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Horizon Horseback Adventures and Safaris

Overview

Horizon Horseback offers a range of riding safaris in the malaria-free Waterberg region South Africa and now also in Botswana via their sister company (see Horizon Botswana page). Regular winners of the 'Best Riding Safari in Africa' title in the prestigious Safari Awards, Horizon is a well-known h…

Highlights

  • Fun riding for all ages & abilities in split groups
  • Plenty of plains game such as giraffe, zebra, antelope
  • Discover your competitive edge and try polocrosse
  • Swim your horse in the dam amongst the lily-pads
  • Relax with sundowners, listening to the hippo calling

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 13st 5 lbs/ 187lbs / 85kg.
    more info Slightly heavier riders may be accepted if very experienced or tall - please enquire.

Description

Horizon Horseback offers a range of riding safaris in the malaria-free Waterberg region South Africa and now also in Botswana via their sister company (see Horizon Botswana page). Regular winners of the 'Best Riding Safari in Africa' title in the prestigious Safari Awards, Horizon is a well-known horse safari destination with a longstanding reputation for its friendly, relaxed atmosphere and focus on quality and service. Not only that, but they manage to combine the thrill and luxury of safari with surprisingly affordable prices. 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 lodge based safari at the historic family property, or a mobile safari such as the 'African Explorer' which is organised in conjunction with Horizon Botswana. On the lodge stay riders stay on Horizon's main property, set in a private game reserve alongside a beautiful lake with hippo and surrounding plains game. The set-departure Signature Safari's and African Explorer Safari's also offer the chance to sleep under canvas, traditional 'safari style', by incorporating some nights in Horizon's own tented camp, Camp Davidson (these are only available for Intermediate riders upwards).

When based on the main property guests can ride safe in the knowledge that whilst they may see the beautiful likes of zebra and giraffe, there are none of the animals considered most dangerous (primarily elephants and big cats).

Lodge based safaris at Horizon can be tailor made to suit your needs. With a large herd of horses available, there is a suitable partner for every level of rider including safe mounts for beginners and children (and some spicier options for those who like some spirit!). The choices of riding are almost endless and include outrides through the game reserve, swimming with the horses in the lake (subject to local conditions), western games, polocrosse or perhaps even popping logs in the jumping lanes scattered through the reserve. Weddings can also be arranged here and you will find it the ideal setting for such special occasions.

All the team from Far and Ride have been lucky enough to ride here on different occasions and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Horses & Riding

Tack

McClellan trail saddles are used on safaris both in South Africa and Botswana. They are comfortable for both horse and rider when spending long hours in the bush.

Horses

Anglo Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Boerperds and cross breeds.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Horizon Lodge Based Stay is a based ride
  • African Explorer is a trail ride
  • Signature Safari is a trail ride

Ages

No Age Limit

Health

No specific health requirements

Weight

13st 5 lbs/ 187lbs / 85kg. Slightly heavier riders may be accepted if very experienced or tall - please enquire.

Food & Accommodation

Food

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.

Accommodation

The main lodge accommodation comprises several rooms and chalets, all of which are en-suite with either a shower, a bath or both. Guests also have access to a spacious living area, dining room, stoep (verandah) and swimming pool which overlooks the lake.

Room options at the lodge include both standard rooms and garden chalets:

Standard Rooms (1):
Lodge Room

Garden Chalets (4):
Hippo 1
Hippo 2
Twin Peaks
Old Rondavel

Luxury Chalets (3):
Hippo 3 (upstairs Hippo room)
Rock Lodge (remote cottage by the lake)
Lakeside (remote cottage by the lake)

We will book you for either a standard room, garden chalet or luxury chalet (depending on your preference) but not specify which exact room you will be in unless requested.

In addition to the main lodge, Horizon also has a tented camp called 'Camp Davidson' where guests can stay for a more traditional 'under canvas' safari experience. The camp features luxurious canvas tents with decking and is completely run on solar energy. It also has its own small swimming pool. This accommodation is only available as part of the African Explorer or Signature Safari set itinerary.

Itineraries

Horizon Lodge Based Stay Standard / Luxury accommodation.

African Explorer Tented accommodation.

Signature Safari Tented / Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Non-riding activities are available primarily at an added cost, although guided bush walks and attendance of the local Sunday church service are included free of charge. Other options include game drives, night sky safaris, massages, Vaalwater shopping trip or an excursion to the Telekeshi Ramasobane Cultural Village.

