The Ant Collection, Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill, are lodges to some, but a home to many. This is not only due to the wildlife encounters that keep the pulse of Africa close to the guests’ hearts, but because of the people that make the difference when on safari at the South Africa based, luxury lodge.
One person in particular who captures the heart and soul of the Ant Collection with his smile and past rugby all-star stature is lodge owner Ant Baber. The wild heart of Africa is in his blood, dating back to a century ago when his family planted its roots at this very location. During your stay at the Ant Collection, it is more likely than not to encounter Ant Baber in his bush style playground, either via horseback, motorized bike, game vehicle, or by foot.
He’s recently been behind the camera lens and we are grateful to catch a glimpse of the magical moments snapped by Ant himself, along with a short story that marries each photograph.
“I took this photo of a male leopard at 5pm in the afternoon. He was extremely inquisitive and quite relaxed and I managed to get several great pics. One of the horse riders raced to see him, but he slunk into the long grass as they got to me. Unfortunately we couldn’t get that rare shot of a rider with a leopard right then and there!”
“Early one morning I was out with Zoe Mongey, a well known photographer from Australia and she wanted some early-light pictures of the rhino. Ralph, my Labrador thought this would be a great time to play with his hefty friends and danced around them for a few minutes. Having encountered the rhinos for the first time as a puppy, he is quite comfortable around them!”
“The black and white photo is of Alicia, one of our volunteers on her last ride with us and it was a great opportunity to get a shot of her galloping up the old airstrip, with a herd of zebra galloping across her. Both the horse and the zebra enjoyed the action as they cantered off back around her.”
“I enjoyed taking a photo of the very relaxed scene of horses and rhino grazing happily side by side. Having the horses free-ranging means that over the past 18 years you have generations of wildlife interacting with the horses and so become totally habituated to the sight and smell of them. This in turn means wonderful and relaxed game viewing from horseback.”
Life at the Ant Collection’s bush homes is filled with magical moments, as the pictures above most certainly prove. The moments with safari lodge owner, Ant Baber, will be the delicate, extraordinary memories that continue to keep this safari lodge at home in the hearts of many.
For more information on the Ant Collection, call one of our Africa Consultants on 020 8682 5070 or visit scottdunn.com
This blog was originally posted on The Good Safari Guide.