Wonderfully atmospheric and blissfully luxurious Ibo Island Lodge – made up of three elegant colonial-era villas in a prime position on the edge of the Indian Ocean – has been sensitively restored to its former glory and beautifully furnished with lovingly sourced Indian antiques.
Densely forested 3 500-hectare Ibo, the best-known island in the Quirimbas Archipelago National Park, is a green dot surrounded by a vast expanse of cerulean tropical waters. A remote tropical paradise with swaying palms and balmy azure waters filled with a veritable aquarium of marine life, Ibo is extraordinarily beautiful, but there is more: one of the great pleasures of this Indian Ocean island is the way you can lose yourself in time and experience a tangible sense of history.
While an idyllic island escape is undoubtedly what will bring you here, Ibo was not always the tropical paradise it is now. Its fascinating history as a strategic post between Europe and the East on the trade routes for slaves, spices and ivory made it coveted territory. Successive waves of conquerors and colonisers – from Arab, Indian and Chinese to Portuguese – have left a layered history that can be seen in the architectural heritage you can explore during village walks from Ibo Island Lodge, the island’s finest address.
Time seems to slow down in this airy lodge, which is set in a mature bird-filled tropical garden with three sparkling swimming pools. The 14 spacious, high-ceilinged suites are spread through the interleading villas, which are beautifully decorated with antiques and vintage accent to enhance the lodge’s distinct sense of place. Each air-conditioned bedroom has a plush king-size four-poster bed dressed in the finest linens and silks and cooled by slowly twisting ceiling fans. The latest addition to Ibo Island Lodge is the Paradiso family villa, which has five en-suite bedrooms, a private swimming pool and its own garden, chef and butler – and comes complete with its own private dhow, skipper and crew.
A huge roof terrace restaurant faces west for incredible sunset vistas and views of traditional sailing dhows tacking across the ocean, or relax with a book and cup of fragrant coffee on one of the deep cool verandas furnished with wicker divans and porch swings. Enjoy sumptuous seafood and award-nominated cuisine in the roof-top restaurant or in gorgeous outdoor locations.
Ibo Island Lodge offers an enormous range of activities. Combine sea kayaking and dhow sailing up wide coastal river mouths teeming with red-listed bird species and some of the largest mangrove forests in Africa. Snorkel in turquoise waters off deserted white sandbanks, and sleep in mobile eco fly camps on uninhabited tropical islands. The crew conjures up fresh seafood and traditional cuisine over an open fire under island stars. Don’t miss the opportunity for a dolphin- or whale-viewing safari. Be whisked off for a picnic, swimming and snorkelling from an idyllic sandbank beach, dive some of Africa’s richest coral reefs and discover a coastline fringed by tropical islands on an island-hopping dhow safari. At Ibo, the tropical world is your oyster.
Things to do
•Daily boat transfers to Sandbank Beach
•Castaway beach lunches & picnics
•Guided sandbank snorkelling
•Guided historical & Ibo cultural experiences
•Visit to the island’s renowned silversmiths
• Island-hopping dhow trip
• Dolphin and seasonal whale-viewing safaris
• Guided birding safaris (more than 400 species)
• Massage and spa treatments
• Sunset cruises
• Ibo Island historical & cultural interactive experiences
Create your own itinerary
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