Tag Archives: save the rhino

We have dates for The 6th Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride in 2020

The 6th Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride across the Waterberg

25th January to 2nd February 2020

ARE YOU UP FOR A CHALLENGE?

ARE YOU READY FOR AN ADVENTURE IN AFRICA?

Following the success of our fifth annual ride in January 2019, we are gathering a team of fit and experienced riders to join us on another sponsored horse safari to raise funds for Save the Waterberg Rhino along with educational, health and welfare projects that uplift the communities in the area.

Overall dates: 24th January to 4th February 2019 (inclusive of the option of one extra night at beginning and one at end*)

 Ant Baber, owner of Ant’s Nest, has offered to lead us 200kms through 7 different private game reserves of the Waterberg over 6 days, on his beautiful horses.

To participate you are required to raise a minimum sponsorship of £1000 for The Waterberg Trust. As a registered UK charity, Gift Aid can then be added. 50% of sponsorship raised will go to Save the Waterberg Rhino Trust and 50% will go to community projects in the Waterberg. While we encourage riders to find sponsorship some of us are raising the donation of £1,000 in other ways such as hosting a sale or asking for donations instead of birthday gifts.

Please contact  us for help with fundraising ideas and making a Justgiving page Belinda:bchaffer@btinternet.com

Since we plan to visit a number of the projects being supported by The Waterberg Trust you will get the chance to meet local people and wildlife we are helping.

PROPOSED ITINERARY for 2020

In 2019 all riders opted to fly out a day before the TWT Challenge ride began (at an additional cost). If we do this in 2020 the programme will look like this:

Friday 24th January 2020: Riders fly out from the UK – we suggest everyone books onto British Airways flight BA55

EXTRA DAY – Saturday 25 January 2020: Riders will be met at Johannesburg International Airport and driven north, about 3 hours, to Ant’s Nest Private Game Reserve deep in the African bush. Lunch will be served on your arrival. After settling into the lodge we will go for a game ride looking for zebra and wildebeest so that you can try out your horse. If you are not totally happy you can try a different mount the next day – there are about forty to choose from a mixture of Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Friesians, Boerperds.

DAY 1 – Sunday 26 January: It will be high summer in South Africa so the bushveld will be green. In the morning, riders have the option of going to church, resting and acclimatising by the pool or riding through Ant’s Nest Game Reserve with an experienced guide. We will all ride with game in afternoon and be able to hear about plans for the week ahead as we have dinner by the fire that evening after sundowners with the rhino.

DAY 2 – Monday 27 January: We’ll spend the day riding up to Ant’s Hill, viewing game on horseback and looking for a breeding herd of buffalo, as well as rare sable and roan antelope. Each rider will pack a small bag with a swimsuit, wash-bag and clothes for the next three nights on safari. As the sun goes down, you’ll meet white rhino living on the reserve while Jessica Babich gives a talk on the work of Save the Waterberg Rhino. The Waterberg is home to the third largest population of rhino in South Africa, so their protection on the plateau is vital.

DAY 3 – Tuesday 28 January: We will set off early, riding east into neighbouring game reserves where we can canter for miles. We are planning to have lunch at the Waterberg Living Museum where we can learn more about rhino from the author and artist Clive Walker, one of South Africa’s leading conservationists. That afternoon we hope ride through a reserve breeding rare golden wildebeest up to Triple B Ranch, the cattle stud owned by Ant’s family for over a hundred years. There are beautiful gardens here and a warm pool. We’ll stay at Windsong Cottage – the farmhouse built in 1928 by Alfred Baber, Ant’s grandfather.

DAY 4 – Wednesday 29 January: We will ride past the village school on the farm and down to the game reserve at Horizon, which will give us the chance of seeing impala, zebra, giraffe and eland along with primate species, as we might spot vervet monkeys and baboon. Lunch will be enjoyed at a beautiful dam where the horses can graze.  We’ll have a long ride in the afternoon, as we make our way through Lindani private game reserve for the night. There is a good paddock here for the horses, a pool and we should be able to see game from the lodge.

DAY 5 – Thursday 30 January: We will spend the morning riding through Lindani,  where we should see warthog, zebra, giraffe, eland, red hartebeest, wildebeest and greater kudu. We will then make our way back to the lodge for a late lunch, enjoying fast canters on sandy tracks. After a well-earned rest, we will swap our horses for a game viewer and drive into the stunning Lapalala Game Reserve, looking for wildlife, before arriving at the Lapalala Wilderness School, which runs residential courses in nature conservation and environmental awareness for local children.

DAY 6 – Friday 31 January: We’ll saddle our horses early to ride to Jembisa, a beautiful private game reserve to the north. After climbing a kloof, we’ll walk down a steep escarpment and ride under high red cliffs where vultures nest. The route takes us along African dirt roads and into the reserve where lunch is planned. That afternoon we will reach the Palala River where the ride ends. After saying goodbye to our horses, we will be able to relax at the lodge, and appreciate comfy beds and hot baths.

Saturday 1 February After a more leisurely wake-up, we will take a game drive to see ancient bushmen paintings on the reserve before brunch, and then drive to Vaalwater. Here we will visit Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Leseding and meet Nurse Grace, before heading to the airport via an community sewing project and excellent curio shop. Flight BA54 leaves at 21.50.

Sunday 2 February: Your flight will arrive back in the UK early morning

or you opt to take an extra day to relax at leisure at Jembisa. Do take advantage of this offer if you can, as it is great to unwind after the demanding ride. Ants Nest are happy to make arrangements for anyone wanting to go on to Cape Town or else where in South Africa.

Monday 3 February: the date you arrive back if you spend one extra night at Jembisa.

PAYMENT DETAILS We are waiting to hear the cost of the ride per person, sharing, inclusive of all meals, local alcohol and soft drinks, accommodation, riding, game drives and bush walks, as well as road transfers to and from the flights specified. Your contract will be with Ant’s Nest. 

Ant’s Nest will invoice you upon confirmation – Full payment is due 8 weeks before the ride on 1 December 2019.

To secure your place on the ride you will need to give confirmation of your flight booking.

*Flights, tips and travel insurance are not included in this price.

*Please note that you will be sharing a bedroom.

EXTRA NIGHTS Riders can opt to stay an extra night at a favourable rate at Ant’s Nest at the beginning of the ride to acclimatise and enjoy more riding, and at Jembisa at the end of the ride to unwind. In Jan 2019 the cost of one extra night at Ant’s Nest was R4,000 per person sharing and £170 at Jembisa, fully inclusive of meals, drinks, activities as before. We are waiting to for 2020 prices.                                                                      

Ant’s Nest, Lindani and Jembisa offer sophisticated lodge accommodation with ensuite bathrooms. The rooms at Windsong are simpler, but nevertheless comfortable, and some may have to share bathrooms. Every lodge has a swimming pool.

FLIGHTS AND TRANSFERS We find it is best if people book their own flights to Johannesburg – try Trailfinders or Flight Centre or the BA sale. Do liaise and fly together. We suggest you take Flight BA55 that departs Heathrow at 18.10 on either Friday 24 January 2020, or Saturday 25 January. These arrive in Johannesburg at 7.15 am. Book the return on Flight BA54 which departs at 21.50 on either Saturday 1 February or Sunday 2 February.  Should you need to arrive at other times, a private road transfer can be supplied but at an additional cost (see above).

Once you have booked your flight, you will need to take out travel insurance in case you are forced to cancel. You need to inform the company you will be going on safari and riding horses (non-competitively, wearing a certified helmet). There might be a small surcharge for this activity. Ant’s Nest and Jembisa will ask for your travel insurance policy number and emergency phone number for their file.

The ride is a unique opportunity to ride alongside wild animals in this beautiful area, now proclaimed a UNESCO biosphere. The itinerary may change – but only for the better! We are hoping for a group of 12 riders who need to be fit and experienced as there will be approx 25-45kms of riding per day.

