888-266-2209 toll free
Flying to Pemba is an experience, the coastline of Mozambique is absolutely stunning, especially as you pass over the Bazaruto Archipelago, the "shades of blue" viewed from above provide a new understanding of this phrase.
Pemba Town is not much more than local houses build of stone and coral covered with clay, a small town centre with typical Portuguese buildings providing all the necessary infrastructure and a bay with numerous small shops, restaurants a dive shop or two and several pubs. Coconut palms, enormous mango trees, cashew nut trees and hundreds of Baobabs provide shade to the houses, shops and buildings.
The Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 27 coral Islands of which only a handful is permanently inhabited. A lack of water is the main reason that prevents local Mozambican from living on these perfectly situated Islands . The term Coral Island is given to these Islands because of what they are made of; ancient prehistoric coral reefs that millions of years ago were alive and under water. The shear number and proximity to one another are a clear indication that they once formed a barrier reef of several hundred kilometres. The Islands were formed over a period of millions of years due to continental upliftment, receding ocean levels and erosion by relentless wave action. Today, as individual Islands of varying size and shape, they protrude approximately 2 to 4 meters above the high-water mark. Passing currents have deposited Casuarinas seeds, Coconuts and Mangrove seeds that have germinated and thrive in varying combinations and concentrations, providing a unique Island vegetation. Passing sailors over hundreds of years and a wide range of migratory birds have further contributed to the plant species diversity.
The drop-offs in front of these Islands drop vertically to 200, 300 and even 400 meters in some cases. If you can imagine that during previous Ice Ages sea levels were 30 to 50 meters lower than they are now and what effect this had on the vertical walls you can picture the caves, caverns and overhangs. The walls, besides being punctuated by these caves, had gorgonia of gigantic proportion, measuring some 4 meters across and protruding out from the wall by about 2 meters.
Game fish ranging from schooling Queen and Kingfish of numerous varieties to giant Ignobalus King Fish, Barracuda and Spanish Mackerel are frequently seen in the deep indigo blue abyss. Endless natural arrangements of unimaginable varieties of hard and soft corals can be seen.
The fact that this area is so vast and has 37 diveable Islands that are almost totally unexplored is inconceivable. The potential of what will be discovered from the point of new species to the possibility of discovering lost unknown wrecks, to knowing you are one of the first divers to dive these reefs and walls, to being involved in naming them makes this a destination we strongly recommend you put at the top of your list.