TWT Rides

The 5th Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride



Following the success of our fourth annual ride in 2018, we’ve been looking for 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. We have a team of 12 riders for 2019 but you could put your name forward for a possible TWT ride in 2020.

Overall dates: 25 January to 4 February 2019 (inclusive of 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.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 3 - photo Ant Baber



Friday 25 January: Fly out from Heathrow to Johannesburg – on Flight BA55 taking the option of an extra night at Ant’s Nest.

Saturday 26 January: You will be met off your International flight at Oliver Tambo Airport, Johannesburg 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 27 January: It will be high summer in South Africa so the bushveld will be green. We will ride with game both in the morning and 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.

TWT Ride 2018 with running zebra - AB

DAY 2 – Monday 28 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.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 1 - 5 rhino sleeping

DAY 3 – Tuesday 29 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.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 4 - Riders leaving Windsong

DAY 4 – Wednesday 30 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.

TWT Ride 2018 DAy 4 spotting giraffe on Lindani

DAY 5 – Thursday 31 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 swop 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.

TWT Ride 2018 Day 5 cantering up road to Jembisa

DAY 6 – Friday 1 February: 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.

TWT Ride 2018 Day 6 Ant at the River

Saturday 2 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.

TWT Rider Juliet Maddan looking at Bushmen paintings 2017

Sunday 3 February: Your flight will arrive back in the UK early morning or on Monday 4 February: if 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.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 0 - Ant riding with a rhino at sunset - photo Sophie Neville

PAYMENT DETAILS The cost of the ride is R35,000 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 – you can pay either in rand into the account details given or, if you would prefer to pay in GBP, please contact Gail at Ant’s Nest and she will give you details of the rate of exchange at that time and details of the GBP account into which you can pay. Full payment is due 8 weeks before the ride on 1 December 2018.

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. One extra night at Ant’s Nest would cost R4,000 per person sharing and £170 at Jembisa, fully inclusive of meals, drinks, activities as before.                                                                                                                                

Extra night prior to the TWT ride: depart Heathrow Friday 25 January to arrive Ant’s Nest 26 January. Depart Johannesburg on evening of Sunday 3 February to arrive back in UK early Monday 4 February

Ant’s Nest and Jembisa offer sophisticated lodge accommodation with ensuite bathrooms. Windsong and Lindani are simpler, but nevertheless comfortable, and some may have to share bathrooms.

TWT Ride 2017 Day 5 clean sheets at Jembisa

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 25 January 2019 (when most riders are flying out), or Saturday 26 January. These arrive in Johannesburg at 7.15 am. Book the return on Flight BA54 which departs at 21.50 on either Saturday 2 February or Sunday 3 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 them 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.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 4 - Mary observing giraffe

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.

TWT ride 2018 Day 4 Ant Baber leading horse

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

Belinda at Kwalata

 “I am back at my desk and galloping through the African bush seems light years away! I just wanted to thank you for a really amazing experience. Most of all it was just pure fun and I felt so carefree which was such a treat. I think you have a winning formula as the riding is wonderful but all the extra experiences such as the school, youth club, church, Clive, enriched it and made it a truly unique experience and insight into the Waterberg.” Mary Riall 2018 TWT rider

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 0 - Mary with rhino at sundown

SPONSORSHIP 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 Sophie:

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 we are helping.

TWT Ride 2018 DAY 7 - Mary at Lethabo Kids club


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.

TWT Ride 2018 Day 5 swimming pool at Jembisa

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 round pin plugs – so you need an 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.

TWT ride 2018 Lethabo Kids Club

Do bring out any old children’s clothes, especially grey/black/blue/white school uniform or sports gear as we can donate it 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.

Books donated to Waterberg schools by TWT riders

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 the lodge managers distribute fairly.


Windsong on Triple B Ranch:



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


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

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


-Riders from Yorkshire fundraising for The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2017-

TWT Riders 2016 team photo
~ TWT Challenge Ride 2016 across the Waterberg in South Africa ~

To read about the TWT horse ride in 2016, please click here

~ TWT Challenge Bike Ride 2016 – cycling from Cambridge to North Norfolk ~

Riders pay all their own expenses but have been supported along the way. To read more about the TWT cycle ride in 2016, please click here

~ TWT Challenge Ride 2015 crossing Lindani game reserve in the Waterberg ~

Riders traversing the Waterberg have been able to visit projects benefiting from their fundraising efforts and donations. To read about the projects visited please click here