Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

The Quirimbas Archipelago is in our view Africa's finest beach destination. Logistically this area is somewhat tricky to get to (unless you stay at Vamizi) - but its very remoteness has preserved and protected it, and consequently the rewards for the pilgrimage are simply outstanding.  The Quirimbas islands are virtually uninhabited and the beaches and reefs completely untouched.  Each island has just one lodge, resulting in levels of exclusivity and privacy that are virtually unheard of in Africa nowadays.  We cannot offer high enough praise.  
The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of a chain of 32 islands rising up from the depths of the Indian Ocean and stretching from the coastal town of Pemba almost 400km up to Mozambique’s northern border with Tanzania.
The region boasts a remarkable diversity of wildlife: whales abound in the deep diving channels, turtles breed on isolated sand banks and African fish eagles constantly scan the mangrove swamps. In contrast to the southern islands of Bazaruto, many of the islands are formed from rugged coral with intermittent stretches of golden beach, creating a dramatic and fascinating landscape.

The Maluane Project which oversees the region is potentially one of the most exciting tourism and environmental projects in the world today.  So far the focus has been on their flagship Vamizi with its miles of immaculate sand, but within the next 10 years the intention is to develop the neighbouring islands and mainland coast. We watch and wait with great interest.

Quirimbas Archipelago: where to stay

There are only a few lodges on these islands, but there are a couple that are truly sublime.

The most famous is Vamizi, which offers stunning barefoot luxury and is certainly one of the top two beach lodges in the whole of Africa. Just ten rooms sit on a georgeous untouched beach, surrounded by some of the world's best dive sites.

Further south is the simple and eco-friendly Guludo. At a third of the price of Vamizi, Guludo caters for a different market and here the focus is on the local community and conservation. Although the beach is good, this isn't really a beach destination - it feels more like a safari camp on the beach. However the diving here is great.

Rani Resorts run two lodges, Matemo which is superb for families, and Medjumbe which is better suited to honeymooners.  The smallest lodge in the region is 6-roomed Londo, a privately-run and friendly lodge on the mainland coast which offers great value for money. Finally, Ibo Island Lodge is based around the village of a colonised fort - this is a cultural option and not a stand-alone beach destination.


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Some Of Our Favourite Mozambique Lodges

Some of our favourites

Client Reviews
[90% based on 2 reviews]

Quirimbas Archipelago - Reviews

Quilalea: The island is beautiful and we had a fantastic time.  The helicopter transfer makes it a lot of fun.  The room was great and the snorkelling was fantastic fun.  The reef was less than 5m from the shore!  The food was excellent but the included wine was poor compared to the safaris.  The main criticism here would be the cost of the extras.  The activities and spa treatments were very expensive.  For example, kayaking is free but guided kayaking was $25ppph.  For us that was $75ph for not very much in return. There is no way that reflects the real cost.    The Spa treatments were also hugely expensive (it would be cheaper in a 5 start London hotel).  Finally, we wanted to visit Ibo.  It was a 40 minute boat trip but we had to go by helicopter at $220 pp. for a 3 hour trip.  Whilst Ibo is interesting it is not really worth that sort of money.  Tipping was also a bit rich.  There was suggested tipping at $10-20 pppd for our “butler". Whilst the guy was charming he didn’t do very much.  He served breakfast, lunch and dinner and brought us pre-dinner drinks.  It seemed a bit excessive given what guides on safari do.  The suggested tipping for the remainder of the staff was also $10-20 pppd which looked pricey for a beach resort.  I accept that tips are important to supplement salary but I did wonder if the owners were upping the tipping guidance in order that they could get away with lower salaries.  It just felt a little bit more exploitative that the other hotels.
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