The safari outfit at Wait a Little is owned and run by Gerti and Philip Kusseler; this is most definitely one of the best safari experiences in Africa. Their passion for their home and their horses is obvious throughout your stay and you will soon understand why so many of the stars from the world of equestrian sport choose to holiday here.
Located close to The Kruger National Park you will be riding through the private reserves of Karongwe and Makalali. The fabulous horses are all beautifully schooled and a pleasure to ride. There are opportunities each days for some long fast canters with the option to jump fallen logs, courtesy of the elephants! The reserve is home to the Big Five: elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo. Call us on 01829 781123 to talk directly to someone who has experienced this ride.
The homebase of Wait A Little horse safari is set on the banks of a meandering river that runs right through the reserve providing the life blood for this region to support an impressive amount of wildlife. The variety of mammals, birds and plant life that you can see from the veranda of your room certainly makes you want to comply with the name of the safari!
This safari certainly offers you the very best opportunities to view the Big Five from horseback thanks to the skills of the two guides, owner Philip Kusseler and head tracker, Rusty.
You ride early in the morning before breakfast (although tea and biscuits arrive at your room prior to the ride!) for up to three hours and again in the late afternoon. You can enjoy relaxing by the pool in between times, you may like to catch up with a bit of sleep as these guys like to party in the evening! There are some longer day rides particularly when you move from reserve to reserve. The horses have all been hand picked and range from 15 hands to 17 hands, Philip’s wife Gerti is a highly experienced and talented dressage rider so the horses are schooled to competition level!
The Wait A Little safaris combine a great social atmosphere with fantastic riding and luxury accommodation, a treat not to be missed!
BIG FIVE SAFARI is the most popular choice, it is an 8 day, 7 night holiday and runs throughout the year. The sample itinerary can be read in ful below.
Big Five Safari (7 nights) – £3,290 per person sharing.
This ride runs throughout the year, Saturday to Saturday.
Single supplement 50% unless you are willing to share a twin room. One single room is available at 'Wait a Little' camp with no supplement.
Note: Rates are subject to adjustment due to currency fluctuations, please refer to ‘Terms & Conditions’.
Includes – All the riding, accommodation, meals, drinks & alcohol (local brand), guiding & game drives.
Excludes – Flights, transfers, tips & premium wines, champagnes, spirits
Open all year.
BIG FIVE SAFARI FULL ITINERARY (8 days, 7 nights mobile safari)
You will be picked up at preferably Hoedspruit or possibly also Phalaborwa airport by our transfer service. A pick up from Johannesburg OR TAMBO direct can also be arranged, note that travelling time is 5 hours. On arrival at Wait A Little sandwiches and afternoon tea and coffee awaits you. The Wait A Little team, including Philip and Gerti, are there to welcome you. Gerti will introduce you to the safety procedures before going on your first riding safari. This orientation ride takes you through the area surrounding the camp as you unwind from your journey and forget yourself in the peace of the African bush. This is your chance to become accustomed to our horses and riding style. We might even see the first giraffes or zebras or whatever else is in the vicinity. Sundowners, looking out towards the Drakensberg Mountains, are a perfect prelude to the generous 3 course dinner, accompanied by hand-picked South African wines, which awaits you in our dining area, furnished with antique African art. The first night, with all its fantastic sounds and noises, is probably the most exciting one. Accommodation for these first three nights is in old style safari tents with ensuite bathrooms, mounted on platforms above the Makhutswe River at the Wait A Little main camp.
We wake you with tea or coffee in the morning. After a light, continental breakfast we are ready to mount our horses and go on safari. The weather will create our day. But usually we ride for 3-4 hours in the morning and approx. 2 hours in the afternoon. After we return from our morning ride a big lunch, made by Ana our chef, awaits us with homemade quiches, pizzas or pancakes, freshly homemade bread, different types of salads and greens, meats and cheeses. After lunch the hardest time of the day has arrived, siesta. You can spend your well-deserved rest in your room or at the swimming pool or maybe you would like to improve your knowledge of Africa by reading one of the books provided in our library. Afternoon tea and coffee strengthen us for our next adventure. Our afternoon ride ends at a beautiful sundowner spot where, drink in hand, we enjoy an often colourful sunset!
