Quirimbas Islands accommodation Guide - information and photographs of Cinco Portas Quirimbas Islands Mozambique.

Cinco Portas Quirimbas Islands Mozambique

Welcome to Cinco Portas, enjoy a stay at Cinco Portas in the Quirimbas Islands area of Mozambique, all the information you need about accommodation prices how to book a room and directions to Cinco Portas Quirimbas Islands Mozambique. See you soon

flag of Mozambique Mozambique Travel
Booking Service

    email: book@go.mozbookings.com

Situated within the Quirimbas National Park in the North of Mozambique lies a small tropical island where time stood still. Take an adventurous trip to come and discover the many secrets Ibo island has to offer…

Embark on a romantic stroll through the dusty streets of Ibo and admire the remnants of a glory long gone. Will nature win its battle over human settlements or will Ibo be revived once more… Enjoy Cinco Portas’ hidden garden, a true oasis of green and relaxation with a gentle sea breeze to cool you down and a well stocked bar to liven your spirits.

Accommodation: Please note that prices do not include breakfast and all our bathrooms have only cool water. For stays of 1 night only we add a 20% surcharge.

Apartment: Spacious bedroom with 2 double beds, sharing bathroom downstairs. Big veranda overlooking mangrove bay. This apartment can, if desired, be split up in two using a separation screen in between the beds.

Ground Floor Room:
Very small room with 1 double bed, sharing bathroom. Usage of living room with folding doors and small veranda giving out onto mangrove bay.

Sundeck rooms:
Three new comfortable double rooms have been constructed on top of the old warehouse. Enjoy the peaceful green of our garden and watch the tides go in and out from your window. En-suite bathroom.

Traditional rooms:
Enjoy our 2 traditional Swahili-style double bed rooms. These small but comfortable rooms give into the garden and the extra door can be opened to watch the street life from the veranda. The rooms have or will have a small en-suite bathroom and fold out table.

email: book@go.mozbookings.com

Why Come to Ibo?
One comes to Ibo to enjoy the island feeling, to be far removed from all normal luxuries (constant power, running water, shops that offer everything you can think off) and consumerism. If you want to be unavailable for a little while, then this is your place of choice. Cell phone reception is only possible on the beach, internet connection is almost non-existent.

People on Ibo live modest and simple lives. Many of its inhabitants have never been in Pemba, the nearest city, and can count their days on the mainland on one hand. Everybody knows everybody and they have a certain reserve for foreigners.

History: Walking through Ibo gives you the feeling of being placed in a time-warp. The ‘bairro cemento’ of Ibo is like a ghost town with coral stone houses, some recently renovated, others simply subsiding under the unrelenting sun and steady sea breeze… Most houses are still inhabited even if they are missing a few walls or roof tiles. The owners of the houses live as far as Goa, India, Portugal or closer by, Maputo or Pemba. Looking at the ruins it is easy to imagine how it must have once looked like, how well organised and developed it must have been at some stage and how nature is slowly reclaiming the land…

Traditional lifestyle: Ibo is a small island, with access dependant on the tides. The most used means of transport for the islanders is still the traditional dhow of all shapes and sizes with improvised or proper sails. A fair deal of fishermen also use the local dug-out canoes, called kaskinia, to peddle their way to the best fishing spots.

Most households keep a few goats, but these are mainly reserved for ceremonial purposes. The goats take in their own special place in family life and you’ll see them climbing on walls, looking for any sort of shrub to eat and then return home at night to sleep with their family.

Ibo has some 4000 inhabitants and is situated in the National Park of Quirimbas. The main activity of ibo’s inhabitants is subsistence fishing. Tourism is fairly new on the island, which means that you’ll regularly come across a child that sees a white person for the first time and runs off with big tears running down its cheeks shouting ‘Wazungu wazungu’ to the safety of his mom.]

The island itself has a lot of fresh water supplies and is quite fertile but very few people cultivate the land as a hedonistic lifestyle prevails (we eat whatever we can pick from the tree, or whatever is in season e.g. bananas, mangoes, paw paw, coconut). In the Mashambas (vegetable gardens) you can find manioca, maize, peanuts, and spread all over the island like a weed you will find Ibo coffee, a very unique Arabica with a distinctive aroma.

Only in Africa: When you arrive by plane it is not uncommon that your pilot will fly over the airstrip once before he actually lands. This is only to chase away the cows, as the airstrip doubles as a grazing ground.

