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VOLUNTEERS PROGRAM

PLEASE NOTE THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

Do you want to ride along pristine beaches and in one of the most beautiful game reserves in South Africa? Do you want to learn more about horseback guiding? Do you want to spend a month in the wonderful town of St Lucia surrounded by the fantastic iSimangaliso Wetland Park? Looking for something to do in your GAP year or extending your holiday in South Africa? Why not join us for one month or more?

We are looking for a volunteer/intern that is an experienced horse rider that can help out with the rides, schooling of horses and the general running of Bhangazi Horse Safaris in St Lucia, KZN.  Work weeks would be 5 days a week and in your off days there’s wonderful opportunities to visit neighboring game reserves, beautiful beaches, fantastic diving sites and much more.

We do have shared (2 pax) volunteer accommodation available. If you’re interested please read our elaborate information that explains what it would entail. If you would like to apply please email: info@horsesafari.co.za

Location

iPhiva Camp, St Lucia Estuary, 3936, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Full or Part Time

Full time, 5 days a week based on a flexible schedule (may be during the week and/or in weekends), 8 hours a day (occasionally a bit longer).

Workhours

Working from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (although this may be changed slightly according to demand and time of year). You will have a 1 hour lunch break in the day, which will be scheduled according to our rides schedule (which is different every day).

Description

You will be assisting with the general running of Bhangazi Horse Safaris and be backup guide on rides. Bhangazi Horse Safaris is a company that offers guided rides in the game reserve and on the beach of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. We ride amongst zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, impalas and many other antelopes and have occasional sightings of jackals and if you’re very lucky leopards. We can also see rhino and buffalo through the fence bordering the rest of the reserve. We also ride on some of the most pristine beaches of South Africa. From June to November we have a chance of seeing whales and dolphins from horseback. On the beach rides we sometimes ride up to the edge of the estuary where we can see crocodiles and hippos from horseback. In turtle season we search for the tracks of loggerhead and leatherback turtles that have gone up the beach the night before in order to dig a nest and lay their eggs. Our rides are generally between 1 – 2,5 hours long, with occasionally longer rides. The rides take place between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.

We have a herd of 15 beautiful, well-kept horses. They are mostly boerperds, boerperd crosses and percheron and arab crosses. They are kept in a part of the game reserve and live out year round. We have horses suitable for complete beginners as well as horses for the more experienced riders. Although most of our horses are completely bombproof and are the “been there, done that” kind of horse, we also have some that do need some additional training. Some of the younger horses and those horses that are new in the company need some extra schooling, which mostly takes place during the rides, but also out on the open areas of the savanna (our “arena”).  

It is our mission to provide tourists with the best possible guided horse riding experience, whilst making sure that the horses are fit, happy and healthy and without doing any damage to or causing disturbance to the natural environment.

 

Pros and Cons:

Please realize that this internship is not a holiday. You will be joining our team as if you were a full time employee and will have to adhere to our working hours and our code of conduct. You will have to help with all chores required including the less nice ones, like cleaning the paddock. However the rewards are big as we truly have the most stunning natural area at our doorstep and besides being able to do fantastic rides you also will have fantastic opportunities for outings on your off days. In the off days you can do day trips to neighboring big-5 game reserves or visit stunning beaches. Or if you have a bit more time you could do some diving on the spectacular coral reefs of Sodwana Bay. However, it is important to realize that we do ask a 100% commitment of our interns on the days that you’re scheduled to work.

Skills the intern will develop are:

  • Knowledge of horse care in the bush (in South Africa), including veterinary care, and how to apply it

  • Communication skills (especially in relation to dealing with guests)

  • Working as a team

  • Knowledge of the local flora and fauna

  • What is required of a horse to be suitable as a trail horse (esp. for beginners)

  • How to conduct guided horse riding safaris in a game reserve and on the beach:

    • How to do these safaris in a relatively safe manner (as safe as possible)

    • How to give a briefing before a safari

    • How to communicate clearly and in an entertaining way with guests on safari

    • Gain knowledge about the bush and beach environment of South Africa and what interesting information you could tell guests about this

    • How to keep an interesting balance between riding and guiding

    • How to judge a guest’s riding ability and expectations from the ride

    • How to deal with and solve problems that may occur

    • How to approach wildlife on horseback

    • General guiding skills

The owner of the company, Freya van de Wiel, will be the main supervisor of the intern. However, the stable manager, Lucas Monyayi will also assist in supervising the intern.

