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.
We made up a big group of thirteen horseman with three guides and set off early in an attempt to find wildlife.
It was white rhino that we saw first, including one cow with a three month-old calf.
We were able to get very close as the horses are used to grazing with rhino.
We then rode west through the bushveldt and although we cantered at times,
we went slowly in an attempt to find game, pausing to watch wildebeest and zebra.
After a while we came across Livingstone eland, a rare breed originating from Zimbabwe.
We crossed through recently filled dams
and came across a number of new-born animals, including impala lambs.
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.
He was with a number of females.
We were also shown a breeding herd of rare roan antelope being re-introduced to the Waterberg.
We then left Ant’s game reserve and enjoyed riding fast down sandy roads across the plateau
and down towards the Blocklands River that flows north into the Limpopo
The horses were fed and watered in a secure boma originally made for buffalo while the riders were housed at the lodge in cottages that looked out over the water.
Everyone was able to kick off their boots and relax after what had been a long day in the saddle.
To our relief, there were bathrooms and a swimming pool to sooth aching muscles.
And even a stuffed crocodile – luckily the only one of his species we encountered on the ride.
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