Throughout modern history, the image of Africa that captivates the world is the adventure of getting up close to untamed wildlife while on safari. The Belmond have partnered up with Jodie Kidd to create the ultimate safari escape.
The African safari, the original daddy of all wild adventures. Scenes of the open savannah dotted with herds of grazing wildebeest, the air filled with the sounds of wildlife; zebras braying, crickets chirping, and the distant trumpeting from a herd of elephants. The heat ripples the horizon as you scan the plains in search of ‘Africa’s big five’. Sounds like the staple safari dream. The Belmond have created an itinerary that will take your expectations of a safari experience to the next level by uncovering the treasures of Botswana and it’s Okavango Delta on horseback. This exclusive Belmond itinerary, hosted by world-class horse rider and fashion icon Jodie Kidd, will get you closer to nature than ever before.
Jodie Kidd has forever held a passion for horse riding and nature and this saw the creation of a beautiful collaboration with Belmond. “Horses are incredible animals and being able to ride them through Botswana will be a truly breathtaking experience, not only for the riders but also for the horses’ comments Jodie.
Horse riding has been in Jodie’s blood from the moment she could crawl. Growing up in Sussex, Jodie was a keen show jumper and polo player, before being ‘spotted’ aged 15 and propelling her stellar modelling career; fronting global fashion campaigns for major brands Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. Combining her passions for horses and fashion, she has appeared as the fashion commentator for the BBC at Royal Ascot, and for Channel 4 Racing at Goodwood. However, her love of horsepower goes beyond four legs; Jodie has enjoyed a successful career as a high octane Maserati racing driver, competing at some of Europe’s most prestigious racing circuits.
The Belmond six-day safari will take guests to the remote Savute region where large herds of elephants and mighty prides of lions play, to the watery wonderland of the Okavango Delta; the horseback safari offers the chance to experience the rich wildlife and landscape from many angles. When not in the saddle, guests can take in a birds-eye view on a helicopter safari with views across the vast expanse of wilderness, or get close to the wildlife in open-vehicles. The adventure never stops, unless you fancy swapping the saddle for the spa.
Your adventure begins at the newly rebuilt Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge in the heart of the Chobe Reserve. When David Livingstone explored the area in 1851 he described the Savute as a marsh. Since then, the Channel alternates between flowing free and drying up. This part of the National Park has been prohibited for humans for decades—save for the area around the lodge. The position is unrivalled; guests can revell in nature’s drama played out on their own private stage.
The rustic Savute Elephant Lodge brims unmistakable African allure, combining traditional colonial decor with African furnishings and plush finishes. An elevated deck pool sports views of the thriving riverbed, once again bringing guests closer to the wildlife. Jodie will also saddle up and accompany guests on wildlife adventures each day following a glorious sunrise breakfast at each lodge. If you’d rather let the safari come to you, guests can savour a morning coffee on the observation deck or spend a few hours chilling by the pool – sounds like a little piece of heaven to me.
Guests will then move on to Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, Botswana’s ultimate water and experience-based safari lodge. Positioned on a secluded island, surrounded by river channels and floodplains, the property is made up of 12 tented rooms, combining timeless luxury and complete privacy, making for a memorable and intimate retreat. Here guests take to the skies for a helicopter safari, taking in the wild Botswana vistas, before enjoying exhilarating rides in the Delta waterways.