African Paradise

A riding holiday in Mozambique is a hidden treasure with its large beaches of white sand and blue coral lagoons. Experience this tropical paradise from horseback where the water temperature never drops below 23°c and the horses go swimming voluntarily! Every day is a new riding adventure that will see you canter along pristine beaches, explore the local fishing villages and sand dunes, and the chance to discover beautiful Benguerra island in the Bazaruto archipelago.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Centre based holidays
10 days / 8 riding
From £3,628
Open to non-riders
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    A sense of freedom.
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    The horses on the beach.
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    An absolute "African Paradise"
  • Mozambique and Horse
    Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    Idyllic landscapes in the Indian Ocean
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    The complicity between a rider and his horse
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    Riding across incredible sand dunes
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    An incredible trail ride in a beautiful part of the world
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    Gallop in the ocean with Equus Journeys
  • Horse riding holiday in Mozambique
    From sandy beaches to lush countryside

Itinerary

Highlights

- Unusual destination, still relatively unspoilt by tourism
- Turquoise lagoons, white sands and fishing dhows
- Fresh seafood and delicious local meals
- Go swimming with your horse and canter down beaches and through sand dunes
- Numerous non-riding activities also possible (may be extra cost): scuba diving, snorkelling, sea kayaking, fishing, dugout canoe.
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - JOHANNESBURG

    Depart from Europe on an overnight flight to Johannesburg. These flights are not included but we can book them for you on request.
    If booking your own flight then you need to depart London at c. 19:00 so that you arrive in Johannesburg at c. 07:00 in time for your flight to Vilanculos which will depart Johannesburg at around c. 11 to 11:30 am. Arrival in Vilanculos is on Day 2.
  • Day 2 2 : JOHANNESBURG - VILANCULOS - 1.5 hours riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    On arrival at Johannesburg airport you will need to connect onto your onward flight to Vilanculos. Again we can book this flight for you on request.

    You are met on arrival at Vilankulos airport by either Pat or Mandy Retzlaff, your hosts and guides for the week. After a short transfer from the airport, you will be settled into your accommodation for the week. Later in the afternoon you will have an opportunity to meet the horses and staff at the stables. You will be presented with a number of horses to try at the riding school. Once you feel comfortable, you will head out onto the beach for a slow and relaxing ride, allowing you to become familiar with your horse and the equipment. This ride incorporates all the wonderful eco-systems in the archipelago; wide open beaches, incredible cliff top views, pristine dune bush and mangrove shoreline. In the evening a fresh seafood dinner will be served under the stars overlooking the sea.

    IMPORTANT: the following itinerary is just an example - the actual itinerary is flexible and will depend on your preferences.
  • Day 3 3: GREAT LAKE RIDE - 3 hours riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    Today you ride inland on trails skirting African villages and vast natural freshwater lakes. The birdlife is fantastic and there is a good chance of seeing eagles, herons, harriers, rollers, pelicans and kingfishers. There should be opportunities to canter along bush paths through African farmlands and past the ruins of old Portuguese homesteads. Back on the beach for the final stretch, you will pass Chibuene - a key trading post from as far back as the 7th century that connected the southern African interior and the Indian Ocean. This ancient dune is covered in baobabs planted centuries before for their vitamin rich fruit - creme of tartar. In the evening, enjoy a quiet drink and watch the stars light up an African sky as you sit around a bonfire for a mouthwatering Mozambican BBQ.
  • Day 4 4: BENGUERRA ISLAND - 3-4 hours riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    Depending on tide times an early start from your hotel sees you on a motorized dhow to whisk you through the Bazaruto National Park to Benguerra Island. A packed breakfast is served on board while you take in the sea views and look for dolphins, turtles and rays. There are horses living on Benguerra Island and the landscape of massive sand dunes, freshwater lakes and white sandy beaches makes for a breathtaking ride. The varied eco system offers exceptional birding with large flocks of flamingo often seen. After your ride, a mouth-watering seafood lunch prepared by the boat captain will be served on board as you island hop by sail to Margaruque. Mask, fins and snorkels are provided and you are encouraged to enjoy some of the world’s finest drift snorkelling along a vertical rock drop off. Return to Vilanculos as the sun sets over the ocean for dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 5 5: FISHING VILLAGE - 2 hours riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    After a relaxing breakfast and morning swim the ride begins at 11.30 am.
    Today’s ride takes you down to the beach. Past the rocks the beach opens up and under Mandy’s instruction you will canter towards mangrove trees in the distance and up a red bank to the "Finger Print of God". The panoramic views look out over the Bazaruto Archipelago, you will see colourful dhows glide along the channels and fisherwoman hunting crab in shallow sands. You continue through winding coconut plantations along a beach path to the Managlise Fishing Village.

