Ibo Island

Without a doubt one of the highlights of Southern Africa, Ibo Island could likely compete as one of the most picturesque places on the Continent. Accessible only by dhow, the former seat of Mozambique’s capital, is a amazing mix of Swahili, Arab and Portuguese cultures. Though run-down, the island was sparred by the war and remains an absolute gem. Part of the Querimba Archipelago, Ibo is home to several ancient forts, centuries old Hindu temples and coconuts galore. You can easily spend days walking throughout the dusty streets, admiring the beautiful architecture and absolutely brilliant sea.

Accomodations on the island are sparse with only two lodges able running as of August 2004. Both provide meals. Choices for food outside of these two establishments are very limited, perhaps even non-existent!

Ibo is worth a trip if only for the adventure of getting there. If you’re lucky enough to find transportation headed for the coast you’re only half way there. Once you’ve reached the coast you’ll have to wait for high tide, which often means an overnight stay under the great big baobob (or simply ask at the small shop for a place to crash). Semi-regular dhows ply the waters to Ibo. With good wind and calm waters its a one-hour journey but as this traveler found out, with neither it can easily amount to a five hour marathon!

Nonetheless this is truly one of the gems of Africa.