Horse Trail Assistant

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
founded in 1994
Kaapsehoop Horse Trails
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Coordinator | Mariska
Coordinator | Mariska
Help us to run a horse trail program and support us in tasks like stable management, guided rides and educational lessons for kids. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

About the Program

Our program is set in the beautiful surroundings of the Kaapsehoop on the Drakensberg Escarpment, offering a scenic adventure. Our horses live out, free range; there are no stables for the animals at night as they live free in the Mountains. The horses are brought in when required, prepared for our trail rides. On days where we have no bookings, the horses are free to stay in their natural environment and are not ridden. Working with our horses, we apply the gentle methods of natural horsemanship, also taught by the owner of the program, Christo.

The following activities will be carried out by volunteers during their stay at the program:

  • General equine husbandry 
  • Lessons in saddles and bridles 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Traction work with Horses
  • Clearing of Trails
  • Counteracting alien vegetation 
  • Daily duties like feeding, caring for in house horses and chicken program, cleaning and maintenance of stable facilities
  • Vegetable program for community Kids
  • Horse preparation for rides
  • Home stay assistance in cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.
During the program, volunteers work full days from 07h00 to 16h00 taking days off when required and to do optional excursions, for example to the famous Kruger National Park, Safaris, Blyde river canyoning etc. 


Volunteers must have very good horse riding experience. Other basic skills and program responsibilities are taught to volunteers during their stay. 

It is essential that volunteers are between 18-55 years of age, physically fit and of a weight below 90kg. Due to animal welfare, we must apply a horseback riding weight limit to assure the animals do not suffer back injuries. 

Traveling to the Program Site

There are two different options of travel from Johannesburg International Airport to our program:

Option 1: You can book a connection flight from Johannesburg to KMIA (Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport) and we will arrange for a transfer. The drive from KMIA to the program will take just over one hour. 

Option 2: Shuttle transfer directly from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Nelspruit Sonpark or Nelspruit Crossings. This drive will take approximately four hours and is a safe way of traveling in South Africa. 

Should you arrive after the last shuttle/flight has left Johannesburg, you must stay in Johannesburg overnight. If you would like some luxury for the night, we recommend the Southern Sun Hotel, which is adjacent to the airport. The Backpackers Ritz is a cheaper alternative and also closes to the airport. Both offer services to pick you up at the airport and drop you off again the next morning. 

We will arrange transfers from either KMIA or Nelspruit, depending on which option you have chosen. Please provide us with your travel information two weeks in advance.

Typical day

Usually, volunteers are driven to the stables at 6:45 and work from 7am until all work is done, which is normally around 4pm. 

You will feed stallions and other paddock horses twice a day and fill up their hay nets. At the same time, water will be filled up and the horses will be checked for injuries and general wellbeing. Horse droppings in and around the paddocks, in the stables and the lunging area are picked up daily. Other daily tasks are the cleaning and maintaining of saddles, bridles and general equipment. 

When there are rides, volunteers assist in grooming and saddling the horses before the guests arrive and alternate in accompanying the lead guide on the rides and staying at the program site to continue with the tasks. On return, volunteers help dismounting and tethering the horses and unsaddling. 

When on rides, volunteers pay attention to keeping the horses moving (especially with beginners) and keeping the group together. You will give general riding advice and make sure the horses stay in a single file (including guide and volunteers).

Free-time activities

There are plenty opportunities for excursions in your free time, like the Kruger National Park, Blyde river canyon and many more. 

Swimming in the Waterfalls, going to town once a week to do some shopping or watch a movie.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Required Documents
Filled out application form (sent to you on request) and 3-4 pictures of you riding on the flat in a pace faster than a walk
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Apart from being experienced riders, volunteers must be enthusiastic and be prepared to work hard and be part of the Team.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by Kaapsehoop Horse Trails

Accommodation, meals (except when going to restaurants) and riding are included in the fees. 

For an additional fee of around $130 we pick you up from Kruger International Airport.

Airport Pickup at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

For a fee of around $130 we pick you up from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport


Volunteers will live in a two bedroom flat that can host 4 volunteers at a time. The bathroom will be shared and has a shower, a basin and a toilet. There is also a basic kitchenette, but the meals and cooking will take place in the main house. Laundry facilities are available. Volunteers are expected to help with the cooking and cleaning and also to do their own laundry. 

Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

When going out for lunch or dinner to a restaurant, volunteers will have meals/drinks on their own account

When staying on the farm, 3 meals a day will be provided. We do cater for vegetarians and luctose intollerant (providing that they help with ideas for food and help cook).

Internet Access
Good 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 Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) in Nelspruit. 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

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 8 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$ 887
3 weeks
$ 1,330
3 weeks
$ 1,330
4 weeks
$ 1,774
4 weeks
$ 1,774
5 weeks
$ 1,785
5 weeks
$ 1,785
6 weeks
$ 2,660
6 weeks
$ 2,660
7 weeks
$ 3,103
7 weeks
$ 3,103
8 weeks (max. stay)
$ 3,547
Average fees
$ 443 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Kaapsehoop Horse Trails 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 Kaapsehoop Horse Trails 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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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Kaapsehoop Horse Trails cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Kaapsehoop Horse Trails.

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Horse Trail Assistant

Help us to run a horse trail program and support us in tasks like stable management, guided rides and educational lessons for kids.


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