Day Two of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017

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~ A young male white rhino on Ant’s Nest game reserve being protected by armed guards ~

One aim of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017 was to raise funds for Save The Waterberg Rhino. On the second day of the ride we split up into two groups of six riders with the aim of observing rhinos in their natural habitat and learning about their plight.

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As the rhino are accompanied by a 24 hour armed guard, in constant radio contact with game rangers, it was not difficult to find a pair grazing on the reserve.

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The horn of each rhino on Ant’s Nest has been chipped and treated with chemicals that render it poisonous for consumption in order to destroy its commercial value and help protect the animals from poachers since the horn can be traced by Police and customs officials.

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We moved on, coming across other wildlife such as this rare sable antelope bull.

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We also saw waterbuck, kudu, eland, impala, blesbok, zebra and warthog with piglets.

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Because the rains had come unsually late, many animals had given birth in January. We saw this female wildebeest with her own calf and a nursery of young.

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Finding water for the horses was not a problem as waterholes were beginning to fill.

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We spotted a number of kudu, but photographying them wasn’t so easy.

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Just before lunch the rain fell on us but we made it to the lodge at Ant’s Hill where the horses were untacked at the sables and we could dry our shirts by the fire.

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Thunder began to roll, lightning cracked overhead and heavy rain began to fall, causing watercourses that had been dry for months to flow with much needed water.

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After drying off, the riders were treated to a delicious lunch. We were pretty tired after a total of only about six hours in the saddle. How where we going to cope with another twenty- four hours? At this stage we had about a hundred and thirty kilometers to go.

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The rain passed and as we walked out on the horses we came across a family of giraffe.

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Riders were able to watch them peacefully browsing on fresh acacia leaves.

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It was a good opportunity for the sculptors taking part in the ride to watch the animals natural behaviour and take reference photographs.

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There was also quite a bit of fast riding. By the end of the day, the group riding with Ant Baber had covered 36 kilometers on horseback. After a quick change of clothes, Juliet Maddan and the riders presented Tessa Baber of Ant’s Nest with one of the limited edition Elfinglen trays made especially to raise funds for The Waterberg Trust’s projects.

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We had gathered for an illustrated talk by Kelly Abram of Save The Waterberg Rhino.

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The facts and figures are startling and the need for action clear.

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WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

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As a UK registered charity, The Waterberg Trust can claim Gift Aid on eligible donations, and organise transfer of funds to South Africa efficiently. You can add a note to specify ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ or ‘Lapalala Wilderness School’ or another project with your donation.

twt-ride-day-2-talking-about-rhino-horn-with-jess-TWT Riders learing about Save The Waterberg Rhino from Jessica Babich –

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