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“Very good but a couple of niggles”

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Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Very good but a couple of niggles”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2012

You won't go wrong choosing Ant's Nest and this was an enjoyable part of a lovely family holiday. Lots of good things to say about it which echo the many previous reviews. So why the 'very good' rating rather than 'excellent'? A couple of niggles where things fell short of my expectations - a very cursory assessment of our (differing) riding abilities at the outset and a first ride which felt geared to the others in the party rather than to us; one of my subsequent rides not much fun because the only horse caught and saddled for me had just had a vaccination and was limited to gentle walking - for which no explanation given or acknowlegement of a mess up; and sometimes the 'whatever you'd like to do' declaration turned out out to be more about fitting in with the arrangements of the day - actually that's fine because the arrangements were usually very satisfactory but just say so upfront. This is set against a lot of positives so we certainly did have a good time overall and I have recommended it to other people.

We visited Ant's Hill and it looked superb. Amazing views and beautiful new pool. The caveat is that there are gaps and drops so not suitable for small children.

Room Tip: The honeymoon/family suite is great (second bedroom is an OK twin bed) and particularly good for the...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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1 Thank Dustylaw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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466 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2012

As a regular Trip Adviser user, i often wonder how much of the reviews to believe (ie are the reviewers friends of the owners, just easily pleased or was a bad review a one-off etc). I can assure you that on my first trip to Ant's I was as random as the next person, I have travelled all over the world, budget and non-budget, and am not always overwhelmed with a place - in fact I have practically never gone back somewhere twice. Well I ahve now been to Ant's twice with a third trip booked, all within 2 years. It is truly fabulous!!
It is the most luxurious, fun, beautiful, natural, interesting, relaxing, active, remarkable place!

Read all the reviews on here and you'll hear the truth - the place itself, the standards, the horses, the views, the food - all things to rave about. The thing that makes the difference is indeed the people, some of whom I now count as friends and can't wait to see again! Ant and Tessa have managed that very rare achievement of creating a family feel amongst the staff, who are all there because they genuinely love it and who share that enthusiasm with you so that you love it too.
I can almost guarantee (I'm lawyer so this is not said lightly) that you will have a thoroughly amazing experience at either the Hill or the Nest. I just don't see how you could not!

I have been alone and went back with a friend; there were couples / families and all varieties of folks there with me so it is suitable for any kind of trip; the horses and riding is just fantastic (I've been riding for years so again I know this is not always easy to find - but equally there were first-timers there who also loved it). I'd recommend Lapalala if you have time to tack it on too as that's a different kind of wonderful.
Any time of year is good to go - I went first in November (lvoely and warm), recently in September (warm but cooler in the evenings) and next time will be June, when I gather it is similar to September. The game census week stands out for me, but I don't want to tell you more about that otherwise it'll be fully booked too quickly and I want to go every year!

Seriously, this place is amazing and I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: One of the cottages up at the Hill are great if you want your own private pad with a partner or a fe...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SCNQuest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We have just returned from our Week at Ants Nest in October. Myself, husband, daughter (9 years) and family friend. We all riders but many of the guests are not and the horses are so accommodating that this is not a problem. Every day was a new adventure and completely unpredictable. On our first morning (after a late night arrival) we decided to take a 4x4 safari - our guide Jacques took us on a very informative drive showing us so much and explaining everything with a true passion for the wildlife - a great start to our week! We pretty much rode twice a day and every ride was different. The food was plentiful and delicious, we especially enjoyed the bbqs and the sundowners!! We have taken home with us many special memories and we feel very privileged to have spent a week being well looked after within a wonderful setting.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 13susie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

This trip could not have been better! Everything about it was perfect down to the smallest detail. First, and most important, the staff was excellent. Everyone was so helpful, knowledgeable and genuinely friendly. The accommodations were beautiful, comfortable and immaculate. The horses were healthy happy and responsive. Every meal was a treat. But most of all, the property was exceptional for both fast riding and slow wildlife observation. We stayed 5 days at each lodge - Ant's Hill and then Ant's Nest

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Fairtrader8832
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Wales, UK
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

My boyfriend and myself chose Ants Hill and Ants Nest to celebrate my 21st birthday, it was such an amazing trip! Being our first trip to South Africa we instantly fell in love with the country and even more with Ants Hill and Nest. We stayed 2 nights in Ants Nest where we had our own lodge...all the rooms are finished so lovely and are very clean and comfortable, we then moved to Ants Hill for 3 nights where we had 'Honeymoon 2' lodge...which was amazing! We had a massive bed, a bath tub looking out over the bush as well as an indoor and outdoor shower, we also had a large veranda with sofa/dining table etc.
The staff (family!) at both Ants Nest and Ants Hill are exceptional and make your holiday so special and comfortable, the guides are friendly and knowledgeable and the cooks are a real credit to both lodges. We ate a delicious 3 course meal every night, lunch was also just as big as the evening meal and there was a great choice at breakfast. A fresh cake was baked by the ladies everyday to accompany tea before your afternoon ride :) Your very spoilt!!
We are both keen riders and enjoyed riding twice a day very much, the horses are so lovely, very responsive and eager to please. We had some amazing long rides into the bush, and got close to many animals...our favourite being the giraffe and wart hogs!
I hope our holiday wasn't a 'once in a lifetime' trip because I would love to return. Both Ants Hill and Nest are such friendly, relaxing yet exciting places...it really is a must for anyone that loves horses or wants a taste of South Africa.
Thank you to everyone for making our holiday so special! X

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AlanaWNorthWales_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2012

Superbe lodge, we were at Ant's Hill and will return ! Views are spectacular, every detail was thought through, the decoration is perfect. Not all big five are to be seen but if that is not a must for you, this place should be. Game drive or game ride on horses, a whole new experience. Food is excellent as was the service. Schedules are flexible which is great as it allows you to either sleep in if you want or need to and to take advantage of the chalets and just look out into the veld.

Room Tip: Any; all are private and superbe.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rikou M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

We have just spent our honeymoon split between Ant's Hill and Ant's Nest. This was a holiday of a lifetime! Everybody made us feel so welcome. The staff, food, accommodation and activities are superb. What can be more idyllic than an afternoon ride followed by sundowners in the bush!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Chris R
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

Property: Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest
Address: Gunfontein, Vaalwater 0530, South Africa
Location: 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 36 Specialty Lodging in Vaalwater
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 
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Also Known As:
Ant`s Hill And Ant`s Nest
Ant`s Hill & Ant`s Nest Hotel Vaalwater
Ant's Hill & Ant's Nest Vaalwater, Waterberg, South Africa

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