Reviews
31 reviews   
Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   28 March 2024

Elva who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. Macatoo - Seeing big game from horseback is a privilege beyond imagination | The riding was brilliant. I was a bit nervous going due to a recent accident, and the team were so good at matching me to a horse I was comfortable on. Allowing me to switch horses when I felt a bit unsure. They horses are well cared for and all seem happy doing their jobs. Its not easy keeping horses in good condition in that climate, and in big herd, but the team do an excellent job.

Only slight negative was that another guest arrived half way through the week who was a repeat guest and requested the one of the horses I had been assigned for the week. Which meant I was swapped onto another one for my last two days. I understand this put the team in a bit of a difficult situation, as the other guest kicked up a fuss about wanting that particular horse and was pretty demanding. I didn't want to be difficult in response, but I was a little upset about it (quietly). Mainly as this was the horse I had got on the best with and had made me feel very safe. I don't blame the team for this situation, it was definitely the other guest's fault (particularly as she was there for 10 days and could have had him once I left).

In terms of the Guides, we had Chief for the majority of the trip - my word he made us feel so safe. His understanding of the game and their behaviour was beautiful to watch. He managed to get us so close, so many times, but always in a slow calm way, that you never felt like we were interfering with the animals or disturbing them. While on previous trips I've had many charges/ chases, and being honest they are fun, it was pretty special they way he works, we never had any run ins at all. He was also great company, fun, easy going and incredibly knowledgeable. Roda our back up guide was also sensational. Sometimes unless you are riding close to the lead guide you can miss out on some information about the animals. But Roda was as qualified and knowledgeable and always telling us about what we were seeing. He has a lovely way with guests and the horses too. Excellent guy, I hope to see him as a lead guide soon.

[Abbie from ITS replies: Thank you for this wonderful feedback on your much-anticipated visit to Macatoo. We're absolutely thrilled that you got to experience this incredible riding safari with your best friend - albeit slightly later than planned!].


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   25 March 2024

Vanessa who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Holiday of a lifetime! | The guides were extremely skilled and very sensitive and respectful of all the wild animals. They helped us track and understand so much. The horses were well cared for and there was plenty of opportunity to change if you wanted to though I was extremely happy with my two, the kind hearted Orapa and nicely schooled Mohembo


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   23 February 2024

Beverley who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. Once in a lifetime amazing experience! | All of the horses were fabulous.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   4 December 2023

Faye who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Exceptional holiday | The horses were lovely to ride. All geldings. Due to the heat you alternated between two horses daily to ensure your morning horse (long ride) did not come out again in the evening. Any difficulties with tack were dealt with straight away - I needed a couple of holes in my stirrup leathers. One skinny chap needed a seat saver. I wasn't taking that chance and took my own!!

The rides had a guide and a back up and both were happy to take your cameras for good game shots especially if the animals were dangerous!! The guide (ours was Thabo) was sensitive to the needs of rhe riders in terms of pace and style - although we were encouraged to canter in a line to avoid racing he didnt worry if this wasn't followed if riders were fine. Guide very knowledgeable and we saw many animals and birds. You could also take a vehicle trip instead of riding if you wanted to - we elected to do this for lions!

[Abbie from ITS replies: Many thanks for your feedback; we're so pleased that you had such a great time at Macatoo. One way Macatoo manage their horses' workload throughout the year is for guests to try a horse on the shorter afternoon ride and then if it is a good match, they'll ride the same horse the following morning].


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   7 November 2023

Charlie (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Awesome | This was our first experience of safari and we were fortunate to be travelling with family and friends. A lifetime of memories made, exceptional hospitality, amazing game viewing and super adaptability to ensure we all were grinning all the time!

Our eldest daughter grew in confidence and found out she was braver and more capable than she thought riding - it took Africa and a great team to make her realise. Our younger non riding daughter had a fabulous time getting close to lions and joining up with us to brag! The balance of abilities, riding, non riding, ages, adult ailments etc all disappeared as the team managed smoothly to ensure we had the most fabulous, relaxing and exhilarating time of our lives.

