One particular riding safari I really think will give you a real buzz is the a riding safari that takes you into the Makgadigadi Pan and Kalahari desert of Botswana.
Their horse safaris range from 3 or 5 night safaris. The three night safari is based from the comfortable Camp Kalahari, staying in “meru style” tents and being able to come home each evening after a long ride to flush toilets and hot and cold running water.
The 5 night riding safari has you staying at the Camp Kalahari camp for three of the nights whilst the extra two nights are spend at a fly camp on the edge of Makgadigadi salt pans. Adding a totally fun element to the safari.
Both the 3 night and 5 night option gives you an opportunity to interact with the Zu/ hoasi people, by way of a walk with your San guide and some family members – it gives a fascinating glimpse into the way they have survived in the toughest of environments.
The same 3 and 5 night safari options are also offered in the green season, providing a totally unique experience as this is when there is the possibility of the migration of Zebra, Wilderbeest and Hartebeest. At the start of the rains in November, up to 250,000 zebra begin their migration through the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Park, of course they are followed by large predators that prey on them. In addition to the wildlife spectacle, the wet season brings migratory birds such as the Great White Pelicans, duck and geese.
Alternatively, for families or those who want a gentler introduction to a full horse safari, there is the Thamalakane River Ride. It is based from a lovely tented camp on the outskirts of Maun, and here you have the option of either hourly rides or even overnight stays. I think it is a fantastic option for families whose kids are fed up with hours in game drive vehicles and needing the freedom to around in safe and fun environment as well as get a chance to ride a horse and get close to game.
Why I love this concept is because of it caters for the less experienced as well as the experienced riders with a variety of options on offer, with great horses and a team of local guides and grooms who are qualified to give instruction to children and adults alike, under the watchful eye of some unusual spectators ( wildlife! ) This is a great introduction to the jewels of what is to offer in the Okavango Delta or even the Chobe National National park.