    The local chief entertains you in true Mozambican style, setting up a table with traditional food. Start off with a refreshing coconut drink before being shown how to eat fresh crab and taste Matapa, a traditional Mozambique dish made from cassava leaves, nuts and coconut milk.

    Ride back to the accommodation..
  • Day 6 6: BUSH AND BEACH - 3-4 hours riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    After a hearty breakfast served at your hotel, set out on your ride following the old coastal main road running parallel to the beach before meandering up and wading across a small river estuary. Along the route you pass through small rural villages where young children will come to wave at the horses. As the local population thins out there are long safe canters through coastal bush. After several hours in the saddle, a bush track through woodlands leads you down on to the beach with amazing views over the bay. The long, deserted, sandy beaches offer a chance to experience dream-like canters on your way back to the stables. After a long day in the saddle, there is a chance for sundowners and a fine dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 7 7: RED DUNES - 3-4 hours riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    After another delicious breakfast you will be driven over to the stables to mount up and set off on an exhilarating ride through the outskirts of town and along deserted sand beaches to the Red Dunes on North Beach. There are ample opportunities for controlled canters on the wide open beaches before climbing the giant red coastal dunes. The panoramic views of the white sandbars and turquoise seas below are spectacular and one of the special highlights of this holiday. Lunch will be served at a gorgeous beachside restaurant overflowing with seafood specialties. After lunch you will stop at an arts and crafts centre that supports the local community. Relax by the pool in the late afternoon or take a stroll on the beach. Dinner will be served in tranquil settings as you savour and toast your final night.
  • Day 8 8: BEACH RIDE AND CANOE TRIP - 1 hour riding

    Sea Horse Beach House
    Today you will mount your horse bareback on the beach before wading chest deep into the blue turquoise seas.

    Once dismounted, you will lead a new horse into the shallows. There is a sense of excitement as they thrash the water, then lay down to wallow and roll. Once the horses have settled, you will again mount bareback and this time wade out to the deeper water, the majority of time your horse will be attached to a long lead rope for safety.

    In the late afternoon you will travel out to the Govuro River by vehicle where you will paddle/be paddled along a picture-perfect waterway. Soak up the lush river riverine, look out for native fish and listen to the magical calls of birdlife.

    As evening falls ducks will return inland to roost and there is a good chance that you will see fireflies lighting up the evening sky.
  • Day 9 9 : VILANCULOS - JOHANNESBURG - 1.5 hours riding

    After a relaxed breakfast take a short morning farewell ride up the coastline. The views over the bay and long stretches of unspoilt beach will be a memory that you never forget. You finish off your safari with the world renowned swim - to see horses wallowing and rolling in the sea is a once in a lifetime opportunity and truly magical experience. Time for one more lunch before you bid farewell to Vilanculos in preparation for your onward journey. Please note that if the tide is out on your final morning, you will do the swim on another day.

    You will be transferred to Vilanculos airport in time for your flight to Johannesburg and connecting flight back home.
  • Day 10 10 : EUROPE

    Arrival back in Europe.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International flights to Vilanculos (via Johannesburg) are not included but can be booked for you on request.

- The groups are composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 8 riders.

- The itinerary is flexible and you can do as much or as little riding as you like. Dates are flexible and you can arrive/depart on any day - the above dates are only a suggestion.

- It is possible to guarantee the ride from one rider, with the payment of a solo rider supplement of $575/£460/€535, waived once more riders join. This supplement is ONLY required if you will be riding on your preferred dates without any other horse riders in your group.

