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Quirimbas Archipelago Reviews

There’s a wonderful sense of going back in time as you arrive at Ibo Island’s only luxury hideaway. Dating back to 1897, the two grand colonial mansions that make up Ibo Island Lodge were originally the headquarters of the Niassa Company, the royal Portuguese company tasked with controlling northern Mozambique. These days, the properties are no less majestic. The three sea-facing rooms in the main house are airy and homely, stylish yet contemporary and, most importantly, in keeping with the island’s unique heritage.

The Portuguese and Goan decor, evident throughout – from the antiques to the hand-carved furniture – are testament to Ibo’s illustrious past as a vital trading hub ruled by the Arabs and Portuguese. Mahogany four-poster beds sit under original wooden beams with sturdy walls made of the traditional blend of lime and coral stone in the lofty bedrooms while deep clawfoot tubs give the bathrooms a hedonistic touch.

The grounds are equally impressive with exotic gardens of coconut palms, baobab and marula trees, spider lilies and fuchsia bougainvilleas framing the infinity pool and six gardenfronted rooms perfectly.

But the real beauty of a stay at Ibo Island Lodge are the quiet moments spent reading, pondering and simply savouring the solitude. The rooftop terrace offers an idyllic vantage point from which to watch the sun dip beneath the horizon, casting a warm amber glow across the silky mudflats and verdant mangroves – a playground for the 884 bird species that call the Quirimbas Archipelago home. Meanwhile, in the distance, silhouetted against the evolving sky, are the billowing sails of dhows slowly returning to the bay.

And how better to start the day than with a fresh pot of tea enjoyed in a whicker rocking chair on the silent verandah with only the occasional waving local and distant sound of laughing children for company? Pure bliss.

N Boulos
June 13, 2011

The food was still lovely, very good vegetarian options. We got upgraded on our room – Very nice!

G Westbrook
July 30, 2010

We had a very enjoyable time and we were looked after very well…. We fully endorse the aim of the lodge. Excellent service and location.

S. Galloway
September 30, 2009

The four hour road journey to Nuarro was tough, the last two on dirt roads, although the visual experience of village life en route was fascinating. On arrival the reception was warm and our stress rapidly dissipated. As with Gorongosa, we were struck by the passion of the owner/managers for their project and the genuine desire to have a positive impact on the local environment – both physical (flora + fauna) and social.

During our stay we progressed from sleeping to swimming, then snorkelling, then scuba diving and finally to sailing. The underwater world was amazing and as novice divers (first time!) we only sampled the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and for competent divers more treasures await, including the possibility of an encounter with the humpback whales whom we had the opportunity to watch spouting and tail flipping from the shore.

Food was delicious and well presented. Joe particularly enjoyed the fish dishes and my veggie meals exceeded expectation. The wine was good, the complimentary bottle being particularly enjoyable. Nothing was too much trouble. We were for the most part the only guests and we had the lodge, the beach and the bay and all the staff all to ourselves. For the staff, there has been a steep learning curve and a contrast to previous village life; this manifest at times in a little quirkiness, but for us this just added to the charm and unfortunately in time this is likely to be lost as they become more polished

P & J Thompson
July 23, 2009
Review items: Nuarro    

Guludo was wonderfully unique and romantic we thought. Superb holiday!

J Benn
August 27, 2007

The staff at Ibo were very professional. Superb holiday!

J Benn
August 27, 2007

Great island, we felt part of their family.

L & A Bailey
April 13, 2007

Just to let you know how marvellous both venues were that you recommended. Both very very different and both equally exciting in their separate ways.

If you have clients that resonate with the idea of their holiday choice helping the local village, then you can't do better than Guludo where just a small amount of money makes a very large difference.....we sponsored the container that they needed to keep all the school food in (dry and lock proof) for their child feeding project (300 kids daily). It ... has made just the differece they needed to make the project really work ... its no good if rats and adults keep looting the grub!

Ibo was a luxurious rest with plenty of interesting activities if one felt energetic. Beautifully appointed with a very Zen feel alongside exquisit luxurious fabrics and swinging indian sofas in the garden. The two venues really compliment each other as they are so different but only 40 mins apartby boat.

S Oliver
February 27, 2007
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