Dear guests, friends, family and everyone who follows Wait A Little,

OUR NEW HORSE SAFARI GUIDE RAY pictures by Rynhard Erasmus

This year we sadly had to wave our wonderful guide Rusty goodbye. After 8 years at Wait A Little he felt it was time for a change, sad for us, but understandable. It wasn’t easy as he was definitely a big part of our lives and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to him for the amazing time we had together and to wish him all the best for his future. 
We were super lucky, that we were already in contact with Rynhardt Erasmus (we know him as Ray). He was interested in getting some guiding experience and we had invited him to volunteer from January until March. By January Rusty had resigned so instead of being a volunteer Ray became a guide-in-training. 

Ray arrived with amazing guiding skills, all necessary qualifications in place and already a super rider. So how lucky were we? It really didn’t take him long to get to know his way around the reserves and our way of doing the trails.

Then suddenly, Ray was thrown in at the deep end when Philip broke his collarbone at the beginning of April, so Ray started guiding solo much sooner than we would have wanted. But he rose to the challenge with the support of a wonderful repeat group of guests on that first safari and has never looked back! He is now a confident and integral member of our team. Welcome Ray!


Thank you to the amazing work of Michele and Ian Merrifield from Daktari who won the famous Kudu award in 2018. The awards aim to recognise external stakeholders for their contributions and efforts in making SANParks the custodian of choice for the national parks system in South Africa.
South African National Parks (SANParks) envisions making the National Parks system the pride and joy of all South Africans and the world, through developing and managing a system of national parks that represents the biodiversity, landscapes, and associated heritage assets of South Africa for the sustainable use and benefit of all. 
In the process of attaining this vision, SANParks is supported by a contingent of employees who display their passion and dedication to conservation and to providing the visitors to the National Parks with an unforgettably rich experience of the African wilderness.
At the same time, SANParks recognises that conservation will never be a responsibility of just one organisation or person. There are many individuals and groups who are not directly associated with the national parks systems, who continue to contribute significantly to conservation and environmental protection and education.
In 2003, an opportunity was presented through the launching of the book South African National Parks – A Celebration Commemorating the Fifth World Parks Congress, when SANParks thought of creating an opportunity for recognising and rewarding excellence in conservation by external stakeholders, and so the Kudu Award was born.
The external Kudu Award is coupled with the internal Chief Executive’s Award, which is presented to employees of SANParks who have been identified as having shown dedication beyond duty towards the vision of SANParks.
The Kudu Awards is a concept that has been developed in order for the management of South African National Parks to say thank you to external and internal stakeholders for their contributions and efforts in making SANParks a better organisation.


South African National Parks (SANParks) supported by Total South Africa and First National Bank (FNB) recognised deserving conservationists at the 14th Kudu Awards ceremony held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on 16 November 2018.
THE NEW BOYS  by Clare Morrell


During the past year or so we have welcomed three new horses to our herd.

Raven arrived from our good friend Traci in Hoedspruit. He is a very smart Friesian cross, 7 years old and had a lot to learn in the arena. One of our lovely volunteers - Sammy - fell in love with his cheeky face and worked very hard to get him to settle and relax. He is now a lovely safari horse who enjoys his trail rides.

Samurai belonged to our new guide Ray and we had the feeling it was ‘ment-to-be’ that he joined our stable… When Ray decided to stay with us, and bring his horse and dog as well, we discovered that his horse is called after a beer - Samurai - and his dog is a female with her name ending “a” - Nyala!! Samurai has settled well but has had no real education under saddle so he has been learning all about life as a trail horse!! Now he goes as back up and a guest horse, and is a real pleasure to ride.
Pauwel is our new baby!! He arrived in June as an unbacked 4yr old and Ray starting his education in hand and under saddle - he is now working both in the arena and going out on rides, and his first longer ride included an Elephant sighting when he behaved impeccably! He is a real sweetheart to handle and so calm and quiet in the herd. Here’s to many happy hours of trail riding in the years to come!


These two arrived together a couple of years ago and both are now being ridden out on safari. Firestone was probably one of the easiest horses we have ever backed and he is on safari now for quite some time. Not so Mister Gordon (or Gorgeous George), he wasn’t as easy and a few of our volunteers have worked very hard with him. To name some: Lea sat on him for the first time, after she left he started bucking, then Amy spent a lot of time working with him on the ground and under saddle, then Sophie and finally Karin. I think he turned the 

corner with Karin and all of a sudden is the best boy ever… and … finally we can enjoy his sense of humour!
RETIRES  by Clare Morrell


We have retired four horses this past year. Red Eric and Saku are now both with Traci in Hoedspruit, where they are enjoying a more relaxed life but still with an interesting variation in work each day. Emerson has now also joined them, we found that his thoroughbred feet did not like the terrain we ride over, so he is enjoying his work on the more sandy tracks on offer from Traci’s rides. Theakston has also been retired to a quieter life with our friend Ingrid, where Windhoek and Solar are also living. Ingrid’s grandson goes on little outrides with Theakston which keeps him happy and ticking over. I do miss all these wonderful horses!  


