Woman walking along with a horse in South Africa

Wild coast volunteering

An escape from your everyday life. Work or study remotely, ride, eat, sleep, repeat and live like a local... All in one of the most beautiful riding locations in South Africa! This is a unique opportunity for horse lovers to truly immerse themselves and experience the joy of being with and riding horses day after day along the stunning Wild Coast of South Africa. Learn from Julie-Anne and her team, and bring along your spirit of adventure!
Book now Print the details for this ride
Working holidays
15+ days
From £1,250

From the horse’s mouth

  • Wild coast volunteering
    August 2022 Ludivine aged 41
    I had a wonderful time on the Wild Coast. The location is stunning, the team there is great, always cheerful and caring, full of fun stories. The horses are great, you will definitely find friends there and there are plenty of various trails to enjoy. I got to experience life in South Africa, went to rugby matches,... Read all
  • Riders crossing a river in South Africa
    Splashy rides in South Africa!
  • Woman walking along with a horse in South Africa
    Working holiday in South Africa
  • Someone brushing a horse in South Africa
    Create bonds with the horses on this working holiday
  • Woman admiring the wild coast view in South Africa
    You might have the opportunity to take part in Wild Coast trails! (longer stays)
  • Someone detangling the horse's tail in South Africa
    Perform daily tasks around the stables
  • Woman taking a horse in South Africa
    Enjoy a varied programme that includes ground work, basic yard chores, and more!
  • Woman holding two horses on a beach in South Africa
    The horses you'll be handling are well-trained and very athletic
  • Horse admiring cows in a beach in South Africa
    Escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind...

Itinerary

Highlights

- Enjoy a varied programme to include ground work, introduction to barefoot trimming, exercising and schooling horses, and assisting out on trail rides along with basic yard chores.
- The opportunity to take part in clinics, mini trails or full Wild Coast trails for longer stays (see itinerary).
- Become a better rider and horsewoman or horseman by learning from Julie-Anne and her team. The interconnection between horses and people is an integral part of their beliefs, their environment and the way that they work with the horses and visiting riders.
- Discover life in a South African beach town. Meet with locals and learn about the culture and lifestyle.
  • Day 1 1 : HOME - JOHANNESBURG - EAST LONDON

    Fly to East London in South Africa. We recommend flight SA471 from Johannesburg, which arrives into East London between c. 11.35am and 12:00 noon. Flights are not included but we can help with this on request.

    You will be met on arrival and transferred by minibus to Kei Mouth. Transfers are payable locally - please see dates and prices.
  • Day 2 2 to 14: VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMME

    You get to participate in and be part of the following experiences, understanding and practising the principles of holistic horse care of horses that live out all year round in the African bush.

    • Daily care of the horses
    • Cleaning tack and equipment
    • Introduction to barefoot trimming, riding and management
    • Our horses all live out, so there are no stables to muck out,
    • An introduction to ground work
    • Exercising & schooling horses in basic flat work, dressage & jumping
    • Fitness training, exercise & care of the horses
    • Assisting on out rides and trails in Kei Mouth & Morgan Bay
    • You spend time caring, working, schooling and exercising horses at the beach paddocks in Kei Mouth.

    Work/study remotely: If you have chosen to stay as a ride & work remotely option, you would generally ride once or twice a day and make your own time available to do your work. It’s pretty flexible to your needs, and you can be sure of a quiet space and fast connection (printing and scanning facilities are also available)

    Longer stays will get extra bonuses:
    - 4 week-stay: take part in an awesome 3-day “Riding with Touch Workshop” run by Klara Webb (an introduction to Ride with Your Mind and TTouch methodologies.)
    - 4/6/8 week-stay: mini beach trail (a 2-night/3-day ride to Wavecrest Hotel & Spa).
    - 12 week-stay: full Wild Coast mobile trail.
  • Day 3 15 : EAST LONDON - JOHANNESBURG - HOME

    Depending on your departure time, you could squeeze in one more ride before the shuttle picks you up to transfer you back to the airport.

