16 September

Transforming local lives

Transforming local lives

Transforming local lives The Ilha Blue business initiative has as its core purpose ‘ to transform local lives through employment, training and increased access to opportunities. Aims that can only be achieved through a long-term commitment and by challenging those entrenched practices that deny local people a fair go and lead to exploitation. In six […]

14 August

Whale watch update

Whale watch update

The humpback whales are well and truly here, more whales than last year if that’s possible, and all of the famous humpback acrobatics are on display pretty much all of the time: breeching, lunging, fluke and fin slapping of the surface and ‘tail-up’ displays. We’ve already seen a few calves with their mothers, one pair […]

29 April

The Travelhadores

The Travelhadores

The ‘Travelhadores’ – the Northern Mozambique Tourism Workers Exchange has commenced. The concept of the Travelhadores (a play on the Portuguese term for workers trabalhadores) is to give tourism workers in the north of Mozambique the opportunity to experience other tourism operations, to share ideas and best practices and to experience tourism. Seven of us […]

28 April

How we won “…People & Culture” African Responsible Tourism Award 2017

How we won “…People & Culture” African Responsible Tourism Award 2017

How we won. At the World Travel Market in Cape Town (WTM 2017) Ilha Blue received GOLD in the African Responsible Tourism Awards in the category Best for Engaging People and Culture. This category “seeks to shine a light on the best examples of tourism experiences which involve and celebrate local people, traditions and ways of life”. […]

19 April

Winners in the African Responsible Tourism Awards? We find out tomorrow 20 April

Winners in the African Responsible Tourism Awards? We find out tomorrow 20 April

  When the judges first asked us about our biggest achievement in engaging people and culture through tourism we pointed to our success in disrupting Ilha’s unfair tourism practices that were making it very difficult for local people to get jobs. At that time in 2011, tourism was controlled by a handful of outsiders who […]

5 March

ARTA awards – We’ve been longlisted!

ARTA awards – We’ve been longlisted!

ARTA awards – We’ve been longlisted! African Responsible Tourism Awards – Ilha Blue Island Safaris, Nominee for Best for Engaging People and Culture (https://bettertourismafrica.org) We’re very proud to stand alongside an inspiring group of responsible tourism businesses. The competition is tough and so it should be. There are no shortcuts to becoming a responsible tourism […]

30 December

Ilha Bars

Ilha Bars

Ilha Bars There is no shortage of places to have a drink on Ilha, every restaurant and café serves alcohol and there are ‘Discos’ for those who want to drink and dance till dawn, but recently a number of dedicated bars have sprung up, small places that quietly tick along, each with their own kooky character […]

6 December

Team building – Matanuska Mozambique

Team building – Matanuska Mozambique

It was a great pleasure to have the senior management team from Matanuska Mozambique (Banana Farm) with us again on Ilha de Mozambique for their second, weekend-long session of team building. At Ilha Blue we have designed a program that maximises interaction with the natural assets of the island and its nearby surrounds. The program […]

11 September

Humpback whales are STILL here!

Humpback whales are STILL here!

Humpback whales have arrived in big numbers this season. Mothers and calves are leaping about all over the place. Ilha Blue is the only operator doing whale-watching trips and we are going out 4 or 5 times a week. We go by Swahili sailing dhow so as not disturb the whales as mothers teach young […]

14 July

New Shopfront for Ilha Blue

New Shopfront for Ilha Blue

We have moved into a fantastic new shop space; much bigger, more spacious and with the most amazing tiled floor! We are located in the heart of Stonetown at ‘Orera Orera’ (In Makhuwa this means: beautiful, lovely, good). We are sharing the space with Katiza’s very popular hairdressing salon and also Orera Orera capulana fashions. […]

8 July

A temporary setback on the journey to 100% local ownership

A temporary setback on the journey to 100% local ownership

Our aim to transition Ilha Blue to local ownership suffered a disappointing set back last week. There are a number of things we need to sort out before we can do this transition. One is getting a long lease on business premises that are suitable for all our operations needs for at least the next […]

12 June

Celebrations, Awards and Parties

Celebrations, Awards and Parties

At Ilha Blue we have started the season off in fine style, winning another Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence award (that makes three years in a row!). And on the same day it was announced that Ilha Blue has been nominated for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism awards. We’re honoured and thrilled to be side […]

11 June

Le Jardin de la mémoire sur l’île de Mozambique.

Le Jardin de la mémoire sur l’île de Mozambique.

