Tag Archives: activity holiday

Last Day of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride

After six long days in the saddle, TWT riders made it back to the luxury of Jembisa lodge where they were able to kick off their boots and relax.

reaching Jembisa

The delicious food and beautiful interiors were appreciated all the more for being hard-won. Since Jembisa was sponsoring the ride it was interesting to meet the staff and learn more about the game reserve that stretches up into the hills either side of the Palala River.

Jembisa Lodge

The lodge itself was equipped with anything you would need while staying in the African bush. There was even a salt-water pool where riders could sooth aching muscles.

Pool at Jembisa

Jembisa normally offers safaris for families wanting to explore the African bush. TWT riders enthusiastically grabbed the opportunity to find out more about the Waterberg –

Jembisa

finding out about dung beetles and termite activity

Termite mound

and climbing down the rocky cliffs above the Palala River

Riders on foot

to explore sites inaccessible on horseback.

Intrepid explorers

It was under these overhanging rocks that ancient Bushman paintings were discovered,

Bushmen paintings

along with stone tools and shards of pottery used by the San or ‘People of the Eland’.

Bushman paintingJembisa have been staunch supporters of The Waterberg Trust who aid a range of projects in the region and are doing all they can to help in the battle against rhino poaching by fundraising for Save The Waterberg Rhino. If you would like to know more, please contact us using the Comments box below.

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Riding through Jembisa on Day 6 of the TWT Challenge Ride

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As the weather was relatively cool, Anthony Baber decided to ride north up to the Jembisa wetlands in the morning.

Map of Jembisa

This entailed a bit of hard exercise as we walked up a stony hill past an old Iron Age fort.

Walking uphill on Jembisa

It was worth it to reach a view point that enabled us to look down over the Palala River Valley and the way we’d come.

Sophie Neville

We saw wildebeest, zebra, impala and blesbok along with interesting birds

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and returned to the lodge where Tess Baber and Kelly of Save the Wwaterberg Rhino Trust joined us for lunch outside.

Lunch on Jembisa

That afternoon we rode fast alongside the airfield on Jembisa and along winding tracks through seringa woodland in the low evening light.

Galloping

We saw red heartebeest on our way to a view point where the staff of Jembisa had champagne waiting for us to celebrate the fact that riders had covered more than 175kms.

TWT team after 175kms

Mark, Pippa and Chris

We rode the last 5kms back under dark skies and bid farewell to our gallant horses who were trucked home, two by two.

Campfire

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Riding from Lapalala to Jembisa game reserve on Day 5 of the TWT Challenge Ride

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Visiting Lapalala Wilderness School was much appreciated by TWT Riders who could see that in four days children and their teachers are given an experience that is truly life changing.

Sophie's saddle

We drove back to find our horses that had been saddled up for us and heaved ourselves on board.

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Ant Baber led us through Lapalala, riding fast along the river and up through thick bushveldt until we stopped for break by the Palala River that cuts through the Waterberg

Ant Baber

on its way north to the Limpopo. Recent rain had swelled its capacity in the last week.

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The brave cooled off and all enjoyed a barbeque lunch in the bush.

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Here the horses had a good feed and were able to relax.

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We rode on through the reserve gates, into Louis Nel’s beautiful cattle farm

Becky Overy-Owen

before crossing onto Jembisa game reserve near Kingfisher Cottage. Here we rode past hippo and spotted vervet monkeys in the trees.

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The horses were fed at the manager’s house where there is a good garage for the tack.

Sophie Neville photo Susie Airy

The riders were driven up to Jembisa Lodge where they enjoyed deep baths and dinner on the thatched roof of the veranda. It was hugely appreciated by all.

Dinner at Jembisa

Please click here for The Waterberg Trust Facebook page

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Riding through Lapalala Wilderness

Ginny and Anne

We mounted our horses bright and early on Day 4 of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride

Following Ant

and set off into Kwalata game reserve with a map drawn on a piece of cardboard. As we rode into Lapalala Wilderness Ant warned us that if a black rhino charged and we found ourselves on the ground we should either get behind a tree or roll onto our back and kick it in self-defense.

