Waterberg Big 5 Adventure

Waterberg South Africa: (IT-SAPR01)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/south_africa_waterberg_big_5_adventure.aspx

Introduction
Waterberg South Africa
Discover the Entabeni Reserve of South Africa, its wildlife and nature from the back of a horse: an overwhelming feeling!

Travel as the first settlers did many years ago: listen to the rhythmic sound of hooves galloping on paths used only by animals, the horses breathing breaking the silence, the pungent aroma of horse sweat in the air... We aim to convey a feeling of traveling back in time, disconnecting form everyday life and taking time to absorb the peace and tranquility of an African safari.

On this safari, you will experience pure adrenaline mixed with an ever changing scenery and variety of wildlife, which will give you a true sense of freedom and excitement.
If you would like to design your own safari, we can accommodate a minimum of two people and maximum of eight, on our private rides. This is ideal for people who cannot travel on set dates, or would like to base the ride at one or two lodges, or travel for a shorter number of days.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in different locations.

Description
You will be staying at different deluxe bush camps and a lodge. We reserve the right to use alternative lodges on the reserve should the outlined be fully booked. Should this occur, guests will stay at a lodge of the same standard, or higher.

Cellservice is usually available most of the time while riding in the reserve. Our guides always have a radio to keep in touch at any time.

2022 Accommodation Itinerary for 8-day program - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Wildside Tented Camp
Night 2: Pedi Village
Nights 3 & 4: Fly Camp
Night 5: Camp under the stars
Nights 6 & 7: Lakeside Lodge

2023 Accommodation Itinerary for 8-day program - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Fly Camp
Night 3: Wildside Tented Camp
Night 4: Camp under the stars
Night 5: Kingfisher Lodge
Night 6: Lakeside Lodge
Night 7: Wildside Tented Camp

Accommodation Itinerary for 6-day program - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Wildside Tented Camp
Nights 2 to 5: Lakeside Lodge 

Note that from June to August, camping nights will be substituted by fly camp (mobile tents) as the nights become quite cold.


Wildside Tented Camp
It is one of the most charming accommodations on the reserve, with a real African wilderness feel. It is located on the lower escarpment and offers 20 comfortable en-suite tented chalets, all equipped with a tea/coffee station, a minibar (stocked on request), a ceiling fan and a hairdryer.
This camp is fully equipped with Wi-Fi access and electricity.


Pedi Village
This village is a replica of the rural pedi homes as they were generations ago (and still to date in some areas). It consists of rondavels which (each can accommodate 2 people) equipped with a comfortable bed with duvets and white linen, a traditional cow hide carpet and a butler tray.
The village has corals built around the huts, where the villagers would keep their cattle close by to protect them against the wildlife. We will be using these corals for our horses.
Lions inhabit the area, although we do have a barrier to keep guests and horses safe, but at sun set the lions roars can be heard and create a spectacular symphony as we sit around the fire and watch Buffalo come in to drink at the water hole.


Fly Camp
Our fly camp is set up exclusively for the group booked and can be broken down in 24 hours (leaving no trace of our passage). We choose the location for its natural beauty, safety and ambience so to allow guests to experience the true wilderness and spend a few days under traditional style canvas tents. Our Fly Camp is usually set up by natural rock pools, allowing guest to relax in the sun or swim when water levels are high.
Each tent can sleep two people, in military style bed frames with a comfortable mattress and white linen and duvets. The tents are high enough to walk in comfortably and are finished with a carpet and a bedside table. The tents are connected between each other with lantern lit pathways. Facilities are shared. There is no Wi-Fi access.
Dinners in the riverbed, are a must at this location as well as cosy evenings by the fire after the days ride to discuss the happening of the day.

Camping under the stars (weather dependant)
This mobile camp is set up for our riders only, and is situated in a remote area of the reserve. Canvas tents are built before the ride starts, and broken down after the night, leaving no trace. There is a kitchen tent, dining tent, a basic wash up area with hand towels and toiletries and central soma area (open fire). The tents are set up along the river. A sleeping bag will be provided (no need to bring your own). Hot water bottles in your bed in in winter, and steering hot showers (hung form a tree) are available during your stay. The true out on Africa experience. There is no electricity or Wi-Fi in camp, but lanterns set the scene as the sun sets, for romantic evenings around the fire, in true wilderness.