The attention to detail, knowledge and kindness of the team did not go unnoticed.

Thank you Macatoo and In the Saddle
[In The Saddle replies - Thank you for leaving your feedback. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your holiday.]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   7 November 2023

Philip who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Amazing | Don't ever give a 5 star rating!!! This was 6 !! In the saddle great ,camp in Botswana great ,you have to go!


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   24 October 2023

Rosalind who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Amazing in every aspect | It was an absolutely incredible riding holiday. I loved everything about Macatoo. Great to do a couple of afternoons in the Toyota land cruiser to see the lions close up and the rare wild dogs and finish the day with sundowners. We saw more animals than expected. Guides were very informative. My two horses were lovely and I felt very safe. Seriously loved every minute. My only complaint it went too fast.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for your wonderful feedback.]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   1 October 2023

Georgina who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Dream Honeymoon | Our dream honeymoon in Macatoo, the most amazing experience, beautiful horses. Adventurous fun riding, we saw all sorts of game.
Abbie who helped us book, was fantastic (we were rather last minute for a honeymoon!) and she really took time to help us think about different trips.

[Abbie from ITS replies: Thank you for your super feedback. We're thrilled that you had such an incredible time at Macatoo. It was an absolute pleasure to arrange your Honeymoon!]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   15 September 2023

Rebecca who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. What an incredible week at Macatoo. The team, the wildlife, the horses, the whole experience exceeded all my expectations! | Meet every expectation. Mod at the stables perfectly matched me with two beautiful boys, Huff Puff and Mohembo. I felt as if they were my own by the end of the week and felt so in sync with them.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   15 September 2023

Donna who has been on 40 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic trip in the Delta | Fantastic horses. Fit, well matched to their riders and very well cared for.

[Abbie from ITS replies: Thanks so much for your fabulous comments. We're thrilled that you had such a good time at Macatoo and would like to go back in 2025].


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   30 August 2023

Deborah (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Amazing holiday, lovely forward horses and all at camp worked hard to make the holiday flow | It exceeded expectations. The horses were very forward going and well cared for. They are mainly warm bloods and no slow 'riding school' cob to be seen. Each horse was very willing and usually you were given a horse for the evening ride, then had that horse the next day for the long ride. The horse was changed for the evening ride. I rode 3 different horses over the week, each one very enjoyable. Each ride we had a very experienced guide leading and another following us at the rear. The 'Splashy canters' were amazing, although the delta had not flooded as much as expected due to low rainfall in Angola, but it didn't spoil the holiday or riding. The guides were happy to take our phones and film us/film the animals. I also took a seat saver which really helped. Behind the scenes I am sure it is hard work but for us it seemed to flow effortlessly, all staff very professional and approachable. The evenings were very relaxed and Katie who runs Macatoo, would seat us so that we didn't all end up in little groups but mixed with everyone. I liked the fact you could arrive/depart from Macatoo when you wanted, so it wasn't a case of having to book flights for a specific day or for us all to arrive together. It was nice when a new person turned up, sad when I had to leave. I was there during high season when the delta is flooded, and am tempted to try a few days at a different time of year. If you didn't want to ride for one of the rides then they would happily arrange for you to have a jeep tour of the bush and animals.

I also decided to stay for one night in Maun, so that I had time to rest after the long overnight flight to Johannesburg, I would recommend that, a chance to shower, eat and rest before catching the small Cessena plane to the camp. As when you arrive then you have your briefing and depending on the time, you ride in the evening.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   12 August 2023

Becca (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Words cannot describe how incredible our week was! | The riding exceeded my expectations. They knew perfectly how to match us to our horses to ensure different levels of rider still had a fantastic experience and they adjusted the rides each time to suit the group. Couldn't have asked for better!

