Day One: On arrival in Maun you will be met at the airport by a member of our team and then transferred from Maun to Macatoo camp by small plane (either a Cessna 206 or 208), giving you a birds eye view of the Okavango Delta. Macatoo camp, that overlooks a seasonal flood plain lagoon, is a short game drive or (depending on the time of year) an exciting boat ride from the airstrip. After a quick look around camp and lunch under the trees, there is usually time for a siesta before tea, and the evening ride where you can get to know your horse. You return to camp for a hot shower and candle-lit safari dinner.
Day Two: Wake up with a cup of tea or coffee in bed, followed by a light breakfast with homemade toast and muesli, then a ride out from camp to stretch our legs and explore. Depending on the season this may involve some galloping, swimming through the flood waters or pushing-on through seas of tall grass following giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo, whatever's out there. Back to camp for another brilliant open air lunch with the guides, if you're lucky it might be our famous chicken pie, and there's usually some wine to encourage a little nap before tea. The evening ride is deliberately slower-paced and it's a good opportunity to ask questions and take photographs. Leopard sightings are not infrequent, the bird-life is some of the best in the world and towards sunset there is often elephant or hippo interaction to enjoy. A sun downer can be enjoyed out in the bush before riding back to camp to freshen up. There's no guarantee that dinner is always eaten in the same place...
Day Three: Wake up as normal with freshly-brewed coffee or tea and depending on your whim, either ride out again (perhaps to find the rare semi-aquatic antelope, the red lechwe), or join one of our guided walks, game drives or perhaps a spot of fishing for bream from the boat? The riders and non-riders can meet up for a delicious champagne breakfast under one of the large baobab trees. After lunch take the opportunity to relax and either swim in the pool read a book or organise your photos. Homemade tea and cake is followed by the sunset ride, exploring the lower flood plains where elephant often gather at a pool. As dusk closes in, it is fascinating to watch them interact in the wild, and being on horseback brings you that much closer.
Day Four: We ride through different country, making our way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. We might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mophane woodlands. Our pace increases as we break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons. Return to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure, or the possibility of hiring a helicopter for an hour to gain access to remote and otherwise totally inaccessible parts of the delta with spectacular photographic results. Finish off the day with a night drive by spotlight, where the resident clan of hyena are often spotted. Bushbabies leap from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees - only seen by the brights of their eyes. If lucky, the spotlight will pick up the glint of a leopard's sultry stare...
Day Five: This morning we ride deeper into the heart of the delta, along some of the high palm islands which offer great sweeping views of the Delta plains. After tea we'll do a slower ride to our magical tree house where you will have the option to spend the night out, sleeping high up in the tree tops under the stars. To be out in the wilderness so freely in the Okavango bush like this is a wonderful experience and one that few people experience.
Day Six: After waking up amongst the trees to the call of the African Fish Eagle, the next morning we splash through water on the vast open plains, home to blue wildebeeste and Burchell's zebra. The riding may be fast as we approach deep reedy areas full of bird life including open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets, egyptian geese and many more. We return to Macatoo along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees for a hearty lunch with the option of a night drive, mokoro or boating trip for all.
Day Seven: Today's riding in this magical place takes you cantering through the shallow flood plains, admiring the deeper pools of lilies. Here, the Cape buffalo can gather in large numbers (anything between a dozen and 2000 individuals) and we have to creep up on them using the islands as cover. The evening offers a quiet ride with memorable smells of wild sage and the warm African dust as the sun goes down. Your dinner will be a memorable one with another surprise location in store. Day Eight: If you haven't been fishing yet, maybe now is a good time to rest your legs a little and get out into the Delta waters without a horse. There's a good chance of seeing some hippos up-close from the boat, perhaps elephants crossing one of the deeper channels and maybe one or two small crocodiles. Take your camera and binoculars for the excellent birding opportunities
Day Nine: Sadly, it's time for your last wake-up call, last morning ride and farewell bush lunch. But don't worry, now you know where we are; and you won't be the first guests to come back again next year!!
We are sure you will never forget the true sense of freedom which you will experience on your horse with us in the Okavango Delta in Africa.
Please note this Horseback Safari is exciting but not strenuous. This itinerary only serves as a guide; all scenarios are dependent on the season and levels of the Okavango flood. During cooler months one longer ride may replace the normal morning and evening rides. African Horseback Safaris reserves the right to alter the itinerary in any way and leaves this to the discretion of the guides. Local weather conditions may also affect game movements.
P.O.Box 20671MaunBotswanaTel: +267 686 1523Fax: +267 686 firstname.lastname@example.org