Ant's Nest is a gorgeous farmhouse facility nestled within the stunning Waterberg area of South Africa's Limpopo province. It is situated within its very own game reserve and provides visitors from all over the world with an unforgettable and authentic African safari. The Waterberg is free from the risk of malaria. This makes it an excellent choice for young and old alike. In addition, its prime positioning and gorgeous surrounds ensure plenty to do and see for the entire family.
The game reserve is home to an abundance of life, making for excellent game viewing. The animals that inhabit the diverse vegetation can be spotted from the comfort of a Land Cruiser (a 4 x 4 designed for the rugged terrain); on guided game walks, which allow guests a more intimate and first-hand encounter; or from atop one of the attentive and well-trained horses.
Ant's Nest prioritises the unique needs and desires of our guests. Therefore, guides are happy to tailor their tour to suit specific requirements and requests.
The owners of this establishment hail from the area's first settlers, who arrived in 1886. The current owners, Ant and Tessa Baber, are direct descendents. It was in the mid-1990's that this couple converted an old house and named it Ant's Nest. Its situation within a natural amphitheatre, its wide verandahs stretching around its perimeters and the uniquely African ambience lures visitors with the promise of an authentic bushveld experience where luxury and style abound.
Ant's Nest looks onto the waterhole and, as guests take in the warmth and beauty of their environment, they are invited to be spectators as a range of animals refresh themselves under the hot African sun. The private game reserves that belong to this couple demonstrate their respect and love for the fauna and flora of Africa.
Ant's Nest promises the utmost in stylish hospitality and comfort and is ideal for individuals, couples and families, who are all welcome to enjoy the peace.
Ant's Nest has been furnished using classic furniture with vibrant and stylish textiles from Kenya. Wood and stone has been used extensively to create a bush-home feel that is truly unique and exquisite.
There are six bedrooms, accommodating a total of 12 people. Each room enjoys the facility of an en-suite bathroom as well as other necessary amenities. There is a Main House, with a Honeymoon Suite on the top floor. This suite has an adjoining twin room, lounge, dining room, sitting room and balcony. On the ground floor of the Main House are a double room and a twin room, as well as a library, dining area and extensive verandah. In addition, there are another two bedrooms, which are separate from the Main House to ensure ultimate privacy. Each furnished room has one double bed and one single bed and a balcony.
An outdoor swimming pool is the ideal retreat after a hot day spent exploring the bushveld on foot or horseback. Although the water is refreshing in the heat, it is also comforting in the chilly winter months as it is heated all year round. A thatched shelter and beautiful lawns around the pool provide plenty of place for parents to relax while children play.
Guests wanting to buy curios to remember their stay at Ant's Nest will be pleased by the amply-stocked curio shop.
Most guests choose to book the entire facility at one time, sharing this experience with friends, family or colleagues. However, couples and individuals are also welcome to book just one room.
Relaxation, privacy and comfort are key when staying at Ant's Nest. This is the place to make friends and discover what African hospitality is about. There are no wake-up calls or schedules, but there are plenty of activities to keep the energetic and curious busy.
The owners live close to the Ant's Nest Main House and, amidst running the establishment, they are also available to interact with guests. The rest of the staff members have specific and specialised areas of expertise. They work together as a team, supporting and complementing one another. These include horse riding trainers, guides, chefs and housekeepers.
The Main Lodge is equipped with a dining room and lounge, as well as a stunning balcony overlooking the waterhole. The indoor venues provide fabulous retreats in which to relax in front of a warm fire. Breakfast and sundowners are served on the verandah for the ultimate sense of an African getaway.
The lodge is also home to a fully-stocked gymnasium, as well as a curio shop, for the convenience of our esteemed guests.
The lead guide manages the lodge and has extensive experience in the spheres of the African fauna and flora, having grown up in the bush and studied Zoology. The rest of the staff members have specific and specialised areas of expertise. They work together as a team, supporting and complementing one another. These include horse riding trainers, guides, chefs and housekeepers.
Wining and Dining
At Ant's Nest, the focus is one bringing the indoors outside so as to make the most of the incredible landscape, views, sights and sounds. For this reason, bush lunches and fire-side dinners under the clear black, starry skies are a common occurrence.
The menu is distinctly African in nature, while fresh ingredients and the personal touch of the chef do not go unnoticed. South Africa is internationally recognised for its superior wines. Some of these tasty vintages are included on the menu. The menu includes breakfast (fruit, cereals and yoghurts or a cooked breakfast), light lunches, high tea and three-course dinners or barbecues (braais).
Dietary requirements are accommodated as far as possible. In addition, special requirements are also considered and provided for to the greatest possible extent, including birthday cakes and traditional South African food.
Viewing the plant- and animal life perched atop a magnificent horse is a fantastic way of witnessing South Africa. The horses are able to cover an array of terrains and are fit and responsive. In addition, the rider determines the speed at which they are comfortable. This is perfect for expert riders as well as those who have never ridden before. There are a total of 60 horses, ranging from thorough-breds to ponies for the children. Two guides accompany guests on all rides to ensure safety, as well as to provide information on the surrounding area. Horse rides are very flexible. One member can go faster with one guide while the others take a slower pace with the other guide, and riders can choose to go on excursions more than once a day.
