"This trip exceeded our expectations, the friendliness, passion and knowledge of the team meant our week was all about what we wanted to do and while we rode twice a day, we still had time to relax. We left remembering the most exciting horseback adventure but also learnt alot about the importance of conservation."
The team here pride themselves on their warmth and hospitality. All ages, individuals, couples, riders or non-riders, families or groups of friends can enjoy this unique safari experience. Knowledgeable and passionate guides organise game drives or horseback rides tailored specifically to each guest; there are no fixed times, wake up when you want, the day is yours to be as active or not as you wish. Enjoy the bush on horse, mountain bike or foot, or in the 4x4 game-viewer vehicle. Each day ends with the legendary African sunset and sundowner - which can be enjoyed in vantage points in the bush.
One of the best ways to get close to game is on horseback. This private reserve has over 40 species of game from rhino, giraffe, zebra, brown hyena, buffalo, eland, impala, kudu, waterbuck, nyala,oryx, sable, wildebeest, red hartebeest, blesbock and warthog. There are also smaller animals such as African wild cat, mongoose and more than 250 species of birds.
All days follow a similar format although there is flexibility for individual choice within each day. A typical day starts after breakfast with a morning ride or other activity for those not wishing to ride - returning to the lodge for lunch followed by a late afternoon ride or activity. The itinerary is flexible to suit everyone staying and taking into account the weather and whether anything special is happening on the reserve such as a game capture or release. For those keen to ride there is the option to spend 4 - 5 hours riding per day, for those less keen to spend so much time in the saddle activities can be divided into riding and non riding activities. There are game drives and bush walks as well as riding available so this safari really does cater for everyone. Over dinner you can discuss with your guide or lodge manager the activities you would like to take part in the following day. Animals are more active in the morning and then again in the late afternoon hence the structure of the day.
There are horses suited to experienced riders and novice riders as well as steady ponies for children. This safari is suitable for families - and all levels of rider can be safely taken out on horseback since there are no lion or elephant.
All of the horses are well schooled horses, the breeds favoured include the ever versatile thoroughbred, the wonderful arabian horses which bring such tremendous stamina to the mix alongside african boerperds and freisan crossbreeds. Even non riders may choose to ride at least once during their stay - with the length and pace of rides tailored to suit ability and experience. We can cater for riders upto 110kg.
The horses are ridden in very comfortable South African trail saddles and most have snaffle bridles. Hard hats are mandatory and can be borrowed on site..
There are two spectacular lodges - Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill both set within the private game reserve, they not only offer exceptional game viewing but are also superb places to relax, unwind and watch the sun go down. The riding safaris were set up by Ant Baber 25 years ago and he continues to be personally involved - his family have lived in Waterberg since 1865.
Ant Baber and his team offer a very personal safari. The lodges are ideal for riders and non-riders as activities can be tailored to suit each person in the group. Both lodges offer the unique riding safari and also a range of other activities: guided bush walks, vehicle game drives and even cycling safaris! Guides can take you to other places of interest - bushman paintings, archaelogical sites or even a Big 5 game reserve drive. At the end of a long day in the saddle a massage can be arranged.
Ant's Hill is to the west of the reserve on a high ridge with a magnificent panorama spanning over the bushveld. Overlooking a waterfall, the lodge is constructed from native rock and timber and blends in perfectly to the contours of the terrain - wide bi-folding doors and windows showcase the spectacular views towards the setting sun. This lodge can cater for up to 16 guests. A heated swimming pool set into the boulders on the edge of the cliff enjoys a panoramic view across the reserve - a great place to relax in between horse rides.
Ant's Nest lies in a natural amphitheatre with a wide verandah and thatched roof, it has a classic African atmosphere. A wide variety of game frequent the waterhole in front of the lodge, bringing wildlife viewing to the doorstep. Not only are there views down the valley but it is also surrounded by the open plains where the horses and other game graze. This lodge accommodates a maximum of 12 guests. There is a heated swimming pool in the garden and indigenous plants surround the pool plus a thatched chill out spot with day beds to relax on during the heat of the day - this is the ideal spot to have your massage. The nosey rhinos come right up to these gardens to graze!
At Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill even the meals are a highlight of your stay - you may find lunch laid out in the bush, starlit dinners around a fire in the boma or next to the pool with breakfast on the deck or under the shade of a tree in the gardens. The cuisine is a fusion of fine dining and home cooking.
Luxury accommodation, full board from afternoon tea on arrival and lunch on day of departure, full use of all facilities
Based on two people sharing a standard room, upgrades of rooms are available - enquire for prices.
No single supplement in low season, add £175 a night for solo occupancy in high season.
2 nights low season with 4 safari rides, £650pp, high season £750pp
3 nights low season with 6 safari rides, £965pp, high season £1095pp
4 nights low season with 8 safari rides, £1275pp, high season £1455pp
5 nights low season with 10 safari rides, £1595pp, high season £1775pp
6 nights low season with 12 safari rides, £1995pp, high season £2155pp - discounts available for 7 nights!
Low season 2023 is 10 January - 19 March, 1 May - 30 June, 1 Sept - 30 September, 1 November - 14 December
High season 2023 is 20 March - 30 April, 1 July - 31 August, 1 - 31 October, 15 December - 9 January 2024
Go to our luxury safari package for 7 night stays prices start at £1885pp for 7 nights! https://www.equestrian-escapes.com/Luxury-7-Night-Safari/
Transfers available from Johannesburg.
All meals included with lunch provided on either arrival day or departure day depending on flight times.
Drinks including beer, table wine and. soft drinks. Cellar wines, premium spirits, liquors and champagne available at extra cost.
A Rhino Conservation Fee is included in all our prices.
All horse riding included.
Game drives and night drives included.
Game walks included.
Mountain biking included (not suitable for kids 12 and younger due to terrain)
Bush lunches and sundowners included.
Fishing (seasonal) included.
Air rifle and archery included.
Child discounts apply for children 2 -11 years.
Either lodges can be booked for exclusive use - subject to availability.
A private guide can be booked at an additional cost per day for a morning and afternoon activity
Nearest Airport: Johannasburg
Transfer - private road transfer £310 each way up to 3 persons and £355 each way 4 - 7 persons
For single travellers willing to wait for others to arrive there is a shared transfer price from £145 each way.
Early or Late transfers maybe be charged extra. The cost of transfers are subject to change without notice due to increasing fuel costs in SA.
When couples are travelling on their own they will not be forced to have sundowners or dinners with guests travelling with children younger than 12 year of age. They can request private sundowners and private dinners Wedding package: Every aspect of this special occasion will be taken care of by us. From a very small intimate affair on the mountain top or a more elaborate party where both bush homes can be booked. Please contact us for our wedding package
There are various family units available for families however all deluxe rooms are also large enough for children to share with their parents. We also have cots available for infants. We have special kids menus available for kids and parents to choose from, alternatively they can also enjoy dinners together as a family. There are high chairs available at both bush homes. Special activities can be arranged for the kids whilst their parents are out on other activities. These could include bug walks, archery game drives or walks and both bush homes have heated pools, trampolines and toys to keep them entertained. Children of any age can join their parents on activities. Under 4 year old's will only be able to go out on a pony/lead rein in the vicinity of the lodge and not on longer outrides.
Rides operate to a maximum of 6 riders and 2 guides to ensure guests' safety and for a more controlled ride.
Riders of different abilities will not be put on the same ride unless they are part of the same family/group and wish to do so.
Riding hats are compulsory for all riders. We do stock a selection of sizes but we recommend if you have your own well fitted hat to bring it with you.
Our weight limit is 120kg.
No kids under the age of 12 will be allowed on a ride without parent supervision.
Both bush homes are equipped with two 4x4 game drive vehicles each. There are just over 90 horses between the two sites to be able to cater for all levels of riders. 8 mountain bikes and heated swimming pools feature at both bush homes as does a trampoline and toy boxes. All rooms are equipped with the necessary amenities such as safes, fans, hair dryers and mini bars.
Both Mclellan and English saddles are available and each guest will receive a water bottle which fits into a bottle holder attached to the saddle. We do recommend bringing bum bags to carry items such as phones and cameras.