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8 Days Epic Horse Riding Safari in Vilanculos, Mozambique
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

(No availability) 8 Days Epic Horse Riding Safari in Vilanculos, Mozambique

Vila De Sonhos, Chibuene, Vilankulo, Vilankulo District, Inhambane Province, Mozambique

Unforgettable Horse Riding Holiday Mozambique

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 you will be hooked on Africa and their way of life. Joining the Retzlaff's on a safari is a very personal experience. Pat or Mandy will lead each ride where plenty of time is spent together on horseback or over dinner sharing stories.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 90 kilograms / 198 pounds

Meet the instructors

Pat & Mandy
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  • Riding through the lake and the Red Dune
  • Approximate daily riding time: 1.5 to 4 hours
  • Enrique's fishing village and Benguerra Island rides
  • Morning ride along Vilankulo’s beach and up the coastline
  • Snorkeling and swimming with the horses in the sea
  • Complimentary airport pick up and drop off
  • Daily meals, fruit bowl, and cool drinks
  • 7 nights' accommodation


8 days with instruction
Airport transfer included: Vilankulo Airport
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Vila De Sonhos

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

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 ff Vila De Sonhos and Archipelago Resort are full, Lifetime Experience will look to accommodate you in similar private homes and resorts in the area. In the hotel rooms, Lifetime Experience provides a fruit bowl, gift pack, and stock the fridge with water and cool drinks.


Day 1: Introductory ride

Today includes 2 hours of riding. You will meet at Vilankulo Airport (VNX) with either Pat or Mandy Retzlaff, your hosts and guides for the week. After a short transfer from the airport, Lifetime Experience 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 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.

Day 2: The great lake rides and canoe

This includes 3 hours of riding plus picnic lunch and canoe trip. Today, you 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. You 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 you continue inland towards the Govuro River.

A revitalizing picnic lunch with ice-cold refreshments awaits you on a grassy riverbank. The horses will be fed and watered before being led home and leaving you to enjoy a guided tour of the river. You 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 the African sky as you sit around a bonfire. Dinner will be a mouthwatering Mozambican barbecue.

Day 3: Casa Rex breakfast ride and market tour

You will enjoy a 1.5-hour riding, an early morning ride that follows the beach northwards passing through the outskirts of town into a bay, home to the 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, you will meet your local guide who will accompany you 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. You will make your way back to your resort where you can siesta through the midday heat or relax at the pool. Alternatively, you can enjoy a day of scuba diving, or kiteboarding at an additional cost. A delicious lunch and dinner will be provided.

Day 4: Benguerra Island ride

You will experience 3-hour riding depending on the tide. An early start is imperative, from a town where 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 sailing 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.

Day 5: Fishing village ride

This includes a 2-hour riding and a 1.5-hour lunch in the village. You will have a relaxing breakfast and morning swim before your ride begins at 11:30. This wonderful ride takes you through coconut plantations along the beach to Enrique's fishing village. The local chief entertains you in true Mozambican style; setting up a table for you with traditional food. You will 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, you continue your ride through the village and head onto the "Fingerprint of God", a magnificent viewpoint overlooking the archipelago. This is a wonderful day’s ride experiencing traditional African culture. In the evening, you will drive into town and have dinner at one of the many restaurants.

Day 6: Beach and bush ride

You will experience a 3 to 4-hour riding. A hearty breakfast will be served at your restaurant. Today’s ride is a favorite of many of Lifetime Experience's 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.

Day 7: Red Dune ride, North Beach

You will enjoy a 3 to 4-hour riding. 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.

Day 8: Farewell ride and swimming

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 will 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.
  • The weight limit for this horse riding holiday is 90 kilograms.

Included excursions

  • A canoe trip along Govuro River
  • Guided market tour
  • Snorkeling in Magaruque Island
  • Swimming with the horses in the sea


Pat Retzlaff

Mandy Retzlaff


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.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Kiteboarding
  • Scuba diving

What's included

  • The great lake rides
  • A canoe trip along Govuro River
  • An early morning ride along Vilankulo’s beach
  • Guided market tour
  • Benguerra Island rides
  • Snorkeling in Magaruque Island
  • Riding through Enrique's fishing village
  • Beach and bush ride
  • Red Dune ride
  • A short morning farewell ride up the coastline
  • Swimming with the horses in the sea
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Fruit bowl and cool drinks
  • Motorized dhow transfers
  • Airport pick up and drop off from and to Vilankulo Airport (VNX)
  • National park fees and Mozambique Government VAT
  • Gift pack

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Any extra excursions or activities not included in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Any drinks bought at a restaurant or bar
  • Any personal spending money

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Vilankulo Airport (VNX). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Lifetime Experience 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.

Airport: Vilankulo Airport Airport transfer included: Vilankulo Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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