In the far north of Mozambique, north of the coastal town of Pemba, lies the amazing Quirimbas Archipelago: about 12 major islands and 20 smaller, coralline outcrops. Throughout these islands the marine environments are pristine and largely unexplored.
The idyllic islands that comprise the Quirimbas Archipelago stretch for 155 miles along the northern Mozambican coastline, from the historic port of Pemba in the south to the town of Palma in the north. There are a couple of remote lodges; getting here can be costly. It is usually best combined with a safari to Tanzania.
With its 27 islands virtually untouched and unexplored, the Quirimba Archipelago represents one of the few tropical island destinations in the world still untainted by man’s influence. The 930 square mile Quirimbas National Park provides sanctuary for the remarkable flora and fauna residing in this marine area. Feeding and nesting grounds for sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, sharks and whales are protected here, as is a vast expanse of tropical forest. Included within the park are 11 unspoilt coral islands, which are strung along the coastline for 62 miles in extent. These Mozambique coral atolls boast vertical drop-offs of up to 1,310 feet, abundant with coral-covered caves and tropical fish, ranging from gobies to mammoth napoleon wrasse, as well as game fish such askingfish and Spanish mackerel.
The Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value and are a melting pot of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. Ibo Island, with its coral reefs, mangroves and magnificent old fortresses, has a fascinating and disturbing history.