ENDURANCE & WILDLIFE WORKING HOLIDAY

2 Weeks: From £ 1 500

pp
sharing

See Detailed Rates

View Gallery

EXPERIENCE A UNIQUE COMBINATION OF ENDURANCE RIDING AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN THE AFRICAN BUSH

This working holiday has a unique trifecta! Not only will you hone your endurance riding skills, you will also learn about wildlife conservation alongside qualified wildlife veterinarians; all whilst living in the real African bushveld.

This programme offers volunteers the chance to work at a stable, training the horses for some of the most challenging races in South Africa and Namibia. Situated on a farm with over 2500 hectares of breath-taking bushveld, you’ll have ample space to experience what it takes to train these extreme athletes.  The reserve is home to giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and a variety of antelope species which you will get to know on your daily training rides. Set in the wilderness, you also get the chance to ride up into the nearby mountains to train for higher altitude (and amazing views!). For those wanting to experience the thrill and challenge of an endurance race, plan your stay to coincide with one of the bi-monthly local endurance rides.

This is a combination of intensive endurance riding and wildlife conservation. The programme only permits a maximum of three volunteers at a time, so you are guaranteed a unique, exclusive experience.  Heading the program is a wildlife vet and keen endurance rider who will show you the ropes in learning how she trains her equine athletes and will take you along on her veterinary rounds during your stay. The team have been working in the wildlife industry for 10 years and the endurance riding for 15 years. Some days volunteers will have the opportunity to work alongside qualified wildlife veterinarians, giving you hands-on experience for the ultimate wildlife and conservation exposure.

During your time in Africa, you will get to enjoy refreshing dam swims on horseback as well as riding to an overnight camp where you can sleep under a canopy of stars with your horse tethered nearby. You’ll be able to experience the freedom of cantering along sandy tracks through the bush, watching the Drakensberg mountains change colour at sunset, explore the Panorama Route and make some incredible memories along the way.

QUICK FACTS
Gravelotte, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport
January – November
From 2 weeks
Group Size: Max. 3
Novice and Above
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Unique opportunity to learn and improve your endurance riding skills and experience
  • Live in the African bushveld and see incredible wildlife from horseback and on game drives
  • Hands-on learning about wildlife veterinary
  • Ride and work with well-trained endurance horses every day
  • Compete in a local endurance race or long-distance ride
  • Over-night camp out in the wilderness with the horses
THE DESTINATION

The programme is situated in the Lowveld of the Limpopo Province of South Africa on the outskirts of the small town Gravelotte. Located to the West of the Kruger National Park and with close proximity to the picturesque Panorama Route, the area is as well known for wildlife as it is for incredible scenery!  The stables is adjacent to a 2500 hectare farm and to a Big 5 Game Reserve. While out riding on the trails you will be in a reserve that is home to abundant plains game including giraffe, kudu, zebra warthogs, and many more. You’ll also get to ride on neighbouring farms and into the nearby mountains for great views over the Lowveld. During the course of your stay, you will have the opportunity to go on game drives to see larger animals such as elephant, rhino and lion (if you’re lucky!) as well as exploring the Panorama Route.

DATES & RATES

Placements from January to November, arrivals on Sunday, departures on Friday – minimum 2 weeks stay. Please enquire for exact dates and availability – plan your stay to end with competing in a local endurance race!

2020 Rates:

2 Weeks:
£1 500pps

4 Weeks:
£3 000pps 

Includes

  • Accommodation in shared rooms
  • 3 Meals per day
  • Beverages
  • Laundry Service
  • WiFi
  • Daily Riding and Training
  • Return Transfers from Hoedspruit Airport
  • Race Day Entries (if any)
  • Cap / Hoodie / T-shirt
  • Endurance Horse Rental if racing
  • Horse Tack if racing
  • Big 5 Game Drive Safari
  • Panorama Route Scenic Excursion

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Extra excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
WHAT TO EXPECT

Activities will vary from day to day and no 2 days are the same! You will be staying on the stable premises adjacent to a big five game reserve – Possibly falling asleep to the sound of a lion roar and waking up with the sunrise bird song.  Here is an example of what you can expect during your equestrian and wildlife working holiday.

Riding and Training

Endurance activities will include training the horses as required, either riding, ground schooling or lunging. Riding is also kept fun by ensuring that each horse gets a good mix of arena work, distance riding, mountain/ altitude work, and fun dam swims! You will learn all about the horses’ pre- and post-exercise care that ensures the horses are kept in top condition. During your stay, you will also be training yourself so that you will be prepared for your race/longer ride at the end of your stay!

Responsibilities will be the general health care of the horses, tack and equipment cleaning, working and schooling schedules, and working under the management of a trained vet and endurance coach and the head groom at the stables. There won’t be much yard work (unless you want to get stuck in) but you will have a good opportunity to really learn the ins and outs of horse care and stable management.

