South Africa - Ant’s Lodges

  • Open All Year
  • Flexible arrivals
  • Variable length stays | 4 to 5 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Johannesburg
  • Weight limit: No set weight limit.
  • Usual maximum: 16

Ant and Tessa Baber have perfected the art of the luxurious and very personal safari. Activities can be tailored to suit each person in the group, making this an ideal holiday for riders and non riders alike.

Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are two beautiful lodges set in their own private game reserve. They are owned and run by the Babers, whose family have lived in the Waterberg since 1865. Both lodges offer you the chance of a fabulous riding safari but there are also a range of other activities on offer. For those who prefer to walk, the guides will take you on guided bush walks. Vehicle game drives and cycling safaris are also available.

Each reserve has a wide variety of game from rhino, buffalo, nyala, waterbuck, giraffe, eland, sable, oryx, wildebeest, red hartebeest, kudu, impala, zebra, blesbuck, warthog, bushpig and brown hyena. They also have the smaller animals such as African wild cat, mongoose and more than 250 species of birds. There are no elephant or lion which means all levels of riders can be safely taken out on horseback.

The guides can also take you to other places of interest in the Waterberg. These excursions can be to see bushman paintings, archaeological sites or a vehicle game drive to a nearby Big 5 game reserve. For those who are a little saddle sore or in need of real relaxation, you can enjoy a massage. All these extra activities are at an additional cost.

At both lodges, great pride is taken in the delicious cuisine on offer. Enjoy bush breakfasts, starlit dinners around open fires or impromptu lunches beneath a shady tree. Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill not only offer a fabulous game viewing experience and a wide variety of activities, they are superb places to just relax and watch the sun go down for those needing a well-deserved break.

Ant's Nest and Ant's Hill are ideal for everyone with the length and pace of rides tailored to suit ability and experience.

Each lodge has a number of excellent well-schooled horses from Thoroughbreds and Arabs to Boerperd crosses. All riding abilities can be catered for with horses for experienced riders as well as steady ponies for children.

Even those who have booked as non-riders may be encouraged to ride at least once during their stay since one of the best ways to get close to game is on horseback. You will be amazed at how close you can be to the animals.

The horses are ridden in South African Trail saddles and most are in snaffle bridles.

Hard hats are mandatory on this ride.

Ant’s Nest 

Ant's Nest is the beautifully refurbished homestead of the property and can accommodate a maximum of fourteen guests. The lodge’s large stone veranda, high beamed thatched roof, classic furnishings and luxurious spacious bedrooms set the scene for a very relaxed and enjoyable stay. The main house has a comfortable sitting room downstairs with an open fireplace and a small library. The large open veranda offers an ideal spot for an afternoon siesta.

The lodge is set in landscaped gardens, with a heated saline pool that blends naturally into the surroundings. There is a thatched chill out spot with large sofa beds for those in need of a siesta or respite from the African sun.

The following rooms are available at Ant's Nest:

Davidson Suite (Standard Rooms): The Davidson Suite is downstairs in the main lodge and has two bedrooms each with private bathroom and each opening onto the garden. Both rooms can be made up as a twin or a double. The rooms also open onto a passage leading to a sitting/library area with open fireplace, perfect for relaxing on those chilly evenings. The two rooms can be booked independently at any time.

Rondavel (Standard Plus Room): The Rondavel, set to one side of the main lodge, is a lovely room built in the traditional African circular form with high thatched roof. It has an outside veranda and private seating area. The bedroom has a four poster double bed and there is also a four poster day bed so the room can be made up as twin  or this can be a third bed for a child sharing with parents. Leading off the bedroom is an en-suite bathroom. There is also a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

Sable Suite (Deluxe Room): The Sable Suite is upstairs in the main lodge and is perfect for friends, two couples or a family. The master bedroom has a king-size four poster bed and a large window overlooking the gardens and bush beyond. This leads through to a spacious bathroom with bath and shower. The second room (which has its own bathroom) is smaller and can be made up as a twin or a double. There is also an additional three-quarter size daybed located just outside the second bedroom which can be made up for a third child. There is a spacious sitting area with comfortable sofas and a large fireplace, alongside a dining area and full mini-bar with tea and coffee making facilities. This opens up on to a large veranda with shady seating area. The two Sable rooms are normally always booked as a unit except on Game Census weeks and occasionally in low season when it is possible for the two rooms to be booked separately. When the rooms are booked separately the sitting area and veranda are shared.

Weaver Suite (Deluxe Room): The Weaver Suite is a beautiful spacious and light upstairs room, set to one side of the main lodge. It has a king size four poster bed. There is a large veranda overlooking the bush, perfect for relaxing with a cold drink from the mini-bar and a good book. The en-suite bathroom has a bath and separate shower. The dimensions of this room easily allow for beds to be added for two children sharing with their parents or so that it can be made up as a twin room for two friends. There are tea and coffee making facilities.

