ABOUT USOur Volunteering Horseback Programme

At the core of our project is the passion to provide volunteers with an unparalleled horseback experience within the local community. Here, you’ll delve into the intricacies of general horse care and welfare, refine your horsemanship and riding skills, and engage in an authentic African adventure close to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. In return, we encourage our volunteers to share their knowledge and passion for horses and animals, becoming advocates for animal welfare as they educate local children about the well-being of animals at home.

our volunteer programe

Your Stay at the Homelands

Banko Farm is nestled in the untouched rural village of Chisuma, a hidden gem just 25 km east of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Perched on the escarpment of the Mighty Zambezi River, Chisuma is a vibrant diverse community, offering profound insights into the timeless ways of its people and the intricate setup of their homesteads.

Comfort is a traditional homestead where everyone pitches in for daily chores, fostering a shared experience. Imagine an early morning ride through this living tapestry—a sensory journey beyond the saddle.

The stark beauty of the exposed rocks adds character to the surroundings, offering a raw and natural aesthetic that captivates observers with its simplicity and authenticity. Traditional music resonates through the air, echoing the cultural heartbeat: laughter and playful shouts of children. The melodic chime of distant cowbells harmonises with the gentle neighing of donkeys in the background.

Dine al-fresco under a canvas of stars, adding a touch of magic to your immersive journey into the heart of Zimbabwean tradition. This is more than a visit; it’s an engaging exploration and a glimpse into the soul of rural Africa. Let the magic of Wild Bhiza unfold before you, creating memories that will stay with you forever!

What’s Included

  • Accommodation at the Homestead – Monday to Friday (mid-morning)
  • Transfers from and to Victoria Falls Airport
  • 3 Meals a Day at the Homestead
  • Towels & Bedding
  • Out House, Shower & Toilet
  • Single Beds, Sharing Rooms (2 to room)
  • Outside Laundry Basin
  • Safari Drive 1/2 day

HOW CAN WE HELP?
Victoria Falls, between Zambia and Zimbabwe, is a stunning sight at dawn. The rising sun bathes the rocky edge in golden light as the Zambezi River flows gracefully over, creating rainbows in the mist. It's a powerful and beautiful testament to nature's majesty.
weekend programme

Your Stay in Victoria Falls

Locally, Victoria Falls is known as “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” which means “The Smoke That Thunders,” a fitting name considering the tremendous spray and mist that rise from the falls, visible from a considerable distance.

The lively buzz of vendors, negotiations, and general chatter in the marketplace adds to the vibrant atmosphere.

“Step into a world of adventure at one of the backpackers’ lodges in Victoria Falls – where accommodation meets a social revolution! Immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind experience where shared facilities like communal kitchens, lounges, and outdoor spaces create the perfect backdrop to cook up shared meals, swap epic travel tales, and bask in the spirit of camaraderie.

But that’s not all! These lodges are more than just a place to lay your head. It’s a living, breathing hub designed to capture the very soul of Victoria Falls. Picture vibrant artistic decorations, local artwork that tells stories, and an effortlessly laid-back atmosphere that mirrors the character of this incredible destination.

Staying with one of the lodges isn’t just a booking; it promises an unforgettable journey. Brace yourself for natural wonders, dive headfirst into thrilling adventures, soak up the local culture, and bask in the genuine warmth of the local community. Victoria Falls is not just a place on the map; it’s a living, breathing experience waiting to be explored, and our lodge is your perfect starting point for this incredible journey!”

What’s included

  • Backpacker Accommodation in Victoria Falls (sharing)
  • Transfers to Victoria Falls and return to Homestead
  • Friday to Monday (3 Nights, Excludes meals)

How can we help?

Feel the spiritGo On African Safari

Embark on a thrilling safari drive through Zambezi National Park, a wildlife haven located upstream from Victoria Falls. This weekly adventure promises an up-close encounter with a diverse array of animals, including majestic elephants, powerful buffaloes, graceful antelope species, and the aquatic wonders of hippos and crocodiles. Traverse the park’s scenic landscapes, guided by experienced rangers who share their knowledge of the region’s flora and fauna. The Zambezi National Park safari drive offers an immersive and unforgettable experience, providing opportunities to witness the untamed beauty of African wildlife in its natural habitat.

Banko Farm awaits you, nestled in the untouched rural village of Chisuma, a hidden gem just 25 km east of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Perched on the escarpment of the Mighty Zambezi River, Chisuma is a vibrant diverse community, offering profound insights into the timeless ways of its people and the intricate setup of their homesteads.