You can read more about the projects TWT supports here and find out how to make donations here. We will help you raise the £1,000 that each rider is challenged to raise.

The horse safari will be led by Ant Baber who owns Ant’s Nest.                                       Belinda Chaffer, Chairman of TWT, will organise the group.

If you are interested in coming, please contact us using the Comments Box below.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Do I need a visa? Check your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date and has at least 3 blank pages. Visas are not needed for those with British passports.

What vaccinations do I need? We recommend tetanus. The area is classified Malaria free.

What are the horses like? They have been carefully chosen from various South African breeds, known for being able to walk-out while being able to cope with tough going. They live in the bush so are familiar with wildlife. Breeds include Friesan-cross, Boerperds, Anglo-Thoroughbreds, and the S.A. Warmblood. They range in size from 14.3h. to 17h. Long-distance McClellan saddles are used.

Sophie Neville taking part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride

~Vented helmets are recommended. A tennis visor was added to this one with velcro~

Are riding helmets compulsory? Yes – bring your own hot-weather helmet.

What else should I bring? Not too much: it can be hot and sunny and could be overcast or rainy but will not get cold. Towels are provided and we hope to provide a limited laundry service. Bring comfortable riding clothes in earth colours, blues or greens – (not bright red or turquoise) long-sleeved collared shirts, (we have TWT shirts for sale), bandana, riding helmet, bum bag, lip salve, sun cream factor 30, short boots and half-chaps, wax raincoat, camera with extra memory card and charger, sun hat, sarong, sandals or flip-flops, summer dress & comfy clothes to wear in the evenings. (Voltage is the same but expect large round pin plugs – you need adaptor.) Bring a small bag for your swimming costume and washbag, pyjamas, spare clothes and torch that we will take to Windsong. Handbags are not a good idea but remember your passport.

Do bring out any old children’s clothes, especially grey/black/blue/white school uniform or sports gear, bras and underpants as we can donate clothes to a welfare project in the Waterberg. Crayons, blue pens and pencils are also much appreciated and are something we can donate to the primary school on the route.

Do cell phones work? Occasionally. Wifi is weak, We take radio communication and phones.

Useful contact numbers: These can be used the case of a badly delayed flight.  Please give loved ones the Ant’s Nest phone numbers: Tel 1 : +27 (0) 83 287 2885 Tel 2 : +27 (0) 87 820 7233 Tel 3 : +27 (0) 81 572 2624)

Money: We suggest you don’t change too much money into the local currency as your trip is fully inclusive. There are craft shops at Ant’s Nest and Jembisa that take credit cards and we usually give the equivalent of £10 per person per day in tips, which Belinda will see is distributed fairly.

Ant’s Nestwww.waterberg.net

Windsong on Triple B Ranch: http://www.waterbergcottages.co.za

Lindani: http://lindani.co.za/

Jembisa:  www.jembisa.com

Save the Waterberg Rhino:  http://waterberg.net/save-the-waterberg-rhino

You can see photos from previous rides, along with information about the projects and info on how to make donations elsewhere on The Waterberg Trust website.

TWT Ride 2018 cantering across Lindani DAY 4

The Waterberg Challenge Ride 2018, held this January, proved a great success

Please click here and scroll down for a brief  report on the 2018 ride

To read more about the TWT horse ride in 2017, please click here

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-Riders traversing Ant’s Nest on the 2017 Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride-

 

Highlights of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018

Ant Baber led the fourth Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride, taking a new route across the Waterberg Plateau from Ant’s Nest to Jembisa on the Palala River to the north, covering 187kms on horseback over six days and crossing seven different game reserves.

Team members from the UK and Bermuda had been busy raising sponsorship, 50% of funds going to Save The Waterberg Rhino and 50% to community projects that uplift the people and place of the Waterberg in the Limpopo Province of South Africa

White rhino on Ant's Nest

While we had excellent game viewing, we also enjoyed very good food.

Meals were served in a variety of different settings, enabling the team to get to know each other and have time to chat to guides and directors of the game reserve. It was a true safari, in that we went on a journey through the African bush.

