This was truly a day to remember. We started off watching humpback whales cavort in the water around our boat, then landed on a desert island where the crew gave us a delicious lunch and finally we sailed back to Ilha with the sun setting over the Indian Ocean. Everyone was extremely friendly as well as skilled at their jobs. You must do this if you are visiting Ilha!
Having planned an impromptu trip with Ilha blue the night before going on the snorkelling and dhow trip, the experience with Ilha Blue was nothing but great! We met up for the dhow cruise at 8.30 am and got a briefing on the what to expect, the plan was to go out hopefully in the search of seeing some whales and dolphins, but not to be to optimistic as we were right on the tail end of the whale migration.
We got onto the dhow, from the pier right outside the Palace and Chapel of São Paulo around 9 am and set sail north east round the top of the island with fantastic views of the Fortaleza de São Sebastião. The plan was to sail to the east into open water past the island Ilha de Goa a small outpost island with a old Portuguese built lighthouse and try and spot some whales. The cruise was nothing but magical, and after being out on the water for about an hour and a half, and not spotting any whales or dolphins the crew decided we’d sail back to the shores of Ilha de Goa to snorkel over a couple of shipwrecks. Although the water was choppy the water had crystal clear visibility and the variety of fish and starfish around the shipwrecks made for a super exciting snorkel. After being in the water for some time we then decided to head over the the beach on Ilha de Goa and sit on the pure white sand and relax and explore the vast variety of beautiful shells on the beach and lighthouse on the island.
We then sailed back to the pier from which had had left around 12.30 pm to get back onto the main island just in time for lunch.
A dhow trip with Ilha Blue is must when visiting Ilha de Moçambique. Take plenty of sun protection and a hat as the sun can be brutal.
A lively group of 9 children aged 3-10 attend a learning center on Ilha de Mocambique. On Fridays one of the children’s parents are in charge of setting up a program for the kids. Upon hearing about this, Ilha Blue were so friendly that they offered to take the bunch out on a whale watching excursion as a gift. The group did not only see a family of whales at such a short distance that you could hear them breath, but the family decided to come and inspect the boat with its young “crew” up close. To see the whales so up close was already an amazing experience but when they started to “sing” and everyone could hear the unusual sounds coming from them, the children were spell bound. Ilha Blue took the group to Ilha de Goa where they climbed the light house to see the coast and Ilha from a new perspective. Ilha Blue’s crew were fantastic and the kids felt at ease during the entire journey. All children and also their parents would like to thank Ilha Blue very much for the fantastic experience they have provided to these youngsters. Muito OBRIGADO.
The crew was amazing, well organized and really nice during all the day. We also saw the whales really close to our boat, amazing experience. After we went to see some reef and we had the lunch on an incredible beach with white sand and crystalline water.
Giorgio – Milan, Italy
We were two 28-years-old girls backpacking the country for two weeks and we had just an awesome day discovering the secret spots of Ilha de Mozambique and its surroundings. We chose the Ocean Safari option, which offered us the chance of seeing whales, discovering the fairy underground world of the region by snorkelling near Goa Island and having a very tasty picnic on that island. They took care of everything, so we only had to wear our swimwear and sun cream. And this all was thanks to Gail and her local workmates who, in a very intimate atmosphere since we where just 4 visitors, showed us their natural paradise by sailing with a typical dhow. Furthermore, they helped us plan the following days further north, by giving us contacts and good tips. Definitely I recommend them to anyone who is interested in discovering and enjoying the area.
I highly recommend staying for more than just a few days, which most people tend to do, I was fortunate enough to stay for a month. The adventures I’ve had are mind blowing from little walks where I have found old and beautiful buildings from the area of the Portuguese, to the joy of the locals, some of the happiest people I’ve met in my travels happy to show you and sell you things, or even teach you how to run a long with a tire and a plastic bottle. (not as easy as the kids make it look.)
A great way to get a first hand look in to the locals way of life and the history of the island is to go on a bicycle tour, the guide (Salamani) is very knowledgeable and friendly, its well worth it’s weight in gold.
