Solomons Wall, Mashatu Reserve

May 2014 Newsletter, Horseback Safaris

You’ve noticed my Newsletter is late?! I have been busy organising surprise honeymoons, and enjoying my first safari with clients. The latter worked fine once they knew I’m just not a morning person: best left alone until that first cup of tea is in my hand! I’m now back home, the honeymooners are “on the road” and here I am with time to catch up. Normal life can resume, which includes trying to school my own horse so that she is even half as obedient as those at Limpopo Horse Safaris.

Limpopo Horse Safaris elephant encounter

The focus for our own safari was yet another week-long trail ride in Botswana with LHS – our fifth since 2002! Has it changed over the years? Yes! Soft pillows and duvets; swimming pool at the base-camp; game that allows you to get much closer. But the same great scenery, good guiding and superbly schooled horses. No worries about how your horse will ride – if you provide Louise with an honest précis of your ability, she will find the perfect match.

Mashatu Reserve Rhodes Baobab Sunset

Returning to some of my favourite African haunts with friends was lovely – such places have a special magic. The inspiration? Creating a special birthday celebration for Graham and a 10th Wedding Anniversary safari for Irish friends who we first met on their honeymoon. I am confident that it won’t be ten years before they, and indeed we, are back again.

Eagle Rock, Mashatu Reserve

One challenge that can deter people from travelling to Africa is that it is such a big continent with a bewildering array of options. Once you’ve identified your personal priorities, decided the type of accommodation you want and how much emphasis on wildlife, you are half-way there… or more if you employ the services of a skilled safari agent! Knowing what properties work well together, who gives value for money and the order in which to do things makes all the difference. This trip included specialist bird-watching at Mapungubwe, a cycling safari at Mashatu and walking at your own pace at Leshiba Wilderness.

Leshiba Escarpment View

My website designer was on the trip and as a joke he said, “go and stand on those rocks”, it would make a good panorama shot with my new camera. Had he forgotten my fear of heights? Desperate for good publicity or was I up for a challenge? The evidence is below. Perhaps I am getting braver in my old age because I am learning to jump with Marble, my horse, and have introduced a clarinet solo into my slideshow “Two Decades of African Safaris”. Come and meet the new, braver Jane at the Suffolk Show. I shall be on the Safari Consultants’ Stand on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th May. If the forecast is warm, I may even risk a public outing for my short skirt.