South Africa - Ant’s Lodges

  • Open All Year
  • Flexible arrivals
  • Usual Stay 7 nights | 4 to 5 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Johannesburg
  • Weight limit: 17st 3lbs (110 kg) (241 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 16

The Lodges

Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are two beautiful lodges set in their own private game reserve. Ant’s was established 25 years ago by Ant Baber, whose family have lived in the Waterberg since 1865. Both Nest and Hill 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.

Ant Baber and his team have perfected the art of the luxurious and very personal safari. The lodges are ideal for riders and non-riders alike as activities can be tailored to suit each person in the group.

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.

The guides can also take you to other places of interest in the Waterberg. For instance, you can visit 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.

Game Viewing

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. There are also smaller animals such as African wild cat, mongoose and more than 250 species of birds. All levels of rider can be safely taken out on horseback since there are no lion or elephant.

 

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 suited to 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. One of the best ways to get close to game is on horseback!

The horses are ridden in South African Trail saddles and most have 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. In addition there is a large open veranda that offers the ideal spot for an afternoon siesta.

The lodge is set in landscaped gardens, with a heated saline pool that blends naturally into the surroundings. Nearby 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 Twin & Davidson Double (Standard Rooms):

The Davidson rooms are downstairs in the main lodge. Each has a private bathroom and opens out into the garden. Both rooms can be made up as a twin or a double and Davidson Double can also be a triple room.

Flycatcher & Kingfisher (Standard Rooms):

These are two new (in 2022) rooms built downstairs, beneath the Weaver Suite. Each has a double bed and so are suitable for single travellers or couples. Both rooms have a private bathroom and open out into the garden. Kingfisher and Flycatcher cannot be made into twin rooms.

Rondavel (Standard Plus Room):

The Rondavel is set to one side of the main lodge. It's a lovely room built in the traditional African circular form with high thatched roof and 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 as a third bed for a child sharing with parents. Leading off the bedroom is an en-suite bathroom and outdoor shower. 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 a little bit smaller and can be made up as a double, twin or a triple.

There is a spacious sitting area with comfortable sofas and a large fireplace as well as 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. By exception on Game Census weeks and occasionally in low season it is possible for the two Sable 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. 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. It can also 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 a 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 and stunning views over the valley. There is a mini bar with tea and coffee making facilities.

Lookout (Deluxe Room):

Lookout is a stunning room with a king-size bed which can also be converted into a twin suitable for two friends. An additional bed can be added for a third adult/child. 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 which overlooks the valley and a water hole. 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. It 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. There is a cozy seating area inside with an open fire. The open plan en-suite bathroom features a sunken bath and French doors that 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 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 it is possible to book an individual room in the cottages and in this case the lounge area is a shared area.

Family Cottage:

Ideal for families of up to seven (five adults and two children). The spacious en-suite master bedroom has a king-size four poster bed and open plan bathroom with a bath and waterfall shower. 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 one adult and up to two children.

This cottage has a large sitting room, with open fire place and dining area. This opens 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 onto a private balcony with an outside bath overlooking the stunning valley below. The spacious bedroom downstairs, opening on to the deck area, can either be a twin; 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

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Availability

Both lodges are open all year. You can 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. Therefore please always email rides@inthesaddle.com so that we can check and confirm availability for your preferred dates.

Select your preferred arrival date:


Prices

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

For 2024 there is one price throughout the year (as below). Exceptions are over Easter, the Game Census, Christmas and New Year when a supplement applies - please ask us for a quote.

Per person sharing (7 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
10 Jan 2024 - 9 Jan 2025 £2,100.00 £2,380.00 £2,695.00 £2,940.00

 

Single Supplement (7 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
10 Jan 2024 - 9 Jan 2025 nil nil £1,365.00 £1,435.00

 

Game Census (8 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
1 - 9 June 2024 £2,800.00 £3,160.00 £3,600.00 £3,920.00

 

Game Census Single Supplement (8 nights) Standard Room Standard Plus Room Deluxe Room Superior Deluxe
1 - 9 June 2024 £1,400.00 £1,600.00 £1,840.00 £1,960.00

 

Child discounts apply for children aged 2 - 11. There are also discounted rates for a child on a third bed in a room (but not all rooms can take a third bed).

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.

The Sable Suite at Ant's Nest, the Family Cottage and World's View Cottage at Ant's Hill have a per night rate based on 4 or 5 people. Occasionally it may be possible to book individual rooms in each cottage.

A private guide may be pre-booked at an additional cost 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 on certain rooms - see table.

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

NEAREST AIRPORT Johannesburg

TRANSFERS Road transfers from Johannesburg airport cost £310.00 each way per car (up to 3 people) and £355.00 each way for a 4 - 7 seater.  The price of road transfers from July 2024 is not yet confirmed.

If you are happy to share airport transfers with others who might be arriving or departing at the same time, then airport transfers are payable locally and the cost shared amongst all those in the vehicle.

It is also possible to prebook and pay for private airport transfers if you prefer.

There is an additional charge for very early collection/late drop off at Johannesburg. Please ask for details.


Getting There

Your flights can arrive and depart Johannesburg at any time, but there is a surcharge on the transfer rates for collections from Johannesburg earlier than 08:00 and drop-offs at Johannesburg after 16:30.

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.

For Game census

For the Game Census, shared transfers (which are payable locally) are arranged from and to Johannesburg International airport.

On arrival day your flight should arrive into Johannesburg by 09:00 for a transfer departing the airport at 10:00.

On departure day buses will leave the lodges at 13:00 and so your return flight should be after 19:30.

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

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos

Location

Private game reserves in the Waterberg.


Weather & Climate

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

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Guest Review

What I really love about Ant’s is that I can fully relax, it’s the perfect holiday - fabulous riding, amazing wildlife, great food and accommodation, and the people are brilliant. It’s now my 2nd home and trying to plan my next trip!

Paula ,Bristol

5 star rating Overall rating: 5/5

Ride Report

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...

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