African Explorer

8 Daysย  |ย  From ยฃ2119pp

South Africa ( Best airport: Johannesburg)

The African Explorer takes you to two countries in one trip beginning on a private game reserve in a region of sour mixed bushveld in the north-western region of South Africa where you’ll ride across an area of approximately 21,000 acres, with excellent game viewing, wonderful sandy tracks to canter along and beautiful blue dams to swim in with your horse. Transfer to Botswana to ride among the ancient landscape of rock formations, and open plains dotted with giant Baobab trees. This place feels very wild and your guide will choose the best riding routes across the reserve. Accommodation in beautiful lodges and safari camps.

The Riding

This week-long trail is the perfect way to ease you into riding with dangerous game. The first few days in South Africa will get you accustomed to the tack and terrain before you head off to Botswana to ride amongst elephants, hyenas and possibly a big cat or two! For those that want to, you can swim with your horse and jump some natural obstacles.

Level of Riding and Fitness

As youโ€™ll be riding amongst wild game, this holiday is for experienced, confident and calm riders with a sense of adventure. The guests should ride regularly and be comfortable at rising trot, light seat canter and gallop, as well as be able to control a horse independently at all paces and jump small natural obstacles. You should be able to mount and dismount unaided. Good riding fitness is expected as youโ€™ll be spending 4-7 hours in the saddle each day.

Before each safari, every rider will take a short riding test to ensure they are competent enough for the safari and fall into the above guideline. The decision of the manager conducting the test is final. Hard hats are mandatory and the weight limit is 95kg.

Guides and Group Size

The guides have many years of experience in leading safaris and they have grown up in the area. They know the bush like the back of their hand and are qualified by the Botswanan Qualifications Authority.

Maximum number of riders in a group is 10. Groups over 8 are split into two groups for rides, unless one ride is specifically requested by a private group.

The Horses

The horses have been carefully chosen for their temperament, courage, endurance and responsiveness. They are tough and used to coping with extreme conditions. They are of various breeds including Boerperd, Shire cross Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas and South African Warmbloods, ranging from 14.3h to 17h.

The saddles used are South African McClellans. They are designed for the cavalry and ideal for long hours of riding. Small saddlebags are provided.


Accommodation and Dining

Camp Davidson was modelled on the old โ€˜outspanโ€™ camps of E.A. Davidson (great grandfather to one of the founding partners of Horizon Horseback) when he was selling goods across the area from his wagon in the early 1900s. Horizon has captured the early camp atmosphere in Camp Davidson. Beautiful decked canvas tents are nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys. Each luxury tent has an en-suite bathroom. The camp is completely run on solar energy and has a small swimming pool.

Two Mashatus Camp is nestled in the shade of two large Mashatu trees, and the heart of the camp has two traditionally built Lala palm rondavels for dining and lounge areas. Guest accommodation is in large A frame walk-in tents set on teak platforms, each with en-suite bathrooms. Each tent is private and positioned in the shade of a tree in the bush, not far from the main area. Each tent has a small deck area in front where guests can relax privately during the afternoons. Two Mashatus also has a small swimming pool under a Mashatu tree for guests to enjoy.

Tree Camp is a very unique camp; any childhood dream of sleeping up in the arms of a tree will be completely fulfilled here! Nestled in the bough of a giant Mashatu tree and two ancient Leadwood trees, this Seligna deck, 4 metres off the ground, will be your retreat for the night. Two guests each share an airy and cool sleeping pod. Along a short walkway, shared showers and toilets are under the Leadwood trees. The spacious dining and lounge area flow from the sleeping pods and overlook the Majale River. This truly extraordinary camp is one that will be remembered and spoken about for years to come.

Get a free African Explorer mini-brochure in PDF format.


African Explorer

8 days / 7 nights / 6 full days of riding

Single supplement is 50% of the ride cost for single riders who do not want to share with another rider

Do NOT book flights until you have received the โ€˜Booking Confirmation Emailโ€™ from

Please plan your flight to arrive at Johannesburg airport (South Africa) by 9:30am on Day 1 of your holiday.

Your departure flight on Day 8 of your holiday should be after 8pm.


Road and flight transfers cost approx ยฃ490 return per person. Includes a charter flight from Botswana back to Johannesburg on the final day.

Price Includes
  • 6 full days of riding
  • Shorter rides on arrival and departure days
  • Shared accommodation
  • All meals
  • Drinks
  • Game drives (excluding Mashatu Main Camp drive)
  • Bush walks
  • Sundowners
  • Laundry
  • All arrangements for duration of holiday
  • Services of guides
Price Excludes
  • Flights
  • Drinks at the bar
  • Transfers
  • Tips