South African horseback safari

Under Canvas

The Place of the Mountain

Situated in a World Heritage site less than three hours drive from Johannesburg, is a 22,000 hectare reserve containing 5 different eco-systems. This malaria-free region varies in terrain from towering 600m cliffs and craggy rocks to wide-open grassy plains dotted with wetlands.

Spend 5 nights exploring this Big 5 wildlife reserve on horseback, with your first night in a tented lodge and the following nights in a classic fly camp plus a night out under the stars.

Ride Notes

Encounter the Big 5 – Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo and (fingers crossed) Leopard – along with several other iconic African species, including Zebra, Wildebeest, Giraffe and Hippo.

Enjoy Africa in its most natural state with a classic fly camp for four of your nights. 

Groups are kept small to guarantee personal attention and maintain a sense of intimacy, up to eight on horseback. This ride is easily booked out for your group to enjoy in private.

The Riding

Guests will enjoy riding in comfortable English and mixed trail saddles and snaffle bit bridles. Long exploratory walks amongst wildlife and exhilarating canters across open plains and a few dismounted walks with your horse when the terrain requires.

Your horse is calm and collected around varying wildlife, allowing easy viewing (and between the ears snapshots!). 

In the summer, days tend to be hot with cooler evenings along with the possibility to swim with the previously abundant rain. You’ll ride early in the morning to escape the heat, and depart again later in the afternoon for the same reason. In contrast, winter nights are chilly and daytime temperatures sit in the 20’s, with rides starting later in the morning as the day warms up.

The Horses

The horses are mostly Boerperd (a hardy and sure-footed South African breed) and Thoroughbred crosses.

They are responsive and well accustomed to the varying terrain and the wildlife. You will be riding with big game and a calm horse (and calm hands!) are a must.

The horses are alternated between safaris, to ensure both time off to rest as well as schooling sessions to keep them impeccably mannered and a joy to ride.

The Riding

Guests will enjoy riding in comfortable English and mixed trail saddles and snaffle bit bridles. Long exploratory walks amongst wildlife and exhilarating canters across open plains and a few dismounted walks with your horse when the terrain requires.

Your horse is calm and collected around varying wildlife, allowing easy viewing (and between the ears snapshots!). 

In the summer, days tend to be hot with cooler evenings along with the possibility to swim with the previously abundant rain. You’ll ride early in the morning to escape the heat, and depart again later in the afternoon for the same reason. In contrast, winter nights are chilly and daytime temperatures sit in the 20’s, with rides starting later in the morning as the day warms up.

The Horses

The horses are mostly Boerperd (a hardy and sure-footed South African breed) and Thoroughbred crosses.

They are responsive and well accustomed to the varying terrain and the wildlife. You will be riding with big game and a calm horse (and calm hands!) are a must.

The horses are alternated between safaris, to ensure both time off to rest as well as schooling sessions to keep them impeccably mannered and a joy to ride.

The Fly Camp

Set up at a beautiful location in the bush, surrounded by natural rock pools perfect for lazing in the sun or swimming when water levels are high. You’ll sleep in canvas tents and take hot bucket showers after a days riding.

Enjoy nature to the fullest, with a roaring fire in the evenings and delicious meals, before following lantern lit pathways on your way to your tent where white linen and a soft duvet awaits.

The Itinerary

Arrive at Wildisde tented camp, for a late lunch. Enjoy an afternoon game drive after you settle in, with ample opportunity to see some of the Big 5 up close. Based on your riding preferences, a horse will be selected to suit you for the start of the riding safari the next morning. Enjoy dinner while the sun sets and then head off for a good nights sleep at the tented lodge.

Early risers can head out on a morning game drive, followed by breakfast served at 9:00. Then you’ll mount up and start your ride through big game territory. Stop for a picnic brunch before hiking up the escarpment with your horse at your side. A support vehicle can also give you a life if the walking becomes too tiresome, As the climb continues both on and off your horse, you will have time to refresh yourself in the natural rock pool with spectacular views and crystal clear water. Continue onto the game-spotted plains before reaching your first fly camp in time for high tea.

Head out on horseback after breakfast with a packed lunch ready in your saddle bag. Ride along flat rock valley, reaching a flowing waterfall (summertime only) or alternatively toward yellow wood rim and viewpoint. A well-deserved rest and lunch before riding back to the fly camp. Have a nap in the hammocks or relax with a drink as the sun starts her descent. A great end to a long day in the saddle!

Today we hope to find some of Africa’s giants… Elephants. Your two hour morning ride will be followed by lunch and a laze by the river on a blanket or in a hammock. After a 3pm high tea, you’ll mount for the afternoon ride to a special spot for sundowners. Listen to the sounds of the African bush come to life with a wonderful South African wine to set the scene.

Ride west after breakfast on sandy tracks and get ready to pick up speed! Heading into the valley, you may get lucky in spotting some of the more illusive African wildlife in the thicker vegetation and past a lake with hippos. Lunch back at camp followed by a quick pack of your bags then mounting back up for a further 2-3 hour ride, to your final night under the open skies of the African bush. On arrival at the viewpoint, your camp site will be ready and waiting for you with lantern lit pathways, a crackling fire and a sumptuous last dinner.

Ride out early and enjoy breakfast before continuing on down the escarpment and over open plains for one last canter. Out through the main gate and reaching the clubhouse, you’ll say goodbye to your amazing safari horse and then have time for a shower and a bite before your shuttle to the airport for your ongoing flight.

Availability + Price

Cost: $2,150 USD per person

March 24 – April 1
April 10 – 15 / April 24 – 29
May 1 – 6 / May 15 – 20
June 12 – 17 / June 26 – July 1
July 10 – 15 / July 24 – 29
August 14 – 19 / August 28 – September 2
September 11 – 16 / September 25 – 30
October 9 – 14 / October 23 – 28
November 13 – 18 / November 27 – December 2
December 11 – 16

  • All riding + activities
  • Listed game drives
  • All meals, snacks tea/coffee at fly camp, lodge + sleep out
  • All beverages at fly camp + sleep out
  • Accommodation throughout
  • Flights to Johannesburg
  • Airport transfer ~ $280 return per person
  • Travel + medical insurance
  • Staff gratuities

Let's Ride.

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