Coming across wild animals made our spirits soar.

We were able to get unusually close both on foot and on horseback.

What the animals thought can only be guessed.

But the riders wrote to say how amazing it was. ‘I think you have a winning formula as the riding is wonderful but all the extra experiences such as the school, youth club, church and visiting Clive Walker, enriched it and made it a truly unique experience and insight into the Waterberg.’

On the second day we had a real life adventure, helping the local vet.

‘It was a truly memorable adventure’

The horses were used to approaching wildlife as they graze with other animals in the bush.

It was high summer in South Africa so the afternoons could get hot and tiring

and the road was sometimes steep

but each day was full of variety

and we developed a huge sense of camaraderie.

‘…it was just pure fun and I felt so carefree’

We each had time to develop a relationship with our horse.

While the herd enjoyed the grazing we loved finding out about the projects supported by The Waterberg Trust.

It was a privilege to meet the local people.

These included exceptional women changing the lives of children.

‘Apart from the riding, we so enjoyed seeing all that The Waterberg Trust supports. There are some incredible people involved.’

We met the conservationist Clive Walker and learned of  what he had achieved for the UNESCO Biosphere and good to hear his new plans for the Waterberg Living Museum.

It was a privilege to be able to watch wild animals from horseback.

The landscape was ever-changing.

After five days in the saddle we reached the Palala River without mishap and thanks to the teams at Ant’s Nest and Jembisa, we were able celebrated the finish in style.

‘It really was a very special trip and a challenge at that.’

Special thanks go to Ant Baber and his family for looking after us and enabling us to ride across the land of their forefathers and beyond.

It was ‘a really amazing experience’.

The horses needed a good rest and the riders were tired but everyone agreed that it had been an incredible week of exploration.

Day 1 of The Waterberg Challenge Ride 2018

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 1 - Jessica taking on Save The Waterberg Rhino
An introductory talk from Jessica Babich of Save The Waterberg Rhino

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018 began with a talk on Save The Waterberg Rhino who will receive 50% of funds raised on the ride to increase security in the area.

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While the rhino themselves were resting under a tree, the riders gathered to embark on an afternoon ride across Ant’s Nest game reserve to gain an understanding of the area.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 1 - riders having tea before setting out

The route was planned by Ant Baber, who would use his experience to lead the challenge ride over the next six days. Everyone had been in training, working on their fitness.

The horse managers at Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill had carefully chosen and prepared horses for each rider. They needed to be young and hardy enough to cope with the challenge.

Some riders had found vented hot-weather helmets and wore gloves to keep off the sun. Long-distance McClellen saddles were used with specialist neoprene numnas.

It was magical to be riding through the African bushveldt. Being high summer in South Africa, everything was green and the dams were filling after last year’s drought.

The riders soon came across a number of giraffe browsing on blooming acacia.

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A mature adult male giraffe was happy to let us get fairly close.

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As the horses normally graze out on the reserve, the wild animals are used to their presence.

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We let the horses browse to reassure the wildlife that all was well.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 1 - giraffe and riders

The riders moved on to see zebra, wildebeest, warthog and a variety of antelope.

Ant Baber was also able to show us his breeding herd of Cape buffalo that tend to prefer thick bush.

This would normally be a rare sighting but the animals were peaceful and behaved naturally.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 1 - Ant showing Pip buffalo.jpg

We then picked up speed and managed to cover quite a bit of ground.

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It was not a hard ride but we learnt a great deal and got used to dodging thorn trees.

Riders ended up gathering at Ant Baber’s house to as the sun went down to learn more about Save The Waterberg Rhino and the anti-poaching initiatives currently in place.

Here they could observe a number of white rhino who arrived with a few warthog in tow.

It was an opportunity to met some of the armed security guards who watch over the rhino around the clock and are in contact with the South African police.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 1 - Sophie with armed guards at Ant's house.jpg

Arriving in South Africa for The 4th Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018

Something very special happened the night riders gathered at Ant’s Nest in South Africa on the eve of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride this January.

We were having a drink out on Ant’s Nest game reserve when some local residents approached us:

Rhino at Ant's Nest

Five white rhino emerged from the bush at the same time as six members of the team arrived on horseback, led by Ant Baber.

It was as if the rhinos were coming to thank us for raising funds to assure their security.

Ant Baber approached the animals to assure them all was well.

And as the sun went down we were able to observe the rhinos in their natural habitat.

They are docile animals, sadly under threat as markets in the Far East place a high value their horn – even though it is no more than keratin, akin to human fingernails.

Please read more about Save The Waterberg Rhino, here

To find out about other projects supported by The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride, please click here

~Riders taking part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018~

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018 proves a great success

 

Sophie Neville on the waterberg Trust Challenge Horse Ride 2018

‘It was demanding but the greatest fun.’

Fifteen riders crossed seven different game reserves in six days, covering 187kms while learning about Save The Waterberg Rhino and visiting community projects that benefit young people in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018 ~The Waterberg Trust Challenge Horse Ride 2018~

The ride began at Ant’s Nest game reserve where team members from the United Kingdom and Bermuda learnt about Save The Waterberg Rhino.

~Rhino walking up to riders gathered on the plains at Ant’s Nest~

The challenge ride was led by Ant Baber whose family have lived in the Waterberg for five generations. He has spent the last twenty-one years re-introducing wildlife to the area.

~Ant Baber~

Today, white rhino, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, baboon, zebra, wildebeest, eland, kudu, nyala, impala, blesbok, a variety of other antelope can be spotted from horseback.

 ~TWT riders observing zebra on Ant’s Hill game reserve~

January proved a good time of year for there were many newborn animals.

We were able to observe breeding groups of rare species such as sable and roan antelope.

Sable antelope at Ant's Nest

The riders helped to capture a sick eland so it could receive treatment from a game vet.

The game vet ministering to an injured eland on Ant's Nest~A sick eland cow receiving veterinary treatment~

We learnt more about the area while traversing six other game reserves.

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride crossing Lindani game reserve in 2018~TWT Riders crossing Lindani game reserve~

~Observing young giraffe from horseback on Lindani~

We saw golden wildebeest, red heartebeest, vervet monkeys, ostrich, black-backed jackal, bushbuck, oryx and waterbuck as well as species we’d seen previously.

Descending the Waterberg escapement on the Water~Descending an escarpment on foot~

~Reaching the Palala River on Jembisa game reserve~

Over the week riders were able to visit a number of charitable projects supported by The Waterberg Trust, which gave us a chance to meet local people.

~Discussing conservation issues with Clive Walker at the Living Museum~

~The Waterberg Trust Riders at Lapalala Wilderness School~

~The ‘Back to School’ project at Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Leseding~

~Nurse Grace telling TWT riders about her work in local schools~

‘What a trip. It was totally WOW!! I can’t quite believe I have done it …’The Waterberg

~The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018~

Day 3 of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017

The riders’ drew on their experience and fitness on the third day of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride, when we covered a more than 37 kilometers riding from Ant’s Nest to Kwalata Game Reserve on the Blocklands River.

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We made up a big group of thirteen horseman with three guides and set off early in an attempt to find wildlife.

twt-ride-day-3-spotting-rhino-over-the-horses-ears

It was white rhino that we saw first, including one cow with a three month-old calf.

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We were able to get very close as the horses are used to grazing with rhino.

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We then rode west through the bushveldt and although we cantered at times,

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we went slowly in an attempt to find game, pausing to watch wildebeest and zebra.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

twt-ride-day-3-wildebeest-watching-riders

After a while we came across Livingstone eland, a rare breed originating from Zimbabwe.

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We crossed through recently filled dams

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and came across a number of new-born animals, including impala lambs.

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twt-ride-day-3-impala-with-young

Once on the top of the escarpment, at some 1,400 metres above sea level, we found a breeding herd of buffalo – the bull looking at us from behind a clump of dense bush.