[Abbie from ITS replies: Many thanks for your feedback. We're delighted that you had such a wonderful experience at Macatoo.]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   15 June 2023

Judith who has been on 15 In The Saddle rides. Lonely Honeymoon! | Only gave “agree” for pace because other group had longer canters, but they were a hunting group and all knew each other and we had ladies who had sore thighs. I know it says "more relaxed pace" in the afternoon but I was a bit surprised we only trotted in the afternoon (Safety issues)


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   31 March 2023

Orsi who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Amazing riding holiday- an absolute must! | Fantastic riding! The horses are amazing and the team is excellent at matching people with various horses, depending on their riding ability. The game was superb and the Macatoo team was great at organising drives for my non-riding husband - he sometimes had private game drives at no extra cost. The lunches were amazing - a very special one on a treetop, being greeted with champagne!

The riding is definitely only recommended for experienced riders however - please do note this if you are not quite experienced yet, because you can endanger yourself and others, or just hold a group back. For experienced riders however it’s a fantastic holiday, highly recommended!


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   25 March 2023

Dija (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Every riders dream holiday | This holiday has been on my wish list for years and it didn’t disappoint. The horses are lovely and in great condition, some are a little strong, if you’re not used to that, let them know. They will do their best to match you to a horse you’ll enjoy. My favourite was Huff Puff - so well behaved for such a young horse, could have easily taken him home, closely followed by San who was a pleasure to ride.

We saw so much game, it really is quite incredible to get that close from horseback. One especially memorable moment was when we met 3, then 5…hmm 8, ooh 13, OMG 20 giraffes. And on one of the afternoon rides it felt like all of the animals came out to play - zebra, a lone wildebeest, impala, tsessebe and a small matriarchal herd of elephants strolled by in the background. It was truly magical. The whole experience is something I’ll never forget. My only regret is waiting until I’m 50 to do it. Big thank you to all of the team for taking care of me even with an injured back. I’d love to come back and ride in the floods.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for your feedback and we are so pleased you had such a brilliant time.]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   18 February 2023

Julie (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Fabulous experience | Macattoo camp has around 50 horses. Each horse is individually cared for and loved to a high standard. All of the riding tack is in excellent condition. We each had a groom who brought us the horse tacked up healthy and ready to go and well suited to our sizes. For the first couple of rides, we took it easy, given time to make sure that the horses were suitable and that we were confident at the pace. I felt as if the guides were monitoring us at all times to make sure that we were comfortable and felt safe… as the week went on the pace lifted and we had some fantastic rides. All of the horses are used to the terrain, surefooted and comfortable around the wild animals that we came across. I would personally advise that if you want to get the best out of the riding, it would be sensible to be at good level of fitness and have plenty of riding experience.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   9 December 2022

Linda who has been on 21 In The Saddle rides. Botswana Macatoo - Amazing horseback safari | All expectations met. Mod has again excelled himself in matching us with wonderful horses that suited us perfectly. Great care was also taken to match our riding expectations and that of the group of 10 (mostly far more adventurous than us) who were there at the same time as us - not an easy feat! Everyone seemed happy.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   3 December 2022

Susan (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Close observation of animals from horseback with relaxing camp comfort. | Able to ride out in all directions from the camp and only once saw any other safari groups and that was right at the far edge of the jeep's range.
The guides went to great lengths to ensure we saw a lot of wildlife, passed on a lot of information but were not shouting commands and instructions. Loved the hand signs given for the animals spotted and change of pace.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   1 October 2022

Miquel (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Horseback riding safari in the Macatoo Paradise | All ridings were carefully cared about.
The guides were excellent.
All was specially prepared for Kate. All horseback riding endings were on a different location and we were always surprised and excited.
All the staff were really good.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   20 June 2022

Rebecca who has been on 10 In The Saddle rides. Upmarket safari away from the real world | Beautiful horses, gleaming with health and condition.
Thanks to the great guides for helping us to enjoy so many encounters with the wildlife safely.
I enjoyed the evening rides in beautiful afternoon light, closer to camp, just as much as the morning rides with the much talked about splashy canters.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   11 June 2022

Louise who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Fabulous as always | Excellent


