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Ibo Island, Mozambique
Fast Facts
Historic Interest
Tourist Attractions
Kid-Friendly Hotels
Points of Interest Nearby

Ibo Island Fort


Photo by Ibo Island Lodge

A family vacation on the island of Ibo, Ilha do Ibo in Portuguese, is as much about the history of ivory and slave trade as it is about coral reefs and the rare dugong. Once the second most important town and northern most trading post in Portuguese Mozambique, this small, forested island has been all but forgotten by time. Take a stroll down the island's colonial streets. Tour a 16th century pentagonal fort and intriguing colonial graveyard. Observe craftsman shape filigree bracelets and pendants using age-old Arab techniques. And in contrast to Mozambique Island, here, one can also access the sea. Partake in a snorkeling or scuba diving trip and watch turtles as well as a myriad of colorful fish. Take a whale watching tour and spot dolphin, whale and, if you are lucky, even the rare dugong. And at high tide, watch the harbor as it comes alive with fisherman preparing to set sail.
Getting There
Dhows make the journey to Ibo Island from Tandanyanga, a small village roughly 150 km (93 miles) north of Pemba. Speedboats and charter planes depart from Pemba. Air shuttles from Pemba to the islands of Ibo and Quirimba can be booked through Kasazini Tourism Services and most area lodges and hotels. LAM offers flights from Maputo, Beira and Nampula as well as Johannesburg (South Africa) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
Getting Around
The best way to explore Ibo Island is on foot. This small pearl is but 3km long by 3km wide.
When to Travel
The best time to visit Quirimbas Archipelago is from June to August when the average daytime temperature is between 22-30° C (71-86° F) and the chance of rain is minimal. The weather is hot and humid throughout the rainy season (November - April); the heaviest rains are in January and February. A trip to Ibo Island on or around June 24, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, offers families - or anyone else for that matter - with insight to local traditions.
Things to Keep in Mind
There is no electricity on the island. While it is possible to walk from Ibo to Quirimba at low tide, it is advisable to hire a guide.
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Travel Trivia
Arizona shares a border with which of the following U.S. states: