"Pemba & The Quirimbas Archipalego" Pemba by janiebaxter

Pemba Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 28 photos

The last African Marine Wilderness

The Quirimbas Islands are over 2500km from Maputo, close to the Tanzanian border, in the remote and unexploerd Cabo Delgado Province. This 200km stretch of Indian Ocean coastline is the last area of East Africa where the marine environments are pristine and unexplored. Tourism is still very new here and Ibo Island Lodge, which is the only place to stay on the Island, only opened at the end of 2006. We were among the first guests there.
The Quirimbas are made up of 12 major islands and 20 smaller islands.
You can now fly to Pemba on Mozambique Airlines (LAM) from Johannesburg, (South Africa) Maputo (Mozambique) and Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania).
Precision Air also flies from Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya) into Pemba. From Pemba you take either boat, light aircraft or helicopter to the Quirimbas Islands.
Although Pemba itself is pleasant enough, it is the surrounding areas that are the main attractions and there are now a few exclusive places to stay both on the mainland and some of the islands

Ibo - The Island Time Forgot

Ibo Island has one of the oldest towns in Mozambique, and is one of the most interesting and unique towns in the whole country.
Ibo Island and all the Quirimbas islands that had water have always had people living on them, and at the time of the first Portuguese explorers were named the Maluane Islands. The local people, generally Muslim traders produced silk and cotton cloth dyed with local indigo which was called Maluane, and was much sought after on the mainland.
The light aircraft flight from Pemba to Ibo flies over the Quirimbas Archipelago directly to Ibo Islands air strip. It takes 25 minutes and flies over spectacular views of the islands
You can travel between Ibo and other islands by boat and helicopter.
For more detailed history of Ibo Island see my travel pages.

Quilálea - Marine, Mammals and Mangroves

In the southern area of the Quirimbas Archipelago, Quilálea Island is a unique island marine sanctuary, with pristine beaches in the Indian Ocean. Quilalea Island is covered by Southern Inhambane-Zanzibar Coastal Forest, while Sencar Island, also within the Sanctuary, is a mix of coastal forest and mangrove. This forest has many unique species found nowhere else in the world. As the area is unexplored biologically, it is expected that many plants are yet to be discovered. Most of the trees are under 6 metres in height, but baobabs and paperbark trees are much taller. All plants have adapted to the salty and dry climate.
The coral reefs are particularly rich and well preserved with 52 species of coral - the highest coral diversity in Africa.

Our Pemba trip was organised by UK tour company Expert Africa who are very knowledgeable in this area

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Pristine and unspoilt islands and sanctuaries away from Pemba
  • Cons:Expensive both to stay and to get to the islands and resorts
  • In a nutshell:Unique environment in the surrounding National Parks
  • Last visit to Pemba: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 14, 2007
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Reviews (5)

Comments (3)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 24, 2010 at 3:34 AM

    Fine tips on this unique and fascinating area! The only place I have ever been in Mozambique is Maputo (to visit my daughter, who was working there at the time), so I don't know the rest of the country at all. Looks amazing!

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Lovely tips, thanks, I wanted to see Namibia tips too.

  • Oct 2, 2007 at 9:21 AM

    Hi You've been to some cool places!


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