Volunteer With Horses In Africa
Incredible opportunities with horses await you at Antelope Park stables. Learn what it takes to run an authentic African stable right in the heart of Zimbabwe.
→ Prices start from US $1,217 for 1 week
African Horse Management Volunteering
Volunteering with Horses in Africa doesn’t get much better than this and promises to be an experience you will never forget. With the iconic African bush as your backdrop and a wide variety of incredible and exclusive horse-based activities on offer, this is an amazing adventure, far greater than simply working abroad with horses.
A unique and incomparable adventure awaits you. You will be fully involved in learning about what it takes to run an authentic African stable. Your opportunities span from taking that perfect photo with the majestic giraffe whilst exploring the bush, to being captivated by the beauty of an African sunrise, all the while developing your show-jumping skills and swimming on horseback – and we’re only scratching the surface!
Whether you are on a gap year, career break, school holiday or just looking for something extraordinary to do, why not become part of the stables team at Antelope Park, boasting a stunning private game lodge that offers a once in a lifetime horse and wildlife encounter.
Horse Volunteer Reviews
Thanks to all the AP staff for the 2 weeks together. I can’t find the words to express how I feel. I ‘m grateful to have had the opprotunity to come here and meet everyone. This was the best experience I have ever had. It’s the first time in 21years that I’ve felt at home. My body goes back to France but my heart and soul stay here.
Day In The Life Of A Horse Volunteer
Stables Upkeep: You will be tasked with general cleaning and maintenance of the stable, the yard, paddocks and surrounding grounds. Clean and well-maintained stables are vital for the upkeep of our horses.
Horse Upkeep: As a horse volunteer, you will play an important role in the daily feeding of all the horses in the stables. Your duties will include: grooming the horses daily and cleaning tack. We take the well-being of our horses very seriously and is our up-most priority.
Boundary Patrol & Snare Sweeps: We are dedicated to protecting our resident wildlife within the park. Riding on horseback along the boundary fence, looking for and filling in any holes in the fence, to keep out any unwanted visitors! You will also get involved with removing any dangerous wire traps, which are potentially fatal for our incredible wildlife.
Vet Treatment: You may get the opportunity to provide some basic veterinary care to ensure the horses remain healthy and to attend to any with minor injuries.
Schooling Horses: As a horse volunteer, you will take part in the daily schooling sessions to keep the horses in tip-top shape and you may even get the opportunity to train up some of our youngest horses, getting them ready for their career in stables, by taking them on a safari ride, to get them used to the bush surroundings and wildlife in the park.
Assisting with guest activities: Act as ‘front of house’ for the stables. Accompany guests on their horse safaris. In time, you may be trusted to become a leader on one of these rides. Assist with leading pony rides or getting the horses ready for activities.
Horse Riding Opportunities On Offer
Sunrise Rides: A breath-taking moment of total tranquillity. Experience the sheer beauty of an African sunrise to start the day. Just like the sunrise, the sunset is simply spectacular, and you make get the opportunity to witness this from an incredible angle, through the horse’s ears.
Horseback Safaris & Advanced Fast Safaris: Discover the iconic African bush, whilst riding alongside beautiful plains game such as zebra, giraffe, impala, kudu, waterbuck and wildebeest. This is your opportunity to ride up to a giraffe and admire this incredible creature closer than you ever thought possible. For those more advanced in the saddle and looking for an epic ride, get ready for a fast safari, all the glory of the African bush – but at speed!
Horse Swims: Swim on horseback through the dam. An amazing and unique experience and the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
Polocrosse: Imagine a combination of polo and lacrosse on horseback (it’s the closest way we have to describe it!) Try your hand at a new skill. This fun and fast-paced game will have you hooked after your first attempt.
Show-Jumping & Cross-Country: Develop your jumping skills in the African bush. Have a go on our very own cross-country course, dotted around the game park!
Overnight Horse Safari*: The ultimate safari experience. Swim on horseback in the dam, ride alongside the game in the park, enjoy a three-course meal out in the bush and sleep under the stars around a bonfire. It’s the most incredible way to see the beauty of African nature and the bush. Trust us, starry night in Africa is unbeatable.
*Additional Cost for your first overnight horse safari- after that, it’s free for horse volunteers.
Carriage Ride & Sundowners: Enjoy the sights, sounds and experiences of the African bush at the most spectacular time of day – sunset. Have a drink as the sun goes down, soak up the bush vibe and create incredible memories with your friends as you do. An amazing way to see Africa at its best.
More About Your Horse Volunteer Project
You will receive an introduction into the busy but exciting stable life during your first week. You will be guided step by step through your weekly schedule, introduced to the horses and shown the ropes.
There is no typical day in stables. Every day presents new challenges or duties to be completed. We ask you to be flexible and go with the flow whilst you are on the project. Your days will be long and sometimes tiring, but always very rewarding.
We are big believers of ‘learning on the job’ and that is exactly what you will be doing. You will gain invaluable experience in stable management, with our stables team supporting you along the way. The longer you spend on the project with us, the more responsibilities and duties you will be trusted with. From leading a guest ride, to teaching a lesson to a beginner, you will become an important member of the team.
