Botswana by Horseback: The Best Way to Explore the Bush

Botswana by Horseback: The Best Way to Explore the Bush

Channelling your inner cowboy and heading on a horse safari in Botswana is one of the ultimate safari experiences. With a variety of stunning landscapes available for exploration, it’s an incredible way of getting up close and personal with game in a way that just isn't possible in a traditional 4x4. You won't just be on a safari, you'll be in it. With the contrasting scenes of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Thamalakane River and Okavango Delta in the nation’s arsenal, it's not hard to understand why Botswana horse safaris remain such a popular choice.


Horse Safaris in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Botswana horse safaris don’t get much better than the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, one of the largest and most impressive salt flats in the world. Head out on horseback, and after 20 minutes in the saddle, you’ll start feeling like the intrepid missionaries who braved this lunar landscape hundreds of years ago. Despite the apparent desolation, there is something eerily beautiful about this vast expanse of salt flats, and the further into the pans you venture, the more you realise just how much they are teeming with life, from big game to beautiful birds. Typically, you’ll begin your horse safari with a couple of nights in a camp on the edge of the salt pans, nestled among the acacias and mokolwane palms. It’s then out into the wilderness as you ride into the middle of the pans for some fly camping, where you’ll spend a magical night or two on bedrolls under the vast canopy of stars.


Horse Safaris along the Thamalakane River

The acacia tree-lined Thamalakane River provides another wonderful landscape for Botswana horse safaris. A mysterious river with no defined beginning or end, it's the result of the Thamalakane fault line which began to form around two million years ago. Snaking along the southern edge of the Okavango Delta, you’ll canter past wildlife such as giraffe, zebra, springbok, ostrich and kudu. Home to a surprisingly rich range of wildlife, there’s nothing quite like experiencing it atop a horse. But if you fancy giving your thighs a break, there are ample opportunities for boat cruises, too. Unlike in some of the other reserves, the Thamalakane River is suitable for all levels of riding ability (including beginners), making it a popular choice for families.


Horse Safaris in the Okavango Delta

Looking at photos of people gallivanting through the water on horseback while sitting at an office desk is prime holiday envy fodder. Well, to add further salt to the wound, Botswana horse safaris are just as fun as they look. Recently declared a World Heritage site, and dubbed the ‘Jewel of Africa’, the Okavango Delta is renowned for its unparalleled game. Seeing it from the saddle is one of the most exhilarating experiences a safari enthusiast could hope for. It’s as if the wildlife is there for your eyes only, while the abundant water makes everything appear in high definition and contrasts beautifully with the dusky pastel skies of the pans. There are a number of camps to choose from, most of which offer one or two nights' fly camping as well, and guests can rest assured they’ll be in wonderfully safe hands.