In the french magazine Bat’carré / Voyage & culture   Océan Indien Le Jardin de la mémoire sur l’île de Mozambique L’île de Mozambique Située au nord du Mozambique, à plus de 2 000 kms de Maputo – la capitale – et à trois kilomètres de la côte africaine et du pays makwa, l’île de […]

5 May

Strong winds and high tides predicted for the next few days

Strong winds and high tides predicted for the next few days

The flooding that took place early in April could well be repeated this weekend. On the 7th and 8th of May tides will be at a high 4.4m with 28 knot southerly (Kusi) winds forecast. On Ilha De Mozambique the April flooding damaged a number of homes in the lower parts of Macuti Town and some people […]

21 April

Exciting changes in 2016

Exciting changes in 2016

Transition to local ownership Ilha Blue has established a sustainable tourism business on Ilha De Mozambique. What is remarkable about this (and the thing we are most proud of) is that the tours are run entirely by local young adults with little or no previous professional tourism experience. Set against the recent history of colonial […]

13 March

MSC Sinfonia March visit

MSC Sinfonia March visit

March 22nd is the date set for this season’s final visit by the MSC cruise ship Sinfonia. Preparations are already underway to make this visit the best one yet. Ilha Blue are the official activities organisers and each trip gives us the opportunity to fine tune the tours to best suit are mostly South African cruise […]

28 February

Tradition can help with the great leap forward.

Tradition can help with the great leap forward.

February 29th is the beginning of the 2016 Leap Year. Every four years we add a day to our calendars to bring them into sync with the earth’s revolution around the sun—because it’s easier to change our human systems than to change the laws of nature. To celebrate the Leap Year, people all over the world […]

22 January

MSC Sinfonia cruise ship – responsible tourism and getting the balance right

MSC Sinfonia cruise ship – responsible tourism and getting the balance right

Well would you believe it, Ilha Blue are now doing Cruise Ships. I say it that way because we promote ourselves as responsible tour operators delivering small group tours and intimate experiences, and yet here we are dealing with the masses.   We had our first cruise ship here at the end of last year […]

10 December

Welcoming Passengers on the Cruise ship Sinfonia

Welcoming Passengers on the Cruise ship Sinfonia

When MSC’s cruise ship the Sinfonia docks at Ilha De Mozambique on Christmas Day, Ilha Blue will be there to lay out a fantastic range of shore excursions. We are suspending our usual program and instead collaborating with local operators to offer a wide range of activities especially suited to the ship’s South African and other […]

3 October

Return to Cobras

Return to Cobras

  In July, August and September this year we took a break from doing our Ilha Das Cobras overnight camping tours and focused more attention on our popular whale watching activities instead. Partly this is because we have limited resources and don’t want to stretch ourselves too thin, but there’s another, more pressing reason. When […]

21 June

Handing down the bicycles

Handing down the bicycles

Ilha Blue are upgrading to all Pashley bikes. On our trip to Malawi to get them from BeeBikes we were able to do a good deed with one of our old Heros. Recently we received an email from friend and tour guide Robert Korea. Robert lives in a village close to the start of Mount […]

8 March

Our responsible tourism committment

Our responsible tourism committment

In 2015 Ilha Blue will continue with our commitment to responsible tourism and that includes a promise to only employ people from Ilha de Mozambique. This keeps the money in the local economy so its good for the island, and it’s good for Islanders because it gives them a chance to build their skills and […]

21 November

So many changes on Ilha

So many changes on Ilha

If you haven’t been to Ilha for a few years you will notice plenty of changes. To begin with its now possible to loop the entire island on paved road. The Contra Costa, the Middle Road and a whole lot of cross streets have been paved making it easier to walk, ride or drive to where […]

31 August

Edna sails like a dream

Edna sails like a dream

Together we’ve done the final touches to the edna and now she sails like a dream. Its taken two months longer than expected, probably cost close to double what I thought I would spend but it’s been a brilliant experience and I’m sure its all going to be worth it in the long run. The boat will change […]

12 August

Yippee! whales whales whales

Yippee! whales whales whales

Humpback whales have arrived in big numbers. Mothers and calves are leaping about all over the place. Ilha Blue is the only operator doing whale-watching trips and we are going out 2 or 3 times a week. We go by Arabic sailing dhow so as not disturb the whales as mothers teach young ones to […]

29 July

Volunteering with Ilha Blue

Volunteering with Ilha Blue

Ilha Blue are responsible tour operators based in Mozambique. We’d like to invite talented individuals to come to Mozambique and work with local people involved (or wanting to become involved) in tourism. Our aim is to increase local participation in tourism and to improve the benefits that people enjoy from their involvement. As well as […]

15 July

More about the boat

More about the boat

Well its been a big learning curve for me, not so much the practicalities of transforming a motorised boat into a sail boat although that’s complicated enough, more the politics and intrigue of it all. First off, the wood I paid for wasn’t all good and wasn’t even all there. The wood for the long […]

14 July

The shirt off his back

When Auiba realised he’d forgotten the coconuts for his famous ‘arroz de coco’  he knew there was only one thing to do. Not wanting to disappoint his hungry travellers he trekked into a nearby village and traded the shirt off his back for a couple of coconuts. Now thats dedication.

