Horse Riding and Conservation MozambiqueBook Now
This programme offers you a unique experience to develop your riding skills, learn about the culture of Mozambique and make a difference helping our horses in Vilanculos & the Bazaruto Archipelago.
What you will learn
The Volunteer Programme is based on the coast in Vilankulo and offers students the chance to acquire a wealth of information about equine management, riding skills and life in Africa. Students are required to help organize out rides, manage clients, groom horses, participate in feeding and assist with any veterinary activities that may occur during their stay. In addition to working with the horses in Vilankulo, trips will be arranged to the Bazaruto Archipelago to work with our horse on the island.
You will explore than just one place in Mozambique!
You will become part of the family and form a deep bond with the horse under your care. Expect long riding sessions up some of the finest stretches of coast line in the world, and rich happy memories of your gap year in Africa.
These are not just any horses either, smuggled out of Zimbabwe escaping the chaos caused by Mugabe ´s regime by their owners they would have quite a story to tell, if they could talk.
We now have 60 horses in Vilankulos. 10 on Benguerra island and 50 on the mainland. Sadly depleted we only have 70 left from the original 104 that left Zimbabwe.
Gain hands on experience in Equine Management
We aim to equip students with the hands-on experience, knowledge, and skills to actively participate in running an African horse safari. We provide a wealth of information on equine management, riding skills, client hospitality, animal husbandry and community involvement.
Do I need riding experience?
Volunteering with us is basically riding out with our day clients on our fantastic horses. Our volunteers take care of the horses, clean them, feed them, ride them. It might be better for to be a rider to get the full benefit of volunteering with us. But if you really want to come, and learn how to ride and care for horses, of course we would love to have you!
Off-days will be organized at different times during the week, as weekends are usually busy. Adventure activities are available in the area. Should volunteers decide to participate in these activities (such as scuba diving, snorkelling, dhow sailing & fishing) they can be arranged at participants´ own expense.
The waters around the Bazaruto Archipelago are one of the largest marine conservation areas in the Indian Ocean and optional activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, safaris and, fishing
Why Horse riding in Mozambique?
Our volunteers usually have a love of horses. The beach riding is some of the best in the world. We are also the Gateway to the Bazarutto Archipelago. We are close to Gorongoza and Tofu. We have some of the best dive sites in the world. We interact with schools and other projects to give our volunteers a good view of life in Mozambique. No day is the same!
Week 1: Introduction
This amazing experience starts with a one week induction to help you adapt quickly to the project. This will include lessons in local culture, basic history, language and equine care. You will also be familiarized with the current situation of the project and given instruction on health and safety. Your riding ability and overall equine knowledge will be assessed and you will meet the horses and be shown around the project.
At the beginning of the second week each you will be assessed and given tasks and responsibilities to suit your experience. Riding and teaching lessons will be assigned to those who have previous experience while those with less experience will receive lessons to help them reach a better standard of horsemanship. All volunteers are free to put forward ideas that they feel will benefit the project and that their previous experience will allow them to carry out.
And then: From this point on each trip will vary
You will be involved in the daily care of the horses and you can also choose to deal mainly with the day to day running of the riding school.
You will get a great deal of riding experience and will get to spend a great deal of time with some beautiful horses in a wonderful location.
At the end of your trip you, will receive a certificate listing all the skills that we feel you have either learnt or utilized. This can be used as a reference when applying for jobs or for university and we will always confirm its veracity when approached by prospective employers or educational bodies.
All days here are different, as we have to rise to meet each new challenge as they come, but this is an itinerary of the kind of day you can expect to enjoy with us at Mozambique Horse Safari. Please be aware that, because we are a real project dealing with the day to day running of a herd of nearly seventy horses, we have to maintain flexibility. This can depend on the number of volunteers at the time, the needs of the horses, number of outriders or lessons booked. You have two days off a week to pursue a social life and have fun.
You will be based in South Beach, Vilankulo at Blue Waters Beach Resort or Casa Gucci and on Benguerra Island we have a small volunteer house. Accommodation is a room with bed, mosquito net, ablution shower blocks and the resort has a swimming pool, restaurant & bar. The accommodation is within easy walking distance of the stables and a short ride from the town centre. Vilankulo itself offers easy access to internet cafe’s, ATM’s, supermarket, restaurants, bars, markets and much more. All volunteers are fully catered for and receive three excellent meals per day and a laundry service. We have internet on the project the cost being 120 mets an hour. (Less than 5US an hour)
- 5.00 am: Wake up get dressed and enjoy a early morning coffee. Prepare whatever you need for feeding and health checks.
- 5.30 am: Jonathan our driver, will arrive and load up with feed, halters and medicines. You arrive at the paddocks in the cool of the early morning. Catch the horses and tether them to their feeding poles. Prepare feeds, and feed each horse its ration with nose buckets. While they eat, a visual check is conducted on every horse to check for cuts, grazes, ticks and general condition. Any problems are then addressed with the help of our grooms and senior volunteers. All horses hooves are then picked and inspected, again any issues are then dealt with. Each animal is then sprayed for ticks and released. This is then repeated in the second paddock. One or two volunteers may go, during this time, to the dam with Albert to collect water to fill all the troughs.
- 8.00 am: Return to the house and eat breakfast. This is likely to be tea, coffee, toast, jam, scrambled or fried eggs, cheese, bacon and juice.
- 9.00 am: Volunteers will then carry out their allotted tasks. This may include teaching in the riding school, lesson preparation, tack repairs and maintenance, treatment for any problems discovered that morning.
- 12.30 am: Lunch is served. This may be spaghetti bolognese, stir fry, chicken casserole etc. All served with bread and butter, juice and salad.
- 1.00 pm: After lunch you will get free time for relaxation. You can go to town, have a sleep or generally relax from the midday sun.
- 3.00 pm: Participants will now prepare and start teaching riding lessons or taking beach rides. Those with limited riding experience may be requested to join the riding lessons. Other volunteers may work with horses who needing extra exercise or training.
- 6.00 pm: Return to the house, unload and put away all tack and equipment.
- 6.30 pm: Dinner is served, again a main meal with all the trimmings.
- 7.00 pm: Free time. Relax on the veranda, listen to the crickets and tree frogs, chat about the days events, enjoy a cold beer and, for the most enthusiastic, prepare for the following day.
Trip Frequently Asked Questions
Please note this program has a minimum age requirement of 19 years old.
Lunch: Sandwich and fruit
Dinner: Hot Meal
- Horse riding,
- Three meals per day (home cooked and at restaurants),
- Airport transfers,
- Laundry service,
- All use of the horses and equipment, trail rides and beach rides.
- Personal travel insurance,
- Any personal spending money
- Internet costs
- Any extra excursions or activities.