With the winter chill starting to fade, golden summer days, white sand, and turquoise waters are just around the corner. There is no place better for a summer escape of this kind than the picturesque islands off Pemba.
Nestled in a small peninsula on Mozambique’s north coast, this idyllic seaside town effortlessly blends tropical tranquility with bustling local culture. Whether you choose to lounge on the unspoiled beaches, snorkel or dive around pristine coral reefs, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment at your beach resort, or pick up a keepsake or two in the colourful markets, Pemba town alone is well worth the visit.
It’s also the perfect base for exotic adventures offshore. Just north of Pemba lies the exquisite Quirimbas Archipelago. The 32 islands are renowned for their exceptional diving spots, with the 11 most southern islands forming part of the Quirimbas National Park.
The surrounding waters provide much-needed sanctuary to sea turtles, dolphins, whales, seahorses, threatened pipefish, and endangered dugongs. They offer visitors an unparalleled opportunity to see the magnificent marine life in the open water or among the untouched coral reefs and sea grass beds.
Set sail over the smooth waters in a traditional dhow as you hop between the Quirimbas islands. In this paradise, life is governed only by the ebb and flow of the ocean, giving you the freedom to enjoy the long, lazy days at your own pace. If you’re up for the early start, delight in the oranges and pinks of sensational sunrises over the calm seas, before taking to the water for an unforgettable day. After a morning on the ocean, enjoy a braai of freshly caught fish or picnic on the white sandy shores. Dip into the water for relief from the heat of the day and bask in the brilliant late-afternoon sun before being whisked back to your hotel or lodge, where a seafood feast is sure to greet you.
After an unforgettable romantic honeymoon or family beach break, follow the sun westwards to the equally beautiful game reserves inland from Pemba. Niassa Reserve, twice the size of the Kruger National Park, rewards visitors with unrivalled game viewing opportunities, including the rare chance to see Niassa wildebeest, Boehm’s zebra, and Johnston’s impala — all of which can only be found in the wild within Niassa’s borders.
The reserve’s Miombo woodlands are home to an astonishing, critically endangered African wild dog population (with 350 members, these prides account for 4% of the total global population, both in and out of the wild), as well as flourishing elephant, lion, and leopard populations. Need a break from game drives? Immerse yourself in local culture at one of the many villages within the reserve.
Airlink connects you seamlessly to Pemba, the gateway to surrounding islands and parks, with direct flights from Joburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.
• For more information, or to book accommodation, activities and flights, visit Airlink.
• This article was paid for by Airlink.