THE QUIRIMBAS





About the Quirimbas - Northern Mozambique Coast

The idyllic islands that comprise the Quirimbas Archipelago stretch for 250 km along the northern Mozambican coastline, from the historic port of Pemba in the south to the town of Palma in the north.

With its 27 islands virtually untouched and unexplored, the archipelago represents one of the few tropical island destinations in the world still untainted by man's influence. The 1500km2 Quirimbas National Park provides sanctuary for the remarkable flora and fauna residing in this marine area. Feeding and nesting grounds for sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, sharks and whales are protected here, as is a vast expanse of tropical forest. Included within the park are 11 unspoilt coral islands, which are strung along the coastline for 100km in extent. These coral atolls boast vertical drop-offs of up to 400 meters, abundant with coral-covered caves and tropical fish, ranging from Gobies to mammoth Napoleon Wrasse, as well as game fish such as Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel.

The Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value and are a melting pot of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. Ibo Island, with its coral reefs, mangroves and magnificent old fortresses, has a fascinating and disturbing history. With its prime location off the East African coast, the island became a significant trading post for gold, ivory and later slaves between the 16th and 19th centuries. Today visitors can visit relics from the slave trade and watch silversmiths hand-fashion intricate silver jewellery as they have for generations.

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