Just eight kilometres long and three kilometres wide, Matemo Island is a magical destination, with pristine beaches enveloped by an azure sea, offset by the distinctive silhouette of thousands of palm trees. Located in the breathtaking 250km-long Quirimbas Archipelago – a 20-minute flight away from mainland Pemba – Matemo offers an escape to a place where time seems to have stood still. Here in this Mozambique tropical paradise, some of the world’s most spectacular dive sites await discovery whilst an abundance of marine life can be seen in the protected waters of the Quirimbas Archipelago National Park.
The idyllic islands that comprise the Quirimbas Archipelago stretch for 250 km along the northern Mozambican coastline, from the historic port of Pemba in the south to the town of Palma in the north.
With its 27 islands virtually untouched and unexplored, the Quirimba archipelago represents one of the few tropical island destinations in the world still untainted by man’s influence. The 1500km2 Quirimbas National Park provides sanctuary for the remarkable flora and fauna residing in this marine area. Feeding and nesting grounds for sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, sharks and whales are protected here, as is a vast expanse of tropical forest. Included within the park are 11 unspoilt coral islands, which are strung along the coastline for 100km in extent. These Mozambique coral atolls boast vertical drop-offs of up to 400 meters, abundant with coral-covered caves and tropical fish, ranging from gobies to mammoth napoleon wrasse, as well as game fish such askingfish and spanish mackerel.
The Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value and are a melting pot of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. Ibo Island, with its coral reefs, mangroves and magnificent old fortresses, has a fascinating and disturbing history. With its prime location off the East African coast, this Mozambique island became a significant trading post for gold, ivory and later slaves between the 16th and 19th centuries.
Situated a short boat ride away from Matemo lies fascinating Ibo Island, a melting pot of Arabian, European and African influences and a one-time centre of East Africa’s gold, ivory and slave trade. Nominated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its contribution to the heritage of mankind, Ibo Island is a largely undiscovered cultural destination that has an important history to reveal. Hauntingly beautiful, with its coral reefs, mangroves and magnificent old fortresses, Ibo Island is a natural drawcard for Matemo guests, who can visit relics from the slave trade and watch silversmiths hand-fashion intricate silver jewellery as they have for generations.