Mozambique Horse Riding Internship

Mozambique

A perfect working holiday in one of the world’s finest beach riding destinations. Ride along untouched, white, sandy beaches and on stunning coastal trails, as you join horse safaris next to the clear turquoise seas of the Indian Ocean.

There’s no better way to experience Africa than on the back of a horse. This working holiday programme enables volunteers to care for horses in Mozambique’s finest beach riding destination.

Volunteers on this horse riding project will join the permanent staff and the family who own the programme and help with the care, welfare and preparation of the 70+ resident horses and ponies. You will accompany lodge clients on beach, island and coastal rides and be the programme's ambassador during these rides. Volunteers are responsible for the general wellbeing of all the horses and will exercise them daily as well as feed, groom and assist with health checks.

You will also get the opportunity to assist in the riding school, where visitors of all ages from around the world learn new horsemanship skills as well as take advantage of Mozambique's stunning riding trails. You Volunteers are responsible for the general health and wellbeing of all the horses and will exercise them daily 

With so many horses needing daily care and exercise, plus a riding school and daily rides onto the beaches and coastal areas, volunteers must be confident, sociable and able to use their own initiative.

 

WHY CHOOSE THIS PROJECT?

A combination working holiday and equine volunteer programme which gives volunteers the opportunity to develop new riding skills, discover new cultures, help rescued horses live a new and better life and experience some of the world's most stunning beach rides.

Quick Facts

Who can join: Riders aged 18-19 and over
How long can I stay: 2 weeks - 12 weeks
Accommodation: Volunteer house
Transfer time: 30 minutes
Pick up from: Vilanculos
Meals: 3 meals a day
Project numbers: 6
Start dates: Flexible start dates
How much: from $1,745 (2 weeks)

SPECIAL: From Bush to Beaches

If you have a little more time to spare and want to make the most of your volunteer experience in Southern Africa, why not combine two horse riding volunteer programmes in two countries, and have twice the fun!

Horse Riding & Conservation, Zimbabwe

Live and work in a 10,000 acre private game reserve in Zimbabwe and get involved with conservation activities on horseback. Go on horseback anti-poaching patrols, ride alongside rhinos and elephants, monitor game and contribute to the management of a large conservation area, home to four of Africa's iconic Big 5. Project details...

Horse Riding Internship, Mozambique

Train horses on white sandy beaches and ride on coastal trails overlooking the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Work in the riding school and take clients riding and swimming on stunning island and beach rides. Help care for more than 70 horses and immerse yourself in the laid-back culture of Southern Mozambique. Project details...

Project Pricing:

- Horse Riding & Conservation, Zimbabwe

1 week: $1,095
2 weeks: $1,995

- Horse Riding Internship, Mozambique

2 weeks: $1,745
Each additional week: $600

Combination project pricing:

4 weeks (2 weeks on each project): $3,365. This includes a 10% discount off the individual project prices - you save $375!

We highly recommend combining both these fantastic projects into one amazing volunteer and intern experience. Please email us for more details and to check availability!

Background

Mozambique offers the allure of a country as yet undiscovered, an unspoilt tropical haven that beckons with exotic, palm-lined beaches and spectacular horse riding. Immerse yourself in an extraordinary holiday as you explore the stunning coastline on horseback and meet amazing people and work with unique and special horses.

The project was started in 2006 when a family of Zimbabweans arrived in Mozambique with more than 100 rescued horses which had survived the arduous journey from the farms of Zimbabwe and across Mozambique, finally arriving on the shores of Vilankulo where they now spend their days.

There are more than 70 horses and ponies to care for, with a combination of South African Boerperds, Arabs, Thoroughbred mixes and bush ponies. They are schooled to a very high level and react easily and lightly to the aids. The project uses a combination of English saddles, South African McClellan's and have a selection of Australian stock saddles. Horses are trained in both English and Western styles.

Highlights

  • Spend time riding and caring for beautiful horses in an amazing location
  • Participate in a wide range of activities from horse management and general care to health checks, riding lessons and beach rides
  • Live in a beautiful lodge, right on the beach, with views overlooking the Indian Ocean
  • Form close bonds with amazing rescued horses and ponies, dedicated staff and volunteers from around the world
  • Learn about the local Mozambican culture, history and language

What sort of things will I be doing?

No two days in Africa are ever the same, but as a horse riding volunteer on this programme, you may get involved with some or all of the following activities:

Equine husbandry and general horse care

  • Volunteers are responsible for the daily care of the project's 70 horses. Help catch the horses in the mornings, prepare food, feed, groom the horses and carry out health checks
  • Learn about equine care specific to the horses on the project
  • Maintain and clean tack
  • Assist in any medical treatment of the horses, e.g. tick spraying, hoof checks, wound dressing

Horse safaris and work in the riding school

Volunteers will be given a short riding assessment upon arrival. Experienced riders will be asked to help with riding lessons, or to accompany guides and clients on beach and coastal trail rides. If you need to refresh your riding, you can join lessons in the riding school and improve your skills!

  • Help with the daily running of the riding school and out ride programme
  • Take clients on horse safaris on one of the many amazing trails and beach rides
  • Work with horses who need extra exercise, rehabilitation or training
  • Spend time with beautiful horses in an amazing location

Community engagement

Volunteers will have the opportunity to explore the local area and get involved with local community projects.

  • Learn about the local culture, history and language
  • Visit the local school in the nearby fishing village
  • Help in conversational English with high school and college students
  • Learn to make soap from local natural ingredients which are then sold by the local communities

You will acquire a wealth of knowledge about equine management, riding skills and life in one of Africa's outposts. Deep bonds are formed between volunteers and their horses, and many return time and time again for this life changing experience.

At weekends:

There is lots to do in Vilankulo! At weekends, when you are not exercising the horses, volunteers can get involved with:

  • Scuba Diving and snorkelling - the diving around the Bazaruto Archipelago is some of the best in the world, home to whale sharks, manta rays, reefs, sharks and turtles
  • Dhow trips - glide through the crystalline waters of the Archipelago and spot whales, turtles, dolphins and the rare dugong (manatee)
  • Fishing and deep sea fishing  - the area is renowned for its big game fishing
  • Canoeing through the mangroves
  • Kiteboarding

Details

Do I need any experience to volunteer on this programme?

We welcome volunteers with a passion for horses and the ability to communicate well in English. Volunteers must be well-mannered, confident, sociable and able to use their own initiative. Volunteers must also be prepared and happy to engage with other guests at the lodge and be an ambassador for the riding programme.

Riding Ability

  • You must be able to confidently trot and canter
  • Ideally you should have a number of years of experience of handling different horses, although this not compulsory
  • If you are relatively new to riding, that is not a problem - you can join lessons in the riding school and still participate in beach and trail rides
  • There is a weight limit of 85kg per volunteer

How do I get to the project?

Included in your programme price is a return transfer from Vilanculos airport.

A day in the life

With 70 horses to care for, plus a riding school and beach safari bookings, volunteers should be flexible and willing to participate in all the work which comes up. This is a typical day, but obviously this is Africa and things can change! You will have two days off a week to do your own activities.

Volunteers will usually get up around 5.00-5.30am to get started before the day heats up.

Have a light breakfast rusk and coffee, and pack what you need for feeding and grooming the horses. You will help pack the car with halters, medical supplies and feed (and water for yourself!), and will arrive at the paddocks while the morning is still cool. Catch the horses and tether them to their feeding poles. Prepare the feed and give each horse its ration. You will do a visual check of each horse's condition, plus hoof checks, to see if their are any injuries or ill health.

At around 8am you will return to the house for a breakfast of cereals, toast, eggs, bacon and cheese.

Between 9am - midday you will be allocated tasks based on your riding abilities and interests. This could include teaching in the riding school, lesson preparation, tack repair and maintenance or assisting with medical treatment.

At 12.30 lunch is served. This is usually a cooked meal with vegetables and salads. Volunteers are at leisure during the heat of the day, where you can explore the town, go to the beach, go swimming or just relax at the lodge!

At 3.00pm you will prepare for beach rides or riding lessons. Experienced riders will take clients on beach or coastal trail rides, while the less confident may take horses for exercise or training, or you can join lessons in the riding school. 

Once this sesssion is over, at around 6.00pm, return to the house, clean and put away all tack and equipment and settle down for the evening! Have dinner, listen to the frogs and the sounds of the sea, enjoy a cold beer and chat about the day's experiences.

Pricing and Dates

When can I volunteer?

Volunteers can begin this Horse Riding Beach Safari programme throughout the year excluding Christmas and New Year. Note that the minimum length of time is 2 weeks.

Project Pricing 2016-17:
2 weeks: $1,745
3 weeks: $2,295
4 weeks: $2,895

Each additional week: $600 per week

What does the cost include?

  • Programme fee - financing which goes back into the programme; this includes funding for equipment, supplies, vehicles and foodstuffs
  • Transfers to and from Vilanculos Airport on the scheduled date and time
  • Full board and lodging for the duration of your programme including laundry (exc. alcoholic and fizzy drinks)
  • All programme-related transport and equipment required to do your work
  • 24 hour support and guidance from the volunteer programme staff

The programme cost excludes:

  • Transport by air or bus to Vilanculos
  • Visas (should be obtained prior to travel)
  • Any expenses prior to your programme start date
  • Any personal items such as alcoholic drinks, snacks, additional food or souvenirs
  • Personal medical and travel insurance, which must cover the entire duration of your programme and should include cover for repatriation, air evacuation and any activities you may undertake or plan to undertake
  • Any additional excursions or activities outside the volunteer programme
  • Telephone calls and internet

View our booking terms and conditions

Accommodation

Volunteers are based just metres from the beach in a small volunteer house within the grounds of a lodge. Each volunteer will have their own room with bed, storage space and mosquito net. There is a separate (shared) ablution block with hot and cold running water and toilets. The lodge has a restaurant, pool and a small bar. You will receive three home-cooked meals a day and your laundry and housekeeping will be done for you.