Lakeside Lodge
This thatch and stone lodge offers stunning views over the lake. Each of the 24 spacious guestrooms comes with a private deck and an ensuite bathroom.
There is Wi-Fi available.

Kingfisher Lodge
Ideally located on the banks of Lake Entabeni, this stunning lodge offers 8 suites. Each suite features an ensuite bathroom, a tea & coffee station, ceiling fan, a safe, a heater and a fireplace.
As the most luxurious of all the upper escarpment lodges, the ambience is inviting with stylish décor and custom designed furniture.
There is a swimming pool and a beautiful wooden deck where guests can relax in the evening.

Room Occupancy
If you are willing to share, the single supplement fee does not apply.



Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on the last day.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions if given prior notice.
Unfortunately, we are unable to cater to celiacs (but gluten-free diets are okay) and vegans.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding


Our horse safari groups are small, and we ensure personal attention is given to our guests.

Terrain
Challenging terrain at times, with steep slopes. Leading the horse will sometimes be necessary.

Itinerary


NOTE: Please note that due to changes in weather and other unforeseen events, the itineraries and accommodations used may change at the last minute.

Sample Itinerary: 2022 8-day program - subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival
Arrive at our tented camp in time for a late lunch. Then, we will go on an introductory game drive with opportunity to see some of the big 5 up close. After getting to know your riding preferences, a horse will be selected to suit you, for your riding safari starting the next morning. Arrive back at the camp as the sun sets. Dinner will be served around 7pm.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Wildside tented camp

Day 2 (Sunday): Ride to Pedi Village
Early breakfast at the tented lodge, before your transfer to the reserve, where your horses will be waiting. After the safety brief and introduction to your horse, you will set off to the Pedi Village, while the logistics team will take care of your luggage. After about 2.5 hours in the saddle, you will stop for lunch before continuing to the Pedi Village for another couple of hours. We should arrive just before the sun sets. Drinks will be ready for your arrival, while the lions can be heard roaring in the distance to the sound of the African drums welcoming you. With some luck, you will see the buffalo come in for a drink. After a candle lit dinner you will spend the night in a traditional Pedi hut (rondavel) without compromising in comfort. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Pedi Village


Day 3 (Monday): Ride to Fly Camp
Our friendly camp staff will wake you up with tea or coffee and a light breakfast overlooking the reserve. Then, it is time to get back in the saddle and ride to the next destination. We ride through big game country and hopefully we will spot some buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and many other iconic animals which roam the reserve. Arrive at fly camp, which our team will have set up for your arrival. You will be welcomed with a late lunch, and camp orientation. You will settle in to fly camp which you will call “home” for the net two nights.
Steaming showers will be ready after your afternoon ride exploring the reserve, followed by a three course candle-lit meal.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fly Camp


Day 4 (Tuesday): Riding Safari
Wake to the sound of the bush coming to life, with hot water boiling on the fire. A light breakfast will be served before you set off to explore the reserve heading in a different direction and new terrain, with the possibility of encountering different species of animals. After about 2.5 to 3 hours riding, return to camp, for lunch. Depending on weather and the season, full breakfast will be served before riding, or upon return, allowing for the mid day hours to relax at camp, or read a book in the shade in a hammock.
In the afternoon, you will ride again until you reach a point in the bush where you can enjoy a drink with endless views as the sun sets. Return to camp and relax by the camp fire before your evening meal.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fly Camp


Day 5 (Wednesday): Ride up the escarpment
Awaken with hot tea or coffee in your tent, and a light breakfast, before you depart to the upper escarpment of the reserve. You will set off early enough to avoid the heat of the day and ride (and partially walk) up the steepest man made road in Southern Africa: Yellowwood Gorge. This road connects the lower and upper escarpment, which are separated by jagged rock formations. There will be a support vehicle should somebody not wish to complete the steepest passes on foot with their horse. You will stop at a beautiful spot on the way, for lunch, with natural rock pools where you will be able to swim (seasonal) so be sure to bring your swim wear in your saddle bag.
When you reach the upper escarpment, the gorge opens up. You will reach a breathtaking spot with views over the entire reserve.
A night under the stars, and delicious dinner “al fresco” awaits.
Note that tents are provided should the weather not permit sleeping under mosquito nets “only”
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping under the star (weather dependant)


