May 22nd 2018 |
Travel, Conservation Safaris, Unique Experiences, South Africa | by
For those who are hooked on Africa from horseback, there comes a time when you want a totally different riding safari experience. The Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill annual game census safari is just that! The dates vary each year – May/June.
The dates have been released for 2020: 30th May – 7th June
Price: from £3,125 per person for eight nights, including all meals, drinks, activities and rhino conservation fee. International flights and transfers are in addition to this cost.
It’s a time in the bush when wildlife conservation prevails and guests have the opportunity to be part of it for an entire week. From game counting and darting, to capturing and relocating wildlife, the activities all have a unique purpose: to keep Ant’s private reserve and its animal residents thriving.
Traditionally game censuses are done by helicopter but Ant’s capitalise on what they know best and perform the whole operation on horseback. It continues to remain more accurate than a helicopter count and most importantly, causes zero disturbance to the wildlife.
It’s a unique way to experience the South African bush in a way that whole-heartedly immerses participants into anything but ordinary activities on the private game reserve. That doesn’t mean you have to give Ant’s conventional activities a miss though. Game drives and guided bush walks are still available to game census safari guests too, because an Ant’s holiday is a personalised one. Choose to spend an active day in the saddle or a leisure day exploring the reserve’s natural wonders, all coupled with fine cuisine and luxury accommodation.
Safari with a purpose.
2 responses to “Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill – Game Census Safari”
Alice Gully, one of the owners of Aardvark Safaris, has been involved in African travel since 1995. Her interest in all things African started with a zoology degree at Newcastle where her entomology tutor inspired with stories of exotic creatures that could only be found in Africa.
Alice Gully, one of the owners of Aardvark Safaris, has been involved in African travel since 1995. Her interest in all things African started with a zoology degree at Newcastle where her entomology tutor inspired with stories of exotic creatures that could only be found in Africa. When a second degree in vet science did not go according to plan, she fulfilled a dream by working in Zambia. First, she helped set up a safari camp on Lake Kariba and undertook a small study on a family of seven elephants that shared her island. Next was a stint skippering catamarans on the Zimbabwean side of the lake where sailing along the wildlife filled shores of Matsuadona National Park still inspires wonderful memories.
Her last job was living the dream as a back-up guide for a riding safari in Hwange, Zimbabwe, which she describes as one of those few jobs where you forget it's work, and where managing 28 horses and showing guests the wonders of Africa from horseback was pure joy. She decided on her future career as an African tour operator before her return and now says that anything is possible in Africa if you know how.
Now married, and mother to three daughters, Alice runs the Scottish office. Riding is still a big passion she competes and hunts when time allows. Alice and husband Jim are keen hill walkers and love the outdoors, and on their African travels they are happiest on foot, in a canoe, or on horseback. She is also an experienced diver and counts the peaceful reefs of Mozambique as some of the best in the world. Her triplets got a taste of Africa at the age of two on a camel safari in Kenya with some time at the coast – never too young! They are now nearly 12 and have been to Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zanzibar, Malawi being the highlight.
In her many years organising holidays, Alice has travelled extensively through Africa, exploring some of the more off the beaten track safari areas as well as the better known. Kenya remains an old favourite and she has returned six times, unable to resist the draw of all that’s on offer here. Post children she’s also come to appreciate the value of R&R holidays in beach destinations like Mauritius and the Seychelles. Of the countries Aardvark Safaris sells, it’s only Madagascar Alice has yet to explore, but it’s only a matter of time.
Favourite African experience
Too many to pick one, each time I travel something takes my breath away, the people, the endless scenery, the incredible wildlife. For pure wow factor, riding horses through the migration in the Masai Mara or flying in a private plane along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.
Other than giraffe (which I’d most like to come back as) it’s the little stuff like the insects and birds that enthral me. If you sit still in Africa, life is busy all around you, no matter where you are. Under the sea, in the ground or high in the trees, there is never a dull moment.
Favourite three camps
I love the small owner run camps where you feel as though you are staying with a friend. The host is your guide and looks after you in every way, they care how you feel and what you do, some of these camps (and owners) include PJ and Barney at Okavango Horse Safaris in Botswana, Kerry Glen at Karisia in Kenya, Ant and Tessa Baber at Ant's Nest in South Africa, but there is a long list, not just three! Luwi Camp in the South Luangwa, Zambia is my desert island camp if there was only one last African trip.
[caption id="attachment_25179" align="alignnone" width="600"] Hippos on a walking safari, South Luangwa, Zambia, Luwi Bushcamp[/caption]
African countries visited
South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda
Tropical islands visited
Seychelles, Mauritius, Zanzibar
On arranging holidays
I pride myself on the fact that no two holidays I plan are the same. I enjoy really listening to what people want, before going to the drawing board to sketch out ideas. I believe in top end customer service, so no wedding anniversary goes unnoticed or dietary requirement is missed, and I will spend hours thinking about what could improve everybody’s experience - I want everyone to come home with the same warm fuzzy feeling about Africa that I have. As an experienced rider, I know what makes the difference between a good riding safari and an unforgettable one and will do my best to match riders to the most suitable horses and will always try to look after the non-riding spouse (I have one) as well as learner riders (like my three girls). As a mother I know the pitfalls of travelling with children and will do my utmost to choose the best camps and lodges to create a perfect family holiday – I’m proud to say my repeat and word of mouth business speaks for itself.
Hello! What are the dates for Game Census 2020? We participated 2017.
Dear Ian, Thanks for the question. Ants haven’t released the rates and dates yet for the 2020 wildlife census. I suggest anyone interested sends us their contact details so we can be in touch the minute they are decided. Best Wishes Renate