Travel

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.

Horizon Group Transfers:
Arriving: Daily leaving ORT at approx. 11:15 (arriving at Horizon approx. 14:15): you must arrive before 10:15am.
Departing: Daily leaving Horizon at approx. 14:00 (arriving at ORT after. 17:00): you MUST book flights departing 20:00 or later to allow time for traffic.

If your flights do not fit these timings, then private transfers will need to be organised for those whose flights arrive after 10:15 am and depart before 18:30 (please note that an additional cost will be incurred for this service and you may miss out on the first/last ride).

African Explorer Transfers include:
Day 1 - leaving ORT at 11:15am for Camp Davidson. Your flight MUST arrive before 10:15 and you should arrive to Camp Davidson at 14:30 in time for a late lunch. For 2024 safaris, your flight MUST arrive before 09:30.
Day 5 - depart from Bellevue on horseback at 06:30, riding to Horizon lodge. Depart Horizon at 09:30, by car, arriving at the stables in Botswana by 13:00 for lunch.
Day 8 - Departure day air transfer from Botswana to Lanseria, departing LVA (close to the stables) at 12:30, landing in Lanseria at 14:05. On the event of bad weather you will take a road transfer to ORT airport instead, arriving there at 18:00. You MUST book a flight leaving ORT after 20:00.

Please note that alternative transfers cannot be organised for those taking part in the African Explorer. Those who are not able to book flights to fit these times should consider spending an extra night in South Africa before or after the ride in order to meet the transfer times.

Testimonials

Molly R., Oct. 17, 2023

African Explorer: It was very nice! I enjoyed my time there and the animal sightings were great. The horses were well broke and saddles comfortable. The food was excellent. I really enjoyed seeing all the baby animals! Simon was incredible in South Africa!! We loved Feastaus in Botswana. Umpauo was a little worn out and burnt out and was a little cold but extremely knowledgeable.


Peri T., July 3, 2023

Africa Explorer: It was a completely amazing once in a lifetime experience. We've made wonderful memories for a lifetime. Although the trip is expensive you can see where every penny goes, and why other places are much more. The horses were exceptional, every member of the team was fabulous, the animal viewing was both safe and incredible and plenty of wonderful food and drink too! Favourite memory? Too many to say just one! My lifetime ambition of seeing giraffes from a horse that I never thought I'd be able to do, the staff singing before dinner in Botswana, sitting and singing around the campfire all together esp for my daughters 21st! And seeing a honey badger!! One of the main things still on my mind though is how wonderful the horses were, how fantastically well they are looked after and how much they enjoyed their work with the amazing team of staff and volunteers.


Grainne M., March 21, 2023

I had the most amazing time... would recommend to anyone thinking of going to Horizon to do it, it's a very special place.


Jackie M., Feb. 17, 2023

Totally relaxing and well organised. Favourite memory? Getting close to a lion family on a game drive (off-site). Food & Accommodation? Exceeded expectations. Horses? The horses were all well cared for and well matched to the riders ability. The tack was in very good condition and cleaned daily, very soft and supple. Guides? The full time guides were extremely knowledgable and professional. The back up guides were mostly temporary volunteers but all capable and good company. Any improvements? Stay longer next time!


Hennie & Danno, June 29, 2022

Fantastic horses, amazing accommodation, plenty of nice food and a nice intro to safari riding... If you felt anything wasn't quite right, they listened and helped sort it.


Seema, Feb. 18, 2020

Very chilled and hospitable place, really well planned and thoughtful touches in the accommodation, really appreciated the daily laundry and the food was divine! The horse matching was excellent, the rides were varied with galloping on open plains, being able to look at the scenery and trust my horse was just amazing! I had been so well prepared by the Far and Ride team they answered all my questions and I can't wait to book my next trip with them.


