Opened in November 2002 this island resort accommodates 18 guests in 9 luxury 'island villas'. Each villa is constructed entirely with indigenous materials and handcrafted timber, opening onto a private veranda with beach and sea views of the Indian Ocean.
The villas are big with large windows which allow the sea breeze through and the island-style furniture is crafted from indigenous teak and mahogany by local carpenters in the creole Muani style. A king-size bed draped in netting completes the romantic African/Arabian atmosphere.
The restaurant and bar also have beautiful ocean views. The food is mainly seafood, and cooked with Portugese and Goan influences.
The main activity is diving, but you can also snorkel, canoe in the mangroves of neighbouring Sencar Island, swim at turtle beach, and walk around the island both on the shore and in the forest to spot wildlife or take a sunset dhow cruise around the island. Massage is also available.
As the area has only recently opened to tourism the marine park here is pristine and totally unspoilt, so if you are a diver you will be in paradise.
The coral reefs are particularly rich and well preserved with the highest coral diversity in Africa. Long, fringing reefs are found east of Sencar Island, while a coral drop off is right off the beach at Quilalea Island. Just south of Quilalea is a deep canyon. Marine life abounds around the island.
If you are not a diver the island is perfect for relaxing or there is planty of wildlife to explore on land. We particularly liked walking around the shore after the tide had gone out as we have never seen so many and such big shells, and creatures in the rock pools.
Ibo Island Lodge is the only place to stay on Ibo Island. However, it would be my choice of place to stay anyway.
(More about Ibo Island on my travel pages, as there is too much to write here)
The lodge is really what one would describe as a "boutique hotel" built from 3 renovated old mansions which stand together overlooking the bay. There are only 9 rooms and they are furnished to exceptional standard with 4 poster beds and wonderful bathrooms. The renovation has kept the charm of the original buildings, allowing plenty of light and air in.
The reception and lounge areas are furnished with a combination of traditional style and antique furniture.
Food is gourmet level and the wine list is excellent.
As well as tours of the island, you can go bird watching, explore the mangroves by canoe, go fishing, snorkelling or take a boat trip to a nearby deserted beach.
Unique location on an historical, unexplored island.
Staff are well trained and knowledgeable, and the owners are very experienced in African tourism. The lodge supports the local community and is helping to build a school.
The roof terrace restaurant has lovely views of the bay with the dhows sailing past.
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