Return to Northern Mozambique

Because I’ve always wanted to…

Issue 23 / December 2015

Seasonal greetings to you all!

With the opportunities I have to travel, it’s rare for me to return to a place a second time. This I was lucky enough to do in September, celebrating a rather special birthday in Mozambique with eleven friends at Quilalea, Ibo Lodge and then a dhow safari camping adventure sailing through the Quirimbas Archipelago to Vamizi Island. Click here to view my trip.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Xmas and here’s to lots of lateral travelling in 2016!

Laterally yours,

Azura Quilalea.

This 9 villa private island tucked away in the Quirimbas Archipelago is a true gem and just perfect weather wise for families in our Summer holiday months or couples any time between April and January.

It’s not easy to get to, accessed through Joburg, 2.5 hour flight to Pemba and then a 20 minute heli ride to the island, but the journey is well worth it.

Great snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, dhow sailing, not to mention day trips to Ibo Island or lazing on the beach / by the pool.

It’s truly an island paradise beautifully run and managed by Claudia, Leon and Tristan!

Click here to view the website

 

Ibo Island.

Imagine a remote Mozambican Island lost in time and almost forgotten to the outside world for a century. Picture grand majestic architecture, some lovingly restored to their former glory, while others have fallen into crumbling marvellous ruins.

Take local dhows to an idyllic white sandbank beach for breakfast or lunch, enjoying some great snorkelling as well. Excellent scuba diving, swimming with dolphins or merely sitting by the pool relaxing.

Cocktail hour on the roof terrace watching the sun go down is very special. A must visit if you are in the area and, to my mind, one of the highlights of this country.

Click here to view the website

Dhow Safari.

One of the things Ibo Lodge has become famous for, apart from the lodge itself and the faded colonial glory of its old crumbling town and forts, are the dhow safaris.

You can do a mini safari to a nearby sandbank to witness a sail on these infamous trading boats or, alternatively, head off to a couple of islands to camp overnight under the stars nursing a Gin & Tonic, roaring fire in front of you and the smell of sizzling grilled fish about to come to your way. It’s a memory to be savoured… that’s for sure!

Click here to view the website.

Vamizi Island.

Vamizi is the most northern of the islands in the Quirimas Archipelago that is on offer to tourists.

Access is currently its biggest issue with and expensive charter flight from Pemba or, as we did, sailing in by dhow, being the only solutions to reach Vamizi.

The resort is currently closed, though it does have the superbly appointed 5/6 bedroomed staffed villas that, if taken by a number of friends or several families, would make for an amazing but not cheap beach island holiday.

The fishing and scuba diving are phenomenal here but for snorkelling you need to go by boat  to nearby reefs, not off the beach.

Click here to view the website

Siwandu.

The Selous Game Reserve is Africa’s largest game reserve, spanning some 55,000 km2 and is four times larger than the infamous Serengeti.

Siwandu Camp is sheltered in a palm grove on the shore of lake Nzerakera, part of the watery byways of the Rufiji river.

400 varieties of bird species, half of Tanzania’s elephant population, buffalos, hippos and crocs galore and 4,000 lion plus numerous rare wild dogs roam the Selous National Park.

It’s a magnificent camp, excellent boat safari opportunities and the tents are supremely stylish and comfortable.

I really rate Siwandu as a supreme safari option and perfect for families.

Click here to view the website.

Jongomero.

This camp is about as remote as it gets in Africa; it’s nestled in a corner of the vast Ruaha National Park. You do not see tourists or vehicles from the other camps when staying here.

The camp is set on a mostly dry riverbed which is used as a highway for the animals. Oft I sat in the pool watching elephants, baboons, impalas and mongooses skipping down the riverbed!

The baobab scenery reminded me of Mozambique or Madagascar, but the volumes of birds and wildlife did not. Everywhere, you see extraordinary numbers of exotic birds and all the usual suspects on the big game front.

This is a very special camp.

Click here to view the website

Serengeti Safari Camp & Lamai.

I have always dreamed of visiting the Serengeti and witnessing the wildebeest crossing over the Mara river made famous by the Attenborough film clips.

I stayed at Nomad’s tented safari camp first off to get that real “out of Africa” bush plain experience, bucket showers and all! Then I stayed at its more luxurious other camp called Lamai – wow!

Yes, the Serengeti is busier than the Selous and Ruaha National Parks, but not so busy as to take away the extraordinary sights of the game I witnessed.

This included the thousands of wildebeests hurling themselves across the Mara River, some sadly meeting their end thanks to the voracious crocodiles that haunt the river’s waters! A must do experience.

Click here to view the website. (Serengeti Safari Camp)

Click here to view the website. (Lamai Camp)

Up Periscope

Wakatobi Lodge, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia – Helen and I spent a week here last July. It’s certainly remote,being 2.5 hours by plane from Bali, but the journey is well worth it – it has breath-taking snorkelling and diving with a variety of fish life and amazing healthy coral, I have not seen for a long time!

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