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Quirimbas Island Hopping

8 days from £2000pp plus international flights.

This unique island hopping tour is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique, and particularly Ibo Island. 

Your adventure begins with a scenic light aircraft flight over the turquoise ocean and tropical islands, landing on Ibo Island where you are welcomed to Ibo Island Lodge and can take things easy as you recline on the rooftop terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean. Spend the next week exploring a handful of the 32 islands make up the Quirimbas archipelago.   

Your dhow awaits with its experienced crew. Dhow travel has a long established history in this area and is the only way to travel between the islands. Sit back and enjoy the cruise, the crystal clear waters and beautiful island scenery. During your cruise you will have plenty of opportunities to swim and snorkel. These waters have some fabulous coral reefs, and you may also see dolphins, turtles and myriads of fish. This region is also rich in bird life, storks, egrets and heron abound. Discover idyllic island beaches and mangrove forests. You'll meet local fishermen and see rural fishing villages on the various islands in the archipelago.

You spend four nights in private island beach camps. These are fully serviced camps - the crew will handle all camp duties leaving you free to relax and enjoy the peace of each special location. All camping and catering equipment is included. Although the facilities will be limited, all camps will offer hot showers. Enjoy delicious meals, freshly cooked over the open fire under the stars. 

On conclusion of the cruise you return to Ibo Island where you have two further nights at Ibo Island Lodge with its rooftop restaurant and great views. Ibo was once an important trading centre with 16th century forts and ruins to explore. Your guides will give you chance to meet local people and observe their unique island culture and way of life that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

NB This itinerary is entirely dependent on winds and weather conditions and in some instances it may be necessary to change the planned itinerary, to travel in the reverse direction (south to north) and with visits to islands other than those specified here.

Itinerary
Relax at Ibo Island Lodge

DAY 1: ARRIVE PEMBA, TO IBO ISLAND

Arrive at Pemba airport where you are met and taken to the light aircraft for the flight to Ibo Island. Sit back and enjoy the views. On arrival you are transferred to Ibo Island Lodge for your first night stay. You have time to explore the lodge facilities and choose a place on one of the verandas to unwind as you take in the views. Relax, your holiday has begun. Don't feel you need to explore, as you return here for a couple of days at the end of the cruise. Lunch, dinner.

 

Snorkelling on the island hopping holiday

DAY 2: SAIL TO MATEMO ISLAND

The island hopping cruise begins today as you set sail in the dhow heading north into the Quirimbas archipelago. Your destination is Matemo Island, an archetypal tropical island dotted with swaying palm trees, fringed by sandy beaches, and surrounded by ocean waters teeming with marine life. It's blissful. Your camp is set up for you, leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the marvellous views, saunter down to the water for a swim or some snorkelling, and relax in warm sun. This is what being in holiday is all about. Breakfast, lunch, dinner  

Local fishermen in the Quirimbas archipelago

DAY 3: DAY TRIP TO ULUMBWA ESTUARY

Today you have an opportunity to visit the Ulumbwa estuary. You set off early in the dhow, watching out for birds and observing the mangroves. There are small fishing villages here and this is a great chance to get a feel for life in the Quirimbas archipelago. Later you return to the dhow for the gentle cruise back to Matemo Island and your welcoming camp. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Sailing on the dhow in the Quirimbas archipelago

DAY 4: SAIL TO QUIRIMBA ISLAND

Your island hopping cruise takes you south, to Quirimba Island, after whom the archipelago is named. Take a walk to visit a village and sample local life and culture, and maybe take a tour of the old church. There is plenty of time to rest and relax, too, as you become accustomed to the slower pace of life in the islands, enjoying life in camp and the attentive service of the staff. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Island camping on the Quirimbas archipelago

DAY 5: ON QUIRIMBA ISLAND

A whole day to unwind on Quirimba Island, swimming and snorkelling in the beautifully clear and warm waters as you watch shoals of colourful fish, and lying on the beach as you top up your tan. Alternatively there may be an opportunity to cruise to a nearby island, maybe Quisiva or Mefunvo, enjoying the experience of sailing on a dhow, as people here have done for centuries, and exploring another pristine island paradise. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

The pool at Ibo Island Lodge

DAY 6: SAIL TO IBO ISLAND

Today you set sail for Ibo Island. Once Mozambique's mighty trading centre, Ibo has remained all but forgotten to the outside world for almost a century. Wandering around the small colonial town amongst old forts and ancient romantic buildings you can feel the history and fascinating stories crunching under your feet. You have a guided tour of the town with opportunities to meet the friendly local people and observe their unique island culture, heritage and way of life. Tonight you stay at Ibo Island Lodge. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Sandspit

DAY 7: ON IBO ISLAND

A second day on lovely Ibo Island. You could take a guided nature and bird watching tour, snorkel at a shipwreck site, spend the day on a perfect sandbank beach or hire and bike and explore at your own pace. make the most of the facilities of the lodge, too, treating yourself to an indulgent massage, dining on fresh lobster on the rooftop terrace and strolling in the pretty gardens. All these and more can be arranged at the lodge, to be paid for locally. Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

Veranda at Ibo Island Lodge

DAY 8: FLY TO PEMBA

Savour breakfast by the ocean, before packing your bags for the light aircraft flight back to Pemba, where this holiday ends. Breakfast.

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2000 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: This is a 2017 guide price. Please ask for prices for the specific dates you're interested in.

Includes: 

Accommodation on a twin share basis including 4 nights at island, river & beach camps (non participation) and 3 nights at Ibo Island Lodge; sleeping bag, pillow and towel for the camping; meals specified as included; meet and greet at Pemba; return light aircraft flights between Pemba and Ibo Island; 4 night crewed dhow cruise as per the itinerary; guided tour of Ibo Island; national park fees and Ibo Island development taxes

Excludes: 

International flights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks; optional activities; items of a personal nature; tips.

Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Pemba. International flights from the UK start from around £1,300, depending on season and availability. We will be happy to book your flights for you.

Departure dates: You can either join a scheduled departure (dates shown), or take this as a private tailor made trip which we can plan for you at a time that suits you. 

places you will see

places you will see

Quirimbas Archipelago
Quirimbas Archipelago
A string of islands and natural reserves in Northern Mozambique offering a unique region of remote islands, small villages and historical insight to the Indian Ocean coast. 
map

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time: No direct flights from the UK, but daily access is via Johannesburg or Dar Es Salaam. There are light aircraft connections to the more remote islands and reserves.

Language: Portuguese is widely spoken in Mozambique and remains the main language. English is understood in a few larger towns.

Visas: Most nationalities do need a visa for Mozambique

Health: This is a malarial area and several vaccinations are receommended.

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