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

  • 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. 

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! 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.

LOCATION

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!

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 fly in and out of Harare Airport (Sundays) or Bulawayo Airport (Mondays).

​2019

2nd, 16th & 30th December

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.

WHAT NEXT?

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.

Project Photos