Discover a New Africa!
If exotic hideaways are your idea of paradise, come with us to Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago, some of the least discovered islands in the world. This conservation jewel houses a stunning mosaic of wildlife, from whales and sea turtles to elephants and dugongs. As you sail on a traditional wooden dhow through crystal-blue waters and over breathtaking corals and camp on the shores of an uninhabited isle, you’ll have ample time to swim, snorkel, kayak, and simply unwind. You’ll also discover the region’s rich local customs and fascinating history on expertly guided walking tours. Only MTS offers this exceptional itinerary, and it’s your chance to step on the untraveled sands of one of Africa’s most exciting new destinations.
Sailing, snorkeling, cultural touring & interaction, swimming, birding, walking, historical visits
- Discover a different Africa through the complex history and vibrant culture of the Quirimbas Archipelago and Ilha de Mozambique
- Sail the unexplored coast and islands on traditional dhows, returning nightly to eco-camps and luxury lodges
- View diverse land and marine wildlife in a tropical African paradise- an MTS exclusive
Duration: 10 days Start Location: Pemba End Location: NampulaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive Pemba, Drive to Mucojo & Board Dhow to Mogundula Island
Arrival Pemba International Airport. Today is a travelling day passing through small towns and rural scenes. The imposing granite mountains that appear to line the road are a distinctive landscape of this area of Mozambique. Our road transfer takes us inland through increasingly more rural Mozambique villages and wide tracts of bush with giant baobab trees and also through parts of the Quirimbas National Park.
We will arrive at the little coastal village of Mucojo late afternoon where you will board a traditional dhow bound for Mogundula Island.
Day 2 : Mogundula Island
In our opinion Mogundula Island is one of the best islands in the Archipelago and a fantastic base from which to explore. Known by the locals as the island with the sacred lake it provides us with beautiful bird watching, pristine swimming off the sandbank beach and excellent snorkeling... We will set up our camp under the shade of trees and you have this magical uninhabited island to yourself! Overnight fly camp and exploring on Mogundula Island and surrounds.
Days 3 - 4 : Matemo Island
Depart Mogundula Island for your exploration into the Quirimbas Archipelago! Sail south into the clearest of blue water with pristine corals below to explore under snorkel.
Dependent on conditions – we’ll stop at the tiny Rolas Island and its clear waters with excellent reefs to snorkel and a stunning white sandy peninsular to swim from. Local legend says the island is owned by the sacred, resident coconut crabs, the largest species of land crabs. If you dare and are lucky to find him go with “old man coconut crab” into the Rolas Coral Rock Forest to see some of the infamous crabs for yourself.
Our camp on the beach at stunning Matemo Island beckons and it is here where you can take a guided walk to Matemo’s fascinating rural fishing villages that dot the north shore.
Days 5 - 7 : Ibo Island
Probably the most compelling attraction in the Quirimbas, Ibo's 200-year-old ghost town and 16th Century forts make for a fascinating journey to an era long forgotten.
The Ibo Island Guided Experience (included) A chance to interact with the charismatic people of Ibo. Mozambique's history has ensured that cultures have met and mingled - a blend of European, Indian, Arabic and Chinese. In addition to this, old Mozambique tribal customs and religions are still respected and followed on the island. All this creates a special way of life, completely unique to Ibo Island.
The guided walk into the villages of Ibo reveals the day-to-day life of the Kimwani people. Discover how Muslim and African traditions have blended to create a way of life unique to Ibo. Visit the local witch doctor, meet some of the islanders, get an “Ibo face-mask” and soak up the truly authentic island culture.
The Ibo Island of Yesterday (included) offers a guided walking journey throughout Ibo Islands Stone Town and important historical buildings many that have been rehabilitated, and some that have fallen into decline. Visit the ancient fort of St Joao Baptista and learn more about the turbulent history that this beautiful fort has endured and see where traditional silversmiths still hand craft exquisite intricate jewelry using ancient Arab technique sand tools and found no-where else in the world.
Observe the craft in the making and purchase unique gifts to take home.
Ibo Island Sand bank beach Experience (included) motorized or sailing dhow excursion (depending on winds) takes you one of Ibo’s best kept secrets…A beautiful white sand bank beach totally surrounded by warm blue sea, where the luxury is in the seclusion of the setting. You may have some local fishermen pull up on the beach with their catch of the day, or another boat with guests from a neighbouring property, but there is enough space and photographic experiences for everyone. This is one of the most unique beach experiences in Africa, and is regarded as one of the must do’s in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Pack and use lots of sun screen, a hat, reading material, your camera, and beach gear. We take care of the rest!
