Riding at Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest

Picture excellent riding, luxury accommodation, spectacular sundowners and great game viewing – all set in a magnificent private game reserve and you have a riding holiday in South Africa with The Ant’s Collection.  This brilliant riding opportunity, situated in the malaria free Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province, caters for riders of all abilities. It is ideal for those looking to combine riding with relaxation or those wishing to holiday alongside non-riders.

At Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest – the two luxury ‘bush homes’ – each day is tailored to suit you.  The lodges are home to over 90 well-schooled horses, offering the chance for great riding experiences. The horses lead a fabulous life, roaming freely through the reserve, only coming in to eat. There is something wonderful about arriving at your sundowner spot, untacking your horse and then simply letting them go free to wander back to the stables. Riding on the reserve, you will enjoy close encounters with an incredible variety of game from rhino, buffalo, waterbuck, giraffe, eland, sable, oryx, wildebeest, red hartebeest, kudu, impala, zebra, blesbuck, warthog, bushpig and brown hyena as well as all the smaller animals such as African wild cat, mongoose and more than 250 species of birds.

Morning rides can vary in length but will normally be around 2.5/3 hours long before returning to the lodge for a delicious lunch. Afternoons will often be shorter and more relaxed, followed by breath-taking sundowners out in the bush. Longer rides, or rides across to one of the other bush homes can be organised; taking a picnic for a delicious lunch out in the bush or stopping off to enjoy the lovely cuisine at the other lodge.  Riders of the same abilities are always put together, a group bigger than 6 or have less than 2 guides. There is ample opportunity for some fast and adrenaline filled riding. There is no set schedule or itinerary and activities are extremely flexible and can be altered as you wish.

The expert guides can accompany you to other areas in the Waterberg such as to see bushman paintings, archaeological sites or on a vehicle game drive to a nearby Big 5 game reserve. If you wish to take a break from the saddle there are plenty of other activities on offer such as, enjoying a massage, bush walks, game drives, bush breakfasts, starlit dinners around open fires or impromptu lunches beneath a shady tree. A stay at the Ant’s Collection is a wonderful experience; with fabulous game viewing, varied and fun riding and a superb place to relax, it promises an unforgettable riding holiday.

Highlights

  • Excellent riding alongside a variety of game and through a pristine and vast reserve
  • Fabulous, stand-out accommodation with lovely food and stunning views
  • The chance to include many other activities in your itinerary such as; bush walks, mountain biking, massages, bush meals, game drives and excursions further afield
  • A tailor-made riding experience, created specifically for you, and with the chance of trail riding between bush homes

Quick Facts

  • Arrival and Departure Johannesburg - transfers can be organised
  • Length There is no minimum length of stay requirements. We would recommend at least 4 nights which provides the opportunity to enjoy both lodges
  • When Open all year round
  • Rates Please see dates and rates section
  • Riding Level Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest cater for riders of all abilities. Beginners are welcome
  • Number of Riders per Group Maximum of 6 riders in a group (unless more requested for large groups) with 2 guides

Destination Description

Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are nestled into the folds of the stunning Waterberg bushveld. The reserve covers 12500 acres with 12 different ecological zones, from vast grassy plains to savannah scrub and a wider variety of flora and fauna than elsewhere in Africa.  This diverse environment naturally sustains over 40 species of game including giraffe, white rhino, sable antelope, Roan antelope, buffalo, nyala, gemsbok (Oryx), kudu, Livingstone eland, blue wildebeest (gnu), red hartebeest, zebra, impala, bushbuck, duiker, steenbuck, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog, blesbuck, baboons, bushpig, klipspringer, leopard, jackal, brown hyena, caracal, civet and genet to name but a few. The area is also excellent for birding with over 250 species of resident and migrant birds.

The Waterberg is an exceptional and internationally recognised natural heritage site. The area offers unique wilderness with stunning panoramic views, dramatic gorges, rolling hills and crystal clear streams. The Waterberg’s iconic beauty and bio diversity has been recognised worldwide, being awarded the status of a World Biosphere reserve by UNESCO and the only savannah biosphere in the world.

The Waterberg is a huge area, the equivalent of 80% of Kruger National Park; 70% of this has already been designated to conservation and is home to the Big 5 and the iconic Sable and Roan antelope – rarely seen anywhere else today – both of which can be found at Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill. The Waterberg is incredibly rich in cultural, archaeological and biological diversity.  It is steeped in fascinating history, having been inhabited for at least 2000 years, with the earliest people being the San Bushmen.  The area boasts numerous archaeological sites and bushman paintings, showing evidence of these hunter gatherers.  From Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill you will have the opportunity to visit some of these sites in the form of day excursions.

