The dhow safaris at Ibo allow you to explore the far reaches of the stunning Quirimbas Archipelago.
Ibo Dhow Safari: Our full report
The Ibo Dhow Safari, is a mobile island-hopping safari, offering comfortable fly-camping on uninhabited island beaches. Operated by Ibo Island Lodge, with a full support crew looking after you, this is a unique way to explore Mozambique’s most remote coastline.
We have not yet had a chance to experience the Ibo Dhow Safari, however here are some details that Ibo Island Lodge have given us themselves.
Guests travel between islands using a mix of sea kayaks and sailing on the dhow. Explore up wide coastal river mouths, teeming with red listed bird species and pristine mangrove forests. Snorkel off deserted white sandbanks in turquoise seas, and sleep in mobile fly-camps on uninhabited tropical islands.
The dhow safaris are led by experienced guides, and are backed up by a 12-meter traditional dhow, with a Mozambican skipper, crew and a chef on board to whip up seafood feasts around the campfire! The crew handles all the camp duties, leaving you free to kayak or walk around the islands and explore, relax, swim or snorkel.
These safaris look perfect for families or groups of friends. They can be tailored to suit various budgets, length of safari and any special interests or needs. Alternatively, Ibo Island Lodge also has set scheduled international departures of 7 nights that you can join throughout the year.
Our viewIbo Island Lodge developed these dhow safaris as a novel way of exploring the archipelago for those with a spirit of adventure and looking for something totally different. A dhow safari is best combined with the comfort of a stay at Ibo Island Lodge.
Ideal length of stay: The minimum stay that’s recommend is three nights. This will give you a good idea about the island hopping experience and allow time to visit the various islands and mainland highlights. Though it would be very easy to spend a week here exploring and relaxing.
Directions: There is an airstrip nearby on Ibo Island, which is a short 20-minute flight in a light aircraft from Pemba. Pemba is accessible from Johannesburg with SA Airlink or Mozambique Airlines (LAM) and also from Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi on LAM. Its then about a three and a half hour road transfer from Pemba takes you north through the Quirimbas National Park to the little fishing village of Mucojo which is the starting point of most of the safaris.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Breakfast: Starts with local tropical fruit, cereals, and freshly baked bread. A hot breakfast cooked over an open fire is also on offer.
Lunches: In keeping with the tropical island atmosphere, these are lighter meals served Alfresco on the beaches or under the shade of the main safari tent. Seafood wraps, prawn or kingfish kebabs with traditional island sweet chili sauce, served with fresh bread are typical specialties, followed by a fresh fruit salad or pancakes and Ibo honey.
Dinner: Is always cooked over the open fire and depends on what is freshly caught or bought from local fishermen each day with seafood and fresh line fish being the main star attraction!
Any vegetarians and non-seafood eaters can be accommodated with prior notice and are well catered for. Though it's vital to let us know in advance, due to the remote location. Children are also easily catered for with pasta dishes, plain grilled seafood, and lighter options. Your chef is very flexible.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included here; they are paid for as extras.
Family holidays: The mobile island hopping safaris have proven popular with families. If tailor-made, your family will have complete exclusivity with the dhow and crew at your disposal. For active families snorkeling or kayaking every day is great fun. Ibo Island is also usually included in the itinerary and is a great place for families with older children, who will appreciate the culture.See more ideas for Family holidays in Mozambique
Honeymoons: Those looking for a unique honeymoon can opt for a private dhow safari for 2, island hopping and camping in remote and romantic destinations with no one else around apart from your crew there to spoil you. Then combine this with a stay at the very comfortable Ibo Island Lodge who can arrange private dinners, honeymoon picnics and romantic excursions to the sandbank.See more ideas for Honeymoons in Mozambique
Birdwatching: The Quirimbas Archipelago doesn't have the density of species that you'll often find in mainland Africa, but the bird-watching at Ulumbwa River and Ibo Island is particularly good, with many coastal wading species seen.See more ideas for Birdwatching in Mozambique
Diving & snorkelling: Northern Mozambique has areas of pristine corals – and good snorkelling is possible from several hot spots on the safari. The diving in this area can also be very good, although there isn't currently any commercial diving operation here. Watch this space ...See more ideas for Diving & snorkelling in Mozambique
Traditional Cultures: The Quirimbas is home to traditional fishing villages that line the mainland shore, and inhabit remote satellite islands. Fishermen still build teak dhows by hand on the beach, silversmiths hand-craft intricate jewellery using ancient techniques and tools, and curious children call out traditional greetings. A visit here isn't staged; it's a friendly way to experience a real slice of African island life.See more ideas for Traditional Cultures in Mozambique
Attitude towards children: These safaris are perfect for older children and families who are fairly active and adventurous.
Property’s age restrictions: Children are welcome.
Special activities & services: There are specific activities that are suitable for children like guided bird walks, kayak and dhow races, kayaking, football, swing-ball, snorkelling and visits to Ibo's schools.
Generally recommended for children: Yes – although only for older children, not toddlers
Power supply: None
Communications: There is mobile phone reception on the islands.
TV & radio: No TV or radio.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: For minor injuries there is a first aid box. The nearest doctor is in Pemba, on the mainland, about a 20-minute flight away.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers on the dhow and each island camp, and emergency procedures are in place.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: Cash is required for any payments made on the island – US$, Mozambican MTS or South African Rand are accepted. There are no credit card facilities here.