The Quirimbas Archipelago, located on the northern coast of Mozambique, consists of 27 idyllic islands, a tropical island destination home to spectacular marine life as well as fauna and flora unique to the area. The Quirimbas National Park provides a safe haven for dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sharks and dugongs.
Quirimbas Archipelago Highlights
The Quirimbas Archipelago is situated along the northern Mozambican coastline starting at the significant town of Pemba continuing for 250km to the town of Palma in the north. The archipelago consists of 27 heavenly islands; a tropical island destination offering beautiful and untouched white sandy beaches, extraordinary marine life, as well as fauna and flora unique to the area.
The Quirimbas Archipelago has been described by many as the 'African Caribbean'. It is sure to exceed all your expectations. The 1500 sq km Quirimbas National Park provides a safe haven for dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sharks and dugongs, while there is an enormous area covered by tropical forest. The park is home to 11 untouched coral islands offering an abundance of tropical fish and other marine life - definitely one of the highlights in the park.
The Quirimbas ialso offers a fascinating cultural experience. Ibo Island, situated close to Matemo Island, offers a combination of Arabian, European and African cultures and has been nominated by UNSECO as a World Heritage Site.
The Quirimbas archipelago is a beautiful string of islands, fringed by gorgeous beaches, which lie about 2500km from Maputo. Much of the land and surrounding marine area is protected by the Quirimbas National Park.
Lying just offshore and stretching for 200km, the archipelago consists of 12 major islands: about 20 smaller, coralline outcrops, and endless sand-bar beaches. These islands are known for their high-quality diving sites, including phenomenal drop-offs, some up to 400m.
The Quirimbas was known as the Islands of St. Lazarus during the 10th Century, when it was thriving as an Arab trading post under Portuguese rule. Prior to this, it was an authentic fishing village.
This area of Africa's eastern coastline becomes fairly developed from this point onwards. Tanzania and Kenya, Zanzibar, and the Indian Ocean islands are far more populated than the Quirimbas.
Vamizi Island offers the ideal island hide-away and is regarded as one of the most remote beach destinations in Africa. Situated on the northern side of the island, Vamizi is an eco-friendly lodge and local materials were used to build the lodge helping the local economy.
Medjumbe Private Island is known for its 'barefoot' luxury; an elegant resort offering romantic and luxurious thatched beach chalets with flowing mosquito nets and private plunge pools.
Quilálea Island is one of the few properties in the entire archipelago to lie within a fully protected marine reserve, ensuring an abundance of marine life and, therefore, undisturbed diving and snorkeling privelages.
Ibo Island has been described by many as one of the most beautiful and romantic islands in the world. The lodge makes the most of undeniably beautiful scenery and benefits the local community.
How to Get There
Most flights into Mozambique land in the largest and capital city, Maputo. Maputo International Airport receives regular flights from South Africa, however, should guests be adding Mozambique as a destination after an East Africa safari, there are private charter flights available from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya.
There are also direct flights from South Africa to the Bazaruto Archipelago in the centre of Mozambique and the Quirimbas Archipelago in the far north. Sun Safaris will arrange whichever flights into the country best suit guests' itineraries.
Self-driving from South Africa to Mozambique is an option and is often an option for local holiday-makers. The road from Johannesburg, via Nelspruit, to Mozambique is in good condition and well-tarred. Should guests be flying to their destination, Sun Safaris will arrange for light air or road transfers from Maputo to booked accommodation.
Quirimbas Archipelago Activities
The Quirimbas Archipelago is known for offering a combination of cultures, mouthwatering cuisines, romantic beaches, beautiful sunsets and a hive of outdoor activities. Quirimbas Archipelago has some of the best diving in the world, and the resorts in the area offer diving training and guidance.
Big game fishing, snorkelling, sailing, water-skiing, wind-surfing and kayaking are among the favourites, offering a vision into the spectacular protected tropical waters. The area is also well known to offer some of the best fishing locations in the world.
A trip to Ibo Island will reveal a fascinating cultural experience dating back to the 15th and 18th century offering a true Mozambican cultural experience. This fascinating unspoilt coral and palm island tells a story of its convincing East African history as a trading post for silver, ivory and slaves.
Ibo Island Lodge
Ibo Island is virtually untouched and unknown to the outside world; situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago inside the Quirimbas National Park in Northern Mozambique. The National Park is one of the most important and biodiverse marine regions in the world.
The palm-thatched chalets open onto the beach and offer guests elegant beach-living. The main areas are raised above the sea offering the ideal setting for enjoying sundowners. Matemo Island also offers a variety of tailor-made spa treatments.
Vamizi Island is a small island measuring 12km long and 2km wide, offering a private and exclusive island experience. Accommodation at Vamizi in the spacious beach villas is luxurious and the lodge offers laid-back island living with friendly people.