Thamalakane River Ride 5 Nights

Galloping across a field on the Thamalakane River Ride

Superb Riverine Horse Riding

Thamalakane River Ride

A five night horse safari

The Thamalakane River Ride operates from the Royal Tree Lodge, a small intimate lodge with luxurious tented accommodation.

Nestled in 400 acres of riverine trees and acacia woodland on the edge of the Thamalakane River, it is only a short drive from Maun and yet it feels deep in the heart of the bush. There are ten stylishly appointed en suite safari tents and two honeymoon chalets. A swimming pool to cool off in during the heat of the day and surrounding sun deck are discreetly adjacent to the main area.

A surprisingly large variety of wildlife roams the reserve including giraffe, zebra, kudu, eland, oryx, springbok and other species. The different habitats in the reserve encourage prolific birdlife from water birds to the dry woodland Kalahari species.

Royal Tree Lodge

Day 1: Royal Tree Lodge & First Ride

On arrival in Maun a short road transfer takes you to the Royal Tree Lodge.

Once settled into your comfortable accommodation and having had lunch or afternoon tea you will join your guide for a safety briefing before being introduced to the horses.

As the day cools down we set off for a fun afternoon ride around the environs of the reserve where the wildlife is wonderfully relaxed in the presence of the horses allowing for close encounters and great photographic opportunities.

We arrive back before dark and enjoy a sundowner at the lodge followed by a delicious dinner.

Day 2: Morning Ride & Afternoon Boat Cruise

Up with the dawn for a long morning ride. After a shorter stint with the wildlife we leave the reserve and head off into the back country for some lovely long canters through the endless acacia woodlands with a choice of fallen logs to jump if you wish.

We will be passing the occasional cattle posts and will have the opportunity to learn how the local Motswana live with their vast free roaming cattle herds.

As the morning warms up we head for the cool riverine woodlands of the Thamalakane River where a sumptuous breakfast set up in the shade of the jackalberry trees has been prepared.

With appetites duly satiated a leisurely ride takes us along the river whilst enjoying the numerous waterbirds and of course some splashing canters through the shallow waters!

Lunch back at the lodge will be followed by a pleasant siesta and in the afternoon a short walk to the river’s edge where we alight a boat for an afternoon on the water with wonderful bird watching, fishing and of course our favourite sundowners!

Giraffes on horse safari
Crossing Thamalakane River on horseback

Day 3: All Day Ride

Up with the dawn and breakfast before mounting up for an all day ride to explore further afield, hopefully reaching the “junction” where the Thamalakane River splits into two – the Nhabe heading west to Lake Ngami and the Boteti heading east to the Makgadikgadi.

These rivers were the lifeline that allowed the early explorers, hunters and traders to penetrate deep into this area with David Livingstone being the first European to see the famous Lake Ngami having spent many thirsty days crossing the Kalahari before reaching the Boteti.

Picnic lunch is in the shade of the evergreen mangosteen trees and for some there may be a temptation to have a swim.

The river will guide us home and if the water levels are low enough we may cross the river and ride back on the north bank looking out for the resident hippos as they become more active with the setting sun.

Day 4: Okavango Delta by Mokoro

The traditional way of travelling through the Okavango Delta is by mokoro – a wooden dug out canoe. The flat bottom allows the mokoro to cross the shallow seasonal floodplains and explore the interlinking channels between the numerous islands of this magical water wilderness.

Today you will be driven to the Boro Village deep in the delta where a mokoro guide will spend the day poling you silently through the crystal clear waters. This is a beautiful and tranquil way to view the delta’s wildlife and birdlife.

After a delicious picnic lunch on a remote island you will return to the lodge for a short evening ride.

A beautiful and tranquil way to view the delta's wildlife and birdlife

Watching elephant from mokoro
Helicopter, Okavango Delta

Day 5: Boat Cruise & Flight Over the Delta

Heading down river we will ride for a couple of hours before stopping for a morning tea or coffee and climbing onto a boat for a long cruise down the Thamalakane River and into the Boteti River taking a picnic lunch with us.

After lunch we return to the lodge by boat and then mid afternoon you will hop on either a fixed wing light aircraft or an helicopter for an evening scenic flight over the Okavango Delta with the possibility of spotting a large variety of wildlife.

This unusual perspective will provide some wonderful photographic opportunities as well as giving you a greater understanding of this extraordinary wetland deep in the Kalahari Desert.

Day 6: Early Morning Ride

A last early morning ride through the reserve followed by a welcome hearty breakfast before heading on to your next destination.

Impala leaping, horse safari

Thamalakane River Ride 5 Nights

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