Horse Riding Safari | Botswana


Horseback Safaris

Paradise on horseback

Okavango Horse Safaris was started in 1986 by PJ and Barney Bestelink and operates in a private concession in the south-westerly reaches of the Okavango Delta.  PJ has a love for the African Bush and Barney for horses – combining these passions has resulted in a riding safari outfit that offers the adventurous safari goer an experience unparalleled in Southern Africa.  Their focus is to provide guests with an experience which is active, adventurous, and very much at one with the natural rhythms of the Okavango Delta eco-system.

Horses and tack are of the highest standard with over 60 horses based in the Delta, mainly thoroughbreds, TB crosses, Arabians and American Saddle bred crosses and ‘Boerperds’. The tack is based on the English styled saddles and bridles. The safaris are based on set safari dates with a maximum of 8 riders within a group. Non-riders are also welcome to join the safaris. Between 4 to 6 hours are spent in the saddle each day, whilst afternoons can be spent enjoying alternative activities which include swimming, game drives, mokoros or walking.

On full riding days, you will enjoy picnic lunches which ‘pop up’ out of the least expected spots and these are supported by the camp crew and a vehicle. This gives the opportunity for the much appreciated siestas (on camp beds) through the heat of the day before mounting up and riding into camp in time for some refreshing sundowners.

You will love

  • Ride through the Okavango Delta
  • Small and intimate camp
  • Diverse game viewing activities
  • Excellent wildlife
  • Caters for non-riding companions



You will be met off your flight from Johannesburg for an exclusive Helicopter charter directly into camp. This is undoubtedly the finest way to be introduced to the magnificent Okavango Delta. Kujwana Camp is situated on the Xudum River south west of Chiefs Island in the Okavango Delta.

A late lunch will be served with an orientation and introductory talk on safety
and game viewing from horseback. Following a brief siesta, you will enjoy an
’meet the horses ride’ lasting 1-2 hours, before returning to camp for
sundowners and dinner.

About the Camp:

Kujwana camp is situated on the Xudum river south west of Chiefs Island in the Okavango Delta. The camp accommodates a guests in spacious safari tents each with bathrooms en suite. The location offers the opportunity to explore the three main river systems in this area, the Xudum, Matsebi and the Kiri River. An area of over 2500 sq. km it is rich in wildlife and variety of fauna and flora. The areas between the three rivers contrast greatly and support different species of game and birds.


A full-morning ride exploring the western Baobab area. Small islands linked by numerous hippo channels lead you to Baobab Island. Deep lagoons make this is a good area for hippo and lechwe, as well as buffalo and other big game. Breeding herds of elephants enjoy the security of the dense forest, and travel from pan to pan leaving a lattice of large paths. Zebras, wildebeest and buffaloes are also attracted to this area. The abundant animal tracks leave you guessing what is up ahead and what has passed by. In the cool of the afternoon drift on the water in a mekoro (traditional canoe) past heavily scented water lilies and painted reed frogs. Return to camp for sundowners followed by a scrumptious dinner in camp.


Wake for an early morning ride from Kujwana to Mokolwane Camp, following a 30-km north-westerly route through open floodplains and scattered islands to the Matsebe River system. Mokolowane has en suite tree houses with an open verandah, 2meters off the ground, overlooking the Matsibe River. There is a central dining/bar/lounge area elevated on decking. The camp is lit by solar lighting. A picnic lunch is served on a shady island some two hours from Mokolwane Camp, where you’ll arrive at sunset.

About the camp:

Mokolwane camp is north west of Kujwana on the Matsebi River. This camp is situated in the open flood plains, which receive floodwater 3 weeks earlier than Kujwana camp. The vegetation consists of smaller palm islands and wide-open spaces. Mokolwane is also an 8-bedded camp. The tree houses (accommodation) are 10 feet off the ground boasting superb views, each with private bathroom. The Matsibe River is the main feeder for Lake Ngami.


A morning game walk gives you the chance to explore the surroundings and experience the delta from a different perspective. After lunch and a siesta an evening ride takes you into the Matsibe River system and features wide floodplains interspersed with mokolwane palms – a favourite food of elephants and baboons, while the numerous Buffalo prefer the dense Tsaro Palms.


