Now
< VIEW THIS MONTH'S ARTICLES
Helicopters and Horses in Botswana

Helicopters and Horses in Botswana

See the Okavango Delta like never before with an unforgettable helicopter and horseback experience. Onx Manga of Belmond Safaris in Botswana tells us more.

A Belmond safari is all about discovery and adventure—and to get the most from it you need a great guide at your side. Step forward Onx Manga, Environmental Manager at our three Botswana lodges. Onx and his team are constantly on the lookout for exciting new safari experiences—and they have just come up with the ultimate combo: helicopter and horseback adventures from Belmond Eagle Island Lodge.

Imagine soaring up into the sky as a rosy dawn breaks over the delta’s lush waterways. With helicopter doors removed for maximum viewing, you swoop over palm-lined islands, grassy floodplains, forests and meandering streams that sparkle in the early morning light. Animals pattern the bush below: lion, cheetah, giraffe, wildebeest, crocodiles and more.

Where horses roam free

Onx Manga, Environmental Manager

Swapping vast panoramas for wildlife close up, you land beside the Moremi Game Reserve. Okavango Horse Safaris has been operating here for some 30 years, building up a wealth of equestrian expertise. Now is the chance to saddle up and move silently through the landscape, roaming among the wild animals as they move around unconcerned. Cantering through shallow lakes and over uneven ridges, horses can cross terrain impassable by vehicles. You follow wild dogs on the hunt, accompany big cats as they prowl along rivers and keep pace with vultures as they circle over their next meal.

As the horse camp manager Duncan Over explains: “Our horses graze freely during the day, interacting with the wildlife without any human interference. This makes both the horses and wild animals—including elephants and buffalo—very relaxed with each other. Our stables include magnificent pure Arab, Anglo Arab, Fresian Cross and Botswana Warm Bloods—all well-schooled and a pleasure to ride.”

This exciting new adventure is just one of many that Onx and his team have pioneered. As he says, “No other luxury company offers this custom-designed safari experience as part of their portfolio of activities.”

Experts at your side

Onx and his team are among Botswana’s top experts when it comes to introducing the wildlife and the country it inhabits. Explore with them at your side and you’ll gain enormous insight into a world beyond your imagination. He will teach you how to spot game in what you thought were empty landscapes. Whether by helicopter or horse, by traditional canoe or on foot, you’ll learn how to track animals and—most importantly—useful tricks of the trade such as how to drink water from fresh elephant dung in times of drought!

Set out into the bush with Onx or one of his expert guides and you will discover layers of life that you could never even dream existed. Be amazed by the Big Five, be dazzled by the colourful bird life, but also expect to be riveted by the frenetic industry of a termite mound or the petals of a tiny plant. Onx trains all the guides at the three lodges so that, as he says: “Our team’s expertise ensures that we offer an experience that no-one else can give”. Fly high to the horses to discover exactly what he means.

Onx Manga, Environmental Manager

Discover a different way of life

Stop press: Onx has just launched another exciting activity at Belmond Eagle Island Lodge—a visit to the neighbouring Nxhoga village in the company of one of its residents. This fascinating excursion offers the chance to step inside a local home and to discover a way of life without modern conveniences and communications. Guests will learn how the community is administered and gain insight into local occupations such as fishing and basket-making.