Ibo Island

Overview

Introduction

Ibo Island is a quaint little piece of land with a lost-world appeal. This former slave-trading center is part of the Quirimba Archipelago and is 1,000 mi/1,600 km northeast of Maputo. It is similar to Mozambique Island—full of decaying fortresses, palaces and villas that recall its heyday centuries ago as an important center for Arab slavers and traders—but the town is much smaller, more sprawling and sleepier.

From the island, visitors can go on fully guided, custom-tailored, island-hopping safaris via dhow and kayak, snorkeling off deserted white sandbanks and sleeping in fly camps on uninhabited tropical islands. The local guides will conjure up fresh seafood and traditional cuisine over an open fire under island stars, leaving visitors free to soak up the starry night skies.

There are a few charter flights to Ibo; you can also get there by dhow from Tandanhangue or Pemba. (Be sure to check a tide table if you go by dhow: The boats can only reach the islands around high tide.)

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