Day 6 (Thursday): Ride to Lakeside Lodge
We depart our stunning camp location with endless views, after breakfast. Today, we ride through open plains and meandering valleys, hoping to encounter big herds of zebra, wildebeest, blesbuck, eland and giraffe. We then make our way to the lodge where we will stay for the last two nights. You will arrive in time for lunch, and a well deserved hot bath or shower. Massages are available for an extra fee.
This afternoon, we go for another ride before heading back to the lodge in time for dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lakeside Lodge


Day 7 (Friday): Game Ride
This morning, you will have the option of a game drive or bush walk,before breakfast. Then, we go for a 2.5 to 3 hour ride, discovering hidden areas of the reserve, where vehicles cannot access. While searching for more elusive species, your guide will point out tracks and signs as you ride deeper into the thicker areas of the reserve. Return to the lodge for some time to relax and lunch before another afternoon ride, maybe in search of hippos and some cooling off with your horse in the dam. Return to the lodge as the sun sets, and dinner at the “boma” area around the fire.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lakeside Lodge

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Early morning, after a light snack and tea or coffee you will go on your last morning ride, on the upper escarpment of the reserve, or moving down to the lower escarpment, depending on animal movement, weather and/or flight times. You might be able to squeeze in a game drive early enough before your ride as well. Your bags will be packed in the morning and transferred by our logistics team. Our driver will be ready to transfer you to
the airport in time for your flight.
Meals included: Breakfast

-------------------------------------

Sample Itinerary: 2023 8-day program - subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival
You will be met at OR Tambo international Airport, by one of our representatives, to be transferred to Entabeni Game Reserve (about a 2.5 hour drive), heading North to reach the World Heritage Waterberg Biosphere.
You will be welcomed by our team, at our “fly camp” set at the nearby farm in an area where buffalo roam abundantly as well as the rare sable antelope which we hope to see on horseback.
Lunch is served, and and you will receive a brief on the days to come. After we know a little more about you and your préférences, you will be matched with your horse.
You will depart for your afternoon intro ride, and later, you will enjoy sundowners on the wood deck, looking over the waterhole.
At dinner, the staff will welcome you with some traditional singing and a three course meal under the African sky.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fly camp (Ikhaya Nyati farm)

Day 2 (Sunday): Game Reserve Ride
Early wake up and breakfast before you set off on a 2.5 hour ride and come back for lunch at camp. You can have a rest and reset in the wonderful surroundings before your afternoon ride, enjoying drinks around the fire. 
This is your last night at fly camp. Your bags will be packed for the following days move.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fly camp (Ikhaya Nyati farm)


Day 3 (Monday): Entabeni Ride
Wake to the sound of the bush coming to life, with hot water boiling on the fire and a bush breakfast ready. You will ride out of the reserve, and into Entabeni reserve, which is nearby. You will enter big 5 territory, and ride to the permanent tented camp, where you will arrive in time for a short break to settle in, followed by lunch. Your luggage will be waiting in your rooms, and the horses will have an afternoon off.
Your game drive vehicle and guide will be waiting at 3:30 pm (in winter) or 4:00 pm (in summer) to take you on a 3 hour game drive, with a stop for sundowner drinks.
Have your camera ready, to hopefully capture lion or elephants up close!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Wildside tented camp


Day 4 (Tuesday): Ride Up the Escarpment
A light breakfast will be served and you have the opportunity of another early morning game drive, followed by breakfast at the lodge. Your bags will be ready for our logistics team to collect.
You will be transferred to the horses which will be waiting at the reserve gate, and you will set off to explore the reserve heading in a different direction and new terrain, with the possibility of encountering different species of animals.
You will go up to the upper escarpment following a trail which was made by woman in 1994 and is the steepest man made road in southern Africa. For that reason, you will have to partially lead you horse up (dismount) so please let us know in advance if you require a vehicle to take you up the 600 meter road, which is at a 40 degree slant on the toughest areas.
You will have a beautiful lunch set up at the natural rock pools on the way up, to arrive at top section of the reserve, where you will be surprised by the open plains, and such different scenery. Rhinos are abundant here, and heavily protected, creating a sanctuary for them.
You will spend a night under star, in tents with views onto the reserve. Camp will be lit up with lanterns and candles before your three course dinner is served.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Camping under the stars (weather dependant)


Day 5 (Wednesday): Ride to Kingfisher Lodge
Awaken with hot tea or coffee in your tent, and a light breakfast taking in the views before you depart to the next lodge, for some pampering and comfort. Kingfisher Lodge is set on the lake. On your arrival, a well deserved lunch awaits, as you take in the views and hopefully see some hippos in the lake.
Make use of the pool or spa, before your afternoon ride, in search for hippo, giraffe and rhino. You also have the option of a game drive or bush walk, should you prefer that.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Kingsfisher Lodge


Day 6 (Thursday): Ride to Lakeside Lodge
Early start with tea, coffee and biscuits at the lodge, before your game drive or bush walk. Come back to a wonderful breakfast followed by your half day ride. You will come back to the lodge for lunch and some time to relax.
In the afternoon, you will set off on your ride covering the other side of the reserve.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lakeside Lodge


Day 7 (Friday): Ride Down
You will have the option of a game drive or bush walk, before breakfast. Your bags will be collected by the team, and you will set off on a long ride (5 hours) to the lower part of the reserve again.
Ride sandy tracks, with great canter opportunity, to arrive at the tented camp just in time for lunch.
Afternoon will be spent at leisure or game drive as preferred. Spend your last evening around the fire or potentially book a massage to rub away the sore muscles after a week it the saddle!
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Wildside tented camp

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Early morning, after breakfast you will go on your last morning ride, on the lower escarpment of the reserve,
You might be able to squeeze in a game drive early enough before your ride.
Our driver will be ready to transfer you to the airport for your flight.
Meals included: Breakfast




Sample Itinerary: 6-day program - subject to changes

Note that this program can be shortened (minimum of 4 nights stay).

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
You will be met at OR Tambo international Airport, by one of our representatives, to be transferred to Entabeni Game Reserve (about a 2.5 hour drive), heading North to reach the World Heritage Waterberg Biosphere.
You will be welcomed by our team, at wildside tented camp for lunch and an intro ride in buffalo area, or you may opt for a game drive instead
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Wildside tented camp

Day 2 (Monday): Ride Up the Escarpment
Wake to the sound of the bush coming to life and depart on your early morning game drive with hopes of seeing elephant or lion. Keep your cameras at hand. After breakfast, you will ride through big 5 territory, and ride to the upper escarpment following a trail which was made by woman in 1994 and is the steepest man made road in southern Africa. For that reason, you will have to partially lead you horse up so please let us know in advance if you require a vehicle to take you up the 600 meter road, which is at a 40 degree slant on the toughest areas.
You will have a beautiful lunch set up at the natural rock pools on the way up, to arrive at top section of the reserve, where you will be surprised by the open plains, and such different scenery. Rhinos are abundant here, and heavily protected, creating a sanctuary for them. You will arrive at your lodge, to settle in and if you are up to it go for a bush walk or game drive.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lakeside Lodge


Day 3 (Tuesday): Full Day Ride
After the morning game drive, the horses will be waiting for you to go on a 2.5 hour ride in search of maybe giraffe or hippo. Come back to the lodge for lunch, and depart on your afternoon ride again later on in the day.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lakeside Lodge


Day 4 (Wednesday): Mountain Ride
You go on a morning bush walk, where your guide will interpret tracks and signs. When you get back, an opulent breakfast awaits. Once you are ready to get back in the saddle, you will ride to access the top of the mountain, with your packed lunch, to enjoy with spectacular views. Weather permitting, on the way back to the lodge, you can swim with your horses to cool them off (summer) before you return to the lodge for a shower or maybe massage.
In the afternoon, you go on a game drive.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Lakeside Lodge


Day 5 (Thursday): Wildlife Ride
After breakfast, you ride around the upper escarpment in search for local wildlife.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Lakeside Lodge


Day 6 (Friday): Departure
After breakfast you will have the opportunity for a 2.5 hour “goodbye ride”. After this you will say farewell to the horses and depart to the airport.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Waterberg Big 5 Adventure

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals with drinks at fly camp, Game drives mentionned in the itinerary, 6.5 or 4.5 riding days (depending on program) & Taxes
Sadlebags provided
A sleeping bag is provided when camping under the stars (weather dependant)

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20228 day Safari, AP€2750$3300
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€410$490
  • B
    20226 day Safari, AP€1900$2280
    • Single supplement (if not willing to share)€75$90
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2
Gratuity:
We recommend 10 euros per person per day.
%

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Gratuity:
We recommend 10 euros per person per day.

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2022 Transfer from/to Johannesburh airport, pp, return 250 $300

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2022 08/06 - 08/13 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
B 2022 08/14 - 08/19 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
A 2022 08/20 - 08/27 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
B 2022 08/28 - 09/02 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
A 2022 09/03 - 09/10 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
B 2022 09/11 - 09/16 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
A 2022 09/17 - 09/24 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
B 2022 09/25 - 09/30 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
A 2022 10/01 - 10/08 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Expired
B 2022 10/09 - 10/14 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Sold Out
B 2022 10/15 - 10/20 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
A 2022 11/05 - 11/12 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Sold Out
B 2022 11/13 - 11/18 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
A 2022 11/19 - 11/26 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
B 2022 11/27 - 12/02 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
A 2022 12/03 - 12/10 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
B 2022 12/11 - 12/16 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
A 2022 12/20 - 12/27 8d / 7n 8 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve
B 2022 12/28 - 01/02 6d / 5n 6 day Safari, AP 2 /7 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Optional SPA activities, Optional night drives, Additional game drives, Airport transfers, Drinks at the lodge, optional lunch at Legend Clubhouse before departure & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting:
Airport: Johannesburg
Transfer: Johannesburg Airport

Climate:
                                            Sterkriver area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

90

90

88

84

80

76

75

81

87

89

89

89

Average Low Temperature (°F)

65

65

62

57

49

43

42

49

57

61

63

65

Average High Temperature (°C)

32

32

31

29

27

24

24

27

31

32

32

32

Average Low Temperature (°C)

18

18

17

14

9

6

6

9

14

16

17

18

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

7

6

5

2

1

0

0

0

1

3

7

7

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The region is malaria-free and benefits from a moderate climate with a summer rainfall.

Summer
Days tend to be hot during the day and comfortably cool in the evenings.  Summertime permits swimming as there is abundant water during this time. Rides take place earlier in the mornings to escape the heat of the day, and depart later in the afternoon for the same reason.

Winter
The winter months tend to be dry, with little to no rainfall and warm daytime temperatures. The temperatures at night can reach below 8 Degrees Celsius, so be sure to bring something warm!
Rides start later in the morning as the day warms up, and will also leave earlier in the afternoon.

What To Bring:
We recommend the following in a soft bag (no hard case luggage please).

Riding Equipment:
  • Neutral colored riding clothes / Jodhpurs
  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Riding shoes
  • Chaps

Clothing:
  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Cotton trousers
  • Raincoat / Waterproof cape (for the summer)
  • Windbreaker (for autumn and spring)
  • Sweater (for winter)
  • Hat
  • Bathing suit (for summer)
  • Warm socks (for winter)
  • Fleece

Other:
  • Swiss army knife
  • Water bottle
  • Handkerchief
  • Water purifier (Micropur)
  • Personal pharmacy (prescription drugs, aspirin...)
  • Anti paludean treatment
  • Mosquito spray (for the summer)
  • Lip stick
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses if you need them or in case you loose your contact lenses
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
  • Earplug
  • IDs
  • Insurance certificate