A full day from Moklowane to Kujwana riding the Southern route following the edge of the Matsibi River. A picnic lunch is prepared at the swimming hole. Enjoy a siesta on a camp bed in the shade of big tree and you could be joined by an elephant Bull strolling past or the sudden arrival of a herd of buffalo driving into the water. Arrival at Kujwana is at sunset, just in time for sundowners and dinner in camp.


Early morning game ride or drive or you can opt to relax and lounge around camp prior to departing. You will depart after breakfast for your charter flight and onward arrangements.

Please note:

Okavango Horse Safaris reserves the right to alter the itinerary according to water levels and game movements. Mokoros (dugout Canoes) are offered as an activity depending on water levels.


Pricing on Request

Pricing on Request

START: Maun, Botswana     |     Finish: Maun

  • Safaris can be 5, 7 & 10 nights long
  • 5 night rides ‐ depart Sat to Thu and Tue to Sun
  • 7 night rides ‐ depart Sat to Sat and Tue to Tue
  • Weight limit: 90kgs for riders
  • Non-riders are welcomed and catered for
  • Seasonal dates & rates
  • A note to the Emerald Season rides ‐ No minimum number of nights, no fly camping, guests will be based at Kujwana. Only in March on the set departure dates are Kujwana, Mokolwane and the fly camping offered.
  • Single supplement ‐ applies at 50% of the per person twin share rate if not willing to share. A 50% surcharge may apply to charter costs.
  • Please contact us for pricing, dates and a full itinerary


5 or 7 nights’ accommodation as specified, return airstrip transfers, all
meals, drinks (within reason) & game viewing activities, park fees.


International flights and respective airport taxes, charter flights
Maun/Kujwana/Maun, travel insurance & health requirements, passport & visa
costs (if applicable), laundry, gratuities & all purchases from the “bush boutique”,
pre & post tours and additional accommodation, any optional extra activities or
items not specified.

Minimum – 2 riders (to confirm the departure)

Maximum – 8 riders per departure

Riding Ability: Minimum riding ability required is mastery of the basic aids; ability to post to the trot for stretches of 10 minutes at a ?me, to be comfortable at all paces and able to gallop out of trouble. It is a great advantage if you are fit and a proficient rider. Beginners not accepted.

Types of Horses: Full and part breed thoroughbreds, pure Arabs and Anglo Arabs, Saddlebred crosses, Boerperds. The horses are between 14hh and 17hh, well schooled, responsive and even‐tempered. There is a wide range of horses suitable for the competition rider to the steady hack, every effort is made to match the rider and horse. There is plenty of selection with over 60 horses in camp. The horses are sure footed in their terrain and comfortable in their environment.

Weight Limit: Maximum weight limit is 90kg. A special program can be offered for heavier riders, including shorter rides, game drives, walks and mokoros.  Weight Supplement – Maximum weight is 90 kgs. A special program may be available for clients over our weight limit, which offers shorter rides, game drives and walks. Weight supplement: Over 90kg (200lbs) a supplement of 50% will be charged for an extra horse

Safety: professional guides lead all safaris. A .375 rifle is carried on all rides. All camps, vehicles and activities have radio communication. A safety briefing is given at the beginning of the safari with detailed information about how to handle a big game situation. Full Medical Insurance is required and details must be submitted prior to your arrival.

Guiding: Qualified professional guides lead all rides.

Tack: Tack is English‐style leather saddles with seat savers. The tack is of a high quality, saddles are well known makes including Ideals, Barnsbys, Fieldhouse and Symonds. All horses go in snaffle bridles.

Meals: Safari cooks provide 3 meals a day, including vehicle supported picnic lunches.

Length of Rides: Between 4‐6 hours in the saddle a day. This includes refreshment breaks and a short 10‐minute walk for every 2 hours spent in the saddle.  Full day rides feature picnic lunches with siesta ‐me through the heat of the day.

Terrain: The Okavango Delta has been described as a water meadow. Palm islands, grassy flooded plains, mopane forests, and clear streams. Highest water is normally between May and September when the flood plains are full. The horses wade through from island to island.

Other Activities: Although our priority is riding, we offer alternative activities during the afternoons that are not day rides. Afternoons are spent at leisurely pace with evening bird walks, mokoros (traditional dugout canoe), fishing (water levels permitting), game drives with sundowners and night drives.

Non‐Riders: We can accommodate non‐riders but must be informed at the time of booking. Non‐riders have their own guide and enjoy game drives, fishing, walks and mokoros. The itinerary is very much tailored to individual needs and a sample itinerary is available on request.

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