MOZAMBIQUE EQUESTRIAN ESCAPE
Based in Vilankulos, in Mozambique, this working riding holiday gives volunteers the opportunity to live in paradise and ride to their heart's content, in return for working with the horses in between.
Canter down sandy beaches, and swim with your horse in perfect turquoise seas. Take part in island life and become part of the family.
Develop your riding skills, discover the culture of Mozambique, and witness some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.
Volunteer caring for highly trained trail horses in Vilankulos; a coastal area famous for its unspoiled sandy beaches, warm weather and remarkable sea life. Discover a different world and way of life, with each day spent in the saddle and at the stables, caring for and riding a herd of around fifty horses.
The majority of horses in Mozambique were rescued from Zimbabwe in a time of political unrest and violence, and are now living happily, cantering up and down the beach and taking dips in the sea.
Volunteers become part of the family, and establish deep bonds with each of the horses.
Volunteers make incredible memories; from cantering down the beach, climbing red sand dunes, taking part in local life, falling in love with the horses, to playing in the crystal-clear seas with the horses.
The Portuguese described landing on Mozambique’s shores as ‘passing into paradise’. With over 2500 km of coastline, and some of the most beautiful islands in the world, you will soon understand why. Mozambique has the allure of an undiscovered tropical paradise, exotic palm-lined beaches, and spectacular horse riding that is unrivaled.
The Mozambique Equestrian Escape is a family run, hands on project, dealing with guests and horses on a daily basis. Volunteer participation is all about hands-on experiences, with lots of horse riding, looking after clients, and having fun!
You will be working alongside a team of full-time, experienced grooms. There is no fixed itinerary, no day is the same! Your daily activities will vary depending on the ride schedule.
Activities are listed below:
Assisting with Out Rides
You will be required to assist with out rides on the beach, and keeping clients safe and happy. You will act as an extra pair of eyes, making sure all riders are comfortable and safe. You may be required to lead canters, or stay behind to supervise less experienced riders. You may also be required to hold horses when the ride takes a break. Assisting with out rides gives you great opportunities to explore the coast, and experience all that Mozambique has to offer!
Assisting with Day Rides
You will be asked to assist with day rides, including greeting riders, getting them prepared for the ride, helping them mount, and taking payment afterwards. You will need to act in a professional, friendly manner.
Training the Horses
You will have lots of opportunity to ride, including helping to school and train the horses. This may mean just keeping them fit, supple and well-schooled, teaching them something new, or working on a particular problem with a horse. The herd also has a few foals and youngsters that may need training.
Helping set up the table at mealtimes and helping prepare breakfast, lunch & dinner for the clients. You will need to have a warm demeanour, offer drinks, chat to guests and have good manners.
Grooming + Bathing the Horses
Daily grooming and bathing of the horses after long rides. This is a great way to form a bond with the horses in the herd. As part of the daily grooming you will check the horses over for any sores or wounds, and help with keeping them in top condition.
Important for keeping the horses happy and healthy, volunteers assist with cleaning tack after rides, and checking tack over for wear and tear.
This may include assisting the grooms with mucking out, poo-picking the riding arenas, filling water troughs and fixing fences. All the usual tasks that come with caring for horses!
As the riding establishment in Mozambique is family run, your assistance and help is greatly valued.
FREE TIME ACTIVITIES
The working week on the project is extremely variable, with working hours depending on the season and how many rides are booked in. Volunteers do not have set 'off days', but staff will make sure you get days off, and enough time to relax.
There are some fun activities available nearby for leisure time:
Canoeing: The Guvuro River canoe trip is one of the best activities in Vilankulos, with an ideal combination of unspoilt riverine and incredible birdlife.
Scuba Diving + Snorkelling: The waters around the Bazaruto Archipelago are one of the largest marine conservation areas in the Indian Ocean. The coral reefs and clear waters offer some of the best diving in the world. Marine life you may see includes dolphins, hump back whales, whale sharks, sharks, manta rays, spotted eagle rays, turtles, and the endangered dugong!
Dhow Trips: Experience the wonder of a traditional sailing dhow! Take your camera, and capture the freedom of unspoilt beach’s, solitude, and stunning scenery on a traditional sailing dhow, locally built by hand in the age-old method.
Kiteboarding: During the windy season you can kiteboard and windsurf in Vilankulos; the conditions are perfects due to the shallow water and flat waves.
Alternatively, you can also relax on the beach or at the volunteer accommodation.
Volunteer accommodation is at Casa de Cavalo. Located in a lovely garden next to the paddocks and stables, and only a few minutes' walk away from the beach.
Each bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, comfortable beds and mosquito nets.
A communal area between the two rooms is used for cooking and relaxing.
There is always plenty to eat and drink, with hearty meals, and at times you might have dinner or lunch out with clients.
Vegetarians can be catered for with prior notice.
Vilankulos town centre is a 15-minute drive away, with access to internet cafes, ATMs, supermarkets, restaurants, bars and markets.