Calvin and Susan, May 8, 2018

This was the trip of a lifetime! It was absolutely wonderful. Probably one of the best memories was cantering with the zebras and then having a family of warthogs spring up out of the grass right in front of us. Camp Davidson was really special too. (Horizon Lodge and Camp Davidson)


Chris & Gerry G. (Horizon & Jaci's Lodge combination), Nov. 3, 2017

A wonderful experience! Split between 2 very different locations and types fo safari. The first - horse riding on a secure reserve gave our group of 3 the opportunity to get close to the animals (a great range, excluding lion, elephant, buffalo) in a natural environment. Great riding - it felt safe at all times, despite the hippo and crocodile. Jaci's Tree Lodge safari - a great follow-on vehicle safari giving us close viewing of so many more (some endangered) species - overall a brilliant experience that just grew and grew with each day. (Accommodation?) Both locations - really excellent! Loved the horses (at Horizon) all individuals, but so responsive and willing to move! The fact that the herd of 80 plus horses were free on the reserve gave an added element to the horses' relationship with the Horizon team. (Favourite memory?) Horizon - walking on horseback so close to the giraffe, zebra, etc. The fast canters, gallops, the polocrosse and jumping - all great fun. Jaci's tree lodge - probably 2 young elephants play-fighting for over half an hour in the pool next to the lodge.


Samantha K., Oct. 17, 2017

It was an amazing experience. Wonderful holiday. (Favourite memory?) Swimming with the horses.


Jane L., May 18, 2016

The best riding holiday I've ever done (and I've done a lot over the years). Horizon blew me away - I cried when I left! Such a beautiful place and so well run, with the guests' and horses' needs at the heart of everything.


Anne L., April 8, 2015

I had a really good time, the people, staff and guests were great. The staff look after you very well and become more like friends than staff. I ended up with a couple of horses that I really trusted. The guides were very knowledgeable. It was the perfect holiday – action on the horses and relaxation and eating in between, and boy, was the food good. Not hotel stuff, but very good home cooked food. I even came home with a recipe from Ryno.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

You will be collected from Johannesburg OR Tambo International airport and transferred c. 3 hours to the lodge, arriving in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon you will be able to join your first ride, which is a relaxed affair to give you the opportunity to settle into your surroundings. Crossing the plains, enjoy your first encounter with wildlife on horseback such as ostrich, impala, zebra, kudu, eland or giraffe.

A stunning lookout spot for sundowner drinks is a welcome moment to take in your first taste of Africa after a long journey, before returning to the lodge for a three course dinner.

Days 2 to 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

During a typical seven day holiday, guests have the chance to explore a wide area (21,000 acres) on horseback, venturing into different parts of the reserve and the conservancy. There are two riding activities per day - a longer morning ride (up to 3 - 4 hours) and a shorter afternoon ride (1 - 2 hours). Below we have detailed the different kind of rides you can experience during your stay, depending on your riding ability and preferences.

Out Rides and Game Viewing

Observing the local wildlife and seeing the bush from horseback is simply the best way! The sandy tracks wind through areas of thicker bush as well as open plains and the going is easy for both riders and horses. The game here doesn't view horse and rider combinations as a threat so you are able to ride close to animals such as giraffe and zebra.

Conservancy Ride

During your stay there is usually the opportunity for a full day ride, heading west into the conservancy game reserve. This route allows for long canters and the chance to see some different animals including large herds of wildebeest, hartebeest, sable, eland and blesbok. Buffalo, ostrich, kudu, waterbuck and impala may also be encountered. 

You eat lunch at the conservancy lodge and take a rest by the pool before making your way back to base, arriving in time for sundowners, although there is the option for an overnight out in the conservancy if you prefer (please enquire). 

Polocrosse

This is open to novice riders as well as those more secure in the saddle - your hosts will teach you how to play and find that guests often get quite competitive after a few chukkas! The game combines polo and lacrosse and uses a soft ball and lacrosse-like sticks. Players are divided into teams of three (a scorer, centre and defence) and the game starts with a line-out where the umpire throws the ball into play. The aim of the game is to pick up and throw or steal the ball in order to shoot and score a goal, but tactics may even include riding opponents off the pitch. Here at Far and Ride we LOVE the game with all of us having tried it during our own visits to Horizon. 

Swimming with your Horse (subject to local conditions)

This is one of the most popular activities at Horizon, especially for those who have not done it before. After a morning ride and providing conditions allow, you have the chance to take your horse swimming in the dam by the lodge. The motion of horses swimming underneath you is a wonderful feeling and it's the perfect way to cool off after a morning in the saddle. (Swimming cannot be offered when the hippo are resident in the dam).

Western Games

A team of guides run a western games afternoon which is full of great exercises to test the skills of both children and adult riders. Activities may include pole-bending, barrel-racing, threading a sword through a stirrup, hunting a marshmallow, musical horses and more. Brings out the team spirit in guests and is a real hit with younger riders especially. 

