & Healthy

Weight

95kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Food & Accommodation

Food

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.

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.

Itineraries

Delta Trail Tented accommodation.

Delta and Desert Ride Tented accommodation.

Other 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.

Travel

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

Testimonials

Tiggy A., Nov. 8, 2018

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.


Thomas S., Nov. 6, 2018

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.


Mirren K., May 9, 2017

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.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 2 - 4 hours

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 2 to 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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.

Day 8

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

Ride back to the fringes of the delta and the buffalo fence (which protects the wildlife from the domesticated cattle) for your transfer back to Maun airport

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in a mobile camps with fully made-up stretcher beds, bucket showers and short-drop toilets.

Experience Experienced

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.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

July 28, 2021 - Aug. 4, 2021

Aug. 7, 2021 - Aug. 14, 2021

Aug. 28, 2021 - Sept. 4, 2021

Sept. 18, 2021 - Sept. 25, 2021

Sept. 26, 2021 - Oct. 3, 2021

Oct. 16, 2021 - Oct. 23, 2021

Oct. 24, 2021 - Oct. 31, 2021

Nov. 13, 2021 - Nov. 20, 2021

Nov. 21, 2021 - Nov. 28, 2021

Jan. 1, 2022 - Jan. 8, 2022

Jan. 8, 2022 - Jan. 15, 2022

Feb. 1, 2022 - Feb. 8, 2022

Feb. 21, 2022 - Feb. 28, 2022

March 12, 2022 - March 19, 2022

April 12, 2022 - April 19, 2022

May 7, 2022 - May 14, 2022

May 15, 2022 - May 22, 2022

May 23, 2022 - May 30, 2022

June 11, 2022 - June 18, 2022

June 19, 2022 - June 26, 2022

June 27, 2022 - July 4, 2022

July 10, 2022 - July 17, 2022

July 18, 2022 - July 25, 2022

July 26, 2022 - Aug. 2, 2022

Aug. 11, 2022 - Aug. 18, 2022

Aug. 29, 2022 - Sept. 5, 2022

Sept. 12, 2022 - Sept. 19, 2022

Sept. 27, 2022 - Oct. 4, 2022

Oct. 15, 2022 - Oct. 22, 2022

Oct. 23, 2022 - Oct. 30, 2022

Nov. 5, 2022 - Nov. 12, 2022

Nov. 13, 2022 - Nov. 20, 2022

Dec. 3, 2022 - Dec. 10, 2022

Pricing

2021
Low Season (January-March & December); Sharing
£2695 $3730 €3200
2021
High Season (July-October); Sharing
£3610 $4990 €4285
2021
Mid Season (April-June & November); Sharing
£3180 $4395 €3770
2022
Mid/Peak overlap (27 June-4 July)
£3680 $5090 €4370
2022
High Season (July-October); Sharing
£3940 $5450 €4680
2022
Mid Season (April-26 June & November); Sharing
£3485 $4820 €4135
2022
Low Season (January-March & December); Sharing
£2955 $4085 €3505
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared tents, all meals, all drinks, 6 days of riding & road transfers from/to Maun airport.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, tourism levy (c. US$30 per person) on arrival to Botswana, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement £505 $700 €600
Paid to Far and Ride
There is no single supplement if you are willing to share, even if you end up in a single tent. To guarantee a single tent the supplement is payable.
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.

Day 1

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

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 2 to 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 6

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

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 7

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

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 8

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

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 9

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

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.

Experience Experienced

Strong Intermediate to experienced riders only.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

July 20, 2021 - July 28, 2021

Aug. 17, 2021 - Aug. 25, 2021

Sept. 7, 2021 - Sept. 15, 2021

Oct. 7, 2021 - Oct. 15, 2021

Nov. 6, 2021 - Nov. 14, 2021

Dec. 12, 2021 - Dec. 20, 2021

March 21, 2022 - March 29, 2022

April 1, 2022 - April 9, 2022

April 21, 2022 - April 29, 2022

May 31, 2022 - June 8, 2022

July 5, 2022 - July 13, 2022

Aug. 23, 2022 - Aug. 31, 2022

Sept. 6, 2022 - Sept. 14, 2022

Sept. 20, 2022 - Sept. 28, 2022

Oct. 7, 2022 - Oct. 15, 2022

Nov. 22, 2022 - Nov. 30, 2022

Pricing

2021
High Season (July-August); Sharing
£4725 $6535 €5610
2021
Mid Season (September-October); Sharing
£4510 $6235 €5355
2021
Low Season (May-June, November-December); Sharing
£4200 $5810 €4990
2022
Low season (21-29 March), sharing
£4030 $5575 €4785
2022
Mid season (April-June & November)
£4585 $6340 €5445
2022
Shoulder Season (September-October), sharing
£4910 $6790 €5830
2022
Peak Season (July-August), sharing
£5140 $7105 €6100
Included 8 nights accommodation in shared tents, all meals, all drinks, 7 full days of riding as well as a short ride on both arrival and departure days (time allowing) & transfer from Maun to the Delta on arrival.
Not included Flights, transfers from Maun to the Kalahari (road or air), travel insurance, tourism levy (c. US$30 per person) on arrival to Botswana, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Air Transfers (Maun - Kalahari, round trip) £570 $790 €675
Paid to Far and Ride
Air transfers from Maun to the Kalahari per person return (min 2)
2021 - Air Transfers (Maun - Kalahari, round trip) £560 $775 €665
Paid to Far and Ride
Air transfers from Maun to the Kalahari per person return (min 2)
2021/2022 - Road Transfer (Maun - Kalahari, round trip) £250 $350 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
Alternative road transfers per person return (min 2)
2022 - Single Supplement (Apr-Jun; Sep-Nov) £1130 $1565 €1340
Paid to Far and Ride
April-June, September-November There is no single supplement if you are willing to share and end up on your own, but to request single tents throughout incurs a supplement.
2021 - Single Supplement (High Season) £1045 $1445 €1240
Paid to Far and Ride
July-August: There is no single supplement if you are willing to share and end up on your own, but to request single tents throughout incurs a supplement.
2022 - Single Supplement (Jul-Aug) £1215 $1685 €1445
Paid to Far and Ride
July-August There is no single supplement if you are willing to share and end up on your own, but to request single tents throughout incurs a supplement.
2021 - Single Supplement (Low & Mid season) £975 $1350 €1160
Paid to Far and Ride
May-June, September-December: There is no single supplement if you are willing to share and end up on your own, but to request single tents throughout incurs a supplement.
2022 - Single Supplement (March) £360 $500 €425
Paid to Far and Ride
There is no single supplement if you are willing to share and end up on your own, but to request single tents throughout incurs a supplement.
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.