Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Sandbank, Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique

Dhow Safari through the Quirimbas Archipelago



8 Days

Prices Start from

£3,000pp (ex. flights)

Snorkel off deserted white sandbanks, swim in clear warm waters and sleep in mobile fly camps on the beaches of the Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique. This fantastic island-hopping dhow adventure takes you to the wildest parts of this unspoilt marine reserve.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Snorkel, Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique 1

Quirimbas Archipelago

Snorkel, swim, kayak, walk and explore the Quirimbas Archipelago.

Fisherman, Ibo Island, Mozambique 2

Local Culture

Meet local communities and learn about Ibo Island’s fascinating history.

Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique 3

Tropical Islands

Explore a pristine archipelago, cruising azure seas and snorkelling over coral reefs.

Sandbank brunch, Ibo Island, Mozambique 4

Luxury Eco Camps

Sleep in pre-set camps on remote, uninhabited islands.

Why we like it

This trip is the perfect antidote to Mozambique’s more polished beach hotels. Whilst they definitely have their place, this dhow safari takes you to the heart of a pristine coastal ecosystem, forgoing luxury for a far more natural and immersive experience.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Pemba - Ibo Island

  • Day 2

    Ibo Island - Matemo Island

  • Day 3

    Matemo Island

  • Day 4

    Matemo Island - Mogundula Island

  • Day 5

    Mogundula Island

  • Day 6

    Mogundula Island - Ibo Island

  • Day 7

    Ibo Island

  • Day 8

    Ibo Island - Pemba

Day 1

Pemba - Ibo Island

Day 2

Ibo Island - Matemo Island

Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique

Tropical Islands

Explore a pristine archipelago, cruising azure seas and snorkelling over coral reefs.

Day 3

Matemo Island

Snorkel, Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique

Quirimbas Archipelago

Snorkel, swim, kayak, walk and explore the Quirimbas Archipelago.

Day 4

Matemo Island - Mogundula Island

Day 5

Mogundula Island

Sandbank brunch, Ibo Island, Mozambique

Luxury Eco Camps

Sleep in pre-set camps on remote, uninhabited islands.

Day 6

Mogundula Island - Ibo Island

Day 7

Ibo Island

Fisherman, Ibo Island, Mozambique

Local Culture

Meet local communities and learn about Ibo Island’s fascinating history.

Day 8

Ibo Island - Pemba

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Ibo Island, Quirimbas, Mozambique

The 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 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 sea grasses.

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.

Ibo Island dhow safari, arimba dhow, mozambique

Explore by Dhow

Led by an expert guide, this trip is a rare opportunity to connect with your surroundings. Explore the coastline fringed by tropical islands on a sturdy, motorised 11-metre Arab dhow.

This traditional boat is perfect for cruising the shallow waters of the Quirimbas Archipelago. It acts a base for adventures throughout the trip, with nights spent on land, camping on remote islands.


Dhow, Ibo Island, Mozambique

Activities on Sea and Land

This dhow safari focuses on exploration, both on land and sea. Sea kayak or sail up wide coastal river mouths, teeming with endemic bird species and pristine mangrove forests. Stop at remote islands and step ashore to visit isolated villages or wander into forgotten colonial churches.

Of course, the riches of the Quirimbas also extend below the waves; have the chance to snorkel and swim in the turquoise waters, spotting colourful fish and sea turtles. The safari takes you past various coral reefs, where the marine life is particularly spectacular.

Ibo dhow safari tent, Mozambique

Camp on Desert Islands

A full support crew sets up camp as you explore, relax, fish and snorkel. For dinner, chefs conjure up fresh seafood and traditional cuisine over an open fire, with the night’s sky above filled with starts.

Your tent is pitched on a private campsite, on an uninhabited island. Inside, a camp bed and sleeping bag complete the minimalist setup. Fall asleep to the soothing sound of the calm waters lapping at the shoreline.

Lodge Exterior, Ibo Island Lodge, Ibo Island, Mozambique
Ibo Island Lodge, Ibo Island, Mozambique

Ibo Island Lodge

This sea safari ends with a stay on the mystical and ancient Ibo Island, at the beautiful Ibo Island Lodge – a perfect end to a unique adventure.

Finish with a dose of comfort after the nights spent camping and also have the opportunity to explore the island. This island – once a Portuguese trading post – is littered with crumbling colonial buildings.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

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.

View Property

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £3,000 Per person

When to travel

Mozambique in January

January is the start of the rainy season in Mozambique. Cyclones do at times affect the coastlines which pass rather quickly.  Temperatures can reach into the 30s and sea temperatures are in the mid-20s

Mozambique in February

Still falling within the rainy season, expect afternoon showers or the occasional cyclone.

Mozambique in March

March is the end of the rains and although the temperatures are still high the humidity is easing off.

Mozambique in April

Heading into April it becomes one of the better times to visit Mozambique.  Day time temperatures are still high, with at times a wonderful sea breeze.

Mozambique in May

In May temperatures start to drop slightly but still a fabulous time to visit.  The skies are clear and the waters are calm which will make it the perfect time to enjoy snorkelling and diving.

Mozambique in June

June brings warm sunny days.  The waters along the coastline are much calmer and will be a great time for diving and snorkelling.  The annual Humpback Whale migration starts in June along the coast with the whales making their way up from the waters of Antarctica up north along the Mozambique coastline.  This time of year will be the perfect time to visit the national parks for Gorongosa and Niassa.

Mozambique in July

During July it is the mid-winter and the middle of the dry season.  Days will be beautifully warm and mild with a cool ocean breeze in the evenings. Along with great weather for diving and snorkelling, it will be the perfect time to explore the lively capital, Maputo or the World Heritage Site of Ilha de Mozambique.

Mozambique in August

August is another beautiful month in Mozambique. Days are still mild and sunny which is just perfect for spending time on the beach or set out exploring the smaller islands by dhow or catamaran from Ibo Island.

Mozambique in September

September is the start of Spring and temperatures start to rise. With the higher temperatures, September is one of the best times to dive or snorkel. The migration of the humpback whales continues as they start to head back down to Antarctica over the next few months. In the reserves of Niassa and Gorongosa the animals are giving birth and due to the lack of rain tend to keep close to the waterholes.

Mozambique in October

Alone the coast the temperatures continue to climb and the humidity starts to increase. Day time temperatures are hot and dry but in the evenings it will cool down. October will be one of the last opportunities to see the humpback whales before they head off.

Mozambique in November

The temperature continues to climb, as does the humidity. With the increase in humidity expect thundershowers and rainstorms during the day and early evening.

Mozambique in December

During the course of the month, temperatures start to reach their peak and although your days will be beautifully sunny you can expect the odd thunderstorm. Keep a lookout along the shoreline as it is the perfect time of year to see turtles come ashore to nest.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

More about Steppes

Get in touch

  • This page is attached to this enquiry

  • Hidden
  • By sending your enquiry you are stating that you agree to our T&C

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.