Friday, 19 April 2019

Riding for Rhinos 2019


 

~TWT Trustee Sophie Neville~

The 5th Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2019 has proved a great success.


Thirteen riders crossed seven different South African game reserves in six days at some speed.



They raised £40,000 for Save The Waterberg Rhino and community projects that uplift young people in this corner of rural South Africa.


After riding with white rhino and other rare species on Ant's Nest Game Reserve,


the team crossed the Waterberg encountering diverse landscapes from grassy plains


to rocky escarpments with views across the Waterberg, a UNESCO Biosphere.


They spent come 32 hours in the saddle, covering 200 kilometres.


Days could be long but they had a great back-up team and stayed in comfortable lodges enroute.


Skies looked threatening at the start of the ride but storms dissipated and good weather conditions were enjoyed.


There was always enough natural water for the horses.


Sandy tracks and marrum roads made it possible to canter for miles.


Just as the going was getting hot, we arrived at Jembisa Private Game Reserve who sponsored the ride.


Everyone arrived safely, thanks to Ant Baber who led the ride and supplied the horses.


~ Ant Baber ~

Very many thanks go to him and everyone at Ant's Nest for making TWT Challenge Ride possible for the forth year running.


For details of The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride in Botswana 2020 please click here

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Travel With a Purpose

Ivy Rachele, School Nurse Grace Ismail with Sophie Neville and pupils 

How can I help women in Africa?

What could I do to make a difference?

We have been busy raising funds to buy packs of washable sanitary towels so that schoolgirls in a corner of rural South Africa no longer feel obliged to miss lessons while menstruating. Some of them were missing a week of school every month.

Verita Shikwambana of Dignity Dreams
School nurse Grace Ismail invited Verita Shikwambana of Dignity Dreams to Meetsetshehla Secondary School in the Limpopo Province to give a talk to pupils on menstrual health. Verita explained how to take care of the pads, which are designed to be washed in cold water. These were then distributed to 210 schoolgirls. None of them had been expecting such an amazing gift. Nurse Grace will monitor progress and report back on how things go.


The eco-friendly washable sanitary pads are handmade in Pretoria and last 4 or 5 years. They cost R160 or about £9 for a pack of six, which is exceptionally good value. The packs we distributed were purchased by The Waterberg Trust and Environmental Impact Management Services who kindly brought boxes of the packs up from Pretoria.

Representatives of Dignity Dreams, Environmental Impact Services, The Waterberg Trust and Meetsetshehla School 
We are hoping that the pads will give the girls confidence, enable them to remain in lessons and help them to achieve their full potential in life.

We would love to buy another 200 packs to equip the pupils of other schools in the area that are monitored by Nurse Grace. If you would like to make a donation to this very worthwhile project, you can find The Waterberg Trust website page here.




Thursday, 6 September 2018

Art for Africa




Please contact Sophie in the comments below if you would like to come to Art for Africa, an exhibition hosted by The Waterberg Trust to raise funds for Save The Waterberg Rhino and community projects in rural South Africa.

Sophie Neville will have a number of paintings and limited edition prints available for sale 