At Banko Farm, you’ll find a traditional rustic homestead where everyone pitches in for daily chores, fostering a shared experience. Equipped with an outhouse shower and toilet, a traditional kitchen, a roundarval dining area, and a fire pit, you’ll have the perfect place to relax.

The homestead comprises three bedrooms with mosquito nets and a floor fan. Expect limited electricity, with solar lamps often being used. The veranda features a small outdoor sofa.

Your breakfasts and lunches will be on a self-catering basis, with all necessary groceries provided, including meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruit, and other dry goods for you to choose your meal preferences. Every evening, a home-cooked dinner will be prepared for you to enjoy in the comfort of the boma with your new friends. Special ingredients and treats can be purchased once a week on your town trip.

Thursday nights bring a Braai (Barbeque) night where you’ll have the option to try local cuisine. On Friday mornings, you’ll head out to Victoria Falls National Park for a game drive (excludes park fees), followed by a simple breakfast by the Zambezi River. Before lunch, you’ll head back into town and be dropped at one of the backpacker lodges, promising an unforgettable journey filled with natural wonders, thrilling adventures, local culture, and the genuine warmth of the community.

Every Monday morning, you’ll be collected at around 6:30 am and head back to the homestead for daily rides, adventure, and work.

The water is fresh and safe to drink. Coffee, tea, and juice are provided, but any other soft or alcoholic beverages can be purchased on town trips.

Experience the friendly culture, get involved with the communities and conservation projects. Your days will be spent on horseback, helping within the communities, and exploring the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

The Wild Bhiza Volunteer and Community Project, where your passion meets purpose in a unique blend of horse welfare, community engagement, and therapeutic support. This program is more than an opportunity; it’s your commitment to creating positive change in the lives of animals, volunteers, and the communities we touch.

In this transformative journey, your primary goals at Wild Bhiza Farm revolve around fostering a harmonious relationship between volunteers, horses, and the community.

Program Goals:

Overall Animal Welfare in Chisuma:
Cultivate a culture of community responsibility by providing comprehensive education on animal care, focusing on horses.

Community Engagement & Enrichment:
Uplift the local economy by supporting regional food providers, fostering sustainability, and promoting a thriving economic ecosystem.

Therapeutic Support:
Collaborate with therapeutic riding programs to provide a supportive environment for individuals benefiting from horse-human interactions.

Empowerment Initiatives for Volunteer Development:
Utilise your manpower and skills to enhance the well-being of residents.

Together, let’s sow the seeds of compassion, empowerment, and lasting impact.

USD Prices per week
2 weeks – US$2,295
3 weeks – US$2,950
4 weeks – US$3,675

We accept euros, GBP pounds, and USD, with payment based on the exchange rate at the time of booking. Please note that this information is a guide and is subject to change.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation at the Homestead, Monday to Friday (mid-morning)
  • Transfers from and to Victoria Falls Airport
  • 3 Meals to be provided during your Homestead Stay
  • Towels & Bedding
  • Out House, Shower & Toilet
  • Single Bed Sharing Rooms (2) with Mosquito Net
  • Outside Laundry Basin
  • Safari Drive/Camping – morning (excludes park fees)
  • Transfer to and from town on Victoria Falls Weekend
  • Accommodation at Backpackers Lodge Friday-Monday (excludes meals)

DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Park Fees for Safari Drive
  • Camping Fees
  • Entrance to Victoria Falls
  • Snacks & Fizzy Drinks
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Additional Transfers to Town
  • Washing of Clothes
  • Meals at Victoria Falls Weekend, Friday lunchtime – Sunday evening
  • VISA Entrance Zimbabwe
  • Flights to Zimbabwe
  • Activities

VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR ZIMBABWE

Upon arrival in Zimbabwe, you must present an invitation letter (sent to you before your arrival), your passport, and sufficient funds to cover your visa. The recommended visa type is a 30-day Business Visa, indicated by the stamp “BV30D” in your passport. Ensure the stamp does not read ‘HV,’ as this may indicate an erroneous holiday visa, and you should request a correction from immigration.

If you intend to return to Zimbabwe within your travel itinerary, like booking a Chobe Day Trip to Botswana, we highly advise acquiring either a Double Entry visa or the KAZA visa at the Port of Entry. Possessing a visa in advance significantly minimizes the clearance time at Immigration ports. Additionally, for guests with pre-purchased visas, it is recommended to carry a hard copy of their visa approval during immigration procedures to facilitate a quicker process.

Visa payments are accepted in cash by the immigration officer processing your visa. Current visa prices for Zimbabwe are as follows:

Nationality Single Entry Double Entry
American US$30 US$45
Canadian US$75 Not available
British and Irish US$55 US$70
EU Countries US$30 US$45
Australian/New Zealand US$30 US$45

Note that Double Entry visas are not issued for Canadian passport holders, so purchase an additional single-entry visa if planning excursions to Zambia or Botswana.

