Safari Working Holiday in Kenya

2 weeks: From USD $3800GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing

HANDS-ON HORSE SAFARI IN KENYA

Live, play and work in Kenya – Learn the behind-the-scenes of taking care of a string of safari horses

Nestled in the beautiful Laikipia region of Kenya, this exclusive working holiday invites you to join our 2024 launch dates! Immerse yourself in the behind-the-scenes of life at a mobile camp, riding amongst big game in a private 14000-acre reserve. Teeming with wildlife, from elephants to rare Northern species such as Grevy’s Zebra, Greater Kudus, and Jackson’s Hartebeest, you will learn about conservation whilst engaging in the daily management of a string of safari horses. You will be working alongside highly respected former 5 star eventer Sarah Kellard-Smith, developing your skills and getting stuck into life in the bush. Help with the maintenance of camp and gain hands-on experience of running a safari business in Kenya, this adventure promises to be epic! You will be living in true ‘wild Africa’ style and be expected to embrace bush life and all the exciting tasks it may present.

The horses are well-schooled, and the programme includes both jumping and flatwork lessons as well as incredible bush rides. You’ll also do ever-important snare sweeps on horseback, looking out for signs of poachers. Participate in conservation tasks on a private cattle ranch, including road repairs, landscape improvements, and snare disposal. Plus, you get to experience mobile camping in the wild. And, if the weather allows, experience the adventure of sleeping out under the stars!

This equestrian working holiday in Kenya is based at Kellard Safaris’ and exclusive to African Horse Safaris. It is an excellent way to explore Kenya without spending as much as you would on luxury lodges or mobile safaris. But you do need to be willing to get stuck in and get your hands dirty! Offering fantastic value, you will ride in a stunning private reserve in the world-famous Laikipia region. This beautiful region is where many of Kenya’s most encouraging conservation success stories are developing and it’s an incredible opportunity to be part of that.

CURRENCY CONVERTER

At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly

USDGBPEURZARAUD

DATES AND RATES

There are set dates for 2024 and further dates will be added for 2025. Initially, these dates are 2 weeks, but we do recommend doing 4 weeks if time allows so that you get to spend more time in Africa and become part of the family. Plus, you’ll really get to immerse yourself in the Kenyan way of life!

2024 RATES

2 Weeks: 22 July - 05 August 2024

2 Weeks: 19 August - 02 September 2024

SPECIAL LAUNCH PRICE: USD $3800GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing


If you would like to stay for more than two weeks, please let us know. We can offer a four-week stay from 22 July 2024

EXTRAS – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

TRANSFERS (Subject to change)

Transfers between Nairobi and Nanyuki: USD $150GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per vehicle one-way which can be shared by volunteers

INCLUDES & EXCLUDES

Price Includes:

  • Accommodation in a simple tented camp
  • 3 meals a day: Self-service breakfast & lunch + cooked dinner
  • Group Transport within the programme
  • Flatwork and Jumping Sessions
  • Bush Rides
  • Anti-poaching snare patrols
  • Game Drives
  • Walks
  • Laundry
  • WiFi

Price Excludes:

  • International Flights to Nairobi
  • Visas
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Transfers outside of the itinerary
  • Return airport transfers from Nairobi to Nanyuki
  • All Drinks (water is provided)
  • Meals at Restaurants or snacks purchased locally
  • Extra Excursions & Activities
  • Items of a personal nature
CHECK AVAILABILITYARRANGE A CALL

QUICK FACTS

Location: Laikipia, Kenya
Airport: Jomo Kenyatta (Nairobi) International Airport
Month: Set departures in July & August
Duration: 2 - 4 Weeks
Group size: Min 4, Max 8
Skill Level: Intermediate Plus & Advanced
Weight Limit: 85kg / 187lbs
Accommodation: Tented Camp
Solo Traveller Friendly: Yes. No single supplement if happy to share
VIEW GALLERY

