Ant’s Nest – Our Story
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are owned and run by Ant and Tessa Baber. The Baber family were one of the earliest pioneers in the area, settling here in 1886. Of English and Irish descent, they carry with them a love for Africa’s wide-open spaces, adventure and a passion for its wildlife. In the mid-1990’s Ant and Tessa renovated an old ranch house, which became Ant’s Nest and, in 2003, built Ant’s Hill above a spectacular gorge, designing each room to make the most of the magnificent view. Our two beautiful bush homes are located on their own private game reserve, nestled in the folds of the magnificent malaria-free Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province. Easy to reach, we are situated about three hours drive from OR Tambo International Airport and road transfers and private charters can be arranged from any destination.
Ant’s Nest is where it all began. Lying in a natural amphitheater the original homestead, with its wide verandahs, has a classic, relaxed, African atmosphere. A wide variety of game frequents the waterhole in front of the bush home bringing game viewing to your doorstep. Tessa, who grew up in Kenya, brought a stylish warmth to the colonial house using classic furniture fashioned from local fabrics, timber, and stone.
Ant’s Nest not only enjoys lovely views down the valley but is also surrounded by open plains where horses, rhino and other game frequently graze in extremely close proximity, don’t be surprised to have a rhino grazing 10 meters from your pool lounger. Our team at Ant’s Nest are exceptionally hospitable and will go above and beyond to exceed your expectations to ensure your stay is a memorable and life changing experience.
Our Reserve & The Waterberg Area
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are situated on their own private game reserve which covers 12500 acres of pristine Waterberg bushveld. The reserve is made out of 12 different ecological zones from open grassy plains to thick montane bush to savannah bushveld.
Since the Waterberg lies on an intercontinental divergence zone we have a wider variety of flora and fauna than elsewhere in Africa. The diverse topography of the reserve also enables us to naturally sustain 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, bush pigs, klipspringer, leopard, jackal, brown hyena, caracal, civet and genet to name but a few. For those of you who are passionate about birds, there are well over 300 species of resident and migrant birds. Guests are always welcome to join in on any management activities on the reserves such as game capture and relocation, treating injured animals, burning firebreaks, game census on horseback etc.
Sable antelope are today one of the most conservation dependent species in South Africa and rarely seen in any National park. We started with a small core herd in 2001 and today have a successful, well established and viable breeding herd.
What makes us different?
We have an exceptional variety of family friendly activities available on offer these include:
- Game drives
- Guided walks / walking safaris
- Led pony rides for beginners or under 4
- Bug and spoorwalks / learn to become a ranger
- Horse riding lessons
- Horse riding safaris / full day rides
- Snake and reptile talks / handling
- Swimming with the horses
- Mountain biking
- Rhino tracking
- Big 5 game drives
- Night sky safaris
- Camp outs
- Visit to our local children’s home
The fact that guests of all riding abilities can enjoy riding safaris, a variety of other activities for non-riders are also available. Offering guests complete flexibility and allowing them to do what they want and when they want and the home from home feel and experience when at Ant’s
The objective of Ant collection is to create sustainable tourism by means of conserving the environment around us, enriching the lives of our guests and staff alike as well as uplifting the community and providing as many skills and development to the locals as possible.
High Season Dates: 15 Dec - 8 Jan 10 Feb - 30 April 4-11 June (GAME CENSUS) 10 July -31 OctHigh Season Rates:
Rates varies from R4600 per person per night to R5700 per person per night.
Refer to Rate Document in word format which you can download belowNormal Rates:
Please download and refer to the Ants Nest 2016 Rates Document in the below link.Rates Document: ANTS-NEST-Rack-rates-2016.docx
Special 7-night stay rate; applicable at both lodges
The following dates are excluded for the special long stay rate: 15 Dec - 8 Jan, 20 March - 30 April, Game Census dates (4-12 June) 10 Jul-31 Aug
Wifi available at both lodges
Heated swimming pools
English and European adapters
Cellular signal (best cellular network is MTN)
Additional activities available at an extra charge:
Night sky safaris
Visit to local children's home
Big 5 game drives
Helicopter scenic flights
Riding lessons (done as a separate activity)
Day trip to visit bushman paintings
Cellar wines, premium spirits, liquors and champagne
All local drinks (soft drinks, spirits, beers and house wines)
Game drives and night drives
Game walks and walking safaris
Snake & reptile handling
Bush lunches and sundowners
Guest to guide ratio 4:1
We welcome children of all ages at Ants & have a variety of activities to keep them entertained during their stay. Both lodges have trampolines, sandpits, board games, toys, books, rackets and balls etc. At Ants we also provide babysitting and children’s meals can be specially planned.
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill are located in the Waterberg region of the Limpopo province in the northern part of South Africa. This beautiful area is malaria-free and at an altitude of 4,500 feet above sea level offers a wonderful temperate climate and can be visited all year round.
Special interest and specialised safaris:
Guests can book a specialised safari/occasion, these could vary from 50th birthday themed parties, sculpture/photography/birding/yoga weeks. Whatever the occasion might be, we will be able to accommodate you
Private guide: Should guests wish to be guaranteed of a private safari we recommend a private guide (preferably booked prior to their arrival) The cost of the private guide is per day and regardless of the number of guests The rate is based on one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The cost is R1800 per day. This is a NETT rate.
Wedding package: Every aspect of this special occasion will be taken care of by us. From a very small intimate affair on the mountain top or a more elaborate party where both bush homes can be booked.
Please contact us for our wedding package
Lunch is included either on arrival OR departure but not both, extra lunch charge per person R 200 pp
LUNCH IS SERVED BETWEEN 12PM AND 2PM. NO LUNCH WILL BE SERVED AFTER 2PM. HIGH TEA WILL BE SERVED BEFORE THE AFTERNOON ACTIVITY
Rhino Conservation fee – To be paid prior to guests arrival:
R 170 per adult per night
R 120 per child per night (11 years and younger)
Bookings made by tour operators or travel agents will only be considered confirmed if the operator responsible is holding a minimum of 20% non-refundable deposit. Should clients cancel once booking is confirmed, this 20% must be paid to us.
Full payment is required 30 days prior to arrival
Cancellation policy: We do not like it to charge guests for not staying with us. We will therefore never charge 100% cancellation fees!
Unfortunately cancellation costs to the lodge are as much a reality as taking out travel insurance will be to our visitors.
When it happens that you have to cancel your booking we would therefore like to advise you of the following policies that are in place:
If you are holding a confirmed booking and you then inform us that you will not travel.
• 60 days or more before arrival we will charge 25% of RACK rate
• between 30 and 60 days before arrival we will charge 50% of RACK rate
• We accept that cancellations done 30 days or less before arrival are due to unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances for our clients.
So for late cancellations:
• The cancellation charge remains 50% of RACK rate and if the guest decides to rebook at any time during the subsequent 12 months (for bookings made in the same season as the original booking) we will only charge 50% of RACK for the new booking!!.
Riding policy: Guests do not need to be able to ride to go out on our riding safaris. Our herd of over 90 horses allows us to cater for all levels of riders.
Our rides operate to a maximum of 6 riders and 2 guides to ensure guests' safety and for a more controlled ride. Riders of different abilities will not be put on the same ride unless they are part of the same family and wish to do so. Riding hats are compulsory for all riders. Our weight limit is 120kg.
For more detailed information on our rides, tack etc please contact us.
Guests will be asked to sign an indemnity on arrival.
Each bush home can cater to a minimum of 2 riding groups at one time
PLEASE NOTE THAT NO GUEST WILL BE ALLOWED ON AN ACTIVITY WITHOUT MEDICAL INSURANCE