The Wild Waterberg Trail is not called wild for no reason. A custom riding holiday designed by Cross the Wild journeys through The Ant Collection, taking you across the Waterberg bushveld, riding alongside its wildest residents and Ants’ rhinos in the day and bedding down under the stars at night.
This year guides Ant and Amanda joined friends Em and Tea from Cross the Wild, along with four of their guests who were ready for an adventure in the great South African outdoors. The group saddled up and headed out from Ants, returning four days later with a bunch of special memories.
Day 1: Racing against rhinos
While making friends with the Ants’ horses on a relaxed afternoon ride, the guests met buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. The rhinos were clearly up for a race and beat the riders to the sundowner spot. In fact, four of the younger and particularly energetic rhinos turned up before the riders got there and had a sundowner without them!
Day 2: Swimming with horses
The first full day of riding clocked over 30km and ended up being a somewhat watery affair. The midday dip in the dam was well-deserved for both the riders and their horses. While the riders relaxed and tucked into a much-needed bush lunch, their four-legged companions enjoyed the time to rest and graze. They were even treated to a visit by Congo, the dominant male rhino.
Later that afternoon, the heavens opened, sending the riders and horses galloping towards the warmth and dry of the day’s final destination, The Shack. To the delight of all, there waiting for them were a fire, freshly baked lasagna and ready-made bed rolls.
Day 3: Sleeping beneath the stars
After a very grey and misty start to the morning, the group got up to a steady gallop towards the local restaurant, Lekhalo, in the first game reserve of the day. After the day’s riding and a late lunch, the group had clocked around 35km over three different reserves that had shown off the Waterberg’s beautifully diverse topography.
Camp that night was set up along the river in Nyati Wilderness Reserve, where the riders enjoyed a hearty braai and bedded down in bedrolls laid out under the stars. Falling asleep beneath the milky way to the sounds of the river and surrounding bush at night, and without any rain in sight, set the scene for a good night’s sleep.
Day 4: Toasting to an unforgettable ride
After packing up camp in the morning, the riders readied their horses for the last leg of their journey. Another 30km of riding and a stop at Lekhalo for delicious burgers (the best in Waterberg!) had all riders and horses arrive at the final sundowner spot, the Ants’ airstrip for champagne and snacks to nibble on.
Day 5: Saying goodbyes – until next time!
An early morning ride took the group up the mountain for breakfast with a view and a special time for the riders to say goodbye to their horses. It was the perfect way to end the trail, reflecting on the highlights of the over 120kms they all travelled together across the wild and wonderful Waterberg.
Contact us to be kept in the loop about our horse riding holidays and other safari experiences at Ants.