Horse Riding in Africa

LATEST COMMENTS:

"Mozambique is the most beautiful country in the world for beach-riding. It is heaven. The horses themselves are lovely: safe, well-schooled and great fun to ride. I spent a week pinching myself to check I wasn't dreaming."
Kate Kellaway - Journalist, The Observer Newspaper, United Kingdom.

"I fell in love with a lovely white Arab with whom I spent hours cantering along the beach, only stopping to watch the fishermen coming back with their catch of the day - which I knew would inevitably end up on my plate. What more do you need!
Joelle Boniface, Paris, France.


"I am lucky enough to have been on many riding holidays around the world but none quite as memorable as staying with Mozambique Horse Safari. I don't often say this, as the world is full of exciting places to visit, but i shall return."
Roz Hughes, United Kingdom.

 
 
 


Dear Friends of the Mozambique Horses.

October is a beautiful month in Mozambique. It is our spring. The birds are in abundance, the trees start to blossom and as we ride the scent of wild jasmine follows us. Dawns are beautiful and sunsets spectacular. We are now in our 6th year of running Mozambique Horse Safari in Vilanculos and have come a long way. A journey of discovery, hardship, frustration, sadness and happiness.

The most exciting news this month is the engagement of Lucy Campbell Jones to Graham Pollard. Lucy has looked after our horses for four years on Benguerra Island. Before that she helped me in Chimoio when Patrick was trying to start the horse safari in Vilanculos. In Chimoio she was accidentally kicked in the face and had to return to England to have a titanium plate put in her cheek bone. A loyal and special person who helped us through some very bad times. She met Graham on Benguerra Island where he runs a fishing business called Fish Therapy www.fishtherapymozambique.com . Two wonderful people and we are so thrilled and look forward to the wedding.

The other exciting news is we bought a Ram. His name is Baaaaz. Pat and I were driving past the Donna Anna hotel when we spotted a ram tied with a rope waiting at the port. We slowed down to have a closer look. He is an indigenous breed from the Island of Bazaruto. Pat who used to be a sheep farmer was fascinated so stopped the car and rushed over to the sheep to have a closer look. Baaaaz shook his rammy horns at him and Pat was immediately captivated. We looked around for an owner but the port was strangely quiet. One of the guards approached us wondering I suppose what two Mazungus were doing staring in delight at a sheep. We explained that we would like to buy the sheep. The guard shouted something and soon people materialized followed by the owner. The owner was reluctant to sell Baaz. He had been procured for a traditional wedding and had come over by dhow. We made an offer but the owner shook his head. Baaz was a special treat for the wedding party. We upped the price but the owner walked away. In exasperation we told the Guard to ask the owner how much money he would need to release Baaz. The owner stuck his finger in his ear and looked at the horizon for guidance. An exorbitant figure was eventually negotiated and I had to borrow the money from Benedito the taxi driver and Baaz became ours.



Benedito thought we were mad and refused to put Baz in his car as he had just cleaned it to do his taxi run. Pat and I both looked at the Rav our son Jonathan’s car. Could we fit him in the boot? We trussed poor Baz up with his rope and carefully loaded him in the back hoping nobody was watching. We drove off and Baz lay quietly giving an indignant baa. The owner gave us a jubilant farewell patting his pocket with his stash of cash.

When we hit the bumpy Chibuene Road things started to go wrong. Baaz somehow wriggled out of his ropes and his rammy horns and beady eyes appeared over the back seat with intent to make a break for it. We came to a screeching halt and Pat dived in the back to wrestle Baaz back in the boot. Baaz was not having any of it and proceeded to try and head butt his way out of danger. There was no alternative Pat had to sit on top of Baz for the rest of the journey home.

On arrival at the stables the grooms were horrified as Pat and Baaz tumbled out of the boot. It was feeding time so the horses were all in and happily munching on their maize. They picked up their heads to see what was happening. When Baaz rushed in attached to his rope swinging his horns the horses were horrified.A cacophony of neighing made Baaz madder than ever and to stop him leaping around we tied him to a tree. Baaz was incensed and so were the horses. The next day Baaz went on a hunger strike and would not touch his haynet. He stomped his little feet and then danced in agitation. The funniest of all were the horses. They could not make out what Baaz was. Some horses chose to ignore him but others like Gambler could not resist a sniff and smell. Fortunately Baaz settled down and the horses and sheep live in harmony. When Baaz munches on his hay net I like to think that he is grateful we saved him from the pot.

We have had a busy few months with volunteers from all over the world who assist us in all aspects of the horse safari. Our clients in the last few months have come from France, England, Holland, Sudan and French Polynesia. We had wonderful volunteers from New Mexico who taught us a lot about Southern Cooking. We have thrown some wonderful dinner parties and lucky for us so many of our volunteers are such great cooks. Our girths are definitely increasing.

 Our soap making is improving and we are very grateful for the essential oils and other necessities that come out with the volunteers. We have a craft fair on the 6th of January so wish us luck.

Our beloved land rover has finally come to a halt and is in serious need of repair. It has worked every day for years carrying grass for the horses and is much loved by us all. So hope Pat can fix Landy soon .

Thank you for supporting us .

From us all at Mozambique Horse Safari and of course Baaaz.





SEPTEMBER 2011

Dear friends,

I sit fingers poised over the keys of my laptop wondering what has happened to the year and where to start. Hard to believe we are now in September. Where does time go when you are having such fun? March brought us Kate Kellaway a renowned journalist for the Guardian Newspaper. She missed her flight but fortunately managed to board another and arrived safely in Vilanculos with all her luggage. Kate was absolutely delightful and fitted into Mozambican life effortlessly. We wanted to show her the very best of Mozambique and thank you to all the lodges that helped make Kate’s stay so enjoyable. A highlight of Kate’s trip was her deep sea fishing experience with Graham Pollard of Fish Therapy who was Kate’s guide - so a big thank you to Graham! To read more about Kate's story please click here

Hard on her heels arrived Wild Frontiers and their lovely clients. This delightful group was led by the exuberant tour leader Lulu Perry and was accompanied by Minty Clinch a well known journalist who wrote a wonderful article about their adventures in the Financial Times – to read the story click here. Unfortunately a borehole broke down at their resort so they spent a few days without water. Two were shocked in the shower and then the whole group was lost at sea. Despite the hardships they were absolutely lovely and we had a wonderful time with them. We named them the Ride, Dive and Survive Group.

For months Pat and I have planned to do an exploratory ride to the Vilanculos Wildlife Sanctuary. We intended to ride the horses across the bay at low tide crossing small rivers before entering the Sanctuary and spending a night at the luxurious Nyati Lodge. In August we set off early in the morning in high spirits and crossed the bay. Jo our volunteer was riding Mushy, who unfortunately slipped and fell in a muddy area causing poor Jo to sail over his head. She was up very quickly and jumped back on; other than that it was a magnificent ride with incredible wide open beaches and blue skies. We very nearly made it except for the final crossing into the Sanctuary. The tide had started to come in and the current in the final tributary had become too strong for us to cross. I had visions of horses being swept downstream which was a little unnerving so sadly we had to turn the horses back. Mission unaccomplished - we were so near yet so far. Next time

Our next visitor was Patrick Walsh a literary agent from Colville & Welsh in London who came to see me about writing a book on our horses, their rescue from Zimbabwe and experiences in Mozambique. Patrick quickly assumed the role of a volunteer and adjusted to the busy schedule of Mozambique Horse Safari. It was lovely to have him out and his warm personality charmed our clients. He was followed by Rob Dinsdale a writer who came to talk to me about writing and how to start the book. It was lovely having him out but  he had to leave to pursue a story in Kenya about a White Samburu with a lot of camels who is married to a famous English artist.  I am very excited about getting the opportunity to write the book and hope that I can live up to Patrick and Robs expectations.

