The most spectacular jewels in Mozambique’s marine crown rest in its Cabo Delgado Province, in the far north. The Quirimbas Archipelago (or ‘Ilhas Quirimbas’ as they’re known in Portuguese) are a beautiful string of islands, often fringed by gorgeous beaches, which lie about 2,500km from Maputo. This is an isolated and remote area, it’s probably the last stretch of East African coastline where the marine environments and beaches are ecologically pristine and largely unexplored.
Lying just offshore and stretching for 200km, the Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 12 major islands; about 20 smaller, coralline outcrops; and endless sand-bar beaches . As a safeguard for the future, The Quirimbas National Park protects a large part of the archipelago’s southern side.
Development here is still in its infancy; the beach lodges (they’re all smaller than what we’d normally think of as ‘beach resorts’) are all fairly new, and many of their staff are being trained up on the job. So if you want slick, first-world service and precise attention to detail – then these might not be for you. (Better look towards Zanzibar or the Bazaruto Archipelago, in Mozambique’s south, both of which have had years of practice with visitors!)