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“A visit to paradise!!”
Review of Ibo Island Lodge

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Ibo Island Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ibo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 21, 2012

I stayed in the Ibo Island Lodge over one weekend only- 16th-18th November and wish I could have extended my time there or pop in every weekend!! I have had the most amazing time on the island- it has perfect location, wonderful people and the lodge itself exceeded all my expectations.
I have had opportunity to travel to RSA on business on numerous occasions and once I've explored South Africa decided to venture beyond. Found Quirimbas and Ibo while searching for a perfect location for a short visit to Mozambique.

On arrival in Pemba where the small plane was arranged to take visitors to their final destinations in the Quirimbas Archipelago islands, a lodge representative was awaiting to guide me through the airport. The flight over Quirimbas is pretty spectacular itself- one gets to see islands with their white sandbanks, coral reefs and mangroves as well as turquoise water with hundreds of scattered dhows around them from the above! On arrival to the island Rob, the manager, drove me to the lodge where staff was awaiting with some refreshments and cold towels.
When you enter the lodge premises- which used to be Portuguese registrar office hundred years ago- you have a feeling the time stopped here century ago. Traditional style of the place has been fantastically preserved. They do have air conditioning and electricity 24h which as I read in some previous reviews wasn’t a case couple of years ago. From the roof restaurant we had an amazing view of the waterfront with its sunsets, dhows and flamingos picking up seafood at low tide.

The food was served either on this roof patio or in the lush green backyard -just behind the pool- pleasantly refreshing if you’ve just spent couple of hours under the sun. Saying that - on my second day I have been asked if I would like to have a private dinner on the beach/waterfront- and again it exceeded my expectations. There were candles and lanterns on the beach, starry sky and most delicious seafood I’ve ever tried. Prawn curry and lobster were the local specialties- not to be missed!

Since I had only 2 days in total and was rather looking to explore the island than sit back and relax- I asked Rob to arrange some of the guided tours for the following day. And he made sure it was all perfect! I went for a historical tour around old Portuguese part of Ibo with a beautiful fort guarding this side of the island- it felt like being taken back in time again. Shortly after I have been taken on a dhow cruise to the sandbank emerging out of crystal clear waters. The tide was low and one of the lodge guide was patiently guiding me through the treasures coral reef.. We met local fishermen and spotted endless amount of crabs, starfish and beautifully shaped shells. Unfortunately I did not have time to go snorkeling but it seemed like a perfect activity- water was luke warm! Shortly after we returned to the island I was taken around the local village as part of the cultural tour- met local people, women wearing traditional masks and little boys playing hand-made football. And then in the morning day after- even though I was departing before noon- Rob also arranged for a short kayaking trip to the mangroves! I cannot say which of these activities was the highlight of my stay on Ibo- they were all fantastic- I did feel like I stayed there for a week, not two days only.

If you are looking for a holiday with a TV in the background, busy city vibe this place is for you. But if you want to forget about outside world, discover Africa at its best - Ibo Lodge is one fantastic destination. If paradise was ever on Earth it must have been somewhere here :)

Room Tip: Loved my room with the sea view. It gets warmer in the afternoon but since you can put the air con o...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank Monika B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 29, 2012

If you are visiting the Ibo island be prepared for fantastic cuisine the finest sea catch you will find anywhere in Mozambique or indeed anywhere along he East coast of Africa. Ibo lodge and the island is the perfect start or end to your Mozambique holiday with its fascinating mix of history and culture which blew me away. The locals are friendly and welcoming making it a real safe and friendly enviroment where you will wish you had more time to stay.
The lodge itself is excellently run with friendly staff who just go the extra mile the rooms are extra large and comfortable.
The guiding is excellent from the history and cuklture tours to the sea kayaking in the mangroves and birding on the island.
A visit to the fort for sundowners and to see the silversmiths at work is a great way to end the day before going back to the lodge for more outstanding cuisine.
Just my favourute place in Mozambique.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

When I travelled to ibo Island I had no idea what to expect as I had booked the flight 2 days before travelling on the recommendation of my amazing travel agent (Lutifiyyah Davids). From the moment I arrived I fell in love, the people are so friendly and warm and I felt completely safe. The hotel is just stunning, the staff can't do enough for you and are always on hand if you need anything. The highlight for me was the 5 COURSE DINNERS, if you love seafood then this is the place to go...I love lobster and to be offered it twice over my 4 day stay was just a dream and I must say it was probably the best lobster and seafood platter I've ever tasted (hats off to the chef!!).
Another highlight was watching the sunset on the terrace enjoying a selection - yes a selection of daiquiris that the bar staff created for me.
This is a perfect hotel/island for relaxation and foodies. I can't wait to return!!

Room Tip: I had a look in a few of the rooms but my room (Ndowe) was gorgeous and I enjoyed my morning coffee...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank BeautifulOne84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Visit Ibo Island and be prepared to be taken back in time and spoilt rotten! The staff who are mostly locals from the Island with a few exceptions, are absolutely amazing and very friendly. The lodge pays a lot of attention to detail in everything. The rooms are spacious and comfortable with two different swimming pools to choose from in a really tranquil garden surrounding.
The view from the deck which overlooks the sea is wonderful and the best place from which to watch the sunset. The cultural aspect of Ibo island is also well worth a two night stay at the lodge to make the most of the tours on offer. Kayaking through the mangroves not to be missed, especially for bird lovers! And last but not least.. the cuisine, the freshest of the fresh catch of the day and seafood on offer, you will not be leaving Ibo on an empty stomach!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ErikaCosta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Thank you for fantastic 4 days. If we had known how relaxing Ibo Island was, we would have stayed / or booked for longer. The trip out to the sand bank the kayaking & the relaxing by the pool were truly fantastic This was a holiday made in heaven. October is an excellent time to travel and the weather is perfect. Thank you

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank SAMUEL G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

We stayed here as a group of 19 and stayed for 2 nights. As we drove from the airstrip to the lodge we were all saddened to see rubbish scattered around the island. The lodge itself was gorgeous although some of the rooms had some AC issues and most of us had a few water troubles with the shower (no water at times, or only cold). We were a large group which may be the reason for this. The food was outstanding and we loved sitting on the roof top terrace eating under the stars.

We did a historic tour on our first afternoon and all felt that the island has a very sad, haunting feel about it. While some of the buildings are being restored many in the town are falling down. We all longed for a beautiful beach which Ibo does not have so on our second day went out on a dhow to a stunning sand bar (40mins). We LOVED this. Fresh prawn were cook on the sand bar for us and it was a lovely spot to snorkel and enjoy the turquoise water. On our last morning we kayaked out to the mangroves with Cosmo (guide). It was wonderful although would have been good to linger in the mangroves longer.

All in all spending two nights here was lovely as it was an opportunity to see a very different side to the islands. It is not a beach paradise so those after a stunning beach on the doorstep won't like Ibo. Those with an interest in history and good food will enjoy a couple of nights here. I really hope that the local people make an effort to preserve the remaining buildings before they all tumble away and start picking up their rubbish. In regard to the airstrip, it would be good to see this trimmed and maintained (fill in the holes etc) better than it currently is.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank NiknaxZambia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

It is a pretty epic trip to reach Ibo Island, but once there the magic and mystery is incredible.
We went to Ibo to see the silver makers and Harris from the lodge took us to meet Rachid who works just behind the building, it was fascinating.
Rob the manager and his trusty dog "Ibo" are both extremely charming. Our room was in the back area and absolutely enormous ! charmingly furnished. The front reception area is beautifully furnished with antiques.
The old fort which also houses silver makers is a powerful and rather creepy place, but worth a visit to understand the history of the place.The local children are divine, we went to a tiny local store a purchased boxes of ballpoint pens for our merry band of followers.
Would love to return.

Room Tip: If you can get a front room for the beautiful view.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank sammytina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ibo Island Lodge

Address: Rua Bela Vista, Cabo Delgado Province 3212, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Cabo Delgado Province > Quirimbas Archipelago > Ibo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Ibo
Price Range: $643 - $849 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ibo Island Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ibo Island lies in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique. Nominated for World Heritage status Ibo has been described as one of the most unique and atmospheric islands in the world. Ibo offers pristine beach excursions, snorkeling, sea kayaking, dhow sailing, birding, mangrove forests, sumptuous seafood, romance, simplicity, tranquility and a perspective that will change your life forever. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ibo Island Hotel Ibo

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