Castaway in the Quirimbas Archipelago
On this week-long itinerary, experience castaway idylls with all the amenities in Mozambique's Quirimbas Archipelago, exploring deserted beaches, taking romantic sunset dhow cruises and diving the colourful coral gardens rich with marine life in the surrounding marine reserve.
Itinerary at a glance:
- Take a kayak tour of the local mangrove forests to see exotic birds and marine inhabitants
- Dive the surrounding marine reserve, looking out for the endangered dugong amongst the vibrant reef fish, you might even spot a whale shark (between October and March)
- Go on a whale and dolphin watching trip (between July and September)
- Embark on a romantic sunset dhow cruise before a romantic private candlelit dinner on the beach
Why Book with Original Diving?
When To Travel
All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you
Day 1: International Flight
Your overnight international flight to Johannesburg leaves London in the evening and takes 11 hours. Plenty of time to swot up on your Indian Ocean marine life.
Day 2: Quirimbas Archipelago
The international flight lands in Johannesburg at breakfast time and you then transit across to the onward flight to Pemba, which takes a further three hours.
On arrival, and once you have cleared customs, you will be met by one of our team on the ground and privately transferred to Azura Quilalea by helicopter.
Located off Mozambique's northern coast, the remote Quirimbas Archipelago is an extraordinarily beautiful string of untouched islands that seemingly melt into the surrounding ocean. The scenic helicopter ride should take around 25 minutes.
Once you have checked in, spend the rest of the day exploring the island, snorkelling in the shallows, kayaking through coastal mangroves and sipping sundowners on the beach.
Day 3: Azura Quilalea
This morning you can explore the house reef - one of our all-time favourites - either on a dive or simply by snorkelling a few yards straight out from the main beach.
Located within a protected marine reserve, the water's surrounding the island are home to over 350 species of fish, turtles and even endangered dugongs. Visit between July and September and you can also spot humpback whales.
Spend your surface interval enjoying a decadent picnic on the beach before taking a guided kayak tour through the island's wild mangrove forests, spotting exotic birds and crabs hidden among the winding stems.
After sunset, set out for a guided snorkelling trip before indulging in a private candlelit supper on the beach.
Days 4 – 5: Azura Quilalea
Spend the next few days exploring the marine park, whether diving the house reef or setting out by boat to sites further afield, with a further 17 dive sites surrounding the island.
Neptune's Nursery in particular features a huge diversity of colourful corals, blue spotted stingrays and macro marine life.
On land, you can take guided nature walks to see giant ancient baobabs and visit the islands vast coconut tree plantation. Visit between January and April and you can see green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles nesting on the shores of the appropriately named Turtle Beach.
Due to the island's remoteness, there is very little light pollution, so in the evenings you can join the resort's sky guide to stargaze, using the telescope to spot entire constellations.
Day 6: Azura Quilalea
This morning set out on a whale watching trip to spot these magnificent creatures breaching alongside dolphins.
After enjoying a fresh lunch back at the resort, you can unwind with a private baobab bath in the privacy of your villa, champagne in hand before taking a sunset dhow cruise.
In the evening, sample the islands fine wine collection in the wine cellar before enjoying a final candlelit dinner along the beach.
Day 7: Ibo Island
Today take a scenic helicopter ride (or longer speedboat transfer) to nearby Ibo Island.
You will be taken on a guided tour of the heritage site, visiting the old fort and watching silversmiths at work in what was once a major Portuguese trading post.
You can spend the remainder of the day on another tour - whether deep sea fishing, kayaking or night snorkelling - or take advantage of your remaining hours in paradise by doing nothing at all (except, perhaps an indulgent spa treatment).
Day 8: Homeward Bound
Sadly, after breakfast and one last morning snorkel, it's time to go home.
You will be transferred by helicopter to Pemba from where your three-hour international flight to Johannesburg will depart.
Connect across to your overnight flight to London, which leaves in the evening and takes just over 11 hours.
Day 9: Arrive Home
You will arrive back in London in the early morning.
Jacqui is our expert for this itinerary and as a seasoned traveller they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.