By Mike Jones
If you fancy horsing around on safari this is the perfect way to do it.
For experienced riders this looks like an idyllic way to survey the African savannah.
Amazing pictures show a small safari group riding close to buffalos, rhinos, giraffes, elephants and hyenas.
When they relax the horses help to put the other animals at ease, allowing visitors to get close to them.
The trips are run by African Horseback Safaris in Botswana near the Okavango Delta.
Riana Fourie, of African Horseback Safaris, said: “There is no better way to savour the Okavango Delta and experience its unparalleled wildlife population than on horseback.
“The annual flooding of the area leaves vast swathes of the Delta inaccessible to vehicles, making horses the most natural and exciting means to explore.
“The pace of riding is varied; in between fast and thrilling gallops alongside giraffe, zebra and buck, in water and on land, we quietly stalk bigger game such as buffalo and elephant and take time to indulge in some of the best bird watching in the world.
“Our experienced guides are full of fascinating stories about the ever-changing landscape, its trees and plants, and have an incredible ability to spot even the best-camouflaged wildlife.
“Our horses also have finely-tuned senses – keep an eye on their ears to see where animals are hiding.
“Once comfortable, our horses calmly drop their heads to graze, sending a signal to other animals in the area to relax and go about their normal daily routines.
“More than 380 species of bird have made their home in the Delta and large mammals are plentiful.
“Each species has its own habitat preference, either the seasonally inundated floodplains, channels and palm islands to the east and north and dryer, wooded Kalahari sandveld to the west and south.
“The Delta boasts a massive elephant population that roams throughout the area, along with large herds of buffalo. Red lechwe, common reedbuck and hippo are most populous in the floodplains, lagoons and channels.
“Dryland species such as zebra, impala, blue wildebeest and giraffe are commonly found on the sandveld areas; warthog, tsessebe and kudu travel widely.
“Carnivore sightings occur regularly, mostly commonly are lion and spotted hyena, but leopard sightings are seen regularly and wild dog packs regularly ‘den’ near Macatoo.”