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Wonderful experience

We booked two trips: the biking tour and the beach-baobab combo. The former trip was amazing. Perfect way to visit the island. The bikes are comfortable, the pace is relaxing and we learned a lot from our wonderful guide.

The visit to the beach was also good but we preferred the bike tour. The beach is very clean although do not expect big waves, the ocean is very shallow near the shore. There is an option to swim in a nearby lagoon but we definitely preferred the ocean.

Eric – Ottawa, Canada
sunset gold

An amazing, unforgettable day out

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!

Katherine H – Nampula, Mozambique
Ocean Safari: Whale Watching

Fantastic dhow trip and snorkelling

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.

Faraaz C – Nairobi, Kenya
Ocean Safari: Whale Watching

Excursion sponsored by Ilha Blue

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.

Marcus A – Ilha de Mozambique
I heart ilha

Amazing adventure!

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.

Marta C – Barcelona, Spain
Discover Ilha by Bicicleta

Fun things to do on the island

I love Ilha de Mozambique with all its history. One of the best ways to learn about it is to go on a gentle cycle tour with Ilha Blue around the Island, visiting all the historic places. The bikes are old Royal Mail delivery bikes which make the trip more unique.

Ilha Blue organise other trips such a day trip on a local dhow picnicking on one of the nearby Islands and snorkeling in the pristine waters.

They are organised and efficient and well worth using for Island entertainment.

Alice F – Mkushi, Zambia
leaping-whale

Underestimated

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. 🙂

Finn
Ilha das Cobras

Beautiful Ilha das Cobras

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.

Sam B – Dubai, UAE
Green Mosque

History, culture and fabulous island life

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

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sandy-beach

Adventures in Ilha

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

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still blue sea island of mozambique tourism boat

The best way to see the Island!

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!

Kate G

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humpback whale

Great time!

I traveled solo in Ilha de Mocambique. Ilha Blue tours were part of a great experience. Going on a guided tour on bike around the island was a great way to enter inside the historical atmosphere. Seeing a beautiful sunset from the dhow, going to see the whales and having lunch on a beautiful little island or snorkelling around the Discovery ship made my stay on the island memorable. I only missed a trip to Ilha das Cobras. Next time!

Emanuela – Suceava, Romania

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at sea

Ilha Blue is such an asset to Mozambique Island and travellers!

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

Amazing tours!

I’ve been on the bicicleta tour, whale-watching trip and 3-fortaleza kayaking tour of the island – all absolutely amazing and led with great professionalism by local guides.

The bicicleta tour was a great way to explore the island, to see parts of it, such as the interior of the macuti town and the slavery memorial garden, that I might otherwise have missed, and have the history explained by our local guide (in Portuguese, but I believe he also speaks English well). The whale watching trip was out of this world – beautiful humpback whales leaping from the waves, sometimes just a few metres from the dhow (my one concern would be that us being so close to the whales might disturb them?), followed by snorkelling in the clear waters over a coral reef, and a picnic lunch on a little sandy island. The crew were really friendly and helpful, and seemed just as excited as we were every time a whale jumped out of the water!

And last but not least, the kayaking trip gave yet another perspective of the island: paddling through the shallows and chatting to local women as they waded out to collect shellfish; glimpsing bright starfish and dark sea urchins on the sea floor; seeing the warehouses from the angle they were built for; climbing up onto the craggy tidal island of the Fortaleza de São Lourenço, still littered with Portuguese cannons; watching a boatfull of fishermen hauling their nets in; seeing absolutely incredible, colourful fish as we snorkelled in the coral reefs, including a younger reef that has grown on the hull of an abandoned ship; and having another picnic in a little cove beside the Fortaleza de São Sebastião. My arms were exhausted by the end but it was definitely worth it!

Thank you Gail, Pete and the team for designing these tours with such imagination, and delivering them with such friendliness – hope to be back soon 🙂

Katharine H – Nampula, Mozambique

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Baobab Dhow Safari

Sail away

A friend had recommended Ilha Blue & there was also a brochure in my hotel. It was good to know the owners only employ local people & focus on local capacity building. I found all the staff to be knowledgeable, very pleasant & helpful, so I really enjoyed the time I spent with them.

First I went beach-combing with Selemani to find ancient trade beads that had washed up on the shore from the shipwrecks around the island. I found exactly two while Selemani’s sharp eyes picked up a handful, together with porcelain pieces. No Ming porcelain for me sadly, though divers have found some in the past.

