Safari Stables Project
Participants on this project gain experience in the daily running and management of an African safari stable, which caters for horse-riding lessons, horse-back safaris, carriage safaris and the sports of Polo and Polocrosse. You will also be involved with the other animals at the park including elephants, lions and planes game.
Get to know the African bush whilst exploring on horseback
Ride right up to giraffe, weave through herds of zebra, canter past wildebeest and admire majestic elephants, all on horseback
Help guide horse rides around the game reserve
Learn and play the sports of polo, polocrosse and show jumping
Gain valuable experience in Stable and Horse Management within a rustic African setting
Go swimming on horseback
Camp out under the stars on overnight horseback safaris
Interact and help care for our 4 rescued African Elephants
The stables are based on a beautiful wildlife reserve in the heart of Zimbabwe. Anyone can volunteer on this project, you don't need any past experience, you don't even need to be able to ride yet! We take complete beginners up to experienced horse riders. The stables is home to over 40 horses which are mostly used for horse safaris around the reserve, but also polo, polo-crosse and showjumping. They range from well behaved school masters to young lively horses who need bringing on. The work load will be a mixture of horse management and horse riding.
Whilst some horse experience is helpful on this project, it is not necessary. We will take those not confident with horses through a gentle training process until they are comfortable with basics, like catching, haltering, tacking up and riding our calmer horses. We hope that by the time you leave you will be happy to join in all the management and riding activities.
Those with horse experience will be allowed to assist or lead some activities, such as schooling horses, safari rides, fitness training, riding lessons and wildlife counts on horseback. All riders will have chances to learn the game of polo-crosse and during the competition season (May-August) you can join competitions. Competent riders may be able to play in local or international competitions which are also held at the park on the specially designed polo-crosse field.
An early rise in time to see the red African sunrise - round up horses to the stables
Mucking out the stables
Assisting when polocrosse competitions are being held at the park
In the Saddle
The riding is varied and can change from day to day but you will get involved in the following rides:
Spend 2-6 hours each day in the saddle
Assist with training/breaking in of young horses
Flat schooling of young horses and showjumping practice
Carry out reserve maintenance, checking fence lines, removing snares or counting the animals in the park
Join the regular 2 hour safari rides where you will get up close to giraffe, zebra and antelope, weaving among them as they graze peacefully, or cantering alongside them to the thunder of hooves
Join in with shows at various location around the country if they are occurring during your stay
Overnight safaris where you and your horses camp out in the bush with other volunteers (3 course dinner is cooked for you in the campsite)
Swim the horses in the dam to improve fitness. Sometimes the elephants join in too!
Learn to play polocrosse
The 4 rescued elephants that have a safe haven at the reserve spend their days grazing the lawn in front of the dining hall and at liberty in the reserve, enjoying the most natural environment possible. You will spend a session with the elephants, understanding their behavior walking alongside them in the bush. The reserve does not agree with the riding of elephants and only positive reinforcement is used to allow safe handling of these beautiful animals by the trainers.
Your accommodation will be in the middle of the game reserve, in the ‘main camp’.
The stables are right outside the camp so you don’t have far to go to reach the horses! The four rescued elephants often come and drink at the lake in front of the dining hall, so you can expect to meet and interact with them.
Volunteers share rooms (single sex), with up to 5 other people. You will use single sex wash rooms with hot running water, so you can clean up after a day in the saddle, before heading to the dining hall, coffee shop, fire pit or bar. There is also a swimming pool for your use.
Situated in the heart of Zimbabwe - near the town of Gweru - Antelope Park is a private game reserve teeming with African wildlife, including lions, elephants, zebra and giraffe.
The landscape is a mixture of rolling savanna and mopane woodland, interspersed with gently flowing rivers and dams that provide a vital source of water to the animals on the reserve. Past volunteers will tell you this is a very special place, where friend are made for life and the pace of living, the friendly staff and the beautiful animals, will create memories that stay with your forever. There is nowhere quite like Antelope Park!
Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:
All airport collection and returns.
All accommodation and food, including 3 meals a day
24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
Tea, coffee and filtered water
OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:
Medical and travel insurance
Flights to your chosen destination
Weekend trips and other non-project activities
2 weeks £ 1,199
3 weeks £ 1,523
4 weeks £ 1,845
5 weeks £ 2,168
6 weeks £ 2,490
7 weeks £ 2,812
8 weeks £ 3,135
9 weeks £ 3,457
10 weeks £ 3,780
11 weeks £4,102
12 weeks £4,425
Volunteers fly in and out of Harare Airport (Sundays) or Bulawayo Airport (Mondays).
2nd, 16th & 30th December
January 16th & 13th & 27th I February 10th & 24th I March 9th & 23rd I April 6th &20th I May 4th & 18th I June 1st & 15th &29th I July 6th &13th &20th & 27th I August 3rd & 10th &17th & 24th & 31st I September 7th & 21st I October 5th & 19th I November 2nd & 16th 30th I December 14th & 28th.
If you want to get involved in this project and live, breath and work with horses in Africa, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss joining us. Send us an email, use the 'book now' button or the 'contact us' page. Remember to also check out the project brochure at the top of the page to find out more.