Going on a Safari especially for the first time can be both exciting and nerve wrecking especially when you have never been to Botswana (or Africa). But the good thing is, you do not have to dive directly into the deep end. Warming yourself in first will calm you down and add some variety to your trip. After all, there is more to Botswana than just wild animals.
I suggest you add an extra night to your itinerary before your enchanting Okavango Delta adventure and spend the first day or two in Maun.
Horse riding along the Thamalakane River will certainly connect you to Mother Nature and give you a chance to interact with the locals. Booking for this activity is quite stress-free as you can book directly with local farms and the places are safely accessible through public transport. For an absolutely remarkable experience, it is advisable to go early in the morning or for sundowners. Nothing beats gazing at the magical African sun as it dips towards the horizon during the golden hour, on a horse!
The experience is ideal and safe for all levels from beginners to experts. Horse riding in a completely different environment is definitely a must-do. I like to compare it to Boat Cruises, you may have probably been in a boat or a mega yacht but a boat in the Okavango Delta! Now that’s captivating.
Horse riding is very therapeutic and grounding because horses are extremely sensitive to our emotions. They respond to cues and mirror how we feel. You can’t hide your emotions from a horse at all. That anxiety fueled by your big adventure will do a massive turn instantly. When I first tried horse riding, I was a bit nervous and best belief the horse did not move a muscle until I was calm and oozing positive vibrations only. If your mind is elsewhere (in our case, your first Safari), things could go south immediately. Horses demand mindfulness. You will be required to be fully present and to live it up. What an incredible manner to start off your magical African escapade!
To get the most out of your first days, add a picnic by the river and just marvel at the slowness of life here. It will be mostly locals enjoying mokoro joy rides over drinks, doing laundry and all that will shed some light on how we go about life in Botswana. Luxury Safari is totally amazing but so is getting to understand the culture of where you vacation.