Jumping

There are a number of small jumps (inviting logs etc) and jumping lanes which are suitable for many levels of rider and incorporated into the out rides. 

Village Ride to the Local School

On the greater farm lies a small village called Lehlabile, comprising around 40 Sotho dwellings, a small primary school and creche. Many of the Horizon staff were born in the village and grew up there. This ride takes you through the village to the local school - you can see the traditionally painted houses, chat to villages and meet the children at the school. The children will often sing and dance for you and if you'd like to bring anything for them, they love donations of crayons, pencils, paper paint, play dough, secondhand books and toys

Day 8

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

On your final day there is usually time for one last ride on your favourite horse before a delicious lunch. You may have to check-out of your room if other guests are arriving but can relax in the communal spaces until your transfer arrives to whisk you back to Johannesburg airport.

Accommodation

Guests stay in a room or chalet at the main lodge.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities welcome. Rides are split so that experienced riders can enjoy faster riding, whilst beginners take things easy.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Any duration from 3 nights or more with flexible arrivals and departures)

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2025 - Dec. 31, 2025  (Any duration from 3 nights or more with flexible arrivals and departures)

Pricing

2024
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Single, High Season
£445 $555 €520 per night
High season July - December 2024
2024
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Single, Low Season
£345 $430 €405 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2024
2024
Standard Room, Single, Low Season
£245 $305 €285 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2024
2024
Third Person in any Room, Low Season
£200 $250 €235 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2024. Applies to third person only.
2024
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Sharing, Low Season
£245 $305 €285 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2024
2024
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Sharing, Mid Season
£270 $340 €315 per night
Mid season March - June 2024
2024
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Single, Mid Season
£380 $475 €445 per night
Mid season March - June 2024
2024
Standard Room, Single, Mid Season
£270 $340 €315 per night
Mid season March - June 2024
2024
Third person in any room, Mid Season
£225 $280 €260 per night
Mid season March - June 2024. Applies to third person only.
2024
Standard Room, Single, High Season
£320 $395 €370 per night
High season July - December 2024
2024
Third person in any room, High Season
£265 $330 €310 per night
High season July - December 2024. Applies to third person only
2024
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Sharing, High Season
£320 $395 €370 per night
High season July - December 2024
2025
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Single, Low Season
£375 $465 €435 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2025
2025
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Sharing, Low Season
£265 $330 €310 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2025
2025
Standard room, Single, Low Season
£265 $330 €310 per night
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2025
2025
Third person in any room, Low season
£225 $280 €265
Low season 6th Jan - 28th Feb 2025. Applies to third person only.
2025
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Single, Mid Season
£410 $510 €480 per night
Mid season March - June 2025.
2025
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Sharing, Mid Season
£295 $365 €340 per night
Mid season March - June 2025.
2025
Standard room, Single, Mid Season
£295 $365 €340 per night
Mid season March - June 2025.
2025
Third person in any room, Mid Season
£250 $310 €290 per night
Mid season March - June 2025. Applies to third person only.
2025
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Single, High Season
£485 $605 €565 per night
High season July - December 2025.
2025
Luxury/Garden Chalet, Sharing, High Season
£345 $430 €405 per night
High season July - December 2025.
2025
Standard room, Single, High Season
£345 $430 €405 per night
High season July - December 2025.
2025
Third person in any room, High Season
£295 $365 €340 per night
High season July - December 2025. Applies to third person only
Included Accommodation, meals, drinks (including local beers, wines and spirits), horse riding and bush walks.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, tips or extra activities and services not mentioned.

Extras

2024/2025 - Group Airport Transfer (set time) £138 $172 €161
Paid to Far and Ride
GROUP transfers from and to Johannesburg airport are charged per person each way and are strictly at SET TIMES. You will have to wait for riders arriving on other flights. Clients must arrive no later than 10h15 Clients must depart no earlier than 19h30.
2024/2025 - Private Airport Transfer £320 $400 €375
Paid to Far and Ride
PRIVATE transfers can be arranged outside of usual arrival times, or if you need to stop for shopping and don't want to share. These are charged per vehicle each way.
2024/2025 - Sunday Group Airport Transfer (set time) £75 $93 €88
Paid to Far and Ride
Only available on Sundays for guests staying a minimum of 7 nights. GROUP transfers from and to Johannesburg airport are charged per person each way and are strictly at SET TIMES. You will have to wait for riders arriving on other flights. Clients must arrive no later than 10h15 Clients must depart no earlier than 19h30.
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 - 2 hours