Another exciting day awaits you. The morning is similar to the one on day 2, but today we will go on an exciting drive to our buffalo project in the afternoon. Your guide will take you to the furthest northern corner of the reserve, all along the Makuthswe River to hopefully find the beautiful beast. Here we enjoy our sundowner followed by a night drive back home to Wait A Little. Over lunchtime you are welcome to have a relaxing massage by our therapist. There is a well prepared massage sala where everything is there for your comfort. Today is also the chance to acquire some of our merchandise material. From fleeces, fleecy jackets and sweatshirts to shirts, T-shirts, golf tops, hats, beanies to beads there is a beautiful and fashionable selection of safari outfits available.
Another beautiful morning ride followed by Ana’s famous brunch. In the afternoon we pack our bags, leaving for another camp, staying away for all in all three nights. The luggage will be brought by vehicle, whilst you set off on horseback. Riding south, you will pass between the twin rock formations of Lion and Leopard Hill with baited breath. The gently undulating roads in this area lend themselves to long easy canters. Giraffe, Zebras or Wildebeest may pick up the pace and run by your side, elegantly running through the veldt. Beacon Rock, our fly camp, is situated at a giant rock formation from where you can overlook the whole Lowveld escarpment. A quick scramble up to the top rewards you with a spectacular panorama over the whole reserve and the perfect vantage point to witness a blood red sun fall behind the looming Drakensberg Escarpment. Under the stars around a campfire and surrounded by our horses, we spend the night listening to the call of the hyenas or jackals, which might visit us in the night. Steaks or chops, cooked over the open fire with snakebites, baked potatoes and salads are the perfect fayre to help us into a deep sleep tonight.
Waking to the rich colours of the sunrise we revive the fire for coffee and breakfast before embarking on our longest ride. Entering the Makalali Private Game Reserve, dominated by huge open planes you mightfind yourself cantering next to giraffes, zebras or wildebeest. Spectacular views, over big distances show you the way to XiDulu our camp for the next two nights. XiDulu is built at the edge of a dam with a resident pod of hippos. Enjoy the game from the deck of your chalet or the viewing platform or even better whilst enjoying the infinity pool. XiDulu’s rooms are all equipped with inside and outside showers, baths, aircon and a big veranda. Elephants often come for a swim during the day, whilst at night lions and hyenas are often seen or heard near the camp. The afternoon siesta is followed by a game drive. Your guide Patson is a very well-known tracker and guide who knows all the native stories about the bush and the wildlife. In an open top Landrover he will follow the directions of the signs left by the big cats during the day. After a long slow Gin watching the sunset, the drive continues into the night where, with luck, some of the nocturnal wildlife will show its face. Bushbabies, owls, maybe even a leopard, will complete your day’s excitement. Dinner is served in the dining area or outside around the fire place under the stars at the water’s edge. The Wait A Little team in their usual fashion will be responsible for your culinary expereince at XiDulu.
Today we go exploring, cutting through the veldt at a canter, twisting and turning around the trees - what Philip calls bushwhacking - and your surefooted horse carries you nimbly through the undergrowth, changing direction as you guide his course, having just as much fun as you. Here and there a tree felled by an elephant, provides an irresistible jump. Or perhaps the eland, or kudu, seeing us pass, fall in front of us to show us the best path. At the top of the hill you pause for thought, as mile after mile of unspoiled Africa stretches away before you. The afternoon is open to either join another one of Patson’s irresistible game drives or to go on another ride.
After a light breakfast we head back to Wait A Little leaving XiDulu behind. What will we see on our way? This is always open to the wildlife and tracks of elephant, lion, rhino, and giraffe determine your path. Home at Wait A Little the team eagerly awaits your exciting tales whilst we enjoy another one of Ana’s fantastic lunches. The last sundowner on Wait A Little's open plain will be sad, but beautiful, impressive and absolutely unique. The African fever might have caught you as well and the good bye can be hard. For your farewell dinner Gerti chooses something special - perhaps game fillets like kudu or eland served on pasta with sherry sauce.
An early wake up will get us on the horses quickly, so we can enjoy a short, sporty ride before the transfer service brings you to the Airport.
The cost per person for the BIG FIVE SAFARI can be found above, the rate includes: Accommodation, all meals, all drinks, all rides, game drives, guiding, laundry service at base camp, VAT. Rate excludes: Telephone calls, transfer to/from Wait a little, staff gratuities, massages, gate fee and drinks at Makalali.
