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Ibo Island Dhow Safaris

When To Visit Ibo Island Dhow Safaris:
When To Visit Ibo Island Dhow Safaris:
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"This is the only high quality dhow safari that we know of in Africa - so for anyone looking to sail through this remote archipelago it really is a must. It is authentic, rustic and a lot of fun."

*Unfortunately, Ibo Island Lodge is situated within an area of Mozambique that the FCO advises avoiding at present. However, as the lodge is some distance away from the problems identified by the FCO, we’re hoping that the advice will be altered soon. For up-to-date information, please contact a member of our team.*


A special experience offered by Ibo Island Lodge, dhow safaris are perfect for exploring the Quirimbas’ stunning chain of islands! Travellers can combine sailing time with swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking.

Ibo Island Dhow Safaris are available from Ibo Island Lodge as one of the property’s exciting experiences. You can read about the lodge itself here. Ibo offers five- and seven-night set itineraries in addition to tailor-made trips. In the latter case, guests can decide on the duration of the safari, the style of travel, and even the level of luxury involved. Safarists are accompanied by Ibo’s pro skipper and expert crew. The experience is suitable for all ages and adventurous travellers! Dhow safaris are possible all year round.


Ibo Island is accessed via 20 minutes’ light aircraft flight from Pemba Airport. It’s situated within the Quirimbas Archipelago.


Accommodation on your dhow safari takes the form of fly camps, each set up on any number of the uninhabited islands in the Quirimbas. The camp typically offers fairly simple yet very comfortable dome tents, each with separate washing facilities. The latter are made up of safari showers (buckets filled with warm water and hoisted into the air, with a shower tap) and short-drop toilets.

The communal facilities offered by the fly camp are also pretty simple, being a dining table and chairs set up on the beach, in addition to a fire-pit that’s used by the crew to cook up delicious seafood and traditional dishes. Whatever your culinary preferences, the experience of being in the remotest areas of the Quirimbas is magical. The 14-metre dhow itself is also very comfortable, and rather spectacular too, with its white sails billowing in the breeze!


The experience involves the following activities:

  • Island hopping 

    – Glide from island to island aboard your dhow, relaxing on pristine beaches, soaking up the local culture, and enjoying sightings of a wealth of wildlife amidst clear seas and mangrove forests. The Quirimbas is home to many birds that have an entry on the International Union for Conservations of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. You can look out for marine mammals too, not least sea cows, whales, and dolphins!
  • Swimming 

    – The inviting waters around the uninhabited islands are ideal for taking a swim, or simply splashing about in the shallows.
  • Snorkelling 

    – The Quirimbas is also superb for snorkelers! A dhow safari can involve opportunities to explore the archipelago’s colourful coral reefs, enjoying sights of sea turtles, seahorses, and 375 fish species.
  • Kayaking 

    – This activity can also form part of your safari – if you don’t want to sail, you can kayak alongside the dhow as you move from island to island. Kayaking is great for adventurous and energetic types. As with dhow excursions, you’ll be well looked after by an expert crew and you can decide on the length of each kayaking trip.


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