    On the final day of the ride, you will be transferred to the airport at either 9:00 am if taking a flight at noon or 2:00 pm for a late afternoon flight. Flights are not included but can be booked for you on request.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Dates are flexible and you can arrive/depart on any day and stay for as long as you like.

- The usual group size is a minimum of 1 and a usual maximum of 4 international volunteers.

- Rates are per person, based on staying for a duration of two weeks. Longer stays are available at discounted rates. There is no solo rider supplement.
> 3 weeks: £1770/€2035/$2400
> 4 weeks: £2220/€2555/$3015
> 6 weeks: £3125/€3595/$4245
> 8 weeks: £3895/€4475/$5280
> 12 weeks: £5000/€5750/$6785

- Airport transfers are an extra c. 1200 ZAR (c. £70) per person at a set time, each way. Transfers are payable locally in ZAR only and costs are divided by the number of riders in the vehicle.

- Please note that these prices are based on the South African Rand rate which can be volatile, we will confirm all prices to you upon booking

- There is a maximum weight limit of 14 stones/90 kg/198 lbs.

- You must be aged 18 or over to join this volunteering opportunity.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

An English-speaking team

Accommodation

Private or shared room

Meals

Full board during the programme except for lunches while out on day rides

Additional equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extra
Meals outside of the programme such as dinners out or lunches on day rides.

Transports

Airport transfers
International flights

Extra

Extras and personal expense
Gratuities for the house maids who clean the house, make your beds and do your laundry!
Additional activities: Paddling trips hosted by local guides, Abseiling at Morgan Bay hosted by local guides, Township Tour hosted by local guides, Inkwenkwezi - Big 5 Jeep Safari

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/10/2022 17/10/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/10/2022 24/10/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/10/2022 31/10/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/10/2022 07/11/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    31/10/2022 14/11/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    07/11/2022 21/11/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    14/11/2022 28/11/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    21/11/2022 05/12/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/11/2022 12/12/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
    05/12/2022 19/12/2022 £1,250 €1,472 $1,463 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/01/2023 16/01/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/01/2023 23/01/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/01/2023 30/01/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/01/2023 06/02/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    30/01/2023 13/02/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    06/02/2023 20/02/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/02/2023 27/02/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/02/2023 06/03/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/02/2023 13/03/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/03/2023 20/03/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/03/2023 27/03/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/03/2023 03/04/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/03/2023 10/04/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    03/04/2023 17/04/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/04/2023 24/04/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/04/2023 01/05/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/04/2023 08/05/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    01/05/2023 15/05/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    08/05/2023 22/05/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    15/05/2023 29/05/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    22/05/2023 05/06/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    29/05/2023 12/06/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    05/06/2023 19/06/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    12/06/2023 26/06/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/06/2023 03/07/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    26/06/2023 10/07/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/07/2023 17/07/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/07/2023 24/07/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/07/2023 31/07/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/07/2023 07/08/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    31/07/2023 14/08/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    07/08/2023 21/08/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    14/08/2023 28/08/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    21/08/2023 04/09/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/08/2023 11/09/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/09/2023 18/09/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/09/2023 25/09/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/09/2023 02/10/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/09/2023 09/10/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    02/10/2023 16/10/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/10/2023 23/10/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/10/2023 30/10/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    23/10/2023 06/11/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    30/10/2023 13/11/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    06/11/2023 20/11/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/11/2023 27/11/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    20/11/2023 04/12/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/11/2023 11/12/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now
    04/12/2023 18/12/2023 £1,390 €1,637 $1,626 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

Julie-Anne's horses are much loved; they are a mixture of Arab, Boerperd, Thoroughbred and Percheron crosses that are perfect for trail riding. You will be delighted by how gentle, well trained and friendly they are! The trail team is kept endurance fit to be able to complete adventure trails along the coast, while younger horses are brought on carefully with ground work and schooling.