Our volunteers program is stronger than ever and Pat and I meet the most wonderful people from all over the world. We learn so much, and so enjoy the stimulation that comes from having young enquiring minds around us. We have had volunteers from the US, Australia, Zimbabwe Canada, Italy, Ireland, Scotland and UK.

Lucy has been busy on Benguerra Island and has so many wonderful reviews from people who ride the horses there. Nobody can love our horses more than Luce and she puts so much into making Mozambique Horse Safari successful on the island.

How lucky we are meeting all these amazing people and how humbled that we have so much support from people all over the world. Our horses have been brilliant without them we would not succeed. They behave so beautifully and try so hard. They are all characters and they are loved so much. I do not think you could get happier horses. Clients and volunteers shower them with praise and they deserve all the accolades bestowed on them. They have taught people to ride, the have given confidence to the not so confident, they have made people happy when they were sad. They make us laugh and have taught us so much. How fortunate we are to have had the opportunity to share their lives.

Our down days are when we think of our beloved horses that died last year of plant poisoning. Every ride we take we know they are riding with us and their hoof beats will always be heard on the beaches of Chibuene. A big thank you to absolutely everyone who supports us. We are so grateful.

From all of us at Mozambique Horse Safari





February 2011 NEWSLETTER

Dear Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

I see that I have not written a newsletter since October. It has been extremely difficult to express the sadness and desperation of losing 26 beautiful horses to a plant called Crotalaria. We have learnt another important lesson in our turbulent lives. The lesson is called “Never be complacent”.

It’s amazing how your whole life can change within minutes as ours did that fateful morning when three horses were brought in off their feed and with temperatures. These horses had been through so much with us. How could something like this happen? In October when we were short of grazing we had the opportunity to send this group of horses 12km inland. The area was close to a small freshwater lake with an abundance of grass. What looked like paradise was their demise. A pretty plant called Crotalaria grew there - left over from the Portuguese days when it was used to fix nitrogen in the soil. It brutally killed 26 of the most beautiful and noble horses while Pat and I sat back helplessly. There is no cure. There was no vet or remedy that could save them from this fate. Day and night we sat with them watching them fight a battle that was already lost. Their eyes told a story and their trust will haunt us forever. There was just nothing we could do. Our only comfort was that they were saved from death in Zimbabwe and they were well cared for and so loved by so many people. May their hoof beats always be heard on the beaches of Chibuene and let the wind whisper their names for ever. Their spirits will always run free and they will never be forgotten.

A big thank you to Allan and Alex the vets who helped us so much. Thank you for all the support of so many people. The wonders of Facebook unfolded as so many concerned Facebook friends researched the internet and helped us through this terrible time. A very big thank you to our client Dave Endicott who smuggled samples from the brain, liver and spleen of one of the horses in a sandwich and somehow managed to pass through customs in South Africa. A big kiss for our volunteer Abbey Elkins who smuggled a plastic container full of samples in her hand luggage. There was no greater friend than Meryl Knox who fetched and carried samples from the airport to the vet lab and was always there to meet a runner. How grateful we are! A big thank you to Ivor Keppler who paid our vet’s lab fees. All these people are absolutely wonderful!

Life moves forward from tragedy and one has to focus on the things ahead. It has been a busy start for Mozambique Horse Safari. Last year Nicolas Hulot rode our horses on Benguerra Island and his documentary www.ushuaia.com was seen by millions of French people. Many people wrote in and we thank France for taking an interest in us. Tomas Askeberg a Swedish client wrote a wonderful article about us which was published in a Swedish magazine - thank you Tomas for your support. Next month Kate Kellaway visits us a respected British journalist. It is this support and encouragement that keeps us going. We know without doubt that we have the best beach riding in the world. The Bazaruto Archipelago is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we are privileged to be here. We strive under difficult circumstances to give the very best to our clients but most people fall in love with Mozambique anyway.

Our volunteer program keeps running and we meet wonderful people who come from all over the world to share their lives with us. We hope that they learn from their experience in Mozambique and go back home feeling positive about this wonderful country. It is always sad to see them go. Naturally it takes volunteers time to adapt and get into the rhythm of life in this third world country and the chaos of our lives. They have to deal with clients, push the land rover, oil tack, play with beach dogs, jump into shappas to get in to town. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds but most are privileged it must be a very humbling experience for a lot them but it teaches them a lot about life and how to deal with it. We continue our projects with the local community and support the school with conversational English. Our motto is "giving back" and so many of our volunteers and clients endorse this message.

We continue to make our coconut oil soap with the volunteers and we present it as a gift to our clients. You will be pleased to know we have our caustic soda ratios right for those of you who have heard stories and are shaking your head saying poor client. As the soap is rather rustic looking it is often mistaken for a piece of fudge or a biscuit. We often have to explain that it is actually soap to our non English speaking clients. A French group rode with us a few weeks ago. We handed out our soap which is lovingly put in a little bag with a business card. The French obviously spoke no English and we spoke no French. With sign language I motioned a quick demonstration of washing your body. I then sniffed the soap to show the French the wonderful aroma of the essential oils. They smiled happily and thanked me profusely. I turned my back for a minute to collect the hats only to find the French had swiftly opened their soap packages and were taking a bite. Our Russian riders thought it was a snack for the horses and were caught just in time as Brutus was offered a rather large lump of peppermint soap. I have no doubt Brutus would have swallowed it whole being the greedy horse he is.

Lucy Campbell Jones looks after our horses on Benguerra and has wonderful reviews from so many clients. Benguerra has the most amazing beach riding. Lucy is also wonderfully creative and makes beautiful beaded necklaces with shells. She has a never ending demand for these exquisite pieces.

We have just completed a ride from Vilanculos to Inhassoro - over a 100km along the Mozambican coastline. We started off from Chibuene and headed for Sailaway camp run by Sailaway Dhow Safaris. Our first leg of the journey was a wonderful easy ride. The beach was beautiful and we had a delicious lunch at Villa de Indicos and then an effortless ride to the Sailaway camp. We were so well looked after at Dave’s camp and the food was so tasty we had to have seconds. A full moon rose and drenched the beach in moonlight it was so beautiful. Lying in our tent listening to the waves lap on the shore was so therapeutic.

The second leg of our journey was through unchartered territory. We saddled up early and rode out as soon as the tide started to recede. We were armed with water bottles and Aimee’s our volunteers jelly bears. We hit some soft spots in the sand and detoured inland. When we eventually found our way back to the coast hours later the tide was coming in and we were informed by locals that we would not be able to cross the river a few kilometers ahead. The river as predicted was in full torrent and we were unable to cross so we unsaddled the horses and lay on the beach looking at the stars sucking on our jelly bears for sustenance. I must say Mozambique starry nights take your breath away. It was a long wait but we eventually managed to get across the river and rode through the moonlight to our camp - it was wonderful to arrive and thanks to Jay for all the hard work setting up such a splendid camp near Inhassoro.