If you are here during the season of the humpback whales, (late July/August) then the whale tour I also did was fantastic!
We where lucky enough to get very close to the whales, a little bonus was that we were sailing in the local and traditional Dhow so we didn’t have the noise of the motor.
Highly recommend. 🙂
Cannot recommend Ilha Blue enough. Pete, Gail and the whole team were fantastically helpful and accommodating. We did the overnight dhow and camping trip on Ilha das Cobras and it was superb – the lagoon with its nesting cormorants and illuminated cave systems was otherworldly and the whole atmosphere was perfect. Ayuba and the other guides were very helpful and friendly throughout. The welcome did not stop at the end of the tour and we often spent time with Pete, Gail and the other members of the team once we were back on the main island. A lovely experience.
We spent two nights camping on Ilha das Cobras – it was definitely the highlight of our visit to Ilha de Mocambique. The island was a lovely place to relax, kayak and swim in the lagoon. The food was also absolutely delicious! The Ilha blue team were great and organised a fantastic trip for us!
Joanna – London, UK
I’m pretty sure the title says it all… I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the sunset boat trip around Ilha with Gail and Pete from Ilha Blue. Especially at the end, jumping off the boat and taking a swim and then having drinks by the fortaleza. Magical experience and a must-do!
Denny – Ilha de Mozambique
Local knowledge is a blessing when travelling to new territory and the crew at Ilha Blue are generous with theirs which made my brief trip to Mozambique Island complete with blue water fun – kayaking, sailing and snorkelling – coral island exploration, historical tours and great local food (best seafood ever… and I mean ever!) . Without the guidance of these wonderful people I would never have made the peaceful dhow sail to Ilha das Cobra with its amazing tidal lagoons and network of ancient and swimmable coral caves, nor ventured into the smallest laneways on the island where the history and lives of the islanders comes into focus. I’m a bit of a chicken on the water but the experience, skills and support of the Ilha Blue team kept me focused on the fun and incredible ocean creatures and not my phobias. What a great break!! Thanks to Pete, Gail, Pilale, Abdul, Ambasse, Selemane and Ayupa and Renti for showing me the best of Ilha de Mozambique!
Paula – Melbourne, Australia
I had the pleasure of going to Ilha recently and was quite impressed with the variety of tours offered by Ilha Blue. Although I only had time for the boat, snorkelling and kayak activities, it was clear that these tours were well organised, the guides were very knowledgeable of the area and the waters, and these activities are reasonable priced. It felt great to give back to one of the few local companies that is attempting to restore tourism in Ilha.
I highly recommend Ilha Blue for anyone that is looking to explore the turquoise blue waters and fascinating history in Ilha de Mozambique.
Mark – Washington DC, USA
I can’t recommend Ilha Blue enough! We went out on their dhow with another couple, and had an absolutely incredible morning sailing out to the coral reefs, snorkelling in the clear blue ocean, and beach-combing on one of the small islands. The team sailing the boat was experienced and knowledgeable, Pete and Gail were an absolute pleasure, and we got to know the island a little better. They have other great tours as well, and seem very open to tailoring experiences to match your interests. There is no better way to see the island than with Ilha Blue!
I did 2 tours with Ihla Blue – a guided bicycle tour of the island’s historical sights and a dhow trip for some snorkeling with lunch on a small island.
All done in an unhurried, relaxed pace and with a genuine desire that the people on the tour are enjoying themselves. Highly recommended.
My recent holiday on Ilha de Mocambique was fantastic mainly due to the great tours offered by Ilha Blue Island Safaris. They are to be commended for offering visitors unique and thoughtful tours enhanced by well informed and friendly local guides. The commitment of the owners, Gail and Pete, to responsible tourism is readily self evident. Using local guides to improve employment opportunities on the island benefits both the traveller and the community. I found the combination of Portuguese and African history well presented and fascinating.
