Friday, December 30, 2016

Ibo Island, Mozambique

Paul and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary back in September. He was in South Africa and I was on a 26 hour plane flight with Piper. So we didn't do much celebrating on the actual day. Two months later though we took a trip to Ibo Island in Northern Mozambique for some diving and relaxing!

The trip to get there was not short but it was worth it. We traveled on Mozambique Air (Lam Air) from Johannesburg through Maputo to Pemba, where we got transferred to a four seater Piper prop plane. This little plane was ancient! None of the instruments worked it was all rewired to have a digital screen on the pilot's controls. We flew at about 2500 feet for 25 minutes and I got to be in the co-pilot's spot! It was awesome!

We arrived on the island right before sunset, it was quite an amazing welcome!

We stayed at the Ibo Island Lodge, which was beautiful.

We took a walking tour with a local guide and learned a lot about the islands history. From the website:

Ibo Island has a lost world appeal, with tales of pirates and prisoners, turtle shells and silver. The history is a dramatic series of events that is brought alive by our guided historical tours. Zoned for World Heritage Status, Ibo Island supports some of the oldest buildings in Mozambique. As early as AD600 Arab traders had established contact with Ibo Island and subsequently established fortified trading posts and forts along the coastline. Via these trading posts slaves, gold and ivory were shipped to the Arab world.
Throughout the centuries Ibo has been conquered and crossed by many. Ibo Island history reads like a kind of turbulent fairy tale. The island see-sawed between Portuguese and Omani Arab rule and eventually the Portuguese held sway. The island gained municipal status in 1763, and is regarded to have been the second most important Portuguese trading centre after Ilha de Mozambique. The Portuguese left Ibo in 1975, and very little development has happened on the island since.

Evenings were spent sitting on the rooftop bar, watching the sunset, and drinking wine. It was lovely!

We took the kayaks out one afternoon to explore the mangroves that surround the island. The tides are extreme at the island with a tidal range change of nearly 12 feet. When the tide was in the water is up to the lodge, when the tide was out the entire lagoon was empty.

Our flight off the island, four days later :( It was a bit bigger plane, about 10 seats.

Posts from our diving and birding coming up!

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