including pictures of birds and otters




Thursday, 15 March 2018

We are looking for experienced riders




The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2019
ARE YOU UP FOR A CHALLENGE?
ARE YOU READY FOR AN ADVENTURE IN AFRICA?
Following the success of our fourth annual ride in 2018, we are looking for fit and experienced riders to join us on a sponsored horse safari to raise funds for Save the Waterberg Rhino along with educational, health and welfare projects that uplift the communities in the area.
Overall dates: 26 January to 3 February 2019 
 Ant Baber, owner of Ant’s Nest, has offered to lead us 200kms through the private game reserves of the Waterberg over 6 days, on his beautiful horses.
Sophie Neville  riding on Ant's Nest 2016
PROPOSED ITINERARY                                                                                             
DAY 1 – Sunday 27 January You will be met off your International flight at Oliver Tambo Airport, Johannesburg and driven north, about 3 hours, to Ant’s Nest Private Game Reserve deep in the African bush. Lunch will be served on your arrival. After settling into the lodge we will go for a game ride looking for zebra and wildebeest so that you can try out your horse. If you are not totally happy you can try a different mount the next day - there are about forty to choose from a mixture of Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Friesians, Boerperds. It will be high summer in South Africa so the bushveld will be green. We’ll be able to hear about plans for the ride as we have dinner by the fire that evening.
Sophie Neville riding with white rhino
DAY 2 – Monday 28 January We’ll spend the day riding up to Ant's Hill, viewing game on horseback and looking for a breeding herd of buffalo, as well as rare sable and roan antelope. Each rider will pack a small bag with a swimsuit, wash-bag and clothes for the next three nights on safari. As the sun goes down, you’ll meet white rhino living on the reserve while Tessa Baber gives a talk on the work of Save the Waterberg Rhino. The Waterberg is home to the third largest population of rhino in South Africa, so their protection on the plateau is vital.
Sophie Neville with Save the Waterberg Rhino
DAY 3 – Tuesday 29 January We will set off early, riding east into neighbouring game reserves where we can canter for miles. We are planning to have lunch at the Waterberg Living Museum where we can learn more about rhino from the author and artist Clive Walker, one of South Africa’s leading conservationists. That afternoon we hope ride through a reserve breeding rare golden wildebeest up to Triple B Ranch, the cattle stud owned by Ant’s family for over a hundred years. There are beautiful gardens here and a warm pool. We’ll stay at Windsong Cottage - the farmhouse built in the 1920’s by Alfred Baber, Ant’s grandfather.
Weaver bird nests
DAY 4 – Wednesday 30 January We will ride past the village school on the farm and down to the game reserve at Horizon, which will give us the chance of seeing impala, zebra, giraffe and eland along with primate species, as we might spot vervet monkeys and baboon. Lunch will be enjoyed at a beautiful dam where the horses can graze.  We’ll have a long ride in the afternoon, as we make our way through Lindani private game reserve for the night. There is a good paddock here for the horses, a pool and we should be able to see game from the lodge.
Sophie Neville on Lindani game reserve January 2018
DAY 5 – Thursday 31 January  We will spend the morning riding through Lindani,  where we should see warthog, zebra, giraffe, eland, red hartebeest, wildebeest and greater kudu. We will then make our way back to the lodge for a late lunch, enjoying fast canters on sandy tracks. After a well earned rest, we will swop our horses for a game viewer and drive into the stunning Lapalala Game Reserve, looking for wildlife, before arriving at the Lapalala Wilderness School, which runs residential courses in nature conservation and environmental awareness for local children.
Lapalala Wilderness School

DAY 6 – Friday 1 February  We’ll saddle our horses early to ride to Jembisa, a beautiful private game reserve to the north. After climbing a kloof, we’ll walk down a steep escarpment and ride under high red cliffs where vultures nest. The route takes us along African dirt roads and into the reserve where lunch is planned. That afternoon we will reach the Palala River where the ride ends. After saying goodbye to our horses, we will be able to relax at the lodge, and appreciate comfy beds and hot baths.
Greater Kudu on Jembisa 
Saturday 2 February  After a more leisurely wake-up, we will take a game drive to see ancient bushmen paintings on the reserve before brunch, and then drive to the township in Vaalwater. Here we will visit Lethabo Kids Club in the township of Lesiding  and meet Nurse Grace before heading to the airport via an community sewing project and excellent curio shop. We suggest flight BA54 which leaves at 21.50.
Back to School project
Sunday 3 February Your flight will arrive back in the UK early morning or on Monday 4 February if you opt to take an extra day to relax at leisure at Jembisa to unwind after the demanding ride.

Ant Baber finishing The Waterberg Trust Ride 2018
The ride is a unique opportunity to ride alongside wild animals in this beautiful area, now proclaimed a UNESCO biosphere. The itinerary may change - but only for the better! We are hoping for a group of 12 riders who need to be fit and experienced as there will be approx 25-45kms of riding per day.


Sophie Neville at Jembisa
“I am back at my desk and galloping through the African bush seems light years away! I just wanted to thank you for a really amazing experience... I think you have a winning formula as the riding is wonderful but all the extra experiences such as the school, youth club and church, made it a truly unique experience and insight into the Waterberg.” Mary Riall 2018 TWT rider
Endangered white rhino
Riders pay their own flights, transfers, safari costs and travel insurance.
To participate you need to raise a minimum sponsorship of £1000 for The Waterberg Trust. As a registered UK charity, Gift Aid can then be added. 50% of sponsorship raised will go to Save the Waterberg Rhino Trust and 50% will go to community projects in the Waterberg. While we encourage riders to find sponsorship some of us are raising the donation of £1,000 in other ways such as hosting a sale or asking for donations instead of birthday gifts

Since we plan to visit a number of the projects being supported by The Waterberg Trust you will get the chance to meet local people we are helping.
Windsong on Triple B Ranch: http://www.waterbergcottages.co.za

You can see photos from previous rides, along with information about the projects and info on how to make donations on The Waterberg Trust website: http://thewaterbergtrust.com

Friday, 2 June 2017

Author Sophie Neville plans to ride across the game reserves of South Africa


The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2018

Are you up for a challenge?

Would you help Sophie Neville raise awareness for Save the Waterberg Rhino along with educational, health and welfare projects that uplift communities in the area?

