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·  'Big Five' Horseback Safari
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Waterberg Big 5 horseback Safari

Horseback Safaris in South Africa

8 day exclusive horseback safari

safari cost weather general info what to bring

Relax, savour the moment, forget the fast pace of the modern world and enjoy an old style horseback adventure, tracking the "Big Five", at the foot of the majestic hills of the Drakensberg mountains. We invite you to share the experience that made us love the African bush with the highest needs of modern comfort and security.

Spend some time with us in the bush and encounter the wildlife in its natural way. Walk over hills and enjoy magnificent views, ride through rivers and canter over open plains; enjoy the voice of nature. Feel the excitement when you see fresh lion tracks, to know, that the only tracks you leave behind are just hoof prints of your horse.

Our high-class safaris cater for a maximum of four guests and can therefore be tailored to your needs. We work to the highest safety standards to ensure you a unique and delightful experiences.

Sample Itinerary

Arrival time 1.00 pm at Wait a little. After you have moved into your rooms, you will be served a light meal over which we discuss the schedule, the rules and safety measures of the safari. The safety briefing is followed by signing our indemnity for. After we have matched you to your horse, we go for a short ride to give you time and confidence with your new partner. The well known African sunset, we enjoy on our way home.
Overnight at Wait a little base camp

After a light breakfast we saddle the horses and set of on a trail through the Edeni Game Reserve. The tracks of elephant, cheetah or giraffe will lead us through the reserve. Lunch will be served at Wait a little outside Veranda, overlooking the Makhutswe River.
We start off again, after we have spent the afternoon next to the swimming pool, in our lounge or just relaxing in your beautiful tent. The afternoon ride will be spend tracking game, whatever footprints show us where we go.

We wake up early to pack a bag, the next three nights will be spent in two different camps. Early mornings, armed with water bottles and lunch packs on horseback, we depart, while our back up vehicle brings the baggage to the first camp.
At lunch time we enjoy a light meal for example at Wilderness Camp, where we might swim in the Karongwe River, have a shower or just relax under the thatched roofs of the camp. We start our afternoon ride in the area where wildebeest, zebras, giraffes and rhinos roam. Our camp for the night will be Beacon Rock, which is situated on a rock formation, where you have a magnificent view over the whole Lowveld escarpment when climbing on top. After we have enjoyed a spectacular sunset, we go back to camp to sit around a huge camp fire and eat traditional South African cooking.

We depart early again, the way to Edeni Bush Lodge is about 15km and we never know what we find on our way. After an approximately four hour ride we enjoy the swimming pool and a generous five course dinner at the camp.
Edeni Bush Lodge has private, lavishly appointed tents, constructed with indigenous hardwood and furnished in the ethic, yet romantic style of days gone by. Every unit has its own wooden deck, en-suite bathroom and shower, facing the river

From Bush Lodge we cross the Makhutswe river to the project, where Rhinos and Buffaloes are kept in big areas for research and breeding. Lunch is at the balcony of the Lodge.
In the afternoon we join a game drive to see the big game we cannot approach on horseback. A night drive is included and cats that hunt at night like lion and leopard can be found, may be even on a kill.
Back at the Lodge we all sit together in the beautiful dinner area, to get spoiled with international cuisine and selected wines overlooking the illuminated Makhutswe River.

A ride through the river with huge sycamore figs trees, fever trees and a beautiful riverine vegetation, where waterbuck, bushbok, nyala, hippo, crocodile and hundreds of bird species can be seen, leads us back to Wait a little main camp.
For the afternoon we organize an excursion to one of our plenty sight seeing spots in the area.

Once the horses have been saddled and we have assessed the days weather, we head either for a dry riverbed where the soft sand invites us for a long gallop. Or we ride along an animal path over hills and through gullies to a one of our large dams, where a generous lunch awaits.
After the Hippos, crocodiles, fish Eagles and other species have entertained us, we find our way back to main camp for a farewell dinner.

A short, sporty ride, followed by a light lunch, after which you will be checked out and transferred to the airport.


