Horse Management & Lion Conservation
Antelope Park, Zimbabwe
Volunteering with Horses & lions
Who knew that horses and lions would be the creatures you will be spending most of your time with? Your passion for the former will give you the chance to enjoy close encounters with the latter!
With this project, not only will you be interacting directly with over 30 horses of all types while you master the art of horseback riding, but you will also be playing a vital part in the lion conservation efforts while getting closer to this animal than you’ve ever imagined.
It’s a unique opportunity for all animal lovers from around the world to work with and care for these two magnificent iconic species. An opportunity this special can only happen in Antelope Park!
“My stay at Antelope Park has been one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. I thought I was a descend rider when I came here but my time with Ted and all the amazing horses has taking my riding skills to a whole new level. I will never forget this place, all the wonderful people, the staff, the horses and all the experiences. My stay here has exceeded all of my expectations and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience this place. Thank you so much for everything!”
I love the friendships with the horses and how close you can get to wildlife. This is my second time here at Antelope Park and it won’t be my last. I love spending time with lions and getting to know their different personalities. I’ll miss Antelope Park so much!
Your Project, Your Purpose
You will alternate your days between the Horse Management Internship and the Lion Project. Both are very exciting, heart-pumping and emotional experiences.
First you’ll experience the freedom that comes with riding and caring for horses while you gain important knowledge that is needed to manage an African stable. From sports and recreational activities, such as horse-riding lessons, horse safaris, carriage safaris, polocrosse and show jumping… to helping keep the stables clean and tidy; there is never a shortage of fun things to do here. And the best of all is that you can expect to spend an average of 2-3 hours daily on horseback.
Our stables manager, Peta-Ann Davies, will guide you and accompany you throughout your whole experience and no one is better than her to turn you into the horseback rider you’ve always wanted to be.
But that’s not all! Here’s where the big cats make their entrance!
Did you know that only less than 20,000 lions remain in the wild? This sharp decrease is higher than any other species, including the rhino.
Here you’ll be part of ALERT’s Lion Release Into The Wild Program by helping clean enclosures, prepare meals and create exciting enrichment activities for the lions.
With this project, you’ll be helping to put a stop in the decrease of lion population, while at the same time, you’ll get to meet these majestic creatures face and face and learn a lot about their personalities.
A Day In Your Life
- Get to work with over 30 horses of different breeds. Get up close and personal and discover each of their unique personalities.
- Take the horses for a ride around the park, or let them take you, and enjoy the most spectacular natural views during the day, at sunrise and sunset! You can even attempt to swim while on horseback or ride next to giraffe, wildebeest and impala among other species. It’s up to you! They love it and you will love it too.
- While on horseback, participate in boundary patrol and snare sweep rides, which are necessary for park maintenance and ensuring the protection of our game. It is not just important, but also truly fun.
- Do you want to improve your skills at show-jumping? This is a great opportunity to jump to the next level.
- Immerse fully in equestrian life by joining the sport of polocrosse by taking advantage of our two world-class fields and our practice field. These are simply some of the best polocrosse fields in Africa, if not worldwide.
- During the polocrosse season (April-September) you’ll have the chance to show your skills at Club Level Competitions and Events. But that’s not all! Every month in Bulawayo there’s a Show Jumping Competition that you can also join, at an extra cost. Show them what you got!
- At an additional cost, travel to Bulawayo on a day trip to help kids with disabilities spend the time of their lives when they connect with horses and ponies. This is as much fun as it is therapeutic. And there, receive riding lessons from Jill Burgess and Aileen Johnstone at their riding school while you experience another Zimbabwean stable. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn and enjoy!
- Camp out under a starry sky when you join our popular Overnight Horseback safari, at an additional cost. It’s an unforgettable experience.
- Enjoy unique and unforgettable close encounters with magnificent African lions. Come before May 2019 and be one the last volunteers to take our lions cubs for walks! Don’t miss this amazing and unique opportunity!
- Be part of the research team that study minute by minute the different behaviors of the Ngamo pride to assess their self-sustainability (successful hunting) and sociability (functioning as a pride).
- This is your opportunity to expand your knowledge on African elephant. Interact with and care for our 4 rescued elephants, the biggest stars of Antelope Park. When we say the biggest, we mean it.
→ Prices start from $1947 or £1134 for 2 weeks
Our start dates for 2019 are:
We generally ask for volunteers to arrive at this project every other Sunday or Monday, and you can volunteer from 2 weeks up to 12 weeks.
- 7, 14 & 28 January
- 11 & 25 February
- 11 & 25 March
- 8 & 22 April
- 6 & 20 May
- 3 & 17 June
- 1, 15 & 29 July
- 12 & 26 August
- 9 & 23 September
- 7 & 21 October
- 4 & 18 November
- 2, 16 & 30 December
(This project remains open over the Christmas period)