A HORSE SAFARI WITH 1950’S STYLED LUXURY
The remote and mysterious Makgadikgadi Pans are a place to feel gloriously free. During the dry season we ride at a fast pace into the heart of the Pans and still arrive nowhere! When the rains fill the Pans we traverse the adjoining grasslands and woodlands where the full waterholes attract the last surviving migration of zebra and wildebeest in southern Africa. Imagine riding with more than 30,000 zebra scattered over the grasslands as far as the eye can see. Africa’s famous explorer Dr. David Livingstone crossed these pans in the 19th century, using two massive baobabs, believed to be 3,000 to 4,000 years old as a navigation tool.
David Foot who has over 25 years of experience leading safaris throughout southern and central Africa will help select the ideal horse for your riding ability and be your guide on what will be a horse safari of a lifetime.
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland deltas situated in the middle of the largest stretch of continuous sand in the world – the Kalahari basin. This oasis in the middle of the desert is a rich yet fragile ecosystem, providing a life source for an incredible variety of wildlife. A wealth of species have adapted to the conditions created by living in the harsh Kalahari desert which is transformed with the arrival of the delta flood waters originating in Angola.
Camp Kalahari has ten Meru tents: seven twin tents, two double tents and one family unit comprising two twin tents with an inter-leading bathroom. All tents have en-suite outdoor bathrooms, flush toilets and the hottest, wettest showers in the Kalahari. The tent interiors are classic old 1950’s safari style, replete with comfy beds, crunchy cotton sheets, stripy African blankets and hot water bottles in winter.
Shinde camp consists of eight large safari style tents on timber decking furnished in elegant African style, featuring open gauze windows and en-suite bathrooms with a separate toilet. The main lodge is known as the ‘tree house’ and is a multi-tiered structure with the dining room adjoined by stairs and ramps (for wheelchair-friendly access) to several lounging areas each offering different aspects across the delta.
Shinde camp also features a curio shop and a swimming pool. Within the camp is the Shinde Enclave, a perfect choice for a family or small group. The enclave is a camp within a camp, and offers guests their own private deck, dining facilities and an exclusive host/guide.
Meet & greet at Maun Airport and transferred by light aircraft to Camp Kalahari where you spend 5 nights. Transfer by light aircraft to Shinde Camp for 3 nights and then transfer by light aircraft back to Maun for onward travel arrangements. Fully Inclusive of all meals and local drinks.
- Fully Inclusive
- Walk with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen
- 5 day horse riding safari
- Quad biking adventures available
- Meerkats & sleep under the stars
- Explore the Okavango Delta on water
- Walking safari, day & night game drives available
Meet & greet at Maun Airport and transferred by light aircraft to Camp Kalahari where you will be greeted by your host and guide David Foot and settled into Camp Kalahari on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
Cool off in the swimming pool or enjoy a siesta in the thatched pavilion. Head off after tea in the beautiful afternoon light for an introductory ride – primarily to match horse and rider but also your first opportunity to experience the beauty of this magical area. Return to the camp for sundowners and to kraal the horses close by, followed by dinner.
Up with the dawn, a light breakfast is followed by a long morning ride through the “land of a thousand islands”. Stranded on the ancient lakebed, these sand dunes covered in palm trees are one of the most beautiful and fascinating areas of the Botswana wilderness. At the height of the migration season, the islands and adjoining grasslands are awash with zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest and ostrich – and of course the attendant predators. The white encrusted pans between the islands provides excellent going for the horses, but if there has been a lot of rain then many of these areas will be full of water attracting several species of migratory water birds. Return to the camp for lunch and rest through the heat of the day. After tea, head off by vehicle to see some unique desert species such as springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and the elusive brown hyaena; a timid nocturnal, solitary forager, rarely seen by humans. Enjoy a night game drive back to camp and look for nocturnal desert inhabitants such as aardvark, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, porcupine, honey badgers and perhaps even a black maned Kalahari Lion. Arrive at Camp Kalahari in time for dinner.
Today is a long ride eastwards to Xau Xai Fly Camp, so an early start is imperative. Be sure to pack a few essentials for the next two days of adventure. The journey takes us away from the edge of the Pans and through the mopane and acacia woodlands interspersed with short grasslands allowing for lovely long, relaxed canters. Whilst the area is rich in birds of prey, bustards, korhaans and numerous other unusual dry woodland bird species; there is also a chance that we will sight kudu and the odd elephant bull. By lunchtime we reach the famous Green’s Baobab proudly positioned alongside the well-travelled Missionary Road, traversed by David Livingstone on his journeys northwards. The magnificent trunk of this ancient tree is scarred with the initials of early travellers dating back some 150 years. Break for lunch at the adjacent Gutsa Pan under a stand of palm trees where we may find Stone Age artefacts and the hunting blinds used over millennium by the Bushmen. Siesta through the midday heat and after tea, continue the journey on to Xau Xai Fly Camp.
Wake up to a steaming hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast, before heading off on your horses in search of some of the Kalahari’s most fascinating inhabitants, the meerkats. With our horses tethered we will proceed on foot in to the midst of the group. They are not tame– just used to our non-threatening presence. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth.
As the day warms up, leave the meerkats to continue foraging. Mount up and follow the well-worn trails that lead to the resident herds of zebra and large congregations of ostriches attracted to the area by permanent freshwater in hidden waterholes. Return to Xau Xai for lunch, a refreshing shower and a siesta in the shade of the mess tent. In the late afternoon take a walk to a nearby permanent waterhole to look for many of the Kalahari’s special bird species and, as the sun sets, watch the hundreds of sand grouse fly in for a drink. Return to camp for another beautiful evening under a Kalahari sky with a delicious dinner around the campfire.
Dry season sleep out:
Return to Xau Xai for lunch and a refreshing shower. Set off in the late afternoon for one of the greatest adventures imaginable – a ride straight out into the middle of the ancient lakebed!
Watch the sun set and the stars rise. This is one of the only places in the world where the silence is so complete you can hear the blood circulating through your ears. It is here that we’ll make camp, sleeping on bedrolls under the silence of a star studded sky.
As the dawn greets this extraordinary landscape and the last of the stars disappear, wake for a light breakfast before mounting up and heading homewards at a fast pace, sometimes riding along the edge of the Pans and at other times heading into the woodlands and open grasslands where the zebra and wildebeest graze. From a great distance the famous Chapman’s Baobab appears on the horizon. Also known as the Seven Sisters, it is acknowledged to be one of the largest trees in Africa, measuring 25metres around its girth, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area.
Arrive at Camp Kalahari in time for a refreshing shower and lunch. As the sun dips below the horizon and the last light fades, we will be sure to dwell on these amazing past few days. Incredible scenery, memorable wildlife encounters and above all superb riding!
After breakfast, drive through the bush to the traditionally built Bushmen village; where the community gathers during the day. The huts provide shelter from the harsh Kalahari environment, but are not the community’s permanent accommodation. On arrival, the elders of the community will meet you in a traditional manner after which you will walk out into the bush with the men, women and children. The focus of the walk will be to provide a gentle introduction to the Kalahari and Bushmen way of life. The group will point out the distinct ecological characteristics of this area and its animal and bird species. Spontaneous gathering and discussions about the uses of plants and wildlife by your Bushmen Guides provide the link between culture and wild environment that we seek to offer our Guests. After lunch you will depart for your onwards journey and be transferred by light aircraft to Shinde Camp.
Day Six, Seven & Eight
Activities at Shinde include game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles which offer some of the finest dry land game viewing in Botswana with regular sightings of lion and leopard, exploring the water ways in mokoro (traditional dugout canoes), guided nature walks, night drives, motor boating and sunset cruises. It is also possible to enjoy a longer outing, by motorboat to the Gadikwe lagoons in the Moremi game reserve to view breeding colonies of herons, egrets, pelicans and storks (August to December). For the fishing enthusiasts, Shinde provides basic fishing equipment for guests to take on the challenge of the fighting tiger fish or bream, pike and catfish during the fishing season.
After a morning activity (time permitting) and breakfast, guests will be transferred by light aircraft to Maun Airport for their onward travel arrangements.
A good level of riding ability and fitness is required for the horse safari
*$1060-2100 single room supplement
Single supplement is for accommodation only, applicable when travelling with more than 2 guests and excludes a flying surcharge for guests travelling solo – rates available on request.
*Itinerary runs one-way: Surcharge to end at Victoria Falls or Livingstone Airport (seat in charter Shinde to BBK & seat in vehicle BBK to VFA or LVI): US$ 235.00 pp
Please note that where a booking crosses over 2 different rate periods e.g. Oct & Nov, neither rate is applicable – please request a special quote.
International and domestic flights (with the exception of inter-camp flights as stated); travel insurance; personal expenses incl. laundry,phone calls, tips, visas, insurance & vaccinations. Premium imported wines, champagnes, spirits & liqueurs where drinks are included. Increases in park fees, government taxes and levies, exchange rate fluctuations and fuel surcharges.
Note: Malaria precautions should be taken; Yellow Fever vaccination required if transferring through a South African border.
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