Ind ian Ocean Horse Safari

A Closer Look

Vila de Sonhos

Vila de Sonhos

African Paradise – Indian Ocean Horse Safari
African Paradise: 5 Days & 4 NightsUSD 2,000.00 per person for 2 or more people
> Single SupplementUSD 500.00
> Accompanying Non-RiderUSD 1,350.00 per person
African Paradise: 8 Days & 7 NightsUSD 3,000.00 per person for 2 or more people
> Single SupplementUSD 500.00
> Accompanying Non-RiderUSD 2,000.00 per person

Horse riding, accommodation, meals, motorized dhow, transfers, airport pick up and drop off, national park fees and Mozambique Government VAT. In the hotel room we provide a fruit bowl, gift pack and stock the fridge with water and cool drinks.

Flights, personal travel insurance, visas, alcoholic drinks, any drinks bought at a restaurant or bar, any personal spending money and any extra excursions or activities not included in the itinerary.

Joining the Retzlaff’s on a safari is a very personal experience. Pat or Mandy will lead each ride; plenty of time is spent together with guests on horseback or over dinner sharing stories, experiences, and our way of life.


African Paradise: 8 Days & 7 Nights

Come and share in the epic adventures of the Retzlaff family where the legends of the rescued horses of Mozambique Horse Safari come to life. Open your eyes to a different world, where you will gallop the beaches on a sprightly grey, swim in turquoise seas and share in the unbreakable bond between man and horse. Riding with Mozambique Horse Safari is an incredible experience and before long you will be hooked on Africa and our way of life.

Joining the Retzlaff’s on a safari is a very personal experience. Pat or Mandy will lead each ride; plenty of time is spent together with guests on horseback or over dinner sharing stories, experiences, and our way of life. The great food, personal service and wonderful horse riding made this a very special place.

Vila De Sonhos: Vila de Sonhos is an exclusive lodge made up of four luxury beachfront homes overlooking the turquoise sea of the Bazaruto Archipelago. The impressive bedrooms are uniquely designed, furnished with indigenous hardwood, have en-suite bathrooms and open onto private balconies with breathtaking views.

Downstairs is a fully equipped kitchen, lounge and dining room, meals are prepared by a personal chef, with a traditional English breakfast being served on your veranda each morning. Relish in mouthwatering barbeques poolside in the evening as you watch the moon rise over the ocean.

Ancient Baobab trees from centuries before silhouette the blue skies and large garden that beholds the chatter of wild birds and monkeys. At the bottom of the garden is private access to the incredible beach below. An exclusive home and perfect setting for your riding holiday.

Archipelago Resort: Archipelago Resort is at the heart of Chibuene with its charming timber chalets and stunning views of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Each villa has a large double bedroom, fully equipped kitchen and additional bedrooms all with ensuite showers.

The focal point of the resort is the spectacular swimming pool with breathtaking view of the islands and the palm fringed beach below. As the sun goes down you can enjoy walks along the beach, cocktails at the bar or scrumptious seafood at the restaurant. The friendly atmosphere and African hospitality will make your stay unforgettable.

*If Vila De Sonhos & Archipelago Resort are full we will look to accommodate our guest in similar private homes and resorts in the area.

Our guests are met at Vilankulo Airport by either Pat or Mandy Retzlaff, your hosts and guides for the week. After a short transfer from the airport, we will settle you into your lodging for the week.

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 our riding school. Once you feel comfortable we will head out onto the beach for a slow and relaxing ride, allowing you to become familiar with horse and equipment. The ride incorporates all the wonderful eco-systems in the archipelago; open sandy 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.

Today we will ride inland on single trails skirting African villages and vast natural fresh water lakes. The birdlife is fantastic and there is a good chance of seeing eagles, herons, harriers, rollers, pelicans and kingfishers. We will canter along bush paths through African farmlands, rural schools and past the ruins of old Portuguese homesteads. The old farm roads allow for a fast pace as we continue inland towards the Govuro River.

A revitalizing picnic lunch with ice-cold refreshments awaits us on a grassy riverbank; the horses will be fed and watered before being led home and leaving us to enjoy a guided tour along the river. We will paddle along the picture-perfect Govuro River soaking up the lush river vegetation, looking out for native fish and listening to the magical calls of birdlife. In the evening you will enjoy a quiet drink and watch the stars light up an African sky as you sit around a bonfire. Dinner will be a mouthwatering Mozambican BBQ.

An early morning ride that follows the beach northwards passing through the outskirts of town into a bay, home to myriad of colorful dhows. The ride continues through the bay cantering along the beach, watching local fisherman make their way home. The ride ends with a delicious buffet breakfast at Casa Rex – Vilankulo’s most exclusive resort.

After breakfast, we will meet our local guide who will accompany us through the bustling and vibrant city market. The colorful displays and cacophony of noise will give you an insight into the lives of the local people. We will make our way back to your resort where you can siesta through the midday heat or relax at the pool. Alternatively, guests can enjoy a day scuba diving, kiteboarding or deep-sea fishing at an additional cost. A delicious lunch and dinner will be provided.

