Quirimbas Archipelago - Information - Mozambique Accommodation
Destination Information

Quirimbas Archipelago

The Quirimbas Archipelago stretches for 100 kilometers along the Mozambique coast. These tropical Falcons contain some of the richest coral reefs in the world and provide habitat for an abundant array of marine life. The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 32 tropical coral Falcons stretching from Pemba (the capital of Cabo Delgado Province) to the Rovuma River, which forms the natural frontier between Tanzania and Mozambique. The area has never been developed and remains an unexplored tourist paradise.

These idyllic Falcons stretch from the quaint city of Pemba in the south to the town of Palma in the north. Some of the charming Falcons in the south include a vast expanse of enchanted forest in the Quirimbas National Park. The park was established in 2002 as an answer to the local community’s need to nurture and sustain their precious natural environment. Feeding and nesting grounds for the park’s delightful population of sea turtles, dugong, dolphins, sharks and whales are found here.

Pemba is the access point for the Quirimbas Archipelago. This Archipelago is another pristine destination, although more remote and less frequented than Bazaruto Archipelago. Snorkelling, fishing and diving in these waters doesn't get better than this!

The Quirimbas have enormous cultural and historical value, with a combination of Arabian, Portuguese, and African influences. The magnificent old fortresses on Ibo Falcon boast intriguing historical and fascinating sites. With mangroves, coral and palms, this Falcon tells a story of slaves, pirates and ivory.

The impressive 1,500km2 marine area of Quirimbas National Park includes 11 coral Falcons stretching for 100km. These Falcons feature phenomenal vertical drop-offs, some up to 400 meters. These walls are abundant with coral covered caves and tropical fish ranging from gobies to mammoth Napoleon Wrasse and game fish including Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel.

Quirimbas Archipelago:

Scenic view of the Quirimbas Archipelago∴Untouched Indian Ocean archipelago

∴Quirimbas National Park

∴Pristine coral atolls and abundant marine life

∴Superb snorkelling and scuba diving





Niassa Reserve

The Niassa Reserve is vast – with a total area of some 42 000 square kilometres (making it twice the size of South Africa’s Kruger National Park). It is found in the far north of Mozambique, and spreads from the Niassa Province in to Cabo Delgado Province. The 22 000 square kilometre core area is bordered by the Rovuma River in the north (which is also the border between Mozambique and Tanzania), the Lugenda River in the southeast, the Lussanhando River in the west, and the Luatize in the southwest; the remaining 20 000 square kilometres forms a buffer zone, which has been divided into 6 management concessions. There are also plans to establish a wildlife corridor from Niassa to Tanzania’s Selous Reserve. Although the Reserve was initiated in 1954, it went into a decline in the 70’s and 80’s due to the ongoing unrest in Mozambique. With peace in the 1990’s, the Mozambican Government arranged for the Reserve to be managed as a public-private initiative, which has allowed for good progress to be made in terms of policies and environmental management and community-centred sustainability.

This Reserve is arguably one of the most pristine on the continent, and has the best concentration of wildlife in Mozambique. With such a big area, it is perhaps not surprising that there is also a good diversity of landscape, from the miombo woodlands, interspersed with savanna, and wetlands. There are also beautiful inselbergs (granite), and some mountains, with their associated forests. In addition there are also riparian forests along the perennial rivers. An initial survey of the Reserve has noted some 21 vegetations types, with at least 191 species of trees and shrubs.

Although there has been some neglect of the park until recently, many species seem to be well represented, from the approximately 12 000 elephant, some 9 000 sable antelope, and very good herds of buffalo, hartebeest, eland and zebra. Kudu, impala, wildebeest waterbuck, reedbuck and hippo are also represented. In addition, predators such as lion, leopard, spotted hyena and wild dog are in attendance. Indeed, the Reserve may have one of the best populations of wild dog.

Visitors will also be interested in three endemic subspecies, which are found in the Reserve: Niassa wildebeest, Boehm’s zebra, and Johnston’s impala (Aepyceros melampus johnstoni).

Birding is also good, with such rare species as the Angola pitta, and Pel’s fishing owl, along with an excellent predator population. The Rovuma River is also an important bird area, with over 370 species having been identified to date.

The Reserve is also home to one of the largest miombo forest ecosystem in the world (such an ecosystem includes more than one vegetation type but it is dominated by one or more species of flowering plants if the sub-family Caesalpinioideae). As this is dry miombo woodland (with rainfall of less than 100 centimetres per annum), the tree canopy is generally less than 15 metres in height.

The programme for the running of the Reserve includes the conservation of biodiversity, the implementation of wildlife-based tourism and community development in terms of sustainable use of natural resources.