Ant’s Hill 

Ant's Hill is built on the edge of a gorge and offers breath-taking views across the reserve. This lodge can take a maximum of sixteen guests. The main lodge has a large sitting room and dining room with views of the gorge. Set into boulders on the edge of the cliff there is an infinity heated saline swimming pool which cascades over the lip of the gorge.

The following rooms are available at Ant's Hill:

Eagle's Nest (Standard Plus Room): Located above the main lodge building, this lovely room can be made up either with two twin beds or one double bed. It has an en-suite bathroom and spacious outside balcony with daybed, with stunning views over the valley from its elevated position. There is a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

Lookout (Deluxe Room): Lookout is a stunning cottage. It has a king-size four poster bed and has space for a second bed so is suitable for two friends or a child sharing with parents. The open plan en-suite bathroom features a bath with a view, a waterfall shower and there is an outdoor shower overlooking the valley for that ‘in the bush’ feeling. The bedroom has a fireplace to keep you cozy on winter evenings and opens out onto a deck with carved daybed which overlooks the valley and a water hole where animals often come to drink. The room has a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

Hideaway (Superior Deluxe Room): Hideaway is a secluded luxury cottage. With a king size four poster bed it is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway, but can also accommodate a second bed so is suitable for a child sharing with their parents or for two friends. The bedroom opens up onto the outside deck area with carved daybeds for relaxing in the shade, with a chilled drink from the mini-bar. There is a cozy seating area inside with an open fire. The open plan en-suite bathroom features a sunken bath and French doors open onto the deck to bring the outside indoors. There is a waterfall shower inside and an outside shower overlooking the valley. The outside deck leads down to a private sunbathing area and a private (unheated) plunge pool for cooling off in the heat of the day. This room also has a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

There are also two spacious (two bedroomed) cottages at Ant's Hill. These are normally booked on a per cottage basis either by a family or group of friends. During the Game Census and occasionally in low season the individual rooms of the cottages may be booked and in this case the lounge area is a shared area.

Family Cottage: Ideal for families of up to seven. The spacious en-suite master bedroom has a king-size four poster bed and open plan bathroom with a bath with a view and waterfall shower. A second bed can be added to this room if two friends are sharing. The twin bedroom has two three-quarter size four poster beds and can be made up as a double or a twin. This room shares a bathroom with the loft bedroom, nestled under the thatched roof, which can sleep three children.

This cottage has a large sitting room, with open fire place and dining area, opening onto a balcony with views over the valley. There is a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities in the lounge area.

Worlds View Cottage: For luxury and privacy World’s View cottage is the ultimate bush retreat. The double bedroom upstairs 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 spacious bedroom downstairs, opening on to the deck area, can either be a twin or a double or a triple. It has an en-suite bathroom with a bath and an outside waterfall shower.

There is a covered veranda outside for relaxing during the heat of the day, leading to the pool area with sunbeds and a private (unheated) plunge pool for cooling off. On chilly winter evenings you can cozy up next to the open fire in the sitting room with a glass of wine from the mini-bar.

Below are the layouts for the cottages:

Sable Suite


Family Cottage 


World's View 



Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )


Open all year. Arrive and depart any day and stay for as long as you wish (minimum three night stay). We recommend a stay of seven nights.
Sample Itinerary for Ant's Hill
Sample Itinerary for Ant's Nest

Please note that the availability chart below may show availability when there is none and so please always email and we will get back to you to confirm availability for your preferred dates.

Select your preferred arrival date:


Ant's Lodges

The prices below are on the basis of a seven night stay at either lodge or a combination of both lodges. Shorter or longer stays are possible so please ask for a quote.

Per person sharing (7 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
15 Dec - 9 Jan 2020 $3,156.96 $3,561.05 $4,040.90 $4,394.48
10 Jan - 19 Mar 2020 $2,583.65 $2,982.69 $3,227.67 $3,679.75
20 Mar - 30 Apr 2020 $3,371.63 $3,813.60 $4,328.82 $4,705.13
1 May - 29 May 2020 $2,583.65 $2,982.69 $3,227.67 $3,679.75
7 Jun - 30 Jun 2020 $2,583.65 $2,982.69 $3,227.67 $3,679.75
1 Jul - 31 Aug 2020 $3,371.63 $3,813.60 $4,328.82 $4,705.13
1 Sep - 30 Sep 2020 $2,583.65 $2,982.69 $3,227.67 $3,679.75
1 Oct - 3 Nov 2020 $3,371.63 $3,813.60 $4,328.82 $4,705.13
4 Nov - 14 Dec 2020 $2,583.65 $2,982.69 $3,227.67 $3,679.75
15 Dec - 9 Jan 2021 $3,371.63 $3,813.60 $4,328.82 $4,705.13


