Monday, 2 March 2015

The Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 ~ Part Two ~ Getting Underway

We set off from Horizon Horseback Lodge on a fine sunny morning, making our way along empty tracks and up into the hills of the Waterberg. Our biggest challenge, encountered that first day was the sun. Coming from Europe we'd all been longing for the warmth but a heatwave hit the Limpopo Province and all we could do to cool off was to ride faster.

However we also had cool days when our team of twelve enjoyed excellent game viewing.

We rode with zebra, wildebeeste, eland, blesbok, implala, greater kudu, warthog,oryx, waterbuck, mountain reedbuck,grey duiker, red heatebeeste, jackal, giraffe and saw crocodile, hippo, ostrich, baboon, vervet moneky, slender mongoose, tree squirel, sable antelope, nyla, bush buck and white rhino.

On the first evening we met a debra - a hyrbid standing with it's parents: a donkey stallion and a zebra mare. Everyone kept asking me if we'd see springbok. I explained that we were too far north only to see a pair on our last day.

As horse lovers, we also enjoyed riding past horses kept in the bush. Along with Anglo Arabs and Boerperde you find quite a few Friesian horses bred in South Africa. A highlight of the trip was encountering white rhino at Ant's Hill.

We missed seeing rhino from horseback, but Ant took us out on an evening game drive when we watched a family of four taking an evening mud bath, one by one.

All the riders found the fast sections exhilarating.

On day three we took some of the wide sandy roads up and over the hill from Ant's Nest to Lindani Game Reserve cantering whenever we could.

Riding through the wilderness, where there were no roads or fences, was a great privilege. As well as raising money to uplift the children and students of the region we found ourselves learning about the ecology of the Waterberg Biosphere. In some ways it was a fantastic adventure - a holiday - but the riders paid all their own expenses and were giving freely of their time.

 We also had rivers to cross and hills to climb but the most challenging section was yet to come.

~ The Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 ~ 

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