- All guests are allocated a private bedroom with their own en-suite bathroom, unless they request to share. The is no supplement for the private bedroom.

- Group discounts are available for 3+ guests booking together. If 3 riders in the group; one gets 35% discount, if 4 – 6 riders in the group; one gets 75% discount, if 7 – 10 riders in the group; one person goes free

- This ride works perfectly as an extension to other rides in Southern Africa - shorter stays are possible.

- Non-riders are welcome at a discounted rate.

- Weight Limit: 90 kg, 198.5 lbs. or 14.2 stone. Heavier riders please contact us.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland transports

Airport transfers

Accommodation

Single room at Beach House (or similiar, if full)

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 2 to lunch on day 9
All local drinks (soft drinks, spirits, beers and house wines)

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra, bar bills and alcoholic drinks

Transport

International flights
Visa fees

Extras

Tips to local team

Extras

Extra activities to be paid locally (snorkelling, kayaking, fishing....)
Small group supplement - see above for the details

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Extras

Extra activities
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    19/07/2024 28/07/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Contact an advisor
    26/07/2024 04/08/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    02/08/2024 11/08/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    09/08/2024 18/08/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    16/08/2024 25/08/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    23/08/2024 01/09/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    30/08/2024 08/09/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    06/09/2024 15/09/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    13/09/2024 22/09/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    20/09/2024 29/09/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    27/09/2024 06/10/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    04/10/2024 13/10/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    11/10/2024 20/10/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    18/10/2024 27/10/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    25/10/2024 03/11/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    01/11/2024 10/11/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    08/11/2024 17/11/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    15/11/2024 24/11/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    22/11/2024 01/12/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    29/11/2024 08/12/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    06/12/2024 15/12/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    13/12/2024 22/12/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    20/12/2024 29/12/2024 £3,628 €4,172 $4,499
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The horses are responsive, alert, tough and fit. The herd comprises of Thoroughbreds, Arabs and the South African Boerperds. Many of them were rescued from Zimbabwe by your hosts and guides, and are the subject of a book - One Hundred and Four Horses. There are currently a total of 39 horses, including a small herd of prize-winning SA Boerperds acquired in 2018. The local team keep 6 geldings on Benguerra Island. All are schooled to a very high level and react easily and lightly to the aids. Your hosts Pat and Mandy attach utmost importance to their health and well-being.

Guide & local team

Pat and Many have fled their home in Zimbabwe, saving their horses from land invasions. They are experiences guides and horsemen and have build themselves an excellent reputation as hosts. They are passionate about their horses and look after them extremely well. Pat and Mandy will lead each ride, and always spend time with their guests sharing stories and experiences with them.

"One Hundred and Four Horses": The book "One Hundred and Four Horses" tells the story of Pat and Mandy Retzlaff and how they fled war-torn Zimbabwe with the horses they refused to leave behind. Eventually they reached Mozambique and set up home on the beautiful sandy beaches around Vilanculos. Some of the horses they rescued are still available for you to ride on our riding holidays in Mozambique.


Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

All abilities can be catered for and groups are usually split according to ability, with experienced riders going on faster rides and novice riders taking it more steadily. However, groups can choose to ride together if they wish but the pace will be set by the weakest rider.

Weight Limit: 90 kg, 198.5 lbs. or 14.2 stone. Heavier riders please contact us.

Pace

All four paces can be experienced, depending on ability. There is lots of walking through deep sand and on narrow tracks, but there are opportunities for canters and gallops along the beaches as well as the chance to swim with your horse.

Tacking ability and participation

A team of grooms will feed, care for and saddle your horses. You can help with untacking if you wish, but this is not expected.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

No particular conditions. In order to make the most of this trip, we recommend you to come riding fit. Make sure you can cope with the Mozambican heat.

Equestrian equipment

English saddles, but also McClellan and Australian stock saddles.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

Sea Horse Beach House is a charming seaside home set in a large garden on the beach with exquisite views overlooking the Bazaruto Archipelago. The house has recently been rebuilt in 2022 with swimming pool, cobbled fire-pit, patio, driveway, WIFI and all the latest amenities added.