The safari can be extended spending more nights in different camps. On request we can organise visits to the Kruger National Park, the famous Blyde River Canyon, Swadini Reptile Park and several other sight seeing spots.

Big Five Safari (luxurious):
An exclusive 8 day 7 night horseback safari. You stay in three different camps, including private, luxurious tented accommodation, sleep out and Lodge accommodation in luxurious chalets, or tents. One game drive is included. Saturdays to Saturdays.
Group size : min 2 max 4
Price : Please contact us for a detailed quote

Expedition Safari: This 6 day, 5 nigh Horseback Adventure is part of a nature conservation project and includes a donation for the Karongwe Ecological Research Institute. Saturdays to Thursdays or Mondays to Saturdays.
Group size : 4
Price :
Please contact us for a detailed quote

Main Camp Safari:: An 8 day, 7 night Horseback Safari, where accommodation is in luxurious tents. From the main camp we have morning and afternoon, or full day rides. For one or two nights we might offer a sleep out. Game drives can be organised at extra costs. Saturdays to Saturdays.
Group size : 4

Price: Please contact us for a detailed quote

Accommodation, meals,drinks supplied locally, guiding, riding, game drives, walks & mokorors and concession fees

Air Transfers, Staff gratuities.

Single supplement: 50% (only applicable if unwilling to share)

Weather Conditions:
We have no winter or summer as we are so close to the equator. There are two rainy seasons November and April/May. The hottest months are February/March, September/October but there are no hard and fast rules on this. We ride at an Average of 5500ft. This makes for a cool climate and also means there are very few mosquitoes.

General Information
General: Our top priority is the care and well being of our horses. They are well trained, responsive, kind tempered and well mannered. They are fit to cope with long stretches of canters. All of them have grown up in the bush. Breeds include the South African Boerperd as well as Arabs, Anglo Arabs, the American Quarter Horse and Appaloosa.
The tack is kept in excellent condition.

Riding Style: Here we ride classic English style. All our horses are trained in a riding arena or on the lounge to be responsive and well mannered. They are all forward going and want to be ridden.
In walk we ride on the long rein, but in a steady, fast pace to keep your horses attention at all time (and yours). If all of a sudden an antelope jumps out of the bush, it is of advantage, to have the leg on. In the faster paces we keep the reins shorter and especially over long distances, we stand up in canter to relax the horses back.

Saddles: We use two types of saddles, the ordinary English saddle and a saddle designed by Leon Liversage, especially for trails. The trail saddle distributes the weight equally on the horses back and is in addition very comfortable for the rider. You sit straight automatically, so better for you and your horses back. Please do understand, that each horses back is different, so not every saddle fits every horse.

English Saddles: Bates Australia, Theo Sommer, Germany

Trail saddles by Leon Liversage: We do have two types of Trail saddles, the Enduro Saddle, created for Endurance rides, a very comfortable saddle, specifically made for horses with broader backs. Please read more about Leon's

Comfort: We do offer seat safers and sheepskins.

Bridals: Only egg but snuffles.

Gear: We provide Chaps and helmets. Your own gear always fit's better. Jodhpurs and half chaps, comfortable riding boots, jeans and full chaps, whatever you feel comfortable in.

Other Activities: Game drives, night game drives and game walks are undertaken on every safari whether riding or not. There is no lack of activities on safari.

Insurance: Whilst we carry public liability insurance and take all possible care we strongly advise you to have full medical and holiday insurance. These are adventure safaris.

Game:Is plentiful everywhere we conduct riding safaris. We ride where dangerous game abounds. Your guide is knowledgeable and conversant with the habits and likely reactions of the game, in any situation you should do as he/she says.

Single Supplement: Is only charged for those who refuse to share accommodation.

Information we require: Age, weight, height and riding experience. Special drink requirements and any dietary restrictions or allergies.

Medical: A medical kit is on hand in camp and in the saddlebags. We are in radio contact from camp with the Flying Doctor Service. Clients should take an anti malarial drug but we strongly warn from experience against the side effect of larium. You require yellow fever vaccination only.

