Uncover the Mystery, Culture and History of Ibo Island

Posted by
Ibo Island aerial Aerial view of Ibo

Peachy Beach

Covered in silky soft sand, mangrove forest and scatterings of shady palm trees, Ibo Island, like her sisters in the Quirimbas Archipelago, boasts spectacular natural beauty. Amidst its glorious surroundings, Ibo allows visitors glimpses of an ancient era.

Ibo Historical Buildings Ibo Fort Ibo Village

Nominated as a World Heritage Site, Ibo takes visitors on a journey of multi-cultured history and offers guests an opportunity to connect with the vibrant community inhabiting the island. Friendly islanders welcome guests to experience their lifestyle. Once a prosperous trading post of East Africa’s gold and ivory, Ibo is a fascinating place marked by the cultures that inhabited it. A leisurely walk through the island’s villages presents visitors with magnificent old fortresses, a beautiful old Catholic Church, an ancient cemetery, numerous ancient administration buildings and other sites of interest. Guests can observe traditional silversmiths who still operate at the 17th century main fort. Ibo will take guests on a journey of mystery and history and will satisfy knowledge-thirsty tourists with stories of pirates, ivory and intrigue.

Ibo Lodge at night

Deck view

Swimming Pool

Ibo Island Lodge represents the essence of style and luxury in magnificent old mansions, supported by thick coral and lime walls, high ceilings and original beams. The minute you enter your elegantly decorated room, you are transported to an ancient existence, as authentic architecture is combined with stylish comfort. It may prove too tempting not to instantly sink into enormous beds covered by Indian silk throws. Verandas fitted with comfortable furniture provide relaxing spots from which to enjoy the beautiful views of the tropical garden or the calm Indian Ocean spotted with gently floating dhows. The grand Niassa Mansion was once the headquarters of the Portuguese-owned Niassa trading company. Original red tiles that were shipped to Ibo during the colonial times still make up the mansion’s roof. There is one room in the Bela Vista mansion which faces the sea and has its own private veranda.


Lodge view

Alfresco dining

Fresh, nutritious meals are served in various locations suited to your mood at the time. Mouth-watering meals of prawns, game fish, lobster and crab are just some of the specialities you can look forward to, while you look out on the very ocean in which they were caught. Enjoying these fresh delicacies on the rooftop terrace under the stars will make your dinner unforgettable.

Snorkeling Sea kayaking Coral reefs

The lodge offers a range of activities that will be sure to leave you with other fantastic memories. A short boat trip to a secluded sandbank beach is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and exploring. A snorkelling excursion blinds eyes with colourful marine life and some of the best soft corals in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Or explore the waters on board a traditional sailing dhow and enjoy the transport used in ancient times. A picnic lunch on Matemo Island is included. A guided sea kayak excursion through winding mangrove channels allows sightings of bird and marine life which make up Ibo’s precious ecosystem. A sunset cruise takes you closer to the stunning spectrum of colour occurring as the sun begins its descent, set against a backdrop of Ibo.

Sunset cruise Mangrove swamps Kayaking swamps

Alternatively, pull your feet out of the warm water and let them lead you through one of the largest mangroves in Africa where you can discover the area’s beautiful flora and fauna. A one and a half hour walk takes you to the neighbouring Quirimba Island where you can explore the village and churches. Or you can visit the Mogundula Island, have lunch in an uninhabited tropical paradise and rest under coconut trees once your tummy’s content. A guided walk into the villages of the Kimwani people allows you to discover a way of life unique to Ibo.

Island picnic Massage Spa

To explore Ibo’s hidden gems in your own privacy, you can hire a bicycle and peddle from one interesting spot to the next. If you’d rather just hang out at the lodge, guests are encouraged to treat it as their home and relax wherever they feel comfortable. With nothing but the occasional call of a bird or the waves breaking on shore, it’s likely that you’ll be put to sleep in seconds. And if for some reason you’re not at your most relaxed, culturally-inspired massages will be sure to do the trick. Try out a Mussiro ‘white face mask’, the exotic mask used by Ibo women daily.

Ibo Island Lodge is part of a group of lodges and organisations in Mozambique that follow responsible tourism. Learn more about the or find out about our .


  1. Zola Jardin

    April 16, 2010

    Thank you. This is one of knowledge.

Add a comment