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5 star rating
16 January 2020
Kim who has been on 18 In The Saddle rides. Tropical Sands Mozambique - Undiscovered Beach Paradise | This was our third visit to Mozambique Horse Safari, simply because it is so amazing, with lovely people, great horses and incredible scenery and riding. We have been all over the world and rarely repeat our journeys, but this is one place that keeps drawing us back as it feels very much like home. It is a very personal experience, we have never had to ride with more than 4 or 5 people, and are usually on our own. Pat and Mandy are truly amazing hosts. They work incredibly hard and run a stable of well loved and well cared for horses, several of which are the original horses that they rescued from the atrocities in Zimbabwe when they escaped to Mozambique to start a new life. You can read about them in Mandy's book '104 Horses' which helps you to understand what a truly amazing achievement this is.
The horses are largely Arab and Boerperd crosses, so are not particularly big, quite narrow, but are very willing and extremely fit. The riding is relaxed and on a long rein with plenty of space to spread out. I have ridden Texas for the last 2 years and Brutus the first time, they were very different but I loved both of them. They are now breeding some of their own so they can produce the type of horse that suits their needs and terrain. The horses on Benguerra are used mainly for day rides with novices and are not as easy and responsive as those on the mainland, but the island is lovely to explore on horseback, we even saw pelicans and flamingos along the beaches.
A lot of the rides are based on the beach and therefore timing very much depends of the tides, a full moon this year gave a tidal shift of almost 5 metres and it's amazing how far and fast the water comes and goes. But it gives huge expanses of largely empty beach and with the guides knowledge of the safe hard sand areas, there are wonderful opportunities for some lovely long canters. The local fisherman are very active along the beaches, so you do need to be a confident rider with wits about you to ensure you keep a watchful eye out for ropes and anchors attached to boats and for holes dug by the locals to collect shellfish and bait for fishing. The Red Dune ride is probably one of my all time favourites, the view of the bay at low tide is stunning.
There are also opportunities to do swimming rides and ocean walks bareback if the tide is right, it is fun watching the horses play in the water and enjoy a good roll. Sea temperature is very warm, probably 28-29 degrees whilst we were there in January.
They do intersperse the beach rides with opportunities to see the inland lakes, the local fishing villages and also give you the opportunity to take a dhow ride to a neighbouring island to have a ride around some slightly different scenery. There is also an option to go on a canoe safari to watch the sunset and see the amazing fireflies once it is dark, can thoroughly recommend it!
5 star rating
31 March 2019
Patrick who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Perfect | It was exactly what we had been led to expect by in the Saddle and by reading Mandy Retlaff's book. The horses are perfect for the job of viewing the spectacular views and beaches and savouring the atmosphere of this wonderful country.