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Island hopping itinerary

Island hopping itinerary

Experience it all to the full and leave no trace of existence on this 8 day/7 night island hopping dhow safari which includes 4 nights mobile island camping and 3 nights in a converted sea front colonial house on Ibo Island.

All mobile safaris are led by a English speaking professional guide, with a local Mozambican dhow skipper and crew. Island slumber in mobile safari style 3m by 3m walk dome tents with fitted ground sheet, insect screen, safari style stretcher beds with 2 inch high density foam mattresses, shower and beach towels and all linen. Children are accommodated in 2,4m by 2,4 m tents with stretcher beds, towels and linen.

Depending on your interests, double sea kayaks can be supplied for paddling or exploring and the guides are also pro canoe / kayak guides with masses of experience in these waters. The region plays host to a range of birdlife; storks, fish eagles, mangrove kingfisher, plovers, Madagascar Pratincoles to name but a few!

Ibo Island aerial view

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Day to day itinerary

Further service is provided with a waiter and chef. The dhow comes with local experienced skipper and the crew will be at your disposal for day trips, picnics and explorations to other close by islands and mainland villages.

Wining and dining:
A 5m by 5m dining and tent accommodates you for meals which are either served sit down table cloth style or more relaxed around the fire with your toes in the sand. Yours to decide each day.

All meals are prepared by the chef and tailor made to your needs with an accent on fresh seafood.

Bush shower bliss…
Mobile eco camp bathrooms include hot water bush showers and bush toilets. Eco camp bathroom amenities are included and also a basic laundry service (no ironing required!)

Tradtional dhow fishing

Day 1: Arrive Pemba - road transfer via Mucojo to Mogundula Island:

You will be met off your flight at Pemba airport by Oscar Soares, our meet & greet representative, and shown to the transfer vehicle for the approximate 3-hour road transfer to Mucojo through parts of the Quirimbas National Park and arriving at the little coastal village where you will board a traditional dhow bound for Mogundula Island.

The ancient art of traditional dhow travel has been practiced in this region for centuries. Today for the local population of the region it still remains the only way of travel between the islands. In our opinion, Mogundula Island is one of the prettiest and uninhabited islands in the archipelago which is why we spend our first 2 nights here giving you a fantastic base from which to explore the area. . .

On Mogundula we usually set up our mobile eco camp under the shade of the islands beautiful Chestnut trees. Your guide and crew will offer you cold drinks and settle you in to your tents and no doubt you will be keen to hit the beach for a swim and explore. The very essence of our tailor made mobile safaris is that we carry everything we need, allowing us to be flexible in our itinerary and eco camps. We also leave no trace of our existence after the safari is over. Aside from at Ibo Island Lodge, there are no fixed facilities what so ever on safari, and many of our eco camps are uninhabited or habited only by migrant local and rural communities. Please note that our eco camps are comfortable, but they are not 5 star luxury!

Accommodation: Overnight mobile eco camp on Mogundula Island.
Meals: Dinner.

At Mogundula, we carry you beyond the reach of holiday crowds to sights and experiences few have seen. Exotic, little hideaway’s offer intimate bays to explore. The sand spit beach offers sublime swimming and snorkeling at all times of the tide, and don’t forget to explore the lake and look out for a good range of bird life.

Accommodation: Overnight mobile eco camp on Mogundula Island.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 2: Clear day to explore Mogundula Island and her surrounds

Day 3: Mogundula Island, via Rolas Island to Ulumbwa River mouth:
Today will have you climbing aboard your dhow accompanied by your trusty guide and crew, carrying all mobile camp equipment and supplies. 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. Generally our dhow safaris are skippered by Juma Chande and his crew. Juma is one of our most experienced dhow captains. He is unflappable and has been navigating these waters since he was a small boy. For the sailors amongst you there is nothing more majestic than sailing in a graceful traditional dhow at full tilt with the wind in your hair and the sails up and the clear waters below. 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. We’ll set up our camp on the beach south of Ulumbwa village after a few hours sail and exploring.

Accommodation: Overnight mobile eco camp at Ulumbwa beach.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 4: Ulumbwa to Matemo Island

Rise early with the tropical sun to enjoy a fortifying tea or coffee and followed by an early morning sail up the Ulumbwa river mouth and estuary. This is a pristine river mouth seen by very view travelers and you’ll be viewing a variety of bird species of which the beautiful Mangrove Kingfisher is always a highlight. The riparian forest along the river is great habitat for a wide range of birds and you should see flocks of Black-bellied Starlings and other birds. The mangrove forest in this region is some of the most impressive in Africa and makes for great roosting spots. Dusk and dawn should reward us with sightings of Dimorphic Egret, Great White Egret, Yellow-billed Egret, Little Egret, Pink-backed Pelican, Yellowbilled Stork, Crab Plovers and Woolly-necked Storks. The guides who lead these safaris are avid birding guides and will bring this unique ecosystem alive for you. Next we’ll sail into the blue water again bound for the southern tip of Matemo Island – a short sail from Ulumbwa where our camp is set up for the night. Matemo is one of the larger islands inside the park. It’s a great place to relax, enjoy a leisurely swim, and later lie under the stars on a tropical island.

Accommodation: Overnight mobile eco camp at Matemo Island.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5: Matemo to Ibo Island and Ibo Island Lodge:

Probably the most compelling attraction in the Quirimbas, Ibo Island and her 200-year-old ghost town and 15th Century forts make for a fascinating journey to an era long forgotten. Ibo has been described as one of the most unique and magical islands in the world and is the perfect place to explore the culture and heritage of the Quirimbas. Once Mozambique’s mighty trading centre, Ibo Island has remained almost cut off to the outside world for almost a century. The island today is steeped in history and rich in culture and it has been nominated as a potential World Heritage Site. For the last 500 years, Ibo Island was a prosperous trading post. In the stone town three forts, a beautiful old catholic church and numerous ancient trading buildings stand guard over the sea. Pirates, slaves, ivory, intrigue are a part of this tiny palm-fringed coral island’s history. Boundless secrets, history and culture are still contained amongst the marvelous ruins, which date back to the early 1500’s.

When visiting Ibo it is not just the natural beauty of the island that strikes you. It is the beauty of the local people. It’s the mystery of the ancient buildings. It’s the slow and steady dhows that drift across the horizon, tracking the tides as they have done for centuries. It’s is a place that time forgot, and now at last people are returning to know it again. Ibo Island Lodge offers the island as a personal discovery for everyone who visits, and perhaps one of the major draw cards of the experience is the chance to interact with the local people and understand the culture with acclaimed guided experiences.

Days 5, 6, and 7: Spent at leisure at beautiful Ibo Island Lodge:
You can be as active or as relaxed as you desire. There are included guided heritage and cultural experiences each day with your guide, as well as a full range of other activity options – and don’t forget to relax at one of the pools, take a massage and soak up the unique atmosphere that is Ibo. All meals are included. Drinks to own account.

Ibo Island Lodge Guest Experiences:
Partake in a multitude of experiences in combination with relaxing and taking in the islands tranquility, history and ambience: The lodge is famous for its cultural and heritage guided experiences as well as its very fine birding and guided bird walks.
Aside from history and culture and guided activities, there are also daily excursions to a pristine sand bank beach for a totally unique beach experience guided night time walks, swimming and sunbathing, massage and snorkeling.

Children Ibo Island

Day 8: Ibo Island to Pemba for flight out:
Also included is a beautiful light aircraft flight over the islands and turquoise waters
transfers you to Pemba International Airport from Ibo Island Lodge.

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