I spent 10 days at Medjumbe Island resort (a private island off the coast in Northern Mozambique) in August, 2011. I am a relatively well travelled and experienced scuba diver and had come to Medjumbe specifically for scuba diving, which is being advertised as “some of the best in the world” and had spoken with Medjumbe representatives several times prior to arranging this trip. Unfortunately, while there were many nice aspects which I enjoyed there, scuba diving and snorkling was mediocre.
First the positive: Medjumbe is a small and charming private island located in Quirimbas Archipelago National Park in Northern Mozambique, which provides a feeling of total isolation. Multiple flight connections, including a small shore to island plane is required to get there. The beaches are wonderfull – mostly clear white sand and broken sea shells and the water around the island is a beautiful hues of turquoise blue. Hotel staff try to provide good service which exceeded my expectations for anything that I could have expected in Mozambique. The food was of good quality, often imaginative and changed every day. The chalets were small, rustic but comfortable and right-on the beach, just meters from the ocean. No televisions and very slow internet wifi in the lobby of the main building.
Now the negative. Unfortunately, much of the fish around the island, and perhaps around this area of Northern Mozambique is gone due to many years of overfishing. There are a couple small reefs around the island of relatively poor quality with very little fish to see while snorkling. Many of the snorkelers were therefore very disappointed.
I’ve arranged scuba diving at reefs further away including what is advertised as some of the best dive spots around Medjumbe, unfortunately we didn’t see much of any interest. A number of reefs closer to the island were destroyed by dynamite fishing. Even the areas further away - approximately 45 minite boat ride from the island, did not impress in terms of fauna. In terms of comparison, the scuba diving at Medjumbe was less interesting than in the Red Sea. I had also spoken with several scuba divers who stayed in the sister island – Matemo, and they also indicated that diving was not very good.
Moreover, the activities center which organises snorkling and scuba diving was managed incompetently. The activities manager – Jamie Lonsdale, was new to this area, young and inexperienced. Despite generally good weather conditions, most diving was intitially done at the same beginner level dive site close to the resort where there is a lot of dead coral and very little to see. I have had to plead to go elsewhere and after three days, Jamie took us to more interesting dive sites further away. However, something always went wrong on every trip. A resort regulator rented to one of the guests broke down, fortunately, above water. An oxygen pumping filter broke down on another day. One of the boat’s engines was broken for two days, so travelling between locations was very slow. Finally, Jamie lost his GPS navigator where he stored all the good dive locations around Medjumbe and so dropped us in the water, but often not where we were supposed to be. Generally diving is being done with small 10L cylinders, so the air lasts approximately 35 mintues at best and there is no NITROX.
So in summary, I would recommend Medjumbe as a beautiful beach destination, although a difficult one to get to. However, after spending a lot of time and money planning this trip and traveling there, the snorkling and scuba diving terribly disappointed.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.