Safari Stables Project
Safari Stables Project

Zimbabwe

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.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS


  • Gain valuable experience in Stable and Horse Management within a rustic African setting


  • 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


  • 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. 

KEY ACTIVITIES


Horse Management 


  • An early rise in time to see the red African sunrise - round up horses to the stables

  • Mucking out the stables

  • Grooming

  • Tack cleaning

  • 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


Other Animals

 

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.  

ACCOMMODATION


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! Volunteers  share rustic thatched roof single sex rooms. You will share with 3 or 5  other people and all your bedding and towels are provided. 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. If you want to find out about upgrading to a couples room, a  private en suite or even a honey moon suite from around 30 US dollars a  night, just ask us to find out the rates.


You will be waking up to the sounds of  the lions roaring, and when the African sun is beating down on you later  in the day, you can cool off by the pool (number one chill spot over  the lunch break!) or relax with a cold drink at our raised deck bar  overlooking the river. The coffee shop on site makes some of Southern  Africa’s best waffles, cakes and smoothies, as well as selling authentic  souvenirs. The four rescued  elephants often come and drink at the lake in front of the dining hall  and coffee shop, so you can expect to meet and interact with them on  these occasions.


WIFI is available at around 20 US dollars  for 1GB and is accessible on any device so we recommend bringing a  laptop, tablet or smartphone with you in order to access it. Your  laundry is done for you for free. You just drop it off at the laundry  building and pick it up clean and folded one day later!

LOCATION


Zimbabwe is based in the middle of  Southern Africa. It is renowned by locals as being the best place to do a  safari because there are considerably fewer tourists and the nature  reserves are much more ‘wild’ and free. “Zimbos” (as they call  themselves), are without a doubt the most generous and friendly nation  in Southern Africa and love showing volunteers the way of life, culture  and history.


Situated in the heart of Zimbabwe near  the town of Gweru, and just two hours away from Bulawayo Airport where  you arrive to, is the project. The game reserve is teeming with African  wildlife, including lions, elephants, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, jackal,  waterbuck, impala 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 friends are made for life and the pace of living, friendly staff  and the beautiful animals, will create memories that stay with your  forever. If living on a game reserve in the heart of the African bush  isn’t enough, there are loads of extra activities to enjoy with fellow  volunteers.

PROJECT COST


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

  • Pre-departure assistance

  • 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

  • visa

  • 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


START DATES 


Volunteers arrive to Bulawayo Airport on the Monday the project starts and depart on the Monday it ends. Most  people fly via Johannesburg airport and arrive early in the morning. A  member of the team will meet you from the airport and transport you to  the reserve, which is two hours from the airport, just outside the town  of Gweru.


Different start dates can be accommodated  (extra transfer costs apply) with advance notice. Ask us about tailored  start dates, durations and multi-project trips. You will receive 5% off  any 2nd or  subsequent project you book with us, either immediately after your first  project, or at any time in the future! Stays extending over 3 months  receive a reduced rate on accommodation, please contact us if you wish  to stay for a longer period.



2020


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.


2021


4th, 11th, 25th January | 8 & 22 February | 8 & 22 March | 5 & 19 April | 3,  17  & 21 May | 14 & 28 June | 5, 12, 19 & 26 July | 2, 9, 16 &  23 August | 6 & 20 September | 4 & 18 October | 1,  15 & 29  November | 13 & 27 December

Want to hear more? Leave your info and we’ll get back to you.

 
Project Photos

Worldwide Vets LTD

Company  No. 07436 749

4 Burges Close, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, SS1 3JW

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