Virtually unknown to the outside world, the people who inhabit the islands have quietly gone about their daily business. Local fishermen build Arab style dhows hand-hewn from trees.
They navigate hundreds of kilometres of winding channels and mangrove lagoons casting their nets and lines much as they have done for the last 1000 years. It is the 'undiscovered' nature of these islands that make it so special for the sport of scuba diving. This is a place in the world where there are no cars, no roads, few hotels and therefore few tourists. For the diver looking for a very special location, this is it!
With up to 30-metre visibility and water temperatures around a balmy 28 degrees C you can expect to see all coral reef species typical of the Indian Ocean region as well as game fish - yellow fin tuna, dogtooth tuna and marlin. There are also manta rays, eight species of shark (to date), whale sharks, huge schools of feeding barracuda, king fish of many species, red snappers, green and hawksbill turtles, pods of humpback dolphins not to mention the humpbacked whales in season. When you are done with diving for the day perhaps you'll even be fortunate enough to see a green turtle coming to lay her eggs on one of the many brilliant white palm fringed beaches.
One very special island in this Archipelago is Ibo, or as the locals call it 'IIha do Ibo'. Part of the new Querimba National Park and nominated for World Heritage status in November 2002, it is undoubtedly the 'Crowning Jewel' in this string of islands.
During the last 500 years Ibo has been one of the major trade islands along the coast of East Africa. Its long history is everywhere to be seen. The ruins of once grand colonial buildings and a beautiful old catholic church still line its streets and three forts still stand guard over the sea, their rusted cannons and crumbling ramparts all that remain of their once great power.
Today when you visit this little coral and palm-fringed island your mind will run wild at the thought of ancient ocean-going dhows crossing the seas between Africa and Asia fully laden with their 'precious' cargo of slaves, ivory and gold.
Combinations can be tailor-made to suit your exact wishes and interests. Activities can include scuba diving, snorkeling, game fishing, whale and dolphin watching; island hopping and exploring, mangrove excursions and historical dhow cruises and safaris. Cultural exchanges are abundant and you will have the chance to interact with the islanders and catch a glimpse of an ancient lifestyle. With an amazing variety of birdlife the archipelago is also an ornithological paradise.
Pemba town sits on the mainland approx 25 km south of the Querimba Archipelago at the mouth of the world's second largest natural harbour - potentially a water-sports paradise! It boasts two beachfront hotels, a PADI dive school and water sports. The reef is within striking distance of the beach, allowing safe swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and diving. For most people however, Pemba is the gateway to the 27 stunning islands that make up the alluring and secretive Querimba Archipelago.
Northern Mozambique is like nowhere else in Africa and we look forward to helping you plan your adventure.