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Riding with giants in Botswana

Listed under Horse Riding in Central Botswana, Botswana.

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When you are riding in the “Land of the Giants”, in Southern Botswana’s Tuli Block, you learn to be as respectful of the elephants as of lions. Both are potentially dangerous, so you have to be alert all the time. Our outriders were armed with elephant whips, knives, guns, rifles, hand grenades, and phones. Just seeing their arsenal underscored the inherent risk of riding into the African bush.

We were drilled on hand signals the first day: “Stay where you are. Follow me slowly and quietly. Back up slowly and quietly. Follow me FAST.” Our mounts were all geldings, either Boerperds (the local breed) or Boerperd mixes, fitted with McClellan saddles. We rode early mornings (wake-up call is 4:30 am in the summer, 5:30 am in the winter) for at least four hours, returned to the lodge, showered the horses, paused for tea and juices, lunch at 1 pm, rest, and another two-hour ride, with different horses, at 4 pm.

Wintertime in the Tuli Block, sees a lot of pachyderms, baboons, warthogs, gazelles, elands, zebras, giraffes, kudos, jackals, and bat-eared foxes, to name a few. This is quintessential Africa: on horseback you have a marvelous close-up view of the game, but predators also have a close-up view of you.

Claudia rode on the Big Five safari run by Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris..

Written by  Claudia Flisi.

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