- Malaria free Waterberg safari
- Superb for families
- Horse Riding and Bush Walks
- Beautiful landscapes
Set in the Waterberg Region of the Limpopo Province which is only a 2 ½ hour journey from Johannesburg, this stunning private reserve is an excellent choice for families, couples and keen horse riders and it has the added bonus that it is in a malaria-free area of South Africa.. It is owned by Ant and Tessa Barber who took the multi-generational old family ranch and converted it into the unique and special property it is today.
There are two properties on site; Ants Hill and Ants Nest both of which offer gorgeous accommodations unique design and decor. Both lodges are individually run with their own main lounge, dining areas and central pool area. Both lodges benefit from absolutely fantastic customer service, with staff who can't do enough to look after you.
Ants Hill can accommodate 16 guests in total and is perched on the top of a hill, so has absolutely stunning views of the surrounding area. The main lodge area has a heated swimming pool, outside and inside dining area and lounge where colder evening will be spent around a roaring fire. Accommodation is in small cottages dotted around the lodge. For families there are a couple of two bedroom cottages with private verandahs, which are beautifully presented. These cottages are set away from the others, so you don't need to worry about children making too much noise. For couples, there is the very special honeymoon suite, which has a bath with an unbeatable view, a suite with private plunge pool and then some standard room options.
Ant’s Nest accommodates 12 guests and is at its best when rented as a whole. Set in gardens around a homestead, there is a large pool and trampoline. This property may not have the views of Ants Hill, but it has a homey feel, with beautifully appointed accommodation.
There are no predators on the reserve, but there are 40 species of animals including giraffe, rhino, buffalo many species of antelope in addition, of course, to the many birds and insects. And this is actually a positive. When you’re in Big Five territory, it is easy to ignore the smaller things, but actually they are just as fascinating. There is a herd of almost 90 horses for all levels of rides from beginner to professional; they are kind and patient with all. The diverse terrain offers sandy tracks and high ridges, and you can ride twice a day. A selection of tack and equipment available, weight limit is 120 kilograms. For non -riders, there are game drives, walks and simple relaxation available.
Whether you are travelling together as a family, or you are a couple looking for seclusion, this is a wonderful hideaway where your every need will be catered for.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019