Harriet Walker’s feeling on top of the world

  • Since I have been at Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris I have been saving up all my days off in order to take a quick trip to Cape Town and be a tourist for a week! It was a really exciting trip and great to see a different side of Africa, but it was equally lovely to get back to the horses and the vast open space of the bush.

    My latest safari was exciting from the word go! Before venturing off we make sure everyone is teamed up with the right horses. On this particular occasion, myself and some of our guests from In The Saddle had just agreed that everyone was well matched when our guide, David, shouted for us to ‘watch the hole’ — which we all took to mean — ‘don’t fall down the hole’ — however what he really meant was to point out that the hole was full of warthogs! About 11 of them, all around the size of a small sheepdog, proceeded to file out of the hole and scatter, sending the horses in a range of different directions! Everyone remained seated and the horses were brilliant, but it was certainly a test for everyone’s reactions and reminded me that anything can happen out here.

    We made our way to Jwala, which is around a 5hr ride, surrounded by zebra and some spectacular birdlife. After lunch at the camp we went on a bush walk, which is a fabulous way to learn about the area at a slightly slower pace. The next destination was Kgotla and the ride here was one of the prettiest I have been on so far. You ride through amazing orange-coloured rocks that are bigger than you can imagine! The camp is equipped with some real luxuries, including a power shower and proper toilet. The guests get to sleep out under the stars if they want to, which is a very memorable experience and something I will never forget. I really like Kgotla as it is like a hidden den that you don’t even realise is there until you are in it so you really do blend into the bush.

    Kgotla was bustling with spectacular sights — we saw lots of wildebeest and zebra and the most amazing sunsets. You can climb up the rocks and feel like you are on top of the world as it overlooks the Mojale River and you can see for miles.

    We then rode on to Liana where there were a lot more animals and we got to go on a game drive. We saw all three types of big cat, including the moment when our guide, Kaiser, pulled up under a tree and told us to look up only to see a leopard sleeping right above us! We were also privileged enough to see nature at its wildest when three male cheetahs were feeding on a kudu they had just caught.

    It has just dawned on me that I only have six weeks left here, it really has gone quickly! I have had moments when I have got a bit homesick, but the guests and staff here are all lovely. What amazes me is that people get on so well. We had five people on a recent safari all coming from different places around the world and yet their shared interest in horses and seeing Botswana brings them together and gives them common ground.

    I’m off now to cool down as the temperatures are soaring — I hear it is a little different back at home!

    Until next time,


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