Tips: This is a present from the heart and clients should only tip if they are happy for the service provided. There are no hard and fast rules but your guide will help you on this. Tips are collected by the guide in any denomination you wish and distributed evenly amongst the staff.

Iteneraries: Whilst we try and stick to the advertised itinerary we fully reserve the right to change it to suit weather conditions and game movements. This will only be with the guest's best interest at heart.

What to Bring: (Clothes List)
The following are recommended:
Soft Holdall Type Bag
Sun Hat
Penknife/Bottle Opener
Waterproof Mac/Poncho
Holiday Reading
Optional Foot Wear for Riding
Warm Jersey
Jeans x 2/Riding Trousers
Sheets and Blankets
Soap and Towels
Shorts and Tee Shirts
Malaria Pills
Chaps or Half Chaps
Sun Block
Water Bottle
Mosquito Repellent
Camera and Film
Small Torch
Money Belt or Cotton Waist Coat
Sun Glasses
Light Weight Jacket
Saddle Bags
Gym Shoes/Flip-flops
Long Sleeved Cotton Shirt x 4
First Aid
Hac. Tac Jodpurs
Swimming Costume
Laundry will be done on non-moving days therefore luggage should be kept to a minimum.

Indemnity: Clients will be asked to sign an indemnity in camp before they ride.

Please Contact Us for more details

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Horse Riding Safari in Waterberg

Waterberg African ranch horseback safari

safari cost what to bring

This lodge overlooks a beautiful lake. The large colonial verandah is the perfect spot to take in the beauty of South Africa, while listening to hippo and jackal calls. With no TV and no newspapers, it is the ideal place to get away from it all. Our guests are accommodated in three double rooms in the main house (two en-suite and one with a separate private bathroom) and three luxury, en-suite thatched rondavels, each set slightly away from the main house, offering a private and homely place to relax after a long day in the saddle. A plunge pool enables guests to cool off after a hot summer's day, whilst the soft and mineral packed water of the lake is a wonderful bonus for swimmers.

Food is our second love. Before an early morning ride, guests are offered a light breakfast. After working up an appetite on your ride, lunch is enjoyed under the giant Syringa tree in the garden, followed by afternoon tea & cake at about 3pm. Dinner is a sociable and sumptuous affair, during which the day's adventures, or misadventures, are recounted with great delight. Our carefully planned three-course menus are accompanied by a selection of fine South African wines. Fresh vegetables and home-grown herbs are used in all recipes, with the homemade breads and cakes freshly baked on a daily basis.

“The genuine hospitality of the people took my breath away” The Travel Show. BBC

The bush the world over is made up of a small community of characters. Here we try to introduce our guests to the Waterberg area and the people that live there. We like to offer a highly professional product in an informal way, resulting in a lot of our guests becoming lasting friends. Horizon will welcome you into it’s life and share with you the beauty and community of the Waterberg. Guests travelling alone will find that the welcoming atmosphere ensures that their holiday will be spent in the company of new friends.

Sample Itinerary

Day One:
Guests will be met at Johannesburg international Airport and transferred to the rach in the Waterberg (approximately 2 1/2 hours) in time for lunch. That afternoon guests will enjoy an introductory ride in the game reserve, with sundowners served at one of our hippo dams. Dinner is a 3 course evening meal at the lodge.

Day Two:
A morning of mustering cattle. Triple B Ranch is one of South Africa’s top stud Bonsmara farms with more than 1500 head of cattle, which need to move regularly to new pastures. Guests have the opportunity to participate in this fun and exciting activity. This can be followed by a cooling swim with your horse.

Following lunch, relax in the heat of the day by the pool or take a siesta.

Afternoon tea is followed by an exhilarating fast ride utilizing some of the farms many kilometers of clear sandy tracks.

Day Three:
An introduction to Polocrosse - starting with the basics we will soon have guests addicted to this invigorating sport. After lunch, guests are welcome to tag along on one of our bi-weekly shopping trips into the local town of Vaalwater, for some retail therapy bush style! After afternoon tea guests may choose to enjoy another outride or utilize the skills of our dressage expert and strengthen their seat with a flatwork lesson.