The trip was exciting and indeed an adventure - we now know for sure that we must have the best beach riding in the world. Pat was brilliant leading the expedition and got us safely through some tricky patches. We can’t wait to share this adventure with our clients. I must say I have a very sore bum but I would do it again in an instant. It was so worth it!

A big thank you to absolutely everyone who supports us. We are so grateful.

From all of us at Mozambique Horse Safari




October 2010 NEWSLETTER

Dear Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

Where to begin? I sit at the computer with a trickle of sweat running down my nose. I would like to put the fan on but we have had huge problems with electricity cuts. Astonishing for all of us in Vilanculos as we apparently sit on one of the largest gas in the world and could provide energy for all of Mozambique and beyond. Sometimes I forget to warn our clients that the lights can go out unexpectedly. This happened in the case of my French client Joelle. At about 11 pm Joelle thought she would go out to the veranda of her large Indonesia casa dressed in her nightie, sit down in the cool night air and smoke one of her cigarillos. As she dragged on her cigarette admiring the stars the lights went off. Joelle sat in the pitch dark wondering what to do next. She is from Paris and lives in a small apartment. She had not brought her torch and she would never have found the candle provided. She got up and started to feel for the door while she was blindly groping for the handle the door slammed shut. Joelle was frozen with fear. Had she locked herself out? She had visions of having to stretch herself out on the floor boards till dawn. Fortunately she managed to reopen the door but then had to navigate the interior. She decided it would be safer on her hands and knees. She crawled around in circles till she found the bedroom and thankfully was able to haul herself back into bed. So moral of the story keep a torch handy in Mozambique. When she recounted her tale of her night’s adventures at breakfast that morning my mouth formed an O of disbelief. “But Joelle you should have made your way to the manager’s house and alerted him to your situation” I chided her. She looked sceptical and raised an eyebrow. “What go over to the Manager’s house at 11.30 pm at night dressed in my short nightie and knock on his door?” I am French Amanda I know what he would be thinking.

The highlight of October was the arrival of my brother Dave. He was accompanied by his wonderful French wife Anne and my adorable little niece Lea who is five. She speaks fluent French and English and was a constant source of amusement the way she could switch languages in mid sentence and a very good vuvuzela blower. I have always been fascinated by people who can speak several languages. Patrick and I are so rubbish at Portuguese. My first attempt at speaking Portuguese took place at the famous Legion club in Mutare. Our teacher was Irish. I know it sounds strange but she had a very good command of the language. There was quite a crowd to start off with but most of them would excuse themselves half way through the lesson pretending to go to the bathroom. They usually never came back and would be found later round the bar clutching a castle lager. It was my turn to read a section of Portuguese from a text book. I though I had read it rather well putting on a quaint nasal accent. I looked up to see our teacher looking at me strangely.” Don’t give up your day job” she said curtly. Unfortunately our lessons came to an abrupt end when the cassette recorder was stolen.

My brother almost didn’t arrive in Vilanculos as he was not booked on the flight Maputo Vilankulo. Although I had checked diligently the day before that all was in order at the LAM office. It seemed his name was missing. You can imagine the thought of him being left behind while everybody boarded. I threw myself in a shappa and headed off to Vilanculos airport where I threw a tantrum the size of the last cyclone. Pacienca is the key word in Mozambique. I was told to sit on a chair while it was sorted out. Fortunately as the plane was about to taxi down the runway David and his family boarded. I was amazed that they had been let on the plane because they came loaded with horse equipment. Pat and I had Christmas in October. I can’t tell you how lovely it was going though all the packages.

It was amazing having my brother and his family here as we had not seen each other for six years but we made up for it. It was wonderful showing them Vilanculos and so wonderful that they all rode. My adorable niece Lea rode almost daily with the help of a groom and showed no fear. Lea had brought brightly coloured sherbet tubes with her and when she left I found one lying by the computer. I had not had sherbet in years so I quickly snipped off the top of the tube and took a long sip for nostalgia. The most vile taste filled my mouth and I projectile vomited into the waste paper basket. What I had mistaken as a brightly coloured tube of sherbet turned out to be a glow stick. I was discovered by my volunteer Annabel bent over double. Annabel assessed the situation and quickly analyzed the tube of sherbet confirming it was a glow stick given to Lea at the Halloween party. Moral of story Curiosity killed the cat. It took a long time for Annabel to stop laughing.

We have had wonderful clients and lots of fun with them. How lucky Pat and I are to meet so many different people from so many different countries. We share a common passion horses. It is wonderful sharing the experience of riding along uninhabited beaches seeing flamingos, pelicans and amazing sunsets. We have said goodbye to our volunteer Annabel and the beautiful Marina has joined us. We took Annabel to Tofu so that I could show her my body surfing skills. I ended up with a stiff neck and my costume round my ankles but we had an amazing time. We stayed at Laura’s place a little white house on the beach next to the market. Laura is Italian and makes you feel so at home. We tried different restaurants and bars, sampled cocktails and had such fun. We were very sad to see Annabel go and hope she will be back one day.

The gorgeous Kate our daughter headed for London it was touch and go as she had to apply for an Ancestral Visa. Kate attended the Riding Holiday Show at the Strand Palace Hotel and said it was very interesting and met lots of lovely people. She has now found herself a job at the Putney Beauty Salon and has put her CV into several agencies hoping that she will find something eventually in Chemistry. I have to stop myself phoning every day I know the phone bill is going to be enormous.

We had a wonderful donation from Andrew Frodsham and we really appreciate this magnificent gesture in these hard times. Thank you Andrew from all of us at Mozambique Horse Safari. A big thank you to our volunteers who bring so much out for the horses. May you continue to support us as it is so difficult finding tack, veterinary products etc so we are eternally grateful for everything that is brought out.

Lucy has been busy on Benguerra Island and does an amazing job of looking after our horses there. She has wonderful reviews from all sorts of people and we are always so encouraged by the amazing feedback we get from people who have ridden with her. Luce is one in a million.

We of course have had bad times too and while I type Pat is nursing horses that have gone down with a tick borne disease. There are so many frustrations that we meet on a daily basis it is not easy finding the right drugs or vet advice in Mozambique but the community rallies round and we say a big thank you to Meryl and Ursula who managed to fly drugs up to us. Thank you from us all. The good days out number the bad fortunately. Our poor land rover deserves a medal and when it eventually dies we will have to have it bronzed and put on a pedestal. The best land rover ever. It works night and day and is as loved as much as the horses.

We also say a huge big thank you to Casa Guci, Nick at Archipelago Lodge, Dolphin Dhow, Enrique’s fishing village, Odyssey Dive (who looked after my brother and family so well) Samara Restaurant, Soraya, Taurus supermarket, (Lyn Joshua who gets us out of scrapes), Ursula at Fed Air its only with their support we are able to give our riding clients the best time ever.

Love from,

Pat, Mandy, Kate, Lucy, volunteers, staff and the Mozambique Horses.



September 2010 NEWSLETTER


Dear Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

Goodness the end of September! Where to start? September is an absolutely beautiful month in Mozambique and the Mozambique horses have been kept busy. Ten years ago if somebody had looked into a crystal ball and said” Do you know what? I see you perched on a horse taking people for a ride along uninhabited beaches in Mozambique”. I would have thrown my head back and laughed out loud my children would have laughed as well. So it just goes to show you just don’t know where life can take you and just like that car advert you must do your best to enjoy the ride. Pat and I have had the opportunity of meeting so many interesting people who come and share our lives. Friendships and bonds develop and our lives are so enriched. Hopefully they take something back from their experience as well.