Secondly we went by traditional dhow to look for whales & again the sharp eyes of the staff made sure we saw whales, dolphins & turtles. Our day was complete after snorkelling, followed by a delicious lunch on a tranquil deserted island. My next adventure was to take a bike ride around the island, once again with the knowledgeable Selemani. I had done a short walking tour when I first arrived with a lad who purported to be one of the hotel’s official guides (who I later found was not) but his English was poor & his information was often incorrect. So it was a pleasure to cycle slowly round the island with Selemani & learn about all the different buildings, cultures & activities. As well as the historical information, he told me where to find good food & coffee, how to buy a ticket to visit the fortress, where to swim, etc.

My last trip with Ilha Blue, since I was on the island when there was a blue moon, was by dhow to Sena Island, also called Ilha das Cobras. This island is only reachable at low tide, so Ilha Blue organises a night’s camping with delicious seafood meals so that visitors can take kayaks to a hidden lagoon at the back that only fills at high tide. A beautiful lagoon surrounded by mangroves, I had the impression of being on a volcano lake because the water enters via underwater passages – some of us followed the underwater passages to the outer caves. Our beautiful moonlit night was somewhat spoilt by a rain storm that blew in very rapidly from the ocean, unexpected by everyone and very unusual, which was a pity. I am tall & the blanket we were given wasn’t big enough for me, especially when the tent leaked at the sides, so I wished I had brought a light sleeping bag, but that was the only hitch in a wonderful trip. The staff were quick & efficient & were especially concerned about my safety getting in & out of the boat. A wonderful few days.

Isla G – Harare, Zimbabwe

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Ilha de Mozambique

Great experience, great people

Such very nice people (both the owners and staff). Great day kayaking one day and sailing/whale watching another. Very knowledgeable about local history, sites, activities, etc. They also helped us arrange ground transportation from Pemba, a town a few hundred kilometers North of Ilha de Mocambique – much lower cost than flying, and much quicker and more comfortable than the minibuses that are the major source of land transportation in Northern Mozambique. Highly recommended.

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Discover Ilha by Bicileta

Worth checking out the activities

Offering activities in English and in Portuguese (at least), Ilha Blue is definitely the place to look for if you’re looking for official tours. Ilha Blue has various options for guided tours, including whale watching, bike tours and sunset cruises. My friends and I did the guided bike tour, having two hours of historical sight visits and a very pleasant morning biking around throughout the whole island. The guide was very friendly and informative.

Filipe L

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Baobab Dhow Safari

Great day trip on Ilha

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

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Kayaking and day trip to the beach

It was a great experience to do these two day trips with them and their excellent staff. During the kayaking and snorkelling I felt always safe and in good hands. And the day trip was a relaxing alternative to the day before where we did the kayaking. The food was really well made and the time schduale was followed which is something really rare in Mozambique. If you plan to make a trip to the Ilha with some activities I would definitely recommend you to do it with Ilha Blue.

Clara B – Navi Mumbai, India

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Friendly, relaxed people with some great activities

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

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Kayak and snorkel

The Best!

These guys really made our trip to Mozambique Island incredible!

We took a number of their tours including the Dhow day tour, snorkelling and kayaking. All the tours are really well organised and very affordable. The staff are professional and speak great English, while the meals on offer are of top quality. The management are super helpful and were able to help us with all sort of queries whilst on the island.

We can’t recommend enough!

Dher – Melbourne, Australia

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Ilha das Cobras

Authentic tours run by enthusiastic staff

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

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The Fortaleza: Kayak

Amazing adventures – MUST see

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

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Ilha das Cobras

Great Mozambique Island experiences

Fantastic dhow trip to Ilha das Cobras Island which was totally beautiful with the huge lagoon and masses of bird life, not to mention the great food. The canoeing and snorkelling was amazing with the local guides and Pete taking us to some beautiful sights on the reef, some of the fish and starfish were completely technicolour! The bike tours of the island taken by local guides were very informative and fun. Gail and Pete provide a great service and try to be totally engaged with the local community. Would be back there tomorrow! Thank you Ilha Blue.

Glenn M – Melbourne, Australia

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Rounding the Cabaceira headland

What a great time we had

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.

CC

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stunning lagoon a short dhow trip from bustling World Heritage 'Ilha'

Beautiful baobab trip

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

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The best place to start your visit

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

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Baobab dhow safari

Your wish is their command

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…

Nina K

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Magical Ilha Blue

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

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Baobab beauty

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

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Ilha das Cobras

Superb experience on Ilha das Cobras

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

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The lost oasis!

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

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Wonderful trips with cheerful and cordial staff

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

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An amazing experience and great people

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

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Entering into the life of the local on Ilha de Mozambique

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.

Nancy OD

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Ilha das Cobras overnight trip with Ilha Blue

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

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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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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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