Monday, 23 March 2015

Riding on the Coast of Mozambique ~ Part One

Mozambique, where we rode along the coast at Vilanculos

gazing out over the Indian Ocean

observing traditional life

eating coconut and cashew nut fruit

along with local dishes

riding inland with Pat Retzlaff

to traditional villages

where I spotted this hen-house before coming back along the shore

riding home by moonlight

Do use the comment box below if you have any questions.
I'm thinking of taking a group of six riders there next year!


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 ~ Part Three

As we rode north the terrain became rockier, the weather warmer. The Waterberg Charity Ride became more of the challenge we'd expected. However by now we were acclimatized and fitter and appreciated the amazing scenery on Jembisa, a private game reserve on the Palala River.

The horses were amazingly shore-footed. Most of them had gone barefoot all their lives and were used to rocks.

We dismounted to spare them the toughest sections.

One thing is certain. With tough going we riders were incredibly grateful to be provided with lunch in the bush by the amazing staff at Jembisa.We were even treated to cool hand-towels.

And celebratory drinks:

What do you do when you've ridden 175 kilometers?  You turn around and ride back again.

However, after another 25kms, we were treated to a wonderful evening at Jembisa with dinner under the stars. The next day we paid a visit to Timothy House, the children's day centre at the Waterberg Welfare Society where learnt about ongoing projects to combat HIV/AIDS and met a number of young people aspiring to train as auxiliary nurses.

I had the privilege of taking books and other learning materials, that the riders kindly had brought out from the UK, to one of the farm schools in the area where I know they will be treasured.

To learn more about the work of the Waterberg Welfare Society Trust please click here.

If you would like to join the Waterberg Charity Ride 2016 
please use the comments box below to contact us 

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 ~ Part Two ~ Getting Underway

We set off from Horizon Horseback Lodge on a fine sunny morning, making our way along empty tracks and up into the hills of the Waterberg. Our biggest challenge, encountered that first day was the sun. Coming from Europe we'd all been longing for the warmth but a heatwave hit the Limpopo Province and all we could do to cool off was to ride faster.

However we also had cool days when our team of twelve enjoyed excellent game viewing.

We rode with zebra, wildebeeste, eland, blesbok, implala, greater kudu, warthog,oryx, waterbuck, mountain reedbuck,grey duiker, red heatebeeste, jackal, giraffe and saw crocodile, hippo, ostrich, baboon, vervet moneky, slender mongoose, tree squirel, sable antelope, nyla, bush buck and white rhino.

On the first evening we met a debra - a hyrbid standing with it's parents: a donkey stallion and a zebra mare. Everyone kept asking me if we'd see springbok. I explained that we were too far north only to see a pair on our last day.

As horse lovers, we also enjoyed riding past horses kept in the bush. Along with Anglo Arabs and Boerperde you find quite a few Friesian horses bred in South Africa. A highlight of the trip was encountering white rhino at Ant's Hill.

We missed seeing rhino from horseback, but Ant took us out on an evening game drive when we watched a family of four taking an evening mud bath, one by one.

All the riders found the fast sections exhilarating.

On day three we took some of the wide sandy roads up and over the hill from Ant's Nest to Lindani Game Reserve cantering whenever we could.

Riding through the wilderness, where there were no roads or fences, was a great privilege. As well as raising money to uplift the children and students of the region we found ourselves learning about the ecology of the Waterberg Biosphere. In some ways it was a fantastic adventure - a holiday - but the riders paid all their own expenses and were giving freely of their time.

 We also had rivers to cross and hills to climb but the most challenging section was yet to come.

~ The Waterberg Charity Ride 2015 ~ 

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