Your accommodation is within walking distance of the stables and a short car ride to Vilankulo town centre where there are internet cafe's, ATM's, a supermarket, restaurants, bars and markets. You can also organise activities such as canoeing, sea fishing, diving and snorkelling from the operators in town.

Destination

Volunteering in Mozambique

This enigmatic African country is unfailingly rewarding - with untouched beaches and vibrant, welcoming people, Mozambique has something for even the most adventurous traveller. With colonial-style architecture in Maputo, remote archipelagos in the north, pounding surf in the south and graceful dhows with billowing sails up and down the coastline, visitors to this vast country are rarely disappointed.

Maputo - only 120 kilometers from the South African border, Mozambique's coastal capital feels like a different world. An intriguing mixture of European and African influences, Maputo is home to crumbling colonial buildings, lively markets, wide avenues named after communist leaders, art deco apartments the colour of fruit sorbets and a vibrant live music scene.

It has eclectic architecture, including the century-old elegant CFM Train Station, which made an appearance in the movie "Blood Diamond" and is home to Kampfumo, Maputo's most unusual bar, sandwiched between two platforms. Also well worth a look is the Casa de Ferro, a bizarre-looking metal house designed by Gustav Eiffel.

Most visitors to Mozambique do not linger in Maputo, instead heading for the 2,500km coastline which stretches from Tanzania down to South Africa.

Tofo and its tiny neighbour, Tofino, in Southern Mozambique, are vibrant fishing villages 30km from the town of Inhambane. Tofo has long been a favoured backpackers destination and has a couple of dive schools, several lodges and guest houses and a number of restaurants and bars. Most tourists come to Tofo to enjoy the large populations of whale sharks and manta rays, catch some waves, relax on the beach and interact at the lively markets. You can also take part in kite-surfing, horse riding and beach yoga.

Moving further north is the Bazaruto Archipelago, a group of five idyllic paradise islands 10-20 km off the coast, near the mainland city of Vilanculos. The Archipelago is one of the most beautiful destinations in Africa, with the islands and the surrounding coral reef protected as a conservation area and national park. It is the only marine nature reserve in Mozambique. Known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the pristine and untouched beaches are well worthy of the name. Flights to Bazaruto are available from Inhambane, Maputo or Johannesburg or you can take snorkelling and diving day trips from Vilanculos.

Gorongosa National Park is located at the southern end of the Great East African Rift Valley. The 4,000 square km park includes the valley floor and surrounding plateaus and is home to all of Africa’s Big 5, excluding rhino. The birdlife in Gorongosa is fantastic, with many endemic species prized by birders.

The Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique is a chain of 30 islands stretching from Pemba to the town of Palma, in the north. The islands are one of the world’s best fishing and diving destinations, with phenomenal vertical drop-offs of up to 400m.

While in Mozambique, DO:
- Scuba diving
- A dhow safari
- A snorkelling day trip to Bazaruto
- Game fishing - the Mozambique coast is ranked as the best Black Marlin destination in the eastern Indian Ocean.

What will the weather be like?

Almost all of Mozambique falls within the tropics and as such, Mozambique features a mostly tropical climate. Along the coast Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate. Evenings are rarely cold, except for a few nights in June and July and the rainfall isn't too high. In summer, temperatures can soar and the humidity levels rise.

Temperatures are typically higher in the north, around Pemba and around the Zambezi River.

Excursions

Do I get some time off?

You will have two full days off per week when you can take advantage of the exciting activities on offer in and around Vilanculos.

What is there to do in my leisure time?

There is lots to do in Vilankulo! On your days off, when you are not exercising the horses, volunteers can get involved with:

  • Scuba Diving and snorkelling - the diving around the Bazaruto Archipelago is some of the best in the world, home to whale sharks, manta rays, reefs, sharks and turtles
  • Dhow trips - glide through the crystalline waters of the Archipelago and spot whales, turtles, dolphins and the rare dugong (manatee)
  • Fishing and deep sea fishing  - the area is renowned for its big game fishing
  • Canoeing through the mangroves
  • Kiteboarding

It may also be possible to join a 4 day / 3night guided safari to Gorongosa National Park, home to elephants, buffalo, lion, antelope and amazing birdlife. Please enquire for more details of departure dates and prices for this excursion.

Project Gallery - Mozambique Horse Riding Internship

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