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Joining the Retzlaff’s on a safari is a very personal experience as Pat or Mandy will lead each ride. Plenty of time is spent together with you on horseback or over dinner sharing stories, experiences, and their way of life. The great food, personal service, and wonderful horse riding made this a very special place. 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. 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!
Vila de Sonhos is a stunning seaside lodge with impressive rooms, en-suite bathrooms, and wide-open balconies that overlook the turquoise sea of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Ancient Baobab trees from centuries before silhouette the blue skies and 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 African adventure.
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.
Please note that if Vila De Sonhos and Archipelago Resort are full, Slovenia Horseriding will look to accommodate you in similar private homes and resorts in the area. In the hotel rooms, Slovenia Horseriding provides a fruit bowl, gift pack, and stock the fridge with water and cool drinks.
You will meet either Pat or Mandy Retzlaff, your hosts and guides for the week, at Vilankulo Airport (VNX). After a short transfer from the airport, you will settle 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 the riding school. Once you feel comfortable, you will head out to 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.
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 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 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. You will 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.
A hearty breakfast will be served at your restaurant. Today’s ride is a favorite with many of the 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, you 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 you 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 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.
After a delicious breakfast, you will drive 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, you 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 you savor and toast your last night.
You will 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. You will 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. 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, you will do the swim on another day.
Please note that the itinerary is a rough guide 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 rides and in which order they are to be made during the week.
This horse riding holiday will take place in Mozambique. Mozambique horseback riding safari is a very personal experience. The great food, personal service, and wonderful horse riding made this a very special place.
During your stay at Vila De Sonhos, the meals are prepared by a personal chef with a traditional English breakfast being served on the terrace each morning. Mouthwatering barbecues from the poolside are a must as you look out onto the golden sandbanks with colorful dhows sailing past.
Please book your flight to arrive at Vilankulo Airport (VNX). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Slovenia Horseriding will pick you up from the airport.
Most major international airlines fly into Johannesburg, South Africa and several large airlines now fly directly into Maputo, Mozambique. There are daily direct flights to Vilankulo with SA Airlink and LAM from Johannesburg or Maputo. Flights usually depart on mid to late morning and arrive in Vilankulo just after midday. Return flights from Vilankulo depart in the early afternoon. Additionally, SA Airlink now links the Kruger National Park with the horse riding of Mozambique with connecting flights coming from Nelspruit.
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