This unique project combines both Horse Management and Lion Rehabilitation, providing volunteers with the opportunity to learn about the inner-workings of an African stable and participate in a world renowned rehabilitation program. The horse management program specializes in the training and managing of 40 cross-breed and thoroughbred horses for professional polo, polo crosse (a combination of polo and lacrosse), horse safaris, private lessons and game rides.
The Lion Rehabilitation Program works for the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of lions on the reserve. The African lion population is declining at a disturbing rate, so the goal is to reintroduce the offspring of captive-bred lions into the wild.
What's not Included
Antelope park is a private game farm located 10km from Gweru town center, in the heart of the Zimbabwe Midlands. Covering 3000 acres, this game reserve is home to an incredibly diverse array of African wildlife and is best known for its African Lion and Environmental Research.
Horse management: As a volunteer, you will be responsible for the following tasks:
- Guiding horse safaris for guests in the Reserve
- Leading horse-riding lessons for groups of volunteers
- Schooling and fitness training of the polo crosse horses
- Preparing polo crosse horses for matches
- Playing in club practices
- Assisting with managing the stable
- Attending or competing in club competitions around the country
- Join handlers on lion walks in the African bush and watch as the young cubs learn to stalk their prey
- Clean lion enclosures
- Prepare meat for the lions
You will volunteer in the stables from Monday to Friday, two of which will be half-days so you can enjoy some afternoons off. On Saturdays and Sundays you will be participating in the Lion Rehabilitation Program.
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
- Minimum age 18
- Basic English
- Good physical fitness
- Must have some previous riding experience
- Open-minded and flexible attitude
- Motivation to work with horses
- Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
- Police clearance form
The Horse Management staff at Antelope Park are all competitive riders. There will be occasions where they will need to travel to compete around Zimbabwe. Previous volunteers have been eager to attend these competitions and are allowed to join at an extra cost. If you are an experienced rider there are opportunities to participate in club-level competitions too. During the polo crosse season, from April to September, you can also compete at various clubs, if you are interested.
The opportunities for traveling outside the reserve are endless. For example, you can take a day trip to Granite Ridge or the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. For a longer stay experience, you can spend three nights on a houseboat on the stunning Lake Kariba. For an excursion before or after your volunteer placement, you should consider a five-day trip through Miombo to visit Victoria Falls or to try out bungee jumping or white-water rafting.
Project Orientation (Included):
On arrival to Antelope Park, the following orientation will take place:
- Introduction to the park, stables, and the Lion Rehabilitation Program
- Meet and greet with all stables and park staff
- Familiarization with where you will be staying
- Full induction into your role as a volunteer at Antelope Park