Recently declared the 1000th World Heritage Site, the unique Okavango Delta is a horse rider’s Eden: as the floodwaters spread down into the Kalahari sands, the herds and birdlife follow, and horseback is the perfect place from which to observe them.
This Delta Ride is unlike any other. Rather than a permanent riding camp, a lightweight mobile camp is transported by a flotilla of mekoros (traditional dugout canoes) poled by members of the local community, who live on the fringes of the Delta and know it intimately. When the water levels are too low for the mekoros to navigate, a train of pack donkeys takes over.
The emphasis is on the experience, the loveliness of the Okavango, and top- level guiding. The riding and the horses are unsurpassed, the wildlife is astonishing and the food (cooked over a log fire) is fabulous. Our camp is extremely comfortable in lightweight tents with standing room, fully made up stretcher beds, bucket showers and short drop loos.
No vehicles are involved, and this, along with our working in partnership with the local community, guarantees a genuinely environmentally-friendly safari.
From Maun Airport it is only a 30 minute drive to the southern end of the Okavango where the safari begins at the so-called “buffalo fence”. Here, the horses are waiting; luggage is loaded onto mekoros and transported to camp whilst guests mount up and venture on horseback into the Delta.
Exploring this water wilderness on horseback is absolutely exhilarating, in particular a first encounter with elephants – an experience very different from viewing them from a vehicle.
Before the sun sets we ride into a secluded camp on a beautiful, remote island.
We return to camp for lunch and siesta in the dense shade of the giant jackalberry or leadwood trees. A meditative evening ride is spent listening to the sounds of the bush and the snorting and splashing of the horses, before returning to camp for dinner under the stars.
Occasionally guests (and horses) may need to rest, which is the perfect opportunity for a tranquil ride in a mokoro, the traditional way of traversing the glittering, lily-lined lagoons and waterways. It is a chance too, to venture out on foot to appreciate the smaller creatures that inhabit the bush – or to learn some rudimentary tracking skills.
No two days are the same, but every day is astonishing and joyous, and it is a privilege to share this unique and untouched wilderness with you.