Waterberg, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
At a Glance
Malarial free safari
Expansive views over the Waterberg
Swimming pool built into the edge of the cliff
The lodge overlooks a waterhole offering excellent game viewing
Sleeping up to 16 it can be booked exclusively
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Ant’s Hill is located at an altitude of 4,500 feet above sea level, offering a wonderful temperate climate which can be visited all year round. The best game viewing is from May to the end September
Summer (November to March) days can get quite warm (up to 28-32 degrees on average) but it is a dry heat. Summer rainfall, normally in the form of thunder storms are usually in the evening, however, the African climate is still always unpredictable. Autumn (April to May) days can still be warm but the evenings cool down. Average day time temperature 22-28 degrees. Evenings 10-15 degrees. Winter (June to August) days are warm (temperatures in the mid-twenties) evenings and early mornings very cold with average early morning temperatures 5-12 degrees. It very rarely rains at this time when the bush is golden and dry.
Spring (September, October) days start getting hotter, evenings and mornings could still be crisp but not as cold. A very slim chance of rain.
To start planning your holiday to Ant's Hill
Ant's Hill is a six-bedroom lodge perched on the edge of a cliff with amazing views over the malaria-free Waterberg Reserve. The lodge has a very East African feel and prides itself on its flexible approach to activities and mealtimes.
Ant's Hill looks out over the wide plain of the Waterberg, stretching to the mountains on the horizon. The beautifully-designed lodge takes full advantage of its spectacular position on a river gorge and can be taken on a per room or an exclusive basis.
The rooms consist of two privately appointed honeymoon cottages, one family cottage with a master bedroom and two twin rooms, another family unit with two en-suite bedrooms and private pool and, lastly, a twin room situated above the main lodge with a private veranda overlooking the spectacular gorge. Rooms feature exotic furniture, brightly coloured African fabrics, draped four poster beds and spectacular bathrooms, offering guests sunken baths and waterfall showers.
The lodge has a home-from-home feel and a flexible approach to activities and meals, meaning guests can tailor their stay to suit themselves. In addition, it is possible to travel to the lodge by road from Johannesburg, meaning no additional flights are necessary when you arrive in South Africa.
A myriad of activities are on offer at the lodge from walks, games drives, badminton, volleyball, mountain biking and excellent horses suitable for all ages and abilities.
Ant's Hill is a superb option for couples, honeymooners and families alike as the rooms are all very private and activities can be tailor made to suit everyone! Ant's is perfect for those looking to be a little more active and enjoy the activities on offer.
The sister property Ant's Nest is a short drive away. Both properties are owned and managed by the charming Baber family.
Ant's Nest offers guests two privately appointed honeymoon cottages, one family cottage with a master bedroom and two twin rooms and another family unit with two en-suite bedrooms and private pool and, lastly, a twin room situated above the main lodge with a private veranda overlooking the spectacular gorge.
These cottages have large four poster beds and luxurious bathrooms with sunken baths and waterfall showers.
This cottage has 3 en-suite bedrooms sleeping a total of 6 people.
This cottage has a double room and a twin both of which have lovely bathrooms with sunken baths and waterfall showers.
This room is above the main lodge and has a wonderful veranda with far-reaching views. The large four-poster bed is beautifully draped and there is an en-suite bathroom with sunken bath and waterfall shower.
Children are welcome at Ant's Hill. Children of all ages are allowed to join their parents on all game viewing activities and they have created specialised kids “bug” and “spoor” walks. Both lodges have various facilities ideal for kids, such as the heated swimming pool, a trampoline, sand pits, a badminton and volley ball net as well as a selection of toys and books.
Facilities at both lodges include badminton, volleyball, mountain bikes and horses. The main lodge features a vast living area and dining room, both with fireplaces and a spacious veranda and deck overhanging the gorge, which are ideal for early morning breakfasts and evening sundowners. There is a well equipped gym and a curio shop for those in need of retail therapy.
Complimentary activities at both lodges include riding, badminton, volleyball, swimming, game drives, walks and mountain biking. Tours of Bushman paintings, Iron Age villages and local farms, massages, clay pigeon and target shooting are charged additionally.
Sian Frost (Staff)
Ants is perfect for those who love a family feel holiday, it is all very communal and you can tell from the return guests that many have met each other before. It truly is a home from home. The staff are fantastic, so chirpy and happy to help with everything, they know what you need before you need it.
Flight schedules from London to Johannesburg are very helpful for intrepid safari-goers keen on spotting the Big Five in a weekend. Fly overnight each way to get four nights in the bush and only lose a couple of days out of the office. South Africas malaria-free Waterberg is the perfect destination since you dont want to be messing around with medicine on such a flying visit. Leave Thursday evening and after landing early on the Friday morning, take a 45-minute flight, or three-hour drive from Johannesburg to Waterberg. Its worth doing one leg by four-wheel drive to benefit from an authentic snapshot of typical South African rural life, past ostrich farms, under turquoise skies and through one-street villages where roofs are all corrugated iron, and horses are tied up outside sell-everything stores. At Waterberg, stay at home-from-home lodge Ants Hill in a private game reserve. The five rooms are kitted out with woven Kenyan fabric, seven-foot wide four-poster beds, and tables made from railway sleepers or acacia knocked down by elephant. Its a short walk from rooms to the communal dining area, across a manicured lawn where a white rhino will usually be grazing. After a late and leisurely lunch, lap the infinity pool set over a gorge, head for the surrounding hills on foot, mountain bike or horseback, before an evening game drive. Youre guaranteed to see the Big Five, either in or around Ants Hill or in neighbouring reserves. Dinner is usually a boisterous affair presided over by lodge owners Ant and Tessa Baber, with fellow guests telling safari-spotting tales. The following day follows a similar pattern, and you either leave the lodge on Sunday at 5pm in order to get back to work on Monday, or spend an extra night and start work on Tuesday morning.
Activities at Ant's
Ant’s has got to be one of the most child friendly safari lodges found in Africa, the friendly staff will give your children and family a life-changing experience from grandparents right down to babies.
South African Birding
The Waterberg is home to an incredible diversity of bird species. Besides residents, migratory species move through during the rains and the escarpment cliffs are home to the world's largest breeding colony of the critically endangered Cape Vulture.
Visit the local children's home
Visit The Fold, a non-profit charitable organisation set up to provide a home and teaching for young children in need.
Location & directions
Waterberg, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
Ant's Hill is situated in a private game reserve, on an escarpment looking out over the Waterberg Plateau in the Limpopo Province. 3.5 hours East of Madikwe and 5 hours West of the Kruger National Park.
How to get there
11-hour 30-minute international flight to OR Tambo International Airport (formally known as Johannesburg International Airport). Ant's Hill is 3 hours north of the airport. Private road transfers or air charters can be arranged.
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- Award-winning tour operator