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“A proper treat.”

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Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 December 2011

This is a really super place - lovely horses, luxurious accommodation, amazing game and the warmest of welcomes.
The accommodation:
We felt like personal friends in a relaxed, luxurious home that is sympathetic to it's environment. We do like to be properly comfortable, especially if we're going to be taking a lot of exercise and we weren't disappointed: Our room (we went for a deluxe) was splendid, large, cool and tastefully furnished in a traditional colonial style.
A lot of thought had gone into making sure it was convenient: there were adaptors, books (reference and fiction), a properly stocked drinks tray, a very comfortable bed and even fly spray.
There was also a really good en suite (large thick towels) with toiletries provided for the huge deep bath essential for those tired legs! We had an enormous veranda with sofas and lovely views.
Thankfully there are no TVs, radios etc so, although you can get a mobile signal, you can really escape and the massage ladies shouldn't be missed.
The staff are super and couldn't do enough to ensure we had a good time - we went riding twice a day and lazed about in between. They set up our meals in lots of different places (I won't spoil it by telling you where) and we truly relaxed. We loved having the owner's dogs roaming about freely too.
The food and drink was excellent. A lovely lady called Jerrita cooks who is tremendously talented and inventive. Your laundry gets done too, which is a real plus.
The horses and game:
My husband had barely ridden but we wanted to go out together and this wasn't a problem. The guides were terrific and towards the end we were doing a lot of canters, some down winding tracks etc.
The horses are well cared for, relaxed and very responsive to the individual rider. I like a forward going horse but well mannered and was very pleased.
We saw a lot of wonderful game and being on horseback made it much easier to get close. They have rhinos, giraffes, zebra and numerous different types of antelopes.
We also took a liking to the perky little warthogs especially the piglets. There were hares, lots of beautifully coloured birds and also a tortoise and various lizards. We loved it and our guides clearly love the game too.
We were sorry to leave and very much hope to return with a large family group as it was a very happy holiday.

Room Tip: We loved having our own veranda. We enjoyed riding over to see Ant's Hill too which has cottage...
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank EJNeate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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383 - 389 of 505 reviews

Reviewed 11 December 2011

It was our first game lodge stay and what an experience.
Luxury at its best...the views and things that you can do here are limitless.

We spent 4 days at Ant's hill with our 2 daughters aged 2 and 7....
We were at the cottage a bit away from the main reception area...would be eery to walk back with just our torches on but very private and glad that we chose to stay there! The views that we had from our step out deck were simply breathtaking.....could just laze with a book, gaze out into the wild for hours together. Spot the animals somewhere in the horizon , watch the sun go down or wrap up and have a drink looking up at the moon...

The drives are the most organized and entertaining.The sunset drives that end with drinks at a spot , leading to some catching up with other residents... The night drive ...is an absolute thriller! Our riding lessons were one of the most amazing experiences. The horses are gorgeous!

The hospitality is so overwhelming.Food outstanding.Experiences memorable....

Waiting to go back.. ....

Room Tip: spend at least 5 days.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Sumi R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2011

This is such a special place. Fantastic location in the bush with breathtaking views.
I stayed in the luxury cottage.at Ants Hill, which had two baths, one indoors and one outside on the terrace, so I could lie back and look at the stars !! We moved on for the rest of the week to Ant's Nest.
We rode different horses each day, and they were all so well trained , keen and fun to ride.
Novice riders were taken at a slower pace, whilst we cantered off into the distance !!
No lion or elephant here, but we saw rhino, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, impala, gemsbok,
hartebeest, oryx, eland, warthog, etc. etc.
Some lunches were in the bush, others back at the lodge. Sundowners each night somewhere in the bush. First class food - a range of game served up in creative and delicious ways, and as a vegetarian I was equally well catered for.
The guides are all so enthusiastic , knowledgeable.and helpful. We really enjoyed learning so much about everything - from the animals, birds, insects, trees, flowers, tracks, to bush medicine and local tales.
A masseuse and a swimming pool are there to help with odd aches and pains !!
One day we went on an outing to an elephant safari place. Viewing game from the back of an elephant is quite another amazing experience.
Great place for non riders too - with mountain bikes, game drives, walking tours, swimming pool, play area for children etc.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Genista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

Me and my girlfriend were lucky enough to stay at ants hill and ants nest. Both lodges are very different in what they offer, but the one thing in common is you'll have a wonderful time at both!