The saddles are comfortable for riders with a high pommel and shallow seat which permit a good seat - most also have a sheepskin seatsaver on top. Each saddle also has a small saddle bag sufficient for carrying bottles of water and sunscreen necessary for the entire riding day.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You should ideally need to be a competent rider, capable and in control at all paces, able to rise to the trot and canter/gallop in a forward seat. You should have experience of riding in the outdoors and over rough terrain as well as being fit for long hours in the saddle, especially if staying for longer durations and joining the trails.

More novice riders can be accommodated on request and will be given riding lessons to get them comfortable and proficient in the saddle.

There is a maximum weight limit of 14 stones/90 kg/198 lbs.

Pace

The riding is at mixed pace, with plenty of opportunities for long trots and canters along the beaches or on inland paths.

Tacking ability and participation

Guests must be willing to learn and to contribute.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be physically fit for long hours in the saddle in the African sun.

This program is designed to be flexible. You can help and ride at the stables everyday, or just share your day between helping, riding and walking around. The rides are varied and allow you to enjoy the stunning landscapes of the area.
There are many walks around the house and the stables for you to enjoy, you can also go to the beach and have a swim or enjoy any of the many activities offered by Kei Adventures, or even go on a safari tour in the nearby reserve.
At the weekend, the staff will most likely include you into their activities - going to the pub to watch a rugby game, having a spa day in the nearby city or discovering a new place.

Equestrian equipment

We recommend that guests who do not ride regularly get fit prior to the ride, especially if staying for longer durations and taking part in the trails - in which case it is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces.

We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

Guests are accommodated in volunteer quarters with two twin rooms and one single – there is a dorm room for friends. Private shower & toilet. Tea/Coffee facilities and a fridge for personal use. The kitchen is stocked with a selection of items for self-service breakfast (cereal, yogurt, fruit, bread, preserves, tea & coffee) and light meals (cheese, cold meat, pasta, salads and the like)

Note that power shedding is common in South Africa, we recommend you bring an external charger for your electronics. These are scheduled in advance and you can be updated through an app on your phone. Each bedroom is equipped with a flood light.


WiFi is available.

Meals

Daily breakfast (cereal, yogurt, fruit, bread, preserves, tea & coffee).
Lunch at the home base is provided (light meals - cheese, cold meat, pasta, salads and the like), but not included if out on day rides. Lunch out at local pubs and restaurants range from about R60 to R150 depending on what the person orders.

Home cooked dinners are catered and served either at lunch time or evening depending on the days schedule. Most food is based on fresh meat or local fish.


Tea/coffee/water are provided.

Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for to a certain degree but must be advised at the time of booking.

Climate

The rainy season is between November and the end of March, with some storms at the end of the day. The warmest months are January and February: expect around 26°C. The South African winter (July/August) is cooler with 10°C during the day on average.

May: temperatures between 13°C-23°C during the day
June/July/August/September: average of 20°C.
October: between 14°C-22°C
November: lovely riding weather with temperatures between 16°C and 23°C
December: 17°C - 25°C

Guide and local team

You are staying with Julie-Anne, Clint and their team on the Wild Coast. They are a lovely bunch of people and committed to the welfare of their horses and happiness of their guests!

The staff is a small team of dedicated riders and horsemen and women. They will show you anything you need to know from horse management to the local culture and lifestyle. Do not hesitate to ask questions and be curious!

Tips

we would recommend approximately £10 per guest per day which you can give to your guide to distribute amongst the team

Packing list

Head
- Hard hats are compulsory and we recommend you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - required all year round, but particularly during the winter months (May - October) when there can be rain or thunderstorms
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged (they can also be hot!). Please note riding in salty water can damage the leather so don't bring your brand new boots.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for when not riding
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
Pyjamas

Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for the pools - the sea is generally not safe for swimming
- Binoculars for spotting dolphins/whales along the coastline
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take or needed for this trip
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- In your hold luggage: Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant over 100 ml and all bottles can be decanted into small, clear, plastic Ziplock bags. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- In your hand luggage carry any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc. We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Visa & Health

