White-sand Beach Ride, Mozambique

At a GlanceItineraryDetail

Hores riding holiday Mozambique.

The most glorious part of this horse riding holiday in Mozambique is undoubtedly the beach. The beaches here are very flat, shelving gradually out into the Mozambique-Madagascar Channel. Offshore there are coral reefs, just like Kenya and Zanzibar further north. And just like Zanzibar, the sand is made from coral which is bright-white and soft as talcum powder. The beaches are broad, long and easy to access, ideal for long, fast canters. The water is warm (topping out at 29°C around Christmas time) and the horses love to swim. This is a glorious riding holiday.

The perfect add-on to the ride is magical Nkwichi in western Mozambique on the freshwater shore of Lake Malawi.

Getting there.
The international gateway is Johannesburg and there are regular flights between there and Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. Another plane change takes you to Vilankulo which is a mid-sized fishing village with thriving fresh fish market. Another option is to safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa and then catch the flight from Nelspruit directly to Vilankulo. It sounds more complicated than it is, and we can assist with all these arrangements.

Hores riding holiday Mozambique

The morning ride: exploring in-land

Your hosts
Pat and Mandy Retzlaff moved from Zimbabwe at the height of the Mugabe land-grabs. They brought with them about 100 horses which they had rescued from neighbouring Zimbabwean farms. The horses are mainly Thoroughbreds and TB cross as you used to see quite widely in Zim’. It’s an amazing tale and Mandy has written it up in her published book, “One Hundred and Four Horses”.

Hores riding holiday Mozambique.

Horse riding acrobatics

The riding
The emphasis is on relaxation and unlike the majority of Venture Co’s rides this is centre-based as opposed to a progressive ride, or trail ride. The itineraries are flexible and tailored to your length of stay; half-day and all-day rides with picnics can be arranged, depending on your mood. There are over 100 horses to choose from, so all rider abilities can be catered for: from jockeys to beginners, which makes this destination ideal for families. Non-riders welcome. We can arrange any length of stay, but here are two options to get you started:

African Paradise – 7 nights riding in Mozambique

Explore by horse and by boat all the hidden-away nooks and crannies around the wide open beaches, low bluffs and cliffs which give great views over the dunes and mangrove shoreline. Included in the week are a number of non-riding excursions such as a visit to a local market and fishing village and a dhow trip to the offshore archipelago. Deep sea fishing can be arranged. A little further off shore is beautiful Benguerra Island which you can reach by motorboat; there is also riding on Benguerra. As a change to riding, the snorkelling is excellent, and drifting with the gentle current is a real blast. Lots of opportunities to swim with your horse.

Coastal Wonderland – 4 nights riding in Mozambique

Ride along deserted beaches and cross rugged cliffs that give panoramic views of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Explore uninhabited bush and pass many inland lakes which are fantastic habitats for a broad range of birds. Opportunities to swim with your horse. Lots of non-riding activities are available and even deep sea fishing can be arranged.

Hores riding holiday Mozambique.

Miles and miles of endless beach!

 

 

Hores riding holiday Mozambique

Accommodation
The accommodation is perfect: a large, private chalet right on the beach with living room, private dining area, private patio and your own kitchen (although the holiday is fully catered).

Safari options
During the troubles in the 1990’s and ‘00’s the Mozambique national parks were decimated; there has been effective conservation work in the subsequent decades, but Mozambique parks remain a little on the back foot compared to the more established safari destinations in Zambia, Malawi and Botswana. Gorongosa, for example, remains a safari specialist’s destination. If you want to combine safari with beach ride we suggest you combine Zambia, Malawi or Botswana with Mozambique’s fantastic beaches.

Marine mammals
Mozambique’s land mammals are recovering, but still not abundant; however, the marine mammals are doing fine. Whales, dolphins and dugongs are all relatively easy to see in the right season. Humpback whales visit in the winter months (June to early November) and you’re virtually guaranteed to see them if you spend 4 or more nights here. Between October and November the Humpbacks calve and sightings of mum and calf are frequent.

There are four species of dolphins resident in these waters and can be seen throughout the year.

Dugong, the slow-moving “cow of the oceans”, are on the endangered list, mainly because they get tangled in nets or struck by propellers, but they are resident here. These are the creatures that are said to have given rise to the myth of mermaids.

Whale sharks (not mammals!) are common between April and July.

Diving
This stretch of the Indian Ocean is protected by three coral reefs that lie 2, 5 and 7 miles offshore. Both hard and soft coral species thrive here. Rather like the diving off Zanzibar and Mafia Islands, the dives here can be tailored to novice or Dive Master and all levels in between. There are several PADI Dive Centres and all courses can be arranged on site. Marine life is abundant with a huge variety of reef fish, whale sharks and manta rays resident. Ocean-going (“pelagic”) species such as kingfish and barracuda are also regularly seen. Big predator fish are also common such as various sharks and moray eels. Of the eight species of turtles that exist, five breed in these waters, including the mighty Leatherback.