Single Supplement (7 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
15 Dec - 9 Jan 2020 $1,527.97 $1,717.38 $1,957.31 $2,121.47
10 Jan - 19 Mar 2020 nil nil $990.02 $1,101.15
20 Mar - 30 Apr 2020 $1,616.36 $1,838.61 $2,093.69 $2,270.48
1 May - 29 May 2020 nil nil $990.02 $1,101.15
7 Jun - 30 Jun 2020 nil nil $990.02 $1,101.15
1 Jul - 31 Aug 2020 $1,616.36 $1,838.61 $2,093.69 $2,270.48
1 Sep - 30 Sep 2020 nil nil $990.02 $1,101.15
1 Oct - 3 Nov 2020 $1,616.36 $1,838.61 $2,093.69 $2,270.48
4 Nov - 14 Dec 2020 nil nil $990.02 $1,101.15
15 Dec - 9 Jan 2021 $1,616.36 $1,838.61 $2,093.69 $2,270.48


Game Census (8 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
30 May - 6 Jun 2020 $3,853.29 $4,358.40 $4,947.22 $5,377.29


Game Census Single Supplement (8 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
30 May - 6 Jun 2020 $1,847.27 $2,101.27 $2,392.79 $2,594.84


Child discounts (c. 30%) apply for children aged 2 - 11. There are also discounted rates (c. 50%) for a child or an adult on a third bed in a room.

Either lodge can be booked exclusively at any time of year (subject to availability). This gives unlimited flexibility with up to 3 or 4 different activities at any time.

In high season the Family Cottage and World's View Cottage at Ant's Hill have a per night rate based on up to 5 people. At other times the rooms in each cottage can be booked individually at Deluxe Room rates.

A private guide may be pre-booked at a cost of $206.16 per day (includes a morning and afternoon activity).

INCLUDES Accommodation; full board; drinks; riding; safari activities at the lodge and Rhino Conservation Fee.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT  A single supplement applies at certain times - see table.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Off ranch activities; massage treatments; cellar wines & champagne; tips.


TRANSFERS Private road transfers are $269.65 each way per car (up to 3 people) and $330.41 each way for a 4 - 7 seater.

For single travellers who are willing to wait up to an hour for others to arrive on later flights, there is a shared transfer price of $134.82 each way.

Please note that there is an additional charge for early/late transfers. Please ask for details.


Getting There

For Game census

Transfers can be arranged from Johannesburg airport. On the Game Census week, there are often shared transfers for those whose flights are arriving together. The price for these transfers is yet to be confirmed for 2020.

In order to join the shared transfers, your flight should arrive by 10.00 or before. On the last day your flight should depart after 19:00. Private transfers are also possible (extra cost). In which case your flights can arrive and depart at any time. On private transfers hotel collection and hotel drop-offs can be arranged (at additional cost).

There is a charge for flights arriving early or departing late. Flights arriving into Johannesburg after 07:00 and departing before 23:00 will incur no additional charge.
Your flights can arrive and depart Johannesburg at any time but please note there is a surcharge on the transfer rates for flights arriving into Johannesburg before 07:00 or departing after 23:00.

The journey from Johannesburg to Ant's Lodges is about 3.5 hours.

An overnight flight arriving into Johannesburg in the morning will mean you reach the lodge in plenty of time for an afternoon activity. Similarly, an evening flight home will allow for a final morning activity on the day of departure.

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos


Private game reserves in the Waterberg.

Weather & Climate

Dry and mild in winter. Warm to hot in summer with occasional summer storms.

from $1,347.05 for 5 nights Book Now

Guest Review

All the riding was fabulous meet our expectations and guides where great Amazing place, hospitality is next to brilliant all staff very friendly and easy to get on with, horses were fabulous and different horses let you get the different experiences, and being able to get so close the the wildlife is an amazing experience both on horseback and walking with Fred and the rhinos, all guides very knowledgeable and friendly catered to your riding needs and expectations, and being able to track the wildlife even the ones which are hard to find.

Atlanta ,Birmingham

5 star rating Overall rating: 5/5

Ride Report

Rebecca Clarke
Rebecca Clarke
In May 2015 I was lucky enough to visit Ant's Lodges during the annual Game Census. Once a year there is a census to count the game on the reserve. Over the course of the week, there are various game captures so that Ant's can 'swap' animals with other reserves.

What the Press Say

Olwen Law says...

Ant’s Lodges Riding Specialist

Rebecca says

Beautiful accommodation and fun riding make for an ideal holiday for all ages and abilities. The well-mannered and responsive horses are a delight to ride. 

My Top Tip

Combine a few days at both Nest and Hill to enjoy the best of the riding and game viewing available.


Rebecca Clarke
from $1,347.05 for 5 nights Book Now