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Great fun kayaking in Ilha das Cobras

It was great fun for slightly more than 24 hours. The kayaking on the lagoons was laid back, and that on the open sea through the high waves was very exciting. The weather was good. The tour leaders were friendly. And the food was really good – almost worth the price of the trip by itself.

Overall, the highlight of my trip to East Africa. If you’re looking for a hugely demanding adventure, it’s probably not for you, but it’s a fun 24 hours nonetheless.

PJ – London, UK

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Magical Ilha das Cobras – moonlit majesty

I was lucky enough to embark on the overnight trip to Ilha das Cobras on my recent trip to Mozambique which I would have to say was a major highlight of my entire trip! We set out in perfect weather, sailing along the historical shoreline of Ilha de Mozambique, past the beautiful Fortaleza de Sᾶo Sebastiᾶo and across the azure water towards Ilha das Cobras. The water was so clear we could see the ocean floor the entire time! Once arriving at the island, the low tide exposed fringing reef filled with interesting critters. The local fisherman scoured the reefs looking for fresh octopus and shells to have for dinner or sell back on Ilha. 

We had the opportunity to explore the island while our camp was being set up and it was an absolute treat to find that the island was almost entirely ours. Our own private piece of paradise. We snorkelled, kayaked and explored the intriguing interior of the island, complete with hidden lagoon and a network of caves. 

After experiencing the beautiful sunset over the water we were treated to a delicious dinner of fresh fish and signature coconut rice made by the excellent chef. We spent the evening sitting in the ambient light from the full moon which bathed the island in a cool glow, while recounting our adventures from the day.

On our final morning we had the opportunity to kayak and swim once more, before enjoying our delicious Zanzibar style coffee and sumptuous breakfast. To top off a perfect weekend, we left our island paradise with the gracious farewell from a pod of humpback whales just off the beach. Magnificent!!! 

I would recommend this trip for anyone wanting to experience a unique adventure which is close to nature, relaxing and the envy of everyone at home.

Melissa E – Perth, Australia

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Best way to discover paradise

My partner and I stayed in Ilha for about a week and did three of Ilha Blue’s fabulous tours. As well as being lots of fun, they were all highly educational, perfectly organised and gave us a real chance to get to know our local guides. The best thing you can do on Ilha and money well spent.

The first tour we did was the overnight to deserted Ilha das Cobras (aka Sena Island), to kayak the tidal lagoons on the inside of the island. These were simply spectacular – crystal clear salt water that rises and falls with the outside tides, and exposes a complex cave system that we explored with snorkels and kayaks. The little camp site was very cool too, accessed by ducking under a coral shelf. Food was prepared fresh by the local chef, Ayuba, and the whole trip was expertly guided by Geito. Access was by means of a local dhow, which was a cool experience. Overall, a very good value adventure in a beautiful setting!

Our second tour was Ilha by bike with Selemany. Setting off on the sturdy and distinctive red Pashley bicycles, we headed for a meander through ancient streets and into the densely populated Makuti Town. Highlights included the traditional silver and goldsmith, the fish market, the many mosques and all the smiling faces. It was interesting getting Selemany’s views on the two “faces” of Ilha -the largely deserted and crumbling Stonetown side by side with the hugely overpopulated and desperately poor Makuti Town. Great tour and very informative, but understandably exposed so be sure to pack some suncream!

Having really enjoyed getting a local view I’d Ilha, we decided to book another tour with the energetic Selemany – an exploration of “missangas” aka the antique glass beads and treasures that wash up on Ilha’s beaches from colonial shipwrecks. This new (at time of writing) tour was a totally different experience again… Selemany has been trading glass beads and necklaces for years, as well as shards of original Ming pottery. He was quick to help us tell real from fake, explaining how these things came to be on which beach and how the local teenagers know where to dig in the sand. He showed us one young guy literally panning for colonial gold, turning up impossibly tiny flakes amid a huge pile of wet sand. Finally it was our turn, and we set about finding the colourful glass beads for ourselves. An hour later and we had had a small handful, as well as a new group of friends among the local kids, who came over to help us hunt for beads once they realised why two foreigners were poring over their beach. An unconventional tour but great fun, and it really helped us understand the true value of the strings of these glass beads you can buy all over Ilha. Believe us, finding them is harder than it looks!

Finally, and most importantly for us, the very welcoming owners, Gail and Pete, are on a mission to train and up-skill local guides, so every metacal you spend directly benefits the community. A great time with strong local benefits… what more can you ask?

Reviewer –  London, UK

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Cycling Tour

It was very nice to rent a bicycle to explore Ilha, which is not something usual in Mozambique. The Ilha Blue people are very nice and have a great business plan by offering tourists some more active forms for getting to know (Ilha de) Mozambique and help locals working in tourism.
Prices are very normal and there are several options for tours you can choose from.

Merel M – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Ilha das Cobras

I recently went on a trip out to Ilha das Cobras just off Mozambique Island. I had a brilliant time. The organisers were professional and fun, the local captain and guides were very experienced and friendly. The trip was great as we were able to go to a place that is still truly remote and untouched by tourists.

We were able to kayak in the ocean as well as the lagoon on the island and explore places very few people have ever been to.

Great value for money. I can’t recommend it highly enough!!!

Paul Kildea – Dublin, Ireland

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