Spotlight On: Macatoo

Posted on March 4, 2022


In this ‘Spotlight On’ series, we focus on single riding destinations in turn. In each blog we’ll give you the inside scoop on why we think this particular adventure has simply got to be on your riding holiday wish list.

Today’s destination is Macatoo Camp, in Botswana.

Are Macatoo’s famous splashy canters on your wish list?

Where is Macatoo?

Macatoo Camp is situated in the south west of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one of Africa’s greatest wildlife habitats. With its permanent supply of water, the Delta supports the most diverse profusion of plant and animal life in southern Africa.

Macatoo Camp sits in the magical Okavango Delta, in north western Botswana

The area is home to plentiful wildlife, including species like elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, zebra, lion, wildebeest, hyena, tsessebe, lechwe, kudu, jackal and baboon. You might also spot lesser-seen game such as roan antelope, duiker, wild dog, leopard, cheetah, serval, genet and honey badger.

One of Africa’s great natural santuaries, the Delta is home to vast concentrations of wildlife

What can I do at Macatoo?

Run with the wildebeest, splash through the wetlands, canter across open plains…this is a safari like no other.

An early start with coffee in your tent just as the sun rises, means that you’ll ride out when the game is most active. Track elephant across the plains, or ride through the palm studded islands. Set off on long canters through the bush, perhaps with zebra or lechwe joining in. Return to camp for a leisurely lunch and siesta. A sunset ride is the perfect way to close the day’s adventures. There’s time for a shower and drinks, before gathering for a candlelit supper.

Recount the day’s adventures over supper by candlelight

You can ride twice a day, or combine riding with game drives, guided walks and mokoro trips to experience the magic of the Delta from a different perspective.

Following a giraffe across the plains

Why should I ride at Macatoo?

With its incredible wildlife, gorgeous accommodation and exciting riding, perhaps the question should be ‘why shouldn’t you?!’

The wildlife: there’s no better way to experience the delights of the Delta than on a riding safari. Being on horseback means you can often get really close to wildlife in a non-intrusive way. Ride alongside buffalo and elephant, watch hippo splash in the pools and enjoy some of the best bird watching in the world.

It feels magical to watch the Delta’s wildlife from horseback

The riding: feel the thrill of splashy canters and ride beside giraffe or zebra, with plenty of fast and exciting riding in between. The fabulous safari horses are used to all the different species in the area and even know when to stop and graze. This sends a signal to the wildlife to relax and go about their normal daily routines – which makes for incredible animal encounters.

The horses are well-trained safari mounts

The accommodation: this classic style tented camp has seven large twin bedded tents. Each has en suite facilities, including hot and cold running water and flush loos. Each tent looks out onto the spillway.

You can wake up to this view each day

The is a spacious Honeymoon Tent, which is perfect for special occasions, or if you just feel like treating yourself!

The beautiful Honeymoon Tent

When should I visit Macatoo?

Whilst the Delta offers great riding and game viewing all year round, many people want to visit when the area is in flood.

Rain falls in Angola mostly between November and April. It travels more than 1,000km, slowly making its way through Namibia, before reaching Botswana usually in late May. Floodwaters normally peak in July and August, and start to recede during September.

The Delta offers great riding and game viewing all year round

The seasonality of the Okavango Delta is one of its most fascinating characteristics. Between November and February there might not be much water, but the bush is beautifully green and many flowers are in bloom. May brings the anticipation of the floodwaters. In the months of June to August, the water is at its highest levels. There is plenty of water to ride through and go boating on. September and October brings hotter weather, the leaves go green and fruit starts to grow. You’re more likely to see wild dog and big cats, who favour the drier conditions. You can read more about the Delta’s weather patterns here.

Each season is special in its own way

Whenever you choose to visit (or are able to travel), you are sure to experience the safari of a lifetime at Macatoo.

How can I book Macatoo?

Call us on +44 (0) 1299 272 997 or email rides@inthesaddle.com for more information. A number of the team have ridden at Macatoo and would be delighted to share their experiences with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.