Day Four:
After breakfast we embark on a 2-night wilderness safari. Here guest’s ride in search of a wide variety of game. Arriving at the tranquil stone and thatched bush camp within the reserve, in time for lunch, followed with a siesta by the pool and afternoon tea. Ride out in the afternoon for sundowners at a breathtaking lookout spot, possibly encountering White rhino, hartebeest or zebra along the way. Sleep overnight in lovely bush lodge.

Day Five :
A full day of riding in the game reserve with a picnic lunch stop in the middle of the day arriving back at the lodge in time for a late afternoon tea and a chance to relax before sundowners on the patio.

Day Six :
Light breakfast and then off to explore the reserve and it’s wildlife, resting at the river mid-morning for a refreshing swim and surprise bush breakfast.

After an early afternoon tea, we ride back to the ranch in time for supper

Day Seven :
After many hours in the saddle on the Wilderness trail, guests may opt to take a break and enjoy an outing and game drive at a local reserve – in the hope of close encounters with lion, elephant or buffalo. They may even opt for a helicopter flip over this spectacular reserve, for an aerial view of Africa!

Return to the ranch for lunch. After another indulgent afternoon tea enjoy an outride or try their skills over the challenging cross-country fences.

Day Eight:
For yet another challenge guests can try their hand at cattle cutting, After bringing a herd in from pasture guests will take it in turns to move one cow away from the group, an activity that puts you and your horse against the herd instinct of cattle. Return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta or a chance to tour the ranch with the owner and great character Charles Baber. Followed by an afternoon ride in the Triple B game area tracking Giraffe or zebra, learning the signs of the wild and medicinal values of the native bushes and trees. Alternatively those addicted can try another session of polocrosse.

Day Nine:
Finish off your holiday with a last ride of your choice. Depart after a homely lunch in the garden.

Please note these options are available and the itinerary above is an indication of what one can expect during a week in the Waterberg ranch, however as we are completely flexible guests can decide on a daily basis what activities they would like to partake in.


Please contact us for a detailed quote

Getting Here

Horizon is an easy two and a half hour drive north of Johannesburg International Airport. You may choose to make your own way to us by hire car, or we can arrange for a private transfer.

Visas and Health

To enter South Africa, you must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months after your return date. The Waterberg is classified as a malaria free area, but please check with your doctor or travel bureau for the latest advice.

Things to bring:

As well as comfortable riding clothes we recommend the following; Your well fitting hard hat. A wide brimmed hat also is advisable as protection against the sun. Bumbag, Lipsalve, Sun protection cream factor 20 or higher, Short boots and chaps. Long rubber boots are not advised. Swimming costume. Light weight long sleeved shirts. Light weight raincoat. Extra film and camera batteries. A good book.


The hottest season is summer, from November to March. The rainy season extends from late November to January, with short showers in the late afternoon, and an occasional evening thunderstorm. The winter months of June, July and August are warm and dry, but evenings are chilly so it is advisable to bring warm clothing.

General Information

Horizon has been in operation since 1993. We take a maximum of 10 guests with a minimum age of 12 years . All rides are accompanied by at least two guides. Some hard hats are supplied and while not obligatory for normal riding activities they are required for polocrosse and cross country jumping. Tariffs include accommodation , meals, snacks, all drinks and laundry. Gratuities for the staff and airport transfers are not included.

Single supplements: A 20% single supplement will be charged to guests staying at the rach and 50% for the Dinaka and Lapalala safaris. This supplement will only be charged if they are not prepared to share a room with another guest of the same sex.

Price includes: Accommodation on a full board basis including all drinks and all activities

Payment conditions: Bookings will be confirmed once a 20% deposit has been received. Full payment is required one month prior to arrival.

Indemnity: Clients will be asked to sign an indemnity in camp before they ride.

Please Contact Us for more details

Horse Riding Safari in Waterberg

Waterberg Big 5 horseback safari

Take everything you expect from a riding safari in Africa, exceptional game viewing, endless horizons, good company, great food and exceptional horses. Put all of this into a 20,000 acre game reserve hidden amongst the majestic Waterberg mountain range and you have the Dinaka safari.

About the Dinaka experience:
Dinaka is unquestionably for “lovers of luxury” and those who want a guaranteed game viewing experience. This 20,000 acre reserve was one of the first to reintroduce game into the Waterberg, starting in 1976. Dinaka now offers unsurpassed game viewing in South Africa. The reserve contains literally thousands of animals. Species on the reserve include; not only rhino, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, leopard, ostrich and two species of zebra, but also over 20 species of antelope, including the impressive eland and sable and the exquisite steenbuck and springbuck. Dinaka is unique in the Waterberg due to its high carrying capacity and the resulting heavy concentrations of game.

Situated along the Waterberg escarpment, its views are mountainous whilst its environment consists mainly of extensive plains. This gives riders the opportunity to view larger herds of game not normally seen in montane bushveld. On Dinaka it is not uncommon to see herds of a few hundred antelope, together with 8 or 9 rhino all in the same view. Each visit provides a truly magical game experience.

During your stay at Dinaka you will ride through beautiful mountains where the rare and endangered Cape Griffon nests; gallop across open sandy tracks; canter for miles looking at the wonder of nature surrounding you; take your horse for a refreshing swim in the cool water of one of the many lakes; jump the natural obstacles and enjoy hacks through thick woodlands taking you on a mystical ride.

Guest accommodation is in twin-bedded, luxury thatch lodges, with en-suite bathrooms. The lodges are situated high on a ridge overlooking a picturesque lake below and have spectacular views across the plains. This is a prime spot to relax whilst observing the activities of passing wildlife, or the occasional antics of the hippo in the water below. As rides are taken during the cooler hours of the day, when the game is more active, there is plenty of time to relax and cool off in the plunge pool.

Dinaka is owner-operated, boasting warm hospitality and personal attention to detail. Meal times are an event in themselves and provide an impressive array of dishes. Daily afternoon tea is an irrefutable delight!

Your Guides; Kobus and Saskia Havemann
Kobus grew up in Namibia riding bush ponies along the Kavango river, he studied nature conservation in South Africa and has been guiding horse safaris in big five game areas for the last 10 years, his gorgeous wife Saskia started her riding career on a friends Hanovarian stud at age 6 in Germany and continued to develop her riding skills in numerous disciplines such as endurance, western riding and show jumping. She has been working as a horse safaris guide in Southern Africa for the last 4 years. Together they will share with you their love for horses and passion for the African wilderness.

The Horses
The horses are all handpicked for their temperament and ride-ability. They are impeccably schooled to ensure riders a safe and comfortable ride across open and uneven terrain. Breeds include the SA Boerperd, Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Appaloosa and Crossbreeds. Our horses are our pride and joy and we are sure by the end of the week you will love them as much as we do.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1:
11.00 am .
Guests are met at the Johannesburg Intercontinental Hotel. Here guests can enjoy a choice of full English or continental breakfast and can relax whilst their fellow companions arrive. Our driver will then transfer all guests to the Dinaka lodge in time for a late lunch. The afternoon ride will introduce guests gently to the awesome riding country of Dinaka and will be used to assess the riders with their chosen mounts. It will give everyone the chance to ensure the perfect match before the more challenging riding begins.

Day 2
Will be a ride along the foothills of the Seven Sisters mountain range, through thick woodland areas to the western boundaries. Here you will have your first experience of the unending sandy tracks and glimpse the unending views of the Dinaka plains and the abundant herds. You will arrive back at the lodge in time for a late brunch and a chance to siesta by the pool. The afternoon ride will be a fast and exhilarating ride along the Sand river, this area is prime waterbuck and hippo viewing territory.

Day 3:
Guests will ride to an arearenowned for its abundant and varied species,known as ‘Small Serengeti’ here you will be able to watch and interpret the behavior of the Springbok and Blesbok that always occur on these plains. Riding back to the lodge your guides will introducing you to some of the bush skills essential to those living in the African wilderness. Lunch time brings another chance to siesta or perhaps a chance to view the hippo at play in the dam in front of your bedroom window. The afternoon ride will be into a Terminalia woodland with the added challenge of jumping natural obstacles, this area is known to be a favorite habitat of the giraffe as well as being home to what we call the “zebra race track”!

