Paradise on the Rise: Mozambique’s Ibo Island

At the sight of fishermen mending their nets, women in colorful khanga collecting clams, and crumbling coral forts on the cliffs, Fiona and Kevin Record were instantly wooed by Ibo Island. Tucked in Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago, Ibo has been inhabited for over 500 years and during its heyday in the 1700-1800s it was a vital trading port for the Portuguese spice trade. Though when the colonists were forced to leave at the dawn of Mozambique’s independence, this thriving town slipped back to its simple ways as a simple fishing village and its grand buildings began to crumble with it. The Records knew this was a special place in need of preservation so they took the bold leap to build the first hotel on Ibo and help the community shine again.

Rather than bring in a mainland construction team to build Ibo Island Lodge, the Records wanted to have the hotel be an avenue for growth and development for the town and its people. They hired all local builders, carpenters, seamstresses, and offered training courses for more to join in, plus English classes for those interested in continuing to work at the hotel. The majority of today’s staff at Ibo Island lodge were the very hands that built it. The hotel sits at the western shore of the island as a mark of progress the whole community can be proud of.

Ibo is a remote island so everything seen here was brought over by dhow boat or made custom on the premises. The interiors have a European elegance lightened with sunny colors and an ocean breeze. (Note the exposed section of the living room wall, it’s a glimpse into the classic Ibo construction, a mix of coral rock and lime.)

04-Ibo Island

To explore town, we went on a walking tour with Ibo Island Lodge’s resident guide: A fifth-generation Iboian, who has lived through the days as a Portuguese colony, Mozambique’s tumultuous independence, the return to an isolated fishing village, and now the new beginnings of tourism. (Talk about perspective!) Walking along the dusty boulevards, past abandoned 17th-century forts, churches, and mansions you feel the mystic of Ibo. The chipping paint and vines growing on the buildings makes it hard to distinguish between what’s in use and what is long forgotten.

After our town tour, we went back to the hotel for a little relaxing and contemplation by the pool. What I love is that the lodge didn’t feel like it was on a pedestal separated from town; low walls give views to the life on the shore.

Whether served by the pool, on the beach, our on the terrace, meals were always a delight at the lodge. Coconut and crab curry, crunchy green pawpaw salad, and Lobster Thermidor were some of the highlights on the menu, though the showstopper was this gorgeous conch salad.


Many meals and cocktails were also enjoyed on the rooftop terrace, looking out across the idyllic turquoise water and second largest mangrove in Africa.

08_Kayaking Ibo

Life slows down at Ibo Island Lodge, but they have plenty of activities on tap if you want to pick up the pace. We took a guided kayak trip to watch island life from sea. Weaving through the mangrove forests, we ducked into different coves to watch the bird-life, admire the architecture, watch the fisherman at work, and just enjoy the gentle waves.


A true highlight during our stay at Ibo Island Lodge was our trip to the sandbar island. The tides fluctuate so much in a given day that depending on the hour, this dreamy spit of land can vanish under the water. Timing it just right, we sailed out in the morning for snorkeling, sunbathing, and brunch. The team amazingly set up a full sit-down meal of omelets, yogurt parfait, pastries, and french-press coffee under the shade of this pop-up dining room.

10-Ibo Island Lodge-closer

Ibo Island is a pure place, devoid of manufactured attractions, cookie-cutter accommodations and droves of tourists. It’s a rare that an idyllic island getaway also comes with a sense of history and culture…go while you can.

The Best Fall Camp Sites in America

Huffington Post names the best camp sites in America for the Fall time, some even offer glamping options.

Autumn is the most glorious time of the year, it brings cooler temperatures for trekking outside, the leaves are changing and the air becomes more crisp.

With the weather changing, now is the perfect time to take a vacation outdoors and spend some quality time with loved ones.

Here are six perfect autumn destinations for fall camping trips in our own backyard.

Big Sur, California
From the jagged bluffs that overlook the stunning Pacific to camping in lush forests, Big Sur offers easy and abundant opportunities for exploring the most excellent part of coastal California.

Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is vast, magnificent and beautiful. This amazing landmark is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable destination and a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe.

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Visit this awe-inspiring place where visitors can experience volcanism in action by hiking through lava tubes, sulphur banks and black lava fields.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virgina
As celebrated for its beauty as the Pacific Coast Highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds, meanders and bends for an astonishing 469 miles through 29 North Carolina and Virginia counties. And, if you’re visiting in autumn you’ll be hitting the mother lode of changing leaves and crisp mountain air!

Colorado National Monument, Colorado
This place is a testament to the astonishing geographical diversity of the state of Colorado. It is comprised of huge canyons created by sandstone, and includes many stunning sandstone formations and numerous desert creatures with nice autumn temps in the upper 70s.

Catskills, New York
The Catskills is a mountain range in the southeast portion of New York and is not far from the big cities, making it the perfect weekend escape in the early autumn months.

Try Glamping Near Birmingham for Half-Term

Want to get away but, still need to stay close to home over the October half-term break?

Try glamping, it involves domes, pods, yurts, treehouses, tents, huts and cottages all close to home for a quick getaway into nature.

Glamping gives you the great outdoors with creature comforts of indoor lodging.

With glamping, you don’t have to worry about roughing it and you get the bonus of an abundance of outdoor activities.

Just outside of Birmingham there are hobbit huts, yurts, mini houses, gypsy caravans and even geodomes.

Check out the 10 best places to glamp just outside of Birmingham for a well needed break from your studies.

The Treehouse
Bullbell’s Nest, located in Osbaston, Leicestershire, at Dandelion Hideaway a whimsical canvas cottage with amazing luxurious: french day bed, mahogany sleigh bed, antique leather chesterfield, hot tub, roll top bath and a wood-burning stove.

The Miniature House
This Tiny Wood home is nestled in Southam, Warwickshire offers all the comforts of a well-appointed home with solace.

The Gypsy Caravan
In the quiet hills of South Shropshire, the 1920’s restored caravan with a luxurious wooden cabin offering glampers the amenities of their own home with the panoramic views of the hillside.

The Hobbit Hut
These unique huts, in Stratford-upon-Avon, are ideal for families as they offer snug equivalent to tents. Also, the park has beds, refrigerators, heaters, lights and electrical outlets.

The Canvas Lodge
This posh lodge in Rutland, Leicestershire offers lux amenities to make sure the guest’s have an unforgettable stay right down to their hot blankets for stargazing on the deck.

The Yurt Village
These handcrafted yurts give glampers a chance to experience off the grid living in nature, offering beds, showers and toilets to make the stay comfortable.

The Alpaca Dens
This glamping destinations offers, a bow top gypsy wagon, shepherd’s hut and a cabin on the lake in Tenbury Wells. This place has all the accommodations to make for the most comfortable stay in nature.

The Shepherd’s Hut
This quaint 1800s shepherd’s hut is perfect for a weekend getaway, located on a 450-acre farm in Southam, Warwickshire, offers fabulous views and breakfast.

The Bargain Break
Glamping pods located in Broadway, The Cotswolds at Manor Farm Bluebell offer stunning views for a fun place to relax and play in nature for one night or for a weekend.

The Geodome
These homemade geodome tents, located on Racquety Farm, sleep anywhere from two-eight people and come fully furnished as well as carpeted to give guest ultimate comfort while enjoying their stay on the organic farm.