20 June

Top five – Ilha’s got it covered

Top five – Ilha’s got it covered

When a poll by Sunshine.co.uk asked UK adults ‘What factors did you take into account when booking your last holiday destination?’  the top five priorities were revealed to be: good weather, nightlife, culture/history, lovely beaches and good daytime activities. Ilha de Mozambique has stunning lagoons and beaches just a short sail by dhow from the bustling World […]

19 June

New boat

New boat

Now here’s a good story. A few weeks ago we came to agreement with a couple of Swedes and owners of Villa Sands – Anders and Thomas, to take over the operation of their boat, the Edna.  It’s something we’ve been talking about for ages so we were all smiles when we finally shook hands and […]

23 May

We got an award!

We got an award!

  Certificate of Excellence “TripAdvisor is delighted to award Ilha Blue – Day Tours with a 2014 Certificate of Excellence. This prestigious award recognises businesses that consistently earn top ratings from TripAdvisor travellers.” This award acknowledges the many great reviews we’ve had from travellers and the fact that every single one of them has had an excellent time with Ilha […]

19 May

The best job in the world

The best job in the world

    In 2014 Ilha Blue will focus more on the marine environment and we would like a volunteer to help us to improve our marine tourism program. The waters around Ilha De Moçambique team with life, but like other parts of the Indian Ocean overfishing and other human activities are impacting in a detrimental […]

17 May

Engaging Ilha’s youth with Tourism Training

Ilha Blue have initiated a new free training program that is open to all but with a focus on youth. Last week 25 young men and women came to an evening introductory session to learn about the courses being offered. The evening was designed to be interactive and everybody had fun learning about tourism and the opportunities that it […]

1 May

Mozambique Island Film Festival

Mozambique Island Film Festival

“When Mozambique launched its ambitious state-financed film institute in the 1970s, the Cine Teatro Nina on Mozambique Island was a thriving venue for cinema. More than 30 years later, the projectors have been replaced by the smell of hooks and bait and the old cinema has been turned into a warehouse for drying fish.” http://www.theafricareport.com/Music-Film/cinema-mozambiques-film-revival.html […]

10 April

“Ztoziva” Women’s Day Fiesta weekend

“Ztoziva” Women’s Day Fiesta weekend

Every April 7th Mozambicans celebrate Women’s Day. This year the long weekend was topped off on Ilha De Mozambique with a spectacular Ztoziva food festival that attracted more people to the island than ever before.  The traditional and contemporary food, craft and prize stalls did a fantastic trade and everyone loved the frenetic dancing by […]

26 March

More holiday time and better, cheaper flights to Northern Mozambique?

More holiday time and better, cheaper flights to Northern Mozambique?

Nacala International Airport in Mozambique is expected to start operating in August of this year. This is great news as it should lead to more flight options and hopefully cheaper travel for visitors and residents alike According to Club of Mozambique the work will be finished by the end of the first quarter of 2015. […]

24 March

Ztoziva. Feira gastronomica

Ztoziva.  Feira gastronomica

5th of April is the date of Ilha de Mozambique’s next Ztoziva food fair. This event just gets bigger and better every time. Once again its to be held in the Corredor with food stalls filling the street and arches, music, lights and spontaneous dancing.

20 February

Problems caused by flooding

Problems caused by flooding

Rain and flooding. Some river levels going up and others on the way down. Torrential rains hit parts of northern and central Mozambique over the past week, according to the country´s relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC). Last Thursday storms struck Memba district, on the coast of the northern province of Nampula. 94 homes […]

10 February

Peaceful elections

Peaceful elections

Elections in Gurue have been re-held without major incident, another sign that things are returning to normal around the country. MDM won which should strengthen their position as the new opposition. Heavy rains are swelling rivers but there are no signs of road closures just yet. The Lower Zambezi, Limpopo and the Pungue Rivers are […]

7 February

Popular travel routes

Popular travel routes

Disappointing news that the Ilala Ferry in Malawi has stopped operating its weekly service out of Monkey Bay. The operators say the service on southern section of the lake isn’t used enough so they have axed it. Combined with the slow train between Quamba and Nampula this was one of the last great romantic journeys […]

3 February

Fresh fish and weekly news

Fresh fish and weekly news

Over the next few weeks I’m going to begin posting news and information for travellers to Mozambique. Most travellers know about the ongoing unrest in the centre of the country and are wondering how this might effect their plans and if its still safe to travel here so I’ll look into that first. While many […]