About Cinco Portas Guesthouse
Long before the era of the famous navigators Dias and Vasco da Gamma Ibo Island offered a refuge for Chinese, Indian and Arab traders. The sheltered harbour at the entrance of the Quirimbas channel flourished and became an important trading and governmental centre. During the 20th century Ibo’s power declined and it became a sleeping town… Only now it is waking up from its slumber…

Ibo has a historic town with traces of slave trade, gold, ivory and spices, ancient forts, crumbling mansions surrounded by unspoilt natural reefs, mangrove forests and coconut groves. Ibo once was the capital of Cabo Delgado, but is now a peaceful escape from modern life. Maybe your cell phone will work… Hopefully not…

No place on Ibo captures the spirit of the island like Cinco Portas Guesthouse. It’s an ideal base from where to explore Ibo’s rich past, its ruins and its blend of cultures. Apart from an oasis amidst the historical island we also offer a window from where to watch the fishermen bring in their catch of the day. Admire the gracious dhows passing and offloading their wares from the comfort of your deckchair…

The old colonial house and warehouses have been tastefully converted into a comfortable guesthouse with a lush tropical garden and beautiful pool. Our variety of clean, comfortable and unique rooms makes a stay on the island accessible for every purse. The more exclusive apartment has a private deck with views over the lagoon and mangrove forests surrounding Ibo..

Our restaurant offers a great mix of local dishes and contemporary home-style cooking. Feast on a variety of fresh seafood, tropical fruits and a selection of meat dishes. We will give you information on boat trips, guided walks and other excursions on Ibo Island or in the Quirimbas Archipelago. The Cinco Portas staff hopes to welcome you shortly!!!

Historical Walk: Discover fortress São João Baptista and its famous silversmiths. This five pointed star fortress with cannons protruding from the ramparts over the sea below, dates back from 1791. An old big spreading tree provides shade in the courtyard where the silversmiths perform their century old tradition.

The sliversmithing tradition that was handed down from generation on generation is still daily being performed on the island.

Tour down Rua da Republica. This street starts at the central place and runs parallel to the beach. The buildings once were old shops, trading houses and huge storage hangars with backyards that open onto the harbour for easy loading and offloading.

Running parallel is Rua Pia Maria. A quaint street with quaint Portuguese style cottages and shops.

Past the market you will find Fortim San Antonio, dating from 1818. Fortim São Jose dates back to 1849 and São João Church testifies to the once strong Catholic influence on the island. This building was completed in 1760.

Also of interest are the Church of St John the Baptist, the Hindu Crematorium, Memorial Praça dos Heroís da Independência, and various Portuguese style buildings. Explore the historical town at your own leisure or take a guided tour with Junior, an English and Portuguese speaking guide.
Duration: 3h - easy walk

Quirimbas Island: Start your walk 2 hours before low tide and walk across the mudflats through the mangroves to Quirimbas Island where the German Gestner family has been having a huge coconut plantation for 3 generations. Relax on the white sand palm fringed beaches and return by local fisher boat to Ibo.
Duration walk: 2h30 one way trough tidal flats - slippery and strenuous

Ibo Lighthouse: Walk to the end of the world. This low tide walk takes you past the fortress, along the tidal beach and coconut groves through the mangroves to an islet called Mujaca. There the Portuguese built a lighthouse to guide incoming ships into the channel leading to the Port of Ibo.

Farol Mujaca is of the oldest lighthouses in Mozambique. Peculiar about this building is that it has a straight staircase leading to an observation point instead of a staircase running around a square or round building. The view and the savageness of the sea are stunning
Duration: 4h - easy walk with some more difficult bits.

Cemetery: Get in touch with Ibo’s past by wandering through the old cemetery and discovering ancient graves with Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and French inscriptions.
Duration: 1h - easy walk

To be clear, Ibo does not have any palm fringed picture perfect beaches… Ibo is surrounded by extensive Mangal forests on the one side and a kilometre wide floodplain on the other side.. Both are interesting habitats for a wide variety of marine life and attracting lots of wading birds. However Ibo is quite a big island and there are some remote spots to relax in the sun without disturbance. So, indeed, there are sand beaches on Ibo but only at high tide and not in town…

Ibo boasts a couple of fantastic dive spots the best of which is at the Old lighthouse. This is where the coastal shelf drops off into the depths of the Indian Ocean. There is one dive operator on Ibo Island but please check with us if he is available if you want to dive on Ibo.

There are two good snorkelling spots around Ibo Island. Unfortunately they both require a boat transfer. You can organise this with a local dhow captain or our motorboat.

Boat Trips:
We can organise sightseeing trips to Quirimbas or Matemo Island. There are old channels the Portuguese cut trough the mangroves. These meter wide channels start from Ibo and go to Quirimbas Island. Once on Quirimba you can walk back to Ibo at Low tide or simply return by boat.

Alternatively we can take you on a tour around Ibo Island (weather and tide permitting) where we will pass the channels, the Ibo lighthouse, the fortress, and port. There is a range of traditional Dhow sailing boats that are readily chartered for daytrips or multiple day dhow safaris. Two commercial operators, one a French chef, offer fully organised trips. The rule here is to have a clear arrangement beforehand so there are no surprises.

