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Big Five Horse Safari with Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode

Big Five Horse Safari at Wait-A-Little with Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode 1-8 Feb 2020

| South Africa | Big Five Centre based Horse Safari | Press | Mail |Book | Price € 3.551|Eng.Pound 3.185 Nederlandse versie
• Fly to : Johannesburg & on to Hoedspruit or Phalaborwa
• When: 1-8 February 2020
• Duration: 7 nights/6 days/4-6 hrs per day in the saddle
• Level: Only advanced riders due to Big Five Wild Life
• Maximum weight: 95 kg
• Saddles: Bates and Stübben
• Group size: max. 7 riders
• Horses: S.A. Boerperd, mix Arab, thoroughbred, dressage trained
• Accommodation: luxury safari style tents on poles and rondavels
Experience a Big Five Horse Riding Safari in South Africa with FEI 5* judge & trainer Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode
Please feel free to e-mail me in English: patricia@paardenpas.nl
Go to the Wait-A-Little page

Always wanted to go but hesitated..?
Have you always wanted to go on a professionally guided horse riding safari and see the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard & rhino) but perhaps hesitated? You will be in good hands with Gerti & Philip Kusseler and their team. They have been doing these Big Five Horse Safaris for over 20 years week in week out and know their private reserve by heart. You may spot hippo's enjoying the lake, crocodiles peeking up, giraffes majestically knibbling leaves, zebra looking up, impala skirting away, kudu standing still, porcupines leaving their pines as if mikado. They know their wild animals and their response to the horses. You will be briefed before you ride and professionally guided so that you will enjoy your close but safe encounters. One guide up front, one at the back, armed. The horses have been schooled in dressage and respond really well. A safari on horseback is incomparable to in a jeep as you will be part of nature instead of merely a bystander. The scent of the horse will be stronger than your own and wild life will allow you closer. After exciting days in this beautiful bush you will be able to retreat in luxury stylish safari tents on poles overlooking the river or in cute rondavels in the garden. There is a swimming pool to dive in after your ride, a bar for the thirsty and an open fire on the terrace at the riverbank where stories of the day are told while darkness sets in.

Up Close and Personal

From 1-8 February 2020 you could experience this all. This horse safari is accompanied by no one less than Eddy de Wolff van Westerrode, internationaal horse trainer and FEI 5* Grand Prix judge for European, World Championships and Olympic Games. Eddy has done drag hunts in England, completed the Westfälische Reit- und Fahrschule in Münster Germanu, got his Bereiter-exam at Warendorf,Duitsland, worked for the Royal Stables in The Hague The Netherlands and trained young Hannover horses at the Adelheidsdorf in Germany. In addition he is co-author of the book "De Dressuurproef Van Groen tot Grand Prix" with Claartje van Andel. Nowadays Eddy works as a freelance instructeur if he is not abroad which he is most of the time (from Moscow to Iran, USA to Israel and even recently in Hartpury UK. At home in the Netherlands Eddy usually teaches or rides himself. It is his dream too to once in a lifetime experience a big five horse riding holiday and where better than at Wait-A-Little. Of course, during this week you may ask Eddy all you ever wanted to know about dressage. You will find he is good company and a wonderful story teller.
Price Big Five Safari (7 nights/8 days) € 3.551.  Limited number of places available (only 6 places plus 2 non-riders on a basis of shared rooms). Advanced riders only. Maximum weight 95 kg.  In the end we only regret the things we didn't do .. will you be joining Eddy?

The Riding/the Horses
You will be accompanied by Philip Kusseler who will take you on a swift ride where the terrain allows. Days start early in the morning riding approx. three hours and after a long break again some time in the late afternoon. The days you venture out all day you will enjoy picnics in the bus. There will be some fast riding so you really need to be an advanced rider and comfortable in all gaits as you will be riding in an area with dangerous wild life. Sandy paths for canters and riverbeds for gallops. You will be in the saddle 6 to 7 hours. South Africa Boerperd, Arab, Thoroughbred or mixes will become your best friend. They vary in size and are accustomed to the bush with its wild life. You will have the best trail saddles by Bates Caprilli and dressage saddles by Stübben. Although the horses are dressage schooled they are used to being ridden with loose reigns. Bits generally are dubble broken, only some very forward horses may have a Portugese gag. There are sheepskins available. And last but not least you are in good hands with Philip and Gerti who have been doing this on their private reserve for over twenty years week in week out.

Your guide is a FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) qualified guide with the highest qualification and there is always a back-up rider. The guides always have radio contact with the camps and the back-up jeeps. The guides are armed and have first aid kits on them. You will be given a safety briefing on the first evening. There is a hospital at 45 minutes distance. It is not obligatory to wear a helmet but please note that insurance companies do oblige you to. Upon arrival you will be asked to sigh an Indemnity Form. Paardenpas will send this to you beforehand so you can read it before you arrive.

It is obligatory to have insurance covering horse riding.
We will request the name of your health insurance company, policy number and emergency phone number and pass this information on to your hosts. In the event hospitalization or ambulance/helicopter transfer is required and proof of insurance requested, they will have your insurance information at hand.

The climate/the weather
Mild and sunny in winter and usually an average temperature of 32 degrees Celcius all year round. Can be hot in midsummer (January/February) with mild summer storms. Rain usually is short followed by the sun. At night temperatures can drop 5 degrees Celcius so bring a fleece.

Vaccination against yellow fever is only obligatory if you have been in a country where there is yellow fevers seven days before entering South Africa. In South Africa (with exception of Bhisho, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, East-Londen, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria) there is chance of malaria. We always advise to contact your doctor or vaccination buro regarding health. This area in principle is low risk for malaria.

Both small rondavels (little round houses) or luxury safari tents on poles with thatched roofs and terraces with a view on the Makuthswe river on one side and the horses in the paddocks on the other.
Both King Size as well as twin available. Mosquito nets and en-suite luxury bathroom with bath, toilet, mirror, shower, outdoor shower, bathrobes and slippers and toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, vanity kits & sewing kits, all with a Wait-A-Little-signature.

Program Big Five Horse Safari from day to day (English) 8 days/7 nights
Wait A Little Horse Safaris is one of the few places in the world where you can see wildlife in its natural environment from the back of a horse! So please note, that this itinerary is an example and not a guarantee, wildlife determines our daily activities. Please help us to preserve nature by respecting our guidance throughout your trip. Good riding skills and fitness are essential.

Day 1 You will be awaited at Phalaborwa airport and driven to Wait-A-Little (apprx. 1.15 hrs). A pick up from Johannesburg OR TAMBO direct can also be arranged, note that travelling time is 5 hours. On arrival at Wait A Little sandwiches and afternoon tea and coffee awaits you. The Wait A Little team, including Philip and Gerti, are there to welcome you. Gerti will introduce you to the safety procedures before going on your first riding safari. This orientation ride takes you through the area surrounding the camp as you unwind from your journey and forget yourself in the peace of the African bush. This is your chance to become accustomed to our horses and riding style. We might even see the first giraffes or zebras or whatever else is in the vacinity. Sundowners, looking out towards the Drakensberg Mountains, are a perfect prelude to the generous 3 course dinner, accompanied by hand-picked South African wines, which awaits you in our dining area, furnished with antique African art. The first night, with all its fantastic sounds and noises, is probably the most exciting one. Accommodation for these first three nights is in old style safari tents with ensuite bathrooms, mounted on platforms above the Makhutswe River at the Wait A Little main camp.

Day2 We wake you with tea or coffee in the morning. After a light, continental breakfast we are ready to mount our horses and go on safari. The weather will create our day. But usually we ride for 3-4 hours in the morning and app 2 hours in the afternoon. After we return from our morning ride a big lunch, made by Ana our chef, awaits us with homemade quiches, pizzas or pancakes, freshly homemade bread, different types of salads and greens, meats and cheeses. After lunch the hardest time of the day has arrived, siesta. You can spend your well deserved rest in your room or at the swimming pool or may be you would like to improve your knowledge about Africa by reading one of the books provided in our library. Afternoon tea and coffee strengthen us for our next adventure. Our afternoon ride ends at a beautiful sundowner spot where, drink in hand, we enjoy an often colorful sunset!

Day3 Another exciting day awaits you. The morning is similar to the one on day 2, but today we will go on an exciting drive to our buffalo project in the afternoon. Your guide will take you to the furthest northern corner of the reserve, all along the Makuthswe River to hopefully find the beautiful beast. Here we enjoy our sundowner followed by a night drive back home to Wait A Little. Over lunchtime you are welcome to have a relaxing massage by our therapist. There is a well prepared massage room where everything is there for your comfort. Today is also the chance to acquire some of our merchandise material. From fleeces, fleecy jackets and sweatshirts to shirts, T-shirts, golf tops, hats, beanies to bath utensiles there is a beautiful and fashionable selection of safari outfits available.

Day4 Another beautiful morning ride followed by Ana’s famous brunch. In the afternoon we pack our bags, leaving for another camp, staying away for all in all three nights. The luggage will be brought by vehicle, whilst you set off on horseback. Riding south, you will pass between the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill with baited breath. The gently undulating roads in this area lend themselves to long easy canters. Giraffe, Zebras or Wildebeest may pick up the pace and run by your side, elegantly maneuvering through the veldt. Beacon Rock, our fly camp, is situated at a giant rock formation from where you can overlook the whole Lowveld escarpment. A quick scramble up to the top rewards you with a spectacular panorama over the whole reserve and the perfect vantage point to witness a blood red sun fall behind the looming Drakensberg Escarpment. Under the stars around a campfire and surrounded by our horses, we spend the night listening to the call of the hyenas or jackals, which might visit us in the night. Steaks or chops, cooked over the open fire with snakebites, baked potatoes and salads are the perfect fayre to help us into a deep sleep tonight.

Day5 Waking to the rich colors of the sunrise we revive the fire for coffee and breakfast before embarking on our longest ride. Entering the Makalali Private Game Reserve, dominated by huge open planes you might find yourself cantering next to giraffes, zebras or wildebeest. Spectacular views, over big distances show you the way to XiDulu our camp for the next two nights. XiDulu is built at the edge of a dam with a resident pod of hippos. Enjoy the game from the deck of your chalet or the viewing platform or even better whilst enjoying the infinity pool. XiDulu’s rooms are all equipped with inside and outside showers, baths, aircon and a big veranda. Elephants often come for a swim during the day, whilst at night lions and hyenas are often seen or heard near the camp. The afternoon siesta is followed by a game drive. Your guide Patson is a very well known tracker and guide who knows all the native stories about the bush and the wildlife. In an open top Landrover he will follow the directions of the signs left by the big cats during the day. After a long slow Gin watching the sunset, the drive continues into the night where, with luck, some of the nocturnal wildlife will show its face. Bushbabies, owls, maybe even a leopard, will complete your day’s excitement. Dinner is served in the dining area or outside around the fire place under the stars at the waters edge. The Wait A Little team in their usual fashion will be responsible for your culinary expereince at XiDulu.

Day6 Today we go exploring, cutting through the veldt at a canter, twisting and turning around the trees - what Philip calls bushwhacking - and your surefooted horse carries you nimbly through the undergrowth, changing direction as you guide his course, having just as much fun as you. Here and there a tree felled by an elephant, provides an irresistible jump. Or perhaps the eland, or kudu, seeing us pass, fall in front of us to show us the best path. At the top of the hill you pause for thought, as mile after mile of unspoiled Africa stretches away before you. The afternoon is open to either join another one of Patson’s irresistable game drives or to go on another ride.

Day7 After a light breakfast we head back to Wait A Little leaving XiDulu behind. What will we see on our way? This is always open to the wildlife and tracks of elephant, lion, rhino, and giraffe determine your path. Home at Wait A Little the team eagerly awaits your exciting tales whilst we enjoy another one of Ana’s fantastic lunches. The last sundowner on Wait A Little's open plain will be sad, but beautiful, impressive and absolutely unique. The African fever might have caught you as well and the good bye can be hard. For your farewell dinner Gerti chooses something special - perhaps game fillets like kudu or eland served on pasta with sherry sauce.

Day8 An early wake up will get us on the horses quickly, so we can enjoy a short sporty ride. Once back you can finish your packing and then indulge in Ana’s final breakfast before the transfer service brings you to the Airport. We trust that you will have enjoyed your amazing holiday with us and we thank you so much for your visit.

If you are interested we can have a look at the availability and keep your place(es) in option.
Upon booking a deposit of 20% is required, the remaining amount may be paid 10 weeks before departure.
Prices are always made by our partners abroad.
Therefore you will never pay more than direct.
After booking we will send you an extensive confirmation by email and after that a personal travel itinerary stating all relevant information with regard to your horse riding holiday (flights, arrival, airporthotel, domestic flights, pick-up & transfers, your hosts, guide,s the horses, wild life, accommodation, culinary, what to bring, required travel documents, health and vaccinations and more. Please e-mail us or contact us by Paardenpas Facebook account. If you would already like to book: online booking.

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