Ibo Island Dhow Safaris
Quirimbas and the north coast, Mozambique
price per person for a group of 4+ for a 7 night package Ibo Island Mobile Island Hopping Safari consisting of 3 nights at Ibo Island Lodge and 4 nights on Mobile Island Safari on a full board basis inclusive of all transfers
At a Glance
The ultimate customized adventure along the Mozambique coast
Camp in dome tents on remote islands
Dive off the dhow and swim in turquoise seas
Fish for supper over the side of the dhow
Excellent snorkeling on pristine coral reefs
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Sunshine, blue skies and temperatures averaging between 24°C and 27°C along the coast are the norm, except during the rainy summer season from about December/January through to April when everything gets soggy and sticky, and temperatures exceed 30°C in some areas.
The best time to visit is from May/June to November, during the cooler dry season.
Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Ibo Island Dhow Safaris or take a look at our itineraries to Quirimbas and the north coast
Ibo Island Lodge is the only operator to offer fully guided dhow safaris along the Mozambican coast. Organised on a scheduled or fully private basis, this island hopping experience around the Quirimbas is a must for anyone with a sense of adventure.
The Quirimbas Archipelago is a string of beautiful coral and white sand islands running along the northern Mozambican coast, from the coastal town of Pemba up to the Tanzanian border. Ibo Island Lodge offers an opportunity, unavailable elsewhere, to really get to grips with this special part of the world. The Ibo Dhow Safari's operate on either a set departure, scheduled, basis. Or can be organized to be fully private, with each trip tailored exactly to the interests and preferences of the guests.
One of the focuses of Ibo is to provide visitors with a multi-layered experience. Ibo go beyond turquoise water and white sand beaches, there is a real focus on guiding and expert local knowledge. In fact Harris and Cosmo, the two guides, are Zimbabwean trained, a country known for having the best in the business. It is an important point as there is so much more to these islands than first meets the eye. Ibo itself is rich in history and culture, a once powerful hub of trade between Africa, India and the Far East.
Dhow safaris are best organized in conjunction with a stay at the lodge, either at the beginning or the end of the trip. This enables visitors to get a full picture of the great experience that has been created here by owners Kevin and Fiona Record, along with their brilliant team.
It is important to note that this adventure will not suit everyone, however, for those who are after a bit of fun and an experience they will take with them for many years this is a fantastic option. The luxury is not in the accommodation, it is in the whole package, ignoring your watch to be at the will of the tides and the wind, and spending quality time with family or friends.
The rooms at Ibo Island Lodge are large and extremely comfortable with vast bathrooms and huge Zanzibari beds with crisp, quality linen. There are different room categories, the biggest difference being their location in the lodge, either at the front of the property, or with views into the garden.
Out on safari and the accommodation is more basic, but still very comfortable. Walk-in dome tents are set up at different locations each night, normally under the shade of a palm tree on the sandy beach of a remote and uninhabited island. One of the dhows used on safaris does have a couple of cabins, but it is best to be on the beach. The tents are kitted out with stretcher beds and, again, good quality crisp linen. This is low-impact mobile safari as it should be, bucket showers are erected from a convenient tree and hot fresh water is brought when required to wash away the salt at the end of the day.
There is no specific child-care on safari, however, your crew are ever vigilant and always on hand to assist wherever they are needed. Your guide is also a qualified guide, experienced with handling all manner of different situations and reacting accordingly. Contact between the safari and the lodge is maintained at all times through handheld radios.
The food on the lodge is of the highest order, multi-course tasting menus with palette cleansing sorbets and other small treats accompanying delicious local treats such as succulently barbecued lobster. Just because you are away from the fully equipped kitchen, doesn't mean you have to suffer. Food is prepared fresh each day, bread backed in sand ovens and fish cooked over coals. It is pretty miraculous what the chef can come up with whilst you are busy snorkeling.
You name it and it can be done on safari. If snorkeling or diving is your thing your skipper will chart a course accordingly, the divemaster will be prepped to meet up with you at the best points of the tide. On your way there you could trawl a fishing line, as the locals do, if your lucky you may hit a school of tuna or barracuda, the chef will be happy. Alternatively if birding is high on the agenda you can head to some special locations to see some of the rare wading and coastal birds found in the area. Between the guides and owners at Ibo, the Quirimbas has been extensively charted. They know all the secret coves and special spots to make your safari all the more memorable.
Sian Frost (Staff)
Ibo Dhow Safari is one of the most unique experiences you can do in Mozambique. Spend your days sailing around the Quirimbas Archipelago on your own private boat before stopping for the night on an island in a rustic dome tent and star gazing late in to the night.
Diving around Ibo Island
Ibo Island Lodge has a resident Dive Master and offers scuba diving to ac-credited divers. Ibo has some wonderful dive sites that recent guests have been raving about.
Guided nature & bird walk
Organise to go for a walk with one of the highly skilled and knowledgeable guides at Ibo, the species diversity between the inland woodland, mangroves swamps, beaches and tidal flats is immense.
Guided sea kayak excursion into the mangroves
Head out from the lodge, accompanied by your guide, to explore the mangrove channels of Ibo Island. These tidal habitats are constantly changing and hide an extraordinary diversity of life.
Ibo Massage treatments
Massage is culturally inspired and can include traditional body scrubs prepared using Ibo coarse sea salt, and zesty lemon grass grown locally as part of the lodges garden project.
Private lunch on Mogundula Island
Probably one of the most beautiful islands in the Quirimbas Archipelago is yours to explore. Enjoy total privacy on this uninhabited tropical paradise island with white secluded sand spit beach, and sleep off a lunch under the shade of the coconut tree’s.
Snorkelling excursion to the wreck and sandbank
Discover the underwater paradise that surrounds Ibo Island – either by boat or traditional dhow and snorkel some of the best soft corals in the Quirimbas Archipelago.
Traditional Sailing Dhow excursion
Dhow sailing is a must for any visit to the African coast. An ancient method of transport and trade, the dhows are as essential to life in the Quirimbas now, as they were 500 years ago.
Location & directions
Quirimbas and the north coast, Mozambique
How to get there
10-hour international flight to Johannesburg followed by a 3 hour flight to Pemba International Airport in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique – the gateway to the Quirimbas Archipelago. An Ibo Island Lodge Representative will meet you at Pemba for a short flight transfer to Ibo Island. From Ibo Island you will meet your pro guide and the beautiful 12 meter dhow built to Arab designs with Mozambican skipper, crew and chef on board. From here you will depart to explore the islands.