Horses and Riding

Who we are and why ride with us

At Ant’s Riding safaris, horses are our passion and with our incredibly dedicated and long-standing team, our horses are as well looked after as our guests.

Ant and Tess were two of the earliest pioneers when it comes to offering riding safaris in Africa and they have successfully been doing so since 1996. What makes our riding safaris unique is the herd of over 90 horses, which have the blissful life of living out on the reserve in and amongst the vast variety of game as they graze alongside the wildlife. The horses are seen as just another animal allowing guests on rides to get closer to wildlife than probably anywhere else in Africa.

Ant’s riding safaris are based on our own private game reserve, which not only offers incredible diversity of terrain and scenery but also a wide variety of game including many of the rarer species not easily encountered elsewhere.

Typical riding day – there is no such thing at Ant’s horse safaris! Each day is tailor made according to each guest’s wishes, guests can wake up when they want, ride when they want and for as long as they want. There will be no more than 6 guests on any one ride and each ride is accompanied by two guides as safety is of paramount importance. Ant’s is unique in that we are able to accommodate all levels of riders including children. However, riders of different abilities will not be mixed unless they choose to do so. Non-riding spouses, partners, friends and family can easily be catered for with a wide variety of other safari activities on offer. However, many guests learn to ride here and riding lessons are available. Many of our riding guests do like some time away from the saddle to take advantage of relaxing by the pool or enjoying a massage, alternatively exploring the reserve in other ways either on foot, mountain bike or in a game viewer.

What makes us different is the classic and stylish accommodation, the home from home feeling, the personal attention to detail and the willingness of the team to go above and beyond to make your stay as memorable as possible. To further enhance your African riding experience, each day ends with a sundowner in a scenic spot, meals are served in a variety of locations from bush lunches to dinners around the fire.

Our horses

It has taken us since 1996 to build a string of over 90 horses which are fit, responsive and reliable and also totally adapted to the African environment. The horses range from big strong forward-going thoroughbreds, tough African boerperds, feisty Arab crosses and exciting friesian crossbreeds, ranging in size from 12 hh to 17 hh including weight carriers which can cater to riders of up to 120 kgs. Our team of over 20 horse grooms / guides take pride in the wellbeing of each horse, ensure that they are well schooled, but likewise not over-worked, hence each guest will have the opportunity of riding several different horses during their stay.

Great care is taken in matching the rider’s ability and confidence to their preference in type of mount. Rides vary in pace and duration according to each guest’s desires and ability. Our selection of reliable children’s ponies enable the experience of incredible game viewing to be shared by all. For absolute beginners, our steady horses help develop confidence and ability.

Tack and equipment

We use comfortable McLellan saddles, made locally, for long hours in the saddle. These are based on the famous US cavalry saddle designed for the comfort of both horse and rider alike. We do also have a few English saddles available. No client will be allowed to ride with us unless they are wearing a riding hat, so we do stock a selection of sizes. We do, however, recommend that you bring your own well-fitted helmet if you plan to spend many an hour in the saddle. For further information on what to bring please refer to our information page.

Meet the team

Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill riding safaris are owned and run by Ant and Tess Baber. Our compliment of over 85 staff members have been handpicked since 1996 for their love and dedication of conservation, wildlife, horses and hospitality, many of which have worked with us since the start. At Ant’s Riding Safaris, all aspects of running our horse safaris are done in-house, from maintaining roads and vehicles, carpentry and upholstery to building and care of the wildlife and horses. Ant’s Riding safaris is dedicated to training and uplifting members of the local community to assist in finding employment. Meet some of the team.

Our riding policy and all you need to know

There is no better way to savour the Waterberg and experience its unparalleled wildlife population than on horseback. Our aim is to give you a fun-filled riding safari of a lifetime, however, safety is of paramount importance and you will be required to sign an indemnity form which includes certain guidelines while out on horseback. You must be fully aware and understand that there are risks involved when around horses, in riding generally, and in visiting and staying in areas of Africa due to the presence of wild animals. By signing our indemnity form you are confirming that you are riding on our safaris entirely at your own risk and that you have adequate insurance for all eventualities (ensure your insurance policy covers riding safaris and medical evacuation). It is compulsory to wear a riding helmet and although we have a selection of sizes, we do recommend that, if you have your own well fitted hat, to bring it with you.

If you plan to spend many hours in the saddle, we recommend that you do some riding prior to your visit, in order to avoid aching muscles. We do have bumnahs available in our shop alternatively you can bring your own.

Both Mclellan and English saddles are available and each guest will receive a water bottle which fits into a bottle holder attached to the saddle. We do recommend bringing bum bags to carry items such as phones and cameras. A list of recommended clothing and other items to bring can be found on our information page.

Ant’s Horse Safaris caters to all levels of riders, from the complete beginner to the most experienced and riding lessons are available. We take all ages, however, children under the age of 4 can only enjoy short pony rides around the lodge rather than riding out in the bush.

We have a weight limit of 120 Kgs (19 stone).

We take a maximum number of 6 guests out on any ride. Different riding abilities will not be mixed unless they choose to do so. The duration of each ride is determined by you as a guest and full day rides are available.