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Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill


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 le…


  • Horses and riding for all ages and abilities
  • View the magnificent white rhino and other wildlife
  • Two stunning lodges to choose from or mix them both
  • Non-riders and families welcomed with game drives/walks
  • Stunning landscape of the malaria-free Waterberg

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 6 riders per group (16 in camp)
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100 kg/ 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs


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.

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 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-1990s Ant 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 if you wish to extend your stay.

Both Holly and Cathy from Far and Ride have been lucky enough to ride here and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Horses & Riding


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.


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

The horses live out and graze amongst the game on a daily basis, with the lighter thoroughbreds being stabled at night when it gets cold. 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.


There is 1 itinerary:

  • Luxury Tailor Made Programme is a based ride


No age limit


No specific requirements


100 kg/ 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs

Food & Accommodation


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.


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 16 guests (8 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. Kingfisher and Flycatcher are single rooms only and not available for double occupancy.


Luxury Tailor Made Programme Luxury accommodation.

Other 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 on nearby reserves for an additional charge.

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

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

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.


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. Prices will be quoted at the time of booking and costs will be dependent on the time of day and number of passengers requiring the transport.


Karin K., May 1, 2024

It was absolutely incredible. Learned so much from the riding guides and guides. I started riding later in life so am not as experienced as the others but was totally fine with the canters - they adjust the program accordingly. My daughter went once on horseback and other times went via jeep - she had a great guide named OBK who showed her so much. We also did a bushwalk together and Ali was the most fabulous guide. Cannot wait to go back!

Roberta D., Oct. 18, 2023

The most incredible experience. (Favourite memory?) Too many to mention, but being able to get so close to the game, especially the giraffe (my favourite) on top quality horses was so special, and will remain with me forever. The horses were superb and the tack was fine. I would have liked a thicker seat saver but they were super accommodating and found me the best one they had! All the guides and volunteers were excellent. The guides were so knowledgeable and made each ride such fun.

Kay Y., Oct. 18, 2023

Amazing! (Favourite memory?) Swimming with the horses. (accommodation) was excellent!

Patricia E., July 26, 2022

Very warm welcome, beautiful accommodation, friendly staff, delicious food, great guides, amazing horses, great sightings on horseback.

Jessica H., June 29, 2022

Incredible! So many experiences you'd never imagine having. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone there. Everyone was rooting for Jason to go from waking to canter! riding as a beginner and intermediate couple was really well accommodated - we rode together every day and I still got in some really nice canters.

Orla M, May 12, 2022

Wonderful holiday. Everything was perfect - the riding, the food, the accommodation, the staff - even the weather was perfect. Favourite memory? Too many to mention but long canters on sandy paths, rhino encounters and catching up with the other guests over fabulous meals are just a few. I have been on a number of riding holidays - the food and accommodation on this trip was the best I've had to date. The horses were forward going yet beautifully mannered. The staff took time to match horses properly with riders. I rode an Arab and Arab cross each day and they were perfect.

Jane O., March 31, 2022

It was everything I had dreamt it would be. Like being in a completely different world. So, so relaxed, friendly, great food and drink, and that’s before you get to the riding and the animals.

Clemency, Jan. 8, 2020

A wonderful experience of riding in the bush getting close to the game. A stunning location with beautiful views.

Andrea, Nov. 27, 2019

Luxurious, fascinating, educational & adrenaline filled

Diane, Nov. 6, 2019

Excellent! Couldn't fault it at all, Riding with the animals and the amazing guides and staff!

Karen B., Nov. 15, 2018

This holiday was simply amazing. The accommodation, food, staff, activities and horses were second to none. I travelled alone but was made to feel welcome by the staff. (Favourite Memory?) Which one to choose?! On the rhino walk we were sat on the ground in the bush with 3 rhinos 6ft away from us! Finishing one of the rides out in the bush where the staff had prepared a BBQ and we were able to just untack the horses and let them loose right there.

Nadia & Paul, May 18, 2016

This holiday was incredible. The staff and other guests were so welcoming, the horses were amazing and the accommodation was beautiful. We really couldn’t find fault with it if we wanted to. For our final ride we asked if we could find the rhino in the bush. Our guide (Sam) took us over to Nest, tracked them and found all 10 for us to see including two young calfs –It doesn’t get much better than that! The horses were always turned out well and were perfectly suited to what we wanted. When we originally arrived we were given safe horses but were soon asking for something more forward going. Our request was granted and different horses were provided which were exactly what we wanted. The horses seem to have an incredible life living out in the bush and are very well looked after. The tack all seemed to fit and seemed perfectly fit for purpose.

Stephanie J., Nov. 25, 2015

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!

Erica S., Oct. 5, 2015

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.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

Most guests arrive in time for a late lunch and afternoon ride to settle in.

Days 2 to 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

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 on neighbouring reserves for an additional charge.

For families or couples where some ride and others don't, you can enjoy separate activities, or alternatively, as there are two guides on each ride, 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.

Your hosts are also happy to take you through the Waterberg to see other interesting sites (payable locally for transfers etc) including:

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.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

There is usually time for a final ride and a quick shower before heading to the airport.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities welcomed

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Accommodation for up to 16.
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Flexible arrivals and departures. Min 3 night stay)


Superior Standard room (Rondavel, Eagles Nest- per person), Double occupancy
£395 $500 €460 per night
Deluxe room (Sable Suite, Weaver Suite, Lookout- per person), Double occupancy
£445 $570 €525 per night
Superior Deluxe room (Hideaway- per person), Double occupancy
£490 $620 €575 per night
Basic Standard Room (Davidson), Double occupancy, per person
£350 $445 €410 per night
Long Stay Rate (7 nights); Basic Standard Rooms (Davidson, Kingfisher or Flycatcher)
£2100 $2670 €2465
These special weekly prices are NOT available over Game Census week, Easter, Christmas or New Year *No single supplement NB. Flycatcher and Kingfisher are Double only and cannot be twin beds
Long Stay Rate (7 nights); Superior Standard (Rondavel, Eagles Nest)
£2380 $3025 €2795
These special weekly prices are NOT available over Game Census week, Easter, Christmas or New Year *No single supplement
Long Stay Rate (7 nights); Deluxe (Weaver, Lookout), Double occupancy
£2695 $3425 €3165
These special weekly prices are NOT available over Game Census week, Easter, Christmas or New Year
Long Stay Rate (7 nights); Superior Deluxe (Hideaway), Double occupancy
£2940 $3740 €3450
These special weekly prices are NOT available over Game Census week, Easter, Christmas or New Year
Worldsview Cottage (up to 4 Adults)
£1970 $2505 €2310 per night
Family Cottage (up to 5 Adults)
£1820 $2320 €2140 per night
Basic Standard room (Kingfisher and Flycatcher) - Single only
£525 $665 €615 per night
Includes single supplement as double occupancy is not an option.
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), game conservation fee, WiFi and laundry.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, travel and medical insurance, massages, additional activities off the property, gratuities (guideline R150-R250 per day) and curio shop purchases.


2024 - Airport Transfer £310 $390 €360
Paid to Far and Ride
Johannesburg airport transfer, each way, per vehicle (1-3 pax). Please note that this price is approximate and will be quoted at the time of booking. In the current climate there may be an additional fuel surcharge. Please contact us for prices for larger vehicles.
2024 - Single Supplement (7 night special Deluxe) £1365 $1735 €1600
Paid to Far and Ride
Special Long Stay weekly single supplement (7 nights); Deluxe (Weaver, Lookout)
2024 - Single Supplement (7 night special, Superior Deluxe) £1435 $1825 €1685
Paid to Far and Ride
Special Low Season Long Stay weekly single supplement (7 nights); Superior Deluxe (Hideaway)
2024 - Single Supplement (Basic Standard room) £175 $220 €205 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Basic Standard rooms (Davidson)
2024 - Single Supplement (Deluxe rooms) £230 $290 €270 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Deluxe rooms (Sable, Weaver, Lookout)
2024 - Single Supplement (Superior Deluxe room) £245 $310 €285 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Superior Deluxe (Hideaway)
2024 - Single Supplement (Superior Standard room) £200 $250 €235 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Superior Standard rooms (Rondavel, Eagles Nest)
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.