On the second day of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 we mounted our horses and rode through Ant’s Nest game reserve up to Ant’s Hill in two groups consisting of 8 or 9 riders each: the tortoises and the hares.
Those going on the fast ride, led my Ant Baber, found themselves cantering alongside a herd of giraffe, which was exhilarating and covered more than 11 kms in about 3 hours.
The tortoises rode more sedately, coming across zebra, warthog and rare antelope such a herd of Livingstone eland as well as a lone sable bull:
We rode on, encountering impala, blesbok and more zebra before reaching a dam. The hares arrived hot on our tails having spent time watching the behaviour of a herd of buffalo.
Some of the riders were able to take their horses in to cool off during the heat of the day.
After being treated to a delicious lunch of homemade sausages cooked out in the bush
we had coffee at Ant’s Hill where we received a talk about the Waterberg Biosphere.
As we rode out that afternoon, we saw more game including a family group of bat-earred foxes. This was very special as the guides had only seen them once before on the reserve.
We spotted quite a few wildebeeste along with their calves who, at a few moths old, almost look like a different species:
It was the group of tortoise riders, going at some speed, who made it to the north of the reserve first, clocking up 26.3kms and reaching the top of the escarpment, 4,500 feet above sea-level. As the horses found hay-nets waiting for them in the paddocks of an old Transvaal farm, the riders returned in a game-viewing vehicle for one last comfortable night at Ant’s Nest and packed their bags for the next two days on the move.