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS

  • Beginner
  • Novice
  • Intermediate
  • Intermediate Plus
  • Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
2 weeks: From USD $3800GBP £EUR €ZAR RAUD $ per person sharing

CURRENCY CONVERTER

At the current exchange rate. Please note final quote might vary slightly

USDGBPEURZARAUD

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • This incredible opportunity allows you to be mentored by the highly respected international event rider Sarah Kellard-Smith
  • Enjoy flatwork and jumping lessons in the bush, as well as great cross country jumping over natural obstacles
  • Head out on incredible bush rides where you have the opportunities to see widlife such as Elephants, Giraffe, Zebra, Hyena and if you’re lucky you might spot rarer species such as gerenuks or African Painted Dogs
  • Learn about the day-to-day care and management of a string of safari horses in Africa
  • Gain hands-on experience of the behind-the-scenes of runnig a mobile horse safari in the African Bush
  • Head out on your own fly camping experience alongside the horses

SAMPLE ITINERARY / WHAT TO EXPECT

Engage in the day-to-day care and management of safari horses, learning the importance of veterinary care in the bush. Work alongside the loyal staff to develop teamwork and people skills in a unique environment. Participate in conservation tasks on a private reserve, including road repairs, landscape improvements, and snare disposal, to ensure the safety of both wildlife and riders. You will gain hands-on experience of the behind-the-scenes of running a mobile safari out in the bush. Volunteers will participate in setting up and taking down the mobile camp, tacking up and preparing the horses for safari. Then after all the hard work, enjoy your own amazing fly camp experience. And, if the weather allows, experience the adventure of sleeping out under the stars!

TASKS/RIDING YOU'LL BE INVOLVED IN

Depending on the stage of each horse, the time of year and your riding ability, the following tasks will be done:

  • Grooming and Feeding Horses
  • Assisting with basic veterinary work
  • Assisting the team where needed to clean stables/paddocks
  • Tack maintenance and cleaning
  • Fitness training for the horses
  • Schooling of youngsters and trail horses
  • Riding lessons, including show jumping and pole work
  • Trail riding among wildlife on safari
  • Setting up a new cross country course
  • Snare patrols
  • General help on the ranch including conservation work, landscape improvements, snare disposal, etc
  • Setting up the mobile safari camp

WHAT YOUR STAY COULD BE LIKE

This is an example only – It will be tailored to the volunteers and horses, the weather and the wildlife in the area. Each day is different and offers a unique adventure!

MONDAY: Arrive in Nairobi before 10AM. You’ll be met at the airport for a approx. 4 hour drive to Nanyuki, where Sarah or her team will meet you for the final drive to the ranch. Settle in and meet the family and horses

TUESDAY: Morning stable induction & work. Afternoon trail ride

WEDNESDAY: Morning stable work & trail ride. Afternoon game drive with sundowners

THURSDAY: Morning schooling session. Afternoon trail ride

FRIDAY: Excursion to Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy to see rhinos

SATURDAY: Morning cross country/jumping. Afternoon braai (BBQ)

SUNDAY: Day off – feel free to relax, or head out on local excursions

MONDAY: Conservation workshop at Mpala Research Centre

TUESDAY: Morning boundary patrol trail ride. Afternoon schooling session

WEDNESDAY: Morning stable work. Afternoon trail ride to mobile camp, set up and sleep out

THURSDAY: Breakdown of mobile camp, ride back to base with bush-breakfast en-route. Afternoon game drive/bush walk with sundowners

FRIDAY: Morning reserve conservation work. Afternoon trail ride

SATURDAY: Morning Cross Country Session. Afternoon bush walk & BBQ

SUNDAY: Day off to do a final trail ride or local excursions

MONDAY: Depart to Nairobi

WHO THIS IS FOR

This is for those who want to spend longer in Kenya. Live, play and work in Africa! This is wild Africa, so you do need to come with an open mind, a sense of adventure and an inquisitive mind. It’s an incredible place to really experience life with horses in Africa, and perfect for those who want to see what running a horse safari business is like.