Riding through Lapala Wilderness

We were venturing into truly wild remote country with diverse challenges that included walking the horses down a rocky track for a couple of kilometers passing middens that marked the black rhino territory.  The dung itself had quite an attractive smell.

Walk in the Wilderness

We were probably making too much noise to get close to wildlife but saw giraffe wildebeest, impala and a terrapin.

Lapala Wilderness

After nearly five hours in the saddle we were hugely relieved and deeply grateful to find lunch being cooked for us by the Palala River, along with chairs and a table.

Lunch by the hippo pool

Lunch by the Palala River

The intrepid went off in search of hippo. We had been told there were also crocodile around.

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hippo

We found the horses had been saddled up and rode on through Lapalala,

Amanda

beyond the airstrip where the horses were to spend the night.

TWT Riders 2016 team photo

Here we found a black rhino in one of the game bomas and felt rather glad that he was safely behind a sturdy fence.

Black rhino

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Riding North to Kwalata Game Reserve

We had a bit of a problem on the third morning of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride. Some of the horses spurned their comfortable camp and tried to run home in the night. Luckily they were not able to get far but it meant we set off later than intended at 9.45am. Once in the saddle we were able to canter for miles along sandy roads over the top of the Waterberg Plateau and made up the time.

Cantering to Kwalata

We needed to cover a fair distance but it was cool and the going good.

Cantering

The third day is typically the most tiring for members of the team and we managed to break two stirrup leathers which slowed us down. We would have battled if the sun had been out.

Road to Kwalata

We are actually riding down a government road here – a very beautiful one.

TWT team 2016

Thankfully we made it to the gates of Kwalata private game reserve just as it began to rain at 1.30pm and were able to reach the lodge for a late lunch. Everyone was tired but grateful for a cool drink and a plate of lasagne, while the horses enjoyed fresh grass and a good feed.

Lunch at Kwalata

The rain cleared and we had time for a swim that afternoon before mounting up again.

Belinda at Kwalata

We rode through the reserve for about 11kms, passing warthog and a few impala.

Belinda Fordy on Kwalata

Our horses spent the night in a boma originally built for elephant. This gelding didn’t seem to think much of the way they’d left the bathroom.

Horse inspecting elephant bathroom

The riders were able to relax back at the lodge where there was a much nicer bathtub

Kwalata bath tub

and very good food, cooked outside on the fire. The sponsored ride was led by Ant Baber in aid of Save The Waterberg Rhino and associated community projects in the Waterberg. If you’d like to make a donation we have a Justgiving.com  page here.

Kwalata

If you would like to keep in touch, The Waterberg Trust have a Facebook page here.

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Report on the second Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016

Sophie Neville and wildebeeste

The dream of riding through the game reserves of South Africa became a reality for twelve British riders this March when they took up the challenge of raising £1,000 each for Save The Waterberg Rhino and local community projects.

Zebra by Sophie Neville

The team was made up of experienced riders

uphill

and, being led by Ant Baber,

Ant Baber

the pace was fast whenever the terrain allowed.

Cantering

The idea was to traverse 175kms  of remote country

Walking uphill

while taking the opportunity to learn about rhino conservation

Sophie Neville watching rhino

and discover more about the Waterberg. For further detail and more photos of this ride, please see subsequent posts.Photographing giraffe

If you would like to get involved or find out more The Waterberg Trust have a Facebook page here. Riders are raising sponsorship on Justgiving.com here

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Expedition Success – The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016

imageThe Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 proved a great success!

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Riders saw rhino from horseback and got very close to white rhino feeding.

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They received a talk on the threat posed by poaching,

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and were led over the hills of the Waterberg by Ant Baber to visit

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Lapalala Wilderness School where local children come to learn about nature conservation.

We raised more than £18,000 for Save The Waterberg Rhino and community projects in the Wateberg. We were able to send 120 children on a residential course at Lapalala Wilderness and gave a grant to Letabo Kids Club for their ‘Back to School’ initiative in the township of Leseding.

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