Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2017/18 on horseback planning
The Christmas holidays are imminent and it’s time to plan everything you need for departure.
Since September, I have held my equestrian activity in Bologna and its province, trying to improve more and more my level and hoping to fulfil a great dream:
“ HORSE TREKKING IN THE PARKS OF SOUTH AFRICA “
As usual, I started looking for “Tour Operators” which organize horse riding Holidays in South Africa. I analyzed the various proposals with the related programs and costs.
The Christmas and New Year Eve are very expensive periods, the flight costs increase dramatically as well as those of stays, so I face a difficult and meticulous research in order to find a good tour and at a moderate price.
The English operator used when I’ve been to the Azores, proposes many tours in South Africa, but it does not include flights booking, transfers and all other services related to the mere tour on horseback.
I considered various airlines companies that offer flights to Johannesburg. There are not easy to find and the costs are very high. In the end, the whole trip would be a little more expensive than I expected.
I was about to give up to this wonderful dream, when I found an agency which proposes trips in South Africa, both for sports and for tourism. In fact, this “Tour Operator” www.southafricandream.it has Italian managers who live there, so their specialty regards holidays only in that territory.
They introduce as follows:
We are an Italian Tour Operator with offices available in Italy in order to have direct and safe contacts, but some of us operate directly from South Africa, in the heart of the Kruger Park, in order to present you the local knowledge that only those who live there can do, to assist you directly during the trip, and – why not – to have a coffee together when you will be in South Africa.
Excellent presentation and organization.
It was not the first time I met Italians living in those countries; usually they adapt tastes and customs to the context in which they live.
Helped by the Italian operator, www.globusviaggi.it we tried to find some horseback riding tours, but everything was already full booked!.
After a few days, they told me about a tour, not advertised on their site, added on a few occasions, …I ask myself: “What do I do?”.
Let’s take a look at the flights! I found a direct flight from Zurich to Johannesburg, travelling by night. It is not bad at all! I had two days to reflect and decide.
Departure on December 25th and return on January 6th + one day in Johannesburg with guided tour.
SOUTH AFRICA HORSEBACK SAFARI (11 days / 8 nights)
Lodging in frame tent + stay in Johannesburg
South Africa Horseback safari is perhaps the most prestigious, complete and exciting travel package offered in Africa
Thus began the scheduling period for my “dream”: ride in the Kruger Park amongst unbelievable wildlife – giraffes, zebras, elephants and many other free animals.
There is summer; there are temperatures from 20°C to 34°C – sun and some tropical heavy shower. Perfect. My dream starts already with the thought …
As usually, I start to worry about my riding level after reading this on their site:
TECHNICAL NOTE: providing horse riding tours in areas where it is possible to meet dangerous animals, this trip is strictly reserved for riders with good experience.”
I only smile; even if I’m riding for two years, I have experiences of horse trekking as an old-timer.
I will start talking about horses as soon as I will arrive in South Africa, but for the moment, we return to Ester, “travel organizer” and her “tour guide”.
It’s time for the “CHECK LIST”
What should we check before leaving to bring with us:
- DOCUMENTS – Passport with at least 6 months validity (I advise you to keep a copy always with you)
- LIST OF VACCINATIONS – To be kept in the passport always and use if necessary …
- HEALTH INSURANCE CARD-
- INSURANCE – name – number – email
- AIRLINE TICKETS –
- PARKING RESERVATION IN THE AIRPORT
- CASH – BANCOMAT – CREDIT CARDS
- MOBILE with adapter and charger
- SOCKET ADAPTERS
- TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION sent by the travel agency
- POCKET NOTEBOOK WITH A PEN – always needed
- LOOK FOR ROOMING AND SPECIAL PROMOTIONS TO ACTIVATE
WHAT YOU BRING IN THE CABIN
- ADJUSTABLE TRAVEL BAG OR SIZED TROLLEY
- LAPTOP with BAG
In the handbag, it is advisable to hold:
- Travel documents
- Keys, coins, mobile phones
- Wet handkerchiefs and wipes
- Pocket notebook with pen
- Travel kit: earplugs – cervical pillow – eye mask – socks
- A scarf and something to wear in
- A cream for the face and one for the lips
- Toothbrush with toothpaste and a hair comb
- A book to read
- beauty kit : the capacity of each container should be no more than : 100 ml or 100 gr and not exceed 1l or 1 kg
- The bag: all the liquids’ containers must be hold in a transparent bag (18×20 cm )
- uno snack
VERY IMPORTANT :
Insert in the handbag everything you consider essential for two days in case your luggage get lost.
As travelling clothes, you can wear riding boots and technical bomber jacket without sleeves. Try to bring essential riding gear such as:
cap, gloves, socks, underwear, t-shirt, sweatshirt, belt bag.
As for photographic equipment, it depends on what you have.
Everything else should be packed in the luggage as described in my article: Baggage for horse trekking.
I’m ready for my next departure
I’m very happy!