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   10 June 2022

Sue who has been on 14 In The Saddle rides. Macatoo - Truly wild horseback safari | This holiday was on my bucket list for several years (after seeing a Richard Attenborough documentary on the Okavango Delta) so I was thrilled that it exceeded my expectations. Seeing the flooded Delta from the small aircraft flying into camp gave me butterflies at the thought that I would be riding through it for the next 7 days. The riding was exhilarating with lots of splashy canters and at times overwhelmingly emotional when we came across large herds of elephants crossing the Delta streams. Watching a pride of lions lazing and playing with the cubs in the afternoon sun was sublime. A highlight was when a dazzle of Zebra joined alongside us for a fast canter. This part of Botswana really felt truly wild. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and very good at judging the pace of the rides and making the rides fun. The horses were very well behaved and loved the rides as much as we did. The camp was really well set up and my large tent had everything I needed along with a private veranda for afternoon sunbathing and snoozing. Every meal was delicious. I cannot recommend this holiday enough for anyone wanting to see the extraordinary phenomenon of the Kalahari desert flooding and all the African wildlife that comes with it all from the back of a horse.

[Abbie from In The Saddle replies: We're so pleased that you had such an enjoyable time on your long-awaited safari at Macatoo. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   22 May 2022

Sam who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Amazing! | All the horses are so well cared for. A huge range of horses. The riding was out of this world. It exceeded my expectations for sure!
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: We are so pleased that you enjoyed your holiday at Macatoo.]


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   22 May 2022

Lorraine who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Absolutely amazing ! | Once you had learned how to ride them on a long rein, grazing as and when they wanted, and heads were straight down when they stopped they were great. They were all very responsive and a pleasure to ride. Due to the length of time in the saddle it was also helpful to lengthen your stirrups a bit to help with knee and ankle strains.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   22 May 2022

Caroline who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. A dream come by true | Our high expectations were exceeded.
Mod at Macatoo perfectly matched our experience and personalities with fit well behaved well looked after horses


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   22 May 2022

Tessa who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Enjoyed every minute | Was lovely to see so many horses and all so happy, living a very natural life with plenty of turn out (with careful protection) and no horses overworked. The Head Groom (Mud) was very knowledgeable about each horse and could discuss them as individuals around their characteristics and way of going. All of the Guide Leads (Chief) equally had a good knowledge of each horse - which is very helpful for the riders. It is clear to see they are very fond of the horses and care about their well being and happiness. Each of the grooms were very polite with big smiles when you came to get on and off the horses. The riding was exceptional - such beautiful country along side a Guide Lead who clearly has great tracking skills and knowledge to find and approach all the animals in the most careful and gentle way, giving the riders the very best experience of viewing whilst also feeling safe.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   20 April 2022

Flora (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Macatoo - Loads of fun! | The riding was excellent - we cantered and even galloped. Cantering with zebras is an unforgettable experience. Horses were good and well cared.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

4 star rating   5 January 2022

Nicola (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Macatoo - The Okavango Delta on horseback is always magical! | Staff were lovely, friendly and knowledgeable, and honestly this made a lot of the trip for me. Katie is great, as is Mod, Bernie, Thabo and Chief. I liked that guides eat and socialise with you beyond riding / guiding. I liked the effort to eat in different locations, and enthusiasm to go out in the car when makes sense (i.e. having seen lions on horseback).
I'd prefer a bit more mixed pace on the riding. It's quite a set formula - 90% walking with a few long canters in the morning or a couple of trots in the evening ride. Horses were also generally wonderful, clearly kept in good healthy condition and happy. Some horses perhaps could benefit from additional schooling.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   1 January 2022

Caroline who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Macatoo - The most incredible holiday with fantastic horses, stunning wildlife and nature | The riding was fantastic and I was very spoilt in the range of horses I was given. I loved riding them all and they looked after me, but you definitely need to know how to ride as they were forward and sensitive to commands. It exceeded all my expectations and more.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   24 September 2021

Sabine who has been on 11 In The Saddle rides. Awesome as usual 😉 | Excellent


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   10 September 2021

Fika who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Unforgettable | Absolutely. the horse "Brandberg" needed a lot of prodding when walking, but was comfortable in trotting and cantering.


31 reviews