The SpaceBased at at our bush camp or volunteer house, you will experience remote wilderness. The nature reserve we operate on, and where you will be based, is surrounded by game farms, cattle farms and rural villages. All of which you will get to know. The experience is focused mainly on horses, so competent riders are encouraged. PLEASE SEE EXTRA DETAILS FOR FULL INFORMATION Guest AccessA town trip to Phalaborwa will be done once a week, for food shopping and some time off. Kruger National Park lies on our doorstep, so trips to Kruger can be arranged. Interaction with GuestsOur guide/student manager will be present during all activities and will share valuable knowledge in the bush and about horses. The NeighborhoodIt is a peaceful area, and remote. Therefore a minimum duration of 2 weeks is required on the placement. Town trips to Phalaborwa will take place once a week. Kruger National Park is close by and can be visited - the Selwane community will be visited to engage with the children at the local school. Cattle herding at the near lying cattle farm will also be integrated into the activities Getting AroundThere is no public transport. We will collect volunteers once weekly from Phalaborwa airport or town. Other Things to NoteVolunteering with horses, people and conservation
Out in Africa Encounters, is based on Selwane Nature reserve, one hour from Phalaborwa town and the Kruger National Park in South Africa. The reserve is just over 4000Ha and is host a variety of general game, such as giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck and kudu amongst other.
It is a peaceful area, mostly surrounded by cattle farms and game reserves. The Selwane community is about 15 Kms away, reachable on dirt roads. It has a remote and tranquil feeling to it, with one small lodge on the property, a converted farmhouse the stables and bush braai, which is a tented camp.
Volunteers will be accommodated at the bush camp or volunteer house which is comfortable, but basic. It overlooks the seasonal Makwena river, and looks out onto the stables, arena and paddocks.
Equestrian division : Volunteers will have to have medium to high standard of riding, and be competent in all paces as a minimum requisite. They must ride regularly, and be able to feel comfortable and in control of horses which they are not habituated to.
Our horses are predominantly Boerperd crosses a home-grown breed that is well adapted to South African conditions. We have different horses for different standards of riding. Riding is done in English tack, although we have trails saddles fro those that prefer.
Activities around the horses will include the following:
Grooming, and tacking up, cattle herding, arena work, lunging at times, hacks and some jump for those who would like to do so. General assistance in taking care of the yard would be expected.
Community visits: One day a week will be spent at the local community, where interaction with the locals will take place. The main potential work sectors in this rural area, are tourism and agriculture. We aim to help the local communities which surround the reserve, and have restricted access to any other type of industry, to learn skills which they can use to build an existence. Intercultural exchange, learning English or any other skill which a volunteer could share is a great stepping stone in the future of these rural communities. We encourage volunteers to help in their progress.
Anti poaching: we conduct various activities with volunteers, which will assist towards conservation efforts and protection of wildlife on the reserve. The perimeter fence is an entry point for potential poachers, which mostly access the reserve to capture animals for food consumption.
Fence patrols will be carried out sporadically on horseback or on foot, to determine entry points and/or potential damage in the fence-line.
Snare sweeps will be carried sporadically, to check for any snares which could harm the wildlife. These will be removed.
Night drives: Night drives will be carried out sporadically, to gain presence on the land.
Game drives: Game drives will be conducted in the morning or evening, to give volunteers an opportunity to photograph animals, and learn about them and many other aspects of the bush which can be missed by the untrained eye.
Discussions: There will be informal meetings where volunteers can raise interest points, which will be discussed by their guide/manager.
Topics such as animal behavior, social structures, tracking, vegetation, habitats and basic veterinary will be discussed. These topics will be pointed out during the time in the bush, and will be expanded on during open discussions. Qualified staff and team will be available to resolve queries at any time.
Pick nicks and camping:
Pick nick packs will be packed by volunteers in to saddle bags to set out, on their horses and spend time in the bush and enjoy their meal in a selected shady spot with their horses.
On Camp day, the selected spot will be prepared in the morning.
A ride to the camp spot will commence after lunch. Where we will sleep under the starts, in tents or in a stone rondavel ( a round style building) with stories to tell around the campfire.
Meals: Shopping will be done once a week in town. The meal plan allows for the volunteers to cook at the house together, and share the expenses on the shopping list. Any additional food may of course be bought at the supermarket for alternatives, snacks or personal likes
House rules: Rules will outline general rules, which restrict heavy alcohol consumption, sharing accommodation with the opposite sex, tidiness and general respect for other people and their belongings in the house is imperative. Washing dishes will be done in pairs, on defined days in the week. A housekeeper will be available 3 days a week to do laundry and cleaning.
Arrival and Departure/Town trips
Volunteers can join/depart on every Monday of the week, and will be picked up/dropped off in Phalaborwa. We have a minimum stay policy of 2 weeks, and maximum one month. On Mondays, the volunteers which are staying on, can spend the day in town at leisure