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Mozambique - Tropical Sands
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Mozambique - Tropical Sands

Ride along white sandy beaches splashing in and out of the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The fishing village of Vilanculos is situated on the coast of the Mozambique mainland, 750km north of the capital Maputo. This has been one of Mozambique's best kept secrets and although the village is now busy with markets and several small shops, it has still retained its traditional African feel with an added dimension of the Portuguese influence.

The coastline is dotted with fishing boats and dhows - the local mode of marine transport. The sea is crystal clear and gloriously inviting. There are a number of guest houses, lodges and restaurants in Vilanculos and it is a wonderful tropical getaway.

The riding holiday is relaxed and in keeping with the casual mood of the area. The itineraries are flexible and tailored to your length of stay with a mixture of half day and all day rides with picnics. The seven night African Paradise itinerary offers the opportunity to explore on horseback and by boat all the wonderful eco-systems in the archipelago from the wide open beaches, incredible cliff top views to the pristine dune bush and mangrove shoreline. Included in the itinerary are a number of non-riding excursions such as a visit to a vibrant city market and also a fishing village. If you stay at least four nights then on one of the days you travel out on a motorized dhow to visit the beautiful Benguerra Island to ride and also to enjoy some of the world’s finest drift snorkelling.

If you don’t wish to visit Benguerra Island, then the Coastal Wonderland itinerary has five great days riding.

The Vilanculos coastline has some of the most delightful landscapes in Mozambique. You ride along totally deserted beaches as well as along rugged cliffs with views across to the Bazaruto Archipelago, through uninhabited bush and past countless inland lakes. Riding on horseback provides an exhilarating and marvellous way of experiencing this fantastic scenery.

This riding holiday is offered by Pat and Mandy who moved from Zimbabwe with some 100 horses they had rescued from various Zimbabwean farms. The horses, mainly Thoroughbreds and cross breeds, are well behaved and enjoy their new life on the coast.

“One Hundred and Four Horses” by Mandy Retzlaff

A letter is handed to you. In broken English, it tells you that you must now vacate your farm; that this is no longer your home, for it now belongs to the crowd on your doorstep. Then the drums begin to beat.

As the land invasions gather pace, the Retzlaffs begin an epic journey across Zimbabwe, facing eviction after eviction, trying to save the group of animals with whom they feel a deep and enduring bond – the horses.

Each with a different personality and story, it is not just the family who rescue the horses, but the horses who rescue the family. Grey, the silver gelding: the leader. Brutus, the untamed colt. Princess, the temperamental mare.

One Hundred and Four Horses is the story of an idyllic existence that falls apart at the seams, and a story of incredible bonds – a love of the land, the strength of a family, and of the connection between man and the most majestic of animals, the horse.

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Mozambican Riding Specialist  Claire Douglas

Claire says:

It is just how you imagine with the white sand and blue sea where time stood still.

My top tip:

Mozambique has a unique laid-back feel. Be prepared for a relaxing holiday so leave your watch at home.

Call: 01299 272 243 | email:

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