Ants nest offers a relaxed and family feel, while ants hill has a slightly posher feel, with stunning accommodation but retains a down to earth environment where everyone is made to feel welcome. Due to renovation work at ants nest we were upgraded to the new cottage at ants hill...all I can say is that it's amazing!

However, the accommodation is only a small part of what makes this place wonderful. The real jewel in the crown is all the staff and the horses. I am a novice rider and my girlfriend experienced yet we were able to ride together everyday and never once did my inexperience hinder the enjoyment of the ride.

I proposed to my girlfriend during our stay at ants hill and I couldn't have picked a more beautiful and special place to do so. The staff set up a private dinner for us in our cottage, underneath the stars. We will both never forget our wonderful night.

Finally we were also lucky enough to be involved in a wilderbeast capture. What an experience, once in a lifetime! There are far too many members of staff to mention and thank for our wonderful holiday, all make you feel so welcome and you'll leave with a tear in your eye! We have never been back to same holiday destination twice, but I would return to ants hill again and again. A truly special place.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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1  Thank Japing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2011

I stayed at both Ants Nest and Ants Hill and they are both fabulous!

The quality of the accomodation is seriously impressive - clean, comfortable, decent size but also really beautiful in an original, non-pretentious and clever style that gives the benefit of feeling like your own home whilst enabling privacy for different groups, couples etc in all its different nooks and crannys. And the magnificent views, well....!!!
Drinks around the fire (in a different place each night!) and dinner on the lawn (which rhinos the other side of the wall) are particular highlights, as is the table of sundowners in a well-placed beauty spot after a long, dusty ride/walk/drive!

I was mainly horse-riding and was very impressed with the horses - I've been riding for years and so enjoyed some "decent" riding (excellent long, windy tracks for the faster paces...and always the possibility of rounding the corner to find buffalo/rhino right in your path to add the excitement!) but there were also a few beginners around while I was there and they were cantering too within a few days after building up real trust both with their calm, obedient horses as well as their reliable guides. Rides are kept fairly small too which is a plus and different abilities are given the option of going out together or seperately so everyone is kept happy.

The guides are all experts in the bush / game (especially the animal noises!) but are also a lot of fun and can't do enough for you, as well as being genuinely thrilled to be there themselves so their enthusiasm is catching - making them perfect host/hostesses!

I happened to be travelling alone but it is all made so easy and comfortable and everyone is so flexible about what you want to do, when etc and are all genuinely lovely people that it is really a great place to go on your own, as a couple, family or whatever you like.

Ant and Tessa have really captured the essence of an ideal escape, be it long or short, providing everything a guest could wish for (usually before the guest would even realise it themselves) as well as the opportunity for a few adventures! As you can tell, I cannot recommend this place highly enough and have no criticism for any part of it - if you're reading this review then read no further and book immediately (although not so many that I can never go back, as I fully intend to do!) as you have found your perfect lodge right here!

Room Tip: All individual and fabulous!
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank SCNQuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2011

The team that welcome you to Ant's Nest are extraordinary. Their attention to detail is perfect. From the animals to the food, from the horse rides to the fishing, from every dinner being in a different place. Everything is excellent. If you like camping there is a choice of luxury or rough under the stars. We chose the latter, such fun and the food is never rough. If you can hire the complete house do so. If you have children this is the place for their first safari, we had 2yrs to 11yrs and they were entertained every single moment of the day. We strongly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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Thank marchant47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2011

THey could not have made us more welcome! We were at the brand new cottage at Ants Hill and it was suparb. Horses excellent - fast, well trained, with plenty of challenges for the experienced rider, but lots of quieter ones for novices. The staff just made it - everyone so happy and friendly that they really made the holiday swing. Just been awarded Best Riding Safari in Africa and it deserves it. Go!!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Kate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest

Address: Gunfontein, Vaalwater 0530, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Waterberg > Vaalwater
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 40 Speciality Lodging in Vaalwater
Price Range: $162 - $2,211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ant's Nest & Ant's Hill are two private bush homes situated in the malaria-free Waterberg region of South Africa. Approximately 3 hours north of Johannesburg. These two bush homes are on a privately owned reserve and can offer guests game viewing activities which include game drives, game walks and fantastic horse riding. They can cater for all levels of riders and also accept kids of all ages. This is a wonderful destination for couples, honeymooners, families or just good friends travelling together. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ant`s Hill & Ant`s Nest Hotel Vaalwater
Ant`s Hill And Ant`s Nest
Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest South Africa/Vaalwater, Waterberg

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