Day 4
The morning ride will take you out with the explicit purpose of tracking the majestic white rhino, these prehistoric animals are one of the incredible success stories of the Dinaka reserve which holds one of the oldest breeding herds in the country. Being next to these magnificent creatures is a highlight of any safari but being with them on horseback is a truly unforgettable experience. After lunch at the lodge you will pack your toothbrush and few chosen items before departing on your overnight wilderness experience, this camping expedition will take you to an ancient refuge used by Mizilikatse as he and his people fled the wrath of the warlord Shaka. This will be a true African experience taking you up into the remote mountain pass with minimal equipment and no vehicle backup with your canopy being simply a star filled night.

Day 5
After waking up to the smell of coffee boiling on an open fire and the sound of your horse munching contentedly bedside you, your route off the mountain follows a valley that leads deep into the Waterberg escarpment. The trail follows the game paths made by the giant eland and mountain zebra, it is a most taxing, but also a most rewarding ride, in terms of the normally inaccessible terrain and stunning scenery. The ride brings you back to the lodge in time for lunch and a hot shower. The afternoon gives a chance to rest weary bones and experience game from a whole new perspective with a guided bush walk.

Day 6: Today the group will have a chance to explore the Waterberg further, this time in a vehicle and join a big five game drive. Guests will be given the option of visiting a nearby game reserve (about a 45 min drive from Dinaka) this beautiful reserve is home to The Big 5 and offers wonderful opportunities to view lions and if we are lucky elephants from the safety of a vehicle. Back at Dinaka the afternoons ride is delightful opportunity for photography. A visit to ‘jackal dam’, which is a particularly attractive spot in the late-afternoon light, where the horses splash amongst the water lilies.

Day 7:
Today brings a full days rideto another area of the reserve, where Dinaka runs its highly successful breeding programme of rare species, which include white blesbok, red wildebeest, and bontebok.. A packed lunch is enjoyed en-route at the reserves only known hippo free lake giving riders a chance to experience the thrill of swimming with their horse in the African bush. After lunch the ride crosses a particularly fertile plain where riders can experience the exhilaration and thrill of cantering amongst large herds of game, with many different species galloping together across the plains. You then make your way back to the lodge in time for afternoon tea and a welcome break to both horse and rider in the form of a game drive. A Dinaka guide will escort you on an informative drive, where you will visit another area inhabited by yet more rare species such as buffalo, sable and black impala. This drive ends with a surprise dinner in the bush where guests relax around the fire, enjoy the African night sky and toast their experiences whilst a feast is served.

Day 8:
One last opportunity to enjoy riding on this stunning reserve with its amazing array of wildlife. A final gallop on your favorite mount along the endless sandy tracks, before returning to the lodge to enjoy another of their infamous brunches. Guests then depart after brunch.

Things to bring:
As well as comfortable riding clothes we recommend the following; Your well fitting hard hat. A wide brimmed hat also is advisable as protection against the sun. Bumbag, Lipsalve, Sun protection cream factor 20 or higher, Short boots and chaps. Long rubber boots are not advised. Swimming costume. Light weight long sleeved shirts. Light weight raincoat. Extra film and camera batteries. A good book.

Safari Dates 2008
19 th – 26 th Jan
16 th – 23 rd Feb
7 th – 14 th March
26 th Sep – 3 rd Oct
24 th – 31 st Oct
22 nd – 29 th Nov
6 th – 13 th Dec

Tailor made dates can be arranged for private groups.

Please Contact Us for more details

Terms and conditions: Please read our terms and conditions for more information on how to book, travel insurance, cancellation fees, baggage and other important issues.

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PO Box 35269
Northway, 4065
Kwazulu Natal
South Africa

Email: please see the contact us page

African Horse Safari in South Africa | A Horseback Safari with The Safari Co. | Horse riding in South Africa's Kruger and Waterberg areas

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