Quirimbas Archipelago camps - Ibo Island Lodge

Ibo Island Lodge

Ibo Island is one of those quite rare little gems where a beach lodge is part of the community. Created from the restoration of three old Portuguese town-houses in a prime beachfront location, the lodge is part of an island culture that has grown from cosmopolitan trading roots. Retaining their colonial heritage, the three houses now comprise nine unique bedrooms, a stately banqueting hall, endless verandahs and beautiful gardens. Without a doubt, the highlight is the roof-top bar and restaurant with the ultimate sea view.

Ibo’s history can be explored further with well-informed guides from the lodge and wondering the village streets with the local people is a completely different experience to your usual cosseted beach holiday. The lodge has also helped revive the art of the local silver-smiths who produce one-off filigree pieces which are really very special.

A private beach in front of the lodge offers a good (though not very private) place to swim at high tide, while a white sand-spit that appears every low tide is where you head for that picture-postcard azure sea and utter seclusion. This is a short trip by boat and the time it is exposed each day varies with the tide. For the rest of the time, there are two pools at the lodge. Sea canoes with which to explore the mangroves are also available.

Ibo is rather like aspects of Lamu on the north Kenya coast, or Stone Town on Zanzibar, except much less commercial and a great deal sleepier. For those with an interest in culture and to whom the idea of a pure beach holiday is unappealing, Ibo is a different kind of holiday.

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Rod Tether
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Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion
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Olly Williams

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