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Horse Riding Mozambique Tour

Country: Mozambique
City: Maputo
Duration: 8 Day(s) - 7 Night(s)
Tour Category: Desert Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

Vilankulo is world-renowned for its superb variety of white sand beaches, alluring golden sunsets, and tall palm trees. The beach stretches for tens of kilometers allowing the riders plenty of opportunities for exhilarating canters and long trots. The views from the cliffs overlooking the Bazaruto Archipelago are truly extraordinary.

Benguerra Island broke away from the mainland thousands of years ago. The island is approximately 55 square kilometers and lies 14 kilometers offshore. It is famous for its unspoiled white beaches and remarkable dive sites. Benguerra Island comprises forest, savannah, freshwater lakes, and wetland ecosystems that sustain a diverse population of fauna and flora. Freshwater crocodiles and flocks of flamingos can be found in the three lakes. The island, which is home to approximately 140 bird species, was declared a National Park in 1971.

Please note that this is a rough itinerary and the daily schedule is determined by the guide with the best interests of the group and horses in mind. Weather conditions and especially the changing tides in Vilankulo control the timing of the rides and in which order they are to be run during the week.

Day 1: Introductory Ride - 2 Hours of Riding

Our guests are met at Vilankulo Airport by the guide, 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 the horse and equipment. The ride incorporates all the wonderful eco-systems in the archipelago; open sandy beaches, incredible clifftop views, pristine dune bush, and mangrove shoreline. In the evening a fresh seafood dinner will be served under the stars overlooking the sea.

Day 2: The Great Lake Rides and Canoe - 3 hours riding plus picnic lunch & canoe trip

Today we will ride inland on single 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. We will canter along bush paths through African farmlands, and 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.

Day 3: Casa Rex Breakfast Ride and Market Tour - 1.5 hours of Riding

An early morning ride that follows the beach northwards passing through the outskirts of town into a bay, home to a myriad of colorful dhows. The ride continues through the bay cantering along the beach, watching local fishermen 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 of scuba diving, kiteboarding, or deep-sea fishing at an additional cost. A delicious lunch and dinner will be provided.

Day 4: Benguerra Island Ride - 3 hours Riding Depending on Tide

An early start is imperative - from town, a motorized dhow will whisk you through the Bazaruto National Park to Benguerra Island. A tasty packed breakfast is served on board while you take in the sea views and look for dolphins, turtles, and rays. The island consists of massive sand dunes, freshwater lakes, and white sandy beaches which make for a breathtaking ride. The varied ecosystem offers exceptional birding with large flocks of flamingos 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 snorkeling along a vertical rock drop-off. For those not keen on the water, you can relax or take a long walk on the beach. Return to Vilankulo as the sun sets over the ocean to enjoy dinner at a lovely restaurant. This unique experience cannot be captured in pictures or described in words, it is magical.

Day 5: Fishing Village Ride - 2 Hours Riding & 1.5 Hours Lunch/Village

Have a relaxing breakfast and morning swim before our ride begins at 11.30 am. This wonderful ride takes us through coconut plantations along the beach to Enrique's Fishing Village. The local chief entertains us in true Mozambican style; setting up a table for us with traditional food. We start off with a refreshing coconut drink and are shown how to eat fresh crab and taste Matapa, a traditional Mozambique dish made from cassava leaves, nuts, and coconut milk.

After lunch we continue our ride through the village and head onto the "Fingerprint of God"; a magnificent viewpoint overlooking the archipelago. A wonderful day’s ride experiencing traditional African culture. In the evening we will drive into town and have dinner at one of the many restaurants.

Day 6: Beach & Bush Ride - 3 to 4 hours of Riding

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 the coastal bush. After several hours in the saddle, a bush track through woodlands leads us down 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.

Day 7: Red Dune Ride, North Beach - 3 to 4 hours of Riding

After a delicious breakfast, we will drive you over to the stables, mount up and set 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 we will stop at a local arts and crafts center that supports the local community – there will be plenty of time to explore and get some souvenirs for friends and family back home. Relax by the pool in the late afternoon or take a stroll on the beach. Dinner will be served in tranquil settings as we savor and toast your last night.

Day 8: Farewell Ride & Swim

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast, before a short morning farewell ride up the coastline. The views over the bay and long stretches of the 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 the final morning we will do the swim on another day.

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