For riders in the know, Ant's Nest uses Maclelan saddles, which are designed specifically for long rides. They ensure the comfort of both the horse and its passenger. English saddles are available too. Safety is of the utmost importance and all guests are required to adhere to the safety instructions and regulations set out by the lodge. These include the wearing of a helmet (your own or one provided by the lodge). The weight limit for riders is 120 kilograms or 19 stone.
Guided walks are conducted by the knowledgeable guides through the African bush. As guests walk through these natural plants and vegetation of South Africa, they are informed of various fascinating facts and figures, adding to their experience and involvement. This allows them to take in the finest details, colours and textures, which are often missed from a vehicle. Guides provide information regarding the medicinal use of plants, the names of tiny critters and how to track game in the bush.
The walk is tailored to suit the guest. A gentle stroll can change to a more intensive hike for the more energetic. Children are accommodated as guides take them on hunts through the bush.
A game drive through the bush is the perfect way to start or end a day. Morning and evening drives ensure that the widest range of animals is seen during the course of a guest's stay. These drives are conducted by experienced guides from 4 x 4 Land Cruisers, which cover a far larger area than visitors would on foot. From this vantage point, guests are offered the chance to see Aardvarks, the Brown Hyena, Porcupines and more. These provide ample photo opportunities to guarantee lasting memories.
Children of all ages are able to join their parents on any safari experience. This exposes them to the beauty of Africa and allows them to be educated regarding sustaining it. Parents also find it rewarding to be a part of their child's first wildlife adventure. The pony rides allow for children to embark on the horse-riding excursions, accompanied by a specialised child rider guide. More fun activities for the kids are the bug and spoor walks, in which children are taught to identify various species by their appearance or the spoor they leave behind.
Within the lodge itself are various facilities designed to cater for children. These include a fun trampoline, heated swimming pool, volley ball net, badminton net and a range of toys and books. Separate dining arrangements can be made for the little ones, but they are also welcome to eat with their parents or guardians.
There are several pathways through the gorges and plains that encourage avid cyclists to view the Waterberg from the comfort of their saddle. These trails can present gentle exploration or tough challenges.
Clay pigeon shooting:
There are target- and clay pigeon shooting facilities available at Ant's Nest.
Vacationing in Africa is all about rest, relaxation and peace. The massages available at Ant's Nest are sure to lull even the most anxious of guests into an oasis of escape.
Library and shop:
The curio shop stocks a range of crafts and gifts that are sure to provide lifelong memories of your time in Limpopo. The library is a fantastic place to unwind.
There are several sights and activities in the Waterberg that are definitely recommended for visitors. These include:
The Waterberg is famous the world over for its impressive range of plants and animals. This is due to its positioning on an intercontinental divergence zone. Such a diverse range of plants and topography sustains an equally diverse range of animals. Residents include the White Rhino, Giraffe, Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Warthog, Sable Antelope (a rare and endangered species), Eland, Gnu, Zebra, Jackal and Caracal, amongst many more. There are also over 300 species of birds. At Ant's Nest, guests are encouraged to participate in activities like treating injured animals, game census, capture and relocations, and so on. In addition, there is a breeding farm where Cape Buffalo are being reared free of disease.
Ant's Nest is situated on the plateau of the Waterberg in the beautiful Limpopo province of South Africa.
(PLEASE NOTE: Toll fees require that guests have approximately R100 with them for access) From OR Tambo International Airport, take the R21 to Pretoria. Take the off-ramp to Pretoria East/Pietersburg (now called Polokwane) N1 and continue north. At the third toll station (Kranskop Tollgate), stay in the left lane and turn left onto the R33 (Nylstroom/Modimolle). Continue for about 70 kilometres through Vaalwater and carry on straight until you reach the Total Garage and KWIKSPAR. Turn right onto the R33 towards Ellisras/Lephalale.
From Johannesburg / Pretoria
Take the N1 due north. At the third toll station (Kranskop Tollgate), stay in the left lane and turn left onto the R33 (Nylstroom/Modimolle). Continue for about 70 kilometres through Vaalwater and carry on straight until you reach the Total Garage and KWIKSPAR. Turn right onto the R33 towards Ellisras/Lephalale.
From the R33, turn right onto the gravel road to Dorset. After 10.5 kilometres, a sign for Ant's Nest will appear on your left. Enter through the gate and the lodge will come up about 3 kilometres along this road.
Normal cars are sufficient, although 4-wheel drives are optimal. Saloon cars are advised to drive the pass very slowly.
What to bring:
Bring sun protection in the form of high-factor creams, hats, sunglasses and light cotton clothing that covers the neck and face. In addition, bring comfortable shoes for hiking and exploring, warm clothing for winter and the chilly mornings and evenings, binoculars, cameras and video equipment. If you plan to do some horse riding and have equipment at home, bring it along to guarantee your own comfort.
It is essential that visitors have full medical insurance. In addition, make sure that your tetanus shots are up to date. Be sure to bring medication and doctors' scripts along in case you need to stock up during your stay in South Africa. Also, bring insect repellent and any medication that you may need for young ones. There are doctors and a paediatrician nearby.
There are staff members that are trained for a medical emergency as first responders. Indemnity forms will need to be signed before embarking on any excursions and emergency response vehicles may require an up-front payment.
Drinking water is safe and freely available.
Leopard, Caracal, Aardvark, Brown Hyena, Porcupine, Bush Pig, Bat Eared Fox, Stripped Polecat, Honey Badger, Serval Cat, African Civet, Genets, Wild Cat and Klipspringer.