I went on 4 of the dhow trips and enjoyed them all. Each trip was aided by a crew whose versatility and friendliness accommodated personal requests and who themselves shared the enjoyment of leaping whales, reef snorkelling and sunset sailing. You can’t get any better than sailing on a traditional dhow in a crystal clear, sapphire blue ocean!!!
Another favourite was a late afternoon bicicleta tour; informative and relaxed, it was a great way to find out about the island’s history and contemporary culture.
Thank you to the Ilha Blue crew, you certainly helped to make my stay on the island special.
Max – Melbourne, Australia
Virtually any hotel or restaurant in Ilha de Moçambique displays brochures from Ilha Blue (well designed brochures and very informative, by the way!); I found one at Villa Sands and decided to give a call on a lazy, warm afternoon. Pete was so kind, invited my partner and I to drop by Ilha Blue’s office to get all the information we wanted and we immediately opted for the sunset dhow sail. We were very lucky, because the huge, wonderful dhow was all for the two of us – although a whole crew was keeping it going and Pete suggested to come with us as to take care of things, including drinks (yes, drinks, because you will enjoy your aperitivo on a sail, wooden boat overlooking the sunset…). We accepted joyfully and the whole sail – going around Ilha, jumping in the warm water before the Fortress, chatting, relaxing and sipping a beer – was incredibly pleasant. Pete and his partner Gail, whom we had the chance to briefly meet just before saying goodbye, are caring yet discrete, besides being passionate professionals with strong attention to the people and the places they interact with. Thank you, guys!
Sestante – Maputo, Mozambique
It was a really fun day with the guys working for Ilha Blue. You really get the full Ilha experience with them. From lounging around and swimming in the sea/lagoons, checking out fishes, eating an AMAZING local lunch, checking out the village. It was fantastic and I highly, highly recommend it. The guys and Gail are awesome too!
Shomawoo – Washington DC, US
Recently went on a fantastic day trip organised by Ilha Blue. Sailed on their lovely dhow to a natural lagoon where we swam and snorkelled. Afterwards we had a lovely lunch prepared for us, which we ate under a couple of enormous baobabs overlooking the sea. An interesting tour of the local village followed and then we returned by boat back to the island. All extremely friendly and laid back and a great overall service. I was travelling with my wife and her mother and a couple of friends… all ages and we all had a great time. It was a great outing if you are visiting Ilha for a few days and fancy exploring.
Harry – London, UK
As the title says, Peter and Gail are a very friendly, relaxed couple (with a good crew too!) and we thoroughly enjoyed each of the activities we did with Ilha Blue. We had a few weeks on the island and so we had the time to make the most of what was on offer. We started off with a Dhow trip to and overnight stay on Ilha de Cobras…. the trip to the lagoon at low tide and then kayaking and snorkelling at high tide was great and the company too. It’s surprising what you might see under that surface.
Over the course of the two weeks we also kayaked out to a number of areas to snorkel around the coral reef (I think maybe our favourite activity but the Ilha de Cobras is certainly up there too) and an enjoyable, fun and informative Dhow trip to the nearby peninsula. We also rented a couple of bikes for a trip around the island… a great way to get around in the heat! We thoroughly recommend Ilha Blue for all the above reasons but also for the food!! Thanks Peter, Gail and the guys…
Lance B – Tete Province, Mozambique
I did 3 tours with Ilha Blue. The island bike tour, a day dhow cruise, and an unforgettable overnight trip to Ilha das Cobras. The beautifully restored dhow, named “Edna”, is a wonderful boat locally operated and maintained. Being at the mercy of tides and winds gives you a real feeling of “Africa time” when she gracefully sails over the waves without the diesel fumes and engine-oil smells other boats would offer.
The food cooked up by Amisse when we camped on the island was superb, even more impressive given all the equipment had to be taken in on kayaks from the boat.
J Barnes – Sao Paulo, Brazil
This is my second time exploring some of the trips which Ilha Blue has to offer and yet again I had an amazing time. We really enjoyed the kayaking tour, its a fantastic way to see the island. And then we also did an over-night camping dhow trip to Sete Paus Island, which was stunning. The food was great, the camping equipment provided was great, and I think the best thing about Ilha Blue is how flexible and accommodating they are! Pete and Gail do a fantastic job, and you MUST pop into their tour shop if you are going to Ilha… you never know what exciting adventure they could be offering!
