- 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 : JOHANNESBURG - VILANCULOS - 1.5 hours ridingSea Horse Beach HouseAfter your flight from Johannesburg to Vilanculos (not included but are happy to advise you on the best options) you are met at Vilanculos Airport by either Pat or Mandy Retzlaff, your hosts and guides. After a short transfer from the airport, you are settled into your accommodation. 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 in 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 equipment. 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 2 2 : BUSH AND BEACH RIDE - 3-4 hours ridingSea Horse Beach HouseAfter a hearty breakfast served at your hotel, head out on horseback along a route which follows 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 down onto 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 3 3 : RED DUNES - 3-4 hours ridingSea Horse Beach HouseAfter a delicious breakfast you are driven over to the stables before mounting up and setting off on an exhilarating ride through the outskirts of town and along deserted sandy 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.
Day 4 4 : BENGUERRA ISLAND - 3 hours ridingSea Horse Beach HouseDepending on tides you may have an early start from your hotel on a motorized dhow which whisks 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 the island and a breakthtaking ride awaits through the massive sand dunes, freshwater lakes and white sandy beaches. The varied eco system offers exceptional birding with large flocks of flamingo often seen. After your ride, a 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 to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 5 5 : VILANCULOS - JOHANNESBURG - 1.5 hours ridingAfter a relaxed breakfast, there is time for 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.
You will be transferred to Vilanculos airport in time for your flight back to Johannesburg.
Dates & prices
- 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.
- It is possible to guarantee the ride from one ride, with the payment of a single supplement of $575/£500/€575.
- All guests have a private bedroom with their own en-suite bathroom unless they request to share. The single supplement is ONLY required if you will be riding on your preferred dates without any other horse riders in your group.
- 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.
- 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.
- Weight Limit: 90 kg, 198.5 lbs. or 14.2 stone. Heavier riders please contact us.
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.
Drinks including sodas, local wine and beers.
Price doesn't include
International flights to Vilanculos
Tips to the local team
Guide & local team
"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
Weight Limit: 90 kg, 198.5 lbs. or 14.2 stone
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
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.
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.
- 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 seldoms rains enough to spoil the riding fun though.
- 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
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and dust
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee 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
- 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 the camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding
- Thermals are a good option for sleeping in in the colder months, or a t-shirt and shorts for warmer nights
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and you should pack it into two bags if it weighs more than 15kg so it's easier for the team to transport between camps
- Take a second, smaller bag to pack things you may need during the day such as a book or suncream then you can easily access it during the long lunch break
- 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!
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
- 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
- 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
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals
- 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!).
- Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
- 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.
- Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
- Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
- Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.
Did you know?
Did you know?
On this riding holiday in Mozambique, your hosts will be Pat and Mandy Retzlaff.
Before establishing Mozambique Horse Safari in 2006, Pat and Mandy spent 25 years farming in Zimbabwe, bringing up their family in the beautiful rural setting of Crofton Farm. In 2001, their lives were turned upside down as their farm got invaded by Mugabe's war veteran's association members, reclaiming the land to their own. Pat, Mandy and their was forced to flee, leaving behind everything they owned... Except for their horses.
Fleeing from farm to farm, trying to stay one step ahead of the war vets, they collected a string of 104 horses that other families trusted to their care. Exiles in a country they loved and never thought they'd have to leave, Pat and Mandy finally had no choice but to make a new home in Mozambique, near Vilanculos.
On this horseback holiday, you can meet these modern day heroes and even some of the remaining horses, some of them still living on Benguerra Island.