You will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and transferred to Camp Davidson (approximately 3 hours) in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon you are introduced to your safari horse, ensuring that you are matched with a horse to suit your ability and experience before you head off on your first ride. This first ride is a relaxed affair to give you the opportunity to settle into your new surroundings. Crossing the plains, enjoy your first encounter with wildlife on horseback such as ostrich, impala, zebra, kudu, eland, giraffe, warthog and jackal.

A stunning lookout spot for sundowner drinks is a welcome moment to take in your first taste of Africa after a long journey before returning to Camp Davidson for a three course dinner.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Todays ride sets out from the high country overlooking a beautiful wilderness area to the east and heads south, winding along the banks of Sunset Lake where resident Fish Eagles and Spur-Winged Geese are often spotted, as well as a pod of resident hippo. Later ride through the open savannah where wildebeest and zebra can be encountered. The riding is varied, from canters along sandy tracks to winding through rocky outcrops and densely wooded areas. Weather and local conditions permitting there may be a chance to take the horses for a swim in one of the dams before returning to camp for lunch and a chance to relax by the pool.

The afternoon ride offers more chance for hippo viewing and some great long canters.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Todays ride heads to the game conservancy which is home to Bellevue Lodge. The ride traverses a wide wetland, home to reedbuck and grass owls, before entering dense woodland dotted with wild fig trees and large fruited bushwillows. Here it crosses the watershed and descends through open grasslands with sweeping views to the upper reaches of the conservancy's main water system. Your route passes the favoured habitat of waterbuck and Cape buffalo. The open plains that follow are aptly known as Little Serengeti and are filled with large herds of blesbuck, eland, wildebeest and kudu as well as elegant sable, swift red hartebeest and impressive journeys of giraffe and Cape buffalo. After a lunch at the lodge and a rest by the pool, the afternoon continue to explore this game rich area, closing with sundowners overlooking the African plains.

Overnight Bellevue Lodges.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

A morning ride from the lodge in search of buffalo before returning to the lodge for lunch and a chance to relax and enjoy this beautiful setting before riding back to Horizon lodge in the afternoon. Say goodbye to your horses and head back up to Camp Davidson for a final night in South Africa.

Day 5

Riding: 2 - 4 hours

An early ride down from Camp Davidson to Horizon Lodge where there's time to quickly freshen up before jumping into the vehicle for the transfer to Botswana, which aims to depart at 9am. You'll arrive at Mashatu in time for lunch before changing into your riding clothes and heading out on your first afternoon ride to experience your new horses before arriving at the newly built Tree camp.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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. 

Depart Tree Camp and explore the centre of the reserve and game rich Pitsane river area before arriving at Two Mashatus camp in time for lunch and a cooling afternoons rest beside the pool.

In the afternoon you can either ride or take a game drive to the south-western side of the reserve, which is an area not reached on horseback during this itinerary. It is an area which is rich in game with a resident pride of lion. The highlight of the drive is a sundowner in the ancient landscape of rock formations of the Mmagwa hills, with vast vistas into the setting sun.

Day 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Full morning ride from Two Mashatus camp.

The afternoon brings the chance to choose between a bush walk, afternoon ride or possibly a game drive with Mashatu looking for cats (subject to availability and an additional charge of USD 75 per person). Return to Two Mashatu camp for your last night in Africa.

Day 8

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

A final early morning ride back to the stables, taking one last photo of elephant of enjoying a long and winding canter through the scattered Mustard bush. At the stables there is time for a quick shower and brunch before heading back to the airport.

Light aircraft transfer back to Johannesburg airport for your flight home.

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.