Most of our clients this year have been French and they have been absolutely delightful. So a big thank you to the French Agencies. We had a wonderful honeymoon couple Benoit and Helen. I was very apprehensive at first as the last honeymooners were English and their visit turned into a hideous nightmare for us all. Firstly the bride had been unaware of her surprise destination. She had thoughts of the Bahamas or Mauritius. On arrival at the Vilanculos Airport our young bride looked distraught. “Where is this place?” she wailed as we bumped over sandy roads passing African villages with smiling children waving? Her young husband was looking equally bewildered as he realized his mistake. He had not anticipated that his darling might not share his love for wild Africa. On arrival at their Casa things went from bad to worse. The bride hated their roomy casa it was too big and made her feel insecure. As the sun sparkled on the water showing off the colours of the Bazarutto Archipelago to its best our young bride stamped her foot” I want to go home right now”. My heart sank. “He” she sobbed stabbing an accusing finger at the young groom “Only had one thing to do and that was to choose the Honeymoon” Things got no better, our young bride was a vegetarian but did not eat green pepper, tomato, onion or garlic the staple vegetables of Mozambique. She liked baked potato with creamy cheese sauce. The Groom was not a rider but had chosen a riding holiday for his beloved and I admired him for this. Love is blind but even he could see the bride was behaving irrationally. As we cantered across white sands and splashed in the warm Indian Ocean I was hoping our bride would begin to see the magic of Mozambique but this was not to be. My volunteers tried everything to to keep the young bride happy but soon dismissed her and had more fun teaching the young groom how to do posting trot. I saw the young bride’s face darken as the groom’s laughter filled the air. Fortunately we survived and so did they. If their marriage has, well that would be interesting. Our fears that Benoit and Helen might be the same disappeared on arrival and we had a magic time with them. We said goodbye to our volunteer Rebecca Yarrow who spent a month with us. It was wonderful having her and we wish her well.



Kate our daughter has been running Benguerra while Lucy is in Wales. She will be going to the UK soon and hopefully will be able to do some marketing for us. This year has been difficult for most tourist operations but we look forward to a better 2011. Our riding is magnificent and you can never grow tired of the the Bazarutto Archipelago. Next month we have return clients and that is always something special that people have such a good time they want to come back. We continue to work with the community and our Fishing Village Ride is as popular as ever. Our clients also have the opportunity of interacting with the school. Jonathan our son still does guided tours into Gorongoza for clients and volunteers and this is a wonderful park. The call it the lost Eden and indeed it is. We say a big thank you to Casa Guci and Archipelago without their support we would not be able to keep our clients so happy. On certain occasions Casa Guci allow clients and volunteers to cook up meals in their kitchens. We have such fun tasting dishes from other countries. We have so much fun.

Then on to soap making. Mozambique Horse Safari is now in to soap production. We are hoping to teach the fishing community this skill but we need to perfect it ourselves first. As the main ingredient besides the coconut oil is caustic soda one has to take a few precautions. Many years ago when we were first kicked of the farms we were staying in a safe house in Chinhoyi kindly lent to us by a British businessman. Having nothing to do all day I decided to have a bash at soap making. I was so excited with the first batches of soap and had such fun colouring them with things like turmeric and cinnamon it took my mind off the traumas of the time. Soon I had accumulated massive piles of soap and was not sure what to do with it all. My mother Beryl who was nursing at an old age home at the time took great pride in my soap making skills. I always knew you had a special talent she said looking at me fondly. I donated the bars to the old age home and my mother proudly handed them out to willing pensioners. That night I received a phone call. It was Mum.” Darling” she hesitated for a minute”” Everyone absolutely loves your soap.” There was a slight pause” but old George used it in the shower last night and Darling I hate to tell you this but it has taken the skin of his balls”. Sadly my ratio of oil to caustic soda must have had a huge discrepancy. My mother never mentioned soap again and I think the pensioners chucked the donated bars in the waste paper basket fearing they might have the same experience as old George.



This time we have lye calculators and internet helps. We are back on track and our guests can look forward to their free gifts of Mozambique Coconut oil soap. Any takers? “What!! You don’t want your free bar?”

Patrick continues to make wonderful girths, fixes and makes our saddles and continues to keep the horses in the best condition possible. We struggle with the high cost of feeding horses here but slowly he works things out and without Patrick there would not be Mozambique Horse Safari. Also a big thank you to Jonathan Mazulu whose loyalty and dedication to these horses can not be surpassed. A special thanks to Luka as well.



Thank you to our volunteers and clients who lug so much stuff out for the horses but without these donations of tack we would struggle to fit out horses. We are so grateful for everything. We need so much but we always seem to get by on the little we have. The most important thing is that we have happy horses and hopefully happy clients and wonderful volunteers.

We look forward to new volunteers and clients and wish everyone a wonderful October.

Love from,

Pat, Mandy, Kate, Lucy, volunteers, staff and the Mozambique Horses.



August 2010 NEWSLETTER

Oh where to start! July was such an exciting month for Mozambique Horse Safari. We had our very first overnight safari at Sandy and Snowy’s camp in Mucunhe. For those of you who like to know exactly where you are that is about 25km from Vilanculos headed north. Our Swedish clients Tom and Siv expressed an interest in becoming our guinea pigs. The plan was that Tom and Siv would ride on Benguerra with our volunteers Luisa and Suah. They would then go snorkelling at Margaruque and a boat would bring them back to Macunhe where Pat and I would be all set up. Ha Ha well sometimes the best laid plans go askew!!. In the meantime back at Blue Waters Pat and I prepared our camping equipment. In no time at all we had a huge mound of boxes, cooking utensils, mattresses and pots almost the size of the Himalayas. The idea was to load Junior’s boat and make our way to the camping site. The pile of things I needed grew steadily. I unpacked a few boxes but there was not much evidence of a decrease in the load. The skipper of Junior’s boat did a double take when he saw what was to be carried on his small boat. I would have loved to take a picture of his face but unfortunately the camera had dropped in the sand so wasn’t working. The boat was so overloaded that we had to chug along very slowly with the motor straining. The skipper had to scoop water out of the boat with an old tin can and decided he would have to change the engine for a bigger one so that we could try and go a little faster. The journey took forever with Pat and I perched gingerly on top of all the equipment. The locals it seemed thought we were leaving for good and rushed to the beach to wave us a fond farewell. Well so we thought until one shouted an obscenity. One is never loved by everyone in Mozambique.

