Mozambique : Quirimbas Archipelago
The remote Quirimbas Archipelago, in the far north of Mozambique, is a wonderful choice for ecotourists, divers and adventurous types in search of unspoilt places. It is a captivating area which has existed in splendid isolation from the outside world for generations. Only small fishing communities have inhabited the area, and with a chain of 32 coral islands which stretch for 400kms along the Indian ocean coast, this is one of the most remote and untouched areas on the East African coast.
Sustainable tourism is growing slowly, with only a few of the islands (so far) being developed with small, exclusive lodges. Along the mainland and on the islands there are vast empty stretches of beaches and just off the coast are some of the world's richest coral reefs for diving and snorkelling, making it totally irresistible and worth visiting before it before the rest of the world gets here. On Ibo Island, where time has stood still, you will also enjoy a taste of the country's history and culture.
Ibo Island lodge combines island relaxation with the history and culture of this remote and unknown area of Mozambique, which has been almost stopped in time. Once the Portuguese administrative capital, it still has the remnants of old forts, colonial buildings and churches. The lodge itself has been created from three magnificent restored mansions, each over a century old, and offers a lovely, quasi-colonial environment to relax in with wide verandas, big pillars and tropical gardens. There are nine rooms, all elegantly decorated with Indian and Swahili fabrics and furnishings. Dining is on the roof terrace and there are two swimming pools in the gardens. There is no beach in front of the lodge but at low tide you can be taken out to a special sand bar for swimming and sunbathing. The Lodge can also arrange Scuba diving, dolphin safaris, guided nature and birding walks and Dhow safaris where you can sail around the private islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago, camping on the white sandy beaches of the untouched islands. Historical and cultural tours of the town and a visit to the local silversmiths are also a must. Ibo is a very special place, which is enhanced by meeting the local people and learning about the culture of the island.
"Ibo is a such a romantic place, and the lodge has beautifully appointed rooms and superb staff. There's plenty to do if you have the energy, and being a bit of a contrast, it really complemented our stay at Guludo."
Julia and Nick, Milton Keynes
Vamizi is a stunning, exclusive beach lodge on the northern side of the private Maluane Island, about 5km from the Mozambique mainland. It has 13 huge romantic timber chalets, well spread out (70 metres apart) along the beach to give you lots of privacy. Each has its own large living room, bathroom and breezy veranda looking out to sea from the shade of the forest. The king-size four-poster beds are draped in natural muslin mosquito nets, and the veranda and private stretch of beach in front of your chalet have a selection of loungers, swinging beds and local Swahili day beds to while away the days in. Activities include big game fishing, salt-water fly-fishing, mountain bike trails, bird walks, dhow cruises and private picnics, as well as scuba diving and snorkelling over some of the most pristine coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. It is a truly stylish and high quality lodge, but has not forgotten the magic of its surroundings.
Quilálea is a remote and beautiful private tropical island which you can stroll around in less than 40 minutes. The luxury Azura lodge is the only lodge on the island and has just nine beautifully crafted coral and makuti-thatch villas, all with sea views, sea breezes, an outdoor shower and beach sala. For honeymoons and other special celebrations, the romantic cliff-top Villa Quilálea is extra special with its own private plunge pool and feature bathroom. There is a large pool and a dedicated PADI watersports centre just off the main beach. The diving and snorkelling is fantastic with deep coral walls close by and a superb reef which can be reached from the beach. There is a cliff-top spa, and other activities include beach picnics, kayaking in the mangroves, nature walks, sunset dhow sailing, cultural visits including trips to the nearby historic Ibo Island and tours of the working coconut plantation on Quirimba Island and the local village.
Enjoy a private getaway on your own island just off the northern coast of Mozambique. Escape to the idyllic white sandy beaches in one of 12 romantic beach pool villas, each with their own en-suite bathrooms with separate baths and indoor and outdoor showers, views over the ocean with large private decks and your own plunge pool. At the lodge you can explore the beaches and activities on the surrounding water including some first class diving sites or simply relax by the pool, or indulge at the spa, enjoy romantic sunset cruises, take a picnic at a nearby island, sip on sundowners at the bar and enjoy all the fresh seafood at the Jahazi Restaurant.