Accommodation

3 nights Camp Davidson, 1 night Savannah Lodge, 1 night Tree Camp, 2 nights Two Mashatus Camp

Experience Experienced

You need to be a competent rider, able to post to the trot and take a forward seat in canter. You should be used to riding in all paces across varied terrain and remain in control in a group. For your own safety there is a rider assessment on the first day to ensure all riders are safe to ride in big game areas.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

Jan. 5, 2024 - Jan. 12, 2024

Jan. 12, 2024 - Jan. 19, 2024

Jan. 19, 2024 - Jan. 26, 2024

Jan. 26, 2024 - Feb. 2, 2024

Feb. 2, 2024 - Feb. 9, 2024

Feb. 9, 2024 - Feb. 16, 2024

Feb. 16, 2024 - Feb. 23, 2024

Feb. 23, 2024 - March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024 - March 8, 2024

March 8, 2024 - March 15, 2024

March 15, 2024 - March 22, 2024

March 18, 2024 - March 25, 2024  (**Mon-Mon - slightly different Botswana route**)

March 22, 2024 - March 29, 2024

March 29, 2024 - April 5, 2024

April 1, 2024 - April 8, 2024  (**Mon-Mon - slightly different Botswana route**)

April 5, 2024 - April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024 - April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024 - April 26, 2024

April 22, 2024 - April 29, 2024  (**Mon-Mon - slightly different Botswana route**)

April 26, 2024 - May 3, 2024

May 3, 2024 - May 10, 2024

May 10, 2024 - May 17, 2024

May 13, 2024 - May 20, 2024  (**Mon-Mon - slightly different Botswana route**)

May 17, 2024 - May 24, 2024

May 24, 2024 - May 31, 2024

May 31, 2024 - June 7, 2024

June 7, 2024 - June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024 - June 21, 2024

June 21, 2024 - June 28, 2024

June 28, 2024 - July 5, 2024

July 5, 2024 - July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024 - July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024 - July 26, 2024

July 26, 2024 - Aug. 2, 2024

Aug. 2, 2024 - Aug. 9, 2024

Aug. 9, 2024 - Aug. 16, 2024

Aug. 16, 2024 - Aug. 23, 2024

Aug. 23, 2024 - Aug. 30, 2024

Aug. 30, 2024 - Sept. 6, 2024

Sept. 6, 2024 - Sept. 13, 2024

Sept. 13, 2024 - Sept. 20, 2024

Sept. 20, 2024 - Sept. 27, 2024

Sept. 27, 2024 - Oct. 4, 2024

Oct. 4, 2024 - Oct. 11, 2024

Oct. 11, 2024 - Oct. 18, 2024

Oct. 18, 2024 - Oct. 25, 2024

Oct. 25, 2024 - Nov. 1, 2024

Nov. 1, 2024 - Nov. 8, 2024

Nov. 8, 2024 - Nov. 15, 2024

Nov. 15, 2024 - Nov. 22, 2024

Nov. 22, 2024 - Nov. 29, 2024

Nov. 29, 2024 - Dec. 6, 2024

Dec. 6, 2024 - Dec. 13, 2024

Dec. 13, 2024 - Dec. 20, 2024

Dec. 20, 2024 - Dec. 27, 2024

Dec. 27, 2024 - Jan. 3, 2025

Pricing

2024
High Season (May-November), sharing
£2860 $3565 €3340
2024
Mid Season (Mar, Apr, Dec), sharing
£2420 $3015 €2825
2024
Low Season (Jan, Feb), sharing
£2115 $2635 €2470
2025
Low Season (Jan, 5-31 Dec), sharing
£2510 $3130 €2930
2025
High Season (Feb-Dec 6), sharing
£3205 $3990 €3740
Included 7 nights accommodation (4 in South Africa and 3 in Botswana), all meals, all drinks (soft drinks and local beers, wines and spirits), riding and safari activities as per itinerary.
Not included Flights, transfers, travel insurance, conservation fee, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Airport Transfer (road and flight) £520 $645 €605
Paid to Far and Ride
Includes arrival day road transfer from ORT airport to Camp Davidson, Day 5 transfers from Camp Davidson to Botswana and departure day air transfer (charter flight) from Botswana to Johannesburg. Transfers are strictly at set times - please check with us.
2024/2025 - Conservation Fee $20 per night
Paid locally
Conservation Fee payable locally for the nights in Botswana
2024/2025 - Single Supplement 50.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement is only payable if not willing to share.
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 - 2 hours

Guests will be personally met at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg by our sister company, Saddlebag Shuttles. The road trip up to Horizon Lodge in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve in Limpopo Province takes about three hours. After a light lunch in the gardens of the Lodge, and later a sumptuous tea, guests will be introduced to their horses. The first ride is a gentle introduction to the reserve and an excellent opportunity for first encounters with species such as zebra, giraffe and hippo. The riding ranges from purposeful walking to easy cantering along sandy tracks and culminates with sundowner drinks on the open plains.

Horizon takes great care to match horse to rider based on a guest’s riding experience and ability. Given that the first two nights of the safari are spent at the Horizon Lodge, the operational hub for Horizon’s herd of close to 100 horses, there is ample time to ensure that the most suitable horse is available for the long days in the saddle over the last five days of the safari.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

The ride this morning is generally sporty. The route follows the centre of an open valley which is home to species such as kudu, sable, reedbuck, red hartebeest, waterbuck and impala. The sandy tracks make for excellent going, and the route crosses open grassland and weaves through dense woodland. Dark red pedigree cattle bred on the property are often encountered on this route. When conditions are suitable, the last stretch of the ride involves splashy canters along the edge of the lake adjacent to Horizon Lodge. This is a great experience, but don’t expect to remain dry in the process! There is also the chance to cool off whilst experiencing the exhilaration of swimming on horseback. The afternoon ride heads east following the river past a series of dams where encounters with hippo are likely and returns across the open plains. At this time of day there is often much activity on the plains, with the herds mingling in the soft sunlight and different groups coming and going as they prepare for the night. It is a truly magical experience to be able to ride so close to these wild animals, which have become completely relaxed in the presence of the horses.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

An early start is needed for the long ride from the Horizon Lodge to either Savannah Lodge in the far south west of the reserve, or Seringa Lodge in the south east. The first part of the route covers country that riders will now be somewhat familiar with, but soon enters new terrain. In places the bush is thick but after a while the scenery opens up to grasslands with sweeping views to the south and west. Riding through this landscape gives riders a sense of the vastness of the African plains. The area boasts a very high concentration of game with herds of over 300 blesbuck, or 80 eland, often sighted. Other species which are home to the plains include red hartebeest, tsessebe and ostrich. There are plentiful zebra, wildebeest, impala and giraffe, and smaller groups of sable, roan and waterbuck. The final stretch to Savannah Lodge is along a wooded stream where kudu and bushbuck are likely to be seen.

After a relaxing time around the pool and within the sophisticated lodges, it is time to ride to the southern most areas of the reserve in search of Cape buffalo. These are members of Africa’s famous “Big Five” and deserve their formidable reputation. Riders therefore need to be alert and responsive to the guides’ instructions. This area is known for its spectacular sunsets as the sun sets over the distant headlands of the Waterberg escarpment – a fitting end to an eventful and memorable day in the African wilderness.

Day 4

Riding: 5 hours

Another long ride through game rich country returns riders to the heart of the operation, Horizon Lodge. The route taken is different from that on the outward leg, turning this part of the safari into an exciting journey passing through diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Game species typically prefer different habitats, with nyala and bushbuck for instance occupying dense forest-like sections of the reserve while blesbuck and hartebeest stick to the open plains, and waterbuck and reedbuck, unsurprisingly, are normally seen close to streams and other waterways. The route provides excellent opportunities to see giraffe, which is always a highlight.

After more than five hours in the saddle, the afternoon activity is a game drive in the nearby Entabeni or Welgevonden game reserves. Although this involves an hour or more of travel to reach these destinations, the opportunity to see lion, elephant and rhino in their natural environments make this excursion well worthwhile.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Horseback rides in a game reserve are always interesting because one never knows what animals will be encountered. The route on this day goes deep into the reserve to parts with a real wilderness quality. After about three hours in the saddle, riders arrive at a giant wild fig tree for a delicious bush breakfast prepared on an open fire. After this hearty meal the route back to the lodge passes through a dense forest area where some of the shyer species like to shelter. That afternoon guests leave Horizon Lodge and head towards Camp Davidson for an exciting night under canvas. The camp is perched high on a ridge overlooking a vast wilderness area to the east. This is not a long ride, but the route is exciting, following a narrow trail along the edge of the ridge. Wildlife often encountered in the area includes baboon, bushpig, kudu and klipspringer. Porcupines are frequent nocturnal visitors to the camp and leopard spoor outside the tents is not uncommon.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Today’s route covers the north eastern areas of the reserve, descending from the camp to cross a stream and open plain and then tracks through untouched bush to the upper reaches of Sunset Lake. This lake is a favourite haunt of the hippo on the reserve and home to crocodile, otter, fish eagle and other waterfowl, such as the beautiful African jacana. Guests ride along the water’s edge and must be constantly on the lookout for the hippo. These animals, while having a reputation for being some of the most dangerous in Africa, are not a threat during the day but will often honk and blow as they observe the riders go by. The route offers an opportunity for exciting splashy canters, which the likes of Esme and Laura Collett loved doing. Having left the lake, riders cross open plains with some quick riding back towards Horizon Lodge. After the morning’s exertions, guests can relax around the swimming pool and enjoy the beautiful unspoilt surroundings. The afternoon activity is polocrosse, an amalgam between polo and lacrosse. The game is highly addictive and is sure to bring out competitive passions! Horses which are used to playing the game are used and no previous experience of playing polocrosse is required. What is guaranteed is a great deal of fun. Tonight’s dinner starts with a wine tasting , each wine is paired with a complimenting amuse-bouche.