Formalities

To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all UK, Australian, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals.
Passports must have at least two blank facing pages for entry stamps - visitors have been refused entry by airport immigration officials for flouting this regulation.
Yellow fever certificates are required if your journey starts from or passes through a country with yellow fever (such as Zambia/Victoria Falls).Visas for South Africa are not required by UK, Australian, USA, Canadian and other EU nationals for stays of up to 90 days except:
• Nationals of Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, who may stay visa-free for up to 30 days.
• Nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia, who do require a visa.
Other passport holders are advised to contact the embassy/high commission for visa requirements.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION RE: TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
South Africa has relaxed its requirements for travelling with children under the age of 18. Visa exempt children (including UK Nationals visiting for tourism purposes) entering South Africa accompanied by an adult are required to present only a valid passport on arrival, regardless of whether the child is travelling with both parents, one parent, or an adult who is not a biological parent (for more information, please see the Immigration Act in conjunction with the advisory from the South African Department of Home Affairs). This includes children travelling as part of school groups.

Contact South African Immigration for what is required for other circumstances.

Addresses of consulates

  • South African High Commission
    South Africa House
    Trafalgar Square
    WC2N 5DP London
    Tél. : +44 (0) 20 7451 7299
    Fax : +44 (0) 20 7839 5670
  • Paris | Ambassade d’Afrique du sud
    59, Quai d’Orsay
    75343 Paris Cedex 07
    Tél. : 01.53.59.23.23
    Fax :
    info@afriquesud.net
  • Ambassade de France en Afrique du Sud
    250, Melk street
    New Muckleneuk
    0181 Pretoria
    Tél. : +27 (0) 12 425 1600
    Fax : +27 12 425 1609
    france@ambafrance-rsa.org

Health

We recommend that you talk to your doctor as they have access to the most up-to-date information.
There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to South Africa, however, you need a yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled to a country where that disease is widely prevalent, such as Zambia/Victoria Falls. So although Yellow Fever is not a problem in South Africa, you will need to carry a certificate of vaccination if you are arriving from an infected country.
Like with most countries, it's advisable to have general injections regarding diseases like Hepatitis A and typhoid. Most travellers are already vaccinated against DTP (Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio) and Hepatitis A, especially if you travelled already to countries outside the western world. If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as Hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria, although not prevalent in most of the country, is a serious disease which must not be underestimated. If you are travelling in the eastern quarter of the country (towards Kruger National Park), take anti-malarial medication such as Malarone, especially when travelling during the warmer and wetter summer season (October to April/May). Also wear long-sleeved shirts and use insect repelling containing DEET.
Very occasionally there are reports of African Tick Bite Fever in guests returning from South Africa. Cover up when riding/walking through the bush and check yourself for ticks. If you experience flu-like symptoms on return to the UK it is worth mentioning to your doctor that you have visited a rural part of Africa. The disease is easily treated with antibiotics.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220/230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs have three fat round pins.

Budget and money

The currency of South Africa is the Rand, often called the 'buck', and it's divided into 100 cents. The sign for it is R and the financial code is ZAR. It was introduced in 1961 to coincide with the establishment of the Republic of South Africa, replacing the South African pound.
Notes come in R10, R20, R50, R100, and R200 denominations. Coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents exist, as well as R1, R2 and R5.

Telephone and jetlag

GMT +1
South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls).
Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies and coverage extends to most of the country except the very remote areas. GPRS for data coverage is also widespread. Airport kiosks can sell you a phone or local SIM card if you show some ID.
Internet cafes are common in towns throughout the country and wireless is available at airports and in up-market hotels. Most hotels charge for connectivity and it can be cheaper to find the nearest internet café.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Ludivine aged 41 Angers 2 trips
    August 2022
    I had a wonderful time on the Wild Coast. The location is stunning, the team there is great, always cheerful and caring, full of fun stories. The horses are great, you will definitely find friends there and there are plenty of various trails to enjoy. I got to experience life in South Africa, went to rugby matches,... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide