Macatoo Camp

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Pioneering to Macatoo Camp by horseback safari adventures.

African Horseback Safaris were early pioneers of horse riding safaris in Africa and, nearly two decades later, they pride themselves on offering one of the most unique and exciting horseback adventures in the world. Led by talented guides, their guests have 450,000 acres of pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta to explore on calm, experienced horses, offering exhilarating rides alongside big game, such as giraffe, zebra and elephant.

Combined with Macatoo Camp, their luxurious tented bush camp accommodation in an exquisite African setting, they offer the riding adventure of a lifetime.

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Accommodation

Guests at Macatoo Camp are accommodated in eight large and airy tents that blend seamlessly into their natural surroundings while still providing a luxurious, but authentic bush haven in which to relax. Each tent is set on its own large, raised platform, offering panoramic views of a flood plain that can be enjoyed from the bed or deck.

A variety of sleeping configurations offer flexible accommodation to suit every need: honeymooners, families or those who are new to or nervous in the bush can relax with peace of mind and privacy. The newly-built honeymoon tent for couples celebrating any special occasion, has an additional deck for private dining as well as a raised double tub bath offering a view of the floodplain.

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Double Tent

Guests to Macatoo Camp are accommodated in large and airy tents that blend seamlessly into their natural surroundings while still providing a luxurious, but authentic bush haven in which to relax.

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Twin Tent

Each tent is set on its own large, raised platform, offering panoramic views of a flood plain that can be enjoyed from the deck or even while lying in bed.

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Single Tent

One tent is dedicated to single travelers on which no single supplement applies – subject to availability. Otherwise a Single Supplement of 50% on the daily rate would apply but only if not prepared to share twin-bedded accommodation if needed.

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Triple Tent

A spacious triple tent that can comfortably accommodate three adults is also available. Normal sharing rates applies.

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Family and Friends Suite

The ‘family and friends suite’ comprises two tents, directly linked by a raised walkway and private viewing deck above ground, which provides direct, easy access for parents, children and single travellers who are anxious about sleeping alone. No supplement applies.

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Honeymoon Suite

The newly-built honeymoon tent for couples celebrating any special occasion, has an additional deck for private dining as well as a raised double tub bath offering a view of the floodplain. Honeymoon supplement charge of £60 per couple per night applies.

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Tree House

A short drive from camp, at the top of a long, sturdy ladder is our magical tree platform where we enjoy lunches, drinks and even the occasional sleepover under the African night sky.

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Facilities

Well-lit pathways at Macatoo Camp link all our communal mess tent and dining deck, pool and guest accommodation. A fire burns in front of the mess tent, whatever the time of year, around which we gather to eat under the sun and stars, drink fresh coffee and fine wines and swap stories of the day.

A short drive away, and at the top of a long, sturdy ladder is our magical tree platform where we enjoy lunches, drinks and even the occasional sleepover under the African night sky.

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Activities

Between rides and activities, our swimming pool deck has a number of sun beds on which guests can read, relax and soak up the sun here at Macatoo Camp. As it also commands a wonderful view of the vast flood plain in front of camp, it is the perfect spot to view birds and game (don’t forget your binoculars). Elephants and giraffe often come very close to the deck and the pool doubles as a popular watering hole for passing families of baboons.

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ALL ACTIVITIES AT MACATOO CAMP

Horse-back Safaris

There is no better way to savour the Okavango Delta and experience its unparalleled wildlife population than on horseback. The annual flooding of the area leaves vast swathes of the Delta inaccessible to vehicles, making horses the most natural and exciting means to explore.

The pace of riding is varied; in between fast and thrilling gallops alongside giraffe, zebra and buck, in water and on land, we quietly stalk bigger game such as buffalo and elephant and take time to indulge in some of the best bird watching in the world.

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Game viewing and Bird Watching

Situated in the south-west of the Delta, the concession provides a varied and stunning scenery in which to ride. More than 380 species of bird have made their home in the Delta and large mammals are plentiful. Each species has its own habitat preference, either the seasonally inundated floodplains, channels and palm islands to the east and north and dryer, wooded Kalahari sandveld to the west and south.

The Delta boasts a massive elephant population that roams throughout the area, along with large herds of buffalo. Red lechwe, common reedbuck and hippo are most populous in the floodplains, lagoons and channels. Dryland species such as zebra, impala, blue wildebeest and giraffe are commonly found on the sandveld areas; warthog, tsessebe and kudu travel widely. Carnivore sightings occur regularly, mostly commonly are lion and spotted hyena, but leopard sightings are seen regularly and wild dog packs regularly ‘den’ near Macatoo.

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Game Drives

An African safari adventure at Macatoo Camp does not have to involve horses and they can easily cater for non-riding spouses, partners, friends and children. Indeed, many of the riding guests like to have time away from the saddle and take advantage of the wide range of other activities on offer.

Game drives at Macatoo Camp offer the opportunity to track and photograph birds and big game in stunning settings. Going out in open top safari vehicles at dawn or dusk provide the best chances of seeing wildlife on the move, hunting, feeding, drinking or roosting.

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Boating

The arrival of the annual floods brings with it the unique chance to explore the Delta by water, on a motorboat, and Macatoo camp has its own jetty. Many guests are lucky enough to arrive in camp from the airstrip by boat.

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Mokoro

The mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe which is navigated through the waters by a skilled poler, offers the most romantic way to view the Delta. The tranquility and silence of the journey enables guests to feel at one with nature and observe at close quarters how the animals and birds adapt to their ever-changing environment.

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Fishing

Fishing, from boat or land, is a hugely popular pastime with both riding and non-riding guests. Macatoo has access to a wide range of beautiful fishing spots where guests cast between water lilies and wallowing hippos. The challenge is not only to get a fish to bite, but land it before it is snatched from the line by swooping fish eagles and kingfishers.

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Helicopter Rides

But perhaps it is only from the air that one can really appreciate the diversity and vastness of the Okavango Delta. Helicopter flights, which take off and land in front of camp, offer not only the chance to see vast herds of elephant and buffalo but a bird’s-eye view of the entire eco-system and a better understanding of this unique miracle of nature.

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Best time to visit Macatoo Camp

We are always being asked “When is the best time to come?” As this is such a complicated issue with many variables such as weather, water levels and game we have listed below some guidelines to help you decide what suits you best.

January / February

Weather: Warm / hot during the day with morning rides in a breeze – pleasantly warm at night. Small possibility of rain. Bush is green and lush – grass tall and green.
Temperature: Day: temps can reach 35°-45°C in the middle of the day Night: 10°-20°C
Water: Rain pools in the Mopane forests and on the open plains – but floodwater unlikely at this time.
Game: Cats around and plains game such as zebra, wildebeest, impala and kudu. Nomadic bull elephants and birds in breeding plumage.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.

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March / April

Weather: Warm / hot during the day – pleasantly warm at night. Small possibility of rain. Bush is green and lush – grass tall and green.
Temperature: Day: 25°-35°C Night: 10°-20°C
Water: Plenty of rain pools left over from the rainy season – but the floodwater is unlikely to be within riding distance of Macatoo Camp.
Game: Because of the rain and waterholes, the game is dispersed all over the country – so not concentrated in herds yet. Possible still to see the plains game: zebra, wildebeest, impala etc as well as elephant, maybe buffalo and cats.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.

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May

Weather: Cooler at night, but still pleasantly warm during the day. Unlikely to rain. Bush still green but grass getting shorter.
Temperature: Day: 20°-30°C Night: 5°-10°C
Water: The Okavango annual floodwaters normally arrive in May or June – so are within riding distance for a couple of weeks before they actually reach Macatoo Camp. The floodwaters bring long shallow water canters on the floodplains and deeper channels to cross. As water levels rise, motorboat replaces vehicle game drives and mekoros are also in use into November.
Game: When the water arrives initially the birdlife is great as they feed off the shallow water areas. Game comes to drink from the water, with the buffalo and lechwe moving in as the water levels increase. However, there is a lot of water – so much of the game is still dispersed.
Clothing: A splash proof jacket, a fleece/sweater for evenings and swimwear.

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June / July / August

Weather: This is our winter and can be chilly / cold in the early morning and evenings but warm in the middle of the day. Bush getting drier except around the edges of the islands where the green shoots start to come through.
Temperature: Day: 20°-25°C Night: 3°-5°C
Water: The water is at its highest levels, so plenty around to ride through and go boating on either in the motor boat or mokoro (canoe).
Game: Large herds of lechwe forming in the wetlands and perhaps hippo and crocodile in the area. Good potential for buffalo sightings with impala, tsessebe, kudu etc moving inland on islands.
Clothing: Splash proof jacket, a warm fleece/sweater for evenings.

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September / October

Weather: Winter is over and it gets progressively hotter building up to the first rains, which clear the hazy days and the skies are big and beautiful. Trees come into flower and then leaves go green and fruits grow. Evenings are warm and the plunge pool gets a lot of use! Bush is dry and grass short.
Temperature: Day: 30-45°C Night: 15°-25°C
Water: The floodwater normally stays around the camp area until October – but this, of course, depends on how big the flood was to start with. As the floodplain water recedes, drinking pools of water remain – hopefully until the next rains come!
Game: The game now tends to concentrate as the water sources lessen – often big herds of buffalo, elephant and with shorter grass more plains game can be seen. More likely to see wild dog as well as the cats who favour dry savannah such as cheetah. Young giraffe and lechwe; hyenas more evident cooling off in the pools.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a fleece/sweater and swimwear.

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November / December

Weather: The rainy season is any time from November – but impossible to say exactly when and how much. Normally the rain comes for an hour or so every day and then often goes away for a week or more before it rains again. It is warm to sticky hot before the rain and cooler after each rain. Bush turns green with the rains and many of the trees and flowers come into bloom while the sunsets become increasingly dramatic.
Temperature: Day: 30°-40°C Night: 15°-20°C
Water: Depending on the flood level, there will be some water around with the rain topping up the pools.
Game: Very good until the first rain when it disperses again – the young antelope are born at this time and are very entertaining to watch.
Clothing: Lightweight riding gear, a raincoat and swimwear.

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Safari on Horse Back

There is no better way to savor the Okavango Delta and experience its unparalleled wildlife population than on horseback. The annual flooding of the area leaves vast swathes of the Delta inaccessible to vehicles, making horses the most natural and exciting means to explore. The pace of riding is varied; in between fast and thrilling gallops alongside giraffe, zebra and buck, in water and on land, we quietly stalk bigger game such as buffalo and elephant and take time to indulge in some of the best bird watching in the world.

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Our experienced guides are full of fascinating stories about the ever-changing landscape, its trees and plants, and have an incredible ability to spot even the best-camouflaged wildlife. Our horses also have finely-tuned senses – keep an eye on their ears to see where animals are hiding. Once comfortable, our horses calmly drop their heads to graze, sending a signal to other animals in the area to relax and go about their normal daily routines.

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In order to ensure the safest and most enjoyable horseback adventure for everyone, riders must be riding fit and confident at all paces. Days in the saddle can be long, and daytime temperatures can vary, so it is worth the effort to arrive prepared. With nearly 50 horses of all shapes and sizes in our barn, and a choice of western or English saddles, the Macatoo team are experts at putting together the best possible riding partnerships.

Wildlife

Situated in the south-west of the Delta, our concession provides us with varied and stunning scenery in which to ride. More than 380 species of bird have made their home in the Delta and large mammals are plentiful. Each species has its own habitat preference, either the seasonally inundated floodplains, channels and palm islands to the east and north and dryer, wooded Kalahari sandveld to the west and south.

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The Delta boasts a massive elephant population that roams throughout the area, along with large herds of buffalo. Red lechwe, common reedbuck and hippo are most populous in the floodplains, lagoons and channels. Dryland species such as zebra, impala, blue wildebeest and giraffe are commonly found on the sandveld areas; warthog, tsessebe and kudu travel widely. Carnivore sightings occur regularly, mostly commonly are lion and spotted hyena, but leopard sightings are seen regularly and wild dog packs regularly ‘den’ near Macatoo.

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Macatoo Camp Reviews

“My wife and I spent a week at Macatoo, and what a week that was. Everything was just fantastic. The tents are just what you need and everyone looks after you brilliantly. But most importantly the riding is an experience that we’ll never forget in the unspoilt wilderness of the Okavango Delta.” – Graham M

“Can’t recommend this enough . Fabulous location , accomadation , food and hospitality but it’s the staff , horses and wildlife that really make it unforgettable . Galloping on fit well cared for horses with the zebra , champagne lunch in the tree house , tea in bed while watching the elephant 6 feet away.” – Nicky C

“Great food, great staff, great guides. Riding among the wildlife was amazing. Waking from my afternoon na, looking between my feet and seeing a giraffe 20′ away on one day and an elephant on another day was special. But, galloping on powerful horses through foot deep water, water and mud flying everywhere, smiles and exhilaration all round was the most amazing experience ever.” – areteNewBrunswick


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