Alice rides with Wait A Little in South Africa – Photo Diary

August 24th 2016  |  Riding Safaris, South Africa, Wildlife Safaris  |  by  Alice Gully
Alice Gully with horse riding group on a riding safari in South Africa with Wait a Little Safaris, near Kruger

“I’m hosting a trip to Wait A Little in May. Join us if you’d like.” This was my answer to anyone wanting to ride in Africa, who was struggling to find riding pals to go away with.

Wait A Little is on the edge of the Kruger National Park in South Africa in May and offers excellent riding and very good wildlife. The area offers the chance to enjoy seven days’ riding among the safari Big 5 of lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino as well. Accommodation is a combination of luxurious tents, chalets and simple camping.

Will we get lucky with all Big 5 sightings on our week’s riding safari?

The scenery & riding

We were based between three camps in over 35,000 hectares of prime African bushveld in a private concession, riding twice a day across the stunning savannah alongside giraffe and antelope as well as stalking lion.

The horses

Wait a Little has over 40 horses ranging from 14.3hh to 17hh and a mixture of South African Boerperds, thoroughbreds and crosses, warmbloods and Arabs. Over the course of the week we rode between two or three horses each.

IMG_1556 Alice Gully on horseback Wait A Little SA 600 600

Me, Alice Gully riding with giraffes in the beautiful South African countryside

The wildlife

The reserves have various ecosystems ranging from open plains and woodlands to hills and kopjes. There are lots of rivers which are the lifeline of the region and support an impressive population of big trees, plants and wildlife such as hippo, crocodile, bushbuck, kudu, nyala, waterbuck and many different species of bird.

IMG_1540 pair giraffe Wait A Little SA 600 600

My favourite photo from the trip of a giraffe pair – taken on horseback with my Iphone

There was plenty of wildlife to be seen every day on the trip.

Hippo Between the ears Wait A Little South Africa

Excellent wildlife sightings – hippo pod

Rhino between the ears Wait A Little horse South Africa

Rhino from a horse is pretty special

The action on a riding safari

Cuts on arms riding Alice Gully Wait A Little SA

Remember to keep covered up from the sun but also the thorns

Cuts on arms riding Alice Gully Wait A Little SA

This is a poor photo but we were stalked by lions for about 20 minutes which was fairly exciting

Although it was beautiful T-shirt weather, long sleeved tops are recommended as riding through thorny undergrowth can be painful. Long sleeves also protect you from sunburn. One day we had a group of optimistic lions stalking us for about twenty minutes which got all our adrenaline pumping. Philip was a very good guide, and we felt safe under his guidance. The wildlife here is very relaxed around the horses allowing us to get remarkably close, more than you would in a noisy game vehicle.

IMG_1313 Wait A Little Guide Philip Elephants Wait A Little SA

This shows how relaxed the elephants were with the horses. Philip, our guide throughout was extremely knowledgeable of the terrain and wildlife.

The First Sundowner

IMG_1286 Sundowners at Wait A Little SA 600 400

Our first sundowner. We had all had a good canter along the river, seen a family of elephants and lots of antelope – that first dusty beer at 6pm is the best

IMG_1380 Sunset Wait A Little SA 600 400

Magical sundowers

The ‘Sleep Out’ under the stars

Giraffe on horseback Wait A Little SA 340 512

Giraffe on horseback

Camp-Sleepout-Wait-A-Little-SA

Camp sleepout

The Wait a Little Lodge (accommodation)

The lodge was very luxurious, with secluded double bedded canvas safari tents on platforms, built and furnished in African safari style, all with ensuite outdoor bathroom.  From the decks we enjoyed views over the Makhutswe River and herds of elephants from the shower. From my private bath, it was a perfect birding platform for all those post ride long siestas.

IMG_1431 Pool at Makakalai Wait A Little SA 600 400

No roughing it here at Makakalai Lodge

IMG_1444 Elephants Wait A Little SA 600 400

View from the shower at Makalali Lodge, a large herd of elephants

IMG_1267 Roll top bath Wait A Little SA 600 400

The bath at Wait a Little was a wonder! A perfect birding platform for those long siestas

Safari drive

IMG_1525 Raining on safari SA 600 600

Being caught out by the rain on a game drive

The horse riding video diary

While in the Kruger Alice stayed at Dulini Lodge and Lion Sands River Lodge – two fantastic properties in prime wildlife areas.

Any questions on horse riding safaris?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

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