Okavango Delta on Horseback

The true wilderness of the Okavango Delta is like no other place on earth.  Being on horseback in this wilderness is like no other experience…the silence, the serenity, the bliss!  No noise from game viewing vehicle engines…you hear every sound around you…with all your senses on point.  Winston Churchill said, “The best way to view Africa is in between your horses ears.”

We experienced what it must have been like for the first explorers riding through African plains on horseback (in our case with a few more luxuries at hand).  Traversing the diversity of vegetation in the Delta is exceptional:  navigating big sandy islands with masses of wildebeest, zebra and Tsessebe, riding through wet flood plains filled with Red Lechwe as far as your eye can see, cantering the vast open plains and moving along the edges of Mopane woodlands filled with massive buffalo herds, some 300 strong.

We experienced some wonderful game viewing including a very special sighting with a lioness and her cubs.  On the full day ride to Mok camp, just before reaching camp at the end of the day, our lead guides horse stopped in his tracks and gave a loud snort, the typical sign that there are lions nearby.  We all stopped to scout, eventually spotting the lioness behind us, about 40 m from where we had just passed.  She wasn’t very happy with us, flicking her tail and gnarling loudly, and then… three little cubs, about 2 weeks old, popped their heads out.  Later that afternoon we went back to her in a game viewing vehicle for some added protection. The lioness had killed a large female kudu and had stashed it under a guarri bush in the long grass.  We could not spot the little ones, but we could hear them calling…a very special encounter indeed!

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