Quirimbas Islands

The Quirimbas Islands are located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of northeastern Mozambique, near to Pemba, the capital of the Cabo Delgado province. The archipelago is made up of roughly 32 islands that go all the way up to the Tanzanian border, including Ibo, Matemo, Medjumbe, Quirimba, Metundo, Quisiva, Vamizi Island, and Rolas Island. The islands’ inhabitants grew around Arab trading ports and thrived under the Portuguese commerce routes when they were known as the Ilhas de So Lázaro (Islands of St. Lazarus). The Portuguese ruled the island until Mozambique gained independence in 1975. Many of the islands are populated today. These islands are well-known for their diving spots, which can reach depths of up to 400 meters. The Quirimbas National Park include the 11 southernmost islands, which are partially surrounded by mangroves.