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Dear Friends,

What a year 2020 has been! Nobody could have anticipated what a huge affect the pandemic would have across all continents and how everyone’s life has been changed permanently in one way or the other! As in any calamity, it is up to the individual to decide how they will let their life be affected!

Tourism and hospitality being the biggest casualties, the lodges closed on 23 March and the tough decision had to be made to layoff 82 staff members. This left a very small dedicated team to look after the horses, the reserve, the lodges, and the rhino, and they have been magnificent!

Looking back over the year and counting the blessings and positives that have come from this time, I am blown away by how incredible so many people have been in their support, generosity, sacrifices, love, and commitment to keep Ant’s going through the tough times! You, our guests, have contributed sensationally in helping us pay for the game scouts, protecting our rhino for the past ten months through both donations, prize draws, and commissioning paintings to raise the funds needed to keep everything safe and going!

rhino painting

During the pandemic we sadly lost old Erwin, a legendary rhino bull who sired most of the rhino on the reserve, to old age, his teeth been worn down into stumps. He had lived a full and very productive life and must have been close to 40 years of age!

 

 

 

Sekwiri, or better known as ‘ Squirry ‘, our top guide, has used the lockdown to complete his FGASA ( Field Guides Association of South Africa ) Level 3 exams, which is a tremendous achievement! We are very proud of him and his dedication to becoming the best guide!

guide at Ant's Nest

foals born during pandemic

One unexpected blessing has been the arrival of 8 magnificent foals! Our young colt Pemba, son of a 17hh Warmblood mare and 16hh Boerperd stallion, took advantage of being young and free and managed to sire the eight foals! He was only 2 years old! The foals are a delight to everyone and will usher in a new era of big, tough, and well-adapted horses, to our operation.

 

 

With the lockdown being imposed overnight we sat with the uncomfortable experience of having no income at all! It was however a blessing having a large herd of buffalo and a willing buyer for 16 of them. With the small team of riders working hard, all the buffalo were captured, loaded, and translocated.

The fun of wrestling semi sedated buffalo to be loaded and put into quarantine before they are translocated to their new reserve.

Bring on 2021! Thank you all for your support!

Ant

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