Ibo Island Lodge

From: $295 p. p. n. sharing

Ibo Island is one of 32 islands that make up a string of islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago. It is situated in the warm Indian Ocean just north of Mozambique. The archipelago is almost unknown to the outside world, and therefore almost untouched by commercial activity. This has ensured that the marine life stayed preserved, and is now one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the Indian Ocean.

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Ibo Island is one of the oldest settlements in Mozambique: Its 500 year history tells a story of slavery and pirating, of smuggling and buccaneering, but it is this history that shaped the island into the hidden gem it is today. Grand colonial buildings still line the streets, and there are many majestic forts guarding the coastline. The island was fortified by Portuguese sailors in 1609, and Fort São João became an important slave port by the late 18th century. Today, travelers can still see the very well preserved imperial architecture, and in 2002 the Quirimbas National Park was created, providing similar preservation for the marine life. Ibo Island has been nominated for World Heritage status.

Ibo Island Lodge is comprised of 3 old restored Portuguese mansions, surround by lush tropical gardens. The lodge is not on a private island resort, so guests can interact with local and fellow visitor alike to get a taste of real oceanic Africa. Ibo island does however have a little secret: 20 minute on a boat out to the ocean will lead you to a hidden sand spit beach that only reveals itself during low tide. All traces of human presence gets washed away when high tide rolls in. This sand beach offers complete private swimming and the lodge offers free boat transfers there and back. Guests can also enjoy breakfast or lunch on this beach under a romantic Bedouin-style tent.

The lodge is located right on the waterfront, within walking distance of romantic Dhow boat cruises at sunset. The 3 magnificent mansions all have a story to tell, each being over a 100 years old. A great way to start your stay is to take the “Ibo of Old” experience walk, where the experienced lodge guides will talk you through the history of mansions and island, and even share a legend or two.

Accommodation:

The rooms either have oceans views or they look out over the magnificent tropical gardens. The rooms have great verandas, decked out in plush cushions and the finest hand crafted furniture. Mansion Bela Vista is the public area of the lodge where you will find the restaurant and main garden pool. The main restaurant is situated on the rooftop terrace that overlooks the bay and the mangrove forests in the distance.

The 3 mansions are split between Villa Paradiso and Villa Niassa, with Villa Bella housing the guest areas. All the bedrooms have the same luxurious finishes, although all are uniquely and individually decorated. All the rooms have en- suite bathrooms and have air conditioning, ceiling fans and large windows for those who prefer an ocean breeze. The rooms also have a safe, hairdryer, mosquito net and flask. Tea and coffee get brought to your room every morning.

Facilities

  • Swimming pools
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Spa
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Wedding venues
  • Conference facilities
  • Nightclub
  • Curio Shop
  • Laundry service
  • Bicycle rental
  • Tour Desk

Activities:

  • Dhow island tours at sunset
  • Cultural heritage excursions
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Water sports
  • Guided mangrove trips
  • Humpback whale spotting

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