19 December, 2008

Quirimbas: the Pristine Paradise

Northern Mozambique. Quirimbas Archipelago. Deltas. Atolls. And about thirty-two islands. Thirty unspoiled islands that are a part of, and hug the coast of, Mozambique. Thirty islands with pristine coral reefs, abundant marine life and a fascinating cultural heritage. Thirty-two remote islands that, due to Mozambique's years of war for independence and thirty more years of civil war, have been kept isolated and very few tourists visit. Thirty-two pristine, unexplored, untouched, entirely beautiful tourist paradise; about half of which are uninhabited. Thirty-two islands with no roads or shops. As Bob Dylan said:
  • I like to spend some time in Mozambique
    The sunny sky is aqua blue
And from UNESCO:
  • The Quirimbas Archipelago, a cultural and natural heritage in northern Mozambique, consists of 31 islands stretching south from Cape Delgado for approximately 200 miles. These islands, running along the coast, are partly linked to the coast by sand bars, coral reefs, mangroves and water rich in marine life. Of special interest are the Islands of Ibo, and to a less extent, Quisiva and Matemo, that are old Portuguese settlements with pre-colonial Swahili settlements. The site is an outstanding illustration of the phases of a particular culture that brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium.
Quirimbas is sunny, the waters around it are crystal clear blue-green and the sky above is aqua blue. The island's isolation has been a great ecological and environmental blessing; culturally, that isolation has kept the people's traditions and culture unspoiled. Green, with coconut palms; and the beaches are unspoiled and as pure one can imagine. It's a sanctuary too, for: sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins and whales; as well as tropical and game fish, such as: kingfish and Spanish mackerel. A short distance from the sea, on the main land, elephants roam and further inland, a variety of other animals, large and small, can be found.

Mozambique is large, fresh, stunningly beautiful, breathtaking and most of it is still untouched by tourists or modernity. It has many tribes with a variety of traditions. Traditions touched and influenced by both the East: Arabs and the West: Portuguese. It offers very many attractions. Few of which can match what Quirimbas has and offers.

For more on Quirimbas go here, here and here.

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