Natasha L – London, UK
Ilha Blue’s overnight dhow trips to a small island called Ilha das Cobras, off the coast of the wonderfully bizarre Ilha do Mocambique, only happen for a few days of the month – when the tide is right.
Ilha das Cobras is home to a tidal lagoon; a complex series of caverns that fill and empty during the course of the day. Upon arrival on the island, we left our faithful chef Ayuba to rustle up some grub while we went to frolick in the then shallow-ish lagoon, mostly filled with strange orange-yellow jellyfish (which don’t sting, Gail assured me.) We were welcomed back at the campsite with an array of exquisite food – including fresh rocket! – which filled my vegetarian tummy. Other meals through the course of the trip included spicy bean stew, grilled linefish which was probably caught within an hour of being put in the grill, matapa siri siri – un-mouthwateringly translated as “local beach weed” on some menus, but certainly a local delicacy – with coconut rice, and an abundance of piri piri, peanut butter and fresh portugese rolls. For breakfast we enjoyed fresh fruit, nutty muesli and spiced coffee.
Our tents were set up for us on the beach. And there was marvellous attention to detail in the campsite: our meals were served on a gorgeous table made of a piece of an old ship, there were hot-coal clay-bowl heaters to keep us warm while we waited for dinner after sunset, and nearly every piece of equipment appeared carefully chosen to not offend a natural sort of aesthetic. Shortly after dinner the sky filled itself with stars, and we even got to see a coconut crab!
On day two we got to appreciate the lagoon at its best; we tried to navigate the spiky coral passageways on a kayak, but some caverns demanded that we abandon ship and employ some entry-level caving skills.
One of the guides was a fisherman and had an almost superhuman ability to spot animals. Without a language in common, I got a tour of the local marine life: from sea cucumbers to snakes (portugese: ‘cobras’) to dolphins to turtles.
I feel overwhelmingly fortunate for having been at the right place at the right tides, and having had the opportunity to enjoy what was an absolute highlight of my time in Mozambique.
Yumbilina – Durban, South Africa
Pete and Gail are great hosts, we popped in and asked about whale watching and a trip was immediately organised. We then decided to visit a local beach and a lagoon with them, this was a great day out with a lovley lunch of BBQ marlin and salad. After talking to Pete I got the view that the business Gail and he runs is very ethical and they engage with the local community on all their trips and don’t compete with what others are doing. The whale watching was fun from a distance we saw breaching whales and a couple swam within 200m of the dhow. I would highly recommend the trips we did.
We set sail for the Ilha Blue day trip to the baobab tree beach in the fantastic dhows that take you across the beautiful aquamarine sea to the beach, white and empty, like a paradise island. We wandered along the beach, swam and snorkelled in the warm inland water around an old anchor surrounded by fish and then lazed around on the sand before wandering back to eat a delicious lunch in the shade of the baobabs, tuna and coconut rice with salad. Completely idyllic. Camera and bathers essential and a willingness to relaaaax. Ilha Blue had everything organised to a tee, and because they believe in responsible tourism that benefits the local community, they use local guides who are friendly, knowledgeable, and very fine cooks!
Sue C – London, UK
We had a beautiful experience by walking through the mangroves, swimming in the close lagoon, and eating a very good fish under a magnificent baobab. We strongly recommend Ilha Blue to have a different and professional tour in Ilha de Moçambique! Thanks guys!
We landed on Ilha de Mozambique after what we thought were unbeatable experiences in Namibia and Botswana. We were wrong. The island was the perfect complement to the rest of our trip in Africa, and Ilha Blue was the best place to start. The cycle tour was a great way to get oriented on the island and our local guide gave us a nice mix of history with some restaurant tips.
We went back again for the Baobab trip – great leisurely boat trip, lounging by the lagoon, a bit of swimming and a very delicious lunch. And then again Ilha Blue organised one of their guides to take us around the fort.
Peter and Gail and their local team were all great – we have travelled a lot and the business has a nice feel to it. Highly recommend for anyone visiting this special place.
Al – Melbourne, Australia
Ilha de Mocambique is a magical island steeped in African and Colonial history and awash with vibrant culture. Tourism is a growing industry and Ilha Blue are doing their best to develop this industry further using an ethical and empowering approach. Training and supporting local guides and businesses is part of their approach. They try and cater for all-comers, and as a family we appreciated their flexibility and attention to safety.
We loved the Baobab boat trip which includes a gourmet lunch under the baobab trees cooked by Ayuba (guide). We went on a couple of different kayak trips, which included stopping for snorkelling at low tide and the guide giving the kids a tow when they got a little tired. They helped adapt the Bicicletas for the kids so we could ride around the island and participate in the Bike tour. The Missanga tour was great and makes you appreciate the work that goes into collecting and making the bead necklaces sold to tourists. It was amazing watching people pan for gold on the beach.
Ilha blue also gave us great information on markets, Capulana shopping, tailors, bars,and places to eat (I loved the chocolate tarts at “Nice Sabores” and the kids loved the margherita pizzas at “Anchoro d’ouro”!!). They even arranged for someone to plait my daughter’s hair!
Unfortunately the weather was not kind and we missed our camping trip to Ilha das Cobras – by all accounts this trip is an absolute highlight. The trip is only held on the Full and New moons. We will just have to visit another time…
At the age of 58 I thought I had seen and done my remote/adventure travelling however by the most wonderful of circumstances I found myself on the totally gorgeous and enchanting Ilha de Mozambique, where I was introduced to the island and all its splendour by Ilha Blue. A tourist operator that is like a social enterprise as they always put the locals first both with training and jobs. It was with Ilha Blue under a local that I toured the island by bike, learning about the history, the people and the architecture.. Next day with Ilha Blue sailed by dhow to the mainland where I swam in a crystal clear lagoon, sat under a Baobab tree eating fresh caught fish and coconut rice followed by a walk through a fishing village, fabulous all with our local guide who not only provided information but cooked the amazing lunch. You can tell the managers, Gail and Pete, love the island and that shows in all they provide and all they think of for each tour, their professionalism and their humour make for a great mix they sure made me feel young again and ready for more. I truly recommend them to anyone of any age visiting the island.
Deb – Melbourne, Australia
Another wonderful trip with Ilha Blue. I went on the Baobab trip, what a day. Everything was perfect from the moment we arrived and set up under the magnificent Baobab tree, to snorkelling in the gorgeous lagoon, to the late afternoon walk to the well where women and girls were collecting water. Oh, and did I mention the delicious fish and coconut rice? Highly recommend, in fact, I am going to do it again tomorrow!
Lu S – Melbourne, Australia
This is by far the best tourist operator on Mozambique Island. Easygoing, flexible, professional. Went on the fantastic Ilha das Cobras overnight tour and circumnavigated the island by kayak.. highly recommended!!
Reviewer – Sao Paulo, Brazil
Pete and Gail organised very good activities on Ilha de Mozambique: kayak tours, themed tours of the island on foot or by bike and camping on nearby islands.
We went on Ilha das Cobras (or ilha sena) with them for two days. The organisation was excellent, with kayak expeditions in underwater caves and mangroves, excellent cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In short, Ilha Blue is recommended to discover the island!
Kerman W – Nampula, Mozambique
I have been living in Mozambique for a year and a half and little did I know that, there was so much still too see. Well thanks to a very fun, active and extremely friendly couple, Gail and Peter I got to experience an unexpected adventure.
We went on a trip to “Ilha das cobras” (snake island), where so many activities blew my mind. It started off with an amazing sail boat trip from “ilha de Mozambique” (which is amazing) to snake island where we had an extremely relaxing and interesting hike around the island where we got to see a vast amount of seas creature in their natural habitat and at first I thought that it would be a a typical island cruise, but to my surprise the island is the keeper of a few amazing secrets, such as the fact that it is a natural breeding ground for ocean turtles and through the months of July to September you would see a few whales on the coast where they teach their young how to survive.
