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Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique

Quirimbas Archipelago

The remote Quirimbas Archipelago lies off the coast of northern Mozambique, spread across the azure waters of the Indian Ocean.

Renowned for their exceptional diving and unspoilt charm, these pocket-sized islands are fringed with white, coralline beaches that dissolve into clear seas.

The archipelago is accessible via Pemba, located on the coast, but it remains largely untouched. The southern islands became a national park in 2002. These protected waters are rich with coral species, whilst the islands themselves are surrounded by mangroves and seagrasses.

Snorkel, Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique
Mozambique

Why visit the Quirimbas Archipelago

Marine life fills the seas that surround these idyllic islands, with the isolated beaches providing nesting sites for various turtle species. Tropical fish dart through the warm waters, which also attract whales, dolphins and migratory birds.

It is not just wildlife and desert-island landscapes that make these islands remarkable. Once simply scattered with forgotten fishing settlements, the Quirimbas Archipelago flourished during medieval times. Trading posts dotted the islands, which were visited by both Portuguese and Arab traders.

Eventually, the islands – along with the rest of Mozambique – were colonised by the Portuguese, and colonial architecture still litters the region. In particular, Ibo Island is renowned for its crumbling colonial buildings.

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Entertainment, Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Benguerra Island, Mozambique

A little more about the Quirimbas Archipelago

It is not just wildlife and desert-island landscapes that make these islands remarkable. Once simply scattered with forgotten fishing settlements, the Quirimbas Archipelago flourished during medieval times. Trading posts dotted the islands, which were visited by both Portuguese and Arab traders.

Eventually, the islands – along with the rest of Mozambique – were colonised by the Portuguese, and colonial architecture still litters the region. In particular, Ibo Island is renowned for its crumbling colonial buildings.

Yacht charter, Ibo Island, Mozambique
Ibo Island, Mozambique

Why visit the Quirimbas Archipelago

  • Explore this beautiful group of islands that now form a marine national park
  • Dive and snorkel off colourful corals that are alive with tropical fish
  • Discover the forgotten colonial buildings that litter Ibo Island
  • Take a dhow safari between the islands, camping beneath palm trees on white sands
  • Charter a beautiful catamaran and dive the rich waters that surround St. Lazarus Bank

Experiences

Underwater Adventures

Dive and snorkel off colourful corals that are alive with tropical fish.

Dhow Safari

Take a dhow safari between the islands, camping beneath palm trees on white sands.

Ibo Island

Discover the old colonial Portuguese town and fort on Ibo Island.

Charter a Catamaran

Spend several days diving and fishing off St. Lazarus Bank on your private catamaran.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Azura Quilalea Private Island £££££

  • Mozambique
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Exclusively located on a private island within the Quirimbas Archipelago, its nine seafront villas are open plan and spacious with natural furnishings and pure African elegance. There are three categories to choose from: four Kaskazi Villas with fantastic views across the turquoise sea to Quirimba Island beyond, four Kusi Villas with an extra outdoor bush shower, and hammocks for relaxing and Villa Quilalea, an exceptional villa on a clifftop with an alluring plunge pool and breath-taking views over the Indian Ocean.

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Ibo Island Lodge £££££

  • Mozambique
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Ibo Island Lodge is in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique, reached from Pemba via a scenic 30-minute flight over the Quirimbas National Park. This community-built lodge resembles the original ruins of the ancient Ibo mansions with metre-thick coral and lime walls, wide verandas, and oversized rooms. There are nine rooms with air-conditioning and large en suites featuring walk-in showers. Meals are served either indoors, on the rooftop terrace, or at the water’s edge with seafood being particularly good.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
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  • 01285 601 784

Illona Cross

Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management. My desire to see more led me to work as a guide for AndBeyond, first in South Africa, then in Tanzania as the company expanded. Here, I lived and worked in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro, guiding and running safari camps.
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  • 01285 601 784

Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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  • 01285 601 784

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes