Family horse riding holiday in South Africa
Description of Family horse riding holiday in South Africa
A perfect holiday to experience Africa and relax together as a family whilst horse-riding through the bush alongside the Big 5. Great for novice riders through to the more experienced.
Activities for all the family and for the youngsters, much fun including polocrosse, western games, jumping and cross country, cattle mustering and swimming with their horse.
|Day 1:||On arrival into Johannesburg you will be met and transferred to the Horizon Signature Lodge (approx. 3 hours) in time for lunch. (L/D)|
|Day 2:||The morning ride can be split, with active and adventurous youngsters trying their hands and talents at cattle mustering on the greater ranch. Both challenging and fun, anyone who can ride really should have a go at being a cowboy (or girl) at least once in their lifetime. For the more sedate, the morning ride ventures across the ranch, through the traditional Sotho village, to the historic family homestead. Here you can meet the children of the farm and tour the farm creches and school. In the afternoon, meander along to the hippo pools in search of wildlife astride your trusty stead. (B/L/D)|
|Day 3:||Something completely different today: polocrosse. This fun and addictive game, which is a mixture of polo and lacrosse, is a wonderful way to engage the whole family. After a competitive and hilarious few hours, enjoy cooling yourself and the horses off in an unconventional way – swimming together with them in the dam! After an exciting morning, the afternoon ride is more relaxing and visits Beadle, the farm community-linked project and shop, where locals hand make exquisite beaded leather products, including brow bands and made to fit riding chaps. (B/L/D)|
|Day 4:||After breakfast, embark on a 2 night wilderness safari in search of an even wider variety of game. The following 2 days are spent exploring the bush and discovering its wildlife and secrets, form bush-lore to medicinal plants. Away from mobile phones, texts, e-mails and computer games, this is a wonderful experience for the whole family to enjoy together. It enables the children to discover nature and its beauty and just to be children again. Tonight will be spent at the bush camp along the banks of the Melk River. (B/L/D)|
|Day 5:||It is said that breakfast is the best meal of the day, and if it is in the bush over a camp fire that is certainly true! This morning is spent exploring the bush on horseback and tracking some of the many antelope, giraffe and white rhino that are resident here. After a picnic lunch and refreshing swim in the river, ride back to camp before sunset. (B/L/D)|
|Day 6:||For those who feel a little saddle sore, today you have the option of a morning game drive on one of the few Big 5 game reserves in the area. (B/L/D)|
|Day 7:||A morning of ‘EQ’, a bush-veld sport that involves not only orienteering across the expanse of the ranch, but also a set of challenges along the way such as river crossings and target shooting. It really is good fun for everyone and the entire family’s talents will be needed for the event. (B/L/D)|
|Day 8:||Decipher the clues on the mounted treasure hunt and be rewarded with a champagne bush breakfast. This is followed by a short ride back to the lodge, and another chance to swim the horses. In the afternoon, ride out to the plain for a last photograph of a zebra, giraffe, kudu or hippo. (B)|
|Day 9:||This morning you will get to choose a final favourite ride of your choice. After lunch, depart for Johannesburg airport and your onward journey. (B)|
PlanetThe partners of this safari company love the bush-veld; it is their home, and as such all are committed to preserving the environment in its pristine condition and transferring disturbed land back to its natural state.
Historically, the farm was used for agriculture; a mixture of crops and cattle. Fortunately most of the intensive agriculture was restricted to small irrigated areas. There are still large tracts of virgin, undisturbed bush and about 2000 hectares of this land has been transferred back to its original wild state. Three of the largest dams on the property are within the reserve area and one sits on the Melk River.
We endeavour to minimise the impact of the lodge on the immediate environment, and are striving to minimise our carbon footprint. Eco-friendly practices adopted at the lodge on the farm include:
All organic waste from the kitchen and manure from the yards are used in the farm’s wormery and the vermi-compost is used as fertiliser for the essential oil crop on the farm.
Dead wood is collected across the entire farm for firewood as a heating source for the main lodge instead of electric or gas fires. The farm is part of the South African Working on Water Project, which is striving to eradicate exotic tree species (that drink precious water resource) from our water systems.
Our water is pumped from underground boreholes and so is restricted to household usage only. The gardens are only irrigated using dam water. Most rooms are equipped with showers and guests are encouraged to shower instead of bath, to prevent excess water wastage.
Where possible our food ingredients are sourced locally. Salad and herbs are grown at the lodge, all meat is locally produced and some dairy products come from neighbouring farms. Occasionally, fish from the dam is included on the menu!
Our waste is recycled: Glass and metal materials are sorted and recycled.
PeopleThe Waterberg has always been a fairly isolated community battling the elements to make a living from the bush. That kind of hardship brings people together in a mutual support system that builds strong loyalty. The Waterberg in the 21st century is no different. Whether on an ecological or social basis the area is still difficult to exist in and is made up of characters who are prepared to face those difficulties proactively. As individuals or corporately the Waterberg community relies on active involvement and participation. The Afrikaans people have a saying " a boer maak a plan" - " a farmer makes a plan"- which suggests a strong self-reliance but not just in an independent sense, more in an inter-dependent sense.
This company engages in and supports the following community initiatives and projects:
WATERBERG BIOPSHERE RESERVE (NPO 074-684). Dedicated to conserving the area and stimulating sustainable economic growth and development. Committed to skills development among the youth of our area.
WATERBERG WELFARE SOCIETY (NPO 019-865). Providing a service to people infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.
ST JOHN'S THE BAPTIST CHURCH Soup Kitchen - Feeds 400-900 children a week.
WATERBERG ACADEMY - Community school driven to provide an educated youth for the priveleged and underpriveleged alike.
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