Ibo Island lodge has spectacular views over the waterfront and accommodates guests in beautifully simple yet elegant air conditioned rooms. Historic colonial mansions with high ceilings have been stylishly renovated to accommodate the lodge with various verandas, tropical gardens and a spectacular roof top restaurant that provides the ideal venue to watch the sun go down. The emphasis at Ibo Island Lodge is on island style relaxation and a base from which to explore this fascinating island.
Days 8 - 9 : Ihla de Mozambique
Light air transfer from Ibo Island to Pemba followed by a road transfer from Pemba to fascinating Ilha De Mozambique.
En route we’ll stop at our special secret place in Meconta that most people don’t realize exists! Hidden at the end an avenue of tree’s you’ll find a beautiful Catholic Church complete with its well preserved murals. Here understand more about the civil war that had such an impact on the country and hear the story of the nuns who protected the church and were in turn protected by both sides in the war.
We will arrive at Ilha de Mozambique which has a historical heritage that's unmatched in the rest of Mozambique, and indeed the rest of Africa. It was the capital of Mozambique for nearly four centuries under Portuguese colonization before the move to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and had been used as a major base for the Arab traders long before the arrival of the Portuguese. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our home on Ilha is at the simple yet hugely atmospheric Terraco das Quitandas boutique guest house. Both properties are central in location on the island and the result of beautiful renovations of existing colonial buildings. Both guest houses have a swimming pool to cool off during the heat of the day and there are a number of restaurants on the island serving meals and snacks.
One Guided historical walking tours of the island: Visit the Palace of S. Paulo, Museu de Arte Sacra, the Hindu Temple and the Fortress of S. Sebastião. Entrance fees are not included. The remaining time at leisure on the island to walk, explore, photograph and soak it all up. Alternatively sample a full range of optional activities.
Day 10 : Transfer to Nampula & Depart
Transfer by vehicle to Nampula International Airport for your onward flight.
DATES: Best time to go: April - June, October - December Departures: Apr 7 - 16, 2015 May 12 - 21, 2015 Jun 2 - 11, 2015 Oct 20 - 29, 2015 Nov 3 - 12, 2015 Dec 1 - 10, 2015
2015 Mozambique Dhow Safari Prices, per person
$ 4,595 (6-16 members)
Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double/twin accommodations.
MTS Private Quirimbas Mobile CampQuirimbas Archipelago
Our fly/mobile camp accommodation includes 3x3 meter (9.85 feet * 9.85 feet) dome tents with fitted ground sheet and insect screen. We also supply a comfortable stretcher bed, sheet, and pillow case. Two separate long drop non-flush toilets are includedd as well. For showering, we offer two separate bucket showers as well. Full camp service within the mobile camp will be our usual high standard: no participation required, camp set up and break down handled by our crew, waiter and drinks service at meal times, camp hands to assist guests with all their luggage and camp requirements and a resident chef to cater to all meals.
Ibo Island LodgeQuirimbas Archipelago
Remote and almost forgotten to the outside world for nearly a century Ibo Island is one of the 32 islands that make up the Quirimbas Archipelago. Ibo is a melting pot of influences from around the world, creating a culture that is completely unique. Set amidst lush gardens historical Ibo Island Lodge has a prime waterfront setting within walking distance of Ibo old town that is bursting with history that dates back to the Arab traders in AD600.
Three historic mansions, each over 100 years old, have been restored to their former glory and offer 14 individually designed rooms incorporating elements from the original architecture such as elegant pillars, meter thick coral and lime walls and lofty ceilings. Simple, but with splashes of opulence, the rooms have a historical, garden or sea facing setting. In addition there is the five bedroom Villa Paradiso which is booked on an exclusive use basis (the fifth room is small). All rooms boast en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, enormous 4-poster beds, teak and mahogany furniture, iced water flask at turn down, morning tea and coffee and wide verandas. At the heart of Ibo Lodge is the Bella Vista roof terrace restaurant with an open-air lounge area facing west for unforgettable sunsets and spectacular views. The lodge has two swimming pools set in tropical gardens, an air-conditioned lounge and private dining room. It is important to note Ibo Island Lodge does not have direct beach access. There is a considerable tidal range between low tide and high tide which means the sea at low tide could be a fair distance away from the lodge.
Terraco das QuitandasIlha de Mozambique
Terraco das Quitandas is a charming luxury boutique guest house on the beautiful island of Ilha de Mozambique. Separated from the beach by a charming garden, the property boasts a very laid back, chilled out bar (often with live local music!) where guests typically gather around, relax, and share stories about their amazing day spent at Ilha. The property's amazing terrace offers a full panoramic view of the island where you can take in a spectacular sunet. Each room is totally different and unique as well - very much a part of the property's charm!
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.