This incredible opportunity allows you to be mentored by the highly respected international event rider Sarah Kellard-Smith. Sarah began riding at a very early age, progressing and representing Great Britain throughout Europe as both a young rider and senior, leading on to successfully completing many world-renowned 5 star events including Badminton and Burghley. After training with, and being mentored by Olympic medal winner Captain Mark Phillips, Sarah was employed to produce and compete The Princess Royal’s and HRH Queen Elizabeth’s horses alongside her own. Her wide experience of producing horses is still her passion, making her string of well-schooled safari horses her pride and joy.

This is for intermediate plus or above riders only as you’ll be riding in areas where you can come across wildlife such as elephant and big cats on horseback. Besides incredible trail rides, you’ll also be part of anti-poaching snare patrols which require long hours in the saddle. It’s an incredible way to see the ever-changing landscapes, surrounded by nature, while directly contributing to conservation.

SCHOOLING & RIDING SESSIONS

Horses are well-schooled, and Sarah offers jumping and flatwork lessons as part of the programme. Within the stable area and secure 24 acres is a large grass training arena (30m x 60m) for flatwork and jumping sessions together with a small round pen. They also have a small jumping paddock just a short hack away, which offers a change of scenery and a great location to do showjumping training on a regular basis.

BUSH RIDES

One of the best things about being out in the bush is the trail rides. You’ll be able to head out with Sarah and her guides on a regular basis. These rides are always great fun and an incredible way to discover the area and see wildlife from the saddle. Plus you’ll see what it takes to keep safari horses fit. You’ll ride through thick bush and open country with incredibly diverse terrain including flat plains and rocky escarpments. There are even some great river crossings! The pace is varied and depends on the terrain. The rocky escarpments offer slower riding but incredible views. And the flatter plains, offer great areas for long canters (keeping an eye out for Warthog holes!)

As part of the every day trail rides in the bush they look out for suitable trees and logs, usually provided by our large destructive friends – the elephant! They’ll looking forward to getting the volunteers involved in locating an area to build their own cross country track within the natural surroundings.

GAME DRIVES & GUIDED WALKS

If you want a break from the saddle, you can easily head out on game drives or walks with the team. Walking safaris offer a deep insight into the smaller creatures and unqiue plant life, plus you can learn the art of tracking wildlife. The open game drive vehicles offer the perfect vantage point for your wildlife photography. As it’s a private reserve, after a long day of riding, you might head out on an evening game drive to enjoy sundowners in the bush, coming back in the dark and keeping a close eye out for more nocturnal widlife such as hyena, porcupine and even leopard!

WILDLIFE IN LAIKIPIA

You will be living, riding and working on the exclusive 14,000 acres of Suguroi Ranch at Twiga House, Nanyuki, Laikipia. This beautiful region is where many of Kenya’s most encouraging conservation success stories are developing. The environment is carefully managed to protect and preserve wildlife, whilst aiming to promote human-wildlife coexistence, benefiting local communities and allowing us to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us, with wildlife existence at the forefront.

Here you have the chance to see wildlife including large herds of Elephant, Reticulated giraffe, Burchell zebra, Jackal, Impala, Thompson gazelle, Eland, Grants Gazelle, Waterbuck, Buffalo, Hippo, Bushbuck, Warthog, Striped and Spotted hyena, Troops of baboon and Somali ostrich. You’ll also get the opportunity to ride alongside a range of endangered Northern species such as Greater Kudu, Beisa Oryx, Jackson Hartebeest, Grevy Zebra, and Gerenuk.

This area is also home to the very rare and endangered African Painted Dog, and there is a pack that resides on Mpala research centre on the neighbouring conservancy. Visiting Mpala, you can learn more about the tracking and researching of the Phoenix pack. Facing extinction in the 1990s due to canine distemper, there are now 22 individuals, and it’s a privilege to see them thrive in the wild. Suguroi Ranch is also home to all the elusive cats and on occasion, guests are lucky to spot Leopard, Lion, and Cheetah. They regularly have the thrill of hearing them at night!

