Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill riding holiday in South Africa - Far and Ride
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Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill, South Africa




Programmes


• Luxury Tailor Made Programme

 

Reviews



CB and I have relayed to countless people what a wonderful time we had at Ant's. The wedding was flawless, from the singing and dancing staff to the passion fruit cake and everything in between. Compliments to everyone for making our stay literally PERFECT! Penny was a fun and gracious host. The lodge was cozy, always tidy and the messages were wonderful. Chase manages the stables expertly. Riders were appropriately mounted, the horses were happy and well cared for. The natural history was fantastic. The accommodations were just right. No phone, no TV, no radio and just enough internet to check in at home. WONDERFUL! Our favorites were the outdoor shower and en suite fireplace. Compliments to Chef Eric and his kitchen staff, for the varied, local and delicious cuisine. Everyone loved the pictures from our wedding day! Great job. It was so much fun to see them for the first time after arriving back home. The photo's with the Rhinos were the talk of the whole trip. Everyone was amazed. We are trying to educate people here on the dire state of their population. We had no idea , prior to our visit, that it is such a critical situation. I could go on and on, but in the end, what made it so special was their ability to perfectly balance the formality and informality of the interactions between staff, guests and other guests. Remarkable, that it felt as if we were visiting old family friends.

Erica S.
Very Good ++ Excellent - Ant and Tessa managed to provide the holiday experience of a lifetime. Luxury accommodation, tailored to individual riding experience on great horses. The attention to detail by the staff ensures it surpassed any previous holiday experiences we've had (and we've done a lot!). Some operators promise much - Ants Nest actually delivers it - a rare jewel in a commercial world! (Favourite memory?) Sundowners with the rhino after a ride on Nyassa - superb. Accommodation is first class, absolutely no problems and staff are first rate. (Guides?) Enthusiastic & knowledgeable. Adapted the pace very well, attentive and felt safe at all times in their company. It was a first rate recommendation - thank you Sue!

Stephanie J.
The riding adventure of a lifetime. Magical encounters with African wildlife of all sizes, from dung beetles and lizards to majestic giraffes and kudu. Luxurious accommodation with glorious views, and an excellent choice of fit and well schooled horses. The guides were also excellent: friendly, helpful and happy to educate.

Patricia W.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

The horses range from big strong forward going thoroughbreds, tough African Boerperd, exciting crossbreeds and reliable children's ponies.

Nature of horses:

Forward going, strong, reliable, good natured.

Height of horses:

13.2 - 17hh

Weight limit:

120 kg (19 stone)

Tack type:

McClellan saddles, made locally and based on the famous old US cavalry saddles, designed for the comfort of both horse and rider alike. A few English saddles are available.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

These two unique bush homes, Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill, are located on their own private game reserve in the beautiful and diverse Waterberg region of South Africa. They offer some of the most exciting game viewing and horseback riding in Africa and situated at an altitude of 4500 feet above sea level, this wonderful region offers a temperate climate and can be visited all year round. Due to the varying topography and ecology across the reserve, the bush is teeming with an incredible variety of game species from rhino and buffalo to leggy giraffe, rare sable antelope, herds of eland, zebra, wildebeest, big spiral horned kudu to the fleet footed oryx just to mention but a few. There are 300 recorded bird species in the area to add to the exquisite variety of all forms of wildlife that the reserves support.

The horses that you ride live out and graze amongst the game on a daily basis, the thoroughbreds being stabled at night. This has allowed the game to become used to the horses, thus giving guests a unique opportunity of really getting in and amongst the various species whilst riding as they are so accustomed to seeing the horses up close. The riding pace on the horseback safaris can vary from galloping with giraffe and wildebeest to meandering along high rocky bluffs, watching the setting African sun, or quietly riding through a herd of grazing zebra or family of rhino. Both lodges are ideal, not just for the serious rider looking for a horse riding safari in South Africa, but also for their non-riding companions or families. Each guest can do as much or as little horse riding as they wish and your hosts pride themselves on their flexibility to accommodate everyone's needs and wishes. Reliable ponies are available for the child rider and children are really encouraged to get stuck in learning about the wildlife of the region whilst also enjoying up close experiences with large game.