We welcome riders of all abilities with a passion for horses. Beginners are guided into riding with regular lessons in the school and slow rides out in the bush. For those with more experience on horseback and wanting to push themselves, we offer more advanced rides such as fast horse safaris and opportunities to compete in external riding competitions, such as monthly show-jumping shows.
Learn about what it takes to care for and maintain horses in an authentic African setting.
Highlights Of Our Horse Volunteer Project
The opportunities Zimbabwe present are staggering and promise to provide an experience of a lifetime. From unique wildlife encounters & historic sites to one of the seven natural wonders of the world; isn’t it time you experienced the hype for yourself?
From tracking white rhino on foot and game drives, to cave paintings, hikes and the historic grave of Cecil Rhodes; Matopos offer a whole array of activity, with one of Zimbabwe’s most stunning national parks as your backdrops.
Whether you are cruising along the Zambezi river or bungee jumping into the mist itself; a visit to one of the seven natural wonders of the world is one for the bucket list. From exhilarating adrenaline packed activities to game viewing in beautiful Botswana, there is something for everyone on the doorstep of the magnificent falls.
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
These are Africa’s 2nd oldest ruins behind the pyramids and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the day trekking around these ancient ruins and learn about ancient kings of the past and ancient Zimbabwean culture.
About Antelope Park
Antelope Park is the home of our lion conservation efforts. Located in the middle of Zimbabwe, close to the town of Gweru, Antelope Park is a stunning private game park, nestled in 3000 acres of iconic savannah grassland; with heaps of game grazing its plains including zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, kudu and waterbuck, accompanied by over 200 different bird species. Antelope Park is proud of the home of our semi-wild release pride.
Walk with our gentle giants: Our magnificent four orphaned elephants enjoy their days, roaming the bush from dawn until dusk. You will have the opportunity to accompany these incredible iconic animals, on long morning walk to get to know their individual characters and witness their social interactions, or an afternoon stroll after a day of exploring their natural habitat.
Our Semi-Wild Release Pride await you: Venture out into our release site and observe our semi-wild Ngamo pride, living the life of any wild lion pride. You will learn about their physical traits, individual behaviours, their group dynamics and social interactions, witnessing the pride functioning as they would in the wild.
Wildlife from the Saddle: Our extensive horse opportunities allow you to experience the African bush in the most unique and unforgettable way possible. From the ultimate overnight horse safari to experiencing the incredible African sunrise from horseback. Horse swims, cross-country, polocrosse, just to name a few.
Combinations on Offer
Combine your horse experience with our wildlife conservation and community development efforts for an all-rounded experience!
Lion, Elephant & Wildlife Management: Get involved with our wildlife conservation efforts, caring for our lions, engaging with our elephants and maintaining our Game park.
Community Teaching: Take our conservation efforts out into the local community, as well as providing vital individualised teaching assistance in local schools.
Community Medical: Take on important medical tasks, freeing up the healthcare professionals and making a difference in rural clinics.
Wildlife Photography: Discover the beauty of the African bush, through the lens, while taking advantage of guaranteed wildlife photo opportunities, to add to your portfolio.
Prices & Duration
|Start Dates 2023||Start Dates 2024|
|2, 16 January||1, 15 January|
|6 & 13 February||5 & 12 February|
|6, 13, 27 March||4, 11, 25 March|
|3 & 17 April||1 & 15 April|
|1, 15, 29 May||6, 13, 27 May|
|5 & 19 June||3 & 17 June|
|3, 10, 17 & 24 July||1, 8, 15 & 22July|
|14, 21,& 28 August||12, 19 & 26 August|
|4 & 18 September||2 & 16 September|
|2 & 16 October||7 & 14 October|
|6, 13 & 27 November||4, 11 & 25 November|
|11 & 25 December||9 & 23 December|
Horse Volunteer Project FAQs
How often will I be riding?
While the riding is the best part of working in the stables, horse and stable maintenance is vitally important and the top priority on the horse project.
You will be riding most days of the week, whether its school, going on a horseback safari, a horse swim, playing polocrosse, show-jumping, a sunrise ride, or a boundary patrol, there is always a reason to get into the saddle.
There are plenty of opportunities on project to develop your skills and experience some incredible riding activities in the African bush!
What is my weekly schedule like?
There is no typical day at the stables. Every day is different with fresh demands or challenges. We ask you to be as flexible as possible on a day-to-day basis.
The morning usually consists of some horse and stables maintenance with some kind of horse ride in the mid-morning or afternoon.
The rest of the day will be moulded around any pressing duties that need to be completed.
Are the horses safe to ride?
The horses are perfectly safe to ride, and we have different horses for different riding abilities. Our stable staff know the horses incredibly well.
We do ask you to be totally honest with us about your previous riding experience. It is vitally important that we put you on a horse that is suitable for your level.
With some many horses in stables, we are sure you will find the right horse.
Can I do more as part of my project than just horses?
Yes! We offer a Horses & Lion project for those looking to get the best of both worlds. The ratio is 80% horses and 20% lions.
As part of this project, you will spend most of your weekend in the stables caring for and riding the horses and, on the weekend, you will get the opportunity to get involved with lion activities such as: lion feeding, behavior enrichment and elephant herding.
It is also possible to switch a day of horses during the week for a day on the lion project. We aim to be as flexible as possible.