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Saddlebag Safaris Testimonial.

The white rhino stood together in the bush like ancient, primordial rocks; still and brooding. On the opposite bank of a dry river bed, metres away 4 riders watched, 4 horses alert and aware appraised the situation second by second. Suddenly, as one, 7 rhino wheeled and ran in a dust cloud away from the watchers. Horses and riders remained quiet, held by the magnificence and mindful of the power of the rhino in its domain where man is just a watcher.

This was just one of many magical sightings of game in a week in Lapalala wilderness with Saddlebag Safaris. Throughout our time in the reserve we were constantly rewarded with herds of zebra, groups of white and black rhino, kudu, impala, wildebeest as well as a richness of birdlife. We came upon crocodile, were privileged to observe a hippo family group and eavesdropped on the spectacular and colourful conversation of baboons. Lapalala is caught in time, with its preserved wildness, its grand rivers and expressive rock formations, the history is literally etched on the land by passing water and land changes as well bushman painting and later Iron Age art. To put your hand where a bushman did it shamanic trance is indescribably humbling as is the realisation that the rocks which carry the hand prints are ever present and each man is only passing through.

Saddlebag’s guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the wilderness through which they escort you and the pace and itinery was made intensely personal by their willingness to stop to let the guests take a better look, take photographs or just absorb the atmosphere. The level of care and consideration for guests and horses alike is superb and incomparable to any other holiday, horsey or otherwise that my husband Jim and I have ever experienced, and we’ve been on many.

The horses are wonderful, willing, surefooted,exceptionally well-cared for and have a special contentment and beauty rarely found in a domesticated horse. My horse, a pretty bay Quarter horse called Lefasa was pleasure from start to finish and looked after me admirably at all paces across all terrain and in all situations. At close quarters with rhino he looked to his rider for direction even while his ears whirled like satellites and his heart beat was audible. My husband Jim will kill me if I do not mention the horse he rode the lovely and portly Serengetti who Jim has adored since he met him as foal at Horizon and now rides at every opportunity in the bush. Each horse is special and individual and his allocated guest feels privileged to share a week with him!

Riding into camp each evening in the exquisite light that I’m sure only exists in Africa was lovely, especially as we were greeted by the abundant graciousness of the capable backup-team who provide welcome refreshments, smiles and willing ears for the days’ stories. The camps themselves were all beautiful, emerging from the bush in shades of khaki and umber with roaring fires, hot showers and enormous amounts delicious food.

The safari was magical, luxurious and addictive, I think everyone should experience the richness of Lapalala guided through the perceptive eyes of Carmen and Chennay of Saddlebag Safaris at least once if not twenty times in their lives.

Horizon Horseback Adventures
PO Box 791, Vaalwater, 0530
Limpopo, South Africa.
Tel:+27 (0)14755 4003 Fax: +27(0)14755 4418 /


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