You will be met off your flight at Pemba airport by meet & greet representative and shown to the transfer vehicle for the approximate 3.5 hour road transfer (subject to change based on road conditions) to Mucojo. You will travel through parts of the Quirimbas National Park and arrive at the little coastal village of Mocoja, where you will board a traditional dhow bound for Mogundula or Macaloe Island.
Usually the mobile eco camp is set up under the shade of the islands beautiful Chestnut trees. Your guide and crew will offer you drinks and settle you in to your tents and no doubt you will be keen to hit the beach for a swim and explore.
At Mogundula, you are carried beyond the reach of holiday crowds to sights and experiences few have seen. Exotic little hideaway’s offer intimate bays to explore. The sand spit beach of the island offers sublime swimming and don’t forget to explore the lake and look out for an excellent range of bird life.
Other options are a sail or paddle to nearby Macaloe Island and explore there, or sail to the mainland to explore the beaches and remote fishing villages in the Pangane Peninsula.
Today will have you climbing aboard your dhow accompanied by your trusty guide and crew, carrying all mobile camp equipment and supplies for your exploration into the Quirimbas Archipelago! Sail south into the clearest of blue water with pristine corals below to explore under snorkel.
Dependent on conditions – you’ll stop at the tiny Rolas Island and its clear waters with excellent reefs to snorkel and a stunning white sandy peninsula to swim from. Local legend says the island is owned by the sacred resident coconut crabs, the largest species of land crabs. Tonight you’ll set up camp south of Ulumbwa village on the mainland, which is home for two nights.
Rise early with the tropical sun to enjoy a fortifying tea or coffee and followed by an early morning sail up the Ulumbwa river mouth, this is an estuary seen by very few people and you will be viewing a variety of bird species of which the beautiful Mangrove Kingfisher is always a highlight.
The riparian forest along the river is a great habitat for a wide range of birds and you should see flocks of Black-bellied Starlings and other birds. The mangrove forest in this region is some of the most impressive in Africa and makes for great roosting spots. Dusk and dawn should reward you with sightings of Dimorphic Egret, Great White Egret, Yellow-billed Egret, Little Egret, Pink-backed Pelican, Yellowbilled Stork, Crab Plovers and Woolly-necked Storks.
The guides who lead these safaris are avid birding guides and will bring this unique ecosystem alive for you.
Next you’ll sail back into the blue water again to explore the southern tip of Matemo Island. Matemo is one of the larger islands inside the Quirimbas National Park. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a leisurely swim before returning to camp at Ulumbwa.
Probably the most compelling attraction in the Quirimbas, Ibo Island and her 200-year-old ghost town and 15th Century forts make for a fascinating journey to an era long forgotten. Ibo has been described as one of the most unique and magical islands in the world and is the perfect place to explore the culture and heritage of the Quirimbas.
Once Mozambique’s mighty trading centre, Ibo Island has remained almost cut off to the outside world for almost a century. The island today is steeped in history and rich in culture and has been nominated as a potential World Heritage Site.
For the last 500 years, Ibo Island was a prosperous trading post. In the stone town three forts, a beautiful old catholic church and numerous ancient trading buildings stand guard over the sea. Pirates, slaves, ivory and intrigue are a part of this tiny palm-fringed coral island’s history. Boundless secrets, history and culture are still contained amongst the marvellous ruins, which date back to the early 1500’s.
When visiting Ibo it is not just the natural beauty of the island that strikes you. It is the beauty of the local people. It’s the mystery of the ancient buildings. It’s the slow and steady dhows that drift across the horizon, tracking the tides as they have done for centuries. It’s is a place that time forgot and now at last people are returning to know it again.
Ibo Island Lodge offers the island as a personal discovery for everyone who visits, and perhaps one of the major draw cards of the experience is the chance to interact with the local people and understand the culture with acclaimed guided experiences.
You can be as active or as relaxed as you desire. There are included guided heritage and cultural experiences each day with your guide, as well as a full range of other activity options. Don’t forget to also relax at one of the pools, take a massage and soak up the unique atmosphere that is Ibo.
One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Ibo Island and Mozambique now, is the chance to be a part of the restoration of many National Parks and conservation areas and to contribute to and experience the beginnings of a grand tourism plan to launch and sustain responsible tourism developments in Mozambique.
Ibo Island is the headquarters of the Quirimbas National Park. It is also the hub of the tourism plan for the north. Various organizations including USAID, WWF and Conservation International to name but a few are involved in the restoration and tourism vision for Ibo Island. As the pioneer anchor tourism investor on Ibo Island, Ibo Island Lodge believes that it is critical that local communities benefit from tourism development which is based on sustainable and fair trade tourism.
A beautiful light aircraft flight over the islands and turquoise waters transfers you to Pemba International Airport from Ibo Island Lodge.
Ibo Island Lodge is award nominated & has been described as one of the most magical, atmospheric & unique beach lodges in Africa.
This tiny pristine island with its breathtaking coral reefs & ocean views is world-renowned for delicious seafood, gracious hospitality & exceptional diving.