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A riding safari exploring the remote western region of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. An area characterised by papyrus-lined waterways and woodland, rich in game and teeming with bird-life.
By day you might ride alongside herds of buffalo, watch wildebeest frolic out on the plains or gaze at a pod of hippo in the water. Each evening gather around the fire to recount the day’s adventures before supper is served by candlelight. Go to sleep at night as the sounds of Africa drift all around you.
The seasonality of the Delta is fascinating. Flood waters generally arrive in May or June and turn the area into a watery wonderland. Where the water is high the horses wade from island to island, but along the margins the going is firm allowing the pace to increase. When the water is lower there are wide open spaces perfect for extended trots and canters.
A unique feature of this safari is the opportunity to ride between Kujwana Main Camp and Moklowane Camp which is in a contrasting area of the concession. This allows you to explore a wider area and potentially see more game.
You are riding in an area of potentially dangerous game and therefore need to be experienced in the saddle. Rides are brisk and usually between four to six hours per day. The minimum riding ability required is mastery of the basic aids, ability to rise to the trot for stretches of ten minutes at a time, to be comfortable and balanced at all paces and to be able to gallop out of trouble.
The horses are all well-schooled and responsive, with an even temperament. They are between 14hh and 17hh and are a range of pure Arab, Anglo Arab, American Saddle-bred, Part and Full Thoroughbred.
Tack is mainly English style, of high quality leather and well-maintained. Each saddle has a seat-saver for comfort and comprise of well-known makes such as Ideal, Barnsby and Symonds. There are a few trail saddles available, but they do not fit every horse. Most horses are ridden in snaffle bridles.
The following times are approximate, but the daily pattern is normally a wake-up call to your tent at sun rise (c. 05:00 in summer and c. 06:00 in winter). In the hotter summer days you would ride from about 06:00 through to 10:30, and in winter from about 07:00 through to 11:30. Lunch is back at camp and the afternoons are for resting and relaxing in your tent or by the pool. Afternoon tea will usually be about 15:30 before the afternoon ride or activity from 16:00 to 18:00.
On the seven night itinerary you normally can stay three nights at Moklowane Camp and then have a full day ride returning to Kujwana Camp and enjoying a picnic lunch en route.
Non riders are welcome and can join game drives, boat trips, fishing, mokoro rides or walking safaris, depending on the water levels.
The rider weight limit is strictly 90 kg in riding kit. Guests may be required to step on the scales.
On a seven night safari you will stay at both Kujwana Camp and Moklowane Camp.
Kujwana Camp has seven safari tents each with solar lighting, shower and flush loo en-suite. Two of these tents - the Hippo Cradle and the Elephant Wallow - are more spacious riverside suites, available at a supplement.
Moklowane Camp is north west of Kujwana Camp near the Matsebi River. Here, five tree-houses are built ten feet off the ground, boasting great views of the open flood plains. Each tree-house has running water and a flush loo.
On a longer safari, you may also have one night at fly camp. 'Fly camp' means a temporary camp that is easily moved; a term dating back to the days when you moved your fly sheet rather than your whole tent. It is not possible to do a fly camp between December and February.
Between March and November the seven night safaris start on a Saturday or a Tuesday. It is also possible to do just the first five nights and depart from Mokolwane Camp if you are short of time. Ten night safaris are possible for groups of four or more.
Sample Itinerary for Kujwana
From December to February safaris are normally based at Kujwana Camp only. At this time the minimum stay is three nights, but safaris need two guests to confirm. For stays of less than five nights please enquire for a quote.
Select your preferred arrival date:
|5 nights||7 nights||10 nights|
|1 Jan - 31 Mar 2021||$4,297.62||$6,016.66||$8,595.23|
|1 Apr - 31 May 2021||$5,072.60||$7,101.63||$10,145.19|
|1 Jun - 30 Sep 2021||$6,199.84||$8,679.78||$12,399.68|
|1 Oct - 1 Dec 2021||$5,072.60||$7,101.63||$10,145.19|
|2 - 31 Dec 2021||$4,297.62||$6,016.66||$8,595.23|
INCLUDES Accommodation; full board; drinks; riding; other safari activities.
Upgrades are available to the Riverside Suites at $126.81 per suite per night.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Subject to availability single tents are at no single supplement.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Tips.
NEAREST AIRPORT Maun. Air Botswana and South African Airways fly every day between Johannesburg and Maun.
TRANSFERS There are two transfer options. By helicopter is $387.49 per person each way; by vehicle and boat is $140.91 per person each way. Transfer prices are based on a minimum of two persons transferring.
We will arrange return transfers from Maun to camp for you either by helicopter, light aircraft (subject to water levels) or road/boat. Please note that if you choose the light aircraft or road/boat option, there will be no time to ride on arrival and departure days.
All transfers to camp normally depart Maun in the early afternoon after the arrival of the Airlink and Air Botswana flights from Johannesburg.
The return transfer from camp to Maun arrives Maun in time for you to check in for the afternoon flights from Maun to Johannesburg.
We recommend your international flight arrives into Johannesburg by c. 08:00 to allow time to check in for the flight to Maun which departs Johannesburg at c. 11:00. For your return flights, both Air Botswana and Airlink depart Maun at c.14:00 which will get you back to Johannesburg in time for onward flights that evening.
We can also arrange transfers from or to other camps in Botswana.
In the Okavango Delta on the northern edges of the Kalahari desert in Botswana.
The Summer months in Botswana are September to April. October, November and February tend to be the hottest months, when temperatures can get up to the mid-30's°C.
The rains can start in October with the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. December to February are the wettest months. Winter is May to the end of August, when there is virtually no rainfall, but evenings and early mornings can be chilly. Temperatures can vary from 7°C to 28°C.
The floods usually arrive in April or May and have receded by early November.
For more information on the weather patterns in the Delta, see this blog post that talks about the predictions for 2020 as well as giving an explanation of the various seasons.
Cantering with zebra and giraffe through the water has got to be the best experience ever.
Laurel, West SussexOverall rating: 4/5
A truly special safari featuring top-quality horses and incredibly knowledgeable guides. Staying at two different camps allows you to explore the area more widely and hopefully see even more game than you might on a static safari.
If you can afford the helicopter transfer even one-way then it's a magical way of experiencing the Delta and well worth the extra cost.