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He was with a number of females.

twt-rider-camilla-newton-with-buffalo-2017

We were also shown a breeding herd of rare roan antelope being re-introduced to the Waterberg.

twt-ride-day-3-roan-antelope-between-the-horses-ears

twt-ride-with-young-roan-antelope-2017

We then left Ant’s game reserve and enjoyed riding fast down sandy roads across the plateau

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and down towards the Blocklands River that flows north into the Limpopo

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The horses were fed and watered in a secure boma originally made for buffalo while the riders were housed at the lodge in cottages that looked out over the water.

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Everyone was able to kick off their boots and relax after what had been a long day in the saddle.

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To our relief, there were bathrooms and a swimming pool to sooth aching muscles.

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And even a stuffed crocodile – luckily the only one of his species we encountered on the ride.

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To keep up with news and events of The Waterberg Trust please see our Facebook page

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Coverage of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Rides 2016

TWT Ride 2016 newspaper article

TWT’s sponsored ride across the Waterberg on horseback, as well as TWT’s cycle ride through Norfolk on 12th March 2016, received favourable coverage from Marlene Vermaak in South African newspapers including Die Pos (above) with a colour photo in The Post:

TWT Ride 2016 newspaper article in The Post

Marilyn Cook wrote about TWT in The Source – the magazine of St John’s Church at 24 Rivers in the Waterberg – and we have a photo in the letters page of Cotswold Life, July issue:

rhino

Barry Burles continued his TWT cycle ride initiative by holding another last Saturday! The cyclists came from the Cambridge Rugby Union Football Club and completed the same 82 mile route to Langham in north Norfolk. This time there was a head wind…
Barry was interviewed on Radio Cambridge, and did brilliantly, talking about the work of the Waterberg Trust. Jarrod Taylor, who took part, originates from South Africa and once played rugby for Border. Having just retired from the Cambridge rugby team, he was also interviewed on Radio Cambridge and gave his just giving link inspiring listeners to give.
To listen to the interview, broadcast at 15.45 on Radio Cambridge on 15th June, please click here
New bike and old bike
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A transcript of the article in The Post by Marlene Vermaak:

12 RIDERS – 180KM – 6 DAYS: THE WATERBERG TRUST CHALLENGE RIDE 2016

After the success of 2015’s inaugural event, The Waterberg Trust (TWT) organised the second annual Waterberg Challenge Ride, which took place in March 2016, hosted this year by Ant’s Nest and guided by Ant Baber.

This exciting event, held to raise funds for various Waterberg projects, involved 12 experienced riders crossing 180km of Waterberg wilderness in 6 days. This year’s route went through Ant’s Nest, Kwalata, Lapalala and Jembisa game reserves. Funds raised will be going to Save The Waterberg Rhino and other community projects including the sponsorship of 125 local underprivileged children to attend The Lapalala Wilderness School.

The Waterberg Trust has already been able to help Save The Waterberg Rhino by funding the purchase of vital equipment, such as radios and a metal detector for the police officer dedicated to working with rhino poaching incidents in the Waterberg. Being a UK registered charity, TWT are able to access grants that are not available directly to South African registered Non Profit Organisations, and is able to make increase some UK donations by adding 25% Gift Aid. A number of the UK Trustees have long-standing links with the Waterberg and are committed to helping the people who work so hard running grassroots projects.
The first event hosted by Horizon in 2015 went from Horizon, Koshari, Ant’s Nest, and Lindani, to Jembisa, thanks to support from Shane and Laura Dowinton, David Baber, Dean van Heerden, Ant and Tess Baber, Sam and Peggy van Coller and Charles Whitbread. This sponsored ride raised fund for HIV/Aids programme support, involving  nurse training and two year support for an after school club at the Waterberg Welfare Society. This includes the rental of a house in Vaalwater for the homework facility. TWT was also able to support the Northern Education Trust, sponsoring a Waterberg student through accounting studies at Pretoria University. They are also raising money for Lethabo Kids Club in Leseding who run a much needed Back to School programme, providing school uniforms and more for primary school pupils. Riders were able to visit this project and the Lapalala Wilderness School while they were in the Waterberg.

 

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