We are sure you will never forget the true sense of freedom which you will experience on your horse with us in the Okavango Delta in Africa.
|Season||Rates - Per Person Per Night|
|01 Jan 2018 to 31 Marc 2018||GBP 455.00 pppns|
|01 Apr 2018 to 30 Jun 2018||GBP 555.00 pppns|
|1 July 2018 to 31 Oct 2018||GBP 645.00 pppns|
|1 Nov 2018 to 30 Nov 2018||GBP 555.00 pppns|
|1 Dec 2018 to 31 Dec 2018||GBP 455.00 pppns|
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Day 1:+You will be met at Maun airport by a member of our team who will assist you with transferring onto the small plane (either a Cessna 206 or 208) that will fly you into camp. The flight takes around 30 minutes and offers a bird’s eye view of the Okavango Delta – it is amazing how tiny the breeding herds of elephant look from the air. A safari vehicle will be waiting for you at the camp’s airstrip for the 45-minute game drive – or an exciting boat ride (depending on the time of year) - into Macatoo Camp where staff will greet you with a welcome drink. After settling into your tent, you will be offered afternoon tea and homemade cake during a briefing from your guide before heading to the barn for a ride. The pace of the evening rides are deliberately slower giving you the time to enjoy the sunsets and make the most of the photo opportunities offered by the birdlife and game. After a hot shower and change, drinks and snacks are served in the comfortable mess tent ahead of a candle-lit dinner by the fire.
Day 2:+Macatoo’s cheerful “tent ladies” will provide a gentle wake-up call along with your choice of tea, coffee and rusks which are served to you in bed. A light breakfast is set up around the campfire ahead of the first long ride of the holiday. There is a wide selection of horses in our barn and Macatoo’s experienced staff has the knack of putting together great horse and rider partnerships. Depending on the season, the morning ride may involve some galloping across dried flood plains, swimming through flood waters or pushingon through seas of tall grass to watch giraffe, zebra, antelope, elephant, buffalo - whatever is out there. A hearty lunch is served every day – you will need it after all those miles in the saddle – the chicken pie is a firm favourite and wine is always offered to encourage a little nap before tea and the evening ride. Sundowners are often enjoyed out in the bush before heading back to camp to freshen up. Dinner is always a great occasion at Macatoo, but there is no guarantee that it is always eaten in the same place.......
Day 3:+After listening to the dawn chorus over tea, coffee and rusks in bed, you will have shaken off any first day riding nerves and be eager to get back on a horse. Heading off in a new direction, the landscape will be quite different to yesterday offering fresh game viewing possibilities and a varied pace of ride – guides are always hoping to see the rare semi-aquatic antelope, the red lechwe. After lunch, the camp pool is an ideal place to cool down, or stretch the muscles that are feeling the effects of the time in the saddle. The deck is a great place to soak up some sun, read and doze, but keep your binoculars and cameras handy as zebra, buck and elephant frequently pass in front of camp. The swimming pool is also a popular watering hole for families of baboons, the babies on their mother’s backs are particularly cute. After some lovely homemade cakes or scones, evening rides can be swapped for some sunset fishing from boats, or from the banks of pools where hippos wallow. Game drives, walks or boat rides – depending on the time of year – are also available for those wanting time away from the horses or for non-riding partners and guests.
Day 4:+We ride through different country, making our way through clouds of bushman hair grass to plains dotted with fig trees. We might encounter giraffe or shyer antelope while passing through mophane woodlands. Our pace increases as we break out onto the flood plains, often disturbing troops of baboons. Return to the camp for an afternoon spent at leisure, or the possibility of hiring a helicopter for an hour to gain access to remote and otherwise totally inaccessible parts of the delta with spectacular photographic results. Finish off the day with a night drive by spotlight, where the resident clan of hyena are often spotted. Bushbabies leap from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees – only seen by the brights of their eyes. If lucky, the spotlight will pick up the glint of a leopard’s sultry stare. If we find lion on the drive or know where they are – perhaps we might have seen them earlier from horseback (and avoided them!) – we can spend quite some time watching them from the safety and comfort of the vehicle, over snacks and drinks, as they wake up from their long afternoon rest, groom each other, and prepare for a night of hunting. It is always such a highlight of the holiday to see a big cat – we will have lots to talk about around the dinner table that night.
