Waterberg, South Africa
Riding in Africa
Safaris in Africa are an intimate experience; there is simply no better way of experiencing the African bush than by horseback. Becoming part of a herd of zebra or giraffe as they canter across the plains, or quietly approaching a grazing rhinoceros is a truly amazing feeling. Africa is a very special place, but Africa on horseback is truly magical.
Horses are the very heart of our business. For nearly 20 years, our philosophy has entailed managing our horses as a free roaming herd within large tracts of natural pasture, rather than in stables or paddocks. Our horses are at ease with each other and within their environment, which generates calm and contented natures. As a result, we can offer our guests responsive, subtle and honest rides.
Horizon's string of over 80 horses have been carefully picked, bred or nurtured over the years. Though there are Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Boerperds, Welsh ponies and various crossbreds ranging from 11.2 to 17.2 hh, the uniting factor is a wonderful temperament and a willing nature when ridden. The personalities in the herd are wide ranging, from gentle natured animals eager to please and offering confidence to those riders who are a little nervous, to competitive energetic rides challenging the rider to enjoy their ability.
The sound of thundering hooves, a pall of dust and the splash of water as the herd gallops into the yards - there are some things that bring a smile to your face no matter how many times you see it.
Having over 80 horses is a lot of work and each one needs constant care and nurturing. Every staff member is trained and coached constantly by Shane, on how to behave around, interact with and work with horses. The yard staff will make sure that your horse will be groomed, saddled and ready for you to ride early in the morning and every afternoon.
Rides are taken with two guides; the senior guide will lead you through the bush, and both will assist you and share with you their knowledge of the bush, the wildlife and South Africa. Johnni, Mpho, Lucas and Silas have been with us for many years. Their families have lived on the farm for generations and they are an integral part of our community. They have a unique knowledge of the bush that has been passed on from generation to generation and they always have some interesting tales.
Flexibility is the hallmark of every Horizon holiday. In addition to the beautiful main lodge, set alongside a large lake within the estate’s dedicated game reserve, you can stay at Camp Davidson, situated high in the bushveld above the Matlapeng valley.
Camp Davidson offers the opportunity to explore the area from a base camp nestled in the heart of the wooded mountains of the Waterberg. The camp commands a wonderful panoramic view of the central highlands of the Waterberg massif, while overlooking the picturesque Sunset Lake at the eastern boundary of Triple B Ranch.
In the late 19th century, Ted Davidson, one of the first members of the Baber family (owners of Triple B Ranch) to settle in the Waterberg, was a young man trading by ox wagon to remote cattle outposts of a young ranching area. A good day's travelling may have been only five miles or so by rugged track, and so an itinerant life in the Waterberg meant a life by the campfire.
Horizon has captured that early camp atmosphere in Camp Davidson, with beautiful decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys.
Warm, friendly hospitality with authentic and varied riding experiences are key ingredients that result in Horizon have one of the highest return rates of satisfied guests.