Marakele National Park is also easily reached, a wonderful place which today hosts one of the world’s largest breeding colonies of the endangered Cape Vulture.  These magnificent birds can be seen nesting on the cliffs of the Santech towers, the highest point in the Waterberg, and providing unparalleled vistas.

  • There is no fixed itinerary for holidays at Ant’s Hill and Ant’s Nest. We would recommend spending at least 4 nights there, giving you the chance to explore the area and experience staying at both bush lodges. You will have the option of riding in the mornings and the afternoons, with timings and the duration of each ride being tailored to suit you.

Dates:
Open all year round

Low Season: 9 Jan – 9 Feb, 1 May – 2 June, 1 Nov – 14 Dec

High Season: 15 Dec – 8 Jan, 10 Feb – 30 April, 3 June – 31 October

Lodge Room Low High
Ant’s Nest Davidson Suite Double £307pppn £362pppn
Ant’s Nest Rondavel £337pppn £392pppn
Ant’s Nest Sable Suite 1&2, Weaver Suite £370pppn £447pppn

 

Ant’s Hill Eagle Nest £337pppn £392pppn
Ant’s Hill Look Out £370pppn £447pppn
Ant’s Hill Hideaway £431pppn £474pppn
Ant’s Hill Family Cottage (up to 5 adults) £1625pn £1860pn
Ant’s Hill Worldsview Cottage (up to 4 adults) £1750pn £1940pn

Enquire for single supplements, extra bed rates and child rates.

Please see the 7 nights special rates below:

Low Season: 9 Jan – 9 Feb, 1 May – 9 July, 1 Nov – 14 Dec

High Season: 10 Feb – 19 March, 1 Sep – 31 Oct

Room Low High
Davidson Suite Double (AN) £264pppn £302pppn
Rondavel (AN) & Eagles Nest (AH) £296pppn £339pppn
Sable Suite 1 (AN), Weaver Suite (AN) & Lookout (AH) £320pppn £389pppn
Sable Suite 2 (AN). This can only booked with Sable 1. £264pppn £333pppn
Hideaway R£364pppn £433pppn

The following dates exclude the 7 night special: 15 Dec – 8 Jan, 20 March – 30 April, 3 – 11 June, 10 July – 31 August

 

All Rates Include:

  • All Meals
  • All local drinks (soft drinks, spirits, beers and house wines)
  • Horse riding
  • Game drives and night drives
  • Game walks and walking safaris
  • Mountain biking
  • Rhino tracking
  • Fishing
  • Bug walks
  • Snake & reptile handling
  • Bush lunches and sundowners
  • Guest to guide ratio 4:1
  • Unique flexibility

 

Excludes:

  • Massages
  • Night sky safaris
  • Wine tasting
  • Visit to local children’s home
  • Big 5 game drive
  • Helicopter scenic flights
  • Riding lessons (done as a separate activity)
  • Day trip to visit bushman paintings
  • Cellar wines, Premium spirits, liquors and Champagne
  • Shop/Curio purchases
  • Gratuities
  • Conservation fees ($16 per adult per night and $10 per child per night)
  • Any extra activities off the property not listed

Ant’s Nest 

This wonderfully furnished ‘bush home’ can accommodate up to 14 guests. Ant’s Nest provides an idyllic setting for any holiday; with its luxurious spacious rooms, stunning verandas and all its classic bush trimmings. The house boasts a large sitting room, open fireplace, heated saline pool and many excellent spots for an afternoon siesta.

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At Ant’s Nest you can stay in the following:

Davidson Suite (Standard Room): The Davidson Suite is on the ground level of the main lodge – just along the corridor from the large open fireplace to snuggle up next to before bed. The suite has two en suite bedrooms, both opening onto the lush garden. One bedroom has a four poster double bed and the other can be a twin or a double.

