Did you know that the Quirimbas National Park is the first park in Africa to be created at the request of local inhabitants? Cabo Delgado’s Quirimbas National Park of Mozambique has been generously endowed with world-class diving, fabulous guided kayak tours and excellent birding and wildlife, all within its own boundaries.
Parque Naçional das Quirimbas protects over 750,600 hectares of Mozambique’s pristine land and marine habitats. From the Miombo woodlands in the mountains down through the lush coastal forests that are rapidly disappearing elsewhere in east Africa, to the exquisite coral reefs and sea grass of the archipelago´s waters, this area is an ecologist’s dream come true.
The mainland areas of Quirimbas National Park continue to provide ranges for Elephant, Lion, Wild Dog and many other land-based species. Quirimbas comprises over 30 islands that dot 110 kilometers of Mozambique’s magnificent coastline.
For the most part these uninhabited islands remain covered in thick mangrove forests with countless species of birds; yet white sands of pristine beaches flash brightly along the coast. Aside from stunning beaches, avitourism and wild animals, it is the prolific marine life in the waters of the Parque Naçional das Quirimbas that render this destination truly outstanding. These waters teem with living things – 375 species of fishhave been identified so far. Sea turtles, Humpback Whales and several species of dolphin, as well as the endangered Dugong are at all home within the archipelago.
Quirimbas National Park includes Ibo, Matemo, Quisiwe, and Quirimba islands, all of which have a long history of permanent human occupation. Among these islands, Ibo Island is particularly engaging; traces of its glorious past are still visible today, but trees and vines are slowly overgrowing century-old man-made structures. Among many things on Ibo, you’ll find a fortress, the Fortaleza São João Baptista, and at its gates you will often see silversmiths, whose art has not changed since the Swahili and Arab traders ruled the day.