Tens of thousands of tourists go on African safari every year. Many will see the continent's most beautiful beasts from the safety of a four-wheel drive vehicle, but some brave the bush on the four legs of a horse.
Getting into the saddle affords those brave enough with an up-close view of some of the world's fiercest animals.
Philip Kusseler (left) took CNN's Winning Post presenter, Francesca Cumani into the African bush on a recent shoot. Kusseler, who runs the Wait A Little safari business in South Africa, has a range of breeds in his stable including former thoroughbred racehorses.
Kusseler says the ex-racers adapt well to the change from turf to bush. "When you get a retired racehorse, you have extremely fit horse right from the beginning which is of course very good to work with. Secondly, you get a horse that likes to excite itself and learn new things," Kusseler told CNN.
The "Big Five" game -- lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, rhinoceros -- can all be seen on one of Kusseler's tours. The lions are a particular favorite with visitors but need to be approached with caution on horseback. "Trekking with horses is extremely dangerous because the horse fits the lions prey preference perfectly," Kusseler says.
A lioness and her cubs lurk in the scrubby bush. The horses are naturally scared, but learn to control their fear. "The horses are so well-trained and so well disciplined that they don't react like a prey animal would, so the lions get quite confused," Kusseler says.
Lions and their cubs will sometimes stalk the horses but it's important that they hold their ground. "The horses see that the lions are approaching with intent but nothing happens, so the horse again learns to cope with its fear every time there is a positive outcome," Kusseler says.
All 40 of Wait A Little's horses are rigorously trained by Kusseler's wife, Gerti, an experienced equestrian rider and FEI coach. Only after two years schooling are horses allowed to carry guests into the bush
Going out on horseback allows visitors to explore game reserves to the full. Kusseler has around 35,000 hectares of game reserve to ride around with a variety of terrain including lakes