Day 7

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

The route follows the valley down to eastern edge of the reserve, before crossing up to the highlands near Camp Davidson and then winding along game trails back to the lodge. There are places on this ride for extended canters, interspersed with off-piste riding with very scenic views across the highlands of the Waterberg. In the afternoon, riders follow a route interspersed with optional cross country jumps on the way to sundowners in a stunning spot with views over the rolling hills. A slow ride back to the Lodge at dusk completes the day’s adventure.

Day 8

Riding: 3 hours

By now riders are well versed in all aspects of the safari experience, and in consultation with their guides can suggest a favourite ride for their final experience. This is a last opportunity to ride amongst Africa’s incredible antelope species through a beautiful environment on superb horses. Following lunch in the garden it is time to embark on the road transfer back to the airport in Johannesburg.

Accommodation

Five nights are spent at Horizon Lodge, with one night at a Bellevue Plains Lodge and one night at Camp Davidson

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You must be at least an intermediate rider who is comfortable in all paces in open spaces. There is some fast riding and the opportunity to pop over some small logs/jumps on some routes.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 7, 2024 - Dec. 22, 2024  (Available every week, always starting on a Sunday)

At any time during: Jan. 6, 2025 - Dec. 31, 2025  (Available every week, always starting on a Sunday)

Pricing

2024
Low Season (Jan/Feb), Single Garden Chalet
£2575 $3205 €3005
2024
Mid Season (Mar/Apr/May/June), Single Garden Chalet
£2815 $3510 €3290
2024
High Season (July - Dec), Single Garden Chalet
£3285 $4095 €3835
2024
Low Season (Jan/Feb), sharing Garden Chalet or Single Standard room
£1880 $2340 €2195
2024
Mid Season (Mar/Apr/May/June), sharing Garden Chalet or Single Standard room
£2055 $2560 €2400
2024
High Season (July - Dec), sharing Garden Chalet or Single Standard room
£2390 $2975 €2790
2025
Mid Season (Mar-Jun), Sharing Garden Chalet or Single Standard room
£2230 $2775 €2600
2025
High Season (Jul-Dec), Single Garden Chalet
£3565 $4440 €4160
2025
High Season (Jul-Dec), Sharing Garden Chalet or Single Standard room
£2590 $3230 €3025
2025
Low Season (Jan/Feb), Single Garden Chalet
£2790 $3475 €3255
2025
Low Season (Jan/Feb), Sharing Garden Chalet or Single Standard room
£2040 $2540 €2380
2025
Mid Season (Mar-Jun), Single Garden Chalet
£3055 $3805 €3565
Included 7 nights accommodation, all meals, drinks (including local beers, wines and spirits), horse riding as described.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, tips , optional off-site game drive (£98pp) or extra activities and services not mentioned.

Extras

2024/2025 - Big Five Game Drive £98
Paid locally
Subject to availability and includes transfer to the reserve.
2024/2025 - Sunday Group Airport Transfer (set time) £150 $187 €175
Paid to Far and Ride
Only available on Sundays for guests staying a minimum of 7 nights. GROUP transfers from and to Johannesburg airport are charged per person return and are strictly at SET TIMES. You will have to wait for riders arriving on other flights. Clients must arrive no later than 10h15 Clients must depart no earlier than 19h30. If you stay longer and arrive on days other than Sunday then the standard transfer rates apply (see Lodge Based Stay itinerary for prices)
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.