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HORSE VOLUNTEER RIDING PROJECT

Come and share in the epic adventures of a horse volunteer 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.

Horse Volunteer Africa

Our horse volunteer project is targeted at gap year students and adult volunteers looking to work with horses for an extended time, develop their riding skills and discover the culture of Mozambique. The majority of our horses were rescued from Zimbabwean farms at the height of political violence and each horse has their own incredible story. You will meet Texas, the strong grey gelding who was about to be fed to lions, and Princess, a gentle loving mare who survived a gunshot wound to the shoulder by marauding thugs. You will also meet Lady an orphan foal that has grown into the matriarch of our herd, and Morango, a newly born foal and hope for the future.

Each day will be spent in the saddle and at the stables working with a selection of our highly trained trail horses. You will be based in Vilankulo and on Benguerra Island; the area is famous for its unspoiled white sandy beaches, warm weather and remarkable bird life. Accommodation is clean, comfortable and secure with swimming pool and breath-taking views over the cerulean sky and blue sea of the Bazaruto Archipelago. For more details on the day-to-day experiences of gap year students and horse volunteers please have a look at a typical day

Horse Volunteer Africa

There are plenty of things to do in Vilankulo with its wide-open beaches, turquoise blue seas and rich marine life. You will have time to experience the wonders of a traditional dhow sailing through the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago, in winter months it’s likely to spot humpback whales breaching in open water. The scuba diving is world class, on protected reefs teeming with mantas, turtles and shoals of reef fish. Canoeing the Guvuro River is a must, watch the sunset and take in the incredible bird life along the myriad of waterways. The more adventurous can learn how to kiteboard and for those looking to explore the local culture, there is English lessons to lead at a local school and our ride and lunch to a nearby fishing village.

Our horse volunteers and gap year students become part of the family and regularly return with deep bonds forming between horse and rider. Volunteering with Mozambique Horse Safari is a truly life changing experience, so please spend a few minutes browsing through volunteer testimonials and visit TripAdvisor to get more feedback on our incredible project. 

* To learn more about the rescued horses of Mozambique Horse Safari we highly recommend that you read One Hundred and Four Horses before coming out to Mozambique. It is an international bestseller written by Mandy Retzlaff telling the story of these legendary horses and their epic journey from political turmoil in Zimbabwe to the beaches of Vilankulo. 

Patrick Retzlaff with a beautiful chestnut mare, Lady.

Pat Retzlaff
Owner & Lead Guide

Pat was born in Arusha, Tanzania and moved to Zimbabwe as a young boy. He grew up on a cattle farm and studied Animal Science at University of Natal, South Africa. For over 20 years he farmed commercially, he was an award winning sheep and cattle breeder, and leading agronomist. Patrick’s passion for horses was passed down through the generations; his grandfather Paul owned a well-known stable in Berlin and his father Godfrey was an outstanding equestrian. Pat trains all the horses, leads the rides, provides the majority of veterinary care and does all the saddlery and farrier work. 

Amanda Retzlaff. One Hundred & Four Horses

Mandy Retzlaff
Horse Volunteer Programme Facilitator

Mandy was born in Accra, Ghana; her father was an architect in the Colonial Service and her mother a nurse. She grew up for the majority of her childhood in South Africa and travelled Europe after school. Mandy is our horse volunteer programme facilitator and in charge of all of the day-to-day running of our team. She is absolutely charming, has a wonderful sense of humour and keeps the clients, gap year students and horse volunteers in high spirits. In her spare time she enjoys making soaps, producing natural oils and writing. Her book “One Hundred & Four Horses”, published by Harper Collins, is an international bestseller.

Horse Volunteer

Luka Sinai Mangue
Head Groom

Luka was born in Inhambane and moved to Vilankulo in his early twenties looking for better work opportunities in the tourism industry. In 2006 he began working at the stables and fell in love with the horses and job. Over the years his responsibility has grown to become head groom. He is well known for his big smile and hearty laugh, and will go out of his way to ensure that clients and horse volunteers are well cared for at the stables.

Horse Volunteer

The horses really are amazing and even now, back home in Scotland, i wish for a never ending gallop on those long deserted beaches. The scenery is breathtaking and despite riding every day and often more than once a day the views just never got old.

Rosalyn / Scotland
Horse Volunteer with Mozambique Horse Safari

Mozambique is the most beautiful place I have ever been, the beaches are absolutely incredible and getting the opportunity to ride along them and take the horses in the sea makes it even more special.

Diana / United Kingdom
Horse Volunteer with Mozambique Horse Safari

Vilanculos is the most beautiful place I have ever visited and I doubt I’ll ever see anything more beautiful. The horse riding was varied and the horses were healthy and kind. Mandy and Pat were fantastic hosts and I learnt so much from time as a horse volunteer.

Joanna / United Kingdom