Explore the incredible story of the Baber family’s long history in the Waterberg area and how it culminated in the creation of what we now lovingly call The Ant Collection.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Ant Baber was born and brought up in the Waterberg as a descendant of the earliest pioneers in the Limpopo region. Of Irish and English extract, his family were part of the 1820 Settlers who came looking for a new life in this spectacular landscape.
Son of a well respected cattle rancher, Ant’s dream from the age of 12 was to take the wild hills that make up the reserve back to how they were when his family first arrived here, teeming with a wide variety of game.
After more than 20 years following his ambition, herds of buffalo and giraffe, rhino and leopard, and rare indigenous antelope species such as roan and sable, now roam and thrive in the reserve. Having grown up on the back of a horse, it was natural for him to want to share the experience of seeing Africa over the ears of a horse, immersed seemingly as part of the bush and its wildlife, and not just as an observer.
In the mid 1990s, Ant’s Nest was created from the renovation of the old pioneer ranch house on the reserve. Tessa Baber, who grew up in Kenya where her family had a hotel on the coast, has made a huge contribution with her hospitality experience, bringing an eye for detail and flair for colour.
A culmination of different skills and shared passions has forged the experience and atmosphere of the Nest. With its traditional thatch and stone buildings, and a striking twang of East Africa, it is a home from home that emanates warmth and welcome. The six rooms are spacious, yet private and cosy, each decorated in a relaxed style that succeeds in bringing the essence of the bush inside.
In 2003, Ant’s Hill was built 9 km to the west of the reserve on a high ridge with a magnificent panorama spanning over the vast bushveld. Overlooking a waterfall in a seasonal stream, the lodge is constructed from native rock and timber, and blends perfectly into the rough contours of the terrain.
Wide bi-folding doors and windows showcase the spectacular views from the Hill towards the setting sun. With spacious family villas and secluded private honeymoon cottages, Ant’s Hill has a variety of stunning living spaces, beautiful bathrooms and al-fresco dining areas to cater for whatever each guest desires.
Since November 1996 when the first guests were welcomed at the Nest, the Ant’s team have prided themselves on the warmth of their hospitality. All ages, individuals, couples, riders or non-riders, families or groups of friends, can enjoy this unique safari experience.
The knowledgeable guides can organise game drives or horseback rides, tailored specifically to each guest; there are no fixed times, wake up when you want, the day is yours to be as active or not as you wish. Enjoy the bush on horse, mountain bike or foot, or in the comfort of a 4×4 game-viewer vehicle; savour the peace and the space, the wildlife and the wilderness.