In September 2019 we welcomed two groups of Far & Ride guests to Wait A Little, accompanied by their wonderful agents Holly Anthony and Cathy Holloway. First only Holly wanted to come, but she got so many people intersted that they had to open another ride and, although I am sure very hard, Cathy jumped in as the tour guide, well done Holly that was increadable. We had some amazing sightings and lots of fun and giggles with these two groups of super ladies.



In August 2018 we completed the renovation of our accommodation at Wait A Little. And how stunning the camp is: four thatched roofed rooms stand on high platforms overlooking the Makutswe River bed. They are light and spacious, modern and luxurious in style, warmer in winter and cooler in the summer than our old tents and our clients just love them. As do our domestic ladies who find them so much easier to look after and our maintenance staff who aren’t having to bang nails into a floorboard every week! I have to say though we definitely shed a tear when we pulled down the last of our old tents though … Camp 1 was built by Gerti's and Philip’s own bare hands 20 years previously.



STAFF PARTY  by Clare Morrell

At Christmas every year, we treat our staff to a braai one lunchtime. We supply the food and soft drinks then they cook and dance the day away. Gerti and Philip made a hilarious speech to thank the staff for their loyalty, their hard work and the ways in which they have gone above and beyond their normal duties.  



There is a lot to tell, as the last Newsletter is long ago. Cabby and I won the South African Championships in the Medium Tour Freestyle in 2018 and decided after that to try the Big Tour. It all started not too bad, with the first Grand Prix in March at a small show, only 2 competitors, I was second, ha ha. Then I got lucky again and won the Gauteng leg of the Dressage Challenge (only Inter 2). I was training for the very big show of the year, the CDI 2*. Two weeks prior to the show Cabby got a bad virus and although we did go he was not on top form. So we tried the next big show, the 2019 SA Champs. But again we were not lucky. The first test wasn’t too bad, but then we had to ride the freestyle in the spotlight at 9pm at night! The first time in our competition life riding under spotlights and sadly Cabby didn’t like it at all - we took out one of the floural displays, ha ha! In the test he was tense and not with me, so not our evening. The next day it was squeeching hot 40 degrees and we had to ride at 2pm. I am not sure if that was the problem, but nothing worked like at home. So we are back home training and hope to get more exposure and milage this year 2020. 

Ektor in comparison was getting better and better throughout the season. Starting of with Novice at the SA Champs 2018 (he was very naughty) we ended up Elementary - Medium at the SA Champs 2019 where he was second in the freestyle and a good 8th in the Championship class, which I was super pleased with. 

He has grown into himself again soooo much and is totally amazing to ride. Love, love this horse!!! 



2019 brought some interesting new additions to our herd: three old buffalo bulls took up residence at Wait A Little moving happily between their bedroom and ensuite dining room (our hay store!) 
and the bar (the water troughs at our tie ups!).
A novelty at first, their presence quickly became a nuisance. After several weeks, Philip had had enough. He chased the three Dagga Boys away one evening. The battle was won. Victory was ours. Or so we thought ……………………… The following morning the three old stooges were back - with all their friends (our entire 40 strong Buffalo herd!) calmly devouring our precious hay. This time we called our maintenance team to construct a high voltage barrier around the hay and as the herd sloped off along our fence line the fight was at last over.  

by Gerti Kusseler

Just a couple of shots from our wonderful guests. 2019 was an amazing year with spectacular sightings. All we hope for now is a good rainy season. It has started well, let’s hold thumbs it will carry on. 



In November Gerti also had the honour to be in a talkshow on German TV. Gaby Hauptmann the presenter is an long time guest of Wait A Little and she invited Gerti to talk about the safaris, but more importantly about Daktari. If you can speak German you can watch it by following the link below. 


TWO SAD GOOD BYES  by Gerti Kusseler and Susie Warren


I was at the SA Champs when one afternoon Philip phoned me to tell me he had to put down Tau. In hindsight it was a good thing I wasn’t there, as it only really hit me when I got back to Wait A Little that our most amazing Tau is not there anymore. Articles have been written about Tau, who has been Philip’s lead horse for many years and the safest and steadiest hack for our guests after that. Tau we owe you a lot and thank you for the amazing time you have given us. He is a legend and will stay a legend. 
Another sad goodbye happened at the beginning of December when we had to let the wonderful Hilda go, our loyal companion of over 15 years. A supremely loving and easy going Rhodesian Ridgeback, our favourite breed here at Wait A Little, she was happy until the end, with a waggy tail and that wonderful twinkle in her eyes and still with enough energy to drag a beef fillet off the table in the kitchen the week before she left us! Those who knew Hilda will remember that she was obsessed with food, more than the average dog, and there are endless tales of disappearing meats and breads of all sorts from the Wait A Little kitchen over the years … after much baffled, scratching of heads usually one
look at Hilda’s belly would reveal the answer! For Philip, Hilda was a devoted friend and the most extraordinarily talented hunting partner, acutely intelligent with an instinctive understanding of the qualities required of her. What a dog.
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African Big Five Horse Safari