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Safari Stables Project

Zimbabwe

This experience is for anyone with a passion for horses, wildlife and wanting to explore the beauty of the real African bush at Murenje Ecosafaris. It is the best way to embark on the ultimate horse experience in Africa. Enjoy living in the bush, getting back to nature and being surrounded by horses through the day. You willdo daily horseback safari rides, track wildlife, swim in the dam, and help school horses all whilst supporting conservation.



PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS


  • Gain valuable experience in horse management within an 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 reserve


  • Evening boat cruises on the lake to spot wildlife and watch breathtaking sunsets


  • Go swimming on horseback


  • Camp out under the stars on overnight horseback safaris


  • Enjoy optional additional excursions after your stay, like visiting Victoria Falls (the 7th wonder of the world) or go rhino tracking and visit cave paintings. 

Project video

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. We take complete beginners up to experienced horse riders. The stable is home to around 20 horses which are used for horse safaris around the reserve, but also dressage, jumping and cross country They range from well behaved school masters to young horses who need bringing on. The workload will be a mixture of horse management and horse riding.


The reserve is perfect for riding with long sandy tracks for those who love a gallop, and many beautiful areas to explore for those who prefer a slower pace. With no large predators around and an abundance of species in the savannah grasslands, you will have the unique opportunity to get up-close to some incredible wildlife including giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala, wildebeest and elephant in a safe environment. 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 activities, such as schooling horses, safari rides, fitness training, riding lessons and wildlife counts on horseback. 

KEY ACTIVITIES


Horse Management 


  • Feeding horses in the morning and afternoon

  • Veterinary care of injured, sick and rescued horses

  • Grooming horses 

  • Handling young horses

  • Lunging lessons

  • Tack maintenance and cleaning

  • Hoof care and assisting the farrier

  • Natural horsemanship training, from the ground and in the saddle


In the Saddle 


The riding is varied and can change from day to day but you will generally spend 2-4 hours in the saddle each day. During your stay you can get involved in the following riding activities:


  • 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

  • Flat schooling of young horses and those in for rehabilitation

  • Protect the reserve, checking fence lines, removing snares and monitoring animals in the park, all whilst on horseback 

  • Overnight horse safaris where you and your horses camp out in the bush and enjoy a meal cooked on the fire under the stars with your friends.

  • Sunrise/ Sunset Rides: An African sunrise is truly spectacular, and it looks even better from the saddle. Just like the sunrise, the sunset is equally as beautiful. This is a memory that will last a lifetime.

  • Swim the horses in the dam to improve their fitness. Take them in to the water bareback  as they go from a leg deep paddle to a full depth swim. 

  • Cross-Country. Jump our very own cross-country course, dotted around the reserve and develop your show-jumping skills with the African bush as your backdrop.



Project Photos

ACCOMMODATION


Your accommodation will be within the specifically designed and built volunteer cottage. The cottage has beautiful lawns surrounding it where you can read a book, sunbathe and socialise. There is a swimming pool for hot days and a view right out over the lake, which is teaming with birds. From time to time antelope can be spotted across the water from the comfort of your room!


The rooms are unisex and are shared with a small number of other volunteers. All bedding, sheets and towels are provided. Housekeeping will come to the rooms 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. There is hot and cold  running water within the ensuite bathrooms. 


Meals are enjoyed communally in the dining area or sitting around the fire. There is a large common room with a TV where volunteers enjoy games, team building and evenings at leisure, when not around the firepit or under the stars.



LOCATION


Zimbabwe is based in the of Southern Africa. At present there is no quarantine requirements on arrival so you can head straight to the project from the airport.  Zimbabwe 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. It is home to Victoria Falls, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and the largest waterfall in the world, being 2x higher and wider than Niagara Falls, and a hot spot for adrenalin sports like skydiving, rafting and bungee jumping. There are some of the largest national parks in Africa, the largest man-made lake in the world (Lake Kariba), fantastic fishing, beautiful cities, endless horizons and cultural diversity. “Zimbos” (as they call themselves), are friendly and love showing volunteers their way of life, culture, and history.


Situated in the heart of Zimbabwe, 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.

PROJECT COST



2024 cost 


1 week:   £1,164

2 weeks: £1,824

3 weeks: £2,477

4 weeks: £3,109

5 weeks: £3,683

6 weeks: £4,257

7 weeks: £4,830

8 weeks: £5,404

9 weeks: £5,978

10 weeks: £6,552

11 weeks: £7,126

12 weeks: £7,700


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

  • All your horseriding 


OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:


  • Medical and travel insurance

  • Flights to your chosen destination

  • Visa

  • Weekend trips and other non-project activities


Please note one week stays incur an early departure transfer fee of $190 (single person) or $250 (multi-person,  which is split between 2 to 4 people). This will need to be paid for in cash on arrival to the project.



PROJECT SPECIFICS


  • AGE: 18 +, no upper limit

  • QUALIFICATIONS: no requirements, qualified vet/nurse welcome but this is NOT a clinical project

  • EMS (horses)



START DATES 


This project starts on Mondays. Volunteers can arrive and depart from Bulawayo Airport.  At the airport a  member of the team will meet you and transport you to  the reserve.


Please note this project has a 80kg weight limit in line with the wellbeing and safety of the horses.  You need to be over 18 to attend. 

Volunteer feedback

Sisse Olsen

July 2023

“ The best part of the experience was spending so much time with the horse and the other volunteers. Wide range of activities both horse related and the possibility of joint wild life activities and teaching at the local school. The team running the volunteer program are amazing! Suitable for any age or background, just need to want to participate in activities and join other volunteers in order to get the best possible experience. The camp were great at catering for all levels of horsemanship."

Elaine Hollinger

July 2023

“The whole trip was fantastic from the people who worked at the park, the friends I made along the way, the landscape, the sunsets, the animals. Everything was truly incredible. Our trip to Victoria Falls was fun packed and fantastic. I truly have memories to last me a lifetime!”

WHAT NEXT?


If you want to get involved in this project and live, breath and work with horses in Africa just hit the "apply now" button, in the form and we will be in touch with you right away.

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