Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation

Volunteer Int. Adventures
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Coordinator | Sharon
Coordinator | Sharon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Help care for horses and ponies (equines) that have been neglected, abused, abandoned or are unmanageable by their owners in a place of safety, love giving them a chance of a new life
Assist with equines in need of medical attention and behavioural training for their long term rehabilitation to a better life. Horse rescues can take place when severe abuse has been reported
For those with riding experience that weigh under 75kgs, you may ride and hack the safer horses. There are beautiful natural trails in the area and the horses up for adoption, always need the exercise
Horse experience is a plus but not a must so for those with no experience with horses, you will learn how to care for them daily, feed, groom, walk, socialise and love these beautiful sentient beings
Help out with the other rescued animals at the sanctuary including donkeys, cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, ducks, goats and sheep while having fun in the South Africa sun
Get involved with horse and pony rescue and rehabilitation in South Africa. If you have experience with horses, great. If not, you will learn with a great team. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+

The farm where the project is based is situated on a 1000 Hectare property surrounded by the typical vegetation of the Western Cape province, surrounding hills and marked off into horse camps, stables, paddocks and of course the main house, volunteer accommodation and there is a farm dam for hot days. 

The equine rescue and sanctuary is dedicated to the welfare, rescue, care and rehabilitation of horses and ponies- and an assortment of rescued farm animals.

The founders have a background in the police force- which serves extremely well when it comes to cases of animal abuse and the need to confiscate horses and ponies- and equine knowledge having worked on many stud farms in the past. Together with their skills and experience, they make a formidable team when it comes to equine rescue, care and rehabilitation

Since they started, they have saved 630 horses from all over South Africa often travelling long distances. When horses are rescued, they are often brought to the farm horribly abused and in the more severe cases, close to death. Not all the horses will survive the extreme abuse they have experienced but for those that do, the end goal is to nurse them back to health, care, rehabilitate and train them so they will be ready to be adopted out to a carefully vetted home with a chance of a wonderful future. For the more extreme cases, they will live their forever home at the equine sanctuary. Currently there are 82 horses with an assortment of rescued farm animals and dogs

Equine rescues are performed all over South Africa in areas that do not have an active SPCA when the need arises. Community and horse owner education is also a priority for those that need advice on caring for their horses, ponies and even donkeys.

Please be aware that as the horses and ponies you will be working with come from extreme abusive backgrounds, only those under 70kgs will be riding as many of them have to be physically rehabilitated due to the past abuse they have experienced. You do not need to have experience with horses to take part in this project- although it is a benefit- but you will need to have a love of horses, their care and welfare. And be prepared to get your hands dirty and get stuck in with your volunteer duties. For those that have no experience with horses but want to learn, basic horse care will be taught during the time on the project but not riding. 

Typical day

The description given is of a typical day (EXAMPLE).

Time Description:

06:00: Wake up, wash, get ready and feed the horses

07:30: Breakfast – Make your own with food provided

08:00: Start morning duties with the horses 

12:00: Make your own lunch and take a break from the midday sun

14:00: Afternoon volunteer duties

15:30: Bring in the horses and feed

17:30: Relax, swim in the dam, read, play board games, or contemplate on the meaning of life under an African sunset

Free-time activities

The project is situated on the outskirts of Bonnievale, a town in the Breede River Valley of the Cape Winelands of the Western Cape province approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes’ drive from the city of Cape Town. The area is well known for fruit production, locally made cheese, tastings at wine farms, private game reserves and extensive hiking trails in the beautiful natural surroundings between two mountain ranges, the Riviersonderend and the Langeberg mountains.

 A perfect setting for those who appreciate nature, wide open spaces and fresh air.. and horses and ponies!



In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 08:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
The cost of the project includes shared accommodation onsite, 3 meals a day with food provided,  airport transfers from Cape Town International, staff on the ground available for emergencies 24/7 and to oversee your stay and safety, pre-departure admin, marketing costs, and donations to the project 
Airport Pickup at Cape Town International Airport

Airport pick ups and drops off take place on a Saturday. No arrivals in the evenings and departures must be after 12 pm as it is a 2-hour drive from the project to the airport.


During your stay you will stay onsite in the shared volunteer accommodation. The accommodation is basic with a communal living area and kitchen. Bedrooms are allocated to two volunteers of the same gender with a maximum of 10 volunteers. The volunteer coordinator also stays at the volunteer accommodation although she has her own bedroom. The bathrooms are also shared and have 2 showers, toilets and basins.  

There is a TV at the main house where the founders stay and that is also where the occasional South African braai (BBQ) will take place. There is a washing machine for you to use to wash your clothes.

There is WIFI so you can easily keep contact with friends and family via email, WhatsApp, social media and Skype. However, the internet connection can be slow so downloading movies can be an issue. We advise you to download a few movies or series before you arrive at the project

There is a farm dam quite close to the volunteer accommodation where volunteers can take a dip to cool down on hot summer days

Dorm Room Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Food is provided with which volunteers prepare their own meals. On occasion there might be a braai for the volunteers. There is cereal, fruit, toast, tea and coffee for breakfast. Lunch is normally a sandwich and fruit, and supper could be anything from pasta to meat and a salad. Tea, coffee, water and cooldrink is provided. If you have specific dietary requirements, please let us know so we can try and accommodate you

Volunteers need to keep their own living space and communal areas clean.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Arrival and departures days are Saturdays. Volunteers need to arrive and depart from Cape Town International Airport. It is a 2-hour drive from the sanctuary to the airport so we do suggest that volunteers arrival flights are no earlier than 10 am (or they will need to wait at Cape Town International Airport at a coffee shop) and no later than 3pm. For departures flights, these must be no earlier than 12pm so as to give ample time for checking in for their international departure flight.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$415 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Volunteer Int. Adventures will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Volunteer Int. Adventures during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation

Get involved with horse and pony rescue and rehabilitation in South Africa. If you have experience with horses, great. If not, you will learn with a great team.


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