Best Horse Safari Trip Along The Thamalakane River

4 Day Trip
Per Day Price Level $$$$
Per Day Budget $ 323
Per Day USD ranges:
$$$$ < $250
$$$$ $250-500
$$$$ $500-750
$$$$ $750+
  • One of the best horse safaris in Africa for families and less experienced riders; relax and admire wildlife including giraffe, zebra, kudu, eland, oryx, springbok and other species
  • Drive from Maun, on the edge of the Okavango Delta, and spend 4 days riding through the beautiful Royal Tree Lodge Private Reserve.
  • Follow in Livingstone's footsteps; explore the meandering Thamalakane River, home to hippos, crocodiles and glorious water birds
  • Eperience local Botswana culture as you ride through the traditional cattle posts
  • Relax by the lodge swimming pool; board a boat to enjoy a magical evening floating down the river

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  • Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 : Arrival

    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.

    Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 2 : Ride through the Thamalakane River

    Up with the dawn for a long morning ride.  After a shorter stint riding 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 jackal berry trees has been prepared.
     
    With appetites duly satiated a leisurely ride takes us along the river whilst enjoying the numerous water birds 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 a boat awaits for an afternoon on the water with wonderful bird watching, fishing and of course a stunning sunset.

    Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 3 : In Livingstone's Footseps

    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 and crocodiles as they become more active with the setting sun.
     

    Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 4 : Departure

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

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Duration
    4 days
    Difficulty
    Easy
    Primary Activities
    Horse Back Safari
    No. of travellers
    Min. 1
    Other Activities
    None
    Children Allowed
    Yes
  • Comfort
    Learn more
    Super luxury

    Our highest-end category of accommodation, Super Luxury is defined by top quality customer service and premium amenities. Hotels in this exclusive category include the Aman resorts, Oberoi Vilas hotels, and certain independent purveyors.

    Luxury

    Luxury Hotels meet the standards of most well-known 5-star hotel brands around the world, and include premium accommodations and amenities. In some cases our Luxury category overlaps with the "boutique" hotels, many of which are equally luxurious and accommodating.

    Boutique

    Boutique hotels are typically smaller, or independently owned hotels that offer top-end service and amenities equivalent to luxury providers. Boutique hotels often differentiate themselves from bigger hotel brands through their unique character, location, or history.

    Glamping

    Glamping (short for “glamorous camping”) and lodges denotes outdoor-focused accommodations that combine the best of nature with a designer / comfort angle in mind, so customers can get the best of both worlds.

    Camping

    Camping refers to a wide range of tented accommodation, which will most likely apply to outdoor / adventure trips like trekking, hiking, etc.

    Others

  • Price Details (per person)

    High Season Jul to Oct $ 1,350 $ 338 per day
    Low Season Nov to Jun $ 1,230 $ 308 per day

    * All Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Some savings may be available for larger groups.

Cost Includes
  • Airport transfers
  • All activities in the itinerary
  • All meals
Cost Excludes
  • Drinks
  • Laundry
Day 1 : Arrival

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.

Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 : Ride through the Thamalakane River

Up with the dawn for a long morning ride.  After a shorter stint riding 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 jackal berry trees has been prepared.
 
With appetites duly satiated a leisurely ride takes us along the river whilst enjoying the numerous water birds 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 a boat awaits for an afternoon on the water with wonderful bird watching, fishing and of course a stunning sunset.

Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 : In Livingstone's Footseps

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 and crocodiles as they become more active with the setting sun.
 
Accommodation: Royal Tree Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 : Departure

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

Meals Included: Breakfast

Cost of the entire itinerary

High Season Jul to Oct $ 1,350 $ 338 per day
Low Season Nov to Jun$ 1,230 $ 308 per day
Cost Includes
  • Airport transfers
  • All activities in the itinerary
  • All meals
Cost Excludes
  • Drinks
  • Laundry
Climate

Winter May-August when dry and cool.
Summer  September-April with rains December-March but average only 400mm per annum. Vegetation: Rivers, riverine forest, Kalahari thorn bush.
Wildlife: Giraffe, hippo, zebra, crocodile and many antelope species.

Visas, Travel Documents and Special Permits

Some nationalities require visas. When entering Botswana each visitor is given an entry visa valid for the length of your stay. 

Physical Fitness/Skills

None.

Immunizations / Medical Requirements

Although there are no specific requirements with regard to vaccinations, each visitor should check with their local doctor at home and follow the advice accordingly.  This should include anti malaria cover even though Botswana is a low risk area.
 
Light weight riding helmets are compulsory for all children and for adults must be worn within the requirements of your insurance cover.  Adults riding without helmets do so at their own risk and the company cannot be held responsible for any injuries sustained.

Recommended Packing List

For riding:


  • Riding Helmet:  light weight ventilated of good quality is recommended.  Insurance regulations insist on this requirement whilst on horseback.
  • Riding gear:  Jodphurs / Long trousers.  Half chaps
  • Riding footwear:  these should be comfortable and easy to walk in if required.
  • Socks – several pairs
  • Riding gloves
  • Long sleeved collared shirts in neutral bush colours
  • Buff / bandana (to protect face and neck from sun and dust).
  • Light weight warm fleece or jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof windbreaker jacket
  • Dark sunglasses on a string
  • Underwear
  • Bum bag / Waist pouch to carry lip balm, suncream, small camera and extra batteries and memory card

                                               
Other:

 

  • Torch – head torch is recommended
  • Small lightweight binoculars
  • Camera with battery charging equipment, spare batteries and memory cards
  • Broad brimmed sunhat (for when not riding)
  • Layers: Cotton long and short sleeved tshirts, shorts, cotton trousers, sarong and bathing costume, comfortable sleepwear according to the season (tracksuit recommended for winter months), woollen beanie and gloves
  • Footwear:  flip flops, closed shoes/ boots for around the camp
  • Sunblock, insect repellent, lip salve, personal medication, personal toiletries
  • Reading material
  • Passport, insurance and medical details
Meals provided

The ride caters for any dietary requirements and provides full English and continental breakfast, light lunches and three course dinners with tea and coffee throughout the day.

Other useful tips

Batteries are not easily available in this region, please bring and a universal adaptor is handy.

Operator ID

3931

Operator Profile

The glorious wilderness of Africa has been home to this intrepid husband and wife horse-safari experts for 50 years, and their wish is you fall in love with it the way they did. Watch wild animals roam in the millions on the vast plains under a magnificent African sky. Enter the magical world and interact with the Bushmen under the expert care of these consummate professionals. For the non-riders among you, they will organize special walking and bird-watching tours as well.

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Best Horse Safari Trip Along The Thamalakane River