For extended stays exceeding four weeks, apply for a Temporary Employment Permit (TEP) before your visa expires, with a cost of US$500. Our staff will assist you in the application process. To apply for a TEP, prepare the following documents:

  • 6 passport-sized photographs (35mm x 45mm)
  • 3 copies of your passport
  • 3 copies of your resume/CV
  • 3 copies of your qualification certificates
  • 3 copies of your police background check

Additional required paperwork will be provided. Present these documents, along with an application letter, to immigration.

For the TEP application, you’ll need to pay an additional US$70–US$100 for a consultation and chest X-ray at a local clinic. This is necessary for Tuberculosis screening, and a team member will accompany you. If you prefer having the X-ray done in your home country, bring the results, ensuring they are clear for Tuberculosis screening. The on-site team will provide support throughout the paperwork and procedures.

 

For more information visit https://www.evisa.gov.zw/home

Clothing:
  • Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts for non-riding activities
  • T-shirts and tank tops
  • Long trousers and shorts (consider convertible pants)
  • Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
  • Sandals or flip-flops for casual wear
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Hat with a wide brim for sun protection
  • Lightweight rain jacket or poncho
  • Sweater or jacket for cooler evenings
  • Sleepwear
Horse Riding Clothing:
  • Riding breeches or jodhpurs
  • Riding boots with a heel/chaps
  • Riding helmet
  • Comfortable long-sleeved shirts for riding
  • Gloves for handling horses
  • Casual clothing for non-riding activities
  • Sun hat or cap for sun protection
  • Lightweight rain jacket or poncho
  • Sweater or jacket for cooler evenings
  • Mucking out gloves
  • Bum bag
Health and Personal Care:
  • Prescription medications (with copies of prescriptions)
  • Basic first aid kit (band-aids, antiseptic cream, pain relievers)
  • Insect repellent containing DEET
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
  • Personal hygiene products (feminine hygiene, etc.)
  • Sunblock
Travel Essentials:
  • Passport and copies of important documents*
  • Visa*
  • Travel insurance details*
  • Vaccination certificates*
  • Money belt or neck pouch for valuables
  • Travel adapter for electronic devices. British square 3-pin sockets in Zimbabwe.
  • Camera and accessories
  • Portable charger/power bank
  • Lightweight daypack for excursions
  • Lightweight towel
    *Consider storing pictures of these documents on your smartphone.
Medical Supplies:
  • Prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Malaria prophylaxis (if applicable)
  • First aid kit with basic supplies like plasters, headache pills, and antihistamine/hay fever tablets.
Miscellaneous:
  • Carry spending money in US dollars, preferably in small denomination notes.
  • Credit Card. (Most places do not accept credit cards on Mobile Phones)
  • Water bottle
  • Ziplock bags for organising and protecting items
  • Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing
  • Journal and pen
  • Travel pillow and earplugs
  • Guidebooks and maps
  • Daypack – to carry fleece, personal medical kit, camera, sunscreen, and water bottle.

Minimum Age:
Participants must be at least 17 years old, and a Letter of Consent is required before arrival.

Duration:
Volunteer placements are available for 1 to 4 weeks, with the option for customised stays upon inquiry.

Distance from Airport:
Wild Bhiza is located in Chisuma, Victoria Falls, approximately a 35-minute drive from the airport and Victoria Falls City. A Wild Bhiza representative will meet you upon arrival.

Accommodation:
Volunteers stay in a traditional homestead with 3 rooms for single-bed sharing. On-site support is provided by a staff member 24/7.

Valuables:
Secure money and passports in the office safe in Victoria Falls town.

Internet:
WiFi is unavailable, but pre-paid SIM cards can be provided at your expense cost of US$2, Vouchers are available from $5.

Laundry:
Included in the program; bring a separate bag for underwear.

Bathroom Facilities:
Combined shower and toilets with limited hot water.

Swimming Pool:
Not available at the volunteer site.

Mosquito Nets:
Provided; it is recommended to bring mosquito repellent.

Weather/Climate:
Volunteers spend a significant amount of time outdoors; refer to Victoria Falls Weather Guide.

Malaria Region:
Anti-malaria medication is recommended; Victoria Falls is a low-risk area.

Currency:
The currency is USD; bring enough cash as there may be shortages in ATMs. VISA and Mastercard cards are accepted at tourist locations. Regrettably, credit/debit cards cannot be utilised on phones in this area.

