Beyond the narrow eastern corridor where the majority of the population is concentrated, Botswana is a largely roadless wilderness of savannas, deserts, wetlands and salt pans. Skinflints and softies beware: this remains a destination for the intrepid, well-heeled traveller.
Botswana is an African success story. It achieved independence from Britain in 1966 and in a mad stroke of luck then unearthed three of the world’s richest diamond mines.
Outstandingly dramatic, Botswana encompasses striking salt pans, diamond-rich deserts and fertile flood plains which teem with game. The north and south offer superb wildlife-watching opportunities, making this one of southern Africa’s top equestrian horseback riding safari destinations. Hidden Trails offer three excellent Botswana horse back riding holidays – from luxury game lodges to the stunning Okavango Delta.
Botswana is an African Country bordered by South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia , and also it has a tiny border with Zambia. The Kalahari Desert covers most of the Botswana ‘s territories, with the National Parks which cover a total of 17% of the whole country, and 38% of the other territories is dedicated to all the wildlife areas. So Botswana is indeed a place full of forests, savannas and other wild life plants, and also animals.
Horse Riding in Botswana
Great game herds still roam Botswana in tremendous numbers. The country has not been touched by the political and poaching problems which have plagued so much of the continent. Most of the incomparable animals of Africa can be seen here; prepare to spot hippopotamus, elephant, giraffe, zebra, antelope, impala, cape buffalo, hyena, and over six hundred different types of birds. Botswana is a country the size of Kenya with only five percent of the population and a prosperous economy.
Botswana is home to the Okavango River, the third largest in Africa. The Okavango rises in Angola and empties into the Kalahari Desert, contributing to the amazing and prolific Okavango Delta wildlife sanctuary. Our Okavango Delta Safari emerses you in this spectacular wildlife area, with some unbelievable opportunities to horse ride amongst Africa’s wildest creatures. In the south you find the wild and undiscovered Mashatu Wilderness with its large herds of elephants – the perfect place to canter with zebras or wildebeest. We offer two horse riding safaris here – the Tuli Riding Safari and the Mashatu Deluxe Safari.
The Okavango Delta: Africa’s Last Frontier
The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland water systems. It’s headwaters start in Angola’s western highlands, with numerous tributaries joining to form the Cubango river, which then flows through Namibia (called the Kavango) and finally enters Botswana, where it is then called the Okavango.
Millions of years ago the Okavango river use to flow into a large inland lake called Lake Makgadikgadi (now Makgadikgadi Pans).
In only a few days it is possible to spot 100 to 200 different types of birds. After the rainy season, when the delta is flooded, you will horseback ride across river channels from island to island. In the drier areas around the flood plain there are some good opportunities for trots and canters. Your hosts are exceptionally accommodating and knowledgeable. You will stay at very comfortable British-style safari camps and begin each day with a sunrise ride to the animals’ favorite resting places.
The best time to go to Botswana is between the months of April and November, when a large number of animals migrate towards the Okavango Delta and in November and December is the perfect time excellent to witness the nature’s own timetable of regeneration and re – birth. The rainy season, which can range usually from January to March, sees the migration of a large numbers, when the Okavango Delta comes alive, after a long period of time, with beautiful sounds of hundreds of bird species. Thousands of zebras, from March to April will migrate towards the Chobe National Park
The Safari in the African Country of Botswana is generally at a very high quality, but at a very high price. The majority of the big and medium Safari lodges are found in the Chobe National Park , Moremi Game Reserve and in the Okavango Delta, and there are a few other, smaller Safari lodges and camps in the Makgadikgadi Pans and Tuli Block, where the comfort of the tourist travelers is the order of the day. Most lodges only accommodate between 12 and 32 people. It is recommended by the government of Botswana, and also by the travel agencies, to spend at least two nights at each Safari lodge and camp, and to do a complete circuit of the various tourist regions in the country; of course all the charter flights on six – seated planes are the standard means of transfer and travel in the country.
Botswana is a country to relax in and to have adventure in, think about to ride on the back of an adult elephant, to walk or to even sail in a hot – air balloon at miles above the land. In this country nightlife is not very extensive however; there are some small bars and restaurants in the city of Gaborone . Etsha, Shakawe and Shorobe are the cities recommended by the travel agencies for shopping woodcarvings, handcrafted jewellery, woven goods and other attractive basketry.
Mashatu Game Reserve
The remote far eastern corner of Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, is historically known as the Tuli Block. It forms a diverse wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone outcrops. Located in the north-eastern Tuli Block, Mashatu Game Reserve – historically known as the Tuli enclave – is the largest privately owned game reserve in southern Africa covering an expanse of 75,000 acres.
The name is derived from the magnificent Mashatu trees, which occur throughout this immense tract of privately owned land. Two of Africa’s giants are found here: massive time-worn baobab trees stud the plains where huge herds of elephant roam. Indeed, Mashatu provides a refuge for the largest single population of elephant on privately owned land in Africa. Known as the relic herds of Shashe, these elephants are the last living testament to the great herds that once populated the meandering Limpopo Valley.
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In addition to the game experience, Mashatu offers a view of Africa unchanged since the days of early visitors such as Kipling, Selous and artist/explorer Sir Thomas Baines. Interwoven with this natural tapestry are reminders of man’s presence in ancient times. In the north-eastern part of Mashatu, black eagles nest at the Motloutse Ruins, the remains of an ancient civilisation thought to be connected to the dynasty of Monomatapa.