The luxury beach house is fully serviced, sleeping up to 6 people with 3 spacious bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It has a fully equipped kitchen with large dining island and a comfortable lounge with all the modern conveniences of a beach home. It is tastefully decorated with handcrafted furniture, kilim rugs and local art & photography. The terraced lawns run towards the beach with swimming pool, al fresco dining area and fire pit. At the bottom of the garden is an ancient Baobab tree and private access to the incredible beach below.

If Sea Horse Beach House is full, we will look to accommodate guests in similar private homes and resorts in the area.

Meals

Mozambique has a rich culinary heritage, with strong Portuguese, South African, and English influences.

Breakfast: fresh fruit, ceral or oats, eggs, bacon or tomatoes, Portuguese rolls or toasts.
Lunch and dinner are freshly cooked by your personal chef.

Vegetarians can be catered for with advance notice. There are limitations when it comes to vegan and gluten free diets as the safari is quite remote with limited access to special products.

Climate

- Dry season: from April to mid-October, temperatures between 15° and 25°. This is the cooler, drier season: short and t-shirt weather! You may need a jacket in the mornings and evenings.
- Wet season: from November to March, with hot temperatures (25-30°+ during the day). This is the hotter, wetter season, when brief but vigorous downpours before the sun starts shining again. It seldom rains enough to spoil the riding fun though.

Tips

Tips are customary in Mozambique and you should make sure to bring small notes to give to your driver and porters. During the ride, we recommend about US$10 per rider per day to be divided between the staff.




Packing list

Head
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. Helmet makers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème) now offer horse-riding helmets that are ventilated, strong, light and comfortable. You also have the option of buying protective shells to go under your hats (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western hat helmets (Troxel).
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and dust
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee in the wet season. and it's better to be prepared. Layering is key to cope with the fluctuations in temperature between day and night
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Bathing suit
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps as long chaps/long boots can get very hot.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around at night.
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding/

Nightwear
- Thermals are a good option for sleeping in in the colder months, or a t-shirt and shorts for warmer nights

Other useful items
- Water bottle (1.5 litre or two x 1 litre)
- Hand sanitiser
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Binoculars
- Mask and tuba

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Small penknife

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Rehydration sachets (dioralyte or similar)
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper

Our Recommendations
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

For more information, please contact us.

CANOEING

The Guvuro River canoe trip is unquestionably on of the best activities in Vilankulo, with an ideal combination of unspoilt riverine and incredible birdlife. Join Jonathan Retzlaff, an experienced and qualified guide with a great sense of fun and adventure.

SCUBA DIVING & SNORKELING

The waters around the Bazaruto Archipelago are one of the largest marine conservation areas in the Indian Ocean. The archipelago's coral reefs and clear waters offer some of the best diving in the world, dive sites are uncrowded and marine life is varied and abundant. With sites at a depth of 12 to 30m and visibility up to 40m you will discover protected reefs teeming with dolphin, hump back whales, whale sharks, sharks, manta and spotted eagle rays, green and turtles. The endangered dugong, of which only a very small number still exist, swim in the shallow crystal clear waters that are also home to abundant starfish, soft and hard corals, anemones, seahorses and a dazzling array of beautiful tropical fish.

DHOW TRIPS

Experience the wonder of a traditional sailing dhow gliding through the Bazaruto Archipelago. The islands of Benguerra, Bazaruto, Magaruque and Santa Carolina are complete with azure waters, sandy beaches, palm trees and pristine coral reefs. The islands consist of huge 100m sand dunes, freshwater lakes, mangrove swamps and sandy beaches. You are likely to spot whales, dolphins, turtles and the only viable dugong population remaining in this part of the world. So bring your camera, and capture the freedom of unspoilt beach's, solitude, and stunning scenery on a traditional sailing dhow, locally built by hand in the age old method and comfortably furnished is the idyllic way to watch the sun setting over the sea.

FISHING

Vilanculos is renowned for its excellent game fishing.

KITEBOARDING

During the windy season you can kiteboard and windsurf in Vilanculos; the conditions are perfects due to the shallow water and flat waves.