Macatoo, the Horseback Safari Camp, is situated on the western side of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The riding terrain from camp is scenically varied in all directions.
Luxury Tented Safari Camp Accommodation
The camp features large, walk-in, twin bedded tents, each with their own en-suite shower and loo. Centrally there is a large furnished mess tent and tucked away a private pool. On the longer safaris guests have the opportunity to experience the thrill of riding out to a mobile fly-camp.
Horseback safaris, game drives, helicopter rides, bird walks, night drives, seasonal boating, canoeing and fishing.
Number of Riders
Riding groups will normally be no more than 7 guests. The camp accommodates 12 guests in all.
12 years and over. Anyone over 60 needs to be riding fit and strong.
Rider's Weight Limit
Strictly 15 stone, 210lbs or 95kgs. Over this, you will need to enquire, but only if you are an advanced rider.
The safaris are for riders. We spend 4 to 6-hours a day in the saddle. You will need to feel confident about keeping up with the group, capable of riding at all paces; rising to the trot and controlling your horse at the canter. You may be required to gallop out of trouble, so we can not take beginners. It will be at the discretion of the company whether you will be permitted to ride, taking into consideration your safety and enjoyment and that of the group as a whole. You will be required to complete our questionnaire.
A variety of Thoroughbreds, Namibian Hanovarians, Arabs and Kalahari-Arabs crosses, ranging from 14 - 16.2 hands (140-165cm).
There are good quality English and Western style trail saddles, each with their own water bottle.
We recommend you wear a hard hat whilst riding with us. Many insurance companies will not insure you otherwise. However, we are not able to supply hard hats or safety helmets, so please bring your own.
The flood waters normally arrive in May or June and recede in early October. See below for a summary of the seasons.
26lbs (13kg) per person in soft bags so as to fit on the light aircraft. Excess baggage can be stored in our Maun office.
What to Bring
We recommend a light-weight riding hat.
A shade hat with strap.
Two pairs of light-weight riding shoes or 1 pair and 1 pair of long rubber boots for the flood season (May to end of August).
Sunglasses on string, riding gloves and bandana.
Bush colour riding clothes (not white):
* 2 pairs of cotton riding trousers.
* 2 long sleeved shirts.
* 1 jersey, fleece or multi- pocketed waistcoat.
* 1 light weight waterproof windbreaker jacket.
Four pairs sock and underwear (we recommend unpadded cycling shorts for men).
Shorts, T shirts, sarong, bathing costume and sandals.
Sun block, lip salve, insect repellent, talcum powder and malaria pills (consult your doctor).
Torch and binoculars.
Film and a camera on a strong shoulder strap, preferably in a waterproof pouch to be secured to your belt. Otherwise a strong zip lock plastic bag.
There is a daily laundry service except at fly-camp..
We have 7-night or longer safaris normally starting and ending on set days. This enables you to experience the Okavango in depth by staying out at one of our mobile fly-camps - weather permitting. Otherwise there is a minimum of 3 or 4-nights depending on arrival.
On arrival in camp an introductory talk will be given on all aspects of the safari. Two guides will accompany each safari and will be equipped with a first aid kit, rifle and radio
HorseBack Safaris Exclude
Visas, travel and medical insurance, transport to and from home to Maun and Maun to camp airstrip, airport taxes and gratuities.
Please supply us with information regarding any special dietary requirements or medical conditions before departure and a copy of your medical insurance. Anyone with severe heart or respiratory conditions or any other physical limitation must consult their physician. You will be required to sign an indemnity form on arrival.
When is the best time to come?
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!
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 swimmers.
Weather: Cooler at night, but still pleasantly warm during the day. Very 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 bird life 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 one pair of long rubber riding boots plus one other pair of riding footwear and swimmers.
June / July / August
Weather: This is our winter and can be chilly / cold in the early morning and evenings – 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: Splashproof jacket, a warm fleece/sweater for evenings and 1pr long rubber riding boots plus one other pair of riding footwear.
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 swimmers.
November / December / January / February
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 swimmers