One of our clients described it nicely in our guestbook. Cinco Portas is like a Holiday within a holiday. People come for a day and stay for a week… reading a good book, enjoying our cuisine and the slow island vibe.

It is not uncommon to wake up at night to the sound of drums or a procession trough the main streets.

A number of age old ceremonies are still practised on the island.. Amongst others: “Aboruji”, a dance where the men push spikes trough their cheeks; “Ombi”, circumcision and rite of passage for the boys; “Riga”, rite of passage when a girl enters womanhood, clearing a house of demons and ghosts, etc…

Each year on June 24th a small festival is being organised to celebrate the Fiesta do IBO. Traditional & contemporary song and dance, competitions, theatre and arts are at a display. Or you could join the “Tomar de banho” on New Year’s day when the whole village jumps in the sea to celebrate the new year. The predominant religion on the Island is Muslim and of course all religious celebrations have their place on the island.

By Road from Pemba:
Via Metuge: 125 Km: Take the main road out of Pemba and turn right on the Metuge Road to Quissanga. This is a dirt road with many dips, difficult or closed during rainy season. Enquire beforehand on the condition of the road and its bridges.

Via Bilibisa: 250 Km (Alternative and better road): Take the main road out of Pemba and turn right on tar road to Mocimboa da Praia. Next turn right at the Bilibiza turn-off Intersection signposted by a big ADPP sign. At the end of this road turn left at the T junction. This road is 100km longer but mostly tarmac, and passable in all seasons.

For Both routes: From Quissanga, drive on to Tandanhangue. You can park for a small guarding fee (50-100 Mt per day) at the car park across or before the mud flats. In Tandanhangue harbour (Baobab beach) you can negotiate your passage on a dhow or motorboat with one of the local captains. Prices range in between 50 and 100 Mt. Our small motorboat can come pick you up for 1000Mt for a 6 pax boat. The cross over by motorboat takes about 45min. A sailing dhow can take anything between 1 and 5 hours.

Boats leave only at high tide, so you will have to be patient if you arrived a few hours too early. Currently works have been undertaken to make your waiting period more comfortable, a small ‘shop’, toilet and shaded space is now available. Be warned, Tandanhangue has a lot of mosquitoes. You will need to wade to the boat, so be prepared to get wet.

Do as locals do, ask price before you get in. Price difference sailing dhow- motorised dhow. Sailing dhow more romantic but can take a whole deal longer to get to your destination! Poling through shallow water, hoisting boom, lateen sail, enjoy the ride. You might see dolphins along the way or an African Fish eagle. Short cut through mangroves will bring you straight into the small harbour of Ibo.

By Boat:
Our Cargo boat supplies us once a week from Pemba. The Cinco Portas Boat is a comfortable 14 meter motorised boat skippered by an experienced crew. Price for one way passage is 35USD per person. The boat trip takes about 12 hours and takes you past part of the Quirimbas Archipelago. It is possible to snorkel (bring your own gear!) whilst we offload cargo at the Quililea island marine sanctuary. Or you can throw out a line and catch some fish on the way…

The Cinco Portas Boat leaves Pemba every Saturday morning. Remember to bring plenty of water, a pic nic, fruit and snacks for on the way. The time of departure is depending on the tide so check with the captain. The boat returns to Pemba every Wednesday.

It is also possible to negotiate passage on a sailing dhow to or from Pemba, or Pangane. For this you must go to Paquitequete or Pangane port yourself and negotiate with a dhow captain yourself. We, nor anybody else, will get in between you and the captain. Price depends on how good you are at negotiating and if there is a boat leaving or not.

An indication of charter price of a dhow at the time of writing this 2000mt Ibo Pangane and 3000mt Pemba Ibo. Winds blow generally from the south from June to August and from the north from November to January. With good winds this is a most agreeable and adventurous way to travel… However: No fixed fee applies, no departure is guaranteed, no schedule applies, no life jackets on board. Please do not pay upfront. Arrival depends on the wind direction and force. It can take a day to 3 days, so take plenty of water and food.


Cinco Portas Prices

Prices are per

Room Type


Mid Season

Low Season





















email: book@go.mozbookings.com

Type of Accommodation at Cinco Portas

Ground Floor Room
Sundeck rooms

Traditional rooms

Room equipment

Ensuite Bathroom



Towels Provided


Distance from beach


Road Access

Boat trip

Collect from Border


Collect from Airport


Nearest Border

Mwambo/Namuirange Tanzania/Mozambique
Milange 1100km Malawi

Airport Nearby

Pemba 550km

Credit cards accepted


Pet Policy

No Pets



Local Mobile Phone coverage

No - only on the beach

Power supply


Plug points

Mozambique electricity plug 2 Pin round

Activities/dive centre

Historical Walks
Boat Trips



Shops nearby


Drinking Water


Mosquito nets provided



Copyright MozambiqueTravelService.com 2005 - 2014