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Dunkeld Equestrian Centre

Equestrian & Community Youth Upliftment

Dullstroom, South Africa show on map

Spend endless hours in the saddle & alongside magnificent horses, give back to the youth of the local community and their animals. Explore the province on exciting tours.

This program is tailor-made for equine enthusiasts who wish to make a difference in the lives of the children within our local community. Situated on the exclusive Dunkeld Country & Equestrian Estate, this program is suitable for any horse rider, from beginner to advanced and will give you the opportunity develop your horse riding skills at our prestigious equestrian centre on our gorgeous warmblood sport horses or enjoy endless outrides on our pristine farmlands with breathtaking views. You can learn how to do show jumping, dressage and various other disciplines with regular lessons from our enthusiastic equestrian team.

Spend 3 of your afternoons during the week at the Dullstroom Learning Centre or local schools, where you together with your group and leaders will work at and uplift the children in the local community by spending time with them, helping them with their daily homework, tutoring in basic subjects such as English,Mathematics and Computer Literacy. Get involved with their weekly sports day by coaching and participating in some sporting activities such as soccer, netball, hockey and tennis. (This requires a minimum 4 weeks stay in order for both the volunteers and children to benefit positively from the experience) 

Horses play a vital role in the lives of the children in the local community as they provide transport as well as weekend entertainment for the children, here we spend time with both horses and children, educating them on the general care and welfare of their horses. We also give them the odd riding lesson, invite them to pony camp days at Dunkeld as well as trade old broken tack for second hand tack that is in good condition to prevent any injuries to the horses from ill fitting tack.
With the help of the volunteers as well as local fund raising charity work, we will soon be able to provide regular sterilization and vaccination clinics within the local community for their dogs and help treat any injured or ill animals.

Explore the beautiful province of Mpumalanga by joining in on an exciting excursion of the region. Included in the excursion is a panorama tour of the lowveld region where you will see sights such as the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the famous God's Window. Enjoy an up-close and personal elephant interaction at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hazyview and finally experience the Kruger National Park from an open vehicle for the real safari feel.

Dunkeld also offers many onsite activities for you to enjoy in your free time, of which you will have ample.

We welcome traveling volunteers, holiday makers and students from all over the world to come share our passion of horses and community involvement with us. Come and enjoy the endless hours in the saddle and along side the horses that call the breath taking beautiful Dunkeld Estate their home and be the reason the children in the local community go home with a smile of hope of a brighter future.

Typical day

During your stay with us at Dunkeld, you will be involved with the daily routine of running both yards and spending most of your afternoons at the learning centre in the local community.

Your typical day will consist of daily feeding and grooming of the horses at one of the two stable yards followed by breakfast. You will then be spending time in the saddle, whether its a leisure outride, advanced outride or a lesson in the arena consisting of flat work and jumping. There will be many opportunities to learn about natural horsemanship especially when it comes to starting the careers of our young stock on the farm, you may find yourself keen enough to assist with this exciting process as well. You will have the chance to work with the breeding stock as well, catch a new born foal or assist with the artificial insemination of the mares during the seasonal breeding program.

There will be a few days where you will spend some time on the other sections of the farm to learn and lend a hand, try your luck at herding sheep, goats and cattle whether its on a tractor or on horseback it proves to be quite the adventure. Learn about the wildlife on the farm as well as the fauna & flora and how we conserve our the farm we call our home. You will also have the opportunity to assist the trail guides with trail rides for guests, whether you are assisting to saddle the horses or being a back up support guide for the outride.

Most afternoons will be spent at the learning centre with the children and giving time to the children and their animals.

There will be leisure time for you to enjoy the beauties of the farm, enjoy a hike to the waterfall, abseil down a cliff face with a view of the Dullstroom region or try your hand at flyfishing in one of our 20 trout dams.

Details on Arrival

Arrival & Departure days are Wednesdays only.

The program is open all year round with 2018 arrivals starting 17 January and the last departure date being 19 December.

Volunteers will be collected & dropped off at O.R. Tambo International Airport by the company shuttle and transferred to and from the program.

Free-time activities

Volunteers have many free time activities on site which they can make use of such as rock climbing, abseiling, hiking , mountain biking or enjoy the high ropes course.

Trips to the Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Centre in Dullstroom can also be organized as well as clay pigeon shooting in the area.

The entertainment centre offers a indoor heated pool, tennis court, putt-putt course and a few indoor activities all available to volunteers during leisure time.

A 3 day excursion is also included in the program, volunteers can add adventure activities such as quad biking or white river rafting at extra cost.


Program Requirements

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 (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at University or Highschool level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Other than being an avid horse lover, the volunteers need to be passionate about the community upliftment project. Enjoy the outdoor and farm lifestyle as well as be prepared to work together in a team.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday

Suitable for


Included Services

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We refund your fees if Dunkeld Equestrian Centre cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Dunkeld Equestrian Centre.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Dunkeld Equestrian Centre (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Dunkeld Equestrian Centre

  • Accommodation at Dunkeld as well as on the excursion.
  • All meals on program - 3 meals a day.
  • All activities on the estate.
  • All equine related activities
  • Donation towards community upliftment program
  • 3 Day Panoramic excursion including elephant interaction and full day Kruger National Park Safari.
  • Access to Wi-Fi
  • Laundry service once a week.
  • Transport to, from and around the program.

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

Pick up and drop off on Wednesdays only.

You will be collected at OR Tambo International Airport by one of our program leaders/supervisors and transported with the rest of your group in the Touch Down shuttle for approxomatley 2 and a half hours to Dunkeld. On route you will have the opportunity to stop in town and shop for a few essentials and snacks. 


During your stay you will be sharing a lake view chalet with a maximum of 3 other volunteers.(preferably same sex) The unit consists of 2 bunk beds in a bedroom, a living area and kitchen with a patio and an outdoor braai area over looking a large dam where you will see game or horses gathering in the afternoons for a swim or a drink.

Food & Beverages

All meals are included in the program fee.
Special dietary requirements welcome, please specify in application.

Alcohol and soft drinks for volunteers own account. Coffee, Tea, Juice and water included in program fee.

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 O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
5 weeks
8 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Dullstroom/South Africa between 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Dunkeld Equestrian Centre will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in South Africa.
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 Dunkeld Equestrian Centre during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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