ADDITIONAL EXCURSIONS

OL PEJETA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY

Enjoy a day visit to the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy, where you’ll embark on game drives and have a picnic. Lion prides are often seen in this conservancy, and you will have the unique opportunity to visit the last two remaining Northern white rhinos and explore the chimpanzee sanctuary. It’s a unique experience and a great way to give back.

MPALA RESEARCH CENTRE

Adjacent to the reserve is the Mpala Research Centre, where workshops are frequently held. We can arrange to join a workshop or request a guided tour of their campus to learn about their research and its significant contributions to the Kenyan landscape. It offers an incredible opportunity to view African Painted Dogs in the wild.

EXPLORING FURTHER AFIELD

Other extra activities you can do include a day trek on Mount Kenya, visiting Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, exploring the local markets, and visiting incredible Ngare Ndare Forest. There are extra costs for these excursions, depending on the number of people, but Sarah and her team will arrange all the logistics.

THE ACCOMMODATION

HOME BASE CAMP

Twiga House, Suguroi Ranch, set in the midst of quintessential Laikipia County, is home to Sarah, her family and her herd of safari horses. The base camp, just nearby, is set on the river banks of the Ewaso Nyerio River. The tents are set up with double or twin beds. En-suite bathrooms are equipped with flush toilets, basins, and bush showers with solar-powered hot water. With each tent offering stunning views of Mount Kenya as dawn breaks, overlooking the wildlife corridor following the river’s course and a dining mess set with the enchanting sound of the river below, makes this the most idyllic location for all to experience and enjoy. Embrace this novel and rare chance to sleep under canvas in complete wilderness and become absorbed by these magical surroundings.

FLY CAMP

You will gain hands-on experience of the behind-the-scenes of running a mobile safari out in the bush. And a big part of that is setting up and breaking down the camp. The volunteers will ride out in the morning to a seculded location and meet the team who have transported the camping gear. You’ll set up the guest tents, the mess tent and make sure the horses are safe and looked after. Then after all the hard work, enjoy your own amazing fly camp experience complete with stories around the bonfire, cooking on the coals and waking up to freshly baked bread. In the morning, break it all down again, before heading home with a bush breakfast en-route back to base camp.

THE DESTINATION

Laikipia

Kellard Safaris are based on the exclusive 14,000 acres of Suguroi Ranch at Twiga House, Nanyuki, Laikipia. 4-hrs drive from Nairobi airport, nestled between Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, Mpala Research Centre , Segera Retreat and El Karama Conservancy, all properties with huge investment into the conservation of many of the endangered species in Kenya. Laikipia epitomizes one of the last truly wild, conserved areas one is able to ride across.

Horse with blanket on a equestrian working holiday in Kenya
Safari horse in front of tent equestrian working holiday in Kenya

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 Kellard Safaris 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:

  • The horses spend their days out in large paddocks, coming into a well-lit and protected boma at night. When fly-camping, they sleep out on a picket line with 2 nigth watchmen standing guard
  • The horses have morning and evening feeds, and are groomed and checked for injuries twice a day by a team of passionate grooms and voluteers. Extra feed or grazing is given where necessary to ensure the horses are healthy and happy
  • The farrier visits every 4-5 weeks to ensure the horses hooves are well taken care of and many of them are shod due to the hard, rocky ground
  • They get regular visits from the horse physio, and are monitored by Sarah who delivers regular massages and pressure point muscle relief treatments
  • A dentist visits every 6-8 months to check the horses teeth
  • Temperatures are taken daily, and the horses are reguarly treated for ticks
  • Each horse has a varied routine including lunging, flatwork, jumping, trail riding and rest days

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

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A HORSE SAFARI

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