Following the success of our third annual ride, we have gathered a team of fit and experienced riders to join us on a sponsored horse safari in January 2018 through the private game reserves of the Waterberg.

This will be Sophie's 5th challenge ride since she rode 175kms across South America to raise funds for the Waterberg Welfare Society in 2008.

- Sophie Neville watching white rhino - 

Saturday 20th Jan: the team of riders depart the UK for Johannesburg 

DAY 1 - Sunday 21st Jan The team of twelve riders will be met by Sophie at Oliver Tambo Airport, Johannesburg and driven about 3 hours north to Ant’s Nest Private Game Reserve deep in the African bush. After settling into the lodge we will go for a game ride looking for zebra and wildebeest to try out the horses.It will be high summer in South Africa, so the bushveld will be green. We’ll be able to hear about plans for the ride as we have dinner by the fire that evening.


DAY 2 - Monday 22nd Jan We’ll spend the day riding up to Ant's Hill, viewing game on horseback and looking for a breeding herds of buffalo, as well as rare sable and roan antelope. As the sun goes down, we’ll meet white rhino living on the reserve while Tessa Baber gives a talk on the work of 'Save the Waterberg Rhino'. 


~ Tessa Baber of Save The Waterberg Rhino~
The Waterberg is home to the third largest population of rhino in South Africa, so their protection on the plateau is vital.


DAY 3 - Tuesday 23rd Jan We set off early, riding east through the reserve and onto sandy roads where we can canter for miles. We are planning to ride to the newly opened ‘Living Museum’ where we can learn more about rhino from the author and wildlife artist Clive Walker, one of South Africa’s leading conservationists. That afternoon we hope ride through a reserve breeding rare golden wildebeest up to Triple B Ranch, the cattle stud owned by Anthony Baber's family for over a hundred years. We’ll stay at Windsong Cottage - the farmhouse built by Ant’s grandfather, Alfred Baber.


DAY 4 - Wednesday 24th Jan We will ride through the Sesotho village on the farm and down through the game reserve at Horizon, which will give us the chance of seeing impala, zebra, giraffe and eland along with primate species as we might spot vervet monkeys and baboon. 



Lunch will be enjoyed at a dam with the hope of spotting hippo. We’ll have a long ride in the afternoon, as we make our way over the hills and through Lindani private game reserve for the night. There is a good paddock here for the horses, a pool and we should be able to see game from the lodge. I’m assured we'll see a large number of warthog.


DAY 5 – Thursday 25th Jan We will ride through Lindani, up a kloof to find game on plains that look down past a north-facing escarpment. We should see warthog, zebra, giraffe, eland, red hartebeest, wildebeest and greater kudu. We ride under high red cliffs, where vultures nest, to Jembisa, a private game reserve on the Palala River where we will have lunch. We’ll ride across the reserve and be able to relax at the lodge, enjoying comfy beds and hot baths.


DAY 6 – Friday 26th Jan The Waterberg Trust enables local children to go on a residential course at Lapalala Wilderness School near Jembisa. We hope to be able to see around this project before riding across Jembisa that morning.


We should find hippos and perhaps see crocodile before riding up to a view-point to grab a few photographs before bidding our horses farewell.


DAY 7 – Saturday 27th Jan After breakfast outside we will take a game drive to see ancient bushmen paintings on the reserve before brunch and drive back via an excellent sewing project selling curios and an educational project in the township enroute to the airport.

~TWT riders visit Letabo Kid's Club's Back to School project~


Sunday 28th Jan - The flight will arrive back in the UK early am. 


The horse safari will be hosted by Ant Baber who owns Ant's Nest. Sophie Neville, a trustee of TWT who became a safari guide in the Waterberg back in 1992, will lead the group and take riders around established charitable projects in the area.


The ride is a unique opportunity to ride alongside wild animals in this beautiful area, now proclaimed a UNESCO biosphere. The itinerary may change - but only for the better! The group of 12 riders need to be fit as there will be approx 25 – 40kms of riding per day.


We plan to visit a number of projects being supported by The Waterberg Trust and meet local people who will benefit from the funds raised by the riders.

To participate team members need to raise a minimum sponsorship of £1000 for The Waterberg Trust. As a registered UK charity, Gift Aid can then be added. 50% of sponsorship raised will go to Save the Waterberg Rhino Trust and 50% will go to community projects in the Waterberg. 

While we encourage riders to find sponsorship some of us are raising the donation of £1,000 in other ways such as hosting a sale or asking for donations instead of birthday gifts.

- Sophie Neville-

For more information, please contact Sophie 
sophie@sophieneville.co.uk



You can see photos from previous rides, along with information about the projects and info on how to make donations on The Waterberg Trust website: http://thewaterbergtrust.com