Volunteer Vacations on Horseback
"A perfect blend of adventure and service. Whether you ride regularly or not, this adventure is fantastic! Beautiful, well trained horses, great support from a large and talented team of outfitters, amazing terrain, villages and experiences.
This ride through some of the most remote areas of the Indian desert allowed me to interact with and help over 1600 children and adults and gave me hundreds of memories.
I have taken adventure trips before but this is, by far, the most amazing experience I have ever had."
Dian Sourelis, Relief Rider
"What a profound and uplifting journey!
Relief Riders International has crafted the perfect travel adventure.
A rich sense of purpose, a humanitarian mission delivering goats to impoverished villagers, school supplies to hundreds of students, participating in dental and medical camps - it was awesome!"
Peg Steley, Relief Rider
Each year, since 2004, Relief Riders International has run two or three small group trips giving a limited number of travelers the opportunity to experience riding in some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planet while bringing much needed humanitarian relief to remote communities. If you are not interested in riding you may still be able to join us - read more about our Camel Caravans.
Each itinerary provides a unique blend of hands-on provision of humanitarian aid to local people, riding though stunning terrain and immersion into the local culture. Trips last for 13-15 days and include no more than 12 riders. This epic Relief Ride will have us ride through the breathtaking dune landscapes of the Bikaner region of northwestern Rajasthan. Follow the links below for our current itineraries.
This adventure filled Relief Ride will take us though the breathtaking dune landscapes of northwestern Rajasthan. Starting from the historic village of Bhagsara, an ancient oasis for traders traveling by camel along the routes of central Asia and the coast of Gujarat. We will then travel through the remote, stunning landscapes on a northerly route to Khimsar Desert camp. A beautiful campsite nestled by dunes and surrounding a fresh water oasis. The region has been inhabited for centuries by the Bishnoi tribes.
Bishnois are renowned animal and nature lovers, due to their protection there is an abundance of animal life in their ancestral territories, deer, antelope (including blue bulls, black bucks, chinkaras, and chowsinghas) are seen grazing in fields despite the fact that the State of Rajasthan faces severe water shortages.
As we traverse some of the most remote regions of India navigating the dunes and encountering lost temples, we will bring free dentistry, gynaecology, and cataract eye surgery programs to local communities. We will also be delivering livestock to widows and below poverty level families, as well as educational materials, sporting equipment, and paediatric programs to young children at the five schools we visit on the ride.
FEBRUARY 2020 BIKANER RELIEF RIDE
FEB 24TH - MAR 4TH, 2020 (click for details)
We are excited to announce the launch of a new type of experiential trip in partnership with One Verse Yoga (NYC) that will give you the opportunity to put your Yogic principles into action through service for those in need. It is the Yogi's path realized.
Step into a world of Hindu Goddess Temples, mesmerizing wildlife and the flavors of ancient India. Our journey will take us into the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, encamped amongst the dunes, and immersing ourselves in village life, meeting with local tribes, while taking our yoga practice to new levels.
A purposeful blending of Yoga and service, where you will be able to volunteer in One Verse Yoga's free medical camp, offering eye surgeries and dental care to a rural population that has no heath-care. Witness firsthand the joy and gratitude of school children receiving much needed school supplies and sporting equipment.
Join us on this remarkable journey as it will leave you and the people you meet transformed.
MARCH 2020 YOGA AMONGST THE DUNES
MAR 17TH - MAR 26TH, 2020 (click for details)
Ride with us across the open steppe, meander through forested valleys, and experience the local nomadic culture in this remote region of one of the world's greatest horse riding destination. Our 12 day journey will have us install playgrounds, perform dental camps, and build bio-dynamic bathrooms for the communities we visit. This is a rare opportunity to experience and purposefully support ancient nomadic communities.
AUGUST 2020 MONGOLIAN RELIEF RIDE
AUG 2ND - AUG 14TH, 2020 (click for details)
Journey with us on horseback next November to the world's largest horse and camel fair. This 10-day journey on horseback will take us through the ancient landscape of the Thar Desert, from the ancient settlement of Baghsara to the sacred village of Pushkar, ending at the famous Pushkar Fair.
Like the desert nomads of the region, we'll ride due south, traveling seemingly endless sand tracks through breathtaking terrain, from rolling dunes to open plains and a mountain pass through a steep gorge, before arriving in the valley of Pushkar. On the way we'll pass through villages, which travelers rarely experience, let alone on horseback. We'll sleep under the starlit sky in canvas-covered tents, and during the days, we'll hand out educational materials to underserved schools, conduct our Give A Goat program, and set up medical camps, which provide dental, eye, and obstetrics care to populations lacking healthcare.
In Pushkar, on the banks of the lake, Rajasthan's largest camel fair awaits. One of the most sacred pilgrimage destinations for Hindus in India, the usually sleepy Pushkar transforms into a spectacle of color and celebration around November's full moon with livestock traders descending to buy and sell camels, cattle, and horses. But the real fun begins when the games kick off. Think camels brightly adorned in costume racing to the finish line, the drama of only the finest Marwari horses dancing, the infamous longest mustache competition, and the Hindu bridal pageant. All in all, the perfect end to a memorable and transformative experience.
NOVEMBER 2020 PUSHKAR RELIEF RIDE
NOV 18TH - NOV 27TH, 2020 (click for details)
Join us on an incredible journey as we ride India's legendary Royal Enfield Motorcycles across the Thar desert of Rajasthan. This magnificent expedition weaves our signature brand of adventure and humanitarian work on an awe inspiring 1800 km road trip that spans most of the length and breathe of the land of the Maharajas. Riding through the Aravelli hills into the Thar desert, from stunning serpentine hill climbs to single lane rural desert roads, and staying in remarkable ancient forts and tented camps.
As if all this fun was not enough, we also have the opportunity to give back with our free eye and dental camp near Pushkar and our well dig and bathroom build at a poor school in Ajeetgarh. This purposeful adventure promises to be an experience of a lifetime!