Ibo Island in 10 Photos
Ibo Island, part of the Quirimbas archipelago in the Indian Ocean off northern Mozambique, is so remote it took me three separate planes and the best part of a day to get there from the UK. Originally a Muslim trading port, the island was fortified by the colonising Portuguese in 1609.
Ibo Island Lodge is the top accommodation choice, where owners, Kevin and Fiona Record, have cleverly restored the original buildings to make this very comfortable lodge.
“Then there were no boats or planes to fly equipment in and very few ‘roads’ to speak of. Ibo is a long way from anywhere and everything, from the smallest packet of nails, to glass for the mirrors, and bags of cement, had to be transported to the island using traditional sailing dhows. “
– Fiona Record, owner Ibo Island Lodge
Each room at Ibo Island Lodge has been individually designed to relate to the history of the island. They are simple but very comfortable and are filled with local artefacts, all adding to the history of the lodge.
Taking a historical tour around Ibo Island is one of the best ways to get under the skin of this fascinating place. You can meet the locals and see how they go about daily life.
The silversmiths on Ibo Island hand-craft incredibly intricate jewellery using ancient Arab techniques and tools. This is a project aiming to benefit the local craftsmen so Ibo Island Lodge provides them with high quality materials enabling them to sell this wonderful jewellery all over the world (and therefore making a greater income).
Wandering around Ibo Island is perfectly safe and I found the local people to be friendly and welcoming.
Food is of great importance at Ibo Island Lodge and freshly caught fish and seafood generally take centre stage. Breakfasts and lunches are served in different locations – in a private spot in the well-manicured gardens, in the privacy of your own veranda, or on the local sandbank which is reached by traditional dhow. Dinner normally takes place in the roof-top restaurant where you can soak up the atmosphere.
As well as being the first to invest in tourism on the island with Ibo Island Lodge, the lodge owners also built a community school. The school started out teaching English, hospitality and tourism training and has now developed into a Montessori school which teaches children in English.
This is Fortaleza prison, one of the Portuguese prisons found on Ibo Island, and one of the oldest buildings in Mozambique.
Guided sea kayaking is one of the more popular activities here at Ibo Island. It’s a great opportunity to explore the second largest mangrove forest in Africa and see the vast array of bird and marine life that it supports.
When my colleague Jo visited, she had the pleasure of meeting Ibo’s local celebrity João Baptiste, a local historian, who tells stories from his veranda about his time spent as a prisoner in the fort.
Jo or I would be delighted to talk to you about this area, how to reach it and what else you might do nearby. Please just send us an email or give us a call and we can start planning your Mozambique holiday.