While out riding on the trails you will be in a reserve that is home to abundant plains game including giraffe, kudu, zebra warthogs and many more. There are also buffalo in the reserve, but the horses keep a safe distance!

Included Activities

You may also get the opportunity to take the horses on an overnight camp at a beautiful local ‘koppie’! A really exciting adventure sleeping out in the wilderness!

Jessica, your host, also enjoys taking volunteers out to explore the famous panorama Route, which showcases some of the breath-taking landscapes in the region. Here you can stop to see the incredible views over the Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window, see the swirling water of Bourkes Luck Potholes and swim in some of the refreshing waterfalls the area is well known for.

Some days are for conservation work with wildlife veterinarians and excursions. Your typical wildlife activities may include joining Jessica on her rounds as a wildlife vet. This way you will learn about conservation projects in the area and issues facing the local wildlife.

Other Excursions

This pristine wildlife area offers so much fun and adventurous activities on your doorstep! Here is a list of activities that would be available if you would like to see more of the beautiful area – Please note, excursions are not included in weekly fee, but you will be personally guided on all excursions and will only need to pay for entry fees. 

  • Kruger National Park

  • Camp Jabulani Elephant Interaction

  • Helicopter Scenic Flights

  • Jessica The Hippo
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers

  • Wildlife Conservation 

  • Big Five Game Drive Safaris

  • Hot Air Balloon Safaris

  • River Safari

  • Waterfalls

  • Hiking Routes

THE ACCOMMODATION

The volunteer accommodation is located next to the stables adjacent to a Big 5 game reserve. You may wake up not only to the sound of the horses neighing for their breakfast but also lions roaring in the distance! You will be staying in very comfortable, newly renovated chalets each with a bed and en-suite bathroom. The main lodge has a well-equipped kitchen and a comfortable lounge and dining area.

QUICK FACTS
Gravelotte, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport
January – November
From 2 weeks
Group Size: Max. 3
Novice and Above
View Gallery
2 Weeks: From £1 500 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Unique opportunity to learn and improve your endurance riding skills and experience
  • Live in the African bushveld and see incredible wildlife from horseback and on game drives
  • Hands-on learning about wildlife veterinary
  • Ride and work with well-trained endurance horses every day
  • Compete in a local endurance race or long-distance ride
  • Over-night camp out in the wilderness with the horses
DATES & RATES

Placements from January to November, arrivals on Sunday, departures on Friday – minimum 2 weeks stay. Please enquire for exact dates and availability – plan your stay to end with competing in a local endurance race!

2020 Rates:

2 Weeks:
£1 500pps

4 Weeks:
£3 000pps 

Includes

  • Accommodation in shared rooms
  • 3 Meals per day
  • Beverages
  • Laundry Service
  • WiFi
  • Daily Riding and Training
  • Return Transfers from Hoedspruit Airport
  • Race Day Entries (if any)
  • Cap / Hoodie / T-shirt
  • Endurance Horse Rental if racing
  • Horse Tack if racing
  • Big 5 Game Drive Safari
  • Panorama Route Scenic Excursion

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Comprehensive Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Extra excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

It was a great, amazing, cool, top experience to ride the Tuliblock in Botswana. 8 day's on a back of a horse and view a lot of game. The guides and staff were great. So I will come back!

Nicole PlasTuli Safari, Botswana
READ MORE REVIEWS

How we care for our horses

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • The horses sleep are stabled at night, and after a good breakfast are let out into large fenced paddocks
  • They are fed a specific diet, including balanced hard food, plenty of roughage and extra supplements
  • The horses are checked, groomed, and have their temperatures taken daily by the grooms, owner (who is a trained vet) and volunteers
  • The horses all get a physio and dentist visit at least once a year, and the farrier comes every 6 weeks
  • The saddles are specially designed for long trails which mean they are comfortable for the horse, distributing the rider’s weight evenly, preventing any back issues. 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. They are well trained and exercised with long warm-up and cool-down walks as well as altitude training.

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

RELATED SAFARIS

White endurance horses on trail

2 Weeks: From £1 500 pps

South African Endurance & Wildlife Working holiday

South African Endurance & Wildlife Working holiday

2 - 10 Weeks

South Africa

Working Holiday

Experience a combination of endurance riding and wildlife conservation on this unique working holiday in the African bush.

Horse riding in Mozambique

2 Weeks: From £1 300 pps

Mozambique Working Holiday

Mozambique Working Holiday

2 - 10 Weeks

Mozambique

Working Holiday

This equine volunteer project for those looking to develop their riding skills in a tropical paradise.

girl holding 2 horses overlooking the ocean

2 Weeks: From £1 000 pps

Wild Coast Equine Connection & Working Holiday

Wild Coast Equine Connection & Working Holiday

2 - 10 Weeks

South Africa

Working Holiday

Immerse yourself in all things horses on this Wild Coast equine working holiday.