Moolmanshoek Wildlife Working Holiday

2 weeks: From GBP £1643 pp sharing

ESCAPE TO MOOLMANSHOEK FOR A WORKING HOLIDAY ALONGSIDE AFRICA’S INCREDIBLE WILDLIFE

Discover the magic of Moolmanshoek on a wildlife working holiday

Life in the African Bush is exciting and very different to anything you would have experienced before!  Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve is a piece of paradise – teeming with plains game and endless miles of riding country.  This is where you can immerse yourself in nature, far from the maddening crowds. And being a stud farm as well as a nature reserve, you are surrounded by herds of horses living free as nature intended.

Our volunteer position is best suited to hard working, bubbly, enthusiastic young riders that enjoy the company of others, and are always positive and upbeat. You are expected to assist with grooming and tacking up horses for guest rides, as well as offering assistance during the ride and chatting to the guests. You will also be responsible for cleaning tack, washing saddle blankets and ensuring the yard and guest areas are kept clean. It’s hard work, but you are well rewarded!

Daily riding includes natural horsemanship with Monde, swimming on horseback in the dam in the summer, trying your hand at triple training with some of the gaited horses, and joining the endurance training. On days that the lodge hosts guests on trail rides, you will be given the opportunity to join these rides through the reserve, viewing wildlife on horseback and enjoying the spectacular trails up into the Witteberg Mountains that surround the reserve.

Experience the thrill of steep mountain trails, with breathtaking views over the valley! Ride alongside herds of zebra, wildebeest, sable and eland, keeping your eyes open for the more elusive and smaller creatures that call this reserve home. Join our guests on full day picnic lunch rides, or day rides to the little hamlet of Rosendal for a delightful lunch and a glimpse into the small-town charm. You also have the option to accompany guests on overnight horse trails , with chance to spend the night in a Hiking Cabin nestled in the mountains or a Sandstone Cave – an experience that defies the ordinary.

DATES AND RATES

We plan arrivals on Mondays throughout the year.  There are very limited spaces, so if you  have any months that suit you best to travel, get in touch and we’ll check availability.

2024 RATES

DATES & RATES:

Dates available throughout the year. Monday arrivals and departures, and we try to have 2 or more arriving on similar dates to share transfer fees.

2 weeks          GBP £1643

3 weeks          GBP £2441

4 weeks          GBP £3076

5 weeks          GBP £3584

6 weeks          GBP £3987

8 weeks          GBP £4659

10 weeks        GBP £5675

12 weeks        GBP £6809

EXTRAS – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

TRANSFERS (Subject to change)

1 - 2 People: GBP £271 per vehicle one-way transfer from Johannesburg to Moolmanshoek

3 - 7 People: GBP £328 per vehicle one-way transfer from Johannesburg to Moolmanshoek 

Bigger group transfers available on request

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Price Includes:

  • Accommodation in a twin en-suite bathroom shared with one other volunteer
  • All meals, which includes cooked lunches and a fully stocked pantry for self-catered breakfast and dinners
  • Unlimited tea and coffee throughout the day
  • Weekly self-service laundry service during your stay
  • Wi-Fi
  • Access to the Billiard room, TV Lounge, Library and swimming pool at the lodge
  • All riding activities such as trail rides, schooling sessions, natural horsemanship, etc
  • Endless hikes on the reserve

Price Excludes:

  • Return flights to Johannesburg International Airport
  • Any Visas required
  • Comprehensive Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Shared road transfers between Johannesburg and Moolmanshoek (approx. £320 per person for 2 people sharing – price varies depending on the number of volunteers arriving on the same day)
  • All items of a personal nature, such as toiletries, curios, gifts, clothing
  • Any activities and excursions outside of your planned itinerary
  • Drinks, speciality food items not provided, meals at the lodge restaurants

QUICK FACTS

Location: Moolmanshoek, South Africa
Airport: OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport or Bloemfontein Airport
Month: All Year Around 
Duration: 2 - 12 weeks
Group Size: Max 6
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus & Advanced
Weight: 95kg / 205lbs 
Accommodation: Shared room with en-suite bathroom
VIEW GALLERY
2 weeks: From GBP £1643 pp sharing

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Experience the thrill technical riding over steep mountain trails, with breathtaking views over the valley!
  • Learn more about natural horsemanship, endurance training, and triple training gaited horses from a phenomenal team of horsemen
  • See what it’s like to live and work on a farm with over 240 horses as well as a plethora of wildlife
  • Go on trail rides in an incredible reserve with stunning vistas and unique wildlife such as zebra, giraffe, eland and sable
  • Option to add on a 3-night safari to see more of Africa’s wildlife

TOUR REVIEWS

African Horse Safaris was amazing in helping me book a trip to South Africa for an endurance riding program. I had an amazing time! Moolmanshoek was incredible, I loved working with Lindy and all the horses were amazing. Salute and Klein Bus were definitely my favorite horses but I enjoyed all of them. The endurance race was challenging, but I had such a great team supporting me and learnt so much leading up to the race, so I was well prepared. Would LOVE to go back next year for the Moolmanshoek race, now that I’m qualified to do an 80km!

Anna ZMoolmanshoek, South Africa
READ MORE REVIEWS

YOUR ITINERARY

Reserve life can be unpredictable, particularly when dealing with over 240 odd horses! However, there is a rough daily routine in which volunteers joining our program will be immersed in.

On arrival, you will be given an orientation of the stables and the general daily routine, introduced to the staff and some of the many horses we have on the reserve. Being an Arabian and Boerperd Stud farm, there are many to meet, including the season’s foals and future endurance champions! There is always the opportunity to work with the youngsters as well as immersing yourself in the Endurance program.

Since we are a long way from vets, there is also the opportunity to become involved in general veterinary care of the horses, particularly related to the life of African horses living in the bush!

Daily Routine

Early morning routines would include assisting with feeding and checking on horses around the stable yard, helping with grooming and turning out the stable horses that will not be in work for the day.

Daily riding includes natural horsemanship with Monde, swimming on horseback in the dam in the summer, trying your hand at triple training with some of the gaited horses, and joining the endurance training. On days that there are guests heading out on trail rides, you will need to help saddle up the horses and help the guests mount, and ensure they are happy with their horse and comfortable with the tack. You may be be given the opportunity to join these rides through the reserve. Being habituated to the wildlife, the horses get unbelievable close, creating some great photo opportunities. Experience the thrill of steep mountain trails, with breathtaking views over the valley!  Join our guests on full day picnic lunch rides, or day rides to the little hamlet of Rosendal where we enjoy a lunch and immerse ourselves in the life of a small country town, taking in the art gallery and surrounds. On occasion, horses need to be moved which gives those wishing to join to become involved in “mustering” the herd.  Very exciting, fast riding to help you live the Cowboy dream!

After returning from rides, horses need to be hosed down, and tack cleaned and checked, and packed away neatly into the tack room on the labelled stands and hooks. Tack is checked after every ride and thoroughly cleaned once a week.  Saddle blankets are washed once a week and volunteers are expected to help with this as well as being proactive to ensure that the stable and guest areas are kept clean and tidy at all times.

If the weather is good, you can also take the horses out for a swim in the dam or head out for a hike to the caves on the reserve. There is also the option of accompanying any guests that book one of the overnight horse trails on the reserve if these bookings are made during your stay. We have the option of overnighting in a Hiking Cabin in the mountains or a Sandstone Cave – a unique experience!

The Accommodation & Meals

During your stay, you will be accommodated in the beautiful Sandstone lodge in a twin room, sharing with another volunteer. Each room has a bathroom-en-suite.  This is a short walk from the stables and equestrian club house, and the main reception and dining area of the lodge.  Every day, you will join the staff for lunch up at the main lodge or in the equestrian club house, while ingredients will be provided for you for self-catering for both breakfast and dinner.

Situated in “The Mews” building next to the stable yards, there is a small kitchenette for breakfast and dinner preparation.  You will be supplied with ingredients for preparation of your own breakfast and dinner.  Volunteers put their order in every Monday morning – any items that are not on the prescribed shopping list of ingredients will be for your own account, payable before your departure. These are things like soft drinks, snacks, specialty food, etc.

In the main lodge next to your accommodation, there is also a billiard room, TV lounge and small library for you to make use of.   An upstairs terrace and sunroom also are great spaces to enjoy the views over the reserve.  There is an honesty bar in both the lodge and the Equestrian club house –  volunteers keep a record of any drinks/chocolates/snacks that will be added to your bill before your final departure.  These facilities are shared with other guests – please be mindful of respecting the guests’ needs in these shared spaces. Occasionally, social evenings are planned with either a BBQ or dinner hosted by one of the staff members that you are welcome to join.

The Horses

There are over 240 horses on the farm, mostly living out as a herd, with the freedom to roam across the ranch. Horses have always been a big part of Moolmanshoek, first being used on the farm as workhorses to herd cattle, check livestock and do fence sweeps. In 1990, Wiesman’s grandfather selected a top English breeding stallion, Olford Silver Tu Penny. This phenomenal stallion sired, amongst others, Sweep, Pula and Moya, Arabians that ranked in the top 5 in the world in Dubai.

When Wiesman took over the farm, he became good friends with Leon Liversage and they developed Moolmanshoek Endurance Horses, selecting and breeding horses for export and endurance racing. Over 20 of the horses they bred were exported to Dubai for endurance. In 1997, Wiesman registered his own Boerperd Stud, and has since been breeding both Arabians for endurance and Boerperd horses for trail and safari horses.

Tack used

You will be introduced to the tack the team uses, which might be quite different to what you have used before. Wiesman was instrumental in the testing and upgrading of the legendary Trail Rider, and Kentucky Saddles designed and developed by Leon Liversage – These are used in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia by some of the top endurance riders.

Wildlife from the saddle

Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve not only breeds phenomenal Arabs and Boerperd horses, but is also an incredible destination for discerning travellers that want to experience life in the African bush from horseback. The plains game found on the reserve include Black Wildebeest, Impala, eland, ostrich, red hartebeest, water buck, springbok, lechwe, oryx, warthogs, blesbok, black backed jackal, caracul, and the more elusive aardvark and aardwolf. Long stay interns can also opt to add on a 3-night stay in a nearby game reserve to get the opportunity to see elephants, buffalo and big cats.

Big 5 Safari - Add On

For those that are staying longer, there is the chance to head to the nearby Nambiti Reserve. Springbok Lodge offer guests a chance to unwind in a picture-perfect setting while getting the chance to head out on twice-daily game drives. The Nambiti Private Game Reserve is a conservancy offering 22 000 acres of pristine, Malaria-free bushveld. The Reserve is home to the Big Five, as well as Cheetah, Hippo and over 30 species of plains game.

Head off on an open game-viewing vehicle before sunrise or in the afternoon with your field guide who will ensure that you get the most out of the experience and enjoy the abundance of wildlife and unspoiled African vistas. There’ll be a chance to quench your thirst and stretch your legs during the drinks break while enjoying the sounds and silences of the bush. The memory of sipping a steaming cup of Amarula coffee or enjoying a G & T with the sunset in such humbling surroundings is one that will be remembered forever.

3-night package from GBP345* per person sharing

THE ACCOMMODATION

SANDSTONE LODGE

You will be accommodated in the beautiful Sandstone lodge in a twin room shared with another volunteer during your stay. Each room has a bathroom-en-suite and access to a small catering kitchen. This is a short walk from the stables, equestrian clubhouse, and the lodge’s main reception and dining area. Every day, you will join the staff for lunch at the main lodge or in the equestrian clubhouse, while ingredients will be provided for self-catering for breakfast and dinner. The guest area also has a billiard room, TV lounge and small library for you to use.

THE DESTINATION

Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve

Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve is a piece of paradise – teeming with plains game and endless miles of riding country. Hikes up into the mountains to enjoy refreshing swims in natural rock pools or under exquisite waterfalls, while immersing yourself in nature which takes you far from the maddening crowds. Being a stud farm as well as a nature reserve, you are surrounded by herds of horses living free as nature intended. With all the dams on the reserve, you will have the opportunity to swim with your horse during the warmer summer months after your trail rides or endurance training.

HOW WE CARE FOR OUR HORSES

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for the quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Moolmanshoek are kept in tip-top shape for their safaris and endurance races. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:

  • Our horses live out year-round in a herd, allowing them to live naturally alongside all the other animals on the reserve, including zebra, eland, oryx and other antelope.
  • Being an Arabian and Boerperd Stud farm, the breeding stock and youngsters live out in the mountains, where they gain valuable experience in climbing, resulting in hardy, sure-footed rides once they are backed. These herds are checked on daily by stockmen on horseback.
  • The Endurance horses are bought in twice a day and stabled overnight to be fed, checked and groomed by our devoted team. The trail horses live out in huge paddocks, coming in only for feeding, grooming and vetting.
  • During the winter months, the endurance horses and any other horses that might have lost condition or have injuries, receive extra care and are rugged, and given extra food.
  • The horses all get a physio and dentist visit at least once a year. The farrier comes every 6 weeks to shoe, and check the horse which are barefoot (we try to keep as many horses as possible barefoot).
  • Our saddles are specially designed for trails which mean they are comfortable for the horse, distributing the rider’s weight evenly, and preventing any back issues. Our tack is checked and cleaned regularly to ensure it is kept to the best possible standards.
  • A careful record is kept of how much work each horse does to ensure they have rest days and are not overworked. For the endurance horses, a full programme is set up for each horse to ensure they are fit for the race. We have a dedicated onsite horse trainer who keeps the horses in tip-top shape.

Please let us know if you have any more questions about this.

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!

Get addicted to Africa and use your 5% loyalty discount to book the next one

ENQUIRE NOW – WE CAN’T WAIT TO CHAT!