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Rondavel (Standard Plus Room): This charming double room is built in the traditionally African circular form with high thatched roof and is set to the side of the main house. The bedroom boasts a rustic four poster bed and is perfect for couples wanting to enjoy a romantic escape as the outside verandah offers a private seating area. The room also contains a four poster day bed, suitable for a child sharing with parents. Leading off the bedroom is an en-suite bathroom with bath, shower and an outside shower. There is also a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

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Sable Suite (Deluxe Room): Upstairs in the main house is a very spacious luxury suite, perfect for families. The master bedroom features a king-size four poster bed with incredible views overlooking the gardens and bush beyond. This leads through to an exceptionally large bathroom and dressing area with bath and shower. Located beside this is an en-suite twin (which can be converted to a double), ideal for two children travelling with their parents. An additional ¾ four poster bed is located just outside this bedroom, for a third child. There is a spacious sitting room with comfortable sofas and a fireplace, alongside a dining area and full bar with tea and coffee making facilities. This opens up on to a very comfortable private verandah with shady seating area. The Sable rooms are always booked together except on Game Census weeks when it is possible for these rooms to be booked separately.

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Weaver Suite (Deluxe Room): The Weaver Suite is the largest room at Ant’s Nest; it boasts fabulous views across the valley from its own private veranda. Even with the luxurious king-size bed, and the large four poster day bed, there is still plenty of room for an extra bed should you have kids sharing. The en-suite bathroom has a bath and separate shower. The verandah overlooking the bush is perfect for relaxing in the heat of the day and is ideal for private dinners.  This is the perfect option for honeymooners or families traveling with small kids.  There is also a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

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Ant’s Hill 

Ant’s Hill is beautifully designed; built on the edge of a dramatic gorge is makes the most of the spectacular views which can be enjoyed from the large dining veranda. The lodge, which sleeps 16 guests, is set into the boulders on the edge of the cliff.  A highlight of Ant’s Hill is its infinity heated saline swimming pool which cascades over the lip of the gorge.

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The following rooms are available at Ant’s Hill:

Eagle’s Nest (Standard Plus Room): This stunning bedroom is located above the main lodge and can be made up either with two twin beds or one double bed and is complete with an en-suite bathroom. The spacious outside balcony has a deliciously comfortable daybed, with stunning views over the valley from its elevated position. There is a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

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Lookout (Deluxe Room): This cottage boasts a king-size four poster bed and plenty of space for a second bed, making the room suitable for two friends or a child sharing with parents. The spectacular bathroom features a free standing bath with a view like no other, out over the reserve. Sit back and soak or enjoy one of the two showers – either the wonderful waterfall shower or for that real bush experience try the outdoor shower overlooking the valley. To keep you warm on those crisp winter evenings the bedroom has a fireplace and during the day the room opens onto a spacious deck which overlooks the valley and water hole, often frequented by a variety of animals. The room has a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

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Hideaway (Superior Deluxe Room): Hideaway is a secluded luxury cottage which has a luxurious king size four poster bed, idyllic for couples looking to a romantic escape or an extra bed can be provided to create fabulous accommodation for a child sharing with their parents or for two friends.

The spacious bedroom opens onto the outside deck, complete with daybeds for relaxing and a private sunbathing area and a private (unheated) plunge pool for cooling off in the heat of the day.

There is a cozy seating area inside with an open fire. The en-suite bathroom is open plan with a sunken bath and French doors which open onto the deck to bring the outside indoors. Indulge and enjoy the two shower options – a waterfall shower inside and an outside shower overlooking the valley. This room also has a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

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Family Cottage: The Family Cottage is ideal for families of up to six people and creates the atmosphere of a home away from home. The large en-suite master bedroom features a king-size four poster bed and open plan bathroom including a bath with a view and waterfall shower. The second bedroom, a twin with two four poster beds can be converted into a double giving you a king-size bed, should there be two couples travelling together. This room shares a bathroom with the loft bedroom, nestled under the thatched roof, which is perfect for children. This cottage has a large sitting room, with open fire place and dining area, opening onto a decked balcony with views over the valley. There is a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities in the lounge area. Family cottage is based on a rate for the whole cottage up to 5 people; extra beds are available at an additional cost.

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Worlds View Cottage: This is the ultimate bush retreat. A beautiful, private and luxurious cottage with a double bedroom upstairs which opens up on to a private balcony with an outside bath overlooking the stunning valley below, where giraffe, zebra, kudu and eland can often be seen wandering. The bedroom downstairs is extremely spacious and can be made into a twin, a double or a triple room and is complete with en-suite bathroom, a bath and an outside waterfall shower. On those crisp winter nights there is an open fire in the sitting room, calling out for a glass of red wine from the mini-bar. During the heat of the day chill out on the shady veranda which offers respite from the sun, or alternatively, relax on a sunbed by the private (unheated) plunge pool.

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