Day 5:+This morning we ride deeper into the heart of the delta, to corners of the wilderness where vehicles simply cannot reach – horses can get much closer to the big game. We cross high palm islands which offer great sweeping views of the Delta plains – are those anthills or giraffes in the distance? Riders may have joined non-riding friends and family for a walk, drive or boat ride – but all guests will reunite for an unexpected champagne breakfast under a large baobab tree to swap ‘survivor’ stories from the morning. By now, you will have settled into the wonderful rhythm of camp where great adventure, creature comforts and downtime are combined to provide a break. After tea and a gentle sunset ride, you may find yourself at our fabulous tree house where you will have the option to spend the night out, sleeping high up in the tree canopy under the African night sky. From there, it is fascinating to watch and listen as the birds and animals prepare for night – by roosting, travelling or preparing to hunt. The barking of baboons and calling lions provide an unforgettable soundtrack to a night out under the stars. Your guides will stay too, providing great company and peace of mind – for many guests, this is a real highlight of a holiday to Macatoo.
Day 6:+After waking up in the treetops, you are whizzed back to camp by vehicle to change before riding off into new terrain. By now, you will be very ‘riding fit’ and eager to pick up the pace even more. You will canter through clouds of bushman hair grass, onto vast plains dotted with fig trees. You will pass giraffe along the way or shyer antelope who disappear into the depths of the mopane woodlands. By the time you reach the expansive flood plains, you will be riding quite fast – you will know your horse well by now and both of you relish a quicker pace and the sense of exhilaration. On the way back to camp, we will ride through deep reedy areas full of bird life including openbilled storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets, egyptian geese and many more before a hearty lunch with the option of a night drive, mokoro or boating trip for all. Don’t suffer “choice panic” – there is plenty of time left to experience all the activities that Macatoo has to offer. As ever, dinner by the fire will be special. We are not anticipating anyone will want to be in bed too late after the previous night’s tree house sleepover!
Day 7:+Don’t forget your pocket cameras today, but store it carefully because things could get rather wet! We will explore the shallow and deeper flood plains; they look so pretty, scattered with flowering lilies. The reflection of the trees – and your horse – will provide great images to capture. Many of our horses love to eat the lilies as they wade – sometimes swim – through the water. Here, the Cape buffalo can gather in large numbers (anything between a dozen and 2000 at a time). We have to creep up on them using the islands as cover. You will be keen to review your pictures after lunch, but don’t forget to re-charge your cameras in the mess tent! The evening offers a quiet ride with the by-now familiar smell of wild sage and the warm African dust as the sun goes down, transforming the skyline into a cocktail of oranges and reds. Dinner will be a memorable one with another surprise location in store…..!
Day 8:+If you haven't yet tried fishing, perhaps today is the day to rest your legs and experience the Delta without worrying about your horse. Most of our favourite fishing spots come with a guaranteed hippo sighting (and sounding!) – ask Bernie to do his impersonation of one, even the hippos get confused! It is a bit distracting if one thrusts himself out of the water, widemouthed, but make sure you have your camera handy to capture the moment. Many of our spots are on routes that are regularly used by family herds of elephants, if you hear a distant splash, jump into the vehicle and enjoy the spectacle from the safety of your seat. A cool box will always be provided so you can have a drink while you wait for ‘rush hour’ to pass. The birdlife around you will be very busy, particularly towards sunset. Be careful not to take too long to reel in your bream, the kingfishers are very quick, but the African fish eagles are bigger – both will wait for you to do the hard work before they move in to steal your fish prize! We will probably head back to camp in the dark, leaving you just enough time to shower and change before dinner and an evening of fun.
Day 9:+Today we enjoy a fast ride from island to island, tracking game and running with them on open plains – you won’t even think twice about galloping by now! – to a bush brunch in a surprise location. The sound of popping corks and Macatoo’s cheering staff will be the first you’ll know of them waiting in the bushes to surprise you. Don’t worry, your horse won’t even blink. An afternoon snooze, read or bird watching from a hammock beckons – the time is ticking by fast by now, and you will be keen to take in as much of the bush as your senses will allow. The afternoon ride will give you a chance to take some pictures – the light will be sublime. If we are lucky, the team will join us somewhere special and bring the cool box so we can watch the sun go down over a drink or two. Could such a perfect day be topped off better than with a fireside dinner under the stars, candles and silly games before falling asleep to the sound of the frogs?
Day 10:+You will be familiar enough with our range of horses to request your favourite from the barn and Mod and his team will do their very best to grantyour wish for your final long morning ride. By now, you will have seen most of Africa’s Big Five and riding alongside moving giraffe, antelope and zebras will have become a thrilling, almost daily activity. Make the most of the last bush breakfast, or lunch out in the bush and savour the sights and sounds around you. A last afternoon by the pool sees many guests desperately trying to even up their ‘farmer’s tans’ – brown arms and face, pale bodies and legs! You may feel torn over how to spend your final sunset outing – an evening game drive with a spotlight is often fun, picking up a local clan of hyena, or lions out on the hunt. Above your head Bushbabies leap from branch to branch through the terminalia and acacia trees – only seen by the brights of their eyes. The last meal will be special for many reasons – rivalry over Macatoo’s silly party games may well come to head with a final competition to settle who is the real champion of the holiday…. at Jenga!
Day 11:+The dawn call of the African Fish Eagle has, by now, become as familiar as the morning alarm at home. The delivery of tea or coffee in bed heralds the start of your last morning in camp and you will be anxious to make the most of your final ride. We stay quite close to home, splashing through water on the vast open plains, home to blue wildebeest and Burchell's zebra. The riding pace will be deliberately quite fast as we cram as much fun as possible into the final hours – be prepared to get wet as we approach deep reedy areas full of bird life including open-billed storks, squacco herons, slaty egrets and egyptian geese. You will return to Macatoo along the myriad of waterways lined with large trees, before arriving back at the barn where you say a sad farewell to your horse. There will be just enough time to shower, change and pack before the game drive to the airstrip, carrying a picnic lunch to tide you over until your return to the real world. Don’t worry, you can always come back – so many of our guests do!
Please note this Horseback Safari is exciting but not strenuous. This itinerary only serves as a guide; all scenarios are dependent on the season and levels of the Okavango flood. Du ring cooler months one longer ride may replace the normal morning and even ing rides. African Horseback Safaris reserves the right to alter the itinerary in any way and leaves this to the discretion of the guides. Local weather conditions may also affect game movements.
Also note that depending on individual itineraries some guest might miss their ride on the day of departure or arrival specifically when flying to/from Kasane
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Terms & Conditions+Include
» Accommodation at Macatoo Camp on a sharing basis
» All meals and local beverages
» Riding and Non-Riding activities
» 12% Government VAT
» Visas and full travel and medical insurance - which is essential
» Return transport from your home to Maun/Kasane
» Charter flight from Maun/Kasane to camp (see rates below)
» Gratuities for camp staff and guides
» Purchases from the curio shop
Charter Flight Rates
Flights to Macatoo is a 30 minute scenic flight from Maun or 1 1⁄2 hours from Kasane (which is located on the Botswana side of Victoria Falls), followed by a game drive/boat trip, depending on water levels. Due to the Kasane flight being longer guests would not be able to ride on their day of departure. Costs are per person one way and include government and airline taxes, which are subject to change.
» Maun-Macatoo Camp GBP 235.00
» Kasane- Macatoo Camp GBP 340.00
5% handling fee will be charged on all credit card payments.
Single Supplement of 50% on daily rate will apply if not prepared to share twin-bedded accommodation. We also keep one tent dedicated to single travellers where no single supplement would apply, subject to availability.
Our weight limit for riders is as follows:
» Under 95kg no supplement
» 95-105kg no extra supplement but subject to availability
» Exceeding 105kg by special arrangement only
We do not have set departure dates so you are welcome to choose the dates that would best suit your itinerary. We have a minimum stay policy of 3 nights but recommend 5-10 nights or longer.
For honeymoon clients we highly recommend our new,tented‘honeymoon’ suite complete with a bath on a raised platform and a larger private deck on which newlyweds and celebrating couples can enjoy a very special private dining experience.This option is available at a surcharge cost of only GBP 180.00 per couple per night.
50% discount offered on return flights from Maun to Macatoo for any bookings of 7 nights or more, and FREE return flights from Maun to Macatooon any bookings of 10 nights or more.
Non-Riding Partners and Children50% discount offered for non-riding children (under 12 years old) and 10% discount offeredfor non-riding adultsjoining a safari. Non-riding activities include game drives, boating, mokoro excursions and fishing (all activities are subject to water levels).
5% discount offered on the daily accommodation rate for guests who rebook within 12 months of their previous stay.Note that the travel date of the subsequent trip does not need to be within a 12-month period. The offer applies to any return visit confirmed within a year
TERMS & CONDITIONS
All payments to African Horseback Safaris are to be in GBP sterling or the equivalent agreed currency Full payment must be made no later than 30 days before the starting date of the horse safari – otherwise booking will be deemed as cancelled.
On confirmation of a booking an invoice will be issued and your booking will then be subject to the below cancellation policy. All cancellations must be in writing.
» Confirmation – 61 Days prior to date of arrival: 30% of total safari cost is forfeited.
» 60 – 31 Days prior to date of arrival: 50% of total safari cost is forfeited.
» 30 – 0 Days prior to date of arrival: 100% of total safari cost is forfeited.
» Should a client, for any reason, fail to join a safari or join it after departure or leave it prior to its completion, no refund can be made.
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Best Time to Visit+The best time to come to Macatoo – is when you can get away!
We are always being asked “When is the best time to come?” As this is such a complicated issue with many variables such as weather, water levels and game we have listed below some guidelines to help you decide what suits you best.
January / February
Weather: Warm / hot during the day with morning rides in a breeze – pleasantly warm at night. Small possibility of rain. Bush is green and lush – grass tall and green.
Temperature: Day: temps can reach 35°-45°C in the middle of the day Night: 10°-20°C
Water: Rain pools in the Mopane forests and on the open plains – but floodwater unlikely at this time.
Game: Cats around and plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, impala and kudu. Nomadic bull elephants and birds in breeding plumage.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.
March / April
Weather: Warm / hot during the day – pleasantly warm at night. Small possibility of rain. Bush is green and lush – grass tall and green.
Temperature: Day: 25°-35°C Night: 10°-20°C
Water: Plenty of rain pools left over from the rainy season – but the floodwater is unlikely to be within riding distance of the camp.
Game: Because of the rain and waterholes, the game is dispersed all over the country – so not concentrated in herds yet. Possible still to see the plains game: zebra, wildebeest, impala etc as well as elephant, maybe buffalo and cats.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.
Weather: Cooler at night, but still pleasantly warm during the day. Unlikely to rain. Bush still green but grass getting shorter.
Temperature: Day: 20°-30°C Night: 5°-10°C
Water: The Okavango annual floodwaters normally arrive in May or June – so are within riding distance for a couple of weeks before they actually reach camp. The floodwaters bring long shallow water canters on the floodplains and deeper channels to cross. As water levels rise, motorboat replaces vehicle game drives and mekoros are also in use into November.
Game: When the water arrives initially the birdlife is great as they feed off the shallow water areas. Game comes to drink from the water, with the buffalo and lechwe moving in as the water levels increase. However, there is a lot of water – so much of the game is still dispersed.
Clothing: A splash proof jacket, a fleece/sweater for evenings and swimwear.
June / July / August
Weather: This is our winter and can be chilly / cold in the early morning and evenings but warm in the middle of the day. Bush getting drier except around the edges of the islands where the green shoots start to come through.
