Horse Volunteer

Volunteers gain valuable experience into the daily running and management of a yard in a safari reserve, which rescues and rehabilitates abused and injured horses. We welcome everyone to the project whether you are a professional rider or  have never sat on a horse before.

 

The project aims to give horses a second chance at life, carrying out horseback safaris in the bush and training for show jumping, dressage and polocrosse. There are 20 horses in the stables ranging from local bush ponies, to ex-racing thoroughbreds, each with their own unique history and rescue story.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Help rescue and rehabilitate abused and injured horses

  • Get to know the African bush whilst exploring on horseback

  • Live in a beautiful game reserve

  • Ride right up to zebra, weave through herds of impala, canter past wildebeest and admire majestic  giraffes

  • Enjoy showjumping, dressage and polocrosse lessons

  • Ride at sunrise, under the full moon, across the planes and through rivers

  • Gain valuable horse management experience in Africa

One thing is for sure, you will spend numerous hours in the saddle every day and improve your riding, whilst contributing to conservation and horse welfare in a friendly and welcoming country.

Join the stables team at Lion and Cheetah Park in Zimbabwe, to support conservation whilst working with horses in Africa.

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Lion and Cheetah Park is open to the public every day of the year. Visitors come to drive around the game reserve and take a tour of the sanctuary enclosures where there are a range of rescued animals including lions, white lions, jackal, wolves, crocodiles and monkeys. Many people also choose to ride in the park and see animals up close from horseback. There are no carnivores in the game park, making for safe riding. As a volunteer you will get invovled in all apects of the horse's training and riding as well as helping educate Zimbabweans about the importance of conservation.

As a volunteer your ridden activities will include:

  • Schooling horses

  • Join up for young and nervous horses

  • Going on safari rides in the bush

  • Assisting with quarterhorse stud work

  • Fitness training

  • Dressage and jumping lessons

  • Wildlife management exercises on horseback such as boundary patrols and snare sweeps

  • Playing polocrosse

  • Full moon rides and overnight safaris to camp under the stars in the bush

 

The requirements of the stable change from day-to-day, therefore an open mind and flexible attitude is a must! Volunteers can expect to spend an average of 3+ hours daily on horseback. As well as spending ample hours in the saddle, you will carry out various tasks that are important to the maintenance and development of the yard and the game park. This may include:

 

  • Mucking out

  • Grooming

  • Hay collection and filling haynets

  • Dipping horses and tick management

  • Tack cleaning

  • Road repair

  • Alien plant removal

  • Fire breaks

  • Receiving veterinary care lessons (bandaging, deworming, wound care etc)

  • Assisting the farrier, equine dentist and vet when appropriate

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WHAT ELSE WILL YOU BE INVOLVED IN?

 

During your stay, there may be jumping and polocrosse competitions scheduled in Harare. Volunteers can choose to attend these shows and tournaments, which is a great chance to meet like minded horse lovers, see more of Zimbabwe and have fun whilst competing. Volunteers are responsible for covering the cost of the horse box and class entries.

You will also be able to assist with the animals in the wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary does not allow human interaction with carnivores, with the exception of the wolves, who have grown up in human company and thrive on such contact. There are often young, injured and orphaned animals coming in and you can assist with their management and care. You will have a number of optional sessions each week for working with these animals should you wish. This includes feeding the lions, cleaning and enriching enclosures, helping with darting, veterinary care and training the wolves.

NOTE: Daily activities will vary depending on what is needed at the time. The above is an indication and may vary depending on the needs of the animals.

FUN ACTIVITIES

During your stay you will be able to participate in a range of fun experiences to help you really get a feel for life in Africa.  These are all included in the cost of your stay and are scheduled in to your weekly plan and help volunteers bond with each other and the staff, and work together as a team.

  • Braai in the game park

  • Sundowners

  • Lunar rides under the full moon

  • Town trips for dinner out

  • Bush skills lessons

  • Discovering ancient bushman paintings

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DAILY SCHEDULE

The day to day activities may vary depending on the time of the year and the work the horses are receiving. The events of a day may change the night before, or even during the day, so we ask you to be flexible and able to adapt to changing plans in order to put the needs of the animals first. 

7.30 am —Feed and groom horses, turn them out to the field

9.00 am — Riding session. School/lunge/game park management. This is also a period for mucking out and stable maintenance

12.00pm— LUNCH

2.00pm —Riding session and stable duties

4.00pm —Water, haynets, bring in horses and feed.

5.00 pm —Work finishes

7.00 pm — DINNER

Evenings are at your leisure and are spent around the outdoor fire pit, having movie nights, going for a drink in town, card games and bonding with fellow volunteers.  Monday is your off day when you can choose to relax, shop, head to town, or even ride your favourite horse if you want to get more time in the saddle.  Each Monday we also aim to arrange an optional extra trip or activity , so you really make the most of your time in Africa.

ACCOMMODATION

 

Your accommodation will be within the beautiful colonial thatched volunteer house on the boundary of the game park, right next to the yard.   There is hot and cold running water with both showers and baths for your use. A central kitchen allows you to make your meals and there is comfy living room with couches and a TV. The TV takes DVD’s and hard drives and you are welcome to bring your own supply.

Bedrooms may be shared if there are a number of volunteers at the time, with a maximum of three people. Rooms are same sex, unless you are a couple and wish to be in a room together.  All bedding and sheets are provided. You will need to bring your own towel.

House keeping will come to the house every day, clean your room ,make your bed and do any clothes washing that is needed. All your laundry is included in the price of your stay.

FOOD

All your meals are included in the cost of your stay. Breakfast is self served and ingredients like milk, cereals, fruit, tea and coffee are provided in the kitchen. Lunch will be made for you and eaten at the volunteer house or in the garden. Lunch may consist of salads, burgers, pizzas etc. Dinner will also be prepared for you and eaten at the volunteer house. Dinners can include lasagne, stews and a cultural “braai” experience, which is a meal of meat (or vegetarian alternatives) cooked over an open fire. We can cater for most diets but need advance warning, so please highlight your requirements when making your booking.

STAYING IN TOUCH

During your stay you will be given a portable wifi dongle that you can load with data whilst with us. Most volunteers spend about 15 USD a week on their internet, depending on usage.  The internet in Zimbabwe may be slower than what you are used to at home, so we suggest you download any films and music before you come! You will have no problems sending messages, and uploading photos and videos to social media.

START DATES

 

You can join this project any week of the year. Volunteers fly in to  and out of Harare International Airport on Sundays. We can help you book the correct flights and also cater for alternative start dates, so if your travel plans are not able to fit the normal dates, please contact us for more information.

PRICE

In order to cover your accommodation and food, we ask for a volunteer fee to cover these aspects of your stay.

1 week -   £570

2 weeks - £1,140

3 weeks - £1710

4 weeks - £2280

5 weeks - £2,800

6 weeks - £3,370

7 weeks - £3,940

8 weeks - £4,510

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED

 

Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:

· Pre departure assistance with planning and flights from one  of our destination specialists

· Shared accommodation

· All horse riding and lessons

· Airport pick-up and drop-off from Harare International Airport

· 3 meals a day

· A fulltime housekeeping service and all laundry

· Onsite 24 hour volunteer coordinator 

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

 

· International or domestic flights to and away from the project

· Visas

· Insurance

· Extra activities on your day off, and costs associated with horse competitions.