The best family safari in the Waterberg
Sarah, my wife, is allergic to horses, so she did not join us in the horse riding, yet our days merged into a collective experience of great fun, discovery and relaxation.
In an age where there is a constant demand for everything modern and connected, Ant and his team understand the true bush experience.
Often people think that a horse-riding safari is for the experienced but at Ant’s they cater for all levels of riding experience. Many guests learn to ride at the safari lodge and return year after year.
When we arrived as a family, Ant had a couple of horses saddled up for Amelia (15), Polly (14) and me. I have ridden a bit and Amelia and Polly only a couple of times before, but we just went for it. Within a couple of minutes, we were ducking under trees and growing in confidence.
As a family, we are very lucky to get into the bush often due to WildWeb’s part in the tourism industry but nothing prepares you for the interaction with wildlife on horseback. The animals see you as one (horse and rider) and do not seem bothered as you approach them. You feel more connected to and at one with the wildlife, as opposed to sitting in a vehicle and observing them.
Walking into herds of antelope or stumbling across rhino and giraffe is just such a natural way to adventure in the bush. It is quiet and conversation flows as you learn more and more about the Waterberg and its wildlife.
You know you are at the right place when evenings around the fire or dinner table are filled with chats about the amazing day you have just had, whilst you look forward to what will unfold the next day.
One of our favourite things to do is walk in the bush. Having been lucky enough to have walked with Steve Edwards from Musango Safari Camp on Lake Kariba, Dale from Rhino River Lodge in Zululand, and Andy from The Bushcamp Company in the South Luangwa, we had started to gain an appreciation of how walking in the bush gives one so much more. You are actually very safe on foot and your guides are in-tune with the animal behaviour.
You hear the bush and start learning your bird calls so much better. On the ground you learn about the trees, spoor identification, the ‘Baby Five’ and so much more. Most importantly, one learns how to approach a wild animal on foot.
At Ants, Sarah and I would walk with our charismatic guide and learn more about the bush than we could have hoped for.
One day, we walked to a part of the reserve to which the girls rode on horseback. We all met up and had much-appreciated sundowners, before letting the horses go to find their own way back home. We took a game drive back to the lodge, which is always a great option, especially at sunset, with a G&T on hand.
Waterberg – Malaria-Free Safaris
The great thing about the Waterberg region is you can land in Johannesburg and hire a car and within four hours you are in this brilliant safari lodge, feeling a million miles away from anything. Much of South Africa is relatively malaria-free so prophylactics are not needed.
Family home overlooking the Waterberg
Over the years, The Ant Collection has grown and now has two lodges on the property.
This is a large home with an extra outside cottage catering for a number of accommodation options. The huge pool and the homely feel help you get into the flow of bush life almost immediately.
Elevated private bush homes and cottages flank a ridge overlooking the savannah below. The main lodge with a swimming pool is where you will enjoy most meals and drinks while you swap notes on the day’s adventures.
When you say to your spouse and teenagers that Ant’s is on the cards for the next holiday, everybody in our family is keen to fulfill their own holiday aspirations and excitedly say…
YES! When can we go?
Read a past blog on Ant’s Safaris here: https://www.wildweb.co.za/blog/ant-nest-photo-shoot/