The concept your hosts strive for is to create a luxurious bush home experience where guests can become part of a working reserve and learn about the bush by being part of the setup and viewing it from horseback. Wake-up times, meals, activities etc. are all dictated by the guests as your hosts try hard to tailor make your stay. At each lodge are dedicated and hardworking teams who endeavour to give each guest a memorable African riding experience. Rides are always guided by two professional local guides who add to the experience their infinite knowledge of the game, flora, tracks, natural medicines and love of the bush.

Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill are owned and run by Ant and Tessa Baber. The Baber family were one of the earliest pioneers in the area, settling here in 1886. Of English and Irish descent, they carry with them a love for Africa's wide open spaces, adventure and passion for its wildlife. In the mid 1990's Ant and Tessa renovated an old ranch house, which became Ant's Nest and, in 2003, Ant's Hill was built above a spectacular gorge with each room designed to make the most of the magnificent view. Both lodges can either be booked exclusively, to one group at a time, or you can book just one room, making it a wonderful destination for families, riders, honeymooners or just good friends travelling together.

Please note we can arrange a few extra days for you at Jaci's Lodge at Madikwe Game Reserve

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is at either Ant's Nest or Ant's Hill, located on their own private game reserve. Both lodges are uniquely designed to blend into the natural environment around them, yet they offer open spacious living areas with the exotic splash of bright colours from African fabrics and furnishings. Heated swimming pools, a delicious blend of local and international cuisine, al fresco dining, as well as relaxing full body massages round off the experience after a day of riding. Luxury en-suite bedrooms with spectacular bathrooms and decadent waterfall showers, deep sunken baths combined with wonderful African views add to the luxury.

Ant's Nest lies in a natural amphitheatre. Originally a derelict old ranch house, it was renovated in the mid nineties and the colonial homestead with its wide verandahs has a classic African atmosphere. The luxurious en-suite rooms accommodate a maximum of only 12 guests (6 bedrooms) and are furnished in a classic style using local fabrics, timber and stone. The 15 metre pool in the garden is heated all year round. Extensive lawns and beds of indigenous plants surround the pool and home and there is a wonderful thatched chill-out spot with vast sofa beds to relax on during the heat of the day. A wide variety of game frequents the waterhole in front of the house where horses and dogs abound.

Ant's Hill is situated on the edge of a cliff and offers breathtaking views across the Waterberg. With spacious rooms and vast folding doors, the thatched lodge blends into the bush while the exotic furniture and brightly coloured African fabrics make it both sophisticated and comfortable. The draped four-poster beds are seven foot wide and each bathroom is spectacular, offering guests sunken baths and waterfall showers. Set in boulders on the edge of the cliff, the swimming pool cascades over the lip of the gorge (also heated), inducing you to relax there for hours.

You can arrive and depart any day, staying as long as you wish. The rooms consist of two privately appointed honeymoon cottages, one family cottage with a master bedroom and double or twin rooms each with their own bathroom and a third loft room with stunning views. World's View is a superior cottage which features one double and one twin room with living area and its own plunge pool.

Your hosts take great pride in their sumptuous home cooking using a delicious blend of local and international cuisine, dining outside whenever possible under shady trees. Morning riding activities often end with a bush lunch, whilst at night you sit around open fires under the stars. Excellent South African estate wines are served and all dietary requirements can be catered for.

The day normally starts off with a light breakfast of cereals, fruits, yoghurt and toast although a cooked breakfast is available on request. A light lunch with a variety of salads and other delicious dishes is usually served around midday, followed by high-tea prior to your afternoon game viewing. A scrumptious three-course dinner or barbecue rounds off the day. Should you have any special requests, such as birthday cakes or the desire to try more traditional South African meals, please advise your hosts on arrival and they will endeavour to make your wishes come true.

 

Activities

Both locations are ideal for not just the serious horse rider, but also their non riding companions or families. A wide range of other activities are available:

Guided Bush Walks
For those who prefer walking, guides are available to take you through the bushveld on foot. These walks are informative and interactive, enabling guests to gain knowledge of the flora, fauna and animals resident on the reserves. Learning to recognise tracks is great fun. Whilst these walks can be in the form of a gentle stroll, the more energetic can hike over the plains and down impressive gorges.

Game Drives
Guides are available to take guests out in an open 4x4 Land Cruiser either for a morning or afternoon game drive or using a spotlight at night to find exclusive nocturnal animals, such as the rare brown hyena, aardvark and porcupine.

Big Five Game Drives
Big 5 game drives are also available for an additional charge.

Mountain Biking
Due to the terrain being incredibly diverse, it offers from the gentle meander to extreme technical cycling.


Massages
Whilst not travelling around you can lounge by the pool or enjoy a massage.

Weddings
Both bush homes make for a fabulous wedding venue and your hosts can tailor make your special day.

A selection of books are available and curio shops stock original, handmade crafts.

 

Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: None

Age limit: None

Tuition: Yes

Included: Accommodation, all meals including lunch on arrival day OR departure, soft drinks, local alcoholic drinks,game drives, game walks, horse riding, mountain biking (not suitable for children under 12 due to terrain) and laundry.

Not included: Flights, transfers, travel and medical insurance, massages, additional activities off the property, game conservation fee, gratuities (guideline R150-R250 per day) and curio shop purchases.

 

Travel Information

Direct flights from the UK to Johannesburg can be booked with the following airlines:

London Gatwick to Johannesburg - Nationwide Airlines

London Heathrow to Johannesburg - British Airways, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Indirect flights from a number of regional airports can be booked with KLM, Lufthansa and Air France.

Transfers will be arranged for you in accordance with your flights at an additional cost. Transfer costs vary depending on the group number. Prices are per car, one way and are approximate.

Transfers per car Johannesburg Airport to Ants (One way)
3150 ZAR 1-4 PAX
4148 ZAR 4-7 PAX

Airport: Johannesburg (JNB)

 

Programmes


Luxury Tailor Made Programme



A fantastic African safari experience, ideal not just for the serious rider but also for their non-riding companions and families, with tailor made luxury programmes offering activities for all.

With a fine selection of fit, reliable and responsive horses, your hosts take great care in perfecting the match between the rider's ability and confidence to their preference in type and responsiveness of their mount. Rides vary in pace and duration according to the guests' desires and abilities. This can vary from galloping with giraffe and wildebeest to meandering along high rocky bluffs watching the setting African sun, or quietly riding through a herd of grazing zebra or family of rhino.

The selection of reliable children's ponies enables the experience of incredible game viewing to be shared by all. For absolute beginners, steady horses help develop confidence and ability and for non-riders there are a host of different activities on offer.

Your hosts pride themselves on their unique flexibility, with each day tailored to suit the guests who are staying. Three different activities in any one morning or afternoon are offered. Those who are purely interested in riding may spend up to 6 hours a day in the saddle during morning and afternoon rides, whilst those not so enthusiastic can enjoy a mixture of riding as well as a host of other activities such as guided walks or game drives and  mountain biking. Guests are also always welcome to join in on any management activities on the reserves such as game capture and relocation, treating injured animals, burning firebreaks and doing game census on horseback.

Guides are available throughout your stay to take you out in an open 4x4 land cruiser, either for a morning or afternoon game drive. You are likely to see white rhino with their young, giraffe, warthog, blue wildebeest, sable antelope, nyala, waterbuck, impala, red hartebeest, blesbok, kudu, buffalo, the rare Livingstone eland, oryx, mountain reedbuck, bushbuck and nyala, steenbok, mongoose, springhare, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, duiker, blackbacked jackal, scrub hare, lesser bush baby, tree squirrel and rock hyraxes. There are 300 recorded bird species in the area to add to the exquisite variety of all forms of wildlife that the reserves support.

Alternatively you may wish to take advantage of the extra experience of a game drive at night, using a spotlight to find elusive nocturnal species such as the rare brown hyena, aardvark and porcupine. The famous Big 5 Game Drives are also available for an additional charge.

For families or couples where some ride and others don't, you can enjoy separate activities alternatively as there are two guides on each ride and novices can go out with their more competent partners without slowing the ride. Basic lessons for non-riders are available at both lodges and many guests do learn to ride here.

Special activities are laid on for children and teenagers who enjoy getting involved in the running of a game reserve. Children of all ages can join their parents on all activities such as riding or can alternatively be taken out separately. Special food and meal times can be arranged and children are welcome to supper in their dressing gowns.

While the variety of activities keep all entertained, you will learn a great deal about wildlife and gain inspiration to last you a lifetime. It is a truly amazing and educational experience. Riding lessons are available for the novice rider and many children learn to ride and how to appreciate the wonderful environment here.

Your hosts are also happy to take you through the Waterberg to see other interesting sites including:

Elephant Safaris : This activity allows you the opportunity to interact and ride with the amazing African Elephants which is an educational and enjoyable experience. This is followed by a ride through the bush on elephant back together with an experienced Elephant handler.

Bushman paintings and Iron Age villages.

You can go to a historic thatched church on Sundays where you can meet local people and see the 1914 building designed by Sir Herbert Baker. Children can attend a colourful Sunday school where the Sotho children sing choruses in rousing harmony.

You hosts are also happy to take you shopping in the local town where you will find a wide variety of local and African arts and crafts.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Beginner to advanced.
Type of ride: Safari
Total riding time: Up to 6 hours daily for those who wish.
Departure dates: Departures to suit.

Game Census 2018: 2-10 June
 
Pricing: 2017:

Prices below are PER PERSON, PER WEEK (7 nights), SHARING.

These special weekly prices EXCLUDE 19 December-8 January, 20 March-30 April, Game Census (3-11 June), 10 July-31 August

1 September-19 December, 6 January-24 March

Standard Rooms: Davidson Suite or Sable 2: £1643.
Superior Standard Rooms: Rondavel & Eagles Nest: £1839.
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1, Lookout):£1996.
Superior deluxe room (Hideaway): £2269.
Luxury Cottages (Family or Worldsview): £1996.

Prices are based on sharing, so if you are in Family Cottage in the twin room then other guests may be in the Loft room etc. To guarantee the cottage to yourself then you need to use the per night prices below...


These prices are PER PERSON, PER NIGHT (SHARING).

ANTS NEST

15 December-8 January, 10 February-30 April, 3 June-31 October (incl. Game Census)

Basic Standard Rooms (Davidson Suite) Adults: £321. Single supplement: £161
Superior Standard Room (Rondavel): £349. Single supplement: £175
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1 & 2):£398. Single supplement: £203

9 January-9 February, 1 May-2 June, 1 November-14 December

Basic Standard Rooms (Davidson Suite) Adults £272. No single supplement
Superior Standard Room (Rondavel): £300. No single supplement
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1 & 2):£330. Single supplement: £190

ANTS HILL

15 December-8 January, 10 February-30 April, 3 June-31 October (incl. Game Census)

Superior Standard Room (Eagles Nest) Adults: £349. Single supplement: £175
DeLuxe Room (Lookout Cottage): £398. Single supplement: £203
Superior DeLuxe Room (Hideaway with private pool): £433. Single supplement: £203

9 January-9 February, 1 May-2 June, 1 November-14 December

Superior Standard Room (Eagles Nest) Adults: £300. No single supplement
DeLuxe Room (Lookout Cottage): £330. Single supplement: £190
Superior DeLuxe Room (Hideaway with private pool): £384. Single supplement: £190

Please note there are child discounts which apply for children aged 2-11. Discounts also apply for a child or adult on a third bed in a room. Please contact the office for a quote.

There are also two cottages at Ants Hill which have to be booked in their entirety. These are priced PER COTTAGE PER NIGHT:

15 December-8 January, 10 February-30 April, 3 June-31 October (incl. Game Census)

Family Cottage (up to 5 Adults): £1660
Worldsview Superior Cottage (up to 4 Adults): £1733

9 January-9 February, 1 May-2 June, 1 November-14 December

Family Cottage (up to 5 Adults): £1453
Worldsview Superior Cottage (up to 4 Adults): £1565


**Due to Rhino poaching in the area, security has had to be increased. As of 1st December 2012 all bookings will be required to pay a conservation fee. The fee is £14 per night (adults) and £8 per night (children 11 and under) and under.


Exclusive use of Ant's Nest or Ant's Hill is possible, as is a private guide/safari/vehicle. Golden Oldie package is available for groups of 4 or more with members 60+ years of age.


Transfers per car Johannesburg Airport to Ants (One way)
£176 1-4 PAX
£232 4-7 PAX

Please contact the office for more transfer details

2018:

Prices below are PER PERSON, PER WEEK (7 nights), SHARING.

These special weekly prices EXCLUDE 15 December-8 January, 20 March-30 April, Game Census (2-10 June), 10 July-31 August

10 February-19 March, 1 September-31 October

Standard Rooms Davidson Suite Adults: £1878. No single supplement
Standard Rooms Rondavel & Eagles Nest: £2113. No single supplement
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1, Lookout):£2426. Single supplement: £849
DeLuxe Room (Sable suite room 2) please note this can only be booked in conjunction with Sable 1): £2074
Superior deluxe room (Hideaway): £2534. Single supplement: £939

9 January-9 February, 1 May-9 July, 1 November-14 December

Standard Rooms Davidson Suite Adults: £1643. No single supplement
Standard Rooms Rondavel & Eagles Nest: £1839. No single supplement
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1, Lookout):£1996. Single supplement: £704
DeLuxe Room (Sable suite room 2) please note this can only be booked in conjunction with Sable 1): £1643
Superior deluxe room (Hideaway): £2289. Single supplement: £783


These prices are PER PERSON, PER NIGHT (SHARING).

ANTS NEST

15 December-8 January, 10 February-30 April, 2 June-31 October (incl. Game Census, 2-10 June 2018)

Basic Standard Rooms (Davidson) Adults: £321. Single supplement: £161
Superior Standard Room (Rondavel): £349. Single supplement: £175
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1 & 2):£398. Single supplement: £199

9 January-9 February, 1 May-1 June, 1 November-14 December

Basic Standard Rooms (Davidson Suite) Adults £272. No single supplement
Superior Standard Room (Rondavel): £300. No single supplement
DeLuxe Room (Weaver, Sable 1 & 2):£330. Single supplement: £165

ANTS HILL

15 December-8 January, 10 February-30 April, 2 June-31 October (incl. Game Census 2-10 June 2018)

Superior Standard Room (Eagles Nest) Adults: £349. Single supplement: £175
DeLuxe Room (Lookout Cottage): £398. Single supplement: £199
Superior DeLuxe Room (Hideaway with private pool): £433. Single supplement: £217

9 January-9 February, 1 May-1 June, 1 November-14 December

Superior Standard Room (Eagles Nest) Adults: £300. No single supplement
DeLuxe Room (Lookout Cottage): £330. Single supplement: £165
Superior DeLuxe Room (Hideaway with private pool): £384. Single supplement: £192

Please note there are child discounts which apply for children aged 2-11. Discounts also apply for a child or adult on a third bed in a room. Please contact the office for a quote.

There are also two cottages at Ants Hill which have to be booked in their entirety. These are priced PER COTTAGE PER NIGHT:

15 December-8 January, 10 February-30 April, 2 June-31 October (incl. Game Census 2-10 June 2018)

Family Cottage (up to 5 Adults): £1660
Worldsview Superior Cottage (up to 4 Adults): £1733

9 January-9 February, 1 May-1 June, 1 November-14 December

Family Cottage (up to 5 Adults): £1453
Worldsview Superior Cottage (up to 4 Adults): £1565


**Due to Rhino poaching in the area, security has had to be increased. As of 1st December 2012 all bookings will be required to pay a conservation fee. The fee is £14 per night (adults) and £8 per night (children 11 and under) and under.


Exclusive use of Ant's Nest or Ant's Hill is possible, as is a private guide/safari/vehicle - please enquire for quotes.


Transfers per car Johannesburg Airport to Ants (One way): Prices to be confirmed

Please contact the office for more transfer details