Pictures of  Macunhe Safari

Our estimated time of arrival at Mucunhe was of course delayed as our passage was taking much longer than expected with our overburdened boat. Our clients unfortunately arrived well before we did. As the sun set they became rather chilly (they were still dressed in their costumes and we had their bags). Of course they felt a little apprehensive being left to their own devices on a lonely stretch of beach without matches or a torch. Luisa our volunteer enterprisingly gathered some drift wood and lit a fire with a borrowed piece of hot charcoal under the light of the moon. In the meantime Suah generously shared her old banana which she found in her pocket with our hungry clients. As Pat and I chugged along the moon started to rise fairly high and a few stars started to twinkle. Not having a clue where Mucunhe was Suah was called on her cell phone to stand on the beach waving a blue flag so the skipper could navigate the boat to shore. Suah spent a lot of energy doing star jumps, waving her blue flag with intermittent screaming but we could not see her from out at sea. The local children watched her antics silently with puzzled looks on their faces. We eventually found our way and I am happy to tell you our clients had an absolutely fabulous time. We unfortunately forgot our own tent and blankets so lay on paper thin rubber mats under a mosquito net braving the elements. Pat and I blamed each other for the poor organization of our own camping equipment and our volunteers tactfully said nothing. It was unbelievably cold for Mozambique. Suah’s face resembled a granite boulder when she woke up in the morning with all the sand flea bites and then she got stung by a scorpion that ran up her pants. We bathed in a bucket of cold water and so did our clients. The fun part was frying our fish and calamari over an open fire and burning our hands on the melted plastic handle. The horses were not too keen on the tented camp and four of them clearly anxious they were going to remain in Mucunhe for good took flight and ran home to Vilanculos to join their friends. I was fielding phone calls from frantic people describing horses galloping down roads. Fortunately for us they made their way to the beach and gunned it home in time for their dinner. They were met by a very surprised Jonathan our stable manager... A big kiss and Thank you to Miguel and Su who alerted us.

Flushed with the success of our first tented camp we returned home secure in the knowledge that Mozambique must have the best beach riding in the world. We are now encouraged to go further along the coast in the future. Any guinea pigs? Luisa and Suah did I hear you say you would love to do it again.!!! While back on the boat (this time going a lot faster) I received a call that there was a wild buffalo running around near the stables. It had charged into Botswana House and uplifted Pedro’s wife. It juggled her around on its horns and then tossed her to the ground and then stamped on her. She ended up in hospital. It then rushed round to the baracca pinned some poor man against the wall and he grazed his nose. He too was on his way to hospital. The buffalo has not been seen since but we are all a little apprehensive that it might come back. It seems any angry buffalo so Jonathan is keeping the gate shut.

We said goodbye to our volunteers Suah and Kate. Luisa arrived from Portugal and Rebecca from England. We had some amazing clients. Veronique from Brussels who cooked us the most wonderful Vietnamese food. We love our volunteers cooking us up cuisine from their home countries. We have many a festive evening at Casa Gucci sampling dishes we have never heard of. Last nigh our client Susannah and volunteer Rebecca made us traditional English fare. Cottage pie and the best desert ever Eton Mess. Berries with whipped cream and bits of meringue. Too lovely. Our worst meal has been our lovable neighbor Len’s contribution. He whipped up a calamari stew having had more than a few stiff whiskies. As he staggered round the kitchen tossing in various spices he managed to drop the chili container into the pot. Our hungry clients and volunteers sat down forks in hand waiting impatiently for their bowlful of simmering calamari stew. There had been so much talk of Len’s cooking skills and our mouths had been watering all day. The first mouthful I had was like a blow torch through my intestines. Len did not seem to taste the chili and wolfed down three large helpings. The rest of us writhed in agony pouring sugar and milk on the calamari. I gave up in the end but I could see that it became a challenge as to who could eat their calamari.

Patrick and I have a wonderful little granddaughter Talia Lily who I must tell you must be the most beautiful baby on earth. We have been strutting around boring everybody to death with our descriptions of how beautiful our granddaughter is. It is so wonderful being so very excited and proud. Pat can’t wait to get Talia riding. He is already getting to work on little saddles and stirrups. I just adore babies, it is just a pity that Talia will be so far away.

Our saddest news was the death of our beloved Aruba. A noble gentleman who taught so many people to ride. He was found in the paddock lying down. I guess he just went to sleep. Everyone loved him so much and he touched so many people. So he has gone to join our beloved Benjy and Grey. Such a wonderful old boy.

Pictures of  our beloved Aruba

     

We had a wonderful donation of riding boots, reins and stirrup leathers from a very kind person who left them at Taurus supermarket. If you read this newsletter - thank you so much. Without your donations of tack, hats etc we would not be able to equip the horses as it is impossible to buy anything in Mozambique. Pat is making his own saddles, girths and stirrup leathers. He is amazing. Without Pat’s amazing dedication we would not be here, still surviving.

Our land rover keeps on going and thank you to everyone who brings in spares for etc. We are so grateful. Thank you to all our volunteers and special thanks to Lucy Campbell Jones who looks after the Benguerra Horses. Lucy is off to Wales for a month and Kate will come and look after Benguerra. We still need donations and we are so short of hats, chaps, stirrup leathers, head torches etc, for any volunteers coming out these are easy things to put in your suitcase and do not weigh much. We will have to buy another car soon and I am waiting for enterprising volunteers to think of fund raising projects. Then to drive the car through Africa. Are you reading this Danni?

Keep looking at our website and follow us on Facebook and thank you for all the support.

Lots of love

From us all at Mozambique Horse Safari.



JUNE 2010 NEWSLETTER

Dear friends of the Mozambique Horse Safari,

Where to start? Well first of all how wonderful to have the world cup on our doorstep. The other night I woke Pat up, apparently I sat up in bed, elbowed him in the face and shouted Espana. That must be world cup fever surely. South Africa looks as though it is having the best fun ever. Blowing on their vuvuzelas with their faces painted. I was thinking of painting the horses the colours of the different countries as a fun thing but when it was pointed out that we would probably need ten gallons of face paint which is unobtainable here so the idea soon faded.

We have been having our own fun though. As you know Diane our volunteer is a psychological therapist. Pat and I race each other every morning to get to Diane first. She has the ability to listen which is a wonderful trait. It’s the compassionate look on her face which makes you talk endlessly about your life. I must say I think we might have exhausted her as she has had to have a few early nights. Pat and I were feeling so good that in a fit of generosity I decided to share Diane with a few Vilanculos residents. This proved to be very successful. We did a wonderful session in the riding school with the help of Brutus. Jonathan the stable manager managed to hide his amusement as Diane put us through a series of exercises. Brutus was a little uncooperative to begin with and put his ears back but then he too fell under Diane's spell. It was a wonderful afternoon and we had a lot of fun.

Diane also did a workshop for IMAP school and we took loads of photographs which we have not been able to download. So hopefully when Diane gets back to Hawaii she will be able to send them. We continue our community fishing ride, conversational English and I hope we will start helping with a junior school soon.

It always amazes me that people come from all parts of the world to join Pat and I in crazy old Mozambique and give up their time and of course their money to share our lives. They in fact enrich our lives in so many ways. Of course not everyone likes us or appreciates what we do but most of our volunteers are sincere, wonderful people who bring so much to the horses. It must be very difficult coming to a strange country, especially a third world country like Mozambique. It is also good to come with an open mind. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world but there are laws and certain ways that westerners might find very difficult to understand.

Patrick and I are very excited about our beautiful little granddaughter Talia Lily. A very difficult birth for Julia. She is so gorgeous and pat and I can’t wait to meet her. Pat is already thinking of riding lessons. Making her a little saddle and stirrups. He will soon have her cantering down the beaches.

We say goodbye to Diane on the 7th July and look forward to meeting Kate Chapman and Suah Kim. They will be joining us for a month. Suah is from America and Kate from England. Sarah Cox’s article in the Hurlingham Polo news has been much appreciated. Please read the article by clicking here. We have had some wonderful letters of encouragement from some lovely people. I thank you Sarah for taking the time to write such a good article.

A big thank you to Oriane Lee who has donated 500us dollars to the horses. Oriane held a slide show of her time in Africa with us and Varden Safaris. The proceeds which came to us. This is a wonderful gesture and it is much appreciated.

My next big project is to raise funds to replace our wonderful Land Rover which is just the most amazing vehicle in the world but it is falling apart. It is just rusting away. So I am going to focus on that. It is the most wonderful model and I am sure we would find one in the UK. This Land Rover works from 6am in the morning till late at night. . It would be fun to buy it in England and drive it down to Mozambique. I expressed this fun thought but was shouted down by nearly everyone. Just put it in a container and save yourself the hassle I was told. Where is there sense of adventure? Without the Land Rover we would be in trouble as it works so hard.

And what about the horses I hear you ask? Well they are happy and healthy. We have had a big tick problem again this year. We are short of grazing land but we persevere and something always comes up. They remain loyal and lovable and have the ability in keeping themselves in they style they have become accustomed to. They know they have to work hard and they do. Giving so many people pleasure. Lucy continues to look after the horses on Benguerra and they too are happy and healthy. She is looking for a volunteer to look after Benguerra in September when she will be in England to attend a wedding.

We have also heard news from previous volunteers. Danni is back Mozambique and has been looking after the horses on Bazaruto Island. She has been very busy entertaining a prince (royal one). Lisa Molera is doing a farrier course and is doing so well. Pat can’t wait for her to visit again. Rowenna is looking after trail horses in the welsh mountains. Oriane Lee has been busy with her business in Canada. Anna from Portugal sends her love. We are so happy they keep in touch and tell us about their lives. Ahmed from Egypt has bought a horse which is exciting news for him.

So hold thumbs that the rest of the year bodes well for Mozambique horse safari and we continue to do what we do best providing some of the best beach riding in the world. We will continue to raise money for our horses as we are beginning to need so many things. So if you can think of happy and fun raising things to do please contact us.

Wishing you all a happy month ahead.

From Mandy, Pat, volunteers and all the horses.




MAY & JUNE 2010 NEWSLETTER

Friends,

Where to start! It is the end of May. The Merry Month of May which has now turned into June. For those who read my newsletters I am delighted to tell you that my mother Beryl is back home recovering. She had a particularly bad time and I was passportless. She had to go on life support and I was convinced she had given up. I phoned the world, cried for two days, so did Pat and Jonathan got drunk with the anguish of it all. My cousin flew back from Cape Town expecting a funeral. My brother Tim spent every spare hour at the hospital. I lay awake all night waiting for the call to say that she had passed on. In the morning I phoned the hospital expecting the worse. You can imagine my shock when they said Beryl had a good night and had woken in the morning asking for a Mango. Granny is a legend.

Julia and Jonathan produced a beautiful daughter Talia Lily. Pat and I are Grandparents and very proud. We have been skyped beautiful photos and we are longing to meet her. Pat can’t wait to get her riding and I am sure he will make her a little saddle and stirrups. Very exciting! It’s just a pity they are so far away.

We were sad to say goodbye to our volunteers Amanda Kwong and Chantahl Stedman. We wish them luck with their travels. A big thank You to Lisa Molera for her enormous donation and encouragement. Also a huge thank you to Ahmed Serour for his wonderful donation. This money helped us through a very difficult period and we are so grateful. This has been a bad year for tourism so far and we hope that things improve. We know the World Recession has not helped but Mozambique is quite an expensive destination to get to. We are hoping that air flight prices will be looked at and cheaper packages will be put together. Our volunteers bring so much for us and we are so delighted that people take the trouble to fill their backpacks with so much. It is impossible to get anything in Mozambique. Pat is making our saddles, girths, stirrup leathers and he is amazing. It is all done by hand. He puts so much effort into it and I know how hard he works at it.

We also have to say thank you to Anita Quigley for her donation. Thank you Anita.

Lucy Campbell Jones attended Indaba and represented Mozambique Horse Safari. She said it was worthwhile and she met loads of interesting people. While Lucy was doing Indaba I was attending meetings with angry villagers. Horses had broken free and had eaten a swathe of maize through Chibuene. I am getting good at this now. It seems more and more people are moving into the Chibuene district so we are finding it difficult grazing the horses. We have problems ahead and will have to look for more grazing land.

I took the TCO bus to Maputo to renew my British Passport. You have to be quite intrepid. The road to Maputo is presently under repair so it is quite a journey and not for the meek. Maputo was wonderful and I was entertained and looked after by Bill and Jane Clegg. I love Maputo and there is so much going on. I had my hair cut for 200mets by a lovely Chinese man who could not speak English we were treated to an amazing head massage as well. That alone was worth 200 mets.

Our new volunteer Diane Kennedy has arrived followed by Danni Holdsworth who if you read my newsletters was with us last year. Danni is looking after the horses on Indigo Bay for a couple of weeks. Now Diane is a Psychologist and a therapist. Where has she been all my life? Pat and I are taking it in turns to pour our hearts out. I must say Diane is looking a little exhausted and I have only just started telling her about my life. Pat and I race each other to get to her first. To think I used to laugh about people having a personal Guru. So I am sharing Diane with the Chibuene residents and we are holding a workshop on Wednesday. Will tell you how it goes in the next news letter.

Our volunteers continue conversational English at IMAP School. The community fishing ride is one of our most popular rides and I give 10US dollars from each ride to the community. We did a leadership skills course with Diane for the English Students at IMAP. I am presently trying to raise funds for a lap top so volunteers can continue to interact with the school once they have left.

A big thank you to Sarah Cox, she wrote a wonderful article about Mozambique Horse Safari in the Hurlingham Polo Magazine. Thank you so much for trying to raise our profile in the UK. Please read the article by clicking here.

Our old Land Rover is seeing its last days so my goal is to raise the funds to get a good second hand replacement. It has been the most amazing vehicle and works so tirelessly for the horses. Collecting grass, water, and never ever has a rest period. It has to be pushed a lot and it causes some hilarious moments. I always mean to write to Landrover to say this Land Rover deserves a medal. It would be such an amazing trip to buy one in the UK and then drive it back through Africa. Anyone keen?

Thank you for all the continued support without it Pat and I would not be here. I am always humbled by people’s affection and kindness to us. Let’s hope business picks up and we can continue to keep our horses safe and happy.

From Mandy, Pat, Volunteers and all the horses.



APRIL 2010 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends of the Mozambique horses,

Where to begin?

Sadly we have said goodbye to most of our volunteers. We were very sad to say goodbye to Lisa Molera who had been with us for four months and was so much part of the family. I think her family were beginning to worry she might have got involved with a strange cult as there were frantic calls wondering if she was ever going to go home. Sam leaves us on the 28th April and we will be sorry to see her go. Sam has put in an enormous amount of work in her three months training horses but is now off to sunny California and will leave behind the chaos of Mozambique for more sophisticated stables. Oriane Lee Johnston left us to ride with Varden Safaris and is now safely back in Canada. She has lots of stories to tell of her time in Africa. We now have Chantahl from Australia and Amanda Kwong also from Canada who is looking after Benguerra while Lucy is away.



We also had wonderful clients Anita, Maggie and Roz who were such fun and so nice! Roz arrived without her luggage and had to borrow shoes, bras etc but was extremely good about it and caused no fuss. Fortunately for us her suitcase did eventually arrive and she thankfully was able to get back into her own clothes. Roz and Maggie took time to adjust to Mozambique and spent the first week full of welts from various insects. By their second week they both bloomed and were truly adapted to African life and and loved the beach riding.

Jonny Bealby from Wild Frontiers arrived but unfortunately not his girlfriend. She was unable to fly out of London to join him because of the volcanic ash eruption in Iceland. So as I write this he is at honeymoon destination all by himself. It was great fun having Jonny and if you read his profile you will see that he has written travel books and is a real adventurer. He absolutely loves Mozambique and we hope he markets us very soon.

May and June worryingly look very quiet for us and the whole of Vilankulo - so we are holding thumbs that bookings will come in. Nobody is really sure what the next few months will be like with the world cup in SA. We had such high expectations but it seems that many people have been frightened off with the increasing price of flights and hotels in South Africa. We can only wait and see what happens.

The highlight of April for us was the Andy Johnson / Kate Mellon wedding. Something we have been excited about for so many months. We were not sure how to get to Nyanga as the Landover is needed here as it works so hard bringing in grass and carrying water. We pondered over riding across the mountains but we finally hired a car. It was the first time Pat and I had been back in years. After a few payments to people called Pedro and Elias we managed to get the car cleared. We were overwhelmingly home sick once we crossed the border. It was amazing to see the shops so well stocked. Kate had to keep a tight rein on Pat and I before we spent all our money. We ran up and down the aisles of the local supermarket clutching Mazoe Orange and Colcom ham. Kate was continually racing behind us reminding us that we had hotel bills to pay.



Finally we arrived at Troutbeck our son Paul who is responsible for our wonderful websites was best man to Andy. Our cousin Tanya had sent heaps of dresses from Harare and our ex volunteer Julia had sent me a wonderful pair of pink shoes all the way from London. Kate and I had our hair done so everyone did a double take seeing us looking so glam. The wedding reception was at the Troutbeck Hotel. It was absolutely amazing. Paul’s speech took us completely by surprise, after half a bottle of rescue drops he took to the podium like a politician and executed the most brilliant speech. We were so proud I almost burst. It was a truly emotional day for us all and I am so glad that we made it. We saw so many of our dear friends from Zimbabwe - it was a day we will never forget. Kate Mellon was the most gorgeous bride and we have known her ever since she was a baby.

Of course with all the happiness we have to have some sadness. Somebody stole three of our saddles which was a terrible loss to us as it’s impossible to get anything vaguely related to horses in Mozambique. We take such great care of equipment and are very disappointed that we are now three saddles down. Nobody can give us any information and it’s a mystery why they should be taken. To make matter worse they chose our English General Purpose Saddles which we make the most use of.

My beloved mother Granny B was rushed to hospital and has had part of her bowel removed. She is so far away from us in St. Ives in the UK and I worry about her. However it seems that she is making a good recovery - so lets keep our fingers crossed.



The horses are well. A few bad eyes and Jade has been lame. The horses on Benguerra are looking lovely - thanks so much to Lucy & Amanda. Once again I would like to thank our amazing clients and volunteers - where would we be without you!

With all our love

Pat, Mandy & the Mozambique horses



FEBRUARY 2010 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends,

I hope you are all well. February has been a quiet time for us - we have lacked clients which is expected at this time of year but have made up for it in volunteers. We have had 8 amazing volunteers join us from all around the world; they are Aaron, Amanda, Ahmed, Ana, Lisa, Lee, Rowenna and Samantha.

I am so thankful that our volunteers leap on planes, travel across the world and give a month or two of their lives to our wonderful horses. It is usually their first time in Africa, yet they always seem to fit in without a problem and sail through the experience. I could not imagine myself jumping on a plane and setting off for British Colombia or Lapland facing the unknown and looking after a whole herd of reindeer!

At the moment we have a mixed group of volunteers and Pat and I are learning loads of things. We have been shown how to speak to horses, tasted green tea, heard about personal growth, yoga and meditation. Our latest volunteer, Amanda has spent one month in a Masai Village teaching English before coming to Mozambique. She said it was a fantastic experience and something we should all try out – sounds like lots of fun. We also have a  down to earth English girl, Sam from Manchester training our horses - she is doing an incredible job.

I love the volunteers; they light up our lives. They lug suitcases of horse equipment from all around the world - we are very grateful to these contributions. Without them the horses would have a much more difficult time. So thank you to all my wonderful volunteers

This month Getaway Magazine, www.getaway.co.za , the largest travel magazine in South Africa will come out to interview us and take some good shots of the horses on the beach – how cool is that! Soon the acclaimed travel writer Jonny Bealby, who is one of the last great modern travellers and owner the UK-based adventure company Wild Frontiers www.wildfrontiers.co.uk , will be riding with us. So we feel very honoured that so much interest is being shown in Mozambique Horse Safari.

We are also very excited about our new riding agencies that are now offering our rides to their clients. Hidden Trails from Canada and Far and Ride from the United Kingdom. You can look at what they are offering on: www.hiddentrails.com/country/Mozambique.aspx & www.farandride.com/country/mozambique 

In April, the excitement of the year will be the Johnson wedding in Nyanga. Paul our son is best man to Andy Johnson who is marrying the amazingly beautiful Kate Mellon. I am so excited about the wedding and am so looking forward to it.

We are hoping that Lucy Campbell Jones; who looks after the horses on Benguerra Island can get to Africa's largest travel trade show, INDABA this year. It could mean that we are represented for the first time – let’s hope it works out. Lucy – thank you for all the effort you put into making Mozambique Horse Safari better!

A big thank you to our Egyptian volunteer Ahmed, for his very generous donation that he gave to the horses – it was very, very kind of you. Also to AnaMarta from Portugal who brought her own weight in presents for the horses. We are missing you both so much.

So we send you all good karma and hold thumbs that we have a good season. Thank you so much for the wonderful letters we receive and a big thank you to all our clients, and volunteers - without you, where would we be.

Lots of love,

Pat, Mandy, Jonathan, volunteers and all the horses



JANUARY 2010 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

Where to begin? December was a very busy time for the Mozambique Horses; we had lots of new clients, volunteers, an amazing vet and so many interesting people from all over the world who came to visit us. The highlight of January was a visit from Allan Hislop; an incredible vet and wonderful person who gives up so much his time to tend to our dearly loved horses. He performed a range of operations on the horses and when he had a spare moment managed to spay some strays dogs and do a few other essential veterinarian jobs. Thank you so much. Unfortunately when Allan left for South Africa, he forgot his 'Donna Anna Piri Piri' sauce behind which was an enormous tragedy as it was a gift for his wife Spook.

While Allan was here we had the most delightful film crew who have come to document the story of our horses. They spent ten days filming us at our most unglamorous and I hope when they get to the final edit they will somehow be able to make us look more photogenic. It was so nice having them and they were such fun. One of the highlights was our dhow trip to Paradise Island. A farewell trip for a friend who did not manage to make it nor did any of his party due to their severe hangovers. So it was the film crew and us who boarded our dhow and set off on a 3 hour journey to the island. We were all curious to see the Paradise Island since Survivors had been filmed there. When we arrived it was very quiet but the snorkelling was great. We had a wonderful lunch and a wander round the old hotel. So interesting, especially for me as my family used to holiday there when I was a little girl. The trip back took us four hours. I kid you not - the wind picked up and we battled the high seas! We felt like the survivors clinging on for dear life as the boat rocked and rolled. The slap of warm salty sea water would hit us in the face at regular intervals as the waves broke over the bow. The film crew reached for the beers to cheer themselves up while we reached blindly for the vomidine to try and prevent sea sickness. Next time we will use a motorized boat but it was well worth the visit.

Now to our volunteers. Lucy went home to Wales for Christmas and was sadly missed. She is a miracle worker who puts so much time and effort into looking after the horses on Benguerra Island. She also worked with a French film crew on Benguerra and they took some wonderful footage of the horses. Lucy said the horses were so well behave. They had to spend hours in water or in the sun waiting for the perfect shot.

Lisa Molera looked after Benguerra Island while Lucy was on leave. Lisa is from California and has been with us for two months. She is full of laughter and hugely sensible. We had a wonderful farewell dinner for her at Blue Waters. We drank loads of champagne and all made wonderfully emotional speeches some of us made them twice. A great night but Lisa suddenly decided she didn’t want to leave so made a quick trip to Johannesburg to sort out some things and arrives back today. So tonight we are having her Welcome Home Party.

At the moment we have Samantha Yates who is looking after the horses on Bazaruto Island for a week or two. Samantha has ridden all over the world; she was a casino manager before she became a horsy traveler. We are all in awe at the moment as she has given us a few hot tips on how to win at Black Jack. I am thinking of sending her off to SA to try her luck at the roulette wheel and make sure the horses can live the rest of their lives in the style they have become accustomed to.

We have Ana from Portugal who is delightful and spends a lot of her spare time working with the disabled. She bought a mammoth suitcase of stuff for the horses, so big that it dwarfed her completely as she is so tiny and I almost missed her at the airport. We also have Rowenna from Hereford who has just left school and who has just been on safari in Kenya. Lucky Rowenna! In February we are getting Oriane Lee Johnston who does leadership skills with horses and practices holistic medicine. She has a great website which you need to look at http://www.orianelee.com . Last but not least we have Ahmed from Egypt - I know a man. So Ahmed is going to have a hard time with all the girls. Or maybe not.!!!

We also had a visit from Mark from Redlands Equestrian www.relandsequestrian.co.uk in the UK. We hope that he will put something together for his clients so that they can come out to Mozambique and enjoy some of the best coastal riding in Africa. Mark kindly gave us his complimentary bottle of champagne that he received from Azura. He also visited James and Janine Varden, I saw some photos of their amazing safari in Hwange.

Thank you to our friends old and new. We receive so many lovely emails from people cheering us on and we are very touched at the warmth and concern from so many people all over the world. A big thank you to Archipelago Resort for their continued support. Nick, Tracy and Grant and the Reilly’s help us in everyway and we are grateful for their commitment. A Big Thank you to our clients and volunteers. Where would we be without you? We meet so many wonderful people who are so supportive. We have had some wonderful laughs and a lot of tears are shed at Vilanculos Airport when we say goodbye.

We hope that 2010 will be kind to us and that we are busy. The huge expense of looking after the horses sometimes takes its toll and we have stress weeks. On the whole Mozambique is good to us and let’s hope that each year will get better and that we will establish a strong business. Mozambique Horse Safari would not exist without my husband Patrick whose courage and fortitude has kept us going. He has never lost sight of his goals and his commitment to these beautiful animals.

With lots of love from the bottom of our hooves,

The Mozambique Horses.




DECEMBER 2009 NEWSLETTER - MOZAMBIQUE HORSE SAFARI

Friends of the Mozambique Horses,

Well now where to start. As you know I went off to the Philippines to see Paul and Rachel. I loved Manila and we spent our time having foot massages, facials, full body massages and drank thousands of smoothies and green tea. It was just perfect. I could not believe how tiny the Filipinos were, Gran and I were like giants; we didn't fit into a single thing at the clothes shop. A big thanks you to my brother Tim, Paul, Rachel and my mum Beryl for making it such a special time for me.  Paul is also responsible for our wonderful websites, he devotes a lot of time to it and I think it has made a big difference in promoting Vilanculos and the horses.

A big thank you to Mike Moyes for lending us his car to go and do some urgent horse business in Chimoio. Unfortunately for Mike we crashed it ten km from Pambara on the way back. As we came over a rise singing aloud to the Mamas and the Papas a drunken herdsman chose to chase two cows across the road, Pat had to make a split decision and chose the calf hoping the damage would be minimal. The calf was instantly killed and the car was crushed. We had to phone Ryan at Blue Waters to rescue us and tow us back. On the way back Ryan's car overheated and we came to a standstill wondering where we could find water. Just as Ryan was about to urinate in a bottle the police arrived guns blazing. They stopped us demanding our passports. They said that they had a report we had run over somebody. Goodness "a la Mozambique" Pat was hauled off in the back of the truck along with African Impact Nicky who was with us at the time.

Fortunately I knew the owner of the cow and got him to rush out and restore some sanity. It seems the herdsman thought he would spice up the policeman's day and thought maybe something lucrative would come out of it for both parties. Mozambique Madness at its best. Which brings me back to our favourite joke why does the Mozambique Chicken Cross the road? So that the owner can get 10,000 mets. Now if you are living in Mozambique you will find this hysterically funny as its absolutely true. Michael was very gracious about his car and fortunately it was insured - but poor Michael we are so so sorry.

So any good news? I can hear you asking. Well plenty. We have our new volunteer Lisa Molera with us who is great and has decided to stay on for another month. She is a charming hardworking American full of fun. She seems to have blended into the chaos extremely well and can hold her own in this crazy place. Lucy has gone on well deserved leave so Kate our daughter is on Benguerra Island.

Our lovely girls in Scotland had a wonderful cake sale and sent us 500US which is amazing and keeps us in food and meds for awhile. Rosie thank you from all of us. Pat has been making saddles, girths and halters so we are now nearly self sufficient.

The horses themselves have been so amazing. They have worked hard and behaved. You will never find gentler and sweet horses in the world I am convinced. We have had huge tick infestations specially ears and have had a tough time keeping them at bay. We have had quite a few clients come through this year which has been wonderful. The horses deserve a lot of accolades but Patrick needs a medal for his absolute dedication and belief in these horses. We would have put our heads in the gas oven long ago except for Pat's constant energy and encouragement. We just hope that we continue to grow and that business improves.

A big thank you to Jayne Janet, Andrew Frodsham, Lucy Campbell Jones, Rosie, Eileen, The volunteers and all the people who constantly support us. I thank everyone who takes the time to write in and give us so many words of encouragement.

Also thank you to Archipelago Resort for their continued support Tracy in the Office, Grant who lets us graze the horses round Archipelago and to Nick Faulk who takes such great care of our guests. Brenda from Archipelago bookings who always tries to help where she can and last but not least Jeff and Jane Reilly who have always given us a lot of encouragement.

A big thank you to all the lovely clients who come out and ride with us. We have been deeply touched by so many of you and appreciate how easy you are in this funny old third world country. I am thrilled that so many of you have booked to come again. So we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. Let’s hold thumbs that year ahead will be good to the Mozambique Horses.

Merry Christmas from Pat, Mandy, Kate, Lucy, Lisa and all the horses.

Thank you from the bottom of our hooves.




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