Horse Riding and Hands-On Rhino and Elephant Conservation

As a volunteer, you’ll contribute to the running of an African conservancy from horseback, getting involved in the first-hand care of endangered rhino and elephant on a daily basis. While researching animal behavior and being an integral part of anti-poaching initiatives, you’ll also learn about conservancy management and provide conservation education in local communities.


  • Base yourself in an animal lover’s paradise, with 4 of Africa’s ‘Big 5’ animals, as well as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and antelope
  • Take a holistic approach to the protection of rhino and elephant, who are highly threatened in their own environment
  • Get involved with conservancy monitoring and management from horseback
  • With elevated and unique views from horseback, assist with vital snare patrols and search for evidence of poaching
  • Work closely with local Zimbabwean community members as you play a vital role in safeguarding endangered African species
  • Learn about animal behavior as you monitor their activities, feeding and socialization
  • Assist with anti-poaching efforts to ensure the continued safety of the animals at the conservancy
  • Educate local school children about conservation, wildlife and the environment
  • Get a unique behind the scenes look at life on an African Game Reserve and learn what is involved in the management of a wildlife conservancy
  • Live in and explore the beautiful Zimbabwe bush on foot, horse-back or by game viewer

About the Destination

At the reserve where your volunteer program will take place, you’ll encounter a diverse range of landscapes in 10,000 acres of conservancy that includes msasa woodlands, savannah grassland, rocky outcrops, riverine forest and thorny scrub. You will stay in comfortable twin or dormitory accommodation in a two storey thatched house next to a lake. There are two indoor bathrooms with shower and flush toilets and two outdoor solar showers for those hot days.

Your accommodation is staffed with a cook and housekeeping staff and laundry will also be done for you. The people of the local community are friendly and children love the volunteer interaction at their school.

Living in close proximity with four of Africa’s Big 5 animals on this privately owned conservancy you will witness amazing animal relationships and get a unique behind the scenes look at life on an African game reserve.

On the reserve you can climb Castle Kopje or visit Markwe Caves to see bush paintings and ancient tribal artifacts. Sundowners from the lookout point are a great way to start off your evenings. Then enjoy chatting around a fire, do some star-gazing and end off the day with a hearty meal and a good night’s rest, lulled to sleep by the sounds of nocturnal Africa.

Dates & Rates

Apply Now

Prices include:
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off, as well as all work-related transport
  • All accommodation and food, including 3 meals a day
  • 24 hour support from the experienced in-country team
  • All required training, guidance and resources needed to make an impact
  • Weekly laundry service
  • Cleaning service for your room
Prices exclude:
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Flights to your chosen destination
  • Visa-related fees
  • Transfer fees if you arrive or depart outside of the normal hours
  • Weekend trips and other non-project activities
  • Items of a personal nature, including gifts, snacks and alcohol
  • Internet access (this can be purchased on the ground)
How your volunteer fee is used:

Volunteer tourism, or ‘voluntourism’ as it is popularly known, is loosely defined as a holiday in which you give back to the land you are visiting; contributing to either community development or conservation. But it’s so much more than that. Voluntourism encompasses a new trend of responsible tourism, where travelers are making informed and responsible choices and planning trips which don’t negatively affect the country or communities they are visiting. When volunteering, it is critical that travelers choose a volunteer organisation or charity with a proven ethos and philosophy around sustainable and responsible tourism practices. This applies both to their work with local communities, wildlife and our volunteers themselves.

African Impact is proud to have a 10 year track record of facilitating responsible volunteer programs in Africa, providing 24 hour support and guidance for volunteers and offering on-going support to communities in need. Understandably, these operations cost money to run and this is where the volunteer fee comes in.

Volunteer Reviews

“The rides out over the Imire property were just breath-taking, and we got to see many areas and sights that you just would not see by vehicle. We could get right up close to the wildebeest herds, and walk quietly past as the sable grazed in the distance. I remember cantering through a beautiful patch of land after a long ride with the others, zebras in the foreground and impala watching on from afar and just thinking ‘this is exactly what I had hoped for when I had signed up to Imire.”

Rachel Miller, Australia

“I spent 2 weeks on the horse riding and conservation project and had the best experience ever. As horse riding volunteers we rode every morning nice and early then joined the rest of the volunteers for the daily activities after that. This meant we got the best of both worlds as we got the riding but didn’t miss out on any rhino or elephant or other activities either.”

Amy Souster, UK

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