And the best for last, the island has a natural lagoon, home to very many different jelly fish species and more. It rises and falls according to the ocean tide and what makes this amazing is that the lagoon has no direct superficial contact with the ocean, meaning that the water penetrates through the rocks and sand to fill the lagoon on a daily basis. Here you get to do some amazing kayaking, calm cruise for those who want to have a relaxing voyage and crazy natural tunnels to explore for the more adventurous. In summary it is an amazing experience and an all around family trip. Good food and great company makes the island all the more fantastic. I recommend this trip to anyone of all ages.
Manuel – Nampula, Mozambique
I searched for sustainable tourism projects in Mozambique and found the site of Ilha Blue… It was like a ‘click’ and a feeling that I met the right people with the same purpose!!! And yes, it was. Gail and Peter are fantastic people who really want to invest in locals so you can experience their daily life.
They have wonderful and funny local guides, who bring you to the most beautiful, amazing and interesting places! I can only recommend them for their trips. I’m sure, you will not regret and also my whole group was 200% enthusiastic about the dhow daytrip and Capulana Tour with Jamal. I met the right people in the right place for the best activities! Greetz to all!
Arnaud C – Antwerp, Belgium
Well, I feel a little unoriginal giving Ilha Blue a 5-star review, since it seems everyone else has the same sentiment. But it’s five stars well deserved. I stayed on Mozambique for 10 days at the end of August, and one of the best finds on the island was the folks at Ilha Blue. Gail and Peter, the couple who run the business, are super friendly and very interesting people, and their staff are extremely knowledgeable and welcoming.
One of the highlights of my trip to Mozambique was the overnight camping trip to Ilha das Cobras (which means “island of the snakes” and I must say that really made me hesitate to sign up – but I only saw one teeny snake the whole time so I’d recommend to anyone that they don’t judge an island by it’s name).
Anyways, the trip was great – visiting an uninhabited island that most folks don’t get to because of the finicky tides, but Peter and Gail are not most folks!! The trip was great, and incredibly reasonably priced, and there is nothing like eating delicious, fresh grilled fish under an incredible blanket of stars. And the group was the perfect size and all friendly, interesting people from all parts of the world.
I’m so glad to have met Gail and Peter and the whole Ilha Blue crew. I also really like that the idea of the business is to give travellers beautiful experiences of the island whilst also helping to source jobs for local people. It’s a sustainable and very altruistic aim, and Gail and Pete are to be commended for that.
Great people, great experiences, and great prices – if you’re going to Ilha, go here first!!
Becky M – London, UK
Through the 2 tours we took with Ilha Blue, we were able to enter into the lives of the locals on the Ilha de Mozambique. Gito commanded the dhow which brought us to Chacas Beach and a wonderful local restaurant with fresh seafood. The 3 hour ride out was totally relaxing, while the 45 minute return sail allowed us to do sundowners on the ilha.
Then Jamal charmed us with the Capulana Tour. We learned of the local customs of misuro as well as of each unique use of the colorful capulanas. Thank you for allowing us to enter into the lives of the locals on this beautiful, historical island.
This trip with Ilha Blue is an amazing experience – you get to spend the night on an uninhabited island (Ilha das Cobras or Ilha da Sena) just off the coast of Ilha de Moçambique. There is an incredibly gorgeous lagoon that you can explore with the kayaks right in the middle of the island and combined with the beautiful scenery it makes for an idyllic weekend (or mid-week!) getaway.
With Ilha Blue you don’t have to worry about a thing – they brought the tents, the food and water, the kayaks, and all other relevant supplies and you camp right on the beach with a local guide. Absolute perfection… I wouldn’t even want to say more and ruin the surprises that you can only find by going to the island!
Denny Newhouse – Ilha de Mozambique
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
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
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
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