On this 8 day itinerary, we will spend the time discovering the little known and little visited wilderness of the Quirimbas National Park. Sea kayaking through the warm, blue waters of the Mozambique Channel and camping on tropical islands.
Turquoise clear waters and beautiful scenery awaits you – as well as a host of local fishermen to meet and interact with along the way.
The Quirimbas Islands lie in the Indian Ocean off North Eastern Mozambique, close to Pemba, the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado. This archipelago was almost forgotten and has only recently opened up to the outside world.
Life here is slow paced and charming. Thick mangrove forests, craggy tropical islands and a wild aquatic world make up this remote region. We explore this coastline fringed by tropical islands on a sturdy motorised 11- meter Arab dhow complete with experienced crew and a professional guide. You will have the option to kayak or sail into wild frontiers, an unequalled experience in one of the last undeveloped places in Africa.
I’ve had a magical time in paradise!
– S. Tilley
The islands are well spaced and allow for excellent kayaking, dhow cruising, snorkeling, swimming and exploring. The entire archipelago is tide dependent and so your routing is carefully worked out based on local knowledge and weather and tide conditions.
This adventure is true expedition style as we sail or kayak from one tropical island to another; beach stops are frequent, and we camp overnight on uninhabited islands. Your chef will conjure up fresh seafood and traditional cuisine over an open fire under the stars.
We end our adventure with some well deserved luxury at a beautiful island lodge.
Please note whilst on expedition all camping will be bush or island camping with no facilities what so ever. Washing water will be limited, and meals simple and nutritious based on the dry stocks able to be carried and the availability of fresh fish and seafood. The itinerary will need to be totally flexible and is weather and tide dependent. You are however assured of adventure against a backdrop of varied and pristine scenery. Services of an English speaking crew member and 2 Mozambican dhow crew.
Mozambique Sea Kayaking Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Pemba and flight to Ihla Do Ibo (L,D)
An included beautiful light aircraft flight over the islands and turquoise waters transfers you from Pemba International Airport to Ihla Do Ibo.
This island is a place where time has stood still, and people live pretty much the way they always have done for hundreds of years. The locals call it ‘Ilha Do Ibo.’ This island is probably the most visited in the Quirimbas Archipelago due to its fascinating history and beautiful old buildings. Lying to the north of Quirimba, historic island was where Vasco da Gama rested in 1502. Probably the most compelling attraction in the Quirimbas, A 200-year-old ghost town and 16th Century forts make for a fascinating journey to an era long forgotten.
Day 2: Start of Dhow/Kayak Safari – Ihla Do Ibo to Ulumbwa (B,L,D)
Depart Ilha Do Ibo for your exploration into the Quirimbas Archipelago! You can either choose to stay aboard your dhow supported by crew with all camping equipment and supplies or kayak into the clearest of blue waters. The Quirimbas Archipelago offers a diverse and wonderland of sea kayaking experiences.
The ancient art of traditional dhow travel has been practiced in this region for centuries. Today it still remains the only way of travel between the islands and the last sailing trading dhow came to this part of Mozambique from India in 1969! Turquoise clear waters and beautiful scenery awaits you – as well as a host of local fishermen to meet and interact with along the way.
The islands are well spaced and allow for excellent kayaking, dhow cruising, snorkeling, swimming and exploring. The entire archipelago is tide dependent and so your routing will be carefully worked out based on local knowledge and weather and tide conditions.
The Ullumbwa river mouth beckons and it is here where fascinating rural fishing villages dot the shore.
Camp on the beach in the open Mozambique bush south of Ulumbwa.
Day 3: Day trip to Matemo Island (B,L,D)
Turquoise clear waters and beautiful scenery awaits you on route, but before we have an early morning sail or paddle up the Ulumbwa estuary where we will get the chance to view the large variety of birds and mangroves that thrive in this area. In the afternoon we take a tour through this fishing village, getting to know the ways of these fishermen & women. We will stop on the Southern tip of Matemo Island before returning to Ulumbwa.
Days 4 -5: Dhow/Kayak to Mogundula Island (B,L,D)
In our opinion Mogundula Island is one of the best islands in the archipelago which is why we spend 2 nights here giving you a fantastic base from which to explore. Known by the locals as the island with the sacred lake it provides us with beautiful bird watching, pristine swimming off the sandbank beach and excellent snorkeling. Our mobile camp is set under the shade of trees and you usually have this magical uninhabited island to yourself!
Day trip by dhow to the Pangane Peninsula or similar and/or Macaloe Island from camp.
Days 6 -7: Dhow/Kayak to Ihla Do Ibo (B,L,D)
You will continue your adventure on the turquoise water to head Ihla Do Ibo and your accommodation.
From our lodge it is perfectto start to explore the Quirimbas Archipelago National Park in Northern Mozambique. Steeped in history, rich in culture and nominated as a potential World Heritage Site, the island dates back to the early 1600’s, making it one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique. Since its role as one of the country’s mighty trading centres, This historical place has remained all but forgotten to the outside world for almost a century. Today you can wander around the mysterious town amongst forts and ancient romantic buildings with many fascinating stories just waiting to be retold.
However there is much more than historical significance. This island is one of the most pristine destinations in Africa. The warm turquoise waters are inhabited by turtles and tropical fish; viewings of dolphins and whales are frequent whilst the bird life is abundant and varied. You will encounter idyllic beaches and explore rich coral reefs.
The lodge where you will be staying has prime, spectacular views over the waterfront and accommodates guests in beautifully yet simple decorated rooms. Historic colonial mansions with high ceilings have been stylishly renovated to accommodate the lodge with various verandas, tropical gardens and a spectacular roof top restaurant that provides the ideal venue to watch the sun go down. The emphasis at the lodge is on complete relaxation and a base from which to explore the magical places.
You will get the chance to immerse yourself in this unchanged, ancient culture and have the chance to interact with wonderfully hospitable islanders, or simply relax at one of the pools, refresh the senses with a massage and soak up the exotic atmosphere.
Day 8: Travel to Pemba Airport for flight home
An included beautiful light aircraft flight over the islands and turquoise waters transfers you to Pemba International Airport.
Submit your review
Thanks for your mail and for your hard work arranging our trip. It was wonderful. All aspects of the trip went like clockwork and all 3 lodges were excellent.
-Attention to details
The highlight of our visit was the dhow safari. We loved the camping, the snorkeling, diving and canoeing. The reefs of Rolas Island were exquisite! We have never seen such a variety coral ever! The service all in all was excellent from the cooking, guiding and attentive help to the friendliness of the staff.
Thank you for making our time a very memorable one!
I’ve had a magical time in paradise!
I loved the dhow, the islands, the staff, the snorkeling, your beautiful hotel in a beautiful setting. Thank you, thank you! I made 3 wonderful friends too!