Today I was lucky enough to join our guide, Flood, and guest, Kate, on the Thamalakane Day Ride. Naturally I needed to see how the ride works and operates (or at least that’s the excuse I used). It was also a good opportunity to take one of the home bred youngsters, Cheyne, and get her used to the route.

We started with an amble around the Royal Tree Lodge reserve with Flood expertly stalking and explaining the wildlife we found, before heading out to the back country. We passed local villages and let the horses open out with a long canter following the sand tracks.

Negotiating baobab trees and changing landscapes we eventually reached the river at about midday to find three hay-nets set up for the horses and lunch laid out by Robyn Foot down on the river front. A wonderful few hours passed where I got to play the role of the guest – gorging on the delicious spread of food and sipping on a cheeky glass of white wine in the shade of the trees along the banks.

After lunch and a snooze in the camp chairs we headed back. Cheyne was impeccably behaved as we meandered along the course of the river, ploughing through the lilly-pads that cover the surface of the water and continuously questioning Flood on the diverse bird life along the banks. Not a bad day at the office.