The story of Ibo Island Lodge started many years ago. As the leader of a 1993 charity trans-Africa expedition, Kevin remembers that even then Pemba was a place that not too many people knew about. “Back then Pemba was nothing more than a bustling rural village on the edge of one of the worlds lost treasures – the Quirimbas Archipelago. Determined to get there, we boarded a traditional sailing dhow bound for the islands.
Finding Our Island
“The only other people we encountered were local Mozambican communities and fishermen. We found ourselves in the middle of an exotic paradise with 32 uninhabited coral islands to explore, each surrounded by white beaches and the warmest of seas and we had them almost to ourselves. Our journey eventually took us to a small island called Ibo, and its mysticism instantly unfolded before us. It appeared like an ancient town on a small island in an all but forgotten archipelago.
It was a revelation that was to change the course of our lives…
Pioneering Tourism in the Quirimbas Archipelago …
In 1995 Kevin and Fiona Record became the first tour operators to promote the as yet undiscovered beauty of the Quirimbas Archipelago and northern Mozambique. But their true destiny was to build the Ibo Island Lodge of their dreams…
“The enormous task of Ibo Island Lodge began with the rehabilitation of the Bela Vista Mansion,” remembers Fiona. “Then there were no boats or planes to fly equipment in and very few ‘roads’ to speak of.” Ibo is a long way from anywhere, and everything from the smallest pocket of nails to glass for the mirrors, and bags of cement had to be transported to the island using traditional sailing dhows.
The renovation has been an adventure in itself and everything continues to be painstakingly completed in a traditional manner so to preserve the heritage and culture of Ibo. Part of Ibo Islands charm today is that it has fallen into decline and still retains boundless secrets, history and culture. Ibo Island Lodge is set amongst swaying palm trees, amongst an undeniably unique atmosphere and a marine world relatively unexplored.
Ibo Island Lodge finally opened its doors in December 2006, and has fast made a name for itself as one of the most atmospheric and unique island lodges in Africa.