Horizon Horseback Mashatu operates riding safaris in the vast Mashatu Game Reserve in the Tuli Block of south eastern Botswana. This is an area of great diversity, magnificent vistas, ancient civilizations and dramatic rock formations bordered in the south by 'the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees'. Aptly named the Land of the Giants for its baobab studded plains and large herds of elephant. 

You can choose from a traditional seven night Tuli Safari or try our African Explorer Safari Ride with four nights at Horizon Horseback South Africa and three nights in Botswana at our luxurious Two Mashatus camp.

For anyone who would love to join their friends or family on this safari but choose not to ride, we offer exciting alternatives for non-riders from enjoying the beautiful Mashatu Game Reserve on bush walks or cycling. These options are tailor made to the individuals and do not require high levels of fitness. A specialist guide is assigned to non-riders to ensure they get the most out of the experience.

This is the chance of a lifetime to see as much as possible of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve and Mashatu Game Reserve; an unparalleled equine adventure.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, an area of history and legend, offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa. It is still home to large herds of elephant, prides of lion and cheetah. Along the river courses, huge riverine trees provide shade for eland, impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra, whilst at night, the bat eared fox, African wildcat and the magnificent leopard search for prey. Some 350 species of birds may be seen. 

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve proudly provides a refuge for one of the largest, single population of elephant on conservation land in Africa. Known as the relic herds of Shashe, these elephants are the last living testament to the great herds that once populated the meandering Limpopo Valley. Today, the population is estimated to number in excess of 1400 animals.

The Tuli Safari

Our classic and very popular safari is the Tuli Safari: a seven night mobile safari, ending each riding day in comfortable beds, cosy duvets, hot showers and fine dining in lovely settings. A highlight of the safari is two nights spent sleeping out under the stars in an old tribal court called the Kgotla, and two nights in Tree Camp, which is a camp on a deck wrapped around the trunks of a giant mashatu and two ancient leadwood trees. The ride covers approximately 120 miles over the course of the week and is scheduled Sunday to Sunday, year round.   

African Explorer Safari 

Combine two wonderful destinations in the African Explorer Safari - four nights at Camp Davidson in South Africa and three nights at Two Mashatus camp in the Tuli block.

Camp Davidson captures the camp atmosphere of 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 days 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. Accommodation is in beautiful decked canvas tents nestled amongst the sandstone ridges overlooking grassy game filled valleys.

Two Mashatus is a permanent tented camp set in a grove of giant Nyala berry trees otherwise known as Mashatus, just a stone's throw from the mighty Limpopo River. In true African style the tents are raised on timber decks and boast en-suite hot showers and toilet facilities.

 

 

The Horses

The horses have been individually selected for their temperament and rideability. They have been carefully chosen from the various South African breeds, which are well known for being of a tougher nature - able to cope under extreme conditions. Horizon Horseback Mashatu prides itself on horses that have been selected with the same stringent criteria as those selected for eventing and other equine competitive sports. Our schooling concentrates on classical English style, although they neck rein when in the bush. They are schooled to a very high level and respond easily and lightly to the aids.

We use good quality, comfortable McLellan saddles with saddlebags including water bottles and have a few Australian stock saddles available for those who prefer

 

The Terrain

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve (about 120,000 hectares), an area of history and legend, offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa, and is located in the remote north eastern corner of Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, an area known historically as the Tuli enclave, a diverse wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone outcrops. The terrain comprises a network of dry riverbeds, rocky sandstone outcrops and high ridges with views that stretch for endless miles across Africa's interminable game rich plains. It is a place of exceptional beauty, and one ideally suited for exploration from the back of a horse.   

Guests

Guests must be experienced riders. They must ride regularly (at least once or twice a week) and be comfortable at a canter and gallop as well as being able to do small jumps should they have to. 

Many of our guests are singles and we do not charge extra as long as they are willing to share a tent with a same sex person. If possible we will accommodate you in a single tent.

Safety

All rides are conducted by two experienced professional guides; the lead guide is armed with a rifle and a bull whip. All management staff and guides do regular first aid training with a specialised doctor for remote areas. The lead guide has a local phone and a radio for use in emergencies. Hard hats are compulsory, please bring your own well fitting hard hat.