GARONGA SAFARI This exclusive 10 day, 9 night safari operates about 4 times a year. On this safari you stay in three different luxurious camps with the highlight being the fabulous Garonga Safari camp. Again starting at Wait A Little main camp staying for three nights riding to Makalali on day four. Two nights at Makalali followed by three nights at the wonderful Garonga Safari Camp. A long ride back will give you one last night at Wait A Little. The cost per person is £3690. All of the lodges where you stay have a dining area, lounges, swimming pool, sun decks, en suite bathrooms, outside showers, king size beds, private decks, private fireplaces, three meals of excellent cuisine, aromatherapy, bush breakfasts, lunches and dinners, picnics, special diets, special wines.
The rate includes: Accommodation in top class game lodges and tented accommodation at Wait A Little main camp, laundry service at base camp, all meals, drinks at Wait A Little and Garonga, all rides, game drives, guiding, chaps and helmets provided, VAT.
The rate exclude: Transfer to/from Wait a little, staff gratuities, gate fee and drinks at Makalali, telephone calls, aromatherapy and laundry service.
HOW TO ARRIVE for all of these options you would need to fly to Jo’burg then either fly to Hoedspruit with South African airways on a short internal flight www.flysaa.com or get a transfer direct from Jo’burg. The collection from Hoedspruit costs £40 per person based on a minimum of 2 in the car or from Jo’berg the cost is £210 per person again based on a minimum of 2 in the car.
HORSES – They have 40 horses at Wait a Little, lots of different breeds, South African Boerperds, Thoroughbreds and crosses, Warmbloods and Arabs. They specifically choose a wide selection of horses which are responsive and suited to the job.
RIDING LEVEL – Intermediate to Advanced. A good level of fitness is required, rides are 5 – 7 hours per day, split into 2, morning and late afternoon.
TACK – English style with Bates saddles, custom made for rider & horse, to provide ultimate comfort. It would be very hard for anyone to get sore out here even though there are long days in the saddle as the tack is so comfortable and well maintained.
WEIGHT LIMIT – 95kg / 210lbs / 15stone.
If you are over this limit, please still do enquire as we may be able to accommodate as there are some bigger weight bearing horses available, depending on dates and group size.
GROUP SIZE – Maximum 7.
There are 3 very different accommodations on this safari.
Wait a Little Base Camp – Luxury tents with ensuite and decks looking out onto the river. Think outside showers and baths overlooking the bush. There’s also lots of outdoor space to chill out in your down time between rides, including a small swimming pool.
Beacon Rock – A very simple open air sleep out camp where bushes are your loo facilities, warmth comes from a central fire and you can hear you horses munching late into the evening on their full nets of hay!
XiDulu Lodge – A beautiful privately owned lodge only used by the owners and Wait a Little. It has 5 comfortable double rooms, 3 chalets and a honeymoon suite. All have their own inside and outside hot showers, bathroom with flush loo, air conditioning and private veranda. There is also an infinity swimming pool with built in Jacuzzi, overlooking a dam where there is a resident pod of hippos and elephants can often be seen to bathe.
FOOD - the food is excellent so be prepared to put on a few lbs.
Breakfast is light – toast, cereal, tea, coffee and juice, which is perfect as you are in the saddle early.
Lunch is plentiful and served about noon, there are lots of big mixed salads, sausages, chicken salads, chunky coleslaw.
Dinner is a 3 course affair, starting with soup (3 cheese, mushroom, lentil) and freshly baked bread, followed by steak & chips, warthog & pepper sauce, lamb & creamy mint sauce, pasta & beef cream sauce, always with fresh vegetables, oven baked roots, fresh mange touts, broccoli and cauliflower. And deserts, if you still have room, apple crumble with ice cream, lemon drizzle deserts, sticky toffee pudding. All washed down with specially selected South African wines.
Throughout the days, the bar is open for everyone to help them selves to G&T’s, beers and soft drinks. Except at Makalali, where the bar is always serviced.
SAFARIS - The Big Five Safari which is an 8 day, 7 night safari, is the most popular choice, the price for 2020 is £3290 per person and it runs almost every week. There is also the Big Five Camp Safari, which is 6 days, 5 nights and stays mainly at Wait A Little main camp and costs £2250 per person. There is one date confirmed so far for 2020 08 - 15 August. The Big Five Ride & Dine Safari has a price of £4140 per person and is a 10 day safari staying in three different luxurious camps. The dates for 2020 are 02 - 11 April and 19 - 28 November, please ask for a sample itinerary.
Please call 01829 781123