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South Africa Dream Horse Adventure Project

Love horses? Love wildlife? Love to learn a bit about conservation? Then this is the dream volunteer project for you! Riding a horse into the reserve means you get closer to the animals than ever before. Join a huge group of volunteers in this welcoming project in South Africa!

At a glance:

Volunteering: with horses and wildlife in South Africa

Accommodation: Shared chalets on a Big 5 reserve.

Meals: 3 meals provided

Dates: Orientation starts 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month

Minimum stay: 2 weeks

 

What animals will I look after?

You’ll be looking after beautiful horses! This sociable project is split into two parts, combining equestrian activities and observing the various wildlife in the African Reserve. You can go on horse trails, galloping along the winding paths, or take a quiet stroll through the bush experiencing Africa’s nature and wildlife up close from horseback.

Taking the horses for a swim in the dam, lessons, playing games or acquiring the skills to work with horses in a comfortable and safe way are some of the things you’ll experience. You’ll also meet lots of other volunteers; a great way to make new friends!

About the Horse Safari Project:

The South Africa Horse Adventure is offered to those who would like to spend their time living their ultimate African adventure! Run by a devoted guide, accomplished competitive rider and dedicated conservationist, the reserve is also close to the famous Kruger National Park..  

If you like horses and love to ride as well as be surrounded by the African wildlife and learn more about the animals then this project is for you! You’ll be treated like family on this warm and friendly project.

The Equestrian centre is situated within the a Wildlife Estate, which is a 420 hectare nature reserve. The estate has Leopard, Hyena and most of the herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, reptiles, snakes, primates, smaller cats, eagles, vultures, birds, insects and many more!

At the reserve next door there are the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo) and during the project, you will go on privately guided bush walks, game drives and night drives in the wild.

During the walks, drives and outrides, you’ll almost always see a variety of animals, as well as get the most amazing photo opportunities!

There are also some special projects at the centre, including:

  • Elephant Impact Research 
  • Elephant population dynamics 
  • Rhino identification 
  • Monitoring the trap cameras throughout the reserve

What will I be doing at The Horse Safari?

Although completely flexible, the weekly schedule combines equestrian activities with conservation. It is important to know that schedules can change according to various activities and weather conditions. The day starts early with self-service breakfast at camp after which you are transported either to the equestrian centre or deeper into the nature reserve.

The volunteer project is divided into 2 different segments:

Mornings: Equestrian Section (Morning Duties + Activities):

Participants will be able to further their equestrian knowledge and riding skills relating to horse trails, show jumping/dressage and stable yard, while doing so within a wildlife environment.

During the lessons, you will expand your skills needed to be an ethical and confident horse rider. 

You'll get to ride both in the wildlife and in an arena (with trees), learn about horse behaviour, natural horsemanship, jumping, flatwork and bareback riding but all at your own comfort level.

The program exposes you to all the aspects of managing an equestrian centre, however you will not be expected to maintain the centre, so if mucking out a stable is not your thing, then don’t despair! . Rather, emphasis is placed on learning about horses and conservation in a relaxed and fun filled environment, and is available to both experienced riders and beginners. 

Advanced riders will assist with the daily training of the horses on the property - as well as outrides and arena rides, and groundwork.

Your stay will include these practical activities:

  • Out rides in the reserve plains lands 
  • Horsemanship (general care, lunging, riding)
  • Natural Horsemanship
  • Stable management
  • Basic veterinary and basic anatomy of a horse
  • Tack and care of tack
  • Teaching (beginner riders)
  • Basic First Aid 

Afternoon Duties + Activities:

This section of the program allows you the opportunity to drive through the African bush, sit around a campfire listening to the calls of the wild or sipping a well-deserved drink, while watching the African sunset.

After a day at the stables you will go out into a ‘Big 5’ Nature Reserve where you will have the opportunity to view the wildlife in its natural environment with an emphasis on conservation. 

Accommodation

  • Volunteer Accommodation is provided in comfortable chalets on a neighbouring Big 5 reserve. There’s lots of volunteers here - a great sociable atmosphere!
  • Each room accommodates 4 riders and each has its own en-suite bathroom. 
  • A separate kitchen/fireplace overlooks a waterhole in the bush, where one can enjoy a meal or simply spend your time relaxing with a book or sitting around a campfire, while a variety of game (e.g. buffalo, zebras, giraffes...) come over to drink.  
  • It never gets old seeing a giraffe turn up while you're enjoying your morning coffee!

Meals

  • ​The kitchen is fully stocked for a self-service breakfast and lunch
  • Suppers are prepared for everyone in the evenings

Facilities

  • There is also a swimming pool nearby, surrounded by wooden decking and overlooking the bush.
  • Laundry can be done at the bush camp for a small cost to cover expenses.
  • There is also Wi-Fi at bush camp. 
  • Internet can be bought with vouchers once on the project, these are valid per month

Weekend Activities

  • A fair amount of free time is also made available, which one can use either to catch up on their personal requirements such as Facebook, emails,  etc, or simply to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of their surroundings. 
  • Weekend schedules are less rigid, giving you  one the opportunity to do some sightseeing, some shopping, to go on an excursion or simply to relax in the hammock or spend time at the nearby by pool.
Excursions (not included in project fees)

These excursions will allow one to learn more about the Lowveld and its surrounding area. You will always be accompanied by either one or both of the supervisors.
  • Walk with the wild (Including breakfast) 
  • Wildlife rehabilitation centres
  • White water rafting/tubing 
  • Micro-lighting 
  • Hot air ballooning 
  • Pro-track Anti-Poaching training
  • Hiking 

Requirements

  • It is a low risk Malaria area. It is recommended to take anti-malaria pills or purchase Incognito natural anti-mosquito range.
  • There is a weight limit of 85kg
  • Self medication / first aid kit
  • Hat, sun cream, water bottle and adaptor
  • Personal First Aid Kit and medication - if required
  • Drug Use will not be tolerated
  • There is plenty of spare riding gear but you are welcome to bring your own helmet and boots.

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