Temperature: Day: 20°-25°C Night: 3°-5°C
Water: The water is at its highest levels, so plenty around to ride through and go boating on either in the motor boat or mokoro (canoe).
Game: Large herds of lechwe forming in the wetlands and perhaps hippo and crocodile in the area. Good potential for buffalo sightings with impala, tsessebe, kudu etc moving inland on islands.
Clothing: Splash proof jacket, a warm fleece/sweater for evenings.
September / October
Weather: Winter is over and it gets progressively hotter building up to the first rains, which clear the hazy days and the skies are big and beautiful. Trees come into flower and then leaves go green and fruits grow. Evenings are warm and the plunge pool gets a lot of use! Bush is dry and grass short.
Temperature: Day: 30-45°C Night: 15°-25°C
Water: The floodwater normally stays around the camp area until October – but this, of course, depends on how big the flood was to start with. As the floodplain water recedes, drinking pools of water remain – hopefully until the next rains come!
Game: The game now tends to concentrate as the water sources lessen – often big herds of buffalo, elephant and with shorter grass more plains game can be seen. More likely to see wild dog as well as the cats who favour dry savannah such as cheetah. Young giraffe and lechwe; hyenas more evident cooling off in the pools.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a fleece/sweater and swimwear.
November / December
Weather: The rainy season is any time from November – but impossible to say exactly when and how much. Normally the rain comes for an hour or so every day and then often goes away for a week or more before it rains again. It is warm to sticky hot before the rain and cooler after each rain. Bush turns green with the rains and many of the trees and flowers come into bloom while the sunsets become increasingly dramatic.
Temperature: Day: 30°-40°C Night: 15°-20°C
Water: Depending on the flood level, there will be some water around with the rain topping up the pools.
Game: Very good until the first rain when it disperses again – the young antelope are born at this time and are very entertaining to watch.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.
How to get here+Most guests reach camp by flying to Maun via Johannesburg. Flights to Maun normally depart Johannesburg around 10am so you need to ensure that your international flight connects in order to avoid losing a day of your holiday. (BA, SAA and some Virgin flights connect with the Air Botswana flight to Maun).
On your return journey, it is advisable to book the latest available, but certainly not before 8pm in order to avoid the risk of missing your onward connection.
It is also possible to get to Maun via Victoria Falls, Windhoek and Cape Town so you can combine your horseback safari with some of Africa’s major tourist experiences. You will be met from your flight into Maun by one of our staff who will then assist you in finding the pilot who will be taking you, by light aircraft, into the Delta and our private, remote air strip.
For those wanting to visit Victoria Falls before or after their safari with us, it is possible to fly directly from Macatoo camp to Kasane, a 90-minute scenic flight over the Delta. Kasane is located on the Botswana side of Victoria Falls and then it is a road transfer to either Livingstone, Zambia or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. However, guests taking this Kasane flight, which is longer than the other routes, should be aware that they would not have time to ride on their final morning in camp.
What to bring here+Luggage is strictly limited to 20kgs per person, including hand luggage, carried in soft bags on the light aircraft into the Delta. Additional bags can be stored, by arrangement, at African Horseback Safaris’ office in Maun.
We recommend that you bring:
- A light-weight riding hat
- A light-weight riding hat
- A shade hat with strap
- Two pairs of light-weight riding shoes
- Sunglasses on string, riding gloves and bandana
- Bush colour riding clothes (not white):
- Jodhpurs or long trousers and chaps (2 pairs)
- Long sleeved cotton shirts
- Jersey, fleece or multi- pocketed waistcoat
- Light weight waterproof windbreaker jacket
- 4 x sets of socks and underwear (we recommend unpadded cycling shorts for men)
- Shorts, T shirts, sarong, swimwear and sandals
- Sun block, lip salve, insect repellent
- Torch and binoculars
- Waterproof camera
Macatoo provides a complimentary laundry service, although for hygiene reasons we do not wash underwear. Washing powder is provided in tents for this purpose. Towels and other amenities are provided.
A basic first aid kit is available in camp but please make sure to bring any prescription medication with you. Please consult your doctor regarding anti-malarial advice and inoculations.