You are facing into a warm breeze, listening to the sound of splashing water and the beat of an engine as you glide through azure blue waters. You pass old fishing dhows from a time gone by, pods of dolphins breach the water as you meander between the sandbanks from Vilankulo towards the world famous Benguerra Island. From a distance you see the shapes and colours of horses under palm trees on a pristine white sandy beach, like a fantasy it doesn’t seem real. You are soon saddled up on Tequila, a beautiful bay gelding and real gentleman.

The horses are eager underfoot with ears pushed forward, you settle into your saddle and take in the magnificence of the vast Indian Ocean. Charlotte, your guide chats you through the flora and fauna, her passion unbridled as she whispers, “a flock of pelican up ahead”. As you move inland you pass through local villages, towards high golden sand dunes and fresh water lakes with flocks of flamingos.

The ride continues with canters along sandy tracks onto long beach’s past waving fisherman, the cool breeze takes away from the summer sun as Tequila wades home knee deep in the sea. Just before reaching the stables, you slip off the saddle and wallow into the sea bareback. A huge smile spreads across your face, you have fallen in-love with island paradise.

The afternoon is spent snorkeling on Magaruque Island, you plunge into the warm waters and are surrounded by an array of colourful fish, small rays glide by and you spot an octopus hidden in a rock crevasse. A simple & delicious seafood lunch is served ashore under a shady tree and then it’s time to return to the mainland.

You are sitting in the shadow of a large Msasa tree enjoying the shade, chaps are fitted and the grooms are going about their work. Pat is in the ring checking saddles and tightening girths, you are soon saddled on Meghan a beautiful calm grey mare.

Mandy guides the group down to the beach at a gentle walk, the tide is out and the blue and white colours shimmer into the distance. Taking in the fresh sea breeze you slip in beside Mandy & her horse Hot Stuff, with a warm smile she regales to you the story of Mozambique Horse Safari. You talk of the area, how the beaches you ride once linked the outside world with the African interior in the 15th century. The aged baobab trees you pass tell stories of hardship and slavery.

The beach opens up and you urge Meghan forward into a 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, colourful dhows glide along the channels and fisherwoman hunt crab in shallow sands. You continue through winding coconut plantations along a beach path to the Managlise Fishing Village. You hear the distinct chatter of laughing children and are soon greeted by a horde of smiles.

Meghan is unsaddled and you are led by your hosts to a simple thatch shelter in the village. Newly harvested coconuts are cracked open, the refreshing juice is rich reward after a long ride and the horses love the white crunchy flesh. Over time a traditional lunch is served, fresh crab from the beach, grilled fish from the mornings catch and Matapa; a Mozambican dish made from cassava leaves, nuts and coconut milk. After your meal the children come out to sing local songs and dance, their smiles and energy make the occasion feel very special.

Late afternoon beckoning, the horses are re-saddled for the return home, and again I get chatting to Mandy. She tells me how the lunch is completely authentic, rich in cultural experience and brings much appreciated business to a locality well off the beaten track. It also means that locals who once feared the horses, have a better understanding and involvement with them in their community.

Back at the stables, I pull out a special treat of raw coconut which Meghan happily devours. I look out over all of the horses excitedly waiting for their evening feed and get a real sense of calm and satisfaction.

A hearty breakfast will be served at your restaurant – today’s ride is a favorite with many of our guests. The route will take you along the old coastal main road running parallel to the beach before meandering up and wading across a small river estuary. Along the route we will 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 us down on to the beach with amazing views over the bay. The long, deserted, safe, sandy beaches offer a chance to experience romantic dream-like canters on our 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.

You are astride Holly, a beautiful forward going dark bay mare on a sandy golden beach in Vilankulo. Her ears are pricked as she takes in the sounds of chatting fisherman in passing dhows with splashing oars. You gaze out onto a wide-open expanse with turquoise seas and settle in next to Pat, owner and guide. He talks you through the history of the land, from trading port and slavery, to the Queen of Sheba’s pearls and even a German submarine. You canter along the never-ending beach, eyes alight with an uncontrollable grin, it doesn’t seem real.

The ride takes you on past the town back onto the beach, then in the distance across the bay, glimmering red, towering above the shoreline is the resplendent Red Dune. As you reach the base Holly takes the lead, you can feel her exploding strength underfoot surging forward as she ascents to the summit in a powerful canter, her stamina and will far beyond the ordinary. The views are difficult to describe, your breath taken away by the blues seas and silver sandbanks stretching into the distance. Obligatory pictures, dune jumps and you move on back down, cantering on across the beach for a fresh seafood lunch.

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast, before a short morning farewell ride up the coastline. The views over the bay and long stretches of unspoiled beach will be a memory that you never forget. We finish off your safari with our world-renowned swim – to see horses wallowing and rolling in the sea is a once in a lifetime opportunity and truly magical experience. Riders are mesmerized by the grace, power and movement of these magnificent animals swimming. Bring your camera to capture the moment. Time for one more lunch before you bid farewell to Vilankulo in preparation for your onward journey.

* Please note that if the tide is out on your final morning, we will do the swim on another day.

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