Spending:
Volunteers typically spend $60 to USD 150 per week on various items. Bring small changes for transactions.

Travel Insurance:
Full medical coverage, including air evacuation and repatriation, is essential. Good travel insurance is advised for unexpected events.

Dress Code:
Avoid wearing red when in proximity to lions. It is crucial to dress appropriately during project activities. On our reserve projects, female volunteers are expected to adhere to the dress code, wearing shorts or long trousers of appropriate length; miniskirts or hot pants are not permitted. When visiting rural communities, attire should cover shoulders and be no shorter than knee-length.

Donations:
Volunteers are encouraged to bring donations for projects; a wish list is provided in the Welcome Email. We thank you for your support.

VISA Requirement:
Business Visa (valid for 30 days). If staying longer, you can apply for an extension or a TEP (Temporary Employment Permit) (cost: USD 500). We recommend that you apply for a multiple entry visa in case of taking out-of-country excursions as this will save you money. Please refer to the project brochure for detailed information. Note: Canadian Citizens do not have the option to obtain multiple entry visas, so would need to purchase an additional single entry visa instead.

Police Check Background Certificate:
Mandatory for project participation; details are in the Terms and Conditions document.

Payment:
Card payments are accepted for extra excursions and activities. Inform your bank about international transactions. Most credit card issuers do not let you pay your bill by phone.

Why do I pay to Volunteer?:
Volunteers contribute time, energy, and funds to cover costs like feeding, housing, and transportation.

Horse Volunteer Program Application:
Apply through the website, email, or WhatsApp.

Qualifications:
Riding experience, enthusiasm, and a love for horses are required.

Accommodation for Horse Volunteers:
Three bedrooms with two single beds in each room, equipped with mosquito nets.

Are Volunteer Projects Safe?
Safety is paramount. While it’s highly unlikely to encounter security issues, exercise caution as you would in any unfamiliar environment. Our projects ensure secure housing within our homestead, and there are staff with first aid training. Your safety is our priority.

As a horse riding volunteer in Zimbabwe, you are an integral part of our team and play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of our horses and the success of our programs. To maintain a safe and positive environment, we expect all volunteers to adhere to the following Code of Conduct:

Respect for Horses:
Treat all horses with kindness, patience, and respect.

Follow proper grooming, saddling, and riding procedures as instructed by the staff.

Report any concerns about the health or behavior of the horses to the designated supervisor.

Safety First:
Prioritize safety for yourself, fellow volunteers, staff, and horses at all times.

Wear appropriate safety gear, including helmets, as directed by staff.

Follow guidelines and instructions provided during orientation and training sessions.

Professionalism:
Professionally conduct yourself when interacting with staff, fellow volunteers, and clients.

Demonstrate a positive attitude and contribute to a friendly and inclusive atmosphere within the volunteer team.

Responsibility for Equipment:
Handle all riding equipment, including saddles, bridles, and grooming tools, with care.

Report any damage, loss, or malfunction of equipment immediately to the staff.

Punctuality and Commitment:
Arrive on time for scheduled volunteering activities and commit to the agreed-upon schedule.

Notify staff promptly if you are unable to fulfill your volunteer duties as planned.

Communication:
Maintain open and clear communication with staff, fellow volunteers, and clients.

Share any relevant information or observations regarding the horses or program activities.

Confidentiality:
Respect the confidentiality of client information, program strategies, and other sensitive matters.

Do not share information about clients or program practices outside of the organization.

Adherence to Policies:
Familiarize yourself with and adhere to all organization policies and procedures.

Seek clarification from staff if any policy is unclear or if you have concerns.

Cultural Sensitivity:
Respect and appreciate the local culture and customs of Zimbabwe.

Be open-minded and considerate in your interactions with local staff and community members.

Environmental Stewardship:
Contribute to the conservation of the local environment by following guidelines on waste disposal and minimizing environmental impact.

By adhering to this Code of Conduct, you contribute to a positive and harmonious environment for both humans and horses. Your commitment is vital to the success of our mission and the well-being of our equine companions.

Kindly consult your personal physician or healthcare provider regarding necessary immunizations or vaccinations.

Our recommendations include Tetanus (recommended), Hepatitis A & B (recommended), Typhoid (recommended), Yellow Fever, and Rabies

Do I need to take Anti-Malaria Medication?
There is a high risk of malaria in Victoria Falls during the wet season when mosquito activity is at its peak, staking anti-malaria medication is strongly advised, while you are visiting one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

BOOKING FORM – VOLUNTEER
INDEMNITY FORM
HORSE RIDING VOLUNTEER
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF HORSE VOLUNTEER