Antelope Park, Zimbabwe welcomes Alex Calder from Instagram’s @BetweenTwoEars
After planning the itinerary, and excitedly waiting for Alex, and husband Sam’s arrival, the day finally arrived! We couldn’t have been more excited to showcase the beauty of Zimbabwe and had fingers crossed they would love it as much as we do. Arriving at Antelope Park late, we sat them down for dinner and a relaxing evening after their long journey here. Preparation for the busy days ahead.
After breakfast on our first day, we saddled up and took them on their very first horseback safari. We had our fingers crossed that we would find some excellent wildlife, and get some perfect Instgram-worthy shots. For Alex’s first ride we put her on the beautiful chestnut thoroughbred stallion Kentuky-Tango. He was very carefully brushed and fussed to make his mane ready for Instagram fame. Knowing Sam is new to riding, we put him on the trustworthy Flame, and set out into the bush for our first adventure!
Luckily the ride went fabulously; we found zebra, wildebeest and impala around the first corner. We ventured on to find our tree house, climbed up and looked down at the amazing landscape spread out below.
Cantering through some water, we found ourselves up close to the giraffes! Many photos were taken as we watched and laughed at Alex’s ‘between the ears’ angle tricks. We wandered slowly behind them, before heading back to camp, grinning from ear-to-ear.
After a relaxing lunch in the sunshine, with some time for uploading our morning snaps, we headed back to the stables for an afternoon of polocrosse. New to the sport, Alex and Sam got tuition on how to scoop up a ball from the ground, throwing and catching the ball in the air, and some basic game rules. We cantered around the polocrosse pitch, learning the different positions and having fun in a slow-paced game… And, of course, getting a ‘between the ears’ snap of a polocrosse throw in!
For our final activity of the day, we went on an Antelope Park famous booze cruise! A mule-drawn carriage, filled with snacks and drinks, for a great evening journey into the bush to watch the sun set over our first day together. We stopped and got out of the carriage to enjoy gin and tonics at the golden hour, as the sun went down. When it was time to head back, Sam climbed aboard and had a go at driving the carriage, with drinks spilling and bumpy roads we arrived back at camp merry and just in time for dinner.
On our second day we rose early for sunrise roundup, where we rode out in the dark at 6am to watch the sunrise from horseback. A beautiful way to start the day, enjoying long canters as the sun rose in the sky beside us.
Elephants From Horseback
After a well-deserved breakfast, we mounted once more to find the Antelope Park elephants. It only took a short search to find them down by the water, where we saw them from across the bay and attempted to cross the water to get a closer view, but not all of the ponies were so sure! Here is Isabel and Alex getting a closer view.
We enjoyed lunch in the sunshine before heading back to the stables, this time with swimming costumes underneath our riding clothes, ready for our first horse swim. We rode out, jumping a fallen down tree on the way, and headed to the dam for a swim. Stripping off ourselves and the ponies, and venturing into the cool water for a swim. The horses loved swimming and we listened for the noises they make to know when their hooves were off the ground. After splashing about in the water, we emerged soggy, smiling and with some wobbly GoPro shots.
Overnight Horseback Safari
After a quick horse change back at the stables, we rode off to that night’s campsite out in the bush, for an overnight safari. As the sun was setting we arrived; put the ponies in their overnight stables, and walked into camp to find a roaring log fire, a cool box full of drinks and our beds laid out on hay bales with blankets and pillows at the ready.
We sat around the campfire laughing, drinking and telling tales until our dinner by candlelight was ready. Cooked over an open fire, we enjoyed a three-course dinner in the middle of the bush – Delicious! We sat back around the campfire for drinks and games, until we all resigned to bed, lying under a canopy of stars by the warmth of the fire.
We awoke to the noise of animals in the bush and the sun rising above us. Drank tea by the fire which was still going and then enjoyed a cooked breakfast; before packing up our things and riding back home to Antelope Park.
After well-deserved showers from our night out in the bush, we had a lazy morning catching up with our social media accounts and refining the hundreds of photos taken over our past few days together. For our last afternoon at Antelope Park with Alex and Sam, we took them out with Lion researcher Yvonne to see the semi – wild Ngamo pride. We travelled in a caged vehicle to see the pride, where Yvonne taught us how to identify each lion, and about their behaviors and personalities which she studies for 4 – 6 hours a day to learn more about these beautiful creatures. We learnt so much from Yvonne about the lions and the work that is done here with the ALERT charity to eventually release wild lions, bred from semi-wild parents, back into the wild in Africa.
Time To Move On From Antelope Park
It was a pleasure to have Alex and Sam here with us at Antelope Park and we were all sad to see them go. We have loved sharing this beautiful place with them and showing just what Antelope Park has to offer; in a country that photographs itself and needs no caption, nor filter. We thank you again Alex and Sam for a wonderful adventure and our time between-the-ears together!
See what we got up to here: