Ibo Lodge Reviews & Information
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There are mystery and magic in the air, and the culture and beauty of Ibo Island Lodge beckon. It’s a small African Island you will tell your friends about as it is exotic and unique with has a charm unique to the region and its heritage. This is a place people visit, and would not leave if given half the chance. Built in the community, today either directly or indirectly, the lodge benefits a large part of their population. Here your visit does make a difference.
This exotic Indian Ocean Island destination has a mystical appeal combining its centuries-old culture, their height of luxury and a bounty of natural beauty all on one remote Mozambican island just North of Pemba.
Described as one of the unique and magical islands in the world, it can only be savoured in person once a trip through the mangroves and or a dive on the outer reef has been experienced. One Mozambique’s active trading centres on the turn of the century, the Island, situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago National Park Northern Mozambique, has remained all but forgotten to the outside world.
The interior of the island is a bushy habitat, which spills over onto coral reefs, mangrove forests and little coves. The waters surrounding the island are home to pristine sandbank beaches where dolphins, turtles and a varied marine life live. Visiting the lodge is a unique experience and unforgettable.
The lodge comprises three restored mansions dating back 150 years, with one-meter thick coral and lime walls. Set amongst their lush gardens planted with palm trees, bougainvillaea, frangipani and fringed by three swimming pools, it presents the perfect environs to enjoy a signature Mojito. With exquisite attention to detail, the views of the ocean from the elevated decks are further complemented by the spacious air-conditioned environments of the beautifully decorated rooms.
A potential world heritage site, the rooms are all restored and individually designed to conform to their history and original architecture with an elegance and a touch of opulence. Rooms include king size four poster beds, luxury cotton and silk linen and consist of premium sea facing, historical or garden facing options topped with a private Paradiso villa option that can sleep up to 12 guests.
Ibo has been called one of the most atmospheric islands in the world. Historically, the island see-sawed between Portuguese and Omani Arab rule. As if not an island, but some marked treasure trove. Architectural heirlooms from this era still stand in the beautiful stone town, reflecting this rich legacy.
Busting at the seams with culture and tradition, the community is a fascinating blend of people, all sharing in their beliefs, and all indelibly intertwined. Visiting the Island offers a combination of lazy beach bliss, with brilliant scuba diving packages on hand, snorkelling drift dives and exploring the history and culture of this magical little islands secrets that you’ll feel you are the first to discover.
You’ll dine on the freshest of seafood platters, smoked sailfish, a traditional chilli and coconut crab curry, a green paw and lobster thermidor, or a sublime desert such as their coffee eclairs all prepared in the award-nominated kitchen.
Crab feasts are their speciality, and whether enjoyed on your veranda, on a sandbank beach, at Fort Joao Baptiste, under the palms in the tropical gardens, or on the fantastic rooftop terrace with a bottle of chilled wine, the delicacy can only be described as legendary and has guests coming back year on year.
Their people seem weaved together, religion and culture being the distinct threads. Their warm-hearted friendliness is the first thing that strikes you when you arrive. The people are charismatic characters while taking pride in their island seems to burst from within them; they are not shy to share all they know with visitors.
They are Kimwani speaking, a language closely related to Swahili and meaning ‘the language spoken by four peoples - namely Swahili, Jawa, Nyanga. Up to 20 per cent of the population is also able to speak Portuguese.
The population is approximately 3500 people & 99% of the island is Muslim, because of the Arab influences in Mozambique’s history. In addition to that, Mozambique tribal customs are still respected and practised daily.
Just as there was little concept of tourism on their Island before the project, there was also the small idea of preservation of biodiversity. They aim to reduce the local use of threatened natural resources.
Island has been nominated as a World Heritage Site and falls within the protected Quirimbas National Park. The Quirimbas supports a wealth of animal and plant species. The park is considered one of the most important, and biodiverse marine regions in the world.
The Lodge recognises the critical role of business in the conservation of biodiversity, and how by employing local people, this assists in preserving the natural resources of the region. The Lodge operates on one philosophy, to live in a manner that does not despoil, exhaust or extinguishes our environment.
You can easily connect to northern Mozambique from South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya or Tanzania to Pemba in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province. At Pemba, you will be met by a representative of the Lodge who will either escort you directly to the next light aircraft to the island, or to the air-conditioned waiting room for your short flight.
From Pemba, the last leg of the journey is often the highlight. Flying low over the clear turquoise waters where you can usually spot turtles and whales in season and beautiful islands. The lodge waits hidden just 25 minutes away.
Miles of tropical palm lined coastline, and sparkling blue ocean separate the island from tall buildings and industry. The island feels like a place that was forgotten and where time has stood still, but now people are getting to know it again. The airstrip at is a grass strip in excellent condition, where you will be met by a member of the lodge team ready to give you a warm welcome.
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