 

Responsibilities

Your daily tasks will include:

  • Accompanying guests on rides in the game reserve (no lions or elephants)

  • Accompanying guests on rides on the beach and along the estuary with hippo’s and crocodiles

  • Schooling horses

  • Lunging horses

  • Grooming horses

  • Taking care of horses that are ill or injured

  • Updating medical records

  • Cleaning tack, the tackroom, the paddocks, the yard

  • Feeding the horses

  • Clearing poisonous plants

  • Communicating with guests

  • Taking bookings: this means taking the company phone and diary and being responsible for taking all bookings on specified days (from 7am to 7pm during weekdays or 9 to 5 in weekend days).

  • Assist with simple bookkeeping tasks

  • Carry out guiding exercises given by the owner in order to learn more about local flora and fauna

Please note that we can’t guarantee you will be riding every day. But we will make an effort to make you join on rides as much as possible.

 

Requirements and Qualifications:

  • You must be an experienced rider that will be able to control a horse in a canter in open terrain. We also need you to have soft hands and a balanced seat.

  • Over 18 years old, preferably over 21 years. In any case you need to be able to take care of yourself independently.

  • Maximum weight is 75 kg as I only have a limited amount of big, strong horses.

  • Proficient in English and with decent communication skills

  • Physically fit

  • Able to work well in a team

  • Have a positive attitude

  • Able to work long hours when required

  • Able to take responsibility

  • Have experience in taking care of horses

  • A keen interest in nature and willingness to learn about the local flora and fauna

It would be a bonus if you have:

  • A drivers license

  • Experience with natural horsemanship

  • Medical Horse Care Experience

  • Work experience in tourism

  • Guiding experience

  • A guiding degree

  • A background in biology or zoology or similar

Salary & Conditions

The position is unpaid. Occasionally the intern will receive some tips from guests that are on the ride. Shared accommodation is provided free of charge. The accommodation used is a shared, furnished 2-bedroom apartment with its own bathroom and kitchen.  The volunteer/intern is expected to contribute a small amount towards cleaning costs. If this accommodation would not be available then the intern will be informed before the internship is finalized and other options will be explored and discussed with the volunteer/intern.  Cost of food is estimated to be around R2500 per month and is for your own account. Transport to and from the stables will be in the form of a bicycle and on some days a lift with the company car. The intern would need to arrange his/her own travel and medical insurance, which needs to also cover risk sports, like horse riding.

Risks:

Working with horses and amongst wildlife comes with its risks. Although we take great care to carry out the work as safely as possible, Bhangazi Horse Safari PTY can not be held liable for any losses, damages or injuries that might be suffered by the intern whether in the game reserve, on the yard, or before, on or after the rides. The intern will be required to sign an indemnity form before participating in the work. Furthermore the intern is expected to have taken out the appropriate travel and medical insurance.

How To Apply:

Please send an email with your CV and motivational letter to Freya van de Wiel, info@horsesafari.co.za. Our cellphone number is 0027(0)837927899.

For more information:

J0b Opportunities

Job opportunity for trail riding company in St Lucia Estuary

Position offered: Lead Guide | Starting date: 1 March 2019

At Bhangazi Horse Safari we offer guided horseback safaris in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. We ride on the beach as well as in the game reserve.  More information about us to be found on our website.

We are offering a full time position as lead guide for our trail rides company in St. Lucia Estuary, South Africa. 

We are looking for people who love working with horses, are friendly towards guests, can do some basic medical care, can take responsibility, are good team players, are reliable and committed and who are not afraid to work hard. Team members have to be all-rounders.

Responsibilities:

Being lead guide on horse safaris on the beach and in the game reserve. Taking care of the horses. Doing basic medical care for the horses. Training and schooling horses when needed. Communicating with clients. 

 

Requirements:

You should

  • Have experience in all aspects of taking care of horses 

  • Have experience in schooling and training horses

  • Be an experienced rider and able to ride forward going horses

  • Have a guiding qualification or be willing to work towards one

  • Have a friendly attitude towards guests 

  • Be able to lead outrides on horseback

  • Have a keen interest in nature and a willingness to learn

  • Speak English well

  • Be flexible regarding work hours 

  • Be able to work well in a team

  • Be able to do general yard duties

Bonus points:

Although not essential, it will be considered a bonus if candidates have

  • Have a drivers license 

  • Experience working as a guide

  • Be able to train a horse in natural horsemanship

  • Experience managing staff

Salary and benefits:

Salary will be commensurate with background and experience. Accommodation is not included (we’re not based at a lodge), but employees can find accommodation in St Lucia Estuary (10 mins from our stables) or in Khula village. 

To apply:

Applicants must submit their updated CV, with an application letter and a recent PP-size photograph before the 1st of February 2019 to freya@tailormadesafaris.co.za. Please also mention your weight and height, since this is relevant for which horses you’d be able to ride. You will receive a confirmation of receipt. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted before the 15th of February 2019.