Horizon Horseback Safaris
Waterberg, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
At a Glance
Malarial free destination
Varied terrain and topography makes each day different
Variety of activities from game viewing to polocrosse
Welcome novice and advanced riders
Finish the day swimming with your horse
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
This corner of South Africa has a wonderful temperate climate which can be visited all year round. The best game viewing is from May to the end September.
Summer (November to March) days can get quite warm (up to 28-32 degrees on average) but it is a dry heat. Summer rainfall, normally in the form of thunder storms are usually in the evening, however, the African climate is still always unpredictable. Fall (April to May) days can still be warm but the evenings cool down. Average day time temperature 22-28 degrees. Evenings 10-15 degrees. Winter (June to August) days are warm (temperatures in the mid-twenties) evenings and early mornings very cold with average early morning temperatures 5-12 degrees. It very rarely rains at this time when the bush is golden and dry.
Spring (September, October) days start getting hotter, evenings and mornings could still be crisp but not as cold. A very slim chance of rain.
Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Horizon Horseback Safaris or take a look at our itineraries to Madikwe and the northwest
Set deep in the malaria free Waterberg Reserve in the northern reaches of South Africa, a very special lodge offers wonderful riding safaris in beautiful and pristine surroundings, with all the comforts of home in a glorious corner of South Africa.
Horizon Horseback has a herd of over sixty free roaming horses, and is able to look after all riders, from complete beginners to experienced riders. Although the reserve can by no means be said to be a game destination, it does have small populations of game including hippo, giraffe, zebra, antelope, leopard, caracal, brown hyena, jackal, crocodile and aardvark, as well as many bird species.
The experience here focuses on a ranch-style vacation, with wonderful and exhilarating rides in the morning and the evening. When animals are sighted, viewing them from horseback is one of the best ways to interact closely – the horses can offer close encounters with game, becoming part of a herd of zebra or giraffe as they canter across the plains.
The area is beautiful and varied with rocky outcrops and large plains interspersed with some stunning river valleys – a gentle climb takes you to some awe-inspiring hillside sundowner spots.
The lodge itself is set beside a large lake, with some of the rooms having views over the lake – we recommend these lakeside rooms for guests wishing to stay. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, and there is a comfortable and convivial central sitting area and dining room.
In the evening, relax at the lodge with a welcoming drink at the bar before sitting down for a delicious dinner in the company of your fellow guests. The lodge prides itself on a home-from-home feel, with hearty suppers, perfect after an exciting and energetic day's riding!
Camilla Whitworth (Staff)
I was so impressed by Horizon when I visited in May. There is absolutely nothing pretentious about Horizon - you are welcomed as part of the family and just there to have some fun! The staff are so friendly and keen to make your stay really memorable.
The lodge is set in such pretty gardens overlooking the beautiful lake. The rooms are definitely not fancy, but it is their setting which really makes them special. You can watch the horses coming to drink from the lake, or thunder across the open landscape for their daily feed. They are herd animals and it is just wonderful watching them grazing with the giraffe and zebra!
The rides are huge fun and suitable for all ages and abilities, they just split you up accordingly. For the more advanced, you can gallop along sandy tracks for miles! The swimming with the horses was by far the biggest highlight for me - something I have never done before with about 20 years riding experience, and I just loved it!
There is also the cross county course which was hugely enjoyable.
Horizon Horseback is for those who are looking for a home from home style property where you can ride out twice a day into the African landscape, while spending the day relaxing by the pool or under the shady trees. It is all about the riding experience here at Horizon.
All the meals are communal with all the guests at the lodge, so there is a very jovial atmosphere and everyone tells tales of their daily adventures.
Game Drives & Bush Walks
The Madikwe Game Reserve is an incredible 'Big 5' wilderness area. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, white and black rhino, and the critically endangered Africa wild dog are just some of the amazing sightings you can enjoy in this 75 000 hectare reserve.
South African Birding
The Waterberg is home to an incredible diversity of bird species. Besides residents, migratory species move through during the rains and the escarpment cliffs are home to the world's largest breeding colony of the critically endangered Cape Vulture.
Location & directions
Waterberg, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
Horizon Horseback Safaris is located on a working cattle farm in the heart of Waterberg Mountains in the Limpopo region of South Africa.
How to get there
11-hour 30-minute international flight to Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo International Airport. Horizon Horseback Safaris is just 2-hours 30-minutes north of Johannesburg.