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Dreaming of an African Horse Safari but seeking a budget-friendly option? Our working-holidays can provide just that.

They are the perfect way to volunteer with horses, experience Africa and do something meaningful at the same time. Embrace an equestrian way of life and culture that is different from your own and soak up the magic of the African wilderness.

A working holiday in Africa where riders not only get to explore the incredible landscapes but also dive into hands-on experiences to learn new skills. It’s not just about riding amazing horses; it’s about getting your hands dirty and gaining practical know-how. Plus who doesn’t want to live with wildlife in their backyard? Whether you have been riding since you could walk or are seeking to improve your equestrian skills, we have several exciting programmes where you can live, ride, and repeat!

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For More Info About Volunteering with Horses Abroad

2 weeks: From GBP £1162 pp sharing

Horse Riding Working Holiday in South Africa

  • 2 - 12 Weeks
  • South Africa
  • Working Holiday
Live the African dream by spending a few life-changing weeks out in the South African bush working with horses.
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2 weeks: From GBP £1643 pp sharing

Moolmanshoek Wildlife Working Holiday

  • 2 - 12 Weeks
  • South Africa
  • Working Holiday
Discover an equestrian working holiday with a difference in a remote wildlife reserve in South Africa
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4 weeks: From GBP £4400 pp sharing

Endurance Training Programme

  • 4 - 12 Weeks
  • South Africa
  • Working Holiday
A journey that will push your limits, enhance your equestrian skills, and allow you to ride alongside Africa's wildlife.
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Trail riding in South Africa
Grooming horses at African Dream

What you will do when volunteering or on your working holiday

All of these programmes are designed for your enjoyment. You aren’t just looking after horse safari guests; you are the guests. Whilst there is stable-work, tack cleaning and usual yard labour work to be done, this experience is tailored to give you the best holiday experience possible. Your days will be spilt into different horse riding and bush activities. You will enjoy riding every day and experience a mix of activities from trail rides searching for zebras and giraffe, cross country trails through the bush, dressage and schooling sessions, horse swims to cool-off on a hot day and much more. 

Alongside the horses, you will be immersed in the African wilderness, soaking up the magic of life in the bush. It is an experience like no other, and you will are sure to leave with a new outlook on life.  You will have the opportunity to join a variety of excursions and experience a multitude of activities beyond your horse programme; be it visiting the world-famous Victoria Falls, game driving into the Kruger National Park or experiencing life in a local village – there is something for everyone. 

Room with 2 beds in Hoedspruit

Accommodation

For these working holidays you will be staying in dorms with 2 to 4 other volunteers and sharing bathroom facilities or in home-style accommodation. The rooms do not come with lots of frills, but are clean and comfortable, providing everything you need.  Each volunteer has a bit of their own space to put their belongings. There is a great sense of community with all volunteers staying together and enjoying meals together. 

The highlight to all the programmes’ accommodation is their location. You will be living surrounded by Africa’s nature, woken up with the sounds of the dawn chorus in the mornings, feeling wonderfully refreshed and ready for the day’s horse riding. Not only are you surrounded by nature, but you also have access to a swimming pool in many of these locations, perfect for cooling down after a long trail ride in the bush!

Who goes on our volunteer/working holidays?

We often get asked if there is an age limit for our working-holidays. The answer is a giant no! All opportunities welcome volunteers of all ages and are equally enjoyable whether you are 18 or 81! Granted, I would say the average age is between 18 to 30 but we frequently have a wide range of ages, with the Wild Coast often having older working riders. At all the programmes, the staff are incredibly welcoming, and you certainly will not feel out of place. Much more important than your age is your attitude and enthusiasm to embrace working at an African horse stable. Volunteers that get the most out of these experiences love to get stuck-in and are keen to embrace a different form of equestrian culture. 

Horse Riding at African Dream

How long should I go for?

The minimum stay for our volunteer holidays is 2 weeks. Two weeks will give you great insight into the programmes and you should get to experience most of the activities at least once. However, if budget and time can stretch extend, we would highly recommend staying for 3 -6 weeks. This will allow you time to really relax into the swing of the programmes, soak up the bush and get to know the wonderful horses.  We have many instances where lucky volunteers stay up to 12 weeks! This allows you to truly become “part of the furniture” at the yard! Or, why not split your time between the two different programmes, allowing you to experience both the Zimbabwean and South African stables, or a bush and beach equine experience!

Horse riding with giraffe at African Dream

Riding levels

For most of our the programmes we can happily accept riders of all levels. Whatever your experience, your riding will improve dramatically after 2 to 12 weeks of daily horse riding. You will not only improve your skills in the saddle, but also your skills on the ground. Learning about the running of an African stables and practicing general horse management, horse care and ground-skills. 

In Africa, the vet isn’t a short drive down the road, medicine and equipment isn’t available 24/7 and tack can’t be easily ordered online. Whatever you think you know about working with horses, working with horses in Africa often requires a whole different way of thinking. It requires imagination, often improvisation(!), a laid-back attitude and determination. 

Even though these programmes can take riders of all levels, this will not hold back a more advanced rider. The programmes handle different riding levels brilliantly and they will often split lessons, outrides and the various activities into groups by experience. For experienced riders looking for something different, our endurance programme isn’t just for those who are keen to learn the sport. But for equestrians looking for an adventure where they can spend hours in the saddle, ride alongside incredible wildlife and lose themselves in one of South Africa’s most beautiful landscapes. 

FAQ for Volunteering

Why am I paying to volunteer in Africa?

It may seem a bit atypical to pay to volunteer but in this case, you are getting an experience that is not your typical volunteer programme. Your meals and accommodation are covered while you assist in the day-to-day care of the horses and gain invaluable knowledge & experience from all of our amazing teams on the ground. You get to embrace an equestrian way-of-life and culture that is different from your own and soak up the magic of the African wilderness, whilst doing something meaningful. This is what allows us to make it as affordable as possible for those on a tighter budget.

What does volunteering with horses in Africa typically involve?

Volunteering with horses in Africa often involves assisting with the care and management of a stable of horses in Africa. You will get your hands dirty as you’ll do tasks such as grooming, feeding, and maintaining facilities. But you’ll also get amazing learning opportunities both in the saddle and from the ground. Plus, you’ll get to ride out on the trail alongside wildlife such as giraffe, zebra, antelope and even wildebeest. You’ll get the chance to do lots of great activities in the area such as hikes and visits to the wildlife sanctuaries. Plus, you might get to be part of the outreach programmes, helping local communities.

Do I need prior horse riding experience to volunteer?

While some programs welcome volunteers with little or no riding experience, others may prefer individuals with some level of proficiency in horse care and riding. It’s essential to check the specific requirements of the program so ask our team of specialists.

What kind of riding will I be able to do as a volunteer?

On our equestrian working holidays, you’ll get the opportunity to do plenty of trail rides, including seeing amazing sunrises and sunsets from horseback! Trail riding in Africa is always an adventure, and on these reserves, you’ll be able to ride alongside wildlife such as giraffe, zebra, antelope and even wildebeest. You can also enjoy horseback swims in summer and some mounted games if you’re keen. On our working holiday in South Africa, you will also get to do flatwork and jumping lessons, and as part of our Endurance Programme, you’ll also have lessons to learn how to build up cadence, rhythm, and stamina in the saddle.

What are the accommodations like as a volunteer?

Our volunteers are like our guests, and we want them to be happy and comfortable. Volunteers share twin or triple rooms with a private bathroom.

How many volunteers are there at a time?

We try to make sure that all volunteers have an amazing experience, so we limit it to a maximum of 10 people at a time.

What are meals like?

Generally, breakfast ingredients will be provided in the kitchen and volunteers will help themselves to what they’d like to eat. Either lunch or dinner will be cooked for the team and eaten together in the dining area. There is also a fully stocked pantry for volunteers to prepare their own meals, or take turns cooking for the group. The meals are healthy and hearty, and dietary requirements can be taken into account. Other speciality foods and snacks can be bought locally.

Are there any extra costs?

Your accommodation and meals are included in the cost of your programme. But things like eating at the local restaurants, treats and speciality foods, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and personal items are an extra cost. You’ll also need to budget for extra activities and adventures during your stay. We’ll be able to recommend how much you’ll need, and whether you need cash or can pay by credit card.

What impact does volunteering have on the local community and the horses?

Volunteering with horses in Africa contributes supporting community outreach programs, animal shelters and local wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Are there any specific skills or qualifications required to volunteer?

Our working holiday in South Africa doesn’t require specific qualifications, but having experience with horses, basic riding skills, and certifications in equine care can be beneficial. Our Endurance Training Programme is more suite for experienced riders who want to learn the art of endurance riding, or just head out on incredible trail rides in the bush.

LEARN MORE ABOUT AFRICAN HORSE SAFARIS

Riding levelsOur blogHow to choose a horse safari

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A HORSE SAFARI

Fill in the form on our website/social media describing your dream African Horse Safari

A Horse Safari Specialists will get in touch to help you plan the perfect escape

Confirm your